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Autonomous Vehicles

As numerous companies work to develop their self-driving cars in California, a recent crash in Arizona in which a pedestrian was killed by an autonomous Uber vehicle demonstrates that these vehicles are still in the development phase and may not be ready for mass distribution. When people are injured or killed in accidents with self-driving cars, there will likely be complex liability and insurance issues that arise. If these accidents are caused by the vehicles, it is possible that the families of people who are killed may be able to hold the companies liable under theories of negligence and strict products liability. Families may want to talk to personal injury lawyers in Los Angeles when they lose loved ones in accidents involving autonomous vehicles.

The Arizona case

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Bike Lane Accidents in California

Property owners in California have a duty to keep their premises in a reasonably safe condition so that visitors to their properties will be safe. When a property owner fails to correct a dangerous condition that should have reasonably been discovered or that the property owner knew existed, the property owner may be liable to pay damages if a visitor to the property is injured because of the dangerous condition. In Joseph C. Wessling v. Pacific Bell Telephone Company, et al., Santa Cruz County Superior Court, Case No. CV178079, the liability of a telephone company that owned a manhole in a bicycle accident was explored.

The factual background of the case

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Los Angeles Pedestrian Accident Attorneys Lawyers | Steven M. Sweat APC | 866-966-5230

Los Angeles is still one of the most dangerous cities for pedestrians. In Los Angeles, pedestrian accidents have continued to rise over the past decade. When a pedestrian is struck by a car or other motor vehicle, he or she is much likelier to suffer serious injuries or to be killed. More people are choosing to walk to work or school. At the same time, there are more vehicles that are traveling on the roads, driving up the number of these types of accidents. If you have been seriously injured while you were walking, or your family member has been killed, it is important for you to talk to an experienced personal injury attorney.

Accidents involving pedestrians in L.A.

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sexual-harassment-lawSexual harassment and sex discrimination in the workplace is a pervasive problem in California. In the last year, movements such as Time’s Up and #Metoo have highlighted the problems of sexual harassment and assault. Following high-profile cases that have been reported widely in the media, Hollywood has taken up the cause. The California legislature has also been working to strengthen the rights of people in the workplace against sexual harassment, retaliation and discrimination. There are four pending bills that are currently wending their way through the legislature that could help to significantly strengthen the rights of sexual harassment and discrimination victims.

Senate Bill 820

Introduced by state Sen. Connie Leyva (D-Chino) on Jan. 3, 2018, SB-820 would bar confidentiality clauses in settlement agreements of cases involving sexual harassment, sexual assault or discrimination. The bill would void confidentiality clauses in settlement agreements as being against public policy. The bill is currently before the Judiciary Committee. This bill is important because many civil sexual harassment settlement agreements contain confidentiality clauses that prohibit the victims from divulging factual information about what happened to them. If the bill is enacted into law, these types of clauses would be void and unenforceable, allowing victims to share what happened to them with others so that they can be warned.

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San-Bernardino-Truck-Accident-LawyerWhen truck drivers cause accidents in California, the trucking companies often aggressively defend against personal injury claims. They may dispute the liability of their drivers outright or try to argue the comparative negligence of the victims. The defense attorneys may go to great lengths in order to try to argue that the injuries that the victims suffered are not as severe as they claim, including searching through social media posts. In Takemura v. Pacific Tank Lines, San Bernardino Superior Court Case No. CIVDS1516387, the trucking company tried to place all of the blame on the driver of the vehicle in which the plaintiff passenger was riding in an effort to avoid liability. Experienced truck accident lawyers in Los Angeles understand the types of tactics that trucking companies and insurance carriers use and may be able to more effectively counter them.

Factual background of the case

The plaintiff, Akiko Takemura, was a 28-year-old woman who was riding as a front-seat passenger in a Prius that was being driven by CJ Taso while the pair was traveling to Las Vegas. While they were traveling, the Prius ran out of gas. Taso attempted to pull the vehicle safely off the freeway when the car was struck from behind by a gas-tanker truck. Takemura suffered serious injuries, including fractured vertebrae in her back and neck. She was forced to remain in the hospital for two months after the accident.

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automatic-gate-accident-attorney-los-angelesAutomatic gate accidents in Los Angeles can cause serious injuries or deaths. In these types of cases, there are several parties that might be liable. The property owners or lessors may be responsible if they negligently retain or repair the gates or if the knew or should have known about an existing defect and failed to repair it. If the automatic gate failed because of a defective part, the part’s manufacturer may be liable to pay damages. Finally, people who are injured in gate accidents may also share liability. In Park v. Oh, Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. BC569323, the plaintiff and the property owner shared liability.

Factual background of the case

Around 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 13, 2013, Chon Ho Park drove down the driveway of his apartment complex. As he drew near to an automatic gate, he noticed that it was working improperly. Oh watched the gate as it opened and closed multiple times and called his landlord to ask what he should do. His landlord told him to turn the switch on the automatic gate to the off position so that the landlord could inspect it later on during the day. Park looked for the switch but could not see it. He walked around to the outside of the gate to look for it. The switch was located inside of the motor’s exterior plastic housing. While Park stayed on the phone with his landlord, he reached through some metal bars in order to try to turn the switch off. When he did, the gate closed on his wrist and arm, breaking them. Park filed a lawsuit against his landlord alleging that the landlord had negligently maintained the gate.

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mcdonalds-hot-coffee-caseMost people have heard about the McDonald’s coffee case and might have misconceptions about it. The case, Liebeck v. McDonald’s, in which a 79-year-old woman ordered a 49-cent cup of coffee in a drive-through and then burned herself by spilling it garnered national attention. The case is still the subject of debate about whether or not the claim was frivolous. Many people view the case as the classic example of a frivolous lawsuit, but the facts show that it was not.

Factual Background

On Feb. 27, 1992, Stella Liebeck was a passenger in her grandson’s vehicle. The pair pulled into the McDonald’s drive-through, and Stella Liebeck ordered a cup of coffee. Her grandson then pulled into a parking space so that she could add cream and sugar to it. When she did, she spilled some of the coffee onto her lap. Since she was wearing cotton pants, the coffee caused her third-degree burns to her thighs and her butt.

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pedestrian-accident-injury-CaliforniaEmployers may be liable for the negligence of their employees when their employees injure others during the course and scope of their employment. Employers hold vicarious liability for the negligent acts of their employees while they are acting in the course and scope of their jobs. In Jay H. et al. v. John Keith Bullard, Waterfront Enterprises, Inc., dba Newport Landing Restaurant and Oyster Bar, et al., Orange County Superior Court Case No. 30-2014-00718428-CU-PA-CJC, the limits of the employer’s vicarious liability were explored.

Factual background

On March 6, 2014, at 7:30 p.m. the defendant, Jon Bullard, was headed home after finishing his shift at the restaurant that he managed. He was the manager of the Newport Landing Restaurant and Oyster Bar, which was owned by Waterfront Enterprises. When he reached the intersection of Thalia Drive and the Pacific Coast Highway, Bullard pulled into the middle of the intersection in order to make a left turn. While he waited for the traffic heading in the opposite direction to clear, the traffic light turned yellow and then red. He proceeded with his left turn and struck some pedestrians who were crossing the street in the crosswalk. Bullard pulled over and called 911. Both of the pedestrians had been knocked down by his truck. The plaintiffs had to go to the hospital by ambulance for treatment.

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Brain-Injury-Attorney-CaliforniaWhat are coup and contrecoup brain injuries? Head injuries can be some of the most devastating types of injuries that people might suffer in California. Traumatic events that injure the head may cause coup and contrecoup brain injuries. These types of injuries may cause lifelong disability or lead to death. If you or your loved one has suffered a coup or contrecoup brain injury because of the negligent or wrongful acts of other people or entities, you might want to seek help from an experienced brain injury lawyer in Los Angeles.

Overview of a Coup and Contrecoup Brain Injury

Blows to the head may cause brain contusions, which are bruises to the brain. A coup brain injury happens on the side of the head that was hit while a contrecoup injury occurs to the brain on the opposite side of the impact. These injuries often happen together when a forceful blow causes the brain to collide into the skull, causing a traumatic brain injury. Contrecoup injuries may happen in motor vehicle accidents sometimes result in diffuse axonal traumatic brain injury, leading to permanent disabilities.

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work-accident-fatality-lawyer-CaliforniaWorkplace deaths from industrial accidents is on the Rise in the U.S. according to recent studies.  Most Californians do not go to their jobs with the idea that they could be injured or killed at their workplaces. Unfortunately, many people suffer serious injuries or fatalities while they are working on the job each year. Recent data shows that the number of workplace fatalities across industry sectors sharply increased from 2015 to 2016. If you have lost your loved one in a workplace accident, it is important that you speak to an experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorney for help.

Workplace fatality statistics

According to the Census of 2016 Fatal Occupational Injuries Report that was released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 5,190 people were killed while they were working on the job during the year. The number of fatalities increased by 7 percent over the number of workers who were killed in 2015. The fatality rate increased from 3.4 deaths per 100,000 workers to 3.6 deaths per 100,000 workers.

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