Best Motorcycle Hangouts in Los Angeles

October 17, 2018 Motorcycle Accidents

Southern California has some of the finest weather and most spectacular routes for motorcycle riding. From rugged canyon roads to

Motorcycle couple holding helmets in hands on the road

Southern California has some of the finest weather and most spectacular routes for motorcycle riding. From rugged canyon roads to stunning coastal stretches, the Golden State is the place to be.  After a long day on the road, there are plenty of popular spots where bikers can fuel up on hearty fare and whet their whistles.

Here’s a roundup of some the best motorcycle hangouts in and around Los Angeles.

The Rock Store

The Rocks Store is unquestionably SoCal’s most famous motorcycle hangout. Renowned for its homestyle cooking, amazing location and sense of community, this place is where bikers of all ages and creeds come to talk shop, swap stories, people watch and chow down. The ride up to Mulholland Drive is tight and twisting, with panoramic Pacific Ocean views. You may bump into Jay Leno and other Hollywood elite, and this landmark pitstop has been featured in many movies, TV commercials and videos. Open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, the Rock Store is where Harley guys rub elbows with the sportbike crowd over cheeseburgers and cold drinks.

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Original Mikes

Get the best burger in Orange County at this biker-friendly joint. Original Mike’s is located on the corner of Main and First streets in downtown Santa Ana and is owned by legendary biker Mike Harrah. There are classic cars on display and Harley Davidsons hanging from the ceilings, and the menu features classic American comfort food. Original Mikes has three stages for live entertainment, jumbo flat screen TVs, dance floors, an outdoor patio and hosts special bike nights and other events.

Cook’s Corner

When it comes to biker hangouts in Southern California, Cook’s Corner is top on the list. Situated in Trabuco Canyon, this iconic roadhouse had humble beginnings as an eatery for local ranchers and miners. Over the years, the place evolved into the epic biker bar it is today. On any given weekend, this place is packed with riders coming for good food and a great party scene. Cooks serves standard road fare and has an atmosphere that oozes authenticity. The ride to get to Trabuco Canyon makes this a destination in and of itself.

Tumbleweeds Bar & Grill

Tumbleweeds ticks all the right boxes for a great biker hangout. Juicy burgers. Live music. Darts. Pool. Giant TVs streaming live sports. Most importantly, it has a biker-friendly fun crowd. If you ever find yourself near Huntington Beach, stop in for a bite to eat and check out their events calendar for Blues Jams and performances by local rock bands.

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Motorcycle accident attorney Los Angeles

The Salamati Law Firm is a strong supporter of motorcyclists in Southern California. Leveraging more than 20 years of expertise in personal injury law, we’ve helped countless bikers recover monetary damages in serious accident claims. If you need legal representation of the highest caliber, reach out for a free consultation with a Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer who gets results. Call our law offices any time.

Additional Resources on LA Biker Hangouts:

  1. City Search, Biker Hangouts in Los Angeles http://www.citysearch.com/guides/2401/biker-hangouts-in-los-angeles.html
  2. MeetUp, Motorcycle Riding Meetups in Los Angeles https://www.meetup.com/topics/motorcycle-riding/us/ca/los_angeles/?_cookie-check=4plf8MeJr6jUE1e-
  3. Rock Store, MotorHead Mecca http://rock-store.com/
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October 16, 2018 Slip Trip and Fall

People who have slipped and fallen might not be sure what to do right after the accident happens. In fact,

caution wet floor sign at a corridor

People who have slipped and fallen might not be sure what to do right after the accident happens. In fact, they may want to get to a doctor right away, especially if they are bleeding or feel they have broken a bone, twisted an ankle, or otherwise hurt themselves. A personal injury lawyer can help advise you on your next steps.

Gather a Record of the Conditions and Your Injuries

While it’s very wise to go to a doctor as one of the first steps, because getting treatment is highly important for your health and recovery, you also need to make sure that you have a record of what occurred and have alerted the proper authorities. So don’t delay getting medical attention, but make sure that you have pictures or notes on what happened in the immediate aftermath.

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Why? Well, if you want to recover damages in a trial or settlement to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and more, the fact is, a court will need evidence of what happened. In fact, your doctor or hospital visit will be part of the evidence, because any doctor or hospital will keep records of your injuries and the treatment advised. This will be a crucial part of the case that your Los Angeles personal injury attorney will help you make in court.

For the victim of a slip and fall accident to receive damages, the court must find the other party negligent. That means a party, such as a landlord or store owner, had a duty of care to keep a specific area safe, should have known if it had become unsafe, had enough time to make it safe, and didn’t.

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The fact is, many negligent parties will try to argue that the party injured in a slip and fall caused it themselves. They may claim that an area, such as a broken sidewalk or slippery floor, wasn’t dangerous. They may argue that it was clearly marked or surrounded with cones indicating it wasn’t to be walked on.

And they may win, unless you have evidence.

What You Should Do After a Slip and Fall Accident

So here some steps to follow in the immediate aftermath of a slip and fall in California.

1. Take pictures of your injuries

Take pictures of your injuries with your smartphone. Bruises, cuts, torn clothing – anything that injured you and shows impact.

2. Take pictures of the area

Take pictures of the area where you slipped and fell, from all angles. Don’t wait until it is cleared away and cleaned up.

3. Get the contact information of any witnesses

If anyone saw you slip and fall or witnessed the area where you fell, get their contact information.

4. Contact the manager if it’s a retail establishment

If your slip and fall accident occurs in a retail establishment like a store or restaurant, contact the manager before you leave. The manager needs to know of the dangerous area. Also, a court might wonder if you leave without reporting it.

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Slip and Fall Injury in the Los Angeles Area? Call Sean Salamati

Sean Salamati is an experienced slip and fall lawyer in Los Angeles. Sean will fight for your rights if you have been hurt because of someone else’s negligence. Call today for a free consultation. We charge no fees unless we win money for you.

Additional Resources:

  1. National Restaurant Association. Don’t Trip Up: Preventing Slips and Falls. https://www.restaurant.org/Manage-My-Restaurant/Operations/Back-of-House/Dont-trip-up-Preventing-slips-and-falls
  2. National Safety Council. Slip, Trip and Fall Prevention Training. https://www.nsc.org/safety-training/workplace/slips-trips-and-falls
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Halloween Safety Tips for Driving and Trick or Treating

October 11, 2018 Auto Accidents, Pedestrian Accident Injuries

As kids prepare for trick or treating fun, many parents are aware of the risks like taking candy from strangers.

Little children in Halloween costumes trick or treatingAs kids prepare for trick or treating fun, many parents are aware of the risks like taking candy from strangers. Often overlooked, however, are the risks of traffic accidents. Halloween is a time when both pedestrian fatalities and DUI accidents spike. Parents and motorists alike can help keep the festivities safe by following a few Halloween tips.

Halloween pedestrian accident risks

Halloween has all the makings for a pedestrian accident – throngs of (often unaccompanied) children lingering near driveways or rushing across streets, in the dark, wearing masks that obstruct their vision. It is not surprising, then, that the likelihood of a pedestrian being struck by a car is more than twice as high on Halloween compared to other evenings throughout the year.

Parents can help protect their children by not letting them trick-or-treat alone; putting reflective tape on costumes and treat bags to increase your child’s visibility; teaching your children not to cross mid-road but instead cross at a corner or cross-walk; watching for cars moving near driveways; and making eye contact with drivers to be sure they are aware of the child’s presence.

Drivers should avoid going out during trick or treat hours if possible. Also, be on the lookout kids crossing in the middle of the road, running across driveways. Stay alert and minimize distractions.

Halloween DUI risk

Halloween is not just for kids; plenty of adults take part in the fun, and their celebration often involves alcohol. Federal statistics show that a significant number of motor vehicle accidents on Halloween involve drinking and driving. For example, in 2014, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data showed that more than 1/3 of traffic accidents on Halloween involved driving under the influence. In 2015, the number was even higher, at 46% of crashes involving DUI.

California Highway Patrol and Los Angeles police routinely set up sobriety checkpoints at times of the year when they expect an increase in drinking and driving. Therefore, expect that this Halloween, the LAPD and CHIP will set up DUI roadblocks to catch drunk drivers as they have in past years. A DUI can impact your life, even if you do not cause harm to a child or another adult.

If you will be attending an adult Halloween gathering, be aware of how much you are drinking. If you do imbibe, absolutely do not get behind the wheel – there is no such thing as “buzzed driving; it is still drunk driving. If your children will be trick or treating, do not let them go alone. Be on the lookout for erratic vehicles, and be cautious in and around driveways.

Speak with a personal injury lawyer in Southern California

Halloween can and should be a safe time for kids and adults alike. However, if you are involved in an accident, speak with experienced Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawyer Sean Salamati, who has built his reputation on his commitment to helping accident victims pursue justice. Call today for a free consultation. Remember, we never charge a fee unless we win money on your behalf.

Additional Halloween traffic safety resources:

  1. National Safety Council, Halloween Safety On and Off the Road, https://www.nsc.org/home-safety/tools-resources/seasonal-safety/autumn/halloween
  2. Madd, Surprising Stats Regarding the Dangers of Drunk Driving at Halloween, https://www.madd.org/tennessee/surprising-stats-regarding-the-dangers-of-drunk-driving-at-halloween/
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4 Mistakes Beginning Motorcyclists Make

October 10, 2018 Motorcycle Accidents

It’s a good idea to take a motorcycle driver’s education class as part of your journey toward being a motorcyclist.

Biker riding on motorcycle near the river in the city.

It’s a good idea to take a motorcycle driver’s education class as part of your journey toward being a motorcyclist. But even so, there are common mistakes that motorcyclists make that imperil their safety on California’s — and the nation’s — roads. The more you avoid these mistakes, the safer you’ll be.

Mistake #1: Not Paying Attention to the Road

Always remember that you are far more vulnerable riding a motorcycle than you are in a car, for several reasons. First, and most obvious, you don’t have the protection of several tons of metal and seat belts, like cars do. Second, car drivers don’t “see” motorcycles in the way that they do other cars. They pull out in front of you, crowd you from behind, change lanes, and may even open doors as you’re driving down the street. Any of these moves can injure you, or even be fatal. Third, obstacles that are no problem for a car, just as a spray of gravel or potholes, can cause severe motorcycle accidents.

The best defense against accidents like this? Pay close attention to the road. Know what drivers around you are doing — and operate your motorcycle defensively for what they may do. It can be very tempting to enjoy gazing around while you’re driving a motorcycle. Don’t do it.

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Mistake #2: Having a Passenger Right Away

It’s a lot of fun to take your significant other or a new date out on your motorcycle. But it can also pose a danger to both of you.

Why? Because riding with a passenger behind you is really different from riding by yourself. The weight and balance are different. Your ability to pay attention are different. It’s a good idea to hold off until you have had plenty of experience riding by yourself.

Not only is that a good idea, but it’s also wise to practice with a passenger in a large parking lot or quiet street until you are thoroughly comfortable with it.

Mistake #3: Miscalculating the Throttle

Beginning riders need practice calculating how much to release the clutch and give it throttle. Too much will stall the bike, and so will not enough. A large parking lot is also a good place to practice before you head into traffic.

Mistake #4: Not Talking to a Lawyer After a Motorcycle Accident

In an accident between a car or other vehicle and a motorcycle, the larger vehicle is often at fault. But because motorcycle accidents are potentially so severe and possibly long-lasting or permanent, insurance companies may try to low-ball you on the settlement, or even blame you. Having a lawyer negotiate on your behalf is a wise move in case of an accident.

If you need an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in the Los Angeles area, contact us today. The Salamati Law Firm has an excellent record of obtaining justice for clients in motorcycle accidents throughout Southern California.

We will provide a consultation at no charge. Payment will come from any final jury award or settlement amount.

Have you been injured? Click here to call us for a FREE consultation!

Additional Resources:

  1. Motorcycle Safety Foundation, Quick Tips: General Guidelines for Riding a Motorcycle Safely, https://msf-usa.org/downloads/If_you_ride_a_motorcycle.pdf
  2. Weyant, Curtis. Consumer Safety, 11 Motorcycle Safety Tips for Riders, March 14, 2018. https://www.consumersafety.org/news/safety/motorcycle-safety-tips/
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Can Brain Damage from an Injury Be Reversed?

October 6, 2018 Brain Injuries

Some of the most heartbreaking injuries are those that are invisible to the outside world. A traumatic brain injury (TBI)

Doctor analyzing human skull x-raySome of the most heartbreaking injuries are those that are invisible to the outside world. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can cause limitations including physical and emotional disabilities, inability to work, and even inability to care for oneself. Sufferers of TBI and the loved ones who care for them are often desperate for signs that the damage can be repaired. Researchers have been exploring options for reversing traumatic brain damage but there are many variables that affect success.

Factors affecting TBI recovery

Brain injuries range from seemingly mild concussions to serious diffuse axonal injuries, and the section of the brain impacted can affect the impairment suffered as well as hopes of recovery. Another key determinant is the age of the TBI victim.

Treating a TBI early improves the likelihood of recovery by reducing damage. When a severe TBI is suspected, interventions such as cooling therapies, administration of oxygen, providing medications, and even removing part of the skull may prevent further physical damage by slowing the swelling. It is crucial to monitor even seemingly mild TBIs because these interventions are sometimes necessary upon follow-up.

Once brain cells are damaged, they cannot be repaired but new connections can be made. Other parts of the brain can also learn the lost functions that had been performed by the damaged areas. For this reason, physical, cognitive, and other therapies play important parts in TBI management. Greater progress is often seen in younger patients, who have increased ability to regenerate synapses, restoring some lost function.

Researchers have breakthrough reversing brain damage

Recovery from a TBI can be a long-term process, in many cases requiring a lifetime of rehabilitation. The outlook is not always known immediately after the injury, or even for years after. However, researchers are looking for ways to reverse the damage with the use of hyperbaric oxygen treatments in an attempt to promote regrowth in the areas of damaged brain cells.

In July 2017, researchers from LSU Health New Orleans and the University of North Dakota made headlines when they successfully began the reversal of brain damage in a toddler who nearly drowned in a pool. After being hospitalized in a critical care unit for 48 days, the two-year-old girl was not expected to ever walk or talk again. However, after a series of twice-daily oxygen treatments as well as physical therapy, the little girl regained nearly normal function and shows only mild evidence of trauma to her brain.

The 2017 case is encouraging but some researchers have suggested it was not the oxygen treatments themselves but the child’s young age and/or therapies she underwent that led to her dramatic improvement.

Recovering from TBI in Southern California

For those who suffer a TBI and those who care for them, the rehabilitation process can be a long road involving lost wages, expensive therapies and medications, and even daily help for personal care. A California traumatic brain injury lawyer can help. Los Angeles personal injury attorney Sean Salamati fights for full and fair compensation for those across CA who suffer a brain injury because of someone else’s negligence. Call today to schedule a free confidential consultation.

Additional TBI recovery resources:

  1. Johns Hopkins Medicine, Traumatic Brain Injury, https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/physical_medicine_and_rehabilitation/acquired_brain_injury_85,P01145
  2. Science Alert, Scientists Have Reversed Brain Damage in a 2-Year-Old Girl Who Drowned in a Swimming Pool, https://www.sciencealert.com/scientists-have-reversed-brain-damage-in-a-2-year-old-girl-who-drowned-in-a-swimming-pool
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Anniversary of Las Vegas Shooting Marked with Memorials

October 5, 2018 News, Personal Injury Lawsuits, Wrongful Death Claims

Monday, October 1, 2018, marked the one-year anniversary of the Las Vegas shooting that took the lives of 58 attendees

Group of people holding candle vigil

Monday, October 1, 2018, marked the one-year anniversary of the Las Vegas shooting that took the lives of 58 attendees of the Route 91 Harvest music festival. Hundreds more were injured in the attack. People in and around Las Vegas marked the event with memorials. Meanwhile, investigations have still not revealed a clear motive for the massacre.

Shooting anniversary marked by memorials and homecoming

Officials throughout Nevada recognized the enormity of the anniversary. Governor Brian Sandoval ordered that all state and federal flags fly at half staff from sunrise to sunset. The Las Vegas Portraits Project, a display of artwork of the victims, is on display at the Clark County Government Center through October 19. A shooting survivor from Los Angeles, Dennis Guerrero, started a nonprofit called LoveWins and it is raising money to help the families left behind by the 58 who died.

Remarkably, just a few days before the anniversary, Rosemarie Melanson was released from the hospital. There were over 800 people injured in the shooting and Melanson was the last of the victims to remain hospitalized. She suffered bullet wounds to several organs and was placed on life support immediately after the shooting. Miraculously, she survived, and after nearly a year in the hospital, she finally returned home.

Federal court denies request of venue owner MGM

More than 20,000 people were attending the Route 91 Harvest music festival when Stephen Paddock opened fire on the crowd, killing 58 people and injuring hundreds more. Since then, more than 2,000 people have either sued or threatened to sue those connected with the venue or the shooter.

Hundreds of victims have joined in five lawsuits in state courts in California and Nevada, naming as defendants MGM Resorts International for allegedly not having proper security procedures and trained staff; concert organizer Live Nation for allegedly not having adequate exits and trained employees; and the estate of shooter Stephen Paddock.

MGM, the owner of Mandalay Bay, took a highly unusual step and filed a federal lawsuit naming about 2,000 people who were have sued or threatened to sue the company, requesting that the court issue a declaratory judgment stating that MGM is not liable, and requesting that all of the lawsuits against it be pooled together in multi-district litigation (MDL). Earlier this month, MGM’s requests were denied, allowing existing and future lawsuits against it to proceed in state courts without being transferred to an MDL docket.

Fighting for rights of injury victims in California

Los Angeles personal injury attorney Sean Salamati understands the legal battle that the shooting victims and their families face. The Salamati Law Firm has dedicated the past two decades to fighting for the rights of personal injury victims in LA and around Southern California. If you have been injured and believe someone else bears legal responsibility, call today to schedule a free confidential consultation.

Additional resources on Las Vegas shooting updates:

  1. Bloomberg, MGM Resorts Can’t Centralize Mass Shooting Lawsuits Panel Rules, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-10-03/mgm-resorts-can-t-centralize-mass-shooting-lawsuits-panel-rules
  2. Fox News, Las Vegas shooting: Memorial events mark 1-year anniversary as massacre motive still shrouded in mystery, https://www.foxnews.com/us/las-vegas-shooting-memorial-events-mark-1-year-anniversary-as-massacre-motive-still-shrouded-in-mystery
  3. Fox News, Las Vegas massacre survivor leaves hospital year after shooting, https://www.foxnews.com/us/las-vegas-massacre-survivor-leaves-hospital-year-after-shooting
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October 4, 2018 Wrongful Death Claims

Suffering the loss of a family breadwinner is one of the most difficult situations we can encounter in life. Grief

Wrongful Death report and gavel in a court.Suffering the loss of a family breadwinner is one of the most difficult situations we can encounter in life. Grief may make you physically ill, depressed, or anxious. You and your friends and family may miss the deceased person every day.

A Painful Challenge

You also may suffer financial duress. The family breadwinner may have been responsible for all or the greatest proportion of your family’s income. In the aftermath of the breadwinner’s death, you may have to make major changes in your life, such as moving from the home you shared, if it has become unaffordable. You may become unable to pay bills, or become fearful of them mounting up.

You may need to retrain yourself for a job, or a higher-paying position. You may also be left with medical bills and funeral or burial expenses.

If the Family Breadwinner Died Due to Negligence

All of this can be hard enough, but if your family breadwinner died due to the negligence of another party, it can make your pain feel that much worse.

There is a potential solution to the financial duress, however. A wrongful death suit claim can seek financial compensation associated with the death of a breadwinner. Wrongful death compensation can be awarded to replace some or all of the support a family received from a breadwinner, both financial and emotional, for example. It can pay for medical bills related to the cause of death, and for funeral and burial costs.

Wrongful death claims can also seek financial compensation for loss of companionship and consortium, loss of guidance and training, and loss of household services.

Wrongful death claims in California may be brought if the death was caused by a wrongful act or the negligence of another party. Negligence means that the other party knew a condition or event was unsafe, had responsibility to ensure that it was safe, had enough time to make it safe, and did not.

A person who died from falling off a beam on a construction site, for example, may have fallen because safety equipment or training was not provided or was not adequate to prevent the fall.

A wrongful death claim is a civil suit asking for financial compensation. It is not a criminal suit asking for the negligent party to be punished. However, wrongful death suits can also serve as a deterrent to negligent parties for their future actions.

Under California law, wrongful death claims may be brought by a breadwinner’s spouse, domestic partner, next living descendent or heir (parents or siblings), or financial dependents, such as partners, children, stepchildren, or parents.

If You Need a Southern California Wrongful Death Attorney

If you think that negligence contributed to the death of your loved one, call experienced Los Angeles wrongful death attorney Sean Salamati today. Se habla español. We will fight to see that justice is done.

If you agree to work with Salamati Law Firm’s team, you owe us nothing unless we win your case, and payment will come from the final jury award or settlement amount.

Additional Resources:

  1. Brody, Jane L. “When a Spouse Dies, Resilience Can Be Uneven.” New York Times, September 26, 2016. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/27/well/family/when-a-spouse-dies-resilience-can-be-uneven.html
  2. Manning, Margaret. “Losing a Partner: How to Recover from the Loss of a Loved One.” Huffington Post, October 2, 2013. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/margaret-manning/losing-a-partner-how-to-recover-from-the-loss-of-a-loved-one_b_4029121.html
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What Are the Most Common Slip and Fall Accidents?

October 2, 2018 Slip Trip and Fall

In the movies, someone slipping on a banana peel is a time-tested laugh-getter. In real life, slipping and falling can

caution wet floor sign

In the movies, someone slipping on a banana peel is a time-tested laugh-getter. In real life, slipping and falling can be serious indeed. According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 33,381 people died as a result of unintentional falls last year. Each year, 25% of people over the age of 65 fall. Falls are one of the leading causes of injury and death in workplaces like construction sites. As any slip and fall lawyer in Los Angeles can tell you, these kinds of accidents happen far too often.

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The consequences of slipping and falling can range from a twisted ankle to spinal cord or head injuries that can impair functioning and mobility for the rest of one’s life.

It stands to reason that people need to be careful about slipping and falling. But where do slips and falls mostly commonly take place? Here are four places where slip and fall accidents are most frequent.

1. Sidewalks

Sidewalks are built to facilitate safe walking. Unfortunately, sidewalks that are not well maintained may develop cracks and may deteriorate, making walking dangerous. Weeds can even start poking through the sidewalk, which will cause it to crack even more. It’s easy to trip and fall on a poorly maintained sidewalk.

2. Wet floors in stores and restaurants

Wet floors can easily cause patrons of stores and restaurants to slip and fall. In stores, wet floors can be caused by slipped liquid from a product — or even from someone’s spilled water bottle. In restaurants, servers or patrons may inadvertently spill beverages. Cleaning such as mopping or waxing will also make a floor wet.

Store managers and employees should move to place warning cones around a wet floor, and should clean up the area quickly.

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3. Workplaces

Slips and falls are frequent in workplaces. On construction sites, for example, workers frequently are employed at high altitudes and walls or stairs that might make falling impossible in a finished building may not yet be completed.

Poorly maintained workplaces where floors are piled high with equipment, boxes, or even debris can also cause slip and fall accidents.

4. Stairs, Escalators, and Elevators

Areas where movement from one story to another take place are frequent sites of slip and fall accidents.

  • Stairs that are poorly maintained, lack banisters, or have old or torn carpet can be especially dangerous.
  • So can escalators that have been shut down — if they start abruptly again, people can be caught or thrown as they try to climb up.
  • Similarly, elevators that have stopped and then start again can cause a fall to passengers.

Both incidents can result in a trip to the hospital and a call to your local personal injury lawyer.

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When You Need a Slip and Fall Lawyer in Southern California

California law is very clear on premises liability. Property owners are responsible for maintaining the safety of their buildings and grounds. If an area is dangerous, or if they should have known it was dangerous, they must fix the unsafe condition. Failure to do so is negligence, and a court can find them responsible for accidents that happen in the Los Angeles area due to lack of reasonably safe conditions.

If you feel you or a loved one was the victim of a slip and fall due to the negligence of another, please call experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorney Sean Salamati today. There is no charge to you for an initial consultation, and you owe us no money unless we win money for you.

Additional Resources:

  1. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Workplace Solutions. Preventing Slips, Trips, and Falls in Wholesale and Retail Trade Establishments. https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2013-100/pdfs/2013-100.pdf
  2. United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics. Accidents or Unintentional Injuries. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/accidental-injury.htm
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Is a Car Making a Left Turn Always at Fault in an Accident?

September 26, 2018 Auto Accidents

Ever wonder whether drivers who are making a left turn can be held to blame if an accident occurs with

left turn only signEver wonder whether drivers who are making a left turn can be held to blame if an accident occurs with another vehicle that is going straight through an intersection?

Right-of-Way Laws Give Precedence to a Driver Going Straight

The answer is almost always yes. California right-of-way laws, like the right-of-way laws of most states, indicate that drivers going straight have the right of way over drivers turning left.

In addition, left-turning drivers are required to make sure the intersection is completely free of other vehicles (including bicycles and motorcycles), people, and obstacles. As a result, a driver turning left can be held negligent if the driver’s vehicle collides with a vehicle, pedestrian, or other object.

The only exception to these right-of-law standards occurs if the intersection has a signal with a green arrow indicating a left turn. In that case, a left-turning driver follows the arrow when it’s green.

These right-of-way rules apply to intersections with signals, with stop signs, and in the event of there being neither signals nor stop signs.

Are There Exceptions?

There are a few specific exceptions to the right-of-way left turn rules. Under these exceptions, the driver who made a left turn may be judged either only partly at fault or completely not at fault.

The first exception is if the straight-driving vehicle was going over the speed limit significantly. The left-turning driver may have reasonably thought sufficient time existed to make a turn, with the excess speed being the variable that made the time insufficient.

The second exception is if the left-turning driver began to turn when no pedestrian, vehicle, or obstacle existed to make it unsafe, but then a circumstance occurred that meant the car had to significantly slow or stop. The left-turning car may have then been in the intersection when another car with right of way approached. This could occur, for example, if a child darted into the road the car was turning into, causing the driver to delay the completion of the turn.

The third and final exception is when the car going straight faced a stop sign or traffic signal that was red, but did not obey those signals. In that case, the straight-driving car is required to stop, and could be accused of reckless driving.

Proving Negligence

For these exceptions to either completely or partially mitigate liability of the left-turning driver, proof is needed. Motorists in these situations should try to obtain the testimony of witnesses, take multiple pictures of the accident scene and the vehicles, and call the police. The police file a report that can be used as evidence in court. It’s also a good idea to check to see if the intersection was under surveillance cameras.

In addition, of course, if the driver with the right of way was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol or driving distractedly, it may be possible to argue that it made the driver negligent for the accident, in part.

Because all these exceptions are difficult to proof, it is a good idea to discuss any left-turning accidents with a lawyer.

Call a Seasoned Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been in an accident caused by a left-turning driver, the southern California law offices of Sean Salamati can help.

Let us put our experience to work for you by calling the Los Angeles car accident lawyers at Salamati Law Firm. We will fight to see that justice is done.

Additional Resources:

  1. State of California Department of Motor Vehicles. California Driver Handbook. https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/pubs/hdbk/driver_handbook_toc
  2. State of California Department of Motor Vehicles. California Driver Handbook. Laws and Rules of the Road. Right-of Way Rules. https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/pubs/hdbk/right_of_way
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How Pain & Suffering Is Calculated in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

September 21, 2018 Personal Injury Lawsuits

Following a personal injury, the medical bills are often the easiest part of a settlement to calculate, but they are

Following a personal injury, the medical bills are often the easiest part of a settlement to calculate, but they are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to full and complete compensation. A significant part of a settlement or verdict may be a component representing pain and suffering.

What is pain and suffering?

The law recognizes the right of a personal injury victim to be made whole by way of an injury lawsuit. This includes the right to recover both the economic damages that are represented by clearly-defined numbers like medical bills and lost wages, as well as non-economic damages. In some special cases, a plaintiff may also be able to recover punitive damages to punish a defendant for egregious action.

Pain and suffering is one of the most common non-economic damages commonly awarded. It includes both physical effects like past and anticipated future pain, scarring, and limitations on activities, as well as emotional pain like depression, PTSD, and insomnia.

What is my pain and suffering worth?

Pain and suffering is much less precise to quantify than economic damages. Attorneys and insurance adjusters use rules of thumb to arrive at starting numbers that are then tweaked based on the circumstances.

  • Multipliers – The approach familiar to most people, the multiplier approach starts with a number easy to determine – the amount of the medical bills – and multiplies it by a certain factor. The factor is often between 1.5 and 4, and can vary based on the severity of the injury. The insurance industry often relied on computer programs that use a multiplier to arrive at pain and suffering settlement amounts.
  • Per diem – More commonly seen in trial, attorneys may assign a dollar amount for each day of pain and value the pain and suffering at an amount equal to that amount times the number of days the pain and suffering has lasted or is expected to continue.

The numbers arrived at by these methods are only guidelines. They can be impacted by the amounts typically awarded by juries in personal injury cases in that geographic location, the severity of the injury, likelihood of temporary or permanent disability, the credibility of the plaintiff, and even whether the injury is the type to gain extra sympathy if it were to be heard by a jury.

Obtaining pain and suffering compensation in Southern California

There are many factors that can impact a plaintiff’s ultimate recovery of pain and suffering damages in southern CA. Speak with Los Angeles personal injury lawyer Sean Salamati to discuss your circumstance and whether you are entitled to pursue a claim.

At the Salamati Law Firm, we are dedicated to helping clients throughout Southern California hold those at fault responsible for their actions. We work with a team of experts and fight tirelessly for maximum compensation. Call today for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Additional California personal injury pain and suffering resources:

  1. California Law Review, Placing a Price on Pain and Suffering: A Method for Helping Juries Determine Tort Damages for Nonmonetary Injuries, http://scholarship.law.berkeley.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1672&context=californialawreview
  2. Justia, California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI) 3905A. Physical Pain, Mental Suffering, and Emotional Distress (Noneconomic Damage), https://www.justia.com/trials-litigation/docs/caci/3900/3905a.html
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