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Articles Posted in Accidents

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Fatal-Car-Accident-Lawyers-Los-AngelesWhile gun-related deaths are a serious problem in California and the rest of the U.S., traffic accidents cause just as many deaths as guns each year. When you get behind the wheel of your vehicle, it is among the most dangerous things you might do on any given day. Car accidents kill tens of thousands of people in the U.S. each year and cause millions of others to suffer serious injuries.

Even though people have clocked fewer miles during the pandemic, traffic fatalities have increased in the last 18 months. According to the National Safety Council, an estimated 42,060 people were killed during 2020, which was a 24% increase from traffic fatalities in 2019. By comparison, USA Today reports that 41,000 Americans were killed in gun-related incidents in 2020, meaning that more people were killed in traffic accidents than in gun incidents.

Even though fewer people were on the roads in 2020 because of the pandemic, traffic deaths still surged. This surge in traffic fatalities has continued during 2021 even though more people are back on the roads. Policy changes should be implemented to reduce traffic deaths.

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California-Paraquat-Injury-Attorneys
In California, many people use paraquat-containing herbicides to prevent weeds from encroaching on their lawns and fields. Paraquat-containing herbicides are commonly used by farmers and agricultural workers, and many people are unaware of the potential dangers these substances pose. Paraquat is a chemical found in many industrial herbicides, including Gramoxone, Parazone, Para-Shot, Helmquat, and others. People who directly use paraquat-containing herbicides with licenses and those who are indirectly exposed to this chemical over a long period of time have a heightened risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. People who have developed Parkinson’s disease after exposure to paraquat-containing herbicides might be entitled to pursue compensation. An experienced product liability attorney at the Steven M. Sweat, Personal Injury Lawyers, APC, can review your case and explain whether it has legal merits.

Link between paraquat and Parkinson’s disease

Paraquat is a common chemical found in many industrial herbicides that farmers and agricultural workers use on fields to control weed growth. It is used across the U.S. and the world. Researchers have found a link between paraquat exposure and the development of Parkinson’s disease. In a 2019 systematic review, researchers found that Parkinson’s disease occurrence was 25% higher in people who had been exposed to paraquat versus those who had not.

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In California, a person or entity that hires an independent contractor to do work on his or her property will generally not be liable for any injuries that happen to the contractor or the contractor’s employees while they are working on the job. However, a property owner may be liable when he or she retains control over the safety precautions taken on the property or when he or she affirmatively contributes to the creation of the dangerous condition. In Gonzalez v. Mathis, Cal. S. Ct. Case No. S247677, the California Supreme Court considered whether a third exception exists when an independent contractor or the contractor’s employee is injured by an obvious hazard within the work area for which the contractor could not take any reasonable safety measures to avoid it.[1]

Factual and procedural background

Luis Gonzalez was employed as a window washer during the 1990s for a company called Beverly Hills Window Washing. During that time, he regularly cleaned a skylight window for John R. Mathis. Later, Gonzalez started his own window washing business, advertising that his company specialized in cleaning windows and skylights in hard-to-reach areas. Mathis hired Gonzalez and his company to clean his skylight regularly beginning in 2007.

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auto-insurance-accident-claims-attorneys-CaliforniaAs a nationally recognized personal injury attorney and car accident lawyer in practice for over 25 years, I’ve successfully resolved literally thousands of auto accident claims.  In that time period, I’ve found that for all the billions of dollars the auto insurance industry spends every year trying to convince people that they can “save money” by switching to this carrier or the other, they misrepresent the real truth behind auto insurance.  I wanted to explore some of these myths in this blog post.

Myth #1: “Only pay for what you need!” “Save HUNDREDS of dollars every year”

This one, I think is a great example of fundamental misrepresentations in auto insurance ads.  Lately the slogan and concept has been used most by Liberty Mutual.  We see the usual antics of a guy with a pet Emu running around telling people that their insurance company is better because they show you how to “only pay for what you need”.  What does this mean?  It implies that there are a lot of insurance coverages that you can do without and shouldn’t pay for.  Nothing could be further from the truth if you actually have to file a claim for property damage or bodily injury.  In addition, almost every insurance company touts their ability to save you “HUNDREDS” of dollars a year.  This is a more subtle misrepresentation. The actual truth is that for only a few hundred dollars more each year, you could have much better coverage.  For example, waiving uninsured motorist coverage, might only save a person $50-75 a year but, could end up costing them tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in uncovered medical expenses if they are hit by an uninsured driver!

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bicycle-accident-injury-attorneys-lawyers-LosAngelesLos Angeles should be the perfect setting for riding bicycles, but the lack of bicycle infrastructure and heavy traffic makes it dangerous. Fortunately, a long-running festival is set to return to the city this year. CicLAvia is scheduled to return to Los Angeles after a hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This open street bicycling festival will begin on Aug. 15 in Wilmington followed by events on Oct. 10 in downtown LA and Dec. 5 in South LA. CicLavia is operated by a nonprofit organization with the goal of promoting public health and mass transit. During the event, streets along the route will be closed and filled with cyclists, pedestrians, and vendors.

History of CicLAvia

The first CicLAvia festival was held in October 2010. Organizers modeled the event on the regular car-free festivals that are held in Bogota, Colombia each Sunday. More than 100,000 people attended the first CicLAvia festival in 2010, far exceeding the nonprofit’s expectations. The first event featured open streets stretching from East Hollywood to Boyle Heights, drawing many people outdoors to enjoy the open, traffic-free spaces and fresh air.

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Los-Angeles-Pedestrian-Bike-AccidentsIn May 2020, Los Angeles implemented the Slow Streets program during the pandemic.[1] This program was designed to prevent traffic from entering certain residential areas to encourage people to spend more time outdoors safely. It also implemented provisions to substantially reduce the speed of traffic near residential areas. Communities were allowed to apply to the program to have designated areas blocked off from traffic during certain hours of the day other than for people who live in them. The program has proven to be quite popular, leading to legislation that could make it permanent in both Los Angeles and other cities in the state.

Goals of the Slow Streets program

At the time the Slow Streets Los Angeles program was implemented, California and the rest of the nation were going through the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic forced multiple closures and caused more people to work remotely. With more people working from home and large numbers of closures, the Slow Streets program was designed to encourage people to get out and enjoy fresh air and exercise by prompting drivers to drive more slowly while limiting through traffic in designated residential areas. Residents have been able to safely walk and ride bicycles in neighborhoods that participate in this program.

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Los-Angeles-Distracted-Driving-Accidents-Attorneys-LawyersDistracted driving is a very common cause of motor vehicle accidents in Los Angeles, California and across the U.S. People who allow themselves to be distracted by phones, text messages, emails, passengers, eating, electronics, and other things are dangerous to others sharing the roads with them. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving was a cause of 9% of fatal accidents, 15% of injury accidents, and 15% of all crashes, resulting in 3,142 deaths and 424,000 injuries. When people drive while distracted in Los Angeles, other motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists can suffer serious harm.

If you were injured in an accident caused by a driver you believe was distracted, getting help from an experienced car accident attorney at Steven M. Sweat Personal Injury Lawyers is a good idea. Our experienced legal team of highly experienced distracted driving attorneys and legal staff understand how to investigate these types of claims to prove the liability of the distracted drivers. We work with experts and investigators to help to determine all of the factors that contributed to our clients’ accidents and might be able to recover compensation for your losses.

Why should you choose us?

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Los-Angeles-Pedestrian-Accident-LawyersIn some situations, California property owners may be liable for injuries that happen to people located off of their property. However, that is not always the case. In Issakhani v. Shadow Glen Homeowners Association, Inc., Cal. Ct. App. Case No. B301746, the California Court of Appeal considered whether a condominium complex owed a duty of care to a plaintiff who jaywalked across a busy street to reach the complex to visit her friend because the complex did not have enough marked visitor spaces.[1]

Factual and procedural background

Anaeis Issakhani went to visit a friend who lived at the Shadow Glen condominium complex in Los Angeles on the night of June 10, 2014, after dark. When she arrived, she did not see any available visitor parking space in the complex’s lot, so she parked her vehicle across a five-lane street in front of the complex. When she crossed the street, she failed to walk a few hundred feet to a marked crosswalk and instead jaywalked. A car struck her, causing her to suffer multiple fractures and a traumatic brain injury. Issakhani filed a lawsuit against the Shadow Glen condominium complex with negligence and premises liability causes of action. She alleged that the company was negligent by failing to install enough visitor spaces in the complex’s parking lot in violation of a municipal ordinance.

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Amazon-Delivery-Worker-Injury-AttorneysIn 2019, Amazon.com Inc. surpassed Walmart Inc. to become the world’s largest retailer. During the fiscal year 2020, the behemoth grossed more than $386 billion in sales. A driver of the company’s success is how it simplifies online purchases by streamlining delivery logistics. Amazon’s customers return again and again because of their easy access to countless products and fast delivery services.

Based in Seattle, Washington, Amazon has warehouses stationed throughout the U.S. and the world. The company uses multiple carriers to transport and deliver packages to its customers. Amazon has multiple distribution centers throughout California with more centers planned. In cities throughout the state, local delivery companies are contracted to pick up and deliver goods to people at commercial and residential addresses. By using third-party delivery companies, Amazon has been able to offer fast turnaround times on its customers’ orders.

The Amazon Flex delivery program also allows independent drivers in the greater Los Angeles area and other cities across California to pick up and deliver Amazon Prime orders to customers. Each driver must wear uniforms, use on-road technology, complete safety training courses, and follow other company policies. However, drivers who drive through the Flex program are independent contractors instead of employees, so they do not receive benefits.

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accidental-shooting-accident-attorneys-Los-AngelesAccidental shootings because of improperly stored guns are a major problem in California and the U.S. When another person is visiting a home with guns that are not properly stored, a person who suffers a gun injury because of the negligence of the homeowner in failing to secure the guns may have grounds to recover compensation for his or her resulting losses. While homeowners have a duty of care to take reasonable steps to prevent visitors from being injured, there is a question of whether a third party who has some degree of control over the premises might also be liable for injuries resulting from the third party’s negligence. In Hernandez v. Jensen, Cal. Ct. App. Case No. 294449, the California Court of Appeals considered a case in which an adult daughter failed to make sure her father’s guns were properly stored and secured to determine whether she could be held liable when a home health aide was accidentally shot by a falling, loaded rifle in a closet.[1]

Factual and procedural background

Maria Jensen hired two health care aides to care for her 87-year-old parents in their home in Commerce, California from Gerinet, Inc. Ms. Jensen’s elderly mother had dementia, and her father was no longer able to care for her. When Jensen signed a contract for home health aides with Gerinet, the contract stated that she agreed to provide a safe home for the aides to work in. While the first aide was hired to provide direct health care assistance to her mother, the second aide was hired to provide basic health care assistance, prepare meals for Jensen’s parents, and perform light housekeeping work. Jensen also paid to install surveillance cameras in her parents’ home because of recent break-ins in the area. Jensen used the cameras to monitor the aides’ work and to check in on her parents.

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