PERSONAL INJURY BLOG

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.  

How You Could Recover From a Motorcycle Accident

Wednesday, August 05, 2020

In California, many motorcyclists are becoming victims of catastrophic road accidents. There's no doubt that these accidents affect riders physically and emotionally. Because of this, many are filing lawsuits in an effort to receive the compensation they are entitled to. At Lederer Nojima, we have the best lawyers who believe in helping people do this. If you or a loved one has been a victim of a motorcycle accident, there is still hope for recovery.

Take Immediate Action 

It's vital that you don't delay in taking action after your accident. The first thing you must do is to get a police report made. Then, make sure you take pictures of the accident as best as you can. It's also vital to collect the contact and insurance information of all parties involved. Be sure to contact your own insurance company as soon as possible. Speaking of this, our lawyers at Lederer Nojima used to be insurance lawyers. So, they know exactly how these companies work and how to counter their tactics.

Seek a Lawyer With Experience in This Area 

Every victim must fight for their personal injury rights. Every victim needs a qualified lawyer to help them do just that. Indeed, a qualified lawyer will have extensive experience in dealing with motorcycle accident cases. He will understand all aspects of motorcycle accidents, such as traffic violations and legal procedures, that help influence your case. By seeking a lawyer who completely understands the components of motorcycle cases, you will be on your way to getting what you deserve.

Conclusion

With motorcycle accidents being so prevalent, you need a qualified lawyer who can handle even the most complex case. What if you or a loved one has experienced severe injuries such as traumatic brain injury? An experienced, capable lawyer will be able to handle your case and help you get the maximum compensation you need. Our lawyers at Lederer Nojima have handled plenty of complex cases like this one. Contact us for a consultation to find out how we can help you today. 

Legal Steps to Take After Being Injured on the Job

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

It can be scary to be injured on the job. Not only could it be painful, but you may also worry about what is going to happen next. You may have a lot of questions going through your head. Will you lose your job? How much work time are you going to miss? What happens if you can't come back to work?

Before you get yourself too worked up, you need to come up with a plan. Here are some legal steps that you need to take if you are injured on the job.

1. Report the Injury

First, you have to report your injury. It is important that you let your employer know immediately that you were injured. Though, legally, you have ten days to report it, you should let him or her know right away.

2. Seek Medical Attention

Then, you need to get proper medical care. Indeed, you should seek medical help right away if you were injured at work. Some states require you to be treated in a certain facility to ensure that you are properly cared for. Others allow you to go to your normal doctor.

When you are there, you need to let your doctor know that it is a work-related injury.

3. Track Your Medical Costs and Missed Wages

Keep track of your medical costs (and how much work you are missing). It is important to keep track of all of your medical bills during this time. They should all be covered by workers' compensation.

You should also keep track of how much work you miss. Some of your missed wages should be covered under workers' compensation. For this reason, you need to write down and monitor how much work you actually miss.

Conclusion

Any time you are injured on the job, it is important that you let your employer know right away. You also need to get seen by a medical professional right away. You may want to consult a lawyer at this time to ensure that you get what you deserve. Don't hesitate to contact us today! We will help you get back on your feet (and back to work) as soon as we can.


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