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Los Angeles Property Injury Law Blog

Catastrophic injuries can be difficult to define

Just about any serious injury can feel catastrophic to the victim. However, no widely-accepted legal definition for catastrophic injuries exists at this time. Despite the lack of a definition, many lawyers view catastrophic injuries as those that have a long-lasting or permanent effect on the victim's ability to function, particularly in a work setting.

Determining the scope of an injury is important because it can play a role in the amount of economic damages to which victims in California are entitled. For example, if a drunk driver collides with you and you suffer a broken ankle, it is probably safe to say that such an injury is not catastrophic and the compensation you receive will be appropriate for the injury.

What stair hazards can cause slip-and-fall accidents?

Stairs, stairwells and stairways seem quite safe to most users. When you grow up using stairs all of your life, you might not stop to think about any hazards they pose. However, thousands of Americans die from slip-and-fall accidents on stairways each year in America. Los Angeles residents are certainly not immune to these hazards as many homes, commercial establishments and workplaces have stairways one must navigate.

Common stair hazards that lead to slip-and-falls include the following.

  • Poor lighting conditions
  • Missing or damaged handrails
  • Debris or objects on stairs
  • Slippery steps caused by water, ice or spills
  • Damaged or missing treads
  • Loose carpeting or other material

Two pit bulls attack and injure California animal control officer

Pit bulls have a reputation for injuring innocent victims and as such are often the main "suspect" in dozens of dog and animal bites. Many of these animals do not deserve such a reputation but at the same time, some pit bulls do indeed attack people. Recently, an animal control officer from the Clearlake region of California suffered a pit bull attack after responding to a call from police officers.

Reportedly, the two pit bulls approached a woman in an aggressive manner as she was walking on a nearby sidewalk. A motorist invited the woman into the car to help her avoid an attack. After this, the dogs turned their attention to a male pedestrian, biting him on the leg. The man suffered minor injuries and left the scene after receiving treatment.

Look to the future after negligent catastrophic injuries occur

Finding a definition of what makes injuries catastrophic is practically impossible. Some victims might be so grateful to have survived a car accident that they view serious injuries as minor compared with the possibility of death. On the other hand, parents caring for a child badly injured through medical malpractice tend to view the injury as devastating or catastrophic.

Although a definition for catastrophic injuries is elusive, it is important for injury victims to give the matter some thought. Most lawyers view any injury resulting in irreversible or life-changing harm as catastrophic. For example, a traumatic brain injury often results in total or partial disability. To victims and to attorneys, this qualifies as a catastrophic injury.

Third-party liability in construction site accident injuries

Construction sites are inherently dangerous locations. Most construction workers employed in California understand these dangers and take steps to protect themselves. However, as we all know, mishaps can occur anyway, leaving workers suffering from construction site accident injuries.

You probably know that federal programs allow workers to acquire benefits after a work injury, but sometimes, these benefits do not meet all of the injured worker's needs. When the negligence of one or more third parties contributes to a work injury, victims can pursue other avenues to increase the amount of compensation they are due. We offer the following examples of third-party liability in work injury cases.

  • Negligent design or manufacturing of construction equipment
  • Presence of substandard or shoddy materials in safety equipment
  • Negligence by a third-party subcontractor leading to injury
  • Faulty brakes or other auto parts in construction vehicles
  • A negligent motor vehicle accident caused by a private motorist
  • Failure on the part of the property owner to provide a safe work site

Veterans sue over defective combat earplugs

Hundreds of U.S. veterans are suing over earplugs they claim 3M sold to the military despite knowing they were defective.

The lawsuits state that the earplug design was defective, causing the plugs to come loose and allow dangerously loud sounds to damage the wearer’s hearing. Now veterans are suffering from hearing loss, tinnitus, loss of balance and other pain and suffering, the lawsuits claim.

How dangerous are accidents resulting in slip and falls?

Any accident can be dangerous, but those involving slip and falls are sometimes more dangerous than you might think. In most cases, these accidents are more embarrassing than they are harmful, but victims would still be wise to get a medical opinion. Doing so can rule out a serious injury that may have delayed symptoms (e.g. traumatic brain injury). At the same time, seeking medical help can put you as close as possible to immediate care if a severe injury has occurred.

Some of the most common injuries slip-and-fall victims in California suffer include broken bones, deep or severe bruising and the previously mentioned brain injury. If you need more reasons to take slip and falls seriously, take a look at some facts about fall incidents from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

  • One out of every five falls results in a serious injury
  • Over 95 percent of hip injuries occur falling, usually a sideways fall
  • If you fall just once, your risk of falling again doubles
  • Falling is the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries
  • Annually, about 3 million older people receive emergency treatment for falls
  • Fall injuries hospitalize more than 800,000 victims each year

Here's the scoop on dog bite laws in California

It is said and widely believed that dogs are humankind's best friends. Dogs and even other pet animals are companions, buddies and part of the family. Unfortunately, these furry friends come equipped with an arsenal of weapons including claws and teeth. When people suffer serious dog and animal bites, the first thing they want to know is who is liable for these injuries.

According to California dog bite law, the owner of the animal is strictly liable for the victim's bite injuries. This means that it may be possible to hold the owner legally responsible so that you can acquire financial compensation for your suffering.

Catastrophic injuries come with long-lasting consequences

Any injury serious enough to require medical attention can disrupt your life, but catastrophic injuries are particularly devastating. When such injuries occur due to negligence, many victims experience financial difficulties on top of the injury's physical effects. Unfortunately, all of the effects associated with catastrophic injuries can continue for weeks, months or even an entire lifetime.

Most California residents dealing with catastrophic injuries do not know that they may be able to find a legal remedy for their suffering. Unless the injuries occurred because of a negligent vehicle accident, these victims feel that no solution exists for them. As attorneys serving victims in the Los Angeles region, we want you to know that you can find a satisfactory solution for many other injuries caused by negligence. Examples include:

  • Injuries suffered on another person's property
  • Dog attacks and other pet-related injuries
  • Third-party catastrophic injuries suffered while working

Nanotechnology in the construction industry

Nanotechnology has a growing presence in many industries. This includes construction. There are a range of new construction materials that contain such technology.

Recently, the Center for Construction Research and Training conducted a survey of over 250 unionized construction workers here in California. Around 44 percent of the polled workers reported that they have worked with or recognize the names of materials that are on a list of nano-enabled products.

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