Hundreds of Millions Recovered in Verdicts & Settlements
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Emergency-Room-Bills-Personal-Injury-AccidentWhen people in California have health insurance through health management organizations, they normally will go to their in-network providers for care. However, when people are injured in accidents and are forced to seek care in emergency departments, the hospitals may not have pre-negotiated contracts with the HMOs. This might mean that the HMOs may refuse to pay the full amount that they are billed for the provided services. In some cases, doctors have subsequently billed the patients for the balance between what they billed the HMOs and the amounts that they received, which is a practice called balance billing. The Supreme Court of California ruled that balance billing is not allowed in the state in Prospect Health Source Medical Group, Plaintiff and Appellant, v. Saint John’s Emergency Medicine Specialists, Inc., et al., Defendants and Respondents, 45 Cal.4th 497 (2009).

Factual background of the case

Prospect Health Source Medical Group is an individual practice care association that manages care through written contracts with health plans. It contracts with medical providers and hospitals to provide patient care to its members at contracted rates. When people go to one of the providers in the network, Prospect pays the provider the agreed-upon rate. However, patients who have to go to the emergency department might go to a hospital that does not have a contract with Prospect.

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work-related-car-accidentsAs a Los Angeles work-related car accident injury attorney, I know that many people in L.A. are required to drive for their jobs on either an occasional or routine basis. In some cases, people who are driving for work reasons are involved in car accidents. People who are working within the course and scope of their employment when their accidents happen are entitled to file workers’ compensation claims with their employers’ workers’ compensation insurance carrier. In addition, if the other involved motorist was at fault in causing the accident, the injured victim may file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Getting help from a Los Angeles personal injury and workers’ compensation lawyer might help you to recover the maximum potential compensation to pay for both your economic and noneconomic losses.

Types of Jobs that Require Employees to Drive

Many different types of jobs require workers to drive as a part of their work duties. Some common types of jobs that require employees to drive include the following:

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lane-change-accident-lawyer-attorneyAs an unsafe lane change accident attorney in Los Angeles, I know that, despite Mayor Garcetti’s Drive to Zero initiative, traffic accidents in Los Angeles have been increasing. In 2016, for example, 260 people were killed in Los Angeles accidents. The city also experienced an overall increase of 7 percent in the total number of vehicle collisions from 2015 to 2016 with a total of 55,350 collisions happening in 2016. Across the state, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 3,623 people were killed in 2016, which was a significant increase over the number of people who died in 2015.

Part of the increase can be attributed to an increased number of vehicles on the roads. Because of the traffic congestion in and around Los Angeles, some drivers make unsafe lane changes. When a driver suddenly changes lanes with little warning, they may collide with other motorists or cause the motorists who are present in the lanes to swerve into traffic in order to avoid being hit. Unsafe lane change accidents can cause serious injuries or fatalities, and they are especially dangerous for motorcyclists.

Causes of unsafe lane change accidents

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pain-suffering-calculation-personal-injuryHow do I calculate the value of pain and suffering in a personal injury case?  This is one of the most common questions I get asked as a personal injury attorney.  If you have suffered an injury because of the negligence of another person or entity in California, you normally are able to pursue compensation from the defendant’s insurance company. In order to recover damages, you will need to be able to prove that the defendant is at fault. You will then need to prove that you suffered financial losses.

California law grants people who have been injured because of the negligence of others the right to recover damages for both their economic and noneconomic losses.  Your economic losses are normally straightforward since they include such things as your medical expenses and income losses. It may be more difficult for you to prove your noneconomic losses, however. An experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorney may help you to calculate the damages that you have suffered because of your pain and suffering and then help you to recover them.

What are pain and suffering damages?

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Lyft-Accident-Attorney-Los-AngelesAs a Los Angeles Lyft passenger injury attorney I know that the use of ride-sharing apps has skyrocketed in Los Angeles, and many residents and visitors alike are choosing Lyft to get them to their destinations. Overall, the number of people who used this service in L.A. during 2017 reached 23 million, which was double the number of riders in 2016. As the app becomes increasingly popular, it is important for riders to know what to do if the vehicle in which they are riding is involved in an accident. An experienced Los Angeles rideshare attorney may help injured riders to recover damages that sufficiently compensate them.

What you should do if you are injured in a rideshare accident

If you are riding in a car that you hailed through the ride-sharing app that has a collision, there are several things that you should do to protect yourself and your rights.

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Sexual-Assault-Claims-California-LawCan an employee in California sue their employer if they are sexually assaulted in the workplace and the employer had some prior notice that the assault could occur?  The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) provides protections to workers from discrimination, including sexual harassment. The law allows workers to sue their employers when they suffer discrimination or sexual harassment while they are working. In M.F. v. Pacific Pearl Hotel Management LLC, Cal. App. 4th, No. D070150, the court ruled that workers are able to sue their employers under the FEHA when they have been sexually harassed or assaulted by nonemployees at their jobs.

Issue: Can an employee can sue her employer for nonemployee sexual harassment under the FEHA?

M.F. was employed as a housekeeper at the Pacific, which is a five-building hotel property owned by Pacific Pearl Hotel Management LLC. The hotel’s engineering manager saw a trespasser on the hotel property one morning who was not a guest of the hotel. The trespasser was intoxicated and was carrying a beer, but the engineering manager did not tell him to leave or report his presence to the housekeeping staff. Later, the trespasser approached one of the housekeepers while she was cleaning a room and tried to give her money in exchange for sexual favors. A maintenance worker who was working nearby overheard and helped the housekeeper to make the trespasser leave the room. The trespasser then went to another hotel room where a housekeeper was cleaning and tried to get into the room. He again offered money for sexual favors. The housekeeper was able to close the door on the man and reported the incident to her manager.

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California-Personal-Injury-Case-LawWhen people in California decide to participate in inherently risky activities, they assume the risk that they will be injured unless the operators of the activities engaged in conduct that was grossly negligent. In Grotheer v. Escape Adventures, Cal. Ct. App. 4D, Case no. E0634449, the court examined the concept in the context of a hot-air balloon ride in which a female passenger was injured after signing an express waiver of liability.

Issue: Is a balloon company a common carrier, and was the express waiver of liability sufficient to preclude a finding of liability?

Grotheer, a 78-year-old German woman, was a passenger on a hot-air balloon ride that had been purchased for her by her son while she was visiting California. Grotheer could not speak English. Prior to the ride, her son explained that she could not speak or understand English to the balloon operator but was apparently waved off. Grotheer signed an express waiver of liability prior to the balloon’s takeoff. The trip was apparently uneventful until the landing. The balloon descended too rapidly and crashed through a fence before crashing forcefully to the ground. The force of the landing caused the balloon’s basket to skip across the ground before it came to rest on its side. Grotheer landed at the bottom, and her leg was broken in the crash-landing. She filed a lawsuit against the balloon’s operator, the balloon company and the vineyard from where the balloon launched, alleging negligence. The defendants filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that Grotheer assumed the risk when she chose to go on the hot-air balloon ride, that the company was not negligent or that if it was, it was not grossly negligent to the extent that the assumption of the risk standard would not apply.

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Los-Angeles-Drivers-Worst-CountryAre Los Angeles drivers the worst in the country? A new study suggests they may be.  Los Angeles is a dangerous city in which to drive. Many people have long complained about how badly people drive in Los Angeles, and their complaints have been validated by the findings of a recent study. According to the Allstate America’s Best Driver Report, Los Angeles ranked a dismal 193 out of 200 cities, demonstrating the problematic driving behaviors that are engaged in by L.A. drivers. In addition to the property losses caused by bad driving, many people are seriously injured or killed in the city each year because of bad driving. People who are injured and the families of victims who are killed because of bad driving by others may pursue compensation by filing civil lawsuits against the negligent drivers who caused their accidents or those of their loved ones.

The Allstate study showing Los Angeles drivers some of the worst in the country

Allstate looked at data from 200 U.S. cities in order to determine which cities had the best drivers and which had the worst. The company made their determinations based on the average number of years that drivers in the cities went between accidents. Los Angeles drivers average 5.9 years between accidents, placing the city near the bottom for the driving behaviors of its motorists. Kansas City, Kansas took the number one spot for safe driving. Drivers in that city average 14.9 years between accidents. The city with the worst drivers was Boston. Drivers there average just 3.6 years between accidents. The study points to the need for drivers to exercise caution while driving. There are several problematic driving behaviors that are engaged in by many Los Angeles motorists that can lead to accidents that injure others. These driving problems are prohibited by California law and are evidence of negligence when accidents result.

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Shoulder-Injury-Claims-AttorneyShoulder impingement syndrome personal injury claims can run the gamut from mild to severe and the treatments vary depending upon severity.  Following an accident, many people suffer injuries to their upper extremities, resulting in chronic pain and disability. It is important for you to understand the anatomy of your shoulder and what can happen if you are in an automobile accident or another traumatic incident causing personal injury. Shoulder impingement syndrome is one type of condition that you might suffer when you are injured. It has several causes, and there are a number of different treatments that may provide you with relief.

What is Shoulder Impingement Syndrome?

Your shoulder is made up of three main bones and four primary muscles. The shoulder joint is formed by the joining of your humerus, clavicle, and scapula. Attached to these bones and wrapping around them on the front, back and top of your shoulder joint are four primary muscles and their tendons, including the teres minor, infraspinatus, supraspinatus, and subscapularis. The way in which these tendons and muscles are attached to and wrap around your bones create a capsule around the joints that makes up your rotator cuff. They hold your humerus in its place in your shoulder socket and allow your shoulder to move within its normal range of motion.

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bike-helmet-injury-preventionDo mandatory bike helmet laws reduce injuries?  When bicyclists are involved in accidents in California, they are much likelier to suffer from severe brain trauma and head injuries than are motor vehicle occupants. Without helmets, cyclists do not have protection from the environment around them when they strike their heads in accidents. This leaves them with a greater risk of suffering from serious injuries or dying in collisions with motor vehicles.

While California has a law mandating that bicyclists under a certain age wear helmets whenever they ride bicycles, it does not mandate that adult cyclists wear helmets. There are proponents and opponents of mandatory bicycle helmet legislation, and both sides have a number of valid points to consider. Regardless of what the law is, bicycle helmets are important safety equipment that Los Angeles personal injury attorneys believe that all cyclists should use every time that they ride their bicycles. Helmets provide the remaining line of defense to suffering from serious brain injuries when people are struck by vehicles or when they have other types of cycling accidents.

California’s bicycle helmet law

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