Exercising Caution When Local Governments Relax Coronavirus Restrictions

We are all going a little stir-crazy right now. And why shouldn’t we? For months, we’ve been locked away indoors while most of our businesses shut their downs. We’ve looked at our friends and neighbors with suspicion. Isn’t it about time to revitalize neglected relationships? Even though most state and local governments have yet to meet CDC recommended thresholds for reopening, they plan to anyway.

There’s a strong chance that you will be allowed to go back to work in the weeks and months ahead. Whether or not you choose to do so is a personal choice — and one for which all due consideration should be given.

Failing to go might mean your job. Going might mean your life.

Make no mistake, coronavirus has not stopped advancing. Los Angeles put into place some of the tightest restrictions anywhere in the country, and cases are starting to rise steadily (even before the slew of protests that have been ongoing for nearly two weeks, and continue today). 

How people will react to the inevitable spike in coronavirus cases is anyone’s guess, which is why we recommend using protective masks and gloves whenever possible. Please stay away from those who are infected, even if they are close family members. Do not go to work when you know you are ill. Stay home instead.

We are already experiencing an influx of calls related to coronavirus lawsuits, some frivolous and some not. While we sift through these cases, we want you to know that we’ve got your back no matter what happens. Our lawyers are the best at what they do. No one should be forced into financial ruin because of another person, and many of those people who haven’t been taking this pandemic seriously are accusing of purposefully spreading the virus.

These are not just civil cases. These are criminal cases, and these individuals can and will be prosecuted with making (and carrying out) a terrorist threat, especially if infected themselves. Contact us with your story as soon as possible.

Motorcycle Accidents Caused By Potholes

Los angeles motorcycle accident attorney

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 4,985 motorcyclists were killed in street collisions in 2018. While this number represents a 5 percent decline compared to 2017, the number of motorcycle fatalities is still proportionally higher than the number of automobile fatalities. Cyclists should always remember to ride safely — with a helmet, obeying the rules of the road, and stone-cold sober to avoid motorcycle accidents.

But they should also remember that they have the right to due compensation when another party is at fault for an accident in which they sustain serious, life-threatening injuries.

Potholes are commonly to blame when motorcycle accidents occur because riders simply do not notice they are there. When pothole-related motorcycle accidents occur, who is to blame? The simplest answer is: it depends. These accidents can often be the result of negligence on both the part of the rider and the authority responsible for maintaining the roads.

To mitigate the danger of potholes, riders should remember to never tailgate other vehicles. Maintain a safe distance while paying attention to the road directly ahead in order to locate and avoid potholes before they can cause a fatal accident. Be sure to slow the bike when navigating corners. Most importantly, avoid puddles — because they could be potholes in disguise. Obeying these rules is crucial to winning a lawsuit.

Were you in a motorcycle accident because of an unavoidable pothole? Municipal, state, or federal governments are responsible for maintaining the road on which you had your accident — which means you have every right to sue when a poorly maintained road left you with an injury, no matter how minor. Potholes are preventable. But the opposition’s defense will almost certainly argue that reckless riding was a major cause of the accident (even if you were riding safely).

This is why a strong legal defense is so important. Not only do you need to provide proof that the pothole was the cause of your accident, but you also need to provide proof that the legal authority responsible for filling that pothole knew that it existed but did nothing about it. 

Your personal injury attorney will attempt to determine whether or not this was the case while also trying to locate other drivers or motorcyclists who may have been involved in accidents for the same reason. An attorney will also investigate whether or not the authority responsible for the roadway was conducting surveys to discover potential damage, which they are required to do on a regular basis. Failing to fix a pothole within a reasonable timeframe means your case is as good as won.

Ready to make a claim? Your lawyer will want as much information as possible, including location of the pothole, direction of travel, witness contact information, and relevant medical bills resulting from injuries sustained. Try to take down as much information as you can, and be sure to report the accident to the police.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident due to a pothole and suffered a severe injury, please do not hesitate to contact us for a consultation.

Can I Sue When Someone Infects Me With Covid-19?

The novel coronavirus COVID-19 is an interesting beast here in the United States — primarily because we’re not accustomed to the dangers of global pandemics like, say, the Chinese. Our rivals in the East have lived through several already, few of which made much of an impact here in the United States. Because they have experience with dangerous illnesses that are so contagious, they were able to quickly and efficiently prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Chinese were so adept at this task that it only made a splash in a single province.

Western countries have shown no such ability. The virus will likely continue to spread in the United States and throughout Europe until we take bigger steps to limit interaction between people. Simply saying “don’t go outside” might not be enough to make a difference.

In fact, Italy shut down weeks ago — but has still surpassed China’s case count and number of deaths. The outcome will likely be much worse here in the U.S., which is probably why we’ve received so many emails and calls from people who believe they should be compensated for their financial situation after release from quarantine. No one expected a bill. 

Personal injury in such cases is complicated. The short answer is “no,” you probably cannot sue a person or organization because you were infected with COVID-19. This is true no matter what the damages were. Some law firms might be willing to chance a lawsuit against the U.S. government for its poor response to the outbreak, but only time will tell. 

How were you infected? Can you prove that an individual purposely infected you with the virus? If you can, you might have a good case. Can you prove that an organization’s negligence caused the outbreak to worsen, resulting in your infection? If you can, you might have a good case.

The problem is, those are difficult facts to prove even when they’re completely true.

One law firm did take the first steps in building a class action lawsuit against the Chinese where the virus was first noticed — and in fact based the suit on the conspiratorial belief that the virus was man-made and allowed to escape from a laboratory because of gross negligence. We wish them luck with that case….

But for the rest of us, relying on government assistance and health insurance are the best options available at the moment. We’re still in the early days of this outbreak, but it’s time to hunker down and wait for more information. Try to stay indoors and away from other people whenever possible!

Kobe Bryant’s Wife Filed Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Vanessa Bryant has filed a wrongful death lawsuit after her husband and daughter were killed in a fatal helicopter accident. She says the helicopter pilot was negligent and caused the accident. The lawsuit targets the company who the pilot worked for. Nine people were killed in the crash. Bryant chose to file the lawsuit just before the memorial service was conducted, which she said was a “celebration of life.”

The lawsuit alleges that the company should have never allowed the helicopter to fly in the inclement weather conditions that were present that day. It contends that the heavy fog the day of the crash should have guaranteed that no one was allowed to fly. 

Authorities say that the helicopter was extremely close to breaking free of the fog when it crashed. The lawsuit alleges that the pilot was flying the aircraft going at least 180 mph, a dangerous speed in such dense fog — but also likely a ploy to break free of it. 

The lawsuit has yet to name the exact amount of damages sought for the two wrongful deaths, but we do know that Bryant wants the court to award punitive damages as well as compensatory damages.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) says that pilots must be able to see the flight path in order to safely fly. Pilot Zobayan was cited in 2015 for failing to abide by these rules. Afterward, he received counseling — but there was no legal action taken subsequent.

According to the lawsuit, the company, Island Express Inc., also should have taken action to install a standardized alarm system to warn the pilot that he was close to the ground. The FAA only requires the systems on air ambulances, but the NTSB recommends that all helicopters like the crashed model install them as well. 

After the accident that killed Kobe and his daughter, Island Express halted service to give time for staff to process the event. 

Records indicate that at least three helicopter crashes occurred inside the company since 1985. Two resulted in fatalities. All three accidents occurred off the coast of Southern California.

The lawsuit said, “Acts and omissions of the defendant has manifested such reckless and complete indifference to and a conscious disregard for the safety of others.” A spokesperson said that the purpose of the lawsuit was to deter any negligence that might occur in the future.

Zobayan worked for Island Express for at least ten years prior to the accident.

What Are The Long-Term Consequences Of A Gunshot Personal Injury?

It’s everyone’s worst nightmare — especially in this day and age. If you’re a proponent of guns, you believe that we all have the right to protect ourselves by owning one. If you’re an opponent of guns, you believe that we all have the right to protect ourselves by reducing the amount of ownership. Those who believe in the second amendment don’t seem concerned that mass shootings and gun deaths are on the rise, or that gunshot victims require a lifetime of care.

Most often, that care is psychological.

A recent study concluded that gunshot victims who survived the trauma were 68 percent more likely to experience chronic pain even after the injuries had healed. 53 percent of victims were likely to screen positive for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A whopping 59 percent of victims will not have been back to work even a year after the injury was sustained. That’s an enormous financial burden for survivors — and for society at large.

These rates are higher for gun injury survivors than for those involved in car accidents.

Research Director Juan P. Herrera-Escobar said, “The impact of firearm injuries is not limited to deaths. The long-term burden born in survivors is huge and affects multiple domains, such as physical health, mental health, reintegration to society, and quality of life.”

He continued: “Firearm injuries are a pressing public health problem in the United States. Until now, most of the research on this problem has focused on mortality, which of course is critical, but is only one piece of the story. For every person who dies from a firearm injury, three survive every year. As trauma systems continue to improve and save more lives every year, our attention should start shifting to the impact that firearm injuries have on survivors.”

This is an especially touchy subject for personal injury lawyers who realize that the long-term financial damages are astounding. Not only are survivors subject to outrageous medical bills for months and months of restorative therapy, but they are also subject to other costs as well. Not working for a year — or sometimes much longer, if ever — takes a toll. People want to feel productive. When they feel like a burden to others, they fall into depression. That in turn leaves the people around them feeling depressed, too.

Many gunshot victims will end up on disability benefits, which aren’t easy to get even when you deserve them. They will continue to endure psychological and emotional trauma throughout life. 

Thankfully some of these costs can be reimbursed through health insurance or civil litigation. Sometimes in criminal court, restitution is possible. Speak with a personal injury lawyer as quickly as possible if you or someone you know was the victim of gun violence.

Do I Need A Personal Injury Lawyer? Here’s What You Need To Know!

Personal injury is a somewhat magical practice area of law for those who require an attorney’s services after sustaining an injury that was someone else’s fault. There is one primary reason why this is the case: most personal injury lawyers only make money when you do. That means if they take your case, they think they can settle outside of court or win inside of court if that’s where the lawsuit is ultimately headed.

But how do you know if you need a personal injury attorney? 

Car accidents account for the majority of all personal injury claims filed in the civil court system. You might incur significant injuries that leave you with reduced earning potential or missed time at work. You might have high medical bills. You might be left in a lot of pain and endure a lot of trauma. Someone else is responsible for causing the accident, which means you shouldn’t just go to your insurance company for help — you should also go to a personal injury lawyer.

If you were injured because of cracked cement along the sidewalk or a pothole in the road, you might not be able to collect as much compensation due to legal caps placed on lawsuits lodged against government authorities and local municipalities — but you should still seek whatever you can get. The government has the responsibility to keep infrastructure safe. Sometimes individual property owners are at fault, which means you can potentially collect much more.

Medical malpractice isn’t sought nearly as often as it should even though doctors or surgeons routinely make mistakes. You shouldn’t have to pay for them. Did you suffer because of a misdiagnosis? Did the surgeon leave a scalpel lodged in your abdominal cavity after a crazed dog attack? Not only can you sue the dog’s owner (assuming it wasn’t your own), but you can also sue the hospital for malpractice. 

If you were injured on the job because of relaxed safety precautions, workers compensation will usually cover most of your bills. Sometimes, though, you can still file a lawsuit against your workplace for gross negligence.

Were you exposed to a dangerous carcinogen at work or during your daily commute? You might be able to file a lawsuit for that as well, but there are also funds set up for survivors of certain kinds of exposure. Asbestos victims, for example, can sometimes collect from funds already set up, in addition to filing a lawsuit against any business not already defunct.

Remember: you shouldn’t have to pay for someone else’s mistake, and lawyers only collect when you do. If you’re not sure whether or not you have a legitimate case, all it takes is a single call to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury attorney.

Believe It Or Not, You Can Be Sued For…

We live in the era of the lawsuit. When someone hurts us, we don’t say, “Hey, it was just an accident. Let’s move on.” Instead, we call a personal injury lawyer to make sure we’re compensated for our financial losses. And why shouldn’t we? Someone else’s mistakes shouldn’t be ours to deal with. This era is about promoting fairness after all! That’s why we decided to make this list. You should know what might get you sued!

  1. As awful as it might sound, something as simple as sharing a photo to your blog could get you sued for copyright infringement if you don’t make sure no one owns the rights to it first. Of course, the plaintiff will probably need to prove you either damaged the property of made money off it if they expect to win the case.

    IP lawyer Tanisia Nicole Moore said, “We are all guilty of sharing an image online, but what most people don’t realize is that these images are protected through copyright law. The owner of the image can then sue you for using their work without permission.” Believe it or not, the number of these lawsuits are actually on the rise.
  2. And be extra careful about what you say online, because more people are taking their petty complaints to court on the basis of defamation. A judge won’t allow you to say you were just venting as an excuse to technically break the law if your complaints aren’t actually — and entirely — true.

    Attorney Paul H. Cannon said, “Social media has become such a common part of life that people forget that anything you write on social media is a publication, so if you write a false statement about someone online and it causes them harm to their reputation or financial loss, you can be sued for libel.”
  3. Be careful about what you say when posting a review online! People have been sued for this too, because business owners will claim they suffered undue financial losses. Cannon said, “As humans, we sometimes have a tendency to get outraged when we do not think we have been treated fairly. This can lead to embellishment of what really happened. However, you may find yourself sued for libel if you leave a very bad review.”
  4. Don’t get in a car accident. Common sense, right? But what isn’t common sense is that the person at fault for causing that collision sometimes sues the person who isn’t at fault — and gets away with it in court if you didn’t carry enough coverage to take care of expenses.

    Personal injury lawyer Andrew Winters said that not having insurance — or even not having enough — can get you sued by another person’s creditor, even if they were responsible for causing the accident.

Can I Sue Gun Manufacturers If Someone Shoots Me?

The easy answer is no — and let’s face it, that’s the common sense answer, too. Why should manufacturers be held accountable for crimes other people commit with weapons that are sold (supposedly) primarily for self-defense? But there are exceptions to the rule. In fact, there are more exceptions than ever before, and people are actually beginning to take aim at gun manufacturers, even in cases where there are no obvious defects for which to blame them.

It’s not so difficult to understand why the tide is turning against gun manufacturers. Our legislators have turned a blind eye to thousands of victims of gun violence — and tens of thousands of those victims’ family members — with thoughts and prayers but no real action on squeezing those who would do us harm with a few simple new laws (such as universal background checks, mandatory gun training classes, or, egads, even registration!). 

But that’s the world in which we live. We’re willing to throw away our own lives and the lives of our loved ones to savor the “liberty” of an old constitutional amendment that may or may not have been designed as a personal right over a communal one. While that argument continues to rage on even today, we ask our legislators to take action and they don’t. 

But it’s that lack of action against the individual that makes manufacturers — big companies that make quite a lot of money from gun sales — so easy to target. They’re the ones who keep records. We have a lot more information on manufacturers than we do on the people who buy their products. And even though these companies make fewer mistakes and abide by the law much more than the average citizen, we still ask ourselves whether or not it’s okay to sue them for the transgressions of others.

Although the legality of suing gun manufacturers is a murky area right now (and most lawyers won’t go near the industry with a ten-foot pole), it might get cleared up soon if certain Democratic 2020 candidates have their way. A lot of them want to open up manufacturers to civil legal action as a matter of course because, again, it’s the easy way out, and it could actually make a difference. It’s a classic case of the ends justifying the means, depending on your opinion.

Most recently, Connecticut’s court system ruled to allow the lawsuit of a gun manufacturers whose weapons were used in the Sandy Hook atrocity. Many conservative states and gun lobbyists were quick to attack the ruling and attempt to have it overturned.

The argument? That Remington, the gun manufacturer in question, had targeted the sale of their line of guns toward young males who are statistically more likely to commit a mass shooting or base act of violence. It’s a good argument, and whether or not more are made is a question that will be answered in the next few years.

Can you sue a manufacturer if someone uses one of their guns to shoot you? The hard answer is: you can certainly try.

New Study On Long-Term Effects Of Traumatic Brain Injury

A team of researchers recently conducted a study on the long-term effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI) — but one that was meant to contrast with previous studies done on the topic. Many prior researchers focused on professional football players, boxers, and other athletes who are subject to repeated blows to the head in order to determine the effects of TBI, but few studies are done on the effects of a single event such as a car accident, violent assault, or slip and fall.

The new study looks at the immediate effects during single event TBIs as well as effects when many years have passed. According to the studies, changes in the brain and body can last for a long time.

The paper was published in Science Translational Medicine. The researchers used brain scans taken from victims of single event TBIs — but only those whose accidents were decades old. On average, the scans were taken from victims whose injuries occurred 31 years earlier. The scans showed a phenomenon called “tau,” which is a symptom also seen in those who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (phosphorylated tau, specifically).

This form of phosphorylated tau used to be difficult to diagnose from brain scans, which would instead diagnose diseases like dementia or depression instead. Unfortunately those diagnoses only occurred after the patient had died, so they were useless for preventative care, and instead only useful for research.

Dr. Nikos Gorgoraptis, an Imperial College London neurologist who authored the research paper, said, “It is important to be able to detect tau in the brain during a person’s lifetime, as this in the future might lead to timely treatment to slow down dementia in this vulnerable patient population.”

21 subjects of the study were tested for phosphorylated tau, and about two-thirds of the group showed signs of the condition compared to the control group, who showed no signs.

The team wrote, “As predicted, there was considerable variability in the extent of flortaucipir binding across TBI participants. Broadly, a third of TBI participants showed extensive increases in cerebral flortaucipir binding, a third showed more limited increases, and a third showed no abnormality.”

The study continued, “The proportion of individuals with increased flortaucipir binding is much higher than would be expected in the general population in this age group. At the group level, TBI participants showed elevated flortaucipir binding when compared to age- and educated-matched healthy controls.”

The point is this: single event TBI can be almost as damaging to the health of the individual in some cases. If you were subject to a TBI and you believe you are owed compensation for your injuries, contact a personal injury attorney today.

Are Security Cameras An Ethical Way Of Preventing Nursing Home Abuse?

The conversation is just getting started: more and more people are starting to realize that the loved ones who spend their final days in nursing homes are more at risk of nursing home abuse than ever before. This phenomenon describes what happens when someone takes advantage of a patient — financially, physically, or emotionally. Many times the people hurting our loved ones are the caretakers themselves. But what can we do about it?

When one woman’s daughter became concerned that her 75-year-old mother was not being properly cared for, she bought a camera to make sure. But the staff manually pointed it away, making the expensive purchase pointless — until she brought the case to the Minnesota Department of Health, that is, and physically attached the camera to furniture in the room. She lodged a formal complaint with the organization to ensure a decision would be reached.

The Minnesota Department of Health ruled in her favor, barring the nursing home from removing or tampering with the camera. At least seven states have already written legislation to give families the right to watch caretakers do their jobs. According to the laws, it gives family members peace of mind and helps deter nursing home abuse

But many have contended that spying on people while they work is responding to unethical behavior with unethical behavior. Not only that, but it can also be considered spying on the very people whose interests family members are trying to protect. So which side is right?

It’s a complex subject, but there are obvious concerns. One is privacy. It can be asked whether or not a resident of a nursing facility would really want each and every potentially personal conversation recorded. Would they really want the care they receive available for their family members to watch? Caretakers help residents change clothes, wash up, or in some cases use a bedpan. As far as invasion of privacy goes, the addition of cameras to care facilities is a big deal.

One person might say, “No problem. All you have to do is obtain consent!” 

Another person might ask, “How do you obtain consent from a person who has dementia?”

And therein lies the problem. Legally, it might seem like a matter of power of attorney. That means children, relatives, or even their lawyers might have the ultimate say in whether or not a camera can be installed. But there’s another rub: nursing home rooms are usually shared between two or more residents. That means a camera installed to keep an eye on one resident might inadvertently capture intimate footage of another resident who didn’t give consent.

We’re interested in hearing from you! Let us know what you think about this conversation. Should cameras be allowed in nursing homes to prevent elder abuse?