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. DMV.com. Apply for a California Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). https://www.dmv.com/ca/california/cdl-commercial-drivers-license-application
  2. State of California Department of Motor Vehicles. Commercial Driver License Information. https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/commercial/commercial
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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 https://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/get_the_facts.html
  2. Mayo Clinic, Traumatic Brain Injury https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/traumatic-brain-injury/symptoms-causes/syc-20378557
  3. Mayfield Brain & Spine, Traumatic brain injury https://www.mayfieldclinic.com/PE-TBI.htm
  4. British Journal of Medical Practitioners, Prevalence of Psychiatric Disorders Following Brain Injury http://www.bjmp.org/content/prevalence-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. AmericanMotorcyclists.com, Six Types of Motorcycles for New Riders. https://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/Riding/Story/six-types-of-motorcycles-for-new-riders
  2. BusinessInsider.com, Here Are the Ten Best Motorcycles of 2016 http://www.businessinsider.com/cycle-world-10-best-motorcycles-2016-2016-8
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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, https://www.biausa.org/public-affairs/public-awareness/news/march-is-brain-injury-awareness-month
  2. Brain Injury Association of America, Brain Injury Awareness: Public Awareness, https://www.biausa.org/public-affairs/public-awareness/brain-injury-awareness
  3. WIVB, FDA approves first blood test to diagnose traumatic brain injuries, http://wivb.com/2018/02/19/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 http://www.insurance.ca.gov/01-consumers/105-type/95-guides/01-auto/auto101.cfm
  2. CarInsurance.com, Penalty for driving without insurance for every state https://www.carinsurance.com/driving-without-insurance-penalties-state.aspx
  3. The Balance, Penalties for Driving Without Car Insurance in California https://www.thebalance.com/penalties-for-driving-without-car-insurance-in-california-527033
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4 Busiest Truck Routes in California

February 9, 2018 Truck Accidents

Trucking is the principal mode of freight and cargo transportation in California. An essential mode for regional, intrastate and long-distance

traffic jam southern California with trucksTrucking is the principal mode of freight and cargo transportation in California. An essential mode for regional, intrastate and long-distance commerce, 18-wheelers haul everything from machinery and industrial supplies and manufactured goods, to extracted resources and food products. On any given day, tractor trailers and large commercial trucks move more than 5 million tons of freight through California, with San Bernardino, Riverside and Los Angeles Counties seeing the heaviest amount of traffic.

Given the amount of freight transport, it comes as no surprise that California’s highways have some of the highest concentrations of truck crashes per mile traveled.

Truck Accident Hotspots in Southern California

The Southern California Association of Governments has been researching truck accidents in the state, identifying “hotspots” with the worst rates of truck accidents. According to their data, the 710 Freeway at the 60 in the East L.A. Interchange rates among the most dangerous for crashes involving tractor trailers. With more than 42,000 daily truck trips, the 701 Freeway is among the busiest, followed by the 60, which handles some 27,000 rigs every day.

Transportation officials recognize that driver error is the leading cause of commercial truck accidents, but are quick to point out that heavy congestion also plays a role. On some of California’s busiest trucking highways, the constant interface between passenger vehicles and 18-wheelers, combined with merging lanes, is another contributing factor.

Researchers at the Texas Transportation Institute recently ranked the country’s most congested highway corridors, analyzing urban freeway truck delays at different times throughout the day. According to their report, California is home to many of the nation’s worst corridors for truck congestion.

California’s Most Congested Trucking Routes

Although several routes in Chicago, New York, Pittsburgh and Austin ranked high for tractor trailer congestion, the analysis showed that L.A.’s Harbor Freeway between I-10 and Stadium Way had the highest rate of truck delay per mile.

Some of California’s busiest trucking routes include:

  • Interstate 405 – also known as the San Diego Freeway, is one of the busiest in the country
  • 1-10 – running from Santa Monica through downtown Los Angeles to the AZ border
  • Interstate 5 – spanning from Mexico to the border of Oregon
  • Interstate 15 – covers more than 1,450 miles from San Diego to the Canadian border.

The top corridors for truck congestion in California are:

  • LA Harbor Freeway/CA-110 from I-10/Santa Monica Fwy to Stadium Way/Exit 24C
  • LA Harbor Freeway/I-110 from 111th Pl. to I-110/I-10/Santa Monica Fwy
  • LA San Gabriel River Freeway/I-605 from Beverly Blvd to Florence Avenue
  • LA San Diego Freeway/I-405 from I-105/Imperial Hwy to Getty Center Dr.

If you or someone you love were injured in a truck accident in southern California, legal compensation may be available. Crashes involving commercial vehicles are best handled by a skilled Los Angeles truck accident lawyer who has an established record of successfully navigating complex injury cases against trucking companies, drivers and other liable entities.

Call the Salamati Law Firm in Los Angeles to explore your options for legal recourse. Our attorneys have the investigative skills and resources to prove negligence and secure money damages for your losses.

Additional Resources on CA Truck Routes:

  1. CAHighways.org, Busiest California Highways, based on Average Daily Traffic http://www.cahighways.org/stats3.html#Busiest
  2. CA.gov, California Truck Network Map http://www.dot.ca.gov/trafficops/trucks/truck-network-map.html
  3. LA Times, 4 stretches of freeways tally most big rig crashes per mile annually http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-california-commute-20150602-story.html
  4. FleetOwner.com, Ranking the nation’s most congested highway corridors http://www.fleetowner.com/management/news/ranking-most-congested-highway-corridors-1121
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3 Reasons to Use Uber and Lyft at LAX

February 5, 2018 Auto Accidents

Air travel can be exceedingly frustrating, especially when you’re flying in and out of Los Angeles. Serving more than 72

LAX Los Angeles International Airport Sign at NightAir travel can be exceedingly frustrating, especially when you’re flying in and out of Los Angeles. Serving more than 72 million passengers each year, LAX is the world’s 5th busiest airport and the second most trafficked in the U.S. While long check-in and security lines can be a nightmare, getting to and from LAX has gotten much easier, thanks to ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft. In recent years, taxicab drivers in L.A. — like those in countless other cities — have struggled keep up with this new competition and lower fares.

Last August, LAX eased regulations on ride-sharing companies to help reduce the traffic that so often congests the terminal loop, giving Uber and Lyft users shorter waiting times in the process.

Ride-hailing services continue to gain traction, becoming the most popular mode of transportation at the SFO and Oakland airports introducing the potential for car accidents for Uber and Lyft. Here are three reasons why ride-hailing is the smarter choice at LAX.

Save big bucks

It comes as no surprise that lower prices will win over customers. When you consider that the base taxi fare between LAX and downtown is a flat $46.50, plus a $4 surcharge and tip, it pays to shop around. Taking an Uber or Lyft instead of a taxicab from LAX has the potential to net you $15-$35 in savings, depending on your final destination. You will still pay a $4 pick-up or drop-off surcharge, but a tip is not mandatory or expected with Uber drivers, keeping things simple if you have little cash on hand. Your fare is automatically charged to your debit or credit card.

For steeper cost savings, UberPOOL lets you share a ride with someone going in the same direction, essentially cutting your fare in half. UberPOOL allows one companion per ride and is a convenient and cheap way to get to or from LAX.

Shorter wait times

During holidays and other peak travel times, the wait lines for LAX taxicabs can be ridiculously long. If you’re eager to get home quickly, hailing an Uber just got faster. Lyft and Uber drivers who have just completed an airport drop-off are instantly notified of arriving passengers who request a ride. Not only does this minimize wait times, airport authorities believe that by reducing the number of airport trips ride-sharing drivers make each day will help ease traffic in the terminal loop. In many cases, Uber and Lyft passengers are picked up curbside in under 5 minutes.

Better customer experience

Ridesharing drivers are very eager to please in exchange for a top-notch rating. If you have never taken an Uber, you may not be aware that upon reaching your destination, you can rate your driver, giving them from one to five stars. This rating affects the driver’s overall score and helps determine their future success and ability to get passengers. Beyond this, Lyft and Uber drivers are generally known for their friendliness and engaging conversations, with some keeping drinks and snacks on hand for passengers. Ratings are also based on the cleanliness of the vehicle, which is often questionable in taxis.

If you were hurt in a ridesharing accident in California, legal compensation may be available. Learn more about your options for legal recourse by calling Los Angeles car accident lawyer Sean Salamati. For more than two decades, The Salamati Law Firm has been advocating for auto accident injury victims throughout the greater Los Angeles area. Arrange a complimentary case review by calling today.

Read More on Uber and Lyft accidents:

  1. 5 Things To Do If You Are Involved in a Lyft or Uber Accident in Los Angeles 
  2. What Do I Do If My Uber Ride Crashes?

Read More on Ridesharing Services at LAX:

  1. LA Mag, LAX Just Made It Easier to Catch a Lyft/Uber from the Airport http://www.lamag.com/culturefiles/lax-lyft-uber-from-airport/
  2. Daily Breeze, LAX changes the way Uber and Lyft do business at the airport https://www.dailybreeze.com/2017/08/28/lax-changes-the-way-uber-and-lyft-do-business-at-the-airport/
  3. Uber, Ride with Uber Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) https://www.uber.com/en-CR/airports/lax/
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4 Signs It’s Time to Buy a New Motorcycle

February 2, 2018 Motorcycle Accidents

There are more than 8 million registered motorcycles in the United States, and anyone who has felt the freedom of

Driver riding motorcycle on the empty asphalt road

There are more than 8 million registered motorcycles in the United States, and anyone who has felt the freedom of open road on a bike understands the attraction. Motorcycles offer less protection to riders than passenger cars or larger vehicles, so it is important to ride the right bike for you. Here are some signs that it may be time to upgrade your motorcycle or replace some parts.

Do I need a new motorcycle?

The needs of a rider change with experience. Evaluate your needs and preferences to be sure your bike still suits your situation. It might be time to move on to a new motorcycle if:

  1. You are ready for a larger bike. Lighter weight motorcycles are appropriate for novice riders because they provide for easier control. The lower height of a smaller bike’s seat also helps a beginner’s balance when stopping. If you have mastered steering, braking, and balancing, and are looking for more power, consider a larger option.
  2. Your older bike does not have anti-lock brakes. In recent years, more and more bikes have hit the market with ABS. Statistics show that bikes with ABS brakes are 37% less likely to be involved in a fatal crash.
  3. Your use has changed. If you have outgrown your off-road days and now prefer long-road riding, it may be time to upgrade to a touring bike with features like a larger fuel storage capacity and more luggage space. Maybe you find yourself drawn to the social aspects of riding; it may be time to invest in a cruising bike from a recognized manufacturer.
  4. Your finances have changed. A higher-profile custom bike is going to cost quite a bit more than a beginner-friendly moped. If you find your financial situation improving along with your riding experience, it may be time to invest in a larger bike.

Keep your motorcycle in safe condition

Even if it is not time to replace your motorcycle, it is time to take a look at its components and gear to make sure they are in safe condition. Inspect your bike and equipment regularly for damage or signs of wear – here are some places to start.

  • Tires. Tires are literally your bike’s connection with the road. Check for wear, physical damage, and proper inflation.
  • Chain. If you cannot get the chain tension correct, it may be a better use of time and money to replace it. An incorrectly adjusted chain can break on the road or hit the chassis.
  • Helmet. Riders who skip helmets are 3 times as likely to suffer brain damage and 40% more likely to sustain a fatal head injury than riders wearing helmets. Generally, helmets can last about five years with proper care, but inspect the outer shell for damage. Be aware that damage to the absorbent material inside may not show that it is compromised, so you may be better off replacing it if it may have been damaged.

Consult with a Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer

These tips are intended to help you ride safely. Unfortunately, no one can control other drivers on the road and motorcycles bear the brunt of other drivers’ negligence. If you suffer injuries in a motorcycle accident in California, speak with Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer Sean Salamati to find out how to protect your rights. Call us today for a free consultation.

Additional “When to Buy a New Motorcycle” Resources:

  1. DMV.org, Choosing the Right Type of Motorcycle, https://www.dmv.org/how-to-guides/choosing-a-motorcycle.php
  2. Consumer Reports, 10 Motorcycle safety tips for new riders: Expert advice for first-time and returning riders, https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2013/04/10-motorcycle-safety-tips-for-new-riders/index.htm
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Insurance Issues You May Face After a Motorcycle Crash

January 30, 2018 Motorcycle Accidents

In the aftermath of a motorcycle accident, injured riders are confronted with challenging questions concerning medical bills, liability for the

Motorbike Accident

In the aftermath of a motorcycle accident, injured riders are confronted with challenging questions concerning medical bills, liability for the accident, and what role the insurance companies will play in covering their costs. Here are two significant insurance issues faced by motorcycle accident victims after a crash.

Liability Depends on Who Caused the Accident

Reagrding motorcycle crashes, California is a tort liability state. In other words, insurance companies pay out claims depending on who was at fault in the accident.

If a car changed lanes, didn’t see you on your motorcycle, and collided with you, they are likely 100% at fault, and your claims will be paid by the car driver’s insurance company. If you skidded in the rain, you are likely 100% at fault and your insurance will pay.

Fault can also be divided, if two or more parties were at fault. If, for example, a car collided with you, but you weren’t wearing a helmet, a court may find that you are partly at fault for certain injuries you sustained. California law requires motorcyclists to wear a helmet, which have been demonstrated to lower the risk of injuries and deaths.

You Need to Have Records of What Happened

Insurance companies pay depending on who was at fault. This may be clear cut, but it also may be subject to dispute. What if the driver of a car who hit you claims that you swerved into his lane, and he didn’t have time or space to brake, for example?

Disputes happen in traffic accidents all the time, and motorcycle collisions are no exception. It’s important, then, to have records of what happened.

If you are in a motorcycle accident, you should:

  • Take pictures of the scene and any injuries or damages to property. If you have a smartphone, use the camera. Take multiple shots, both from a distance and up-close, of damage or injuries. Remember, cuts and bruises fade. It’s important to take pictures as soon as you are safe.
  • Call the police. Police will interview the parties and write up an official report about what they found. If the case goes to court, the police report can be evidence about what happened.
  • Take notes. Jot down how fast you were going, what the weather conditions were like, and what occurred. Don’t rely on your memory. As soon as you are out of danger, safe, and have been cared for medically, make your record.
  • Get the names and phone numbers of any witnesses.

Let a Seasoned Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles Help

To make sure you take full advantage of your legal rights to monetary compensation after a road accident in southern California, contact Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney Sean Salamati. If you anticipate having difficulties getting payment for insurance claims, or the other parties are claiming you were at fault, you need a lawyer who is skilled in negotiation strategy and has the track record to prove it.

Don’t settle for anything less than you have a legal right to! If you or a loved one been injured or killed in a motorcycle accident, let the Salamati Law Firm help. Call us today! We will provide a complimentary consultation about your case. We charge no fees whatsoever unless we take on your case and win!

Additional “Motorcycle Accident Insurance” Resources:

  1. Consumer Reports. State-By-State guide to motorcycle helmet laws. July 4, 2014. https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2011/06/state-by-state-guide-to-motorcycle-helmet-laws/index.htm
  2. Insurance Information Institute, Motorcycle Crashes, http://www.iii.org/issue-update/motorcycle-crashes
  3. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Costs of Injuries Resulting from Motorcycle Crashes, https://one.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/pedbimot/motorcycle/motorcycle_html/overview.html
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What Do I Do If My Uber Ride Crashes?

January 25, 2018 Auto Accidents

Uber and Lyft are gaining momentum as America’s largest and most popular ride-hailing companies, serving hundreds of cities throughout the

Uber and Lyft are gaining momentum as America’s largest and most popular ride-hailing companies, serving hundreds of cities throughout the country. Thousands of happy customers will attest that taking an Uber is an easier, cheaper method of transport compared to traditional cabs. For the uninitiated, summoning a ride is as simple as a few quick taps on your smart phone— no more flagging down cabs on busy roads. The quality of the drivers for ride hailing companies is definitely improving, and the rates are much more affordable, but what happens if you’re in a crash while riding passenger?

The odds of getting into a Lyft or Uber accident aren’t so low when you consider that drivers often work long, tiring hours shuttling customers to unfamiliar neighborhoods and towns. In fact, traffic accidents involving Uber and other ridesharing drivers are becoming more commonplace, as increasing people use this service.

Steps to take after an Uber crash

Even in crash scenarios where the passenger escapes serious or life-threatening injury, medical bills can still add up, compounded by loss of income and out-of-pocket expenses. In any type of Uber or ridesharing accident in which you are the passenger, it’s essential to take some basic steps to protect your legal rights.

Even minor incidents that seem to produce no evidence of physical injury should be reason enough to see a doctor for a medical evaluation. Soft tissue injuries like whiplash – often sustained during a rear-end collision—may not have any symptoms for hours or even days. Headaches, neck tension, pain and other symptoms often manifest much later.

If you live in California, safeguard your rights by taking the following steps after a crash:

  • Call 911
  • Using your smartphone, take photos or video of the accident scene including damage to all vehicles
  • Get the full name of the Lyft or Uber driver
  • Take down the names, email and contact information of any witnesses to the accident
  • Print screenshots of your ridesharing receipt that shows the date and route taken
  • Check yourself for injuries and seek medical attention
  • Speak with a qualified attorney about your rights

Insurance & liability issues

If the Uber or Lyft driver is at fault for the crash, passengers are covered by a $1 million liability policy. Note that this insurance coverage does not apply to UberSUV, UberTaxi ride or UberBLACK, which has a separate coverage of $300,000 per accident or $100,000 per person. In cases where another party is to blame for the crash, that driver’s own insurance policy would be tapped. If their policy isn’t adequate to cover all hospital and medical costs incurred, Lyft and Uber have policies that cover underinsured motorists.

Without the guidance of an experienced attorney, Uber passengers will likely face an uphill battle when it comes to obtaining just compensation. If you were involved in a ridesharing crash as a passenger, Los Angeles auto accident lawyer Sean Salamati will ensure you obtain the settlement monies you deserve. Call today for a free, no-obligation consult.

Additional Resources on Uber Crashes & Legal Liability:

  1. Time, My Uber Got Into a Wreck. Can I Sue? http://time.com/money/4851877/my-uber-got-into-a-wreck-can-i-sue/
  2. Fortune, Here’s what happens when you get in an Uber crash http://fortune.com/2015/10/13/uber-crash-insurance/
  3. WIRED, CALIFORNIA FORCES UBER AND ITS RIVALS TO BOLSTER INSURANCE https://www.wired.com/2015/07/california-forces-uber-rivals-bolster-insurance/
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