Category Archives: Blog

Injured in Unsafe Premises? When to File a Slip and Fall Claim

People who step into shops, restaurants, offices and other places face risks of slip and fall accidents. Floor conditions that provide unstable footing may cause people to lose their balance and fall, and while the resulting injuries may be minor, some injuries may be disabling and even fatal.

If you’ve suffered injuries as a result of a slip, trip and fall accident in someone’s home or a public place or shop, we advise you to contact our Los Angeles personal injury law firm to explore the possibility of obtaining compensation for your injuries.

Slip and Fall Accident: General Overview

A slip and fall accident is a type of personal injury claim that a person can file against the property owner in which an accident occurred. The claim for compensation is based on the legal principle that the owner has a duty to provide a safe environment and seek to prevent injuries on their property. Certain elements such as dangerous conditions, owner’s knowledge and negligence, which must be proven in order to obtain fair compensation for your injury.

Slip and fall accidents can happen in commercial premises (restaurants, shops or offices) and residential properties (rented homes, friends’ homes).

Dangerous Floor Conditions

To be awarded damages in a claim, your lawyer must be able to prove the presence of a dangerous condition that is the direct cause of your injury, such as:

  • Torn carpets
  • Poor lighting conditions
  • Uneven floors
  • Wet floor
  • Broken or cracked sidewalk

Knowledge of Dangerous Condition

The owner of the premises must have created or caused the condition, or the condition must have existed long enough for the owner to have discovered it.

Owner’s Negligence

Despite this knowledge, the owner must be proven to have failed to correct the condition before the accident occurred.

Seeking Legal Representation

In addition to proving your injuries and the other party’s legal responsibility and negligence, timeliness in filing your claim is key. At The Law Office of Marvin S. Lanter, we advise anyone who is involved in an accident to consult a lawyer immediately before the Statute of Limitations can bar your claim in court. To arrange a free consultation to discuss your potential claim, our Los Angeles attorneys welcome your call at (310) 276-1142.

California Leads the Nation in Lethal Dog Attacks in 2013

A dog may be a man’s best friend, but for certain breeds, such as the pit bull, they can become vicious and dangerous. The latest 2013 dog bite fatalities statistics show that dog attacks have killed 32 victims in the United States. Five of the 32 occurred in California, all of which involved pit bulls.

Other dog breeds that are similarly dangerous are Rottweilers, Bullmastiffs and German Shepherds. The victims of dog attacks were often visitors or people who were living temporarily with the dog’s owner.

Animal attacks are known to cause, among other injuries, severe neck and spinal trauma leading to death. Young children appear to be the most vulnerable as an astounding 83% of the fatal attack victims in 2013 were children aged seven years and younger. The frail elderly in our community are also at increased risk.

What to do when you or a family member is involved in a dog attack:

  • Seek immediate medical attention
  • Identify the owner of the animal or the person who controls the animal
  • Identify the liability insurance company
  • Document details of the incident: take pictures of the location of the attack, the dog that caused the injuries, the wounds inflicted, physical evidence that can prove ownership or control of the dog, etc.
  • Gather relevant information about the animal such as breed and owner
  • Write down names, addresses and contact information of witnesses to the attack
  • Contact a personal injury attorney immediately who has experience with dog attack cases to find out what legal options you have

Who is Liable for a Dog Attack?

Under California Civil Code Section 3342(a), it is not necessary for a victim or, in the case of resulting death, his or her family to prove a previous attack involving the same dog in order to claim compensation for injury or death. Strict liability attaches to the dog’s owner for as long as you can prove that:

  • You, or the victim, is not a trespasser
  • The person against whom a claim is made is the owner or person in control of the dog
  • You, or the victim, suffered specific injuries and the extent of those injuries

Marvin Lanter can help you obtain a financial settlement which may cover:

  • Your lost earnings or unearned income for time off work, and lost contracts or jobs
  • Hospital and therapy costs including past, present and future medication
  • Damages for pain and suffering

The process of choosing a personal injury attorney is crucial to the outcome of your claim. Experienced Los Angeles dog bite lawyer Marvin S. Lanter will work tirelessly to see that you receive compensation you are entitled and, if necessary, aggressively represent you in court to obtain the damages appropriate to your situation. Call today for a free, confidential assessment at (310) 276-1142.

Avoiding Bike Accidents in Los Angeles

Bicycling is a healthy, efficient, inexpensive and eco-friendly means of transportation in LA. Not only do you get an effective workout, riding a bicycle regularly reduces your gas consumption and contributes to a cleaner environment.

Bike riders, however, face safety risks every time they take to the streets. A study presented by the Los Angeles Police reported a total of 1581 collisions involving bicycles in LA in 2008 alone.

Depending on actual circumstances of each case, a bicycle accident can result in minor to severe injuries and even death.

While common in highly urbanized areas, such as the city of Los Angeles, there are safety precautions that you can implement which will reduce your chances of becoming the victim of a bicycle accident.

Factors Causing Bicycle Crashes

Various factors that can lead to a bicycle crash include:

  • Traveling in the wrong direction
  • Failure to yield
  • Taking an unsafe turn
  • Not observing traffic signs such as red lights and stops
  • Driver inattention
  • Unsafe speed
  • Lane change/passing

Accidents also tend to occur at intersections, at junctions with commercial and private driveways and as result of road hazards.

Safety Tips

Maintain visibility

  • Ride in the direction of traffic, not against it – a cyclist rarely gets hit from behind
  • Ride in a straight line and along bike paths, trails, paved shoulders, bike lanes or bike routes
  • Don’t weave in and out of lanes
  • Don’t ride on sidewalks
  • At night, use headlights, tail lights, reflectors and bright or neon-colored clothing with reflective materials
  • Use hand signals to indicate that you are turning and stopping
  • Yield to traffic and pedestrians

Be Attentive

  • Don’t use a cellphone or wear headphones while riding
  • Look out for objects or hazards on the road such as rocks, wet leaves, trash, potholes and other obstructions that can make you lose balance and fall off your bicycle
  • Watch for car doors opening, cars pulling in and out of driveways, and parked vehicles
  • At intersections, be mindful of cars and pedestrians before making a turn or crossing
  • Move only when you are certain that the other driver has seen you and has slowed down
  • Observe traffic rules and signs
  • Wear a properly fitted bicycle helmet to prevent head injury

Should you be the unfortunate victim of a bicycle accident in Los Angeles that was caused by another vehicle, Marvin S. Lanter has the experience and proven results to assist with any potential claim for damages. Contact us today for an initial free consultation at (310) 276-1142.

Hands Free Devices No Longer an Option for Under-18 Drivers

Cellular phones and smartphones may have revolutionized the way people communicate, but their use while driving is a dangerous distraction which can lead to accidents that cause injury and death to motorists, passengers and pedestrians. Approximately 21% of fatal car collisions involving drivers under the age of 18 have been directly linked to the drivers’ use of cellphones.

Texting: A Most Dangerous Distraction

More than a hundred billion text messages are sent in the United States yearly and approximately 660,000 drivers across America are accessing their cellphones to read, write and send text messages at any given moment. Text messaging commands the full attention of the driver.

Younger Drivers at Risk

Teens are particularly at risk of getting involved in texting accidents — government agency Distraction.gov reports that 25% of teens respond to a text at least once every time they drive.

Existing law already prohibits the use of wireless communication devices, such as cellphones and smartphones, while driving but allows the use of hands-free devices. However, studies show that using a hands-free device does not reduce the risk of motor vehicle crashes.

So with this in mind, California Senate Bill 194 now prohibits teenagers from using wireless communication devices even when they are equipped or configured for hands-free operation.

Important Features of SB 194

  • The new law covers people under 18 years old
  • “Electronic communication device” includes broadband communication devices, mobile radio units, handheld units, laptops with mobile data access, pagers and 2-way messaging devices
  • The prohibition will not apply in emergency situations such as when the device is used to make emergency calls to law enforcers, health care providers, fire department and other emergency service entities
  • Penalty for the first offense is $20 and $50 for subsequent violations

As mobile Internet access devices got more advanced, teenagers are more inclined to use their portable devices to chat, send voice / video messages, take ‘selfies’, take pictures their activities in real-time then update their social network profiles, even while on the road.

The best way to use your phone when traveling is to pull over briefly to read, write, or send text messages, update your social media status, make or answer calls or perform any other activity that requires your full attention.

Accidents on the road can happen to anyone, regardless of whether or not you are at fault. If you or a family member is involved in an accident, it is important to call an attorney who specializes in personal injury claims to ensure your rights to compensation are upheld.

The Law Office of Marvin S. Lanter we have over 2 decades of personal injury law experience and a reputation for friendly and professional commitment to our clients. An initial free consultation can be arranged by calling us today at (310) 276-1142.

Why You Shouldn’t Ignore a Mild Head Injury

People often ignore a blow to the head, particularly when there are no external signs of injury such as a bruise or open wound. Unfortunately, the force applied against your head may have already caused some damage to your brain that can lead to more long-term problems.

In the United States, an estimated 1.5 million people experience a traumatic brain injury every year. 50,000 die from traumatic brain injuries while approximately 80,000 survivors of brain injury experience long-term disabilities.

Preventive measures, such as wearing protective head gear and helmets and using seat belts, can minimize injuries. Depending on the severity of trauma, you may still need to spend a sizeable sum of money for emergency treatment, hospitalization, medication, rehabilitation, therapy and home care. If you suffer brain injury as a result of another person’s negligence, your Los Angeles personal injury lawyer can help you bring a claim for damages against the person at fault.

Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

75% of traumatic brain injuries in the United States are mild, exhibiting symptoms such as:

  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Impaired consciousness
  • Loss of consciousness for not more than 30 minutes
  • Seizures following head injury
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Poor concentration

Children and elderly males appear to be most at risk. Slip and falls and automobile accidents are the leading causes of traumatic brain injury in the U.S., followed by assault and collisions with a moving or stationary object.

A traumatic brain injury, even a mild one, can create a heavy financial burden on patients and their families. In addition to hospital and medical bills, those affected can suffer economic losses in terms of lost productivity and lost earnings. The injury can also lead to cognitive problems affecting memory and learning capacity and lead to emotional disorders such as depression, anxiety and aggression. It is also possible for the brain injury to manifest other symptoms after a period of time as brain injuries are linked to increased risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Given the wide range of health problems that are associated with it, a mild traumatic brain injury may not be so mild after all. You will need prompt medical attention, ongoing care and plenty of rest in order to heal completely.

Avoiding stress after the injury also helps with recovery. In Los Angeles, the Law Office of Marvin S. Lanter has the experience and dedication to bring your claim against the party at fault and their insurance company so you can focus on recuperating. Call us today for a free consultation on 310-276-1142.

New California Law May Help Reduce Bike Accidents

Every day, bicyclists face the serious risk of collisions with motor vehicles. In Los Angeles, providing cyclists with a safe environment on the road is a crucial element in reducing crash-related injuries and fatalities. This is the goal of the new law entitled “The Bicycle Passing Distance” or “Three Feet for Safety Act”, which took effect September 16, 2014.

About the “Three Feet for Safety Act”

A motor vehicle passing a cyclist poses risks to the rider and the distance between the vehicle and bicycle impacts that risk. Keeping ample distance while passing a bicyclist provides added safety measure to prevent injury. Three feet is deemed sufficient under the new road law.

Three Feet for Safety Act makes it the responsibility of operators of motor vehicles to maintain a minimum distance of three feet between any part of their vehicle and the bicycle, or its rider, when passing it while traveling in the same direction.

Here are important points to know about the new Three Feet for Safety law:

  • The minimum distance between any part of the motor vehicle and any part of the bicycle or its driver is 3 feet.
  • When keeping the 3-foot gap is not possible, the driver of the automobile must slow down to a reasonable and safe speed and to pass the bicycle only when no danger is present to the bicycle.
  • Violators will be liable to pay a fine ranging from $35 to $200 whether or not a collision occurs. The fine can be higher when injury results, in addition to other legal consequences.

Motorists have reacted to the new law, citing difficulties in measuring a 3-feet gap while keeping an eye on the road. They also maintain that slowing down before passing a bicycle can lead to motor vehicle accidents – such as getting rear-ended. Nevertheless, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) enforced the new road rule in September 2014.

Observing traffic rules and regulations is important for bicycle riding safety. But if you or someone you know is involved in a bicycle accident in Los Angeles, seeking immediate legal advice from the personal injury Law Office of Marvin S. Lanter, will help you to pursue any compensation claim to which you are entitled. Contact us at 310-276-1142.

Central Valley Bus Crash

Buses form an important part of a community’s public transportation system, connecting communities by transporting large numbers of people faster and more efficiently.

But a motor vehicle’s size does not always guarantee passenger safety during transit. Factors such as poor driver attention and vehicle maintenance can lead to accidents similar to the recent bus crash in the Central Valley, Los Angeles.

The accident in a string of bus crashes in L.A., involved a tour bus was headed for Washington and traveling in the slow lane when it suddenly rear-ended a big rig on the California 99 in Tulare. The tour bus had 35 passengers,15 of whom were treated for injuries, including the driver, while 17 other passengers suffered minor bumps and bruises.

Undetermined Cause

The cause of the Central Valley bus accident remains unclear.The bus driver maintains that the bus encountered some fog although weather reports did not indicate bad weather or the prevalence of fog at the time. However, records of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (the agency charged with regulating passenger buses) show that Fronteras del Norte, the bus operator, has in the past two years accumulated a poor track record of more than 200 vehicle maintenance violations, including a broken cab door, defective brakes, and insufficient emergency exits.

Moreover, a recent undercover investigative report of the NBC4 I-Team revealed that drivers of Fronteras del Norte’s bus company used handheld mobile phones while driving, and were often distracted behind the wheel.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a bus accident, it is important to seek legal advice and assistance in order to recover compensation for your injuries.

A negligent bus company should compensate you for your medical costs, lost income or earnings, any property damage, and pain and suffering. A personal injury lawyer can represent you in negotiations with the bus company’s lawyers, or its insurer, and aggressively pursue your claim in court if an out-of-court settlement is not possible.

When choosing your personal injury law firm in the greater Los Angeles area, it is important for the firm’s attorneys to have a solid track record in personal injury claims. Marvin S. Lanter has over 20 years of experience in holding bus drivers, local transit authorities, and insurance companies liable for legal damages resulting from bus and other motor vehicle accidents.

Timing is crucial in filing your bus accident claim. Call us now on 310-276-1142 for a free initial consultation to discuss compensation for your injury.

Studies Show Concussion Injury Can Lead to Depression: Don’t Ignore the Long Term Effects

Your brain is composed of soft tissue cushioned by spinal fluid and protected by your skull. Force or trauma to the head can bruise the sensitive tissues of your brain, damaging blood vessels and nerves. This type of traumatic brain injury may be described as “just a concussion”. However, recent studies have shown that while fairly common in the United States, a concussion, particularly in children and teens, can disrupt normal brain function and can cause long term effects such as depression and Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

All people, including children and teenagers, can sustain a concussion from accidents such as:

  • Falls
  • Motor vehicle crashes
  • Pedestrian and bicycle accidents
  • Sports-related trauma usually in contact sports (e.g. soccer, football, martial arts)

Because a concussion often does not show outer physical signs, its symptoms may be ignored and often left untreated. If your child has suffered a bump, blow or jolt to the head, seeking immediate medical attention is important, particularly if your child experiences any of the following symptoms:

  • Confusion
  • Feeling lightheaded or dazed
  • Blurry vision and sensitivity to light
  • Memory loss, particularly of details immediately before and after the injury
  • Excessive tiredness
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness

Concussion and Depression

Another reason why a concussion should not be ignored is that research shows that 10% of children who experience a concussion suffer depression. Others tend to develop ADHD (a learning disorder) and have difficulty controlling their moods and anger.

These are life-long effects that require treatment and therapy; otherwise, your child’s cognitive and emotional development and quality of life may be affected. In addition to medical treatment, your child may need home care for a period, causing you or another caring adult to take time off work. Managing the related depression and other psychological effects may also require long-term treatment through therapy.

The financial and emotional costs arising from brain injury can be overwhelming. If someone else’s negligence led to your child’s brain injury, it is comforting to know that there are legal actions which can be explored to help you manage the recovery process.

In the metropolitan Los Angeles area, seasoned attorney Marvin S. Lanter has been helping clients cope with many of the challenges that brain injuries pose by obtaining the maximum amount of legal damages for them. All it takes is a free consultation to determine how you can pursue a financial settlement for your child, and the Law Office of Marvin Lanter can take care of the rest. We welcome your call today at 310-276-1142.

I’ve Just Had a Car Accident, What Should I Do Now?

Drivers face car accident risks every day, yet not many know what to do when they are involved in a collision. Passengers may be injured and emotions can run high.

When you are involved in a collision in Los Angeles, try to stay as calm as possible, for there are important things to do at the scene, and soon afterwards:

  1. Check all people involved for injuries, and, if necessary, call for emergency medical assistance immediately, particularly when a person appears to have serious injuries – including profuse bleeding, unconsciousness or neck or back pain. Avoid moving any injured person until medical help arrives.
  2. Call the police to the scene and request a police report of the accident. Get the names and badge numbers of the responding police officers.
  3. Obtain important information about the other vehicles and occupants. Write down names, phone numbers, addresses, driver license numbers, vehicle license plate numbers and basic insurance information of the other parties.
  4. Wherever possible, a good way to do record information is to use your smartphone to take pictures of the driver’s license, car license plate, and cars’actual positions at the accident site, road conditions, and other important details. Pictures of damage sustained by your car will help establish the value of property damage that you can claim against the party at fault.
  5. Talk to witnesses and request their names and contact details.
  6. Do not apologize for anything at the scene or admit fault for what happened. Instead contact your Los Angeles car accident lawyer, Marvin S. Lanter. Accidents happen quickly and unexpectedly and there are many factors involved and pinpointing liability – so closer examination of every detail surrounding the incident is necessary. Admitting liability at the onset is not only premature but can also hurt your claim for damages later.
  7. Keep records of medical treatment. Start a journal of events, noting details of the accident and of medical treatment, care, procedures and medications received for injuries you may have sustained during the accident. Keep a file of medical papers and documents such as prescriptions, tests, lab reports and receipts which may help you prove medical expenses at the appropriate time.
  8. Avoid communicating directly with the other party, their lawyer, and insurance company. Let your car accident attorney discuss the accident and negotiate a settlement on your behalf.

Here in Los Angeles, Marvin S. Lanter has over 30 years of experience in personal injury claims, including those resulting from car accidents, motorcycle and bicycle accidents. We work diligently yet compassionately to obtain fair settlements for our clients and aggressively pursue claims in court when necessary.

We invite your call to the Law Office of Marvin S. Lanter on 310-276-1142 to discuss your car accident personal injury claim.

What are Los Angeles ‘Slip and Fall’ Accident Laws?

Slip and fall accidents are common causes of injury and may be the subject of a claim for compensation in the Los Angeles area. This type of personal injury case may stem from a slip-and-fall, trip-and-fall, or step-and-fall accident where something on the floor causes you to fall down and suffer injury.

You may slip due to the presence of water, ice, grease or oil, food, holes or cracks, broken floor boards, poorly lit areas and poorly maintained walking surfaces. When you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.

Not all accidents are entitled to slip and fall compensation. To do so, you must be able to prove certain facts which legally constitute a compensable personal injury:

Elements of slip and fall accident:

  • The property owner or tenant owed you a duty to prevent injury;
  • The property owner or tenant failed to observe that duty;
  • You suffered injury or damages; and
  • Your injuries are a direct result of the property owner’s failure or negligence to prevent injury.

Valuing your claim—the total value of your claim includes:

  • Medical expenses, including past, current and future costs;
  • Time lost from work;
  • Property damage, if any, such as a broken wristwatch or prescription glasses;
  • Cost of hiring someone to perform household chores if you are unable to do them as a result of your injury;
  • Permanent disability or disfigurement;
  • Emotional and physical pain and suffering;
  • Reduction in your future earning capacity; and
  • Other costs directly arising from your injury.

Where to file your claim–Parties ordinarily try to negotiate a settlement out of court, and this is best facilitated by having an experience personal injury lawyer acting on your behalf.

However, when negotiations fail or if we are unable to arrive at an amicable settlement, as your Los Angeles slip and fall accident lawyer, we will file a lawsuit in the appropriate court.

The amount of your claim will determine where you must file your claim. If your claim is more than $7,500, the case must be filed in the appropriate California Superior Court. A claim less than $7,500 may be filed at the proper California Small Claims Court.

Your claim must be filed in court within 2 years from the date of your slip and fall injury or you may no longer be entitled to compensation.

For an obligation-free initial consultation to discuss your Los Angeles slip and fall or other personal injury case, we invite your call on 310-276-1142.

© 2017 The Law Office of Marvin S. Lanter, Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer. All Rights Reserved.
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