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Lyft-Accident-Injury-Attorney-Los-Angeles-300x200Ride-share apps have transformed how people in California and elsewhere hail rides. Instead of calling and scheduling a taxicab, people simply have to download an app to be connected to any number of nearby Lyft or Uber drivers who are near to them. When these apps emerged on the scene in 2010, they quickly became popular. While the companies ostensibly conduct background checks of their drivers, however, many riders have reported that they were sexually assaulted by ride-share drivers. Recently, 14 people filed a lawsuit against Lyft in San Francisco, alleging that they were raped by their drivers.

Lyft lawsuit alleges rapes by drivers

The 14 plaintiffs in the lawsuit all allege that they were raped or sexually assaulted by their Lyft drivers. One plaintiff stated that she was raped in Oct. 2018. Her driver drove her around for five hours with the doors locked before forcibly raping her on a beach. Another states that she was sexually assaulted in Dec. 2018. She reported the assault to Lyft, and Lyft said it would investigate. However, she never received an update from the company and does not know the status of the driver’s employment with the company.

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scooter-accident-injury-attorneys-Los-AngelesThanks to startup companies, including Lyft, Lime, and Bird, e-scooters have become a nearly ubiquitous part of Los Angeles’s landscape. Tourists and residents can unlock these scooters with their smartphones and ride them to get to where they need to go or to use for sightseeing. While e-scooters can be fun to use and are better for the environment, they also carry risks of injury for both the riders and for others around them. You need to understand the dangers of riding electric scooters, how accidents happen with them, and how to minimize your risk of accidents. If you are injured in an e-scooter accident, you also should understand your rights.

Dangers of riding electric scooters in Los Angeles

While e-scooters seem to be everywhere in Los Angeles, riding them can be dangerous to riders and pedestrians. Many people who rent scooters do not have experience in how to handle them. They might be tourists who want a quick way to get around who rent e-scooters. Some riders choose to ride them on sidewalks even though it is illegal to do so in Los Angeles, which places pedestrians at risk. E-scooter riders are supposed to ride their scooters on streets or in bicycle lanes. However, many areas in Los Angeles do not have bicycle lanes, and forcing e-scooter riders to share the roads with motor vehicles places the riders in danger from collisions with cars. Finally, many people ride e-scooters without helmets. The companies that have rental scooters in place do not provide helmets for riders to use.

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Los-Angeles-Bike-Accident-LawyerWhy do urban areas like Los Angeles CA have so many bicycle accidents? While there has been a large push in cities around the world to encourage cycling, some major urban areas, including Los Angeles, have entrenched safety problems for cyclists. In 2018, Bicycling Magazine named Los Angeles as the worst city in the U.S. for bicyclists and reported that Los Angeles County had more cyclist deaths than all but three states as a whole during the three years from 2014 to 2016. While the city has engaged in efforts to reduce bicycle and other traffic fatalities, the data demonstrates that more needs to be done.

The problem of bicycle fatalities in Los Angeles

Los Angeles has attempted to address the problems of bicycle safety by devoting additional funds to safety projects such as road diets. Despite these efforts, however, cycling fatalities have increased. In 2018, for example, preliminary data for Los Angeles shows that 21 cyclists were killed in accidents with motor vehicles, which was an increase from the 17 who were killed in 2015 at the beginning of the Vision Zero initiative.

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Los-Angeles-Freeway-Accident-LawyerIn accidents that are caused by the defendants’ violation of the law, people may be able to claim negligence per se. When an accident results from breaking a traffic law, it is enough to prove the element of negligence. Once a defendant’s negligence has been established, the plaintiff will then need to prove that the negligence resulted in the accident and that he or she suffered injuries and harm because of the defendant’s breach of his or her duty of care.

In Baker-Smith v. Skolnick, Cal. Ct. App. Case No. B282946, the court considered whether the defense can raise a defense of excuse in cases that involve negligence per se. While the court found that excuse can be raised in some negligence per se cases, it is not available when the potential harms are serious.

Factual and procedural background

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3M-Earplug-Lawsuit-Lawyer-CaliforniaIf you are a current or former member of the U.S. military who has a hearing loss or who suffers from tinnitus, your condition may have been caused by defective combat earplugs. These earplugs were sold to the government by 3M and are called the Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2 or CAEv2. In 2018, 3M reached a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice and agreed to pay $9.1 million for its failure to disclose that the earplugs were defectively designed. These defects led to hearing losses and tinnitus in thousands of military service members who used them.

The Los Angeles injury lawyers at Steven M. Sweat APC are currently reviewing defective earplugs cases to veterans who have suffered hearing losses or tinnitus after using the CAEv2 earplugs. The earplugs were used by service members who served from 2003 to 2015 and were olive and yellow in color. If you remember using these earplugs and have suffered a hearing loss, contact our office today for a free case review from an experienced California attorney.

The contract with 3M & Aearo Technologies

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child-bike-accidentsPeople who lose loved ones in accidents that are caused by the negligence of others have the right to file wrongful death lawsuits against the responsible parties. When they are unable to reach a settlement agreement, they can go to jury trials. In Hernandez v. First Student, Inc., Cal. Ct. App. Case No. B281161, the parents of a 13-year-old boy who was killed while riding his bicycle went to trial. However, they did not secure the outcome that they wanted and filed an appeal. The case demonstrates the importance of making timely objections during a trial to preserve the record on appeal. If an attorney fails to make objections at the proper time, the arguments may be forfeited on appeal.

Factual and procedural background

On May 2, 2013, 13-year-old Jonathan Hernandez was riding his bicycle on a sidewalk. He entered into the street without stopping, and he was struck by a school bus. The bus was being driven by Barbara Calderon and was owned by First Student. At the time, Calderon was returning the bus to the school after completing her route. Michael Kennedy was an aide who was also on the school bus at the time.

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California plaintiffs who win verdict awards in personal injury cases may have their awards of future damages for reductions in earning capacity and medical expenses reduced to their present value. This is because the courts recognize that future money is worth less than it is now, and the future amounts that are awarded account for the value of the money if it was invested today. In Lewis v. Ukran, Cal. Ct. App. No. B290128, the California Court of Appeal reviewed a case in which damages that were awarded for future losses were not reduced to their present value in a case in which neither side presented evidence about the discount rate or about inflation.

Factual and procedural background

Thyme Lewis, a 51-year-old stunt worker in the entertainment industry, was operating his motorcycle on May 26, 2013. Aleksandr Ukran was driving a van for his employer, LGI. Ukran made a sharp lefthand turn in front of Lewis’s oncoming motorcycle. While Lewis braked, he was unable to avoid a collision. His front tire struck the side of Ukran’s van, causing him to be thrown off of the motorcycle and onto the top of the van. The accident caused him to suffer major injuries throughout his body.

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baby-powder-lawsuits-attorney-californiaProducts manufacturers have a duty of care to warn consumers about the potential dangers of their products. They also are not supposed to release unreasonably dangerous products into the market. If a product is defective, is unreasonably dangerous, or has inadequate warnings, the manufacturers may be liable when consumers who have used the products in an intended manner are harmed as a result. In Schmitz v. J&J, Superior Court of the State of California, Alameda, Case No. RG18923615, the jury returned a substantial verdict to a California woman who contracted mesothelioma after using talcum-powder products that were manufactured by Johnson & Johnson and Colgate for decades.

Factual and procedural background

Patricia Schmitz, a former fifth-grade teacher, is a 61-year-old California woman. Her mother applied baby powder containing talc when she was an infant. Beginning when she was 13, Schmitz began using talc-based products daily after her shower. She used Colgate-Palmolive’s Cashmere Bouquet on a daily basis from the time that she was 13 until the 2000s. She also used Avon’s Night Magic at some point in time. Her mother had used Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder on her when she was an infant.

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delivery-van-accident-attorney-los-angeles

Multiple companies are working to bring driverless technology to the highways in California and across the country. According to a report by Wired, driverless trucks are now transporting refrigerators from Texas to California. As the push for more driverless vehicles on the roads continues, the likelihood of these trucks being involved in accidents is also going up.

Accidents that are caused by driverless trucks may result in liability issues. The victims might not know which party is responsible for paying damages to them when they have been injured or their loved ones have been killed in accidents with driverless trucks. It is possible that the families may be able to hold the companies that own the trucks and the manufacturers who make them liable in the event of an injury or fatality accident. The experienced personal injury lawyers at the law firm of Steven M. Sweat APC might be able to help injured victims and the families of those who have been killed to identify all of the defendants who should be named so that their compensation might be maximized.

Driverless trucks transporting goods from Texas to California

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color-car-most-accidents

When you are in the market for a new vehicle, you likely want to find a car that has the most safety features to protect you in an accident. While safety technology can help you to prevent injuries, they may not be able to prevent all accidents from occurring. One feature of a vehicle that you might not think about when it comes to safety is the color of your vehicle. Most people choose the color of their cars based on how they look. You might want to think carefully about the color of the car that you choose, however. Researchers have found that the color of a vehicle is linked to its risk of being involved in a collision. If your vehicle is one of the riskier colors, it might increase your risk of being involved in an accident.

Which car colors are associated with a higher accident risk?

According to a report in Reader’s Digest, several studies have found a link between the color of cars and their accident involvement rates. This might make it important for you to consider the color of your vehicle more carefully when you are ready to make a purchasing decision. Here are the colors that are associated with the greatest risk of accidents.

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