PERSONAL INJURY BLOG

Premises Liability in L.A. and California

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

wet floor sign

Personal, private or public property can be scenes for long-lasting injuries and damages. If you are a property owner, liability for the injuries and/or damages can be expensive. Being informed about the law in Los Angeles and California can help victims with compensation and help property owners avoid liability costs through maintenance of their properties.

Causes of Premises Liabilities and Injuries

Indoor Hazards

In California, property owners have the obligation to keep properties safe to avoid accident and injury. Defects in structure from not fixing building are liabilities. Risks such as damaged elevators or escalators, stairs with loose railings, worn or broken steps, and loose or worn carpets are hazards. Ceiling or balcony collapses can cost property owners thousands. Every day poor property oversights such as wet, slippery floors are liabilities. Renovation or building construction can be liabilities indoors and outdoors. Poorly marked construction areas, for example, are liabilities.

Outdoor Hazards

Premises dangers are not always indoors. Frequent premises liabilities are poorly maintained sidewalks, parking areas, and entrances. Swimming pools are often dangers, and drowning incidents are common premises hazards. Locked gates and pool coverings give a false sense of security because it takes only one incident when someone forgot to close and secure a gate, or negligence of putting on a pool covering to create a tragic situation.

Other liabilities include dogs that are not properly secured and may cause biting or mauling injuries. Inadequate security measures on a premise such as a hotel or other accommodations can cause liabilities if someone breaks in and commits a crime.

Who is Liable

In California, premise owners are liable for injuries to plaintiffs. However, plaintiff responsibility is also important. Property owners can be less liable if injured plaintiffs are intoxicated with drugs or alcohol. Furthermore, premise owners are not liable if plaintiffs have trespassed on properties. The exception is for those who lack the maturity or ability to understand the potential dangers such as children, the cognitively handicapped or seniors with dementia. Premise owners must secure their properties against those who are vulnerable.

Compensation

Compensation may include:

  • Economic damages for medical and rehabilitation costs including long-term care for permanent disability, replacing damaged property, lost wages and lost future earnings.

  • Non-economic damages for physical pain and suffering, mental distress and loss of consortium, which is compensation for injuries that interfere with your ability to maintain support and intimacy in your relationships such as in a spousal relationship.

  • Punitive damages are awarded if the property owner was extremely negligent. An example would be if a property owner refused to secure a swimming pool and there was a second drowning incident.

If you have been in an accident in the greater L.A. area, then please contact us. Our team of experienced attorneys is standing by to assist.

Wrongful Death Litigation from the Wildfires

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

wildfire in california

The recent wildfires in California, which have resulted in at least 87 deaths, massive property damage, and the dislocation of thousands of people, are likely to generate numerous lawsuits. Wrongful death actions by bereaved relatives will be of particular interest.

However, the problem with filing any legal action, especially wrongful death, will be to determine who is primarily at fault. The wildfires have been blamed on everything from climate change to bad forest management, which allowed flammable dead trees and wood debris to remain scattered about, tinder waiting for ignition. Even the practice of building homes too close to forested areas has been cited as a cause.

One possible immediate cause of at least one of the wildfires has been a powerline operated by Pacific Gas and Electric. The company has reported that one of its transmission lines went out at the time and place where the fire started. The surmise is that one of the lines went down, sparked on some deadwood, and started the fire. If so, Pacific Gas and Electric could be found to be liable for the fire.

The Associated Press reports that a woman named Neva Rodriguez has filed suit against Pacific Gas and Electric on behalf of her father, Jerry Rodriguez, a 73-year-old man who lived in a trailer park alone in Paradise, the town that was totally destroyed by the fire. The elder Rodriguez was found dead in his trailer home.

Pacific Gas and Electric has maintained that safety is its primary consideration. However, the company has also warned investors that its liability may exceed the amount of insurance it carries if it is found to be primarily at fault. The litigation, though, will likely take years to sort that question out. In the meantime, natural disasters such as wildfires are likely to increase in damage and fatalities. Businesses that might be found liable should adjust accordingly.

For more information contact us.  

Social Media and Personal Injury Law

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

When a person attains an injury such as broken bones, concussions, brain injury, chronic pain, they are usually entitled to a personal injury claim whenever these things cause extreme damage. Whether this damage is financial due to high-cost hospital bills or this damage is emotional, resulting in extreme amounts of pain and suffering. Some injuries can even result in PTSD, anxiety, or depression. This is when it might be smart to file a personal injury claim. There are many factors that can affect the result of a personal injury claim and one of these is social media. 

Posting About Your Injury

Social media has taken over our lives in the twenty-first century. In this day and age, everyone seems to be on social media, to update their lives in real time. According to statista.com in 2017 the average user spent about 135 minutes a day on social media, that's is a little over two hours of your day. If you post constantly on your social media about your day, then it isn't unimaginable that you will post about any recent accidents you've been in. 

The internet is free and able to be used by anyone who can connect to it. So, social media posts are considered the public record. This means that any posts containing information on your accident, injury, wellbeing, or day-to-day affairs, can be used against you. 

  • The Insurance company will be looking at your social media to check on how serious your injuries are if there are pictures of you dancing when you say you have a broken leg. 
  • The defense attorney will look for evidence of your well being, checking posts to see if your claim of anxiety and depression has shown across your platforms. 
  • A court judge may look as well to check on your claims of injury. 

Everyone has heard it while applying for jobs or holding down a job, not to post anything that can incriminate you for that position, but that also applies to any legal situations, such as a lawsuit. It is best not to best anything about your injury until after the settlement. If you need help in practicing good use of social media then it might be time to get some legal help. 

Seek Legal Advice

If you find yourself in a situation where you feel that you need to file a personal injury claim, the first thing you should do is talk to an attorney. Attorney's can help in knowing what is okay to put on your social media, and what is legally public and private. Private messages need a search warrant in order to be used in a court of law, rather than regular posts that can be used without your notice. The last thing you want to do is have one of your social media posts show up in court and affect your claim. Lederer Nojima in Los Angeles is one of the best personal injury law firms in the state. If you are in need of legal advice, feel free to contact us.

Should You Consider Filing A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Tuesday, January 01, 2019


First, What Is "Wrongful Death"?

It's a death caused by a person or group of persons (company, agency, etc.) due to negligence, incompetence, or malpractice. Since it's not viewed as intentional, it's not a criminal matter.

A wrongful death claim is a lawsuit brought in a civil action only by those legally entitled to do so. Usually, this claim is filed by relatives, as determined by law.

Examples Of Wrongful Death

A common catalyst for a wrongful death claim is vehicle accidents. Obviously, those driving "under the influence" who cause fatalities are not only criminally liable but likely candidates for a wrongful death lawsuit. (This applies to any reckless driving accidents causing death.)

Vehicle accidents are also caused by defective road conditions. When those road conditions appear to have been a result of negligence, a wrongful death claim may await.  

Death because of faulty design, defective manufacture, or lack of warnings to consumers about possible/probable hazards of products: this also may prompt a wrongful death claim.

Malpractice by those in the medical world (doctors, hospitals, product manufacturers, etc) likewise occasionally creates a valid claim of wrongful death. 

Work-related accidents and conditions causing a fatality could motivate the surviving family members to seek legal redress. Machinery malfunction, hazardous chemical exposure, an unsafe workplace: these and other factors often require legal compensation (when causing wrongful death).   

Fairly recent on the legal scene, wrongful death due to "intentional infliction of emotional distress" leading to suicide has produced wrongful death lawsuits

The Value Of Excellent Legal Representation 

The untimely death of a loved one often overwhelms the surviving family. Not only has negligence (of some sort) robbed innocent ones of companionship. It has also caused financial hardship for the loved ones of the deceased.

Enlisting the services of a compassionate highly experienced law firm eases the resolution of both of those issues. Should you find yourself in these unfortunate circumstances, contact us. Our record over several decades speaks for itself. Allow us to legally speak for you! 

Multi-Car Accidents Happen, Will You Know What To Do?

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

multi-vehicle car accident

Thousands of commuters drive our California highways daily, each in a different state of mind, heading to a different destination.  Inclement weather, road hazards and distracted drivers are all a part of the equation leading to increased crashes. Knowing what to do when you are directly involved in a multi-car accident is critical information for your Los Angeles commute. 

When You Are A Part of The Pile Up

Accidents are terrifying. Multicar pileups even more so with resulting increased fear, anxiety, and costs. While accidents are emotional, keeping your cool and following these simple suggestions can help you navigate your immediate circumstances.  

  1. In a multicar accident with traffic continuing to move around you, the safest place is to remain in your vehicle until emergency responders arrive. Wait for responders to approach you and professionally assess any injuries that you or your passengers may have sustained.  

  2. While it's tempting to stay near the crash site, now is the time to move yourself and your passengers safely off the road and away from traffic. Once you are cleared to leave your vehicle, collect your personal belongings and move out of harm's way. 

  3. Use your smartphone to take photos of your vehicle and record driver information from the other cars involved.

  4. Speak to any witnesses willing to provide a statement and use your phone again to record contact information should you need to speak with the witness at a later time. 

  5. Prepare to give a statement to law enforcement investigators on site. Some law enforcement agencies will include the insurance information of involved parties as part of their formal accident report.  Don't hesitate to ask for contact and insurance details yourself from other driver's involved in the incident. 

  6. You may or may not be cited.  Now is not the time to argue fault.  Accept the instructions about next steps from law enforcement and ask the responding officer for their contact information and the best way to gain access to a copy of the official accident report.  

  7. We don't always know we are injured until after the adrenaline settles.  Make an appointment for a thorough evaluation by your physician as soreness, bruising and long-term complications can linger and cause problems days or even weeks after the fact. 

Accidents are traumatic, expensive and can happen to anyone. The personal injury lawyers of Lederer & Nojima are prepared to evaluate your situation and assist you should you be involved and injured in a serious accident. Contact us and we'll help you all the way through a settlement or judgment getting you results. 


Why You Need A Car Accident Attorney

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

No one wants to get into an automobile accident.  It is a frightening experience, one that can leave you at best shaken and at worst severely injured.  And while it might be tempting to deal with the other driver and the insurance company on your own, doing so only invites hassles and headaches.  It can also mean that you lose out on the compensation that you deserve.  If you are a Los Angeles car accident victim, then you need an experienced accident attorney on your side.  Why? 

Guidance and Direction 

You will have dozens of questions after an automobile accident.  Who pays for the damage to your automobile?   Who pays your medical bills?  Should you take the insurance company's settlement offer?  An accident attorney can answer these questions and all the others you have. He will offer advice, give direction and act as your advocate to ensure that your legal rights are protected.

Kinds of Compensation 

As an accident victim, you might be entitled to compensation for your medical bills.  You might also be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering and lost wages. If you have become incapacitated, then your family might also be entitled to payment for loss of your companionship.  You most likely do not know what kinds of compensation are available to you, but an accident attorney does and will ensure that you receive them.

Negotiations with the Insurance Company

While you might be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages and more, this does not mean that the insurance company wants to make these payments.  Most companies have an eye on their bottom line and will offer you less money than you deserve.  Chances are that you do not have experience negotiating with insurance companies, but an automobile accident attorney does.  He will make sure that you receive all of the compensation that you deserve.  

If you have been in an accident in the greater L.A. area, then please contact us.  Our team of experienced attorneys is standing by to assist.


SUPER LAWYERS Recognizes David Lederer and John Nojima as Top Lawyers for Fourth Year in a Row.

Friday, October 05, 2018

Lederer Nojima on SuperLawyersAttorneys John Nojima and David Lederer have been designated "Top Rated Personal Injury Lawyers" and named "Super Lawyers" for 2019 by the attorney ranking service SuperLawyers.com, a division of Thomson Reuters.

This marks the fourth year in a row that the duo, partners in the Los Angeles based law firm Lederer & Nojima LLP, have been awarded these designations.

Only 5% of attorneys are named as Super Lawyers each year, following a process where the organization independently researches nominee's qualifications and peer reviews over twelve different ranking factors.

For over two decades, Los Angeles based Lederer & Nojima have represented Plaintiffs throughout Southern California and have collected millions of dollars on behalf of their injured clients. The recent award from Super Lawyers is just one of many the two personal injury attorneys have received over the course of their careers. For more information about David Lederer and John Nojima, visit the firm's website.





















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Uber Injuries: What To Do When Misfortune Falls

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

uber and city taxis

Imagine a day like any other. You've decided to head out for some dinner via your favorite ride-sharing service. Your Uber or Lyft arrives and soon you are on your way. You greet your driver, hop in and after a short exchange, you've decided on your destination. The Upper West awaits (or perhaps Milo & Olive). The driver is cordial, the ride smooth and uneventful when all of a sudden -- an accident occurs.

Your normal evening has now turned into a crisis. What do you do when a situation like this turns into a bout with a personal injury? It always helps to be prepared when it comes to handling the misfortunes of life, and personal safety while using a ride-sharing service is no exception.

Follow these simple tips to protect yourself:

  1. The first and most important thing to remember is not to panic. Panicking solves nothing and may also escalate the situation, so keep a cool head.
  2. Next, inspect your injuries. It's important to take quick notice of your situation after the incident. Can you move? Are you disoriented? Are you bleeding? If your injuries aren't life-threatening then make a suggestion to your driver to contact police and paramedics (it is procedure when injuries are significant), likewise, you may also contact them.
  3. Document the situation. Head wounds can cause disorientation so use a cell phone to document as much as possible. This is also important for your legal counsel or authorities to make an accurate assessment of the situation. This includes info such as the driver's name, photo if possible and their vehicle information, you may also want to document conditions outside of the vehicle.
  4. Contact your representation as soon as practical, especially if you are unsure of how to proceed. The legal experts at Lederer and Nojima are a perfect choice. They are knowledgeable and well versed in the law regarding ride-sharing accidents.

An accident can be a truly traumatic experience, that's why you need the expertise of experienced legal counsel to get the best compensation that you deserve.

Contact Us now to learn more.

What Should I Do After a Car Accident?

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

car accident

Whether you saw the car coming toward you or it hit you from behind, a car accident can be a scary experience. Many people find themselves quite shaken up after an accident. As the victim of a car crash, there are several things you should do directly after the accident.

Check for Injuries

Your safety and the safety of your passengers should be a top priority. Make sure everyone in your vehicle is alright. If needed, seek medical help right away. Even if your injuries seem minor at the time, they should be taken seriously. In some cases, the extent of the injury may not be realized until several hours later. If you realize your symptoms have gotten worse after several hours or if new symptoms appear, visit a medical professional right away.

Get the Other Driver's Information

If injuries and property damage seem minor, people sometimes avoid exchanging information. Even if there's only a little scratch or dent on your vehicle or if you don't notice any physical damage, get the other driver's information, including name, contact information, and insurance information. Even if you don't think that you need it now, you may later realize that it is important.

In the event of a hit-and-run accident, get as much information about the driver and vehicle as possible. This includes a description of the vehicle as well as a physical description of the driver. When possible, get the vehicle's license plate number as well.

Report the Accident to the Police

If it's a minor accident, people sometimes avoid reporting it to the police. Don't make this mistake. If there is not an official report of the accident, the other driver could try to blame you. If there were other people around who witnessed the accident, make sure that they provide an accurate report of the accident.

Take Photo Evidence of the Accident

This includes damage to your vehicle, injuries to yourself and others, as well as any pictures that will show that the other driver was at fault. This evidence may be essential when filling out an accident report or making a claim.

Unfortunately, car accidents sometimes result in serious injuries. If you were injured in an accident caused by another driver, contact us.

What Should You Do If You Are Injured in a Ride-Share Accident?

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

The advent of ride-share companies like Uber and Lyft created brand new opportunities for California entrepreneurs and ride seekers. While services like taxis and buses have been around for years, private citizens not employed by a company who use their personal vehicles to transport passengers for a fee was a novel idea. It was the dawn of a new age for passengers seeking a way to traverse LA and a golden opportunity for southern Californians who wanted to earn some extra cash. This new business model didn't just create new opportunities, though. It also created a host of new challenges for insurance companies, legislators, and law enforcement professionals. Specifically, the issue of liability in the event of an accident involving Uber or Lyft drivers had to be sorted out. 

A Brief History of Ride-Share Laws in California

Legislators and insurers understood the implications of these new ride-share companies, or Transportation Network Companies (TNCs), almost immediately upon their invention. So did Los Angeles personal injury attorneys, who began seeing an increase in TNC-related cases, many of which were complicated by the lack of precedent and the vague insurance regulations surrounding the fledgling industry. After much debate and discussion, the first official California legislation that directly addressed the issue, Assembly Senate Bill 2293, went into effect on July 1, 2015. The law required TNCs to either provide liability insurance coverage or ensure that their drivers were carrying said coverage while the app was on since most personal insurance policies wouldn't cover business-related claims. Since then, more insurance options have been added, insurance companies have created a range of products specifically designed for individuals who use their vehicle for ride-sharing business activities, and the laws have become far clearer when it comes to issues like how to determine fault. 

What to Do After an Accident

If you've been involved in a car accident while ride-sharing in the Los Angeles area, it's important to record as much information as possible. Liability in these cases is still a complicated issue, and the clearer you can be with your insurance company, the better chance you'll have of recovering damages. In most cases, either the driver's business-related policy or the TNC's policy will cover your injuries. However, it's still important to gather as much information as possible for both insurance and legal purposes. 

If you've been injured in a ride-share accident, contact us today. We'll help you through the process and make sure you get the compensation you deserve. 


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