CLICK TO CALL Available 24/7 ◆ Hablamos Español
Click To Chat Online Now

Blog

Slip and Fall Accidents: What Makes a Property Owner Responsible for Injuries?

California has over 164,000 retail stores, ranging from high-end fashion in Beverly Hills to eclectic boutiques in Santa Cruz. These shops have one common thread — customers can get injured on their premises.

Not every customer injury will support an injury claim. Some accidents are truly accidental.

But negligence by a property owner’s staff contributes to many of these accidents. When a property owner could have prevented accidents, they bear liability for the damage they produce.

Here are some of the things you should know about property owner liability for injuries on their premises.

Slip and Fall Injuries

The term “slip and fall” covers a range of injuries that happen on someone else’s premises. Slip and fall injuries do not necessarily require a slip or a fall, but they do require some form of hazard to be present on the premises that caused the injury.

How Slip and Fall Injuries Occur

Some common hazards that lead to slip and fall injuries include:

  • Slick floors
  • Wet floors
  • Loose carpet
  • Broken tile or concrete
  • Uneven floors
  • Broken railings
  • Poor lighting
  • Unmarked steps going up or down
  • Raised door thresholds
  • Objects on the floor

Slip and fall injuries happen when a hazard on the property causes you to lose your footing. Keep in mind that the hazard might not necessarily be on the floor. For example, a loose handrail might cause you to lose your footing when it moves unexpectedly.

Common Slip and Fall Injuries

Slip and fall accidents produce similar injuries because of the way that the accidents occur. As you begin to fall, your instinct is to try to catch yourself. If your body falls backward, you will likely reach back with your arms. If you fall forward, you will step forward with your leg and throw your arms out.

In both situations, you could suffer injuries to your hands, wrists, elbows, and knees when they impact the ground under the weight of your body. As you continue to fall, you could hit your hip or back on the ground.

Finally, as your body comes to a stop, your head whips. This motion could strain your neck and allow your head to strike the ground.

As a result of a fall, you might have the following injuries:

  • Fractured wrist
  • Whiplash
  • Back injury
  • Broken hip
  • Knee injury
  • Facial contusions and fractures
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Skull fracture

These injuries could require medical treatment and physical therapy. They could cause you to miss work or even lead to lifelong disabilities.

Proving Liability for Slip and Falls in California

To prove liability for a slip and fall, you must prove that the property owner was negligent and that their negligence caused your injuries. Specifically, you must prove four elements:

Duty

A property owner must safeguard its customers and guests from hazards on its property. It does not owe this duty to trespassers.

Breach

An owner breaches the duty to its customers and guests when the staff members fail to take reasonable measures to keep the premises safe. These measures include fixing or warning customers about hazards that are known or reasonably should have been discovered.

For example, if a spill happened immediately before a customer slipped, a store might not have acted negligently. It must have been aware of the spill or failed to take reasonable steps to find spills.

On the other hand, suppose that a customer reports a spill to a manager. If the manager does not send a staff member to clean it or put up a warning sign, the store might have breached its duty to its customers.

Damage

You must suffer some injury to sue a business for negligence. If you slide in a spill, but catch yourself before you are injured, you probably have no negligence claim. But if you suffer any injury, no matter how slight it may be, you may have a negligence claim. Just bear in mind that a minor injury will probably only receive a minor settlement or damage award.

Causation

The breach must cause the damage. To prove causation in California, you must show that the breach was the cause in fact and the proximate cause of the injury.

“Cause in fact” means that the breach fell within the chain of events that led to the injury. “Proximate cause” means that the injury was a foreseeable result of the breach.

In most cases, you can easily prove causation because the hazard logically caused foreseeable injuries. For example, a reasonable person would foresee that a burned-out lightbulb at an exit could cause someone to trip on the door threshold and herniate a spinal disc.

Handling a Slip and Fall Claim

Most responsible businesses have liability insurance. When you notify a business of an accident, it will contact its insurer.

You and your injury lawyer will negotiate with the insurer for a fair settlement based on the liability of the business and your injuries. If you cannot settle, you and your injury attorney may need to file a lawsuit.

Contact the Law Brothers to schedule a free consultation. Our friendly and experienced personal injury lawyers will discuss your slip and fall accident and whether we can secure a successful outcome in your case. Remember:  We Fight. You Win. They Pay.

$714K California Auto Accident Verdict

The Law Brothers Law Firm is proud to announce a recent trial win of $714,000 for our client, a California auto accident victim.

Sadly, our client was injured in a car accident, and their insurance company would only offer $33,000 for their injuries. Knowing how much our client has been through, we knew this wasn’t fair and our work wasn’t done. We took our client’s case to trial to let the jury decide, and just like we expected, the jury thought otherwise. We successfully won $714,000 for our client, $681,000 more than the insurance company’s initial offer.  

Hot mic in courtroom captures insurance adjuster calling judge an idiot

Not only did the insurance company disrespect our client with a low-ball offer, one of their adjusters, insulted the judge and court room during a hot-mic moment during the virtual court proceedings.

The LA Times writes, “In the Silicon Valley last month, an insurance adjuster provided the court an embarrassing hot mic moment.

Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Roberta Hayashi was seating jurors around her courtroom for social distancing, explaining their juror number might be different than their seat number.

That’s when a voice blurted out, “Oh my God, the judge is a “f—ing idiot.”

The words echoed out of the speakers around the courtroom. Those present said everyone exchanged stares looking for the culprit.

Hayashi responded. “Well, I’m sorry you think I’m an idiot, but I really think you ought to mute your microphone before you say that. And I would appreciate it if you would not use any obscenities in the courtroom, whether you’re remote or not remote. That kind of language is not acceptable.”

“Agreed,” replied the culprit, who would soon be revealed as Vincent San Filippo, a senior adjuster with Liberty Mutual, who was watching the case through the Microsoft Teams communication platform as part of the defense in the case.

The judge, however, wasn’t done. “An apology to the Court would be appropriate about now.”

The insurance adjuster, however, continued to try to explain his profanity-laced outburst. “Yes. Just can’t keep track of your movements on these jurors,” he replied, according to a transcript of the trial proceeding.

The judge, who was appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2014, interjected, “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, you are instructed to disregard that interchange that just occurred. It is not appropriate. You may not consider it in your consideration of this case.”

She added that if someone couldn’t disregard the profanity-laced exchange, she would have to declare a mistrial.”

To read the full article and rest of the transcript, click here.

Protected By: The Law Brothers Firm

Our firm helped this client, and many others like them, get the compensation they deserve in California car accident verdicts. Our award-winning team is eager to work on your case and use their experience to fight for you.

The Law Brothers Firm represents people who were hurt in California accidents and takes cases for personal injury, vehicle accident, and product liability. We understand that these cases can be stressful for those involved and their loved ones and want to help. Call The Law Brothers if you have been harmed in a personal injury accident and let us provide the legal representation you deserve.

Balcony Collapse Leaves 2 People Critically Injured

As you may have heard, last weekend a balcony collapsed in Malibu injuring multiple people and leaving two critically injured. Our firm is already hard at work representing some of the victims of the accident, and with Attorney Shervin Lalezary leading our team, we will fight to help get these victims the compensation they deserve for their pain and suffering.

Two people were critically injured on Saturday in Malibu when a balcony collapsed onto the sand and rocks below. There were more than 15 people on the deck during the collapse and many have received medical treatment.

The owner of the home rented it out to a group of young people for the weekend. Neighbors claim there were about 30 people at the home attending the party, far more than the 6 people limit the homeowner set. The fire department has now declared the house uninhabitable.

A witness stated, “We heard a crack, and I literally saw all my best friends and my girlfriend fall 15-feet to the rocks. The deck just literally gave out. It could’ve been a lot worse, but it’s pretty awful.”

The homeowner claims to have called in an attempt to get the people to leave for three hours before the incident. Fifteen minutes after the phone call the balcony collapsed.

Law Brothers Involvement

Some of the people who were injured in the balcony collapse are looking to file a lawsuit. Attorney Shervin Lalezary will be representing at least 4 of these people. “Some of my clients have orthopedic issues. One of them hit their head,” stated attorney Shervin Lalezary.

When the balcony collapsed it caused two people to be critically injured. Four more had moderate injuries that required them to be transported to the hospital, and five people had injuries treated onsite.

What Should I Do After a Hit and Run Accident?

California leads the country in hit and run accidents. These accidents result in injuries, deaths, and property damage. But since you cannot identify the at-fault driver in a hit and run accident, you will be unable to seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

Here are the things you should know about what you should do after a hit and run accident in California.

Steps You Should Take After a Hit and Run Accident

Hit and run accidents are different than ordinary car accidents. A hit and run is a crime in California and is subject to a jail sentence and fines. As a result, the steps that you take after a hit and run accident should be geared toward fully documenting the accident.

Secure the Accident Scene

Regardless of how an accident occurs, the primary concern after a hit and run accident is the safety of you and the other people involved in the accident. If any cars are in the road, you should set out cones or flares to warn oncoming traffic about the accident.

You should check on everyone at the scene of the accident to see whether anyone requires first aid or medical attention. If anyone requires medical attention, you may need to call emergency services for help and provide first aid until EMTs arrive.

Report the Accident

Under California law, you must report an accident that results in injury or death. California punishes failure to report an accident by suspending driver’s licenses.

But more importantly, a hit and run is a crime. You should report the accident to the local police or the California Highway Patrol. This will satisfy your duty to report the accident. It will also trigger a criminal investigation of the hit and run. This can help you to support a subsequent injury claim or lawsuit.

For example, many hit and run accidents occur due to intoxication of the driver. By contacting local law enforcement, they can begin to investigate who the other driver was and whether the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. When they track down the driver, the evidence in the criminal case can help you to establish liability for your injuries.

Document the Accident

Before you leave the scene of the accident, take pictures or videos of the injuries and property damage that occurred. Try to take pictures of each vehicle involved in the accident. This could help you and your lawyer to reconstruct what happened.

Provide the police with as much information as you can to help them identify the hit and run driver. The more information they have, the better the chances are that they will catch the driver. If the police identify the driver, you can try to recover compensation from the driver’s insurer.

Finally, get the contact information of any witnesses. If the driver is identified, you may need testimony from anyone who saw the accident in a lawsuit or insurance claim.

Seek Medical Attention

Even if you do not need first aid or attention at the scene of the accident, you should still see a doctor. A medical examination soon after the accident occurs can have a few benefits for an injury claim.

A doctor can diagnose your injuries. Sometimes, a minor injury turns out to be more serious than it seemed. For example, a sore back might be caused by a herniated disc.

Your doctor can also prescribe a course of treatment. Since injury claims include both past and future medical expenses, a treatment plan will help you to estimate your damages.

Your doctor visit will establish that your injuries caused you to miss work. Injury claims also cover lost income. A doctor’s note telling you to stay home from work will help you to prove how much income you lost due to your injuries.

Review Your Insurance Policy

Until the hit and run driver is identified, you may have benefits under your auto insurance policy that can help you to pay for medical bills and cover your lost income.

You can file a claim for a hit and run accident under your policy if you have uninsured motorist coverage. Most insurance policies include unidentified motorists within the definition of uninsured motorists.

You may also file a claim under your policy if you have med pay or personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. Med pay coverage will pay for any out-of-pocket medical expenses that your health insurance does not cover. PIP covers both unreimbursed medical expenses and a portion of the income you lost due to your injuries.

Getting Help After a Hit and Run Accident

Many injury lawyers lack experience with hit and run accident claims. Hit and run accidents occur less frequently than ordinary car accidents and many injury lawyers never get a hit and run accident case. When you look for a lawyer to help with your injury claim after a hit and run accident, you should consider the firm’s experience with hit and run accidents. Contact the Law Brothers for a free consultation with a friendly and experienced personal injury attorney. Our firm has handled hit and run accident cases successfully and we can provide the same personal representation in your case. We Fight. You Win. They Pay.

Uninsured Driver Insurance: How Can it Help You in an Accident?

When you’re injured in an auto accident, it can be difficult to think about anything beyond seeking medical attention, which you should do as soon as possible. However, at some point, there’s an expectation that those at fault for the accident will cover the cost of damage to your property, as well as medical bills and other expenses related to your injuries. More to the point, there’s an expectation that their insurance will cover these costs.

What if a driver that is determined to be liable for an auto accident is uninsured? In some states that hold no-fault accident laws, each driver’s insurance will cover their driver’s costs. California, however, has at-fault negligence laws, which means that the person or persons deemed to be at fault for an accident will be held liable.

Although California requires drivers to carry at least a minimum amount of insurance in order to register a vehicle and legally operate it, and insurance providers inform the DMV when you purchase insurance (or if you stop paying), this doesn’t necessarily stop drivers from operating vehicles without insurance.

What happens if you’re involved in an auto accident with an uninsured driver? How can you secure compensation, and how could uninsured driver insurance help?

California Insurance Laws

According to the California State Vehicle Code, drivers hold the financial responsibility for the operation of their vehicle and have to carry proof of insurance within their vehicle while they’re driving it. The easiest way to meet this legal standard is by carrying adequate insurance (although surety bonds, cash or securities, or self-insurance may also be options).

At the very least, California drivers must carry minimum liability coverage in order to meet minimum insurance standards. This type of auto insurance includes minimum bodily injury liability limits of up to $15,000 for a single person suffering injury or death in an accident or up to $30,000 for two or more people suffering injury or death, with the money shared among claimants. It also includes minimum property damage liability limits of up to $5,000 for damage to the property of others (cars, structures, etc.).

Of course, this minimum coverage only fulfills the minimal obligations under the law. It may not be enough to cover the costs resulting from an accident, leaving the at-fault driver liable for additional costs.

Many drivers in high-accident areas like Los Angeles choose to purchase additional coverage, such as comprehensive, collision, and/or personal injury coverage, and more. Drivers may also add uninsured driver coverage to their own policy to account for motorists who operate vehicles without insurance.

What Happens When Uninsured Drivers are Involved in an Accident?

When uninsured drivers are involved in an accident that is reported to the police, they will face penalties for failure to comply with laws regarding established required financial responsibility. If they are unable to show proof of adequate liability insurance, they may be fined, their license may be suspended, and they could have their vehicle impounded.

Unfortunately, none of these penalties includes compensation for property damage or injury, leaving affected drivers and passengers to seek compensation on their own or with the help of a qualified attorney in California.

Recovering Compensation from an Uninsured Driver

There’s nothing to stop you from filing a lawsuit against an uninsured driver that is determined to be at fault for an accident in which you were injured. However, drivers that cannot afford to pay for insurance are unlikely to be able to pay for the damage caused in an accident.

This isn’t to say you shouldn’t pursue justice and a judgment, but at the end of the day, you may be unable to recover any actual compensation, leaving you holding the bag for any property damage, medical bills, loss of wages, or other costs and losses resulting from the accident.

How Can Uninsured Driver Insurance Help?

Because it is unlikely that you’ll be able to recover compensation following an accident caused by an uninsured motorist, it’s not a bad idea to take steps to protect yourself in the event of such an accident. The easiest way to do this is by purchasing an uninsured/underinsured motorist policy from your own automobile insurance provider.

In fact, insurance providers in California are required to offer you this coverage – you must sign a waiver if you elect not to purchase it. That should tell you something about the number of uninsured motorists on the road and the risk that you take by turning down this coverage.

Uninsured/underinsured driver insurance includes bodily injuries to yourself and passengers in your vehicle when the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured, offering up to $15,000 per person or up to $30,000 per accident. It also covers uninsured motorist property damage, up to $3,500, in the event that you don’t have collision coverage.

Even with this insurance, you may not completely cover the cost of an accident where an uninsured motorist is at fault. If this is the case, you still have the ability to work with a qualified Los Angeles lawyer to seek additional compensation.

If you’re looking for a friendly and experienced law firm that has a proven track record with cases like yours, contact the qualified team at Law Brothers today at 888-778-8888 or online to request a free consultation. We won’t take any fees unless you win. We Fight. You Win. They Pay.

Determining Liability after an Uber Accident

In some cases, liability in a car accident is easy to assign, like when one driver causes an accident by breaking the rules of the road. In other cases, like those involving multiple cars and drivers, assigning liability can be more difficult.

When it comes to cases involving a ridesharing service like Uber, the situation can become even more complex. If an Uber driver is involved in an accident, insurance providers may try to assign liability to the Uber driver, the company, the passenger, or other drivers involved. This can get messy without the assistance of an experienced attorney who knows the laws in California.

What can you do if you’re in an accident while riding in an Uber? How can you protect yourself against liability and what can you do to ensure fair compensation for your injuries? Here’s what you need to know.

The Case for Assigning Liability

When you visit Los Angeles, it’s natural to hire a driver to navigate the maze of freeways and neighborhoods in the urban sprawl. Uber makes it easy with a user-friendly app that lets you track your driver, rate your ride, and pay by phone.

While most Uber rides are scheduled and completed without incident, allowing you to get to your destination on time and intact, busy freeways are hotspots for auto accidents.

When an accident occurs, there could be any number of people at fault, including one or more drivers or passengers. Why is this important? Assigning liability determines who will pay for injuries and damages resulting from the accident. As a passenger in the Uber, it’s unlikely, but not impossible, that you could be at fault for an accident. If, for example, you open a car door into traffic or drunkenly assault your driver, causing an accident, you could be held liable.

In most cases, one or more drivers will be at fault. It’s important to determine liability to ensure that any injuries you suffer will be covered by insurance. Further complicating the matter, however, is that Uber’s insurance covers employees while they’re driving for the company (as opposed to the driver’s personal auto insurance policy), so you may have to deal with Uber in the course of seeking compensation.

Common Causes of Accidents

Proving that one driver or another is at fault for an accident isn’t always easy. As a passenger, you may be called upon to recount details that prove that your driver was at fault. You may be asked if your Uber driver was violating traffic laws, leading to the accident, or if he or she was driving impaired, fatigued, or distracted. While some of these observations could be subjective, they may help to assign liability.

Alternately, you might have to recount details of an accident that prove that another driver was at fault. More than one driver may have been to blame. After an accident, it’s important to either write down what you remember or speak with authorities at the scene before you forget important details that could help to assign liability.

Understanding Fault-Based Liability

Why is it so important to determine who is at fault in an Uber accident? California is a fault-based state, which means that the person or persons deemed to be at fault for an auto accident will be assigned liability and required to pay for damages and medical costs that result.

According to the pure comparative negligence standard, fault can be shared, in which case each liable party will be assigned a percentage of costs. Additionally, California law states that anyone found to be breaking the law when an accident occurred is presumptively at fault.

Who Determines Liability?

In California, liability for auto accidents is typically determined by the insurance companies. To do this, they will use accident reports and witness statements. If there are conflicting statements, assigning liability can become a complex and lengthy task, which could impact your ability to receive coverage for medical costs or a settlement in a timely manner.

Fighting for Compensation

Because there are many insurance providers involved when settling an accidents that included Uber drivers, your best bet to receive fair compensation in a timely manner is to hire a qualified and experienced Los Angeles lawyer. This professional can deal with insurance companies on your behalf, and an expert law firm will not be bullied into accepting a nominal settlement.

The Law Brothers has the experience needed to help determine liability following injury in an Uber accident. We ensure that you receive the compensation that you’re due. Our friendly team and no-fee policy (if you don’t get compensation, neither do we) will put you at ease, and our proven track record of results paves the way for positive outcomes.

When you’re looking for a Los Angeles law firm that you can trust to handle your Uber accident, contact the experts at Law Brothers at 888-778-8888 or online to request a free consultation. We Fight. You Win. They Pay.

Most Important Records You Need after an Auto Accident

When an automobile accident occurs, you’ll understandably be shaken. However, you may also be injured, and your injuries could range from mild cuts, scrapes, bruises, and burns to more serious damage like whiplash, concussions, broken bones, and more.

If you’ve been injured in an auto accident, you might find yourself facing a long recovery, but also dealing with a mountain of medical bills. You may be unable to work temporarily or permanently, which could further impact your ability to pay your expenses.

As if the accident itself wasn’t traumatic enough, you might also have to deal with insurance companies who delay or deny claims for your costs. This can be a truly devastating experience when you’re trying to recover from accident and injuries.

What you need is a qualified attorney who is well versed in California state laws to help you navigate the tricky waters of negotiating a fair settlement so that you can receive compensation that covers your present and future costs. In order to ensure the best chance of a successful outcome, however, it’s imperative that you have the right documentation to bolster your case.

Here are the most important records you’ll need to collect after an automobile accident.

Pictures and Witness Statements

Residents of Los Angeles know how hard it can be to get police to come to the scene of an accident, but when a severe injury or fatality occurs, the law requires that you call the police and file a written report within 24 hours of the incident. In such cases, there’s a high likelihood the police will show up.

While you’re waiting, however, it’s wise to collect as much information as you can. If possible, take pictures of the scene of the accident immediately (if it is safe to exit your vehicle), before vehicles are moved to the side of the road. Make sure to get pictures of any damage to the vehicles, the entire scene, and identifying markers like road signs.

You should also take pictures of your injuries, either at the scene or at the hospital when you seek medical attention. If you’re unable to do this on your own, ask a passenger or a witness at the scene to do it for you.

The next step is to gather information from other drivers and witnesses at the scene. You’ll need names and contact information for everyone, as well as driver’s licenses and insurance information from other drivers involved in the accident.

You’ll want to collect witness statements, too. Although these will also be a part of the police report, you should jot down notes about your own recollection of the accident to preserve the details you might forget as time goes by. Again, if you’ve been seriously injured, seek immediate medical attention and ask someone else at the scene to handle these details for you.

Police Reports

The police report is a key piece of evidence that your Los Angeles lawyer will use to prove fault in an accident and fight for the compensation you deserve in the aftermath. This document should contain evidence gathered at the scene, the responding officer’s assessment of the situation, and driver, passenger, and witness statements to provide a clear picture of what happened, and in some cases, an idea of which party was at fault.

Police Citations

Insurance providers that are intent on denying or minimizing a personal injury claim will try to downplay any details that make their client appear liable. By presenting police citations (i.e., tickets) issued to at-fault drivers in the accident, you can help to prove fault. The police report should state if any citations were given.

Medical Records and Bills

Compensation from an auto accident starts with the medical records that detail your injuries, as well as the charges you receive for your medical care. This essential information gives you the leverage to negotiate for a settlement that covers your medical bills, including anticipated future medical expenses that relate to ongoing treatments like physical therapy, for example.

Records of Other Costs and Losses

Securing fair compensation for an accident can be tricky, as there could be a number of costs and losses related to your recovery. In California, you can seek economic damages to cover the cost of medical treatments, prescription medications, medical devices, rehabilitation, property repair or replacement, lost wages and future income, and more.

You can also seek non-economic damages for emotional distress, insomnia, anxiety, pain and suffering, disfigurement, loss of limb, loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment of life, and more. In other words, any significant impact to your life or livelihood could result in compensation, but you’ll need to provide records that show that impact.

Gathering all of this information on your own and fighting large insurance companies can be daunting, to say the least, especially when you’re trying to recover from injuries sustained in an auto accident. Luckily, the friendly and experienced team at Law Brothers is ready to help. With a proven track record of wins in cases like yours and a personal touch that puts you at ease, you’ll be in great hands. Even better, you’ll never pay fees unless we win your case.

To request a free consultation or case review, contact the qualified professionals at Law Brothers today at 888-778-8888 or onlineWe Fight. You Win. They Pay

Filing a Personal Injury Claim after a Dog Bite

Pets have become a staple of modern life. Whether you love dogs, cats, birds, fish, reptiles, or exotic animals, these companions can motivate you to exercise, comfort you, and become members of the family. However, people sometimes forget that these pets still have animal instincts, which can lead to situations in which an animal, like a dog, bites a person.

When you suffer a small puncture or significant damage from a dog bite incident, the experience can be traumatic. In addition to dealing with medical bills and physical recovery, you could find yourself facing mental and emotional complications, including nightmares, anxiety, phobias, and more.

The last thing you need in these kinds of situations is a fight over whether or not the dog’s owner is liable for the costs associated with the bite. Unfortunately, owners may come up with all kinds of excuses, even blaming you — the victim — for the attack.

What can you do to ensure that your medical expenses are covered and you’re compensated for the trauma you suffered? Here’s what you need to know about filing a personal injury claim after a dog bite.

Understanding Strict Liability

In some states, you are required to prove negligence on the part of the dog’s owner, while other states have “one bite” rules that say an owner may not be liable if there’s no history of biting.

California, however, operates under “strict liability” standards. This means that a dog owner is automatically liable if their dog bites someone, provided that certain criteria are met. For example, the victim must have been in an area that they were legally allowed to be in and must not have provoked the dog.

It doesn’t matter if you’re walking down the street in Los Angeles or ringing a doorbell. If a dog attacks you unprovoked, the owner is likely to be liable for covering any resulting injury costs.

Statute of Limitations

In the state of California, you have two years from the date of the dog bite incident to file a personal injury complaint in court. Many victims will first try to work with the dog’s owners and their insurance providers to get medical and other costs covered.

If the owner fights your claim or the insurance provider gives you the runaround, you may have no choice but to take your claim to court. If you file a claim after the statute of limitations has expired, your case will likely be dismissed, so it’s crucial to know your deadlines and to seek the help of a qualified lawyer who is knowledgeable about California state laws.

Filing a Claim

Following a dog bite incident, you’ll want to take steps to solidify your claim, including filing a police report and seeking medical attention. It’s important to document what happened in order to secure the compensation necessary to cover medical expenses. It’s a good idea to take photographs and gather witness statements, too, if possible.

From there, you can file a claim with the dog owner’s insurance provider. Typically, this type of liability is covered by a homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy. However, there are limits to what these policies will cover. The policy may fully cover incidents that occur on the owner’s property, but only partially cover incidents that occur at other locations (if the dog is being walked around the neighborhood or escapes the yard, for example).

Some policies also exclude certain dog breeds that are thought to be aggressive (like pit bulls), and often, they will only cover the first bite incident, so if the dog has a history of biting, they won’t continue to provide coverage after the first payout. All of these factors could mean that the dog owner is personally liable for costs, and many owners won’t want to pay out-of-pocket.

Fighting Owners and Insurance Providers

If you file a claim with an insurance provider and you find that the policy doesn’t cover your costs or they try to delay and deny your claim, it’s time to file a personal injury claim in court with the help of a qualified and experienced Los Angeles attorney.

When you’re recovering from the trauma and physical injury of a dog bite, the last thing you need is a court battle over who’s going to pay your medical bills and other expenses. You need a trusted law firm that offers personalized, compassionate care and has the expertise to secure the settlement you deserve. You want a results-driven firm that has a successful track record of wins. It’s also important to work with a firm that charges no fees unless you reach a settlement or a win.

If you’re the victim of a dog bite and the pet owner or insurance provider are giving you the runaround, it’s time to contact the experts at Law Brothers. You can reach us at 888-778-8888 or go online to schedule your free consultation. We Fight. You Win. They Pay.

Protecting Your Kids: Things to Know about Car Seat Safety

It wasn’t so long ago that people could legally drive without wearing seat belts. While safety belts became a mandatory addition to vehicles in 1968, it wasn’t until 1986 that California law required drivers and passengers in vehicles to actually wear a seat belt.

1985 saw the passage of the first child passenger safety laws, requiring children under a certain age to be secured in a car seat with the aid of a seat belt. Incredibly, California only recently passed a law in 2011 that required that children up to age eight — or alternately, at a height of 4’9” — to be secured in a car seat.

Of course, not just any car seat will do. If you want to comply with the law and keep your kids safe while driving the dangerous streets of Los Angeles, it’s imperative that you choose the right car seat and install it properly.

Here’s what you need to know about car seat safety if you want to protect your kids.

Safety by the Numbers

According to the CDC, auto accidents are among the leading causes of death for children aged 12 and under in the U.S., with over 600 deaths in 2018 and over 97,000 injuries. Unfortunately, 33% of reported deaths were linked to children not being buckled in securely.

The good news is that proper use of car seats and safety belts can significantly reduce the risks for injury and death when children are involved in car accidents. Car seats have been shown to reduce the risk of injury by an incredible 71-82% (over safety belt alone), while adding a booster seat for children aged 4-8 reduces risk of injury by 45%.

Only a handful of states have changed their laws to mandate the use of car seats or booster seats for children up to age 7 or 8. Studies have shown that rates of fatal or incapacitating injuries among children involved in car accidents decreased by 17% in those states.

In other words, the proper usage of car seats and booster seats is one of the best ways to protect children in the event of an auto accident.

Choosing the Right Car Seat or Booster Seat

As children grow, it’s only natural that their car seat should grow with them. A car seat designed to protect an infant simply doesn’t work for a much larger child. How do you know which car seat is right for your child?

You’ll start with a rear-facing car seat, which is designed to accommodate infants and toddlers up to the age of about 2-4. California law mandates that children under the age of 2 ride in a rear-facing car seat unless they weigh 40 or more pounds or until they are 40 inches tall, at minimum.

When children outgrow a rear-facing car seat, they should be placed in a forward-facing car seat or booster seat, depending on current age, weight, and height recommendations. Once children reach the age of 8 or a height of 4’9”, they may be secured by a safety belt alone without the necessity for a booster seat in the state of California. That said, the CDC recommends that parents continue to use a booster seat up to the age of 12 or a height of 4’9”.

For safety reasons, children should always ride in the back seat of the car, and whether they’re in a car seat/booster seat or not, they should always be secured with a safety belt.

Proper Car Seat Installation

Car seats come with manuals designed to ensure that you install the seats properly. You’ll want to use the LATCH (lower anchors and tethers for children) system in your vehicle to secure your car seat, make sure that the safety belt is properly and securely threaded through the car seat where indicated, and check that the harness is not slack.

If you have trouble securing a car seat on your own, SafeKids.org can help you to find a child passenger safety technician in your area to teach you how to safely and securely install your car seats.

In the Event of an Accident

Proper use of car seats and booster seats can go a long way toward protecting your child in the event of an accident. If, however, your child is injured in an accident, despite preventive efforts, you need to take steps to ensure that all of their medical and other expenses are covered.

As with all accidents, collecting the right information (police report, witness statements, medical records and bills, etc.) can give you the leverage needed to secure a fair settlement.

If you’re struggling to deal with insurance providers who are intent on delaying or denying your claim, you may need a trusted and qualified California lawyer to guide you through the process and fight for compensation on your behalf. The friendly and experienced professionals at Law Brothers not only have a track record of winning cases like yours, but you’ll never pay fees unless we win your case.

Contact the expert Los Angeles attorneys at Law Brothers today at 888-778-8888 or online to request a free consultation and to discover what we can do for you. We Fight. You Win. They Pay.

What to Do If You’re in a Rideshare Accident in California

Rideshare Accidents in California

Rideshare options like Lyft and Uber have taken off in popularity because of how easy they are to use and the upfront pricing in booking a ride. But what happens if you’re riding as a passenger and wind up in an accident? Whether the accident was caused by your rideshare driver or by someone else, it’s key to get the support you need to move on with your life.

The support of a personal injury lawyer can be extremely helpful for knowing your legal rights and some of the most common pitfalls that apply to rideshare accident cases. You deserve to have someone help you with the complicated legal aspects of your claim so that you can focus on getting better and going to your medical appointments.

Rideshare accidents can be caused by the same kinds of issues that prompt any other vehicle accident, such as drunk driving, distracted driving, reckless driving, and drowsy driving. No matter the cause, if someone else’s negligence caused you to suffer critical injuries in an accident, your life can be forever changed as a result of scars, disabilities, reduced work and daily life capacity, and more. That’s why California laws allow injury victims to initiate claims for compensation.

How is a Rideshare Trip Different From Taking a Taxi?

In a lot of ways, using rideshare feels very familiar- it’s a lot like the experience of riding in a taxi. However, rideshare rides are very different when it comes to the process of that driver and their vehicle. First of all, a taxi is usually owned by the main company and is leased to the individual driver. Counties and cities are more likely to have laws on the books regarding regulations of taxi drivers, and these car operators must usually have a certain kind of driver’s license.

That’s not necessarily the case to become a rideshare driver in California. Individual drivers sign up with the companies of their choice and that driver uses their personal car to transport passengers. This can create confusion for passengers or other vehicle occupants when it comes to who is responsible for an accident. While you can pay for a taxi in the vehicle with cash or over a credit card swipe machine, payments for ridesharing happen in an app.

Drivers working with Uber and Lyft are currently classified as independent contractors. That means they have to comply with certain rules established by those companies, but that they are not actually employees of Uber or Lyft. Why is this important? If you were hurt in an accident with an employee of a company who was doing work duties at the time of the crash, a workers’ compensation insurance policy might apply to certain aspects of the injury case. Whether or not the company is required to cover the driver in an accident depends on a few complex factors in rideshare cases.

Independent contractors are usually responsible for their own general liability insurance policy, but California also requires that rideshare companies provide other coverage for driver insurance. Any time a driver turns on the app, for example, that’s when those other rideshare requirements get activated.

When the driver is off duty, their personal auto insurance would cover injuries that they cause. This means that the individual driver has to comply with California minimums on car insurance coverage.

If the driver is active but doesn’t currently have a passenger, that additional insurance required of Uber and Lyft is active. Drivers still must carry their own personal insurance, but the additional Uber and Lyft coverage are available if an accident happens during this period and the driver’s insurance does not cover the cost of the claim. In these cases, the additional insurance includes $50,000 and $100,000 coverages and $25,000 in property damages.

When the driver is actively transporting an Uber or Lyft customer in California, these companies carry $1 million liability policies on that driver.

What to Do After an Accident

It’s not always easy to remain calm and collected in the wake of an accident, especially when someone you don’t really know is at the wheel of the vehicle you’re in. General steps for what to do after an accident apply if you find yourself in this situation:

  • Get the police to the scene so that you can file an accident report
  • Get medical attention for your injuries and keep notes of all your doctor’s appointments
  • Get the contact information for all people involved in the accident, including any drivers who were working with a rideshare company at the time of the crash.
  • Contact a personal injury lawyer.

You should never have to navigate the complex legal situation of fighting for your rights after a rideshare accident without the help of a personal injury attorney in CA. Our law office has been helping victims in these complex cases for years; given the relatively new nature of these claims, it’s imperative to have the support of an experienced team at your side.

Most Common Kinds of California Rideshare Crashes

There are a few different ways you might find yourself in the middle of an accident involving a rideshare vehicle. There are four categories of accident types that might involve at least one rideshare driver:

  • You were injured while riding as a passenger in a vehicle operated by a rideshare driver.
  • The driver of a rideshare vehicle was injured while driving, dropping off, or picking up passengers.
  • A driver of a separate vehicle was hurt in an accident involving at least one rideshare vehicle.
  • Passengers inside a private vehicle were hurt in an accident involving a rideshare vehicle en route.

Furthermore, the very act of working as a rideshare driver can pose risks to other drivers and passengers. That’s because these drivers use an app to pick up and claim rides. If they are looking at this app when they should be focused on the road, it’s all too easy for an accident to happen.

We Can Help

Whether you were a passenger or a driver in an Uber or Lyft accident, you may be entitled to get your medical bills paid, your vehicle repaired or replaced and compensation for your pain and suffering.

To schedule a free consultation with one of our award-winning attorneys immediately, call us today. Our line is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We are always ready to help you.

Fill out our free case evaluation form or call us (888) 778-8888 for a free consultation.

We Fight. You Win. They Pay.