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hit-run-car-accident-lawyerHit-and-run crashes and fatalities are increasing and have reached a record high in California and across the nation. There are several reasons that are attributed to the rise in hit-and-run accidents. With the improvements in the economy, more people are sharing the roads. Smartphone use while driving has led to an increase in distracted driving accidents, including hit-and-run crashes. At the same time, more people are choosing to walk or to ride their bicycles to get where they need to go. Finally, drunk driving and speeding continue to be real problems. It is important for you to understand the risks of hit-and-run collisions and to take steps to protect yourself in the event that you are involved in one.

Prevalence of hit-and-run crashes

According to an investigative report by ABC News, hit-and-run fatalities have reached an all-time high.[1] When hit-and-run drivers are caught, ABC found that many are able to avoid jail time. The penalties that are imposed vary widely from state to state. Even in states in which the penalties have been increased, prosecutors still have the discretion to offer plea deals that limit or avoid incarceration even in cases in which the victims are killed.

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Pedestrian-Accident-Injury-LawyerThe number of pedestrian accident injuries and fatalities has sharply risen both in California and across the U.S. People can be seriously injured or killed when they are struck by motor vehicles while they are walking. There are several factors that have contributed to the increase in pedestrian deaths and injuries. Both pedestrians and motorists should take steps to minimize the risk of being involved in accidents. Pedestrians who are injured and the families of pedestrians who are killed in accidents may have legal rights to recover compensation for the losses that they have suffered.

Pedestrian accident statistics

The Governors Highway Safety Association recently released a report that showed that pedestrian fatalities in 2018 were at a 28-year high. During 2018, 6,227 people were killed in pedestrian accidents. This was a 4 percent year-over-year increase from 2017 and was the highest number of pedestrian deaths since 1990.

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In California, drivers are mandated to carry minimum liability insurance that pays $15,000 per injured party or $30,000 per accident to protect others if the drivers cause accidents. However, these policy limits are often insufficient to pay for the losses that injured accident victims might suffer. In some cases, it is possible for injured plaintiffs to recover more compensation than the limits on an at-fault driver’s policy, as was demonstrated by the recent case of Marcia Arreola v. Susan Hanson, Los Angeles Superior Court, Case No. BC600875. The case also demonstrates how fault can be apportioned in situations in which there are multiple tortfeasors.

Factual background

The plaintiff, a 48-year-old woman named Marcia Arreola, was stopped at a traffic light in Cerritos on Dec. 23, 2014. She was stopped at a light on Artesia Blvd. at its intersection with Norwalk Blvd. facing westbound. Defendant Susan Hanson was traveling eastbound on Artesia, and defendant John Austin Deapera Ella was heading north on Norwalk. The two defendants collided in the intersection, causing both vehicles to careen into Arreola’s vehicle.

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Traffic-Accident-Attorneys-Los-AngelesWhat are the new California traffic laws for 2019?  As we roll into a new year, Californians need to be aware of a number of new traffic laws that might affect them in 2019. These laws may have an impact on cyclists, motorists, minors, scooter riders, DUI offenders, and others. It is important for you to familiarize yourself with these laws so that you do not commit any traffic violations in the upcoming year. Here is a description of each of these new laws and what they might require you to do.

SB 1046

SB 1046 was sponsored by Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo. The law was effective on Jan. 1, 2019, and it deals with the installation of ignition interlock devices on vehicles of repeat DUI offenders. People who are convicted of a first DUI offense in which they caused injuries are also required to install ignition interlock devices under the law. Previously, this law had existed in Los Angeles, Alameda, Sacramento, and Tulare as a pilot program.

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work-accident-attorney-los-angelesIn California, people who suffer work-related injuries that are permanently disabling may recover disability compensation from their employers’ workers’ compensation insurance. However, if a part of the disability is caused by an underlying condition, the law requires that the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board apportions the cause between the work injury and the underlying condition. City of Petaluma v. Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, Cal. Ct. App., Case No. A153811 dealt with a case in which a police officer had an asymptomatic underlying condition that was triggered by a workplace injury. The California Court of Appeals looked at when apportionment is required and when it is not.

Factual and procedural background

Aaron Lindh worked as a police officer for the City of Petaluma. During a canine training course, Lindh received three to six blows to the left side of his head. Following the injury, Lindh began suffering severe headaches that lasted for several hours. A month following the work-related injury accident, Lindh lost nearly all of the vision in his left eye. Lindh saw two different doctors. Neither of the doctors attributed his vision loss to the work accident. Lindh submitted a claim for workers’ compensation for his disability.

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In California, institutions of higher education have a duty of care to protect their students from reasonably foreseeable dangers, including foreseeable acts of violence committed by other students. In The Regents of the University of California vs. Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Cal. Ct. App. Case No. B259424, the court defined the standard of care that applies, when triable issues of material fact might exist, and when governmental immunity may apply.

Factual and procedural background

For the fall 2008 semester, Damon Thompson enrolled in classes at the University of California-Los Angeles. Thompson began having problems almost immediately and suffered from paranoia and auditory hallucinations. Thompson complained multiple times to the residence director of his dormitory and to his professors about his beliefs that other students were verbally harassing and threatening him.

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Allstate-Insurance-Disputes-CaliforniaWhen someone causes an injury accident in California and subsequently passes away, the injured victims are able to file lawsuits against the estate of the decedents to recover damages for their losses. The California Probate Code limits the amount of recoverable damages for plaintiffs to the policy limits of the decedents’ insurance that covered their liability at the time of their accidents.

As Meleski vs. Estate of Hotlen, Cal. Ct. App. Case No. C080023 shows, plaintiffs who prevail at trial may also recover their costs in addition to the policy limits in cases in which the insurance companies refuse reasonable settlement offers. Parties are encouraged to resolve their legal disputes through settlements. When they fail to do so, the parties that refused to settle for reasonable amounts may be ordered to pay the costs of the parties that prevail.

Factual and procedural background

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Top Rated Local® Names Steven M. Sweat, Personal Injury Lawyers, APC as a Highest Rated Company in the State

 
Our customers are to thank as we have been included on the list of highest rated companies in California by Top Rated Local®, a 5 pillar experience based rating system that analyzes ratings and reviews from hundreds of verified review sites online and then ranks businesses based on their overall Rating Score™  Top Rated Local analyzes ratings and reviews from hundreds of verified review sites online and ranks businesses based on their overall Rating Score™. This allows consumers to quickly and confidently find Top Rated Local businesses in their area. Top Rated Local is built upon 5 pillars of the customer experience and created to empower both businesses and consumers.  This system was built to solve the everyday problem of fake reviews, competitor reviews, slanderous comments, blackmail, and acts of interference of business from competition.

Steven M. Sweat, Personal Injury Lawyers, APC is listed on the Top Rated Local site with impressive ratings CLICK HERE Over the past year, Steven M. Sweat, Personal Injury Lawyers, APC has obtained numerous awards and positive customer reviews based upon our emphasis on the client experience. It is never a pleasant experience to be the victim of a car, bicycle, motorcycle or pedestrian accident or any other type of personal injury.  We aim to take a bad situation and make it better by being an advocate for each and every client to obtain the best possible medical treatment, stand as a go-between with insurance companies so that our client’s can concentrate on healing and obtaining the maximum possible compensation on each and every claim. top-rated-los-angeles-personal-injury-lawyers

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Electrical-Burn-InjuryIn California, companies that hire contractors and subcontractors are generally not liable when the negligent actions of the contractors or subcontractors cause injury accidents. However, as

Sandoval v. Qualcomm Inc., Cal. Ct. App., Case No. D070431 shows, there is an exception to the general rule. When the hiring companies have negligently retained control of the safety conditions at the facilities, the hiring companies may be liable to pay damages if their negligence was a contributing factor to the resulting accidents and injuries. If you have suffered an injury while working for a contractor at a job site, you might want to talk to an experienced lawyer to find out if you might have the basis to file a legal claim against the hiring company.

Factual background of the case

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Turo-Car-Rental-Accident-Injury-Lawyer-AttorneyVisitors to Los Angeles as well as California residents rely on rental cars to meet their transportation needs sometimes. While most people are familiar with traditional rental car agencies that you might see at the airport and dotted throughout the city, fewer might be familiar with a rental car app called Turo. This app allows individuals who own vehicles to rent them to others at deep discounts as compared to rental car agency prices. However, rentals from an app come with some risks to both the drivers and others who are traveling around them. If you have suffered an injury in a collision with a vehicle that was rented on the app, getting help from an experienced lawyer is important. Here is what you need to understand about the app and how to protect yourself.

Overview of the car rental service

Turo Inc. is a company that was originally founded in Boston, Massachusetts in 2009 and is now headquartered in San Francisco, California. The company offers an app that people can use to list a car rental or to rent a vehicle. People who want to rent cars can sign up with their email addresses, Facebook accounts or Google accounts. After submitting photocopies of their drivers’ licenses, they are able to browse and book vehicles. The owners who have listed the cars can take up to eight hours to respond and may accept or decline the booking. Once a booking is accepted, the renter and the vehicle owner arrange to meet and exchange the vehicle. The owners can choose to purchase accident insurance from the company at the time that they rent out the vehicles or may opt to waive coverage if they have their own policies. Turo states that people who rent vehicles on their website do not have to have their own insurance policies.

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