PERSONAL INJURY BLOG

What You Need to Know About Bicycle Accident Claims

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

More than 45,000 cyclists are killed or injured each year by collisions with vehicles. A cycling accident can result in severe injuries and costly medical expenses. If involved in a bicycle accident, receive compensation for your injuries through a bicycle accident claim.

Gather Evidence for Bicycle Accident Claims

The first step to making a bicycle accident claim is gathering evidence. Get the details of the at-fault driver. This includes information like the driver's name, driver's license, the auto insurance company, and the vehicle's identification number. If there is a witness to the accident, ask for their contact information. All this information will then help you build a strong case against the at-fault driver.

Check for Hazardous Road Actions

If involved in an accident because of damage in the roadway or obstacles like potholes, take photos of the accident scene. Location information is critical to determine whether the local or state municipality is responsible for the roadway's maintenance. When you identify the roadway jurisdiction, find out how long you have to file a bicycle accident claim. Statutory limitations for filing injury claims vary depending on the county and state government.

Hire a Lawyer

The most crucial step towards filing an injury claim is finding an experienced and reputable lawyer. When making policy statements, make sure you have a lawyer by your side to avoid incriminating yourself. Additionally, your lawyer will be critical in gathering evidence and ensuring all appropriate regulations have been followed when filing a claim. Furthermore, your lawyer will help during settlement negotiations if your bicycle accident claim does not go to trial.

Learn More About Bicycle Accident Claims

Our experienced lawyers will work to protect your rights after an injury. You can schedule a free consultation with our bicycle accident attorneys in Los Angeles. We shall work on a no-win, no-pay basis. For more information, contact us online or reach us at 310-312-1869.

What Are Your Options for Dog Bite Injuries?

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Each year there are a high number of dog bite injuries in the Los Angeles area. Sometimes, a dog bite can happen when visiting a friend's home or when taking a stroll. No matter how the dog bite occurs, suffering a dog bite injury can be a traumatic experience. It's even more traumatic when the victim is a young child.  Below are several things to consider if you or a loved one have suffered a dog bite injury.  

1. California Law

California makes a pet owner "strictly liable" for dog bite injuries. That means that if you decide to file a personal injury lawsuit against the dog's owner, it doesn't matter if the owner knew that their dog had been vicious in the past. The dog's owner cannot argue that the dog had always been friendly or that they didn't know that their dog had the potential to be a danger. However, there are some exceptions as to when a dog owner can be held with strict liability.

An owner is strictly liable only if the injured person was:

  • Bitten
  • Was in a public place or was lawfully in a private place when the bite happened.

That means that if the victim was trespassing on private property when they suffered a dog bite, then the owner may not be strictly liable. However, that determination should be made by an attorney when reviewing the specific facts of your case. 

2. What Constitutes a Dog Bite?

A dog bite is when a dog actually sinks its teeth and breaks the victim's skin. A dog bite can also include instances when a dog grabs a person with its teeth but doesn't break the skin. There have been cases where the dog's owner was liable where the dog closed its jaw on the victim's pants and caused him to fall off a ladder. 

If you decide to file a lawsuit for your dog bite injuries, you want to document the extent of your injuries. That can include medical bills and any other impact that the injuries have caused. If you have been bitten by a dog, discuss your case with an experienced attorney.

3. How Can I Recover From My Dog Bite Injuries?

 If a person is injured as a result of a dog bite, he or she may be entitled to two types of damages in a personal injury lawsuit:

  • Economic damages
  • General damages.

Economic damages are usually quantifiable. They include expenses such as medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitation costs, and other tangible costs expected with care and recovery.

General damages on the other hand are harder to measure. They are meant to compensate a person for any loss in life quality, emotional anguish from permanent disfigurement, physical pain, and more.

Contacting a qualified attorney who has handled dog bite cases can help you assess damages in your specific case. For more general information, you can visit our website discussing dog bites.

Speaking With a Lawyer About Dog Bite Injuries

If you were injured by a dog bite, our skilled attorneys at Lederer & Nojima can assess your specific situation, at no cost to you. You may be entitled to damages for injuries. To schedule a free consultation, please contact us at our website or by phone at (310) 312-1860

What to Do After a Bicycle and Pedestrian Crash

Wednesday, June 09, 2021

The laws regarding whether a bicyclist can legally ride on sidewalks differ not only from state to state, but also city to city. Thus, making it impossible for the bicyclist to know where they can or cannot ride. Here's what happens if a bicycle and pedestrian crash, depending on where. 

For Example: Santa Monica, CA

For example, it is NOT legal in Santa Monica to ride on sidewalks. Santa Monica Municipal Code Section 3.12.540 states:

"(a) It shall be unlawful to ride a bicycle or to coast in any vehicle upon any public sidewalk."

For Example: Los Angeles, CA

However, in Los Angeles, bicyclists are allowed to ride on sidewalks, but not in a "willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property".

According to the Los Angeles Municipal Code section 56.15(1),

"No person shall ride, operate or use a bicycle, unicycle, skateboard, cart, wagon, wheelchair, roller skates, or any other device moved exclusively by human power, on a sidewalk, bikeway or boardwalk in a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property."

A Bicycle and Pedestrian Crash

So, what happens if there is an accident between a bicyclist and a pedestrian on a sidewalk? Chances are neither party has insurance. The bicyclist might have insurance on the bike and helmet if their bike is a primary means of commuting.  

However, it's a slim chance the bicyclist will have insurance, which means if there are injuries, there will be a fight on whose fault it was. If a pedestrian comes out of a storefront at the same time the bicyclist arrived at that point, who's at fault?  

  • Was the pedestrian intoxicated?
  • Was the pedestrian clowning around?
  • Did the bicyclist not have enough light on the bike to be able to see the surroundings?
  • Was the bike in a state of disrepair, faulty brakes or low tire pressure?
  • Was the bicyclist going too fast with a "willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property?"

After a bicycle and pedestrian crash, for the pedestrian or bicyclist to be able to get compensated for their injuries, they will have to do the following things:

  • Call the police and ambulance
  • Pedestrian and bicyclist exchange information
  • Take pictures
  • Document everything
  • Get witnesses
  • Go to the doctor
  • Keep everything collected from the above sources and any broken bike parts or torn or damaged clothing for a possible court hearing to compensate for injuries.

Learn More about What Happens After a Bicycle and Pedestrian Crash

If you are the bicyclist or the pedestrian in this situation, contact us to evaluate your case.

What to Do if You Are Involved in a Slip and Fall Accident

Tuesday, June 08, 2021

A slip and fall accident can cause minor injuries such as bruises, scrapes, and broken bones. A fall can also cause brain damage. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that one in every five falls can lead to an injury that results in traumatic brain injury. For this reason, you should take a fall seriously and sue the responsible person for premises liability. Here is a look at what qualifies as premises liability and the steps you should take if you are involved in a fall.

What Is Premises Liability?

A slip and fall accident or any other accident caused by precarious conditions on a person's property is classified as premises liability. For you to hold a property owner accountable for injuries sustained by your slip and fall accident, you need to prove the following:

  • The property owner was aware of the dangerous condition but did not take any action to address it.
  • They failed to take the steps a reasonable person would have taken to prevent injuries.
  • The property owner created the conditions that caused the accident.

Steps to Follow After a Slip and Fall Accident

Immediately after a slip and fall accident, you need to take the following steps:

  • Make a report: Report the incident to the property manager. Make sure you stay calm and limit your conversation with the property manager to avoid self-incrimination.
  • Document the scene: Take photos of the scene of the accident. This will serve as evidence.
  • Get the witnesses' contacts: If there are any witnesses to your fall, take their names, and contact information. Indeed, witness statements will help strengthen your case against the property owner.
  • Seek medical attention: You should contact a doctor to assess the extent of your injuries and make a medical report after a slip and fall accident.
  • Contact an attorney: You need to call an attorney to advise you on the best course of action. Your lawyer will investigate the incident, preserve evidence, and negotiate on your behalf. Then, if the case goes to trial, your lawyer will ensure you get a fair judgment.

Learn More About a Slip and Fall Accident

If you are involved in a slip and fall accident, do not hesitate to contact Lederer & Nojima LLP. This law firm has years of experience in personal injury law and offers its services to Los Angeles residents and the greater Los Angeles area. 

Mistakes You Should Avoid When Bitten By a Dog

Tuesday, June 08, 2021

Many personal injury cases involve dog bites. Additionally, most of these cases occur in the dog owner's compound. The victims are family members, neighbors, or friends. If you are bitten by a dog, there are mistakes you should avoid for your personal injury claim to succeed.

Failing to Seek Medical Care

Many dog bite victims do not take their injury seriously and fail to go for a medical checkup. There is no way of knowing whether you have rabies unless you visit a doctor. Furthermore, a dog's mouth may have bacteria that can cause serious infections that could easily spread to other parts of your body.

The first step to take after a dog bite is to seek medical attention. The doctor will close your wound to prevent any infection. Additionally, your doctor will write a report linking your injury to a dog. This documentation will be essential when filing your personal injury claim.

Failing to Report The Incident

The next thing you should do after seeking medical attention is to report the incident to animal control or the police. It is important to report the injury so it is well documented as evidence should the case go to trial. Do not give in to the dog owner's pleas not to report the matter.

While the dog owner may promise to pay your medical bills and compensate you for your injuries, they may renege on their promises leaving you with no legal recourse. Moreover, many states have laws on dog bite injuries. Therefore, when you alert the authorities, they will conduct an investigation to determine liability. 

Failing to Hire a Lawyer

Many dog bite victims attempt to make personal injury claims without legal counsel. This is a big mistake that may result in an unfair settlement. Insurance companies are notorious for finding ways of avoiding payment or paying an insignificant settlement. To get the best possible deal from a dog bite injury claim, you should hire a personal injury attorney.

End Note

Dog bite injuries are one of the most common personal injury cases. If you sustain injuries from a dog bite, you can hold the dog owner liable for the incident. Make sure you hire a personal injury lawyer for the best possible outcome of your case.

Wrongful Death Suit for Sunbathers

Tuesday, January 05, 2021

August 2, 2019, a group of sunbathers was enjoying themselves at Grandview Beach in the town of Encinitas, California when the bluffs overlooking the beach collapsed, according to Courthouse News. Tons of sandstone fell on the sunbathers, killing one, Elizabeth Charles, instantly. Two others, Charles's niece, Annie Davis Clave and her mother, Julie Davis, died later at the hospital. Their families are now suing the city of Encinitas and the state of California in San Diego Superior Court, claiming wrongful death because a city lifeguard had directed the group to set up directly underneath the bluffs.

The three victims died, by all accounts, horribly, with Charles having to be recovered in pieces and Clave and Davis having been crushed underneath the rubble.

Reasons for Claims

The plaintiffs claim that the unstable sandstone bluffs had been further compromised by a condominium development, a non-native, invasive ice plant, and a poorly designed irrigation and storm drain management system. Scientists and engineers warned that the bluffs were unstable, yet the state of California and the city of Encinitas did nothing to mitigate the danger, according to the suit, even to the extent of closing the beach.

The Bluffs

Indeed, only $400,000 has been secured from the federal government for the engineering stage of a project to make the bluffs more secure. The beach underneath the bluffs is still open, even a year after the accident that took three lives.

The problems with the bluffs and the development that has exacerbated their erosion have been known of since 1984. A plan to replace the non-native plants with native plants and a monitoring system have not been implemented. A proposal to use rock bolts to stabilize the cliffs has not been adequately implemented.

In short, the sudden tragedy was the result of decades of bureaucratic neglect, that continues to this day, according to court filings. The families are seeking both special and general damages from the court.

Conclusion

For more information on wrongful death and the services that Lederer Nojima offers, contact us.

Personal Injury Law and Medical AI

Tuesday, December 01, 2020

How will artificial intelligence in medicine affect personal injury law? Lederer Nojima explains. 

AI in Medicine

Artificial intelligence will increasingly be used as a tool for medical diagnosis. The technology will be able to deliver results far more accurately and rapidly than a trained doctor alone. The results will be a boon for all humankind as diseases are caught before they develop too much, resulting in better outcomes as treatments are brought to bear.

However, as with any other technology, AI can fail, leading to harm to the patient. How does one sue for a personal injury if a patient is harmed by a malfunctioning AI diagnostic tool?

MegaGadget suggests that a personal injury suit result from the failure of an AI tool will more resemble product liability action than a malpractice suit levied against a doctor or hospital. One cannot sue the AI tool directly because it is not a person, even though it has taken on the functions of a human doctor. However, one can and likely will sue the manufacturer of the AI tool if it returns a faulty diagnosis.

In the brave new world of AI medicine, an artificial intelligence diagnosis tool or clinical decision support system (CDSS) based on machine learning that returns a faulty diagnosis would be treated the same as – say – a pacemaker that malfunctioned, placing a patient's life in danger. In most cases the doctor using the tool would not be at fault.

Learn More About Personal Injury Law and Medical AI

Of course, as with most things, the treatment of an AI diagnostic tool as a product is a simple way to approach the question of who is at fault if something goes wrong. Using the example of a pacemaker, implants can and have been installed incorrectly, causing a personal injury, leaving the surgeon exposed to a traditional medical malpractice suit. An AI tool could be used inappropriately. If it returns results that a human doctor knows or should have known are faulty and the doctor uses the results anyway, the physician can still be held liable.

For more information contact us.

Who Is at Fault in Head-on Collisions?

Wednesday, November 04, 2020

Just one out of 50 traffic accidents involve head-on collisions. However, they cause a much larger share of serious injuries and deaths. These crashes can occur anywhere, but they're almost twice as common on rural roads. Depending on the circumstances, the determination of fault may be simple or complicated.

Potential Causes

Several different situations could lead to a head-on collision. It can happen when motorists travel in the wrong direction on one-way streets or swerve to avoid hitting children. Mechanical problems, distractions, fatigue, drugs and alcohol contribute to many of these accidents.

Proving Negligence

When someone drives in the wrong lane and triggers a head-on crash, this person is usually held responsible for the outcome. The driver on the wrong side is at fault if he or she entered the lane by mistake or because of a problem caused by poor vehicle maintenance.

A motorist who behaves irresponsibly will hold a larger share of the blame. Examples include drinking alcohol, using illegal drugs or sending text messages while driving. The same holds true for drivers who fall asleep at the wheel.

Complicating Factors

At the same time, it isn't always enough to establish that a motorist was distracted or traveling on the wrong side. Another car might have forced someone to leave the correct lane. Likewise, a large animal may have suddenly charged across the street.

An unusually narrow road can also complicate the situation because it doesn't have two full lanes. The driver at fault for the crash might have been driving too quickly or neglecting to use headlights in dim light. It's possible that both motorists contributed to the collision.

Conclusion

You may need professional assistance to determine fault, especially if any of these complicating factors were present. Please contact us today for expert legal advice that can help you minimize the financial consequences of a head-on crash.

What to Do When You Are in an Accident with a Truck

Wednesday, October 07, 2020

When it comes to automobile-truck accidents, the automobile almost always comes out on the losing end. This is simply because the average car weighs 4,000 pounds while the average semi-truck weighs 80,000 pounds. It is obviously best to try to avoid any kind of accident, but if you happen to tangle with an 18 wheeler, then here are a few tips about what to do.

Contact the Police

Make sure you call the police from the collision scene. The police will document the accident, issue tickets if necessary and produce a police report. This report is useful in that it contains the trucker's contact information, witness contact information and an official summary about what caused the accident. You will need this police report when you file a claim with your insurance company.

Take Pictures

Use your phone to document the scene.  Take pictures or a video of the truck, the damage to your vehicle, any skid marks, the road conditions or anything else that you think will help prove that the truck driver caused the accident.

Get Contact Information

Although the police report should contain the contact information of the truck driver and the witnesses, you should also get that information, just to be safe. This information includes not only the truck driver's name and phone number but also his employer's name and the name of his employer's insurance company.

Seek Medical Care

If you are injured, then you should seek immediate medical care.  he police may call an ambulance if they feel your injuries warrant it. Even if you do not suffer visible injuries, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. Doing so documents your concern about being injured in the accident. Make sure you keep records of all medical visits.

Notify Your Insurance Company

Contact your insurance company about the accident. Even if you do not plan to file a claim, notifying your insurer preserves your right to file a claim at a later date.  For example, if you have collision coverage, then you might get your car repaired sooner by filing a claim than by waiting on the trucker's insurance company.

Contact an Accident Attorney

The trucker's insurance company will want to settle with you, probably for much less than you deserve. An experienced Los Angeles car accident attorney can help you negotiate a larger settlement and ensure that all of your rights are protected.  

If you have been injured in a truck accident, then please contact us. Our team is standing by to help you get the compensation you deserve.

Car Accident Victim? Our Attorneys Can Help

Thursday, September 03, 2020

Traffic deaths caused by distracted drivers have continued to rise in the city of Los Angeles. In the past year alone, 244 people were killed in traffic collisions on city streets. These victims include 134 people who were walking and 19 bikers. The primary cause of these fatalities involve people texting while driving. If you or someone you know has become a victim of a distracted driver, a quality attorney can help you understand your rights and seek maximum compensation.

Rise of Accidents When Texting While Driving

Because Los Angeles is so traffic heavy, the area experiences a higher percentage of car accidents than any other city. Most of those accidents are caused by distracted drivers texting. Indeed, statistics indicate that accidents caused by distracted driving have surpassed drunk driving accidents. An initiative was created by Mayor Eric Garcetti in eliminating traffic deaths. However, progress has been slow due to fatalities continuing to rise in the city. Don't worry, there is hope for victims in seeking justice.

How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help

When you or a loved one has become a victim of a car accident, you must seek legal action. A Los Angeles car accident attorney can work with you in seeking the maximum compensation that you are entitled to. You may also be able to collect punitive damages because distracted driving is illegal. These damages could discourage that person from driving while distracted ever again.

How Our Attorneys Can Help

Being in a car accident does more than cause you physical pain. You suffer overwhelming medical expenses and lost employment opportunities. Our distracted driver accident attorneys at Lederer Nojima are experienced professionals in seeking justice and compensation for you. We work hard to hold the responsible parties accountable for your injuries. Contact us today to seek the justice that you truly deserve.  


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