How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Lawsuit in California?

April 16, 2018 Auto Accidents

Your first order of business after being in a car accident will always be to get the medical attention you

Judge gavel, scales of justice and law books in courtYour first order of business after being in a car accident will always be to get the medical attention you need and to replace any property that was lost or damaged in the accident.

When the initial shock of the accident starts to wear off, you might begin to wonder how much time you have to file an injury claim against the negligent party who was responsible.

Whether the crash happened in Los Angeles or elsewhere in California, the state imposes strict deadlines for filing a car accident lawsuit.

The Two-Year California Statute of Limitations 

The California Code of Civil Procedure sets a two-year deadline for starting your lawsuit to recover damages for injuries that you have experienced. If you initiate your case after this two-year deadline, a California Court will likely dismiss your complaint and you will have no opportunity to recover damages for your injuries.  

When does the Statute of Limitations begin?

The two-year deadline generally runs from the actual date of your accident.  If you fail to bring the claim before the two-year anniversary of the accident, a California Court will probably not consider it, unless:

  • you had the accident when you were a minor (i.e. you were under 18 years of age at the time of the accident), in which case the Statute of Limitations does not begin until your 18th birthday;
  • the negligent party was outside of the State of California for a long time and you have been unable to locate him or her, in which event the Statute of Limitations may be extended by the amount of time that the negligent party was outside of the State;
  • an injured party is determined to have been mentally incompetent at the time of the accident.

Other factors that might affect a Statute of Limitations include the death or imprisonment of one of the parties to an accident, or absence due to military service. In all cases, however, you will always be better served by starting your lawsuit within the prescribed two-year period instead of trying to qualify for an exception.

What is the purpose of this deadline?

The Statute of Limitations for starting a car accident lawsuit in LA or anywhere else is designed to resolve disputes before any evidence of the accident is gone and while the memories of witnesses are still fresh. Memories can easily fade or change over time, and actual physical evidence of an accident might be cleaned up or discarded. The legal process is structured to resolve disputes over who is at fault for a car accident quickly, before any evidence is gone or memories become muddled. 

Protect your rights after an auto accident

When it comes to any type of personal injury litigation, time is of the essence. If you choose the Salamati Law Firm to represent your case, our attorneys and investigators will begin the process of gathering all evidence and witness testimony in an effort to recover the largest damages award.

To speak with one of our lawyers about filing a car accident lawsuit in Los Angeles, we invite you to reach out for a free consultation today.

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Six Ways Accidents Happen at Intersections

March 30, 2018 Auto Accidents

Intersections are one of the most dangerous areas motorists encounter. Why? Because intersections are sites of high rates of accidents

Intersections are one of the most dangerous areas motorists encounter. Why? Because intersections are sites of high rates of accidents and fatalities. Every year traffic accidents result in 32,000 fatalities and 2 million injuries. One-quarter of the deaths and about half of all injuries occur at intersections.

The U.S. Department of Transportation refers to intersections as “conflict points.” What that means is that the routes of multiple vehicles cross, separate or join at intersections, along with the routes of bicyclists and pedestrians.

Intersection Accidents in Southern California

How do accidents at intersections happen?

  1. Collisions with side impact, often referred to as “T-bones.” These are most frequent if a driver goes through a red light and hits a motorist whose light has turned green. Some drivers try to beat a yellow light before it turns red and don’t succeed. Other times, drivers simply blow through a red light.
  2. Collisions in which one vehicle side-swipes another, often if one or both are turning.
  3. Head-on collisions, especially if one vehicle is turning across traffic.
  4. Rear-end collisions, frequently because the driver following the rear-ended car is distracted or because the first car stops suddenly at a red light or stop sign.
  5. Collisions with pedestrians and cyclists, often because the driver is focusing on the turn and doesn’t register the presence of a pedestrian or cyclist until it’s too late.
  6. Collisions at rail crossings. These are special types of intersections, and collisions between trains and vehicles can be fatal to the occupants of the vehicle.

Common causes of intersection crashes

In addition to the ways that accidents happen, drivers need to focus on why intersection accidents happen.

The two most frequent causes are ignoring safety precautions and reckless behavior. In urban traffic, for example, drivers often try to beat a red light. Drivers may also ignore yield signs and stop signs.

Driving too fast into an intersection is another common reason for intersection collisions.

Poor visibility at night or inclement weather may also contribute to intersection accidents.

Motorists should always drive defensively. Follow an adequate number of car lengths behind the car in front of you. Obey the speed limit. Slow down at intersections, and obey all safety signals. Never try to run a red light or stop sign. Don’t drive distracted, using your phone or texting.

Seasoned Car Accident Attorney in Los Angeles

Traffic accidents, at intersections and elsewhere, cause too many deaths and injuries in southern California every year.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a car crash due to someone’s negligent or reckless behavior, we can help. Please call the Salamati Law Firm today at 800-957-9898 for a free initial consultation with a car accident lawyer Los Angeles trusts.

Additional Resources on Intersection Accidents:

  1. United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Motor Vehicle Crash Deaths.
  2. United States Department of Transportation. Federal Highway Administration. Intersection Safety.
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Self-Driving Uber Car Accidents: Who Is to Blame?

March 29, 2018 Auto Accidents

Proponents of self-driving cars have championed the technology with the promise that eliminating human driver error would make the roads

Proponents of self-driving cars have championed the technology with the promise that eliminating human driver error would make the roads safer. On March 18, the flaw in that assumption was made crystal clear when a pedestrian was killed by a self-driving Uber vehicle.

As investigators work to pin down all of the factors in the unfortunate crash, there are already some liability issues coming under scrutiny.

Pedestrian killed by self-driving Uber car

The theory behind the push for self-driving cars is that high-tech sensors would have more accurate perception than a human eye and that an automated vehicle response would be faster than a human’s could possibly be. This did not prove true in the evening of March 18th in Tempe, Arizona, when 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg was struck and killed by an Uber SUV.

According to reports, the SUV had a human backup driver who was behind the wheel and had the ability to take control if necessary. However, in-vehicle camera footage shows the backup driver, 44-year-old Rafael Vasquez, looking down toward a cell phone until just a second or two before Herzberg became visible to the exterior camera.

Footage shows a look of horror on Vasquez’s face just before the SUV struck Herzberg and the bicycle she was walking across the street. Officials reported that she died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.

Liability issues raised in the self-driving car accident

Reports indicate that there are a number of factors that could impact liability.

  • Could the backup driver have avoided the accident if paying attention? Vasquez was clearly not watching the road while Herzberg was crossing the street outside of a crosswalk in the dark. Some have questioned whether the accident would have been avoidable.
  • The Uber was outfitted with both laser and radar sensors intended to detect and respond to obstacles in the road. The manufacturer of the laser alleges that Uber disabled some of the safety sensors before the crash and that, if fully functioning, the vehicle would have been able to automatically slow down to avoid the accident.
  • Newspaper reports indicate that Vasquez had a criminal history that involved more than three years served for armed robbery and this should have prevented hiring by Uber, under its own policies. Last year, Uber was fined $8.9 million in Colorado for hiring more than 60 felons, who are ineligible under Colorado law to provide ride-sharing services.

The more parties involved and potential flaws in question, the more technical a personal injury case can become. New technology like autonomous cars will further complicate the fact-finding and legal argument processes.

Uber accident lawyer in California

For the moment, Uber has suspended its testing of autonomous cars around the country. But Uber may resume testing, and there are many other companies currently working on self-driving cars.

As the technology continues to add complexity to legal liability issues, it is crucial for those injured in autonomous car accidents to speak with an expert in the area.

Sean Salamati, a proven car accident lawyer in Los Angeles, is committed to helping victims of preventable accidents recover maximum compensation for their losses. We offer free consultations and we never take a fee unless and until we secure an award on your behalf. If you’ve been in an Uber accident in Los Angeles, call 855-463-7309 today to schedule your free case review.

Additional resources on fatal self-driving Uber crash:

  1. Chicago Tribune, Experts: Uber self-driving system should have spotted woman,
  2. Fox News, Uber disabled safety component in self-driving car before fatal crash, company alleges,
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Who Is to Blame for a Wide Turn Truck Accident?

March 26, 2018 Truck Accidents

When truck accidents occur, they are often very severe and even catastrophic. Semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, and 18-wheelers are huge both in

Yellow truck in the rush hour on the highway at duskWhen truck accidents occur, they are often very severe and even catastrophic. Semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, and 18-wheelers are huge both in size and weight. They can extend for over 60 feet. Semi-truck weights can exceed 60,000 pounds. An 18-wheeler’s weight and size can crush a car.

Needless to say, the effect of truck accidents can cause injuries and, unfortunately, even death to people in southern California. Truck accidents can affect drivers, truck and other vehicle occupants, and pedestrians with fractured bones, damage to spinal cords, cuts, severed limbs, extensive burns, and traumatic brain injury.

Wide Turn Truck Accidents Are Dangerous

One of the most dangerous types of truck accidents are caused by wide turns. They are sometimes referred to as “squeeze play accidents.”

Turns can always be somewhat challenging for trucks because the drivers need to allow adequate space to prevent the truck’s rolling over. But a right turn presents a particular concern. In right turns, large commercial trucks must first turn the cat slightly left before turning right. The slight left initial turn provides a swing that provides adequate space for the truck to clear the turn.

Doing so is a standard operating procedure for truck drivers. Drivers of other vehicles, however, may not be aware of the procedure. When they see the cab make its slight leftward movement, they may assume the truck is turning left or changing lanes.

As a result, they try to pass the truck on the right. They can then be caught in a squeeze play, because the truck or trailer body swings to the right, sometimes abruptly. The vehicle passing on the right can be squeezed between the truck and a road barrier, such as a wall or guardrail.

How Is Fault Assigned in Squeeze Play Accidents?

Who’s to blame for squeeze play accidents? Quite frankly, either driver can be at fault, or the fault may be shared.

All too often, truck drivers fail to signal. A signal alerts other motorists of your intentions, and should always be used when turning.

But the other driver in a squeeze play is not driving defensively. Passing a truck in the absence of a turn signal is never a good idea, because you don’t know which way it is turning. Assuming you know which direction a vehicle is going is risky when the direction might be changing.

While drivers are not expected to know how to drive a truck, and thus cannot be expected to know the procedure of turning slightly left, they should know that vehicles must always be operated safely, including around a truck. Drivers should always give trucks a wide berth.

Preventing Squeeze Play Accidents

Because of the potential danger to life and limb, always drive defensively.

Specifically, drive to prevent squeeze play accidents on Los Angeles area roads. That includes the following steps:

  • Never pass a tractor trailer or big rig on the right side
  • Drive a minimum of 4 to 5 car lengths behind your vehicle and a large commercial truck
  • Never drive in a trucker’s blind spot, on either side
  • Be aware that truckers will turn their cabs slightly left before turning right

Speak with an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer in Southern California

Trucking accidents are complicated. The parties at fault may be truckers, other motorists, the company that owns the truck, the maintenance people, or the crew that loaded a commercial truck’s cargo. At times, getting justice in a truck accident involves investigation and litigation.

If you need an experienced truck accident attorney in Los Angeles, call the Salamati Law Firm today at 888-259-4060. We always offer a complimentary consultation at your convenience.

Additional “Truck Wide Turn Accidents” Resources:

  1., How to Share the Road with Truckers.
  2. Video: Trucker gets squeezed into crash in downtown delivery: Preventable or not? August 15, 2016.
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How an Expert Witness Can Help Your Personal Injury Lawsuit

March 21, 2018 Personal Injury Lawsuits

Expert witnesses are people with specialized knowledge, training, experience or skill. It is this specialized experience that makes them helpful,

Witness swearing on the bible telling the truth in the court roomExpert witnesses are people with specialized knowledge, training, experience or skill. It is this specialized experience that makes them helpful, and often crucial, in a personal injury lawsuit.

Ways expert witnesses can help your case

There are a couple of ways that expert witnesses can help a personal injury victim prove a case. The testimony of some experts is used to help jurors understand complex concepts. Other experts are offered because they are necessary to establish some standard of care (that is, what actions a reasonably skilled and competent professional in a given industry would take under the circumstances in question).

In practice, here is what this can look like.

  • A woman brings a claim against a nursing home for bed sores and other injuries that her mother has suffered in its care. She must work with an expert witness who can testify what actions a reasonable and competent nursing home would have taken to avoid those injuries.
  • A man injured in a traffic accident files a lawsuit against the driver of a truck who struck his car. The man will have a stronger case if he hires an expert in biomechanics to explain to the jury how the impact of the vehicles transferred energy to his body inside the vehicle to cause the precise injuries alleged.

Types of expert witnesses

Experts can come from all sorts of backgrounds. A trained legal eye can evaluate a case and determine what topics would be especially helpful if supported by the testimony of an expert witness. Some types of experts and the topics of potential testimony include:

  • Accident reconstructionist to explain how the accident happened
  • Biomechanic to explain how the injuries occurred
  • Traffic pattern expert to determine factors affecting the flow of traffic
  • Expert in human factors to explain how people perceive and interact with items and environments
  • Technical experts like mechanics and engineers to determine whether factors like improper equipment maintenance is at fault
  • Doctors to discuss the extent of injuries
  • Economists to establish the long-term financial impact of the accident
  • Vocational rehabilitators to help jury understand the plaintiff’s loss in earning capacity

Putting together your winning California legal team

Maximizing a personal injury claim requires skill, experience, and collaboration. Los Angeles personal injury lawyer Sean Salamati has litigated personal injury claims in state and federal courts throughout California and knows how to present a solid case.

Our team prides itself on our firm commitment to meeting clients’ needs. We communicate early and often so our clients always know what is going on in their case. We also work with a skilled team of experts carefully chosen to effectively convey complex issues to judges and juries.

Call 1-888-259-4060 today to schedule a consultation. Remember, we never collect a fee unless we win money on your behalf.

Additional Expert Witness Resources:

  1. Justia, 2009 California Evidence Code Section 720-723: Article 1. Expert Witnesses Generally,
  2. American Bar Association Journal, Choosing Expert Witnesses,
  3. American Bar Association, A Pragmatic Approach to Retaining and Presenting Expert Witnesses: Picking All-Stars and Avoiding Busts,
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How Can I Get a Truck Driver’s License in California?

March 20, 2018 Truck Accidents

Great pay, benefits, job security — these are just some of the advantages of a career as a truck driver.

man driving with his hand on the wheel a truckGreat pay, benefits, job security — these are just some of the advantages of a career as a truck driver. For those who have a longing for the open road and a constant change of scenery, this occupation is highly attractive. But before you can get behind the wheel of a big rig, you need a truck driver’s license. So how do you get a truck driver’s license in California?

You Need a Commercial Driver’s License

Anyone who drives a truck for a company in California needs a commercial driver’s license (CDL). These are different than the standard driver’s license that allows you to drive a personal car, van, or pick-up truck.

CDL licenses come in several different classes (A, B, and C), which depend on the weight and size of the truck and the materials carried in it.

While a CDL and a personal driver’s license are two different things, many of the steps you take to obtain a CDL are analogous to getting a driver’s license. Briefly, you need to pass a written test, obtain a permit, practice on the same type of vehicle you are going to drive, pass a driving test, and obtain several certifications.

CDL license-holders must be 18 years old, at a minimum.

Written Test and Permit

For the first step, you’ll have to go to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and apply for a CDL permit. You’ll need to obtain the California Commercial Driver Handbook and study it in order to pass the written test.

When you are familiar with the Handbook, it’s time to complete an application and take the test. Visit a DMV office. You will need to fill out an application. You’ll need proof of your name, age, and Social Security number. Check the DMV website to make sure you have an updated list of acceptable forms of ID, as they may change.

You will need to submit a medical examiner’s certificate saying you are healthy enough to drive as well. A doctor needs to sign the form. A doctor of osteopathy (D.O.), licensed physician assistant (P.A.), chiropractor, or advance practice registered nurse are also legally allowed to sign off on these forms.

If you pass the test, you can move on to the next step.

The Driving Test

Learning to drive a truck is like learning to drive a car. You need to practice driving under the supervision of someone who already knows how.

Once you have a permit, you will need to practice driving the type of truck you will get a license for, under a currently licensed CDL holder. There are many schools that offer driving certification. Your employer may offer it if you work for a trucking company.

Need a Los Angeles Truck Accident Lawyer?

Getting a truck driver’s license in southern California can be time-consuming and requires a lot of work and dedication.

But what if, after all this work and dedication, you have an accident in the truck? Or what if you or a loved one has been injured in a Los Angeles-area truck accident?

Truck accidents can be especially serious due to the size of the vehicles and the weight of the load. If you need an experienced truck accident lawyer in Los Angeles for any reason, contact the Salamati Law Firm at 213-372-0218. We will provide a consultation at no charge.

Additional California Truck Driver’s License Resources:

  1. Apply for a California Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).
  2. State of California Department of Motor Vehicles. Commercial Driver License Information.
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Traumatic Brain Injuries: How Big Is the Problem?

March 19, 2018 Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of mortality and long-term mental and physical disability in the United States.

Doctor analyzing human skull x-rayTraumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of mortality and long-term mental and physical disability in the United States. The three major causes of brain injury are motor vehicle accidents, falls and firearm injuries.

Due to their complex nature, traumatic brain injuries do not heal like other types of trauma to the body. Whereas a broken bone will eventually heal and regain function, the degree of recovery from a brain injury is never certain. People who suffer “minor” TBIs – such as a concussion – may heal completely and experience no lasting side effects.

On the other hand, a moderate to severe brain injury can have a host of negative consequences, impacting nearly every facet of the victim’s life. Some people experience cognitive deficits, memory problems and emotional instability. Others may have limited speech abilities, personality changes, or diminished motor control and mobility.

Brain injury linked to psychotic disorders

According to a 2004 cohort study published in the British Journal of Medical Practitioners, there is a higher rate of mental illness following brain injury. Researchers found evidence of psychotic disorders in nearly 50 percent of patients who suffered moderate to severe TBI, and 34 percent of the mild TBI group had evidence of mental health problems.

Needless to say, the long-term effects of TBI are often profound in nature, affecting not only the survivors, but their families and loved ones. The Brain Injury Association refers to traumatic brain injury as “the silent epidemic” because many victims have few notable symptoms following a closed head injury. Symptoms are diverse and may impair sensory functions, thinking ability, reasoning, information processing, physical functions and language.

Prevalence of TBI

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that every day, and average of 153 Americans die from injuries caused by TBI. The following brain injury statistics from the CDC reveal the magnitude of the problem.

  • Traumatic brain injuries contribute to 30 percent of all injury-related deaths in the U.S.
  • In 2013, traumatic brain injuries were responsible for 2.8 million emergency department visits, hospitalizations and fatalities
  • In 2012, nearly U.S. 330,000 children were treated for TBI caused by for sports and recreation-related injuries
  • An estimated 1/3 of all children (under the age of 19) who sustain moderate to severe TBI are left permanently disabled
  • From 2007–2013, the incidence of TBI-related emergency room visits increased by 47 percent
  • Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of TBI-related hospitalizations for people 15-44 years of age.
  • Motor vehicle collisions are responsible for the largest percentage of TBI-related deaths (31.8 percent)

Any type of event that jolts the brain inside of the skull can result in TBI. Today an estimated 1.7 percent of the U.S. population is living with long-term impairments caused by traumatic brain injury. The financial demands of recovering from TBI are incredibly high – easily reaching six figures. When negligence plays a role in the injury, victims may entitled to compensation to pay for medical bills, lost income, rehabilitation and other injury-related expenses.

Los Angeles head injury lawyers

The Salamati Law Firm understands the economic burdens placed on TBI victims and their families. Our head injury attorneys accept challenging claims that other firms shy away from. Leveraging our in-house resources and legal expertise, we fight for maximum damages for your injury and losses.  We are proud to offer superior legal representation to personal injury victims and have served residents in the greater Los Angeles area for over 20 years.

Our multi-lingual legal team speaks Spanish, Farsi, Thai, Mandarin and Armenian. Call today for a free consult with a Los Angeles traumatic brain injury lawyer at our firm.

Additional Traumatic Brain Injury Resources:

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, TBI Get The Facts
  2. Mayo Clinic, Traumatic Brain Injury
  3. Mayfield Brain & Spine, Traumatic brain injury
  4. British Journal of Medical Practitioners, Prevalence of Psychiatric Disorders Following Brain Injury
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5 Best-Selling Motorcycle Brands

March 9, 2018 Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycles fulfill a rider’s dreams of speeding through open landscapes on a machine that appeals to primal emotions. Those dreams

Biker riding on motorcycle near the river in the city. Motorcycles fulfill a rider’s dreams of speeding through open landscapes on a machine that appeals to primal emotions. Those dreams can quickly give way to harsh realities if the rider has not selected a reliable bike or if the bike does not match the kind of riding that the owner expects.

Both novice and experienced riders can let their emotions overwhelm their common sense when they set out to buy a motorcycle. After many years of providing legal representation for motorcycle riders in and around Los Angeles, the lawyers at The Salamati Law Firm believe that the best buying decisions will be based on choosing a bike that has strong performance and reliability ratings, and on matching the style of the bike with how it will be used.

Common Motorcycle Styles

There are as many different styles of motorcycles as there are variations among passenger cars and trucks.

  • Cruisers embody the most classic styling, with lower seats and centers of gravity and engine/clutch/throttle configurations that are tuned to be more forgiving.
  • Standard motorcycles attempt to be all things to all riders. They offer more neutral riding positions and are available with a broad range of engine sizes and power ratings.
  • Sport Bikes have the most impactful visual appeal with colors and fairings that make them look fast, even when standing still. Sport Bikes are lighter in weight and are typically tuned to generate power very quickly, which can make them more difficult to handle.
  • Dual Sport Bikes offer a bridge between smaller dirt bikes that many young riders use for learning to ride. They offer higher riding positions and better ground clearance for trail riding, and generally have a more rugged appearance.
  • Adventure Touring Bikes are built for riding over long distances. They are among the most expensive motorcycles and appeal to more seasoned riders who need luggage capacity and comfort.
  • Scooters are the simplest and least expensive category of motor-powered bikes. They are ideal for urban riding over short distances.

Best Selling Motorcycle Brands

More than fifty different companies manufacture motorcycles around the globe, but the same 5 brands appear as best sellers year after year. This list is not an endorsement of any specific brand. Rather, it reflects the popular decisions that many riders have made for different styles of motorcycles.

  1. Harley-Davidson makes one of the most popular cruisers with a low slung seat, V-shaped engine, and guttural roar that the company has long been known for. Harley riders often remark that the company’s bikes offer the most authentic motorcycle sensation of any bike on the market.
  2. Kawasaki offers a number of lower-cost dual sport bikes that appeal to riders who want a bike with manageable power and easier handling.
  3. Yamaha receives consistently strong reviews for its super sport bikes that test the abilities of even the most skilled riders.
  4. Honda maintains its reputation for reliability and performance across a range of different motorcycle styles, from cruisers and standard motorcycles to high-end touring bikes.
  5. BMW and Triumph also offer reliable bikes that appeal to riders who appreciate European engineering and styling.

The Salamati Law Firm: Attorneys Who Understand the Culture of Motorcycle Riding

The attorneys at The Salamati Law Firm in Los Angeles respect the culture shared by the riders of the more than 800,000 motorcycles that are registered in California. We also fight to recover the highest damages awards to help riders get back on their bikes when they have been injured in accidents caused by negligent drivers. Please call our office to consult with Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer Sean Salamati if you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in southern California.

More info on top-selling motorcycle brands:

  1., Six Types of Motorcycles for New Riders.
  2., Here Are the Ten Best Motorcycles of 2016
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Brain Injury Awareness Month: What You Should Know About TBI

March 7, 2018 Brain Injuries

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. For more than 30 years, the Brain Injury Association of America (“BIAA”) has taken

mri head scan brain injury

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. For more than 30 years, the Brain Injury Association of America (“BIAA”) has taken the opportunity throughout March to promote public awareness of brain injuries.

The campaign theme for 2018-2020 is “Change Your Mind”. Using #ChangeYourMind, the campaign hopes to de-stigmatize brain injury, empower survivors and their caregivers, and emphasize the supports available to those living with brain injury.

What is a traumatic brain injury?

A traumatic brain injury (“TBI”) is a disruption to the normal activity of the brain that is not caused by degeneration or a congenital issue.

A TBI is often an acute injury that damages the brain and results from a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. Non-injury-related TBIs can result from strokes, infections, or exposure to substances that damage the brain. A mild TBI, like a concussion, might have only a temporary affect on brain cells, while a more serious injury can cause permanent brain damage or even death.

How common are TBIs?

It is estimated at least 10 million people around the world suffer traumatic brain injuries annually. They account for more than 2 million American emergency room visits.

Half of all TBIs are the result of motor vehicle accidents. Other common causes are sports, military combat, and slip and fall accidents.

What are the risks of a TBI?

For serious TBIs, the risks have been long-acknowledged: they can lead to death, impairments in memory, cognitive ability, and emotional functioning, sensory issues, hormonal imbalance, or a host of other problems.

It has been a common misconception that mild TBIs, including concussions, do not have a lasting effect. However, recent research has linked repeated concussions to an increased risk of dementia. The study highlights the need to take safety measures seriously.

How are TBIs diagnosed?

Depending on the severity, a TBI may be diagnosed based on clinical observations of symptoms or with the use of tests like a CT scan. Symptoms can include:

  • Persistent or worsening headaches
  • Nausea or repeated vomiting
  • Convulsions
  • Seizures
  • Weakness in limbs
  • Trouble waking from sleep
  • Dilated pupils
  • Slurred speech

Recent developments may simplify the diagnosis of serious TBI, though not concussions. The Banyan Brain Trauma Indicator is a test newly-approved by the FDA to detect a serious TBI. It is a blood test that can detect two proteins in the brain when they leak into the bloodstream, with the ability to pick up on the proteins within 12 hours of an injury. The new test can cut down on exposure to radiation through CT scans, the usual method of detecting a TBI. Though the test cannot detect a concussion, doctors behind the test are hopeful that a test for concussion will follow.

Protecting your rights after a brain injury in California

A brain injury can leave lasting physical, emotional, and financial effects for years to come. If the injury occurred because of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to recover compensation.

Schedule a consultation with Los Angeles traumatic brain injury lawyer Sean Salamati to discuss the circumstances of your case. Facing an insurance claim or court battle alone can be emotionally draining and leave money on the table. We are dedicated to protecting the rights of injury victims and do not charge a fee unless we win compensation on your behalf.

 Additional Brain Injury Awareness Month Resources:

  1. Brain Injury Association of America, March is Brain Injury Awareness Month,
  2. Brain Injury Association of America, Brain Injury Awareness: Public Awareness,
  3. WIVB, FDA approves first blood test to diagnose traumatic brain injuries,
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What Do I Do If the Other Driver Has No Insurance in California?

February 14, 2018 Auto Accidents

Driving without auto insurance in California has a number of dire consequences, but thousands of motorists continue to take this

Two Drivers Arguing After Traffic Accident looking at damageDriving without auto insurance in California has a number of dire consequences, but thousands of motorists continue to take this risk. According to the Insurance Information Institute, 15.2 % of all California drivers are currently uninsured, meaning your odds of getting into an accident with someone who has zero liability coverage are not that small.

Any type of collision can be stressful and confusing, but what happens if the other driver has no insurance? Nearly half all of traffic accidents in California involve at least one driver who is uninsured or underinsured. 

If you find yourself in this situation, follow these steps to protect your rights.

Step 1: Report the accident

Call the police after any type of collision. A written police report provides evidence to support any claim filed with your insurance provider or it may be used in a personal injury lawsuit.

Step 2: Document the scene

It’s a smart move to take pictures and/or video following any type of car accident, but particularly relevant when the other driver is uninsured. Using your smart phone, record the damage to both vehicles, location shots that illustrate the scene of the crash, skid marks and other pertinent details.

Step 3: Call your insurance provider

Contact your insurance company and report the accident. If you purchased uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in California, and the other party is at fault, you would bring a first party claim against your insurance company. This UM policy would provide money damages to cover property damage and medical bills, however, the amount typically will not exceed your personal liability coverage.

Let’s say you only purchased the minimum liability insurance for bodily and property damage coverage, which in California totals a mere $40,000. This sum may cover bills stemming from a minor accident but will fall short if the crash resulted in catastrophic injuries.

Step 4: Get legal counsel

Even if you purchased uninsured motorist (UM) coverage in California, there is no guarantee that your provider will accept or pay the full amount of the claim. If denied or delayed, you may be bearing the burden of accident-related expenses out of your own pocket, adding further insult to injury. Having an experienced attorney will greatly improve your leverage when it comes to settlement negotiations. You always stand a much better chance of receiving full compensation when armed with skilled legal counsel.

Legal guidance filing a car accident claim in California

Driving without car insurance is illegal in California. It goes without saying that adding UM/UIM coverage on your policy is recommended. While suing a negligent uninsured driver seems logical, few have the assets or income to pay a final judgement.

Reach out to Los Angeles car accident lawyer Sean Salamati to discuss your rights when dealing with uninsured drivers. Put our experience and talent to work for you – call today and schedule a free case evaluation.

Additional Resources on Uninsured/Underinsured Drivers in CA:

  1. California Department of Insurance, Liability Coverage and California Law
  2., Penalty for driving without insurance for every state
  3. The Balance, Penalties for Driving Without Car Insurance in California
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