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About Los Angeles Accident Center

Los Angeles Accident Center was created to provide useful information for anyone who has been injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence in Los Angeles and throughout the state of California. Author and attorney Sherwin Arzani and his team have over 17 years of personal injury experience. If you have been injured in accident, you will find useful information to assist you during this difficult time.


Scooter Accidents On the Rise in Los Angeles

Scooters are taking over the country. In fact, 30 major cities across the United States, including Los Angeles, now have mass scooter rentals services in place. However, many California cities are taking steps to ban scooter programs and use until companies do more to protect riders. Los Angeles ER doctors report seeing a rise in the number of scooter accident victims. Face injuries and head injuries are among the most frequently reported.

Why are scooter accidents happening so frequently in Los Angeles? There are two primary answers: negligence and defective products.

Negligence and Scooter Accidents in Los Angeles

When you share the road in Los Angeles you have an obligation to use caution and prevent harm. This is true whether you’re driving, walking, or even riding a bike. When you rent a scooter in Los Angeles, you also assume the duty to use care. Unfortunately, many scooter accidents happen because individuals sharing the road are being negligent.

Negligence occurs when someone has and breaches a duty of care that is owed to another person. Liability for negligence can attach when negligence causes an injury. Negligence that may contribute to scooter accidents in Los Angeles include:

  • Drivers refusing to share the road with other vehicles
  • Distracted drivers, riders, and/or pedestrians
  • Intoxicated drivers, riders, and/or pedestrians
  • Poorly maintained roads and sidewalks
  • Scooter operators not obeying Los Angeles traffic laws and customs, or
  • Scooter operators not understanding how to use the vehicle safely.

Shared Fault: Scooter victims may be entitled to recover compensation even if they share fault for their accident or injury. For example, scooter riders who do not wear protective gear may share some of the blame for the extent of their scooter accident injury. If someone else is also to blame they can recover some compensation. The amount of compensation that rider can recover will depend on how much of the accident was their fault. If they share 25 percent of the blame they will only be able to recover 75 percent of their damages. (Compensation reduced by own degree of fault.)

Defective Products and Los Angeles Scooter Accidents

At least one Los Angeles scooter victim is blaming the scooter company for his injuries. The man, who suffered a broken jaw, a fractured wrist, and permanent hearing damage in an accident, says that a “mechanical failure” with the scooter caused his accident. He has filed a personal injury lawsuit against the company and is demanding compensation from them.

In California, companies must do everything in their power to make sure that the products they put on the market are safe. If you are injured because of a defective product, you may be able to hold the company that designed, manufactured, or sold that product. In most cases, companies can be held strictly liable for your injuries. This means that you do not have to prove that the company was negligent or knew about a danger. There are three primary types of defective product claims: design, manufacture, and failure to warn.

Design: Defective design means that the product’s defect is inherent in its design. Examples could include calling for the wrong materials or miscalculating an important measurement.

Manufacture: Manufacturing defect mean that a product’s design is safe, but that the product became defective when it was actually created. Examples could include using the wrong materials or forgetting to install certain components of the item.

Failure to Warn: Companies have an obligation to warn consumers about known or reasonably anticipated product dangers. This is why so many products have warning labels and educational inserts.

Damages Available to Scooter Victims in Los Angeles

In California, accident victims are typically entitled to request both economic and non-economic damages. This is true regardless of whether your scooter accident claim is based on negligence or product liability. Economic damages deal with your financial losses, while non-economic damages deal with more personal injuries. Commonly awarded damages include those for:

  • Medical bills
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional trauma
  • Lost wages
  • Temporary and/or permanent disability
  • Disfigurement
  • Embarrassment, and
  • Loss of enjoyment of life.

The specific damages you will be able to receive will depend on the type and extent of your injuries.

 

Are you struggling with a painful injury? Do you want to learn more about your legal rights as an accident victim? Call our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers today to schedule a free consultation.

8 Los Angeles Bicycle Laws You Need to Know

Riding a bike is an increasingly popular way to get around Los Angeles. California has certain laws on the books that are intended to keep cyclists safe. Whether you are riding a bike, walking, or driving on Los Angeles roads, it is important to understand these laws. Knowing your rights and obligations will help to reduce the number of bike accidents in the city.

Here are the most important bike laws you need to know if you bike, walk, or drive in Los Angeles.

Ride With the Direction of Traffic

Bicyclists must ride with the flow and direction of traffic. For example, if you are traveling south you must ride alongside vehicles that are also traveling south. Keeping the direction of traffic consistent helps to reduce accidents. Bicyclists are more likely to be injured if riding against the flow of traffic.

[California Vehicle Code 21650 VC]

Use Bicycle Lanes Whenever Possible

Los Angeles has recently embraced the growing demand for bicycle infrastructure. Many roads are now equipped with lined and/or dedicated bicycle lanes. If you are riding a bicycle on a street that has a bike lane, you are required to use it. You can exit the lane and drive alongside vehicles if it is necessary to avoid a hazard, pass slower bicyclists, or make a left-hand turn.

[California Vehicle Code 21208]

Don’t Stop In the Middle of a Bike Lane

Bicycle lanes are there to keep cyclists safe while traveling alongside larger vehicles. If you stop and take a break in the middle of a lane you put other riders at risk. If you must stop or park, you are required to find a safe space away from the road and bike lane. If necessary, you can move to a nearby sidewalk.

[California Vehicle Code 21211]

Don’t Ride on Freeways

Bicycles are prohibited on certain roadways in Los Angeles. Major freeways were designed to accommodate high-speed traffic and can be incredibly dangerous for bicycle riders. Prohibitions on bicycles can also extend to motor-assisted bicycles. When you are mapping out your route, try to stick to back roads with dedicated bike lanes and those with the least amount of traffic.

[California Vehicle Code 21960]

Minors Must Wear a Helmet

Anyone under the age of 18 riding a bicycle in Los Angeles is required to wear a helmet. Studies have shown that wearing a helmet significantly reduces the risk of suffering a catastrophic or fatal injury in the event of a crash. While adults are not legally obligated to wear a helmet, it is encouraged. Your ability to recover compensation could be jeopardized if you could have prevented your injury by wearing safety gear.

[California Vehicle Code 21212]

Don’t Ride Under the Influence

You cannot legally drink and ride in Los Angeles. State law prohibits riders from sharing the road while they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Riding a bike while intoxicated significantly increases the risk of a serious accident. If you are under the influence while riding, you may not be able to recover compensation for any accident-related injuries.

[California Vehicle Code 21200.5]

Bicyclists Must Yield to Pedestrians

When you ride a bike in Los Angeles, you will often find that you are riding alongside pedestrians. Things can get complicated when bike lanes and pedestrians walkways intersect. State law requires bicyclists to yield the right of way to pedestrians in most situations. If a pedestrian is in a marked crosswalk or roadway, you must stop and allow them to cross. However, pedestrians cannot jump out in front of bicyclists and create an immediate hazard. Everyone sharing the road must use caution and care.

[California Vehicle Code 21950]

Bicycles Must Be Outfitted With Reflectors and Lights

Bicycles can be hard to see at night. California state law requires bicycle riders to wear and/or install certain safety features on the bikes to increase visibility.

The following reflectors must be visible on a bicycle after dark:

  • Red reflector visible from the back of the bike.
  • Yellow or white reflectors on each pedal and/or a rider’s shoes.
  • Yellow or white reflector visible from the front of the bicycle.

The following lights must be visible on a bicycle after dark:

  • Solid or flashing red light visible from the rear of the bicycle (in addition to or instead of red reflectors).
  • White headlamp visible from the front of the bike (installed on the bike or worn on a helmet).

If your bike is not equipped with the proper safety devices you may not be able to recover all damages you suffer in a crash. Contributing to the accident can hurt your ability to recover compensation.

[California Vehicle Code 21201]

Los Angeles Bicycle Accident Lawyers

As a Los Angeles bicycle accident victim, you may be entitled to compensation. Call the Los Angeles Accident Center for help understanding your legal rights.  Our lawyers will review the details of your accident and determine who is to blame. We will fight to get you the money you deserve even if you contributed to your own injuries. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

In August 2015, a 70-year-old woman was struck and severely injured by a tour bus while crossing a Los Angeles street. According to reports, the woman was being driven by her son to a doctor’s appointment when they got stuck behind a local tour bus. Fearing she would be late, the elderly woman got out of the car and began to power-walk to her destination.

She approached the intersection when there were still 7 seconds remaining on the flashing pedestrian crossing sign. After pausing to allow other pedestrians to enter the sidewalk, the woman entered the crosswalk and began to make her way across the street. At this moment, the tour bus made a right-hand turn and struck the woman while in the intersection.

As a result of the pedestrian accident, the elderly woman suffered multiple injuries, including severe leg injuries, degloving injuries, and the development of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). She filed a personal injury lawsuit against the tour bus driver and demanded compensation for her injuries.

Despite the fact that the woman crossed the intersection in violation of California state law, a Los Angeles jury decided that the tour bus driver was at-fault and awarded her more than $6 million in damages.

Comparative Fault of the Victim

The defendant in the case, the tour bus driver, argued that he should not be held responsible for the victim’s injuries because she was not supposed to be in the intersection when he turned the bus. In 2015, a California law prohibited pedestrians from entering an intersection after the crossing signal began to flash red. The victim in this case admitted that she violated California Vehicle Code §21456 by entering the crosswalk while the signal was flashing. (Note: California recently amended this law.)

In California, victims who contribute to the cause of their accident and injury are generally not barred from recovering compensation. As long as someone else is also to blame, victims can recover damages. However, the amount they can recoup will be reduced by their own degree of fault. Since the victim’s case went to trial, it was up to the jury to decide:

  1. If the woman contributed to the cause of her accident and injury; and
  2. If so, how much of the blame should be placed on her shoulders.

The jury in this case apparently believed that the majority of the blame should rest with the tour bus driver. When deciding the case, the jury seemed to believe that the woman’s actions were not a “substantial factor” in her injuries.

Instead, they firmly believed that the tour bus driver executed a turn that was simply unsafe. In depositions prior to the trial, the tour bus driver was adamant that he executed a proper and safe turn. However, at trial, the driver was forced to admit that he used several unsafe techniques to make the right-hand turn through the intersection. He also admitted that if he had made the turn properly he would have clearly seen the woman and been able to avoid the crash.

Damages Awarded

The jury not only determined that the tour bus driver was at-fault, but also decided that he should be liable for damages suffered by the victim. As a result, the awarded the woman more than $6 million. Specifically, the jury awarded $6,298,237 in damages, including those for past medical expenses, future medical expenses, past general damages, and future general damages.

Medical Expenses

Since accidents that result in serious injuries often require extensive medical care and treatment, medical expenses are one of the most commonly sought after damages in personal injury lawsuits. In California, medical expenses are a specific type of special (or economic) damage.

In this case, the injured woman was awarded $898,237 in past medical expenses and $1,400,000 in future medical expenses. The past medical expenses were likely very simple to calculate using verifiable medical bills.

Future medical expenses can be more difficult to assess. Generally speaking, future medical expenses can be awarded based on reasonable calculations and projections of costs that will likely be incurred because of an accident. These can include costs for rehabilitation, surgery, and medication.

General Damages

General damages, which are also known as non-economic damages, are awarded to compensate victims for injuries and harms that do not necessarily have a direct financial cost. While these injuries are hard to value, they are no less devastating. General damages can be awarded to compensate for chronic pain, suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. In this case, the woman was awarded $2 million in past general damages, as well as $2 million for future general damages.

Los Angeles Accident Attorney

Have you been injured in a Los Angeles pedestrian accident? If so, you should consider speaking with an experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer. While you may be able to recover some compensation on your own, the chances of maximizing your recover increase significantly when you hire an attorney. Call the Los Angeles Accident Law Center to find out how our legal team can help you get the money you deserve after your accident. We offer a free consultation, so do not hesitate to call us now.