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Auto Accidents

Los Angeles is a city famous for many things — and traffic is close to the top of that list. The Los Angeles metro area is home to more than 13 million people, and the city’s roads and freeways serve as vital arteries for daily commutes and commerce.

This also means that L.A. roads and freeways are very, very busy. The city ranks number one in the U.S. in terms of traffic density and congestion — and witnesses more than 50,000 traffic collisions during most years.

Busy streets lead to auto collisions — and serious injury and death.

Los Angeles Auto Accidents: By the Numbers

In 2018, there were nearly 60,000 traffic accidents on L.A. roads. Those accidents were responsible for 240 deaths and thousands of injuries. In addition to those incidents, another 127 pedestrians were killed — the second highest total of the last 15 years.

Though living in L.A. has many wonderful aspects, traffic certainly isn’t among them. Local roads are not only dangerous; they’re stress inducing.

In order to stay both physically and emotionally healthy, it’s imperative to minimize the risks associated with the road. Yet even the most cautious person often falls victim to the negligence of another driver. 

What to Do in the Event of an Auto Accident

If you’ve been in a traffic collision, it’s critically important to follow some smart safety protocols. Following the incident, take these important steps:

  • Move out of oncoming traffic to a safe location
  • Seek medical assistance if necessary
  • Take videos and photos of any damage or injuries
  • Ask for witness contact information
  • Seek medical attention if necessary
  • If hurt, keep track of all your medical bills, lost wages, expenses etc.
  • Contact an experienced Los Angeles auto accident attorney

Finding the Right L.A. Auto Accident Law Firm

At The Law Office of Craig Charles, we believe that auto accident victims deserve compassion, communication and compensation for their injuries. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation. Located in West Hollywood. LGBT Friendly.

 

 

Bicycle Accidents

Urban cycling is experiencing a renaissance in major U.S. cities, and L.A. is no exception. Currently, there are 350 miles of bike paths in the city, including the Los Angeles River Bicycle Path, which runs from Burbank to Long Beach.

However, given L.A.’s extreme traffic density, the city can also be quite dangerous for cyclists.

Bicycle Accidents by the Numbers

Nationwide, bicyclists account for just one-percent of all road traffic. Yet they also account for three-percent of all traffic fatalities. Roughly 50,000 cyclists are injured every year in auto collisions.

The reason why is simple: Although bike lanes and other safety measures have grown more popular in recent years, cyclists have much less protection from other travelers and the surrounding environment. One moment of inattention can have grave and lifelong consequences.

Los Angeles is especially dangerous not only for its traffic congestion, but also for its design. The city’s streets are engineered for cars and designed for maximum traffic flow. The number of bike-specific lanes in L.A. lags other large cities.

Avoiding Cycling Injuries

In order to avoid being seriously hurt in a cycling accident, it’s important to follow basic safety rules, including:

  • Wear a safety helmet
  • One person per bike
  • Have proper reflective and safety gear
  • Ride on the right side of the road, with traffic
  • Use hand signals
  • Be aware of road hazards

If you’ve been unfortunate enough to suffer a cycling-related injury, you’ll also want to speak with an experienced attorney.

At the Law Office of Craig Charles, we specialize in bicycle accident litigation. Don’t hesitate to call today for a free consultation. Located in West Hollywood. LGBT Friendly.

Brain Injuries

At Craig Charles Law, we have the experience needed to litigate the most challenging brain injury cases.

Perhaps no personal injury is so devastating as brain damage. Losing the ability to walk, talk or think in the manner to which we’re accustomed can be a deeply traumatic experience that strikes at the core of our identity. Due to the catastrophic nature of many brain injuries, lifelong physical, emotional, mental and financial consequences often ensue.

In a scenario like this, it’s absolutely imperative that you have an experienced legal advocate by your side — one who can fight to ensure you receive fair compensation and compassionate treatment.

Let’s take a closer look at the nature of brain injuries, and what steps to take if this situation affects you or someone you love.

The Facts About Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries are a major cause of disability in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC). These injuries, sadly, are on the rise: The CDC reports that the number of ER admissions for traumatic brain injuries rose 53% from 2006 to 2014. Thousands of people die each year from serious brain injuries in the US, and hundreds of thousands more are seriously injured.

According to the CDC, traumatic brain injuries are caused by bumps, blows or jolts to the brain that disrupt normal brain function. These injuries range from mild to severe, with the mild form being what is commonly called a concussion.

The CDC reports that there are nearly 3 million brain injury related ER visits, hospitalizations and deaths each in the US. Brain injuries are listed as a contributing cause in more than 50,000 deaths each year. Falls are the most common cause of brain injuries, followed by being struck by an object, being in a traffic collision or engaging in self harm.

The most critical risk factor for brain injuries is age. People 65 and older are much more likely to sustain a serious brain injury after suffering from a fall or striking their head in some fashion.

What To Do In The Event Of A Brain Injury

As mentioned, the stakes are extremely high where brain injuries are concerned. Recovery from a brain injury can take years, and caring for someone with a traumatic head injury can cost millions of dollars. This situation is often made doubly difficult by the fact that victims often can no longer work to support themselves following an incident.

Fortunately, the right experienced brain injury attorney can help ensure that you are fairly compensated and treated with compassion. At Craig Charles Law, we pride ourselves in being available to anyone seeking brain injury attorneys in LA — and we have the necessary experience to take on even the most complex cases.

The Law Office of Craig Charles is located in West Hollywood. We are LGBT-friendly and we have the experience to handle even the most complex and challenging brain injury cases. Contact us today for an immediate consultation.

Construction Injuries

The Los Angeles skyline is dotted with new construction projects. The construction industry plays a critical role in the local economy, providing jobs for workers, infrastructure for businesses and homes for Angelenos.

Yet the construction industry is often a dangerous place to work. Work sites are full of heavy equipment, and workers must often labor from great heights. One mistake in this environment can lead to devastating lifetime consequences.

The Facts About Construction Injuries

According to data from the California Department of Industrial Relations, the construction industry is responsible for 17-percent  of all workplace deaths in the state. This makes the construction sector one of the most dangerous in which to work.

Though California has relatively strong labor protection laws, hundreds of workers are killed every year on the job. Tens of thousands more suffer serious injuries — often through no fault of their own.

Construction sites are particularly hazardous, given the heavy machinery and accelerated building schedules involved. Common causes of construction injuries include:

  • Falls
  • Electric shocks
  • Scaffolding collapses
  • Being struck by falling objects
  • Being stuck or caught in between heavy objects
  • Power tool/machinery misuse
  • Slips

Overall, falls — whether from a scaffold, ladder or a simple slip —  are the most common form of construction injury. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, falls account for one-third of all construction site injuries.

What to Do if You’ve been Injured on a Construction Site

Construction site injuries can be quite severe, resulting in traumatic brain or spinal injuries, broken bones or damaged organs, or paralysis and amputation.

Those injured in construction accidents may be able to receive compensation through several mechanisms, including worker’s compensation programs or litigation.

If you’ve been injured, it’s imperative to report your injuries, see a physician for treatment and document the process to the best of your ability with notes, photos and videos.

You’ll also need to ensure that you meet all required deadlines. In California, workers must notify employers of their injuries within 30 days to begin the worker’s compensation process. Litigation, meanwhile, must be filed within 24 months.

Finally, it’s critically important to seek counsel from an experienced attorney. At the Law Office of Craig Charles, we have a long track record of fighting on behalf of construction accident victims. Contact us today for a free consultation. Located in West Hollywood. LGBT Friendly.

Electric Scooter Accidents

Over the past couple years, electric scooters have popped up in cities everywhere. In the City of West Hollywood, Bird and Lime scooters can be seen on virtually every block. At any one time, there are more than 16,000 e-scooters in operation in the greater Los Angeles area. These e-scooters provide a fast, inexpensive way to jet around urban areas such as West Hollywood, Hollywood and other Los Angeles locales, but they present many safety issues and local residents in places such as West Hollywood, Hollywood and Beverly Hills have voiced strong opposition to their presence.

Recent safety studies suggest that as many as 1,800 serious injuries have been reported nationwide over the last year, and eight deaths have occurred as the result of e-scooters such as Bird and Lime. In Los Angeles alone, there have been a reported 250 emergency room visits by e-scooter riders and at least 2 deaths related to e scooters.

Local cities have taken steps to address public safety concerns:

West Hollywood: It is illegal to rent an e-scooter in the City of West Hollywood. It is also illegal to leave an e-scooter on a city sidewalk in West Hollywood. However, if you rent outside the city, you can ride the e-scooter through the city limits either in a designated bike lane or in a regular traffic lane. Riding on sidewalks in West Hollywood is strictly prohibited and the West Hollywood Sherriff’s Department strictly enforces these rules.

Los Angeles: Scooter companies such as Bird and Lime are allowed to place scooters on city streets and make them available for use. It is legal ride in designated bike lanes or regular traffic lanes, but the speed limit is 15 miles per hour.

Beverly Hills: The use of e-scooters is completely banned. You can’t even ride through the city. The City of Beverly Hills Police Department strictly enforces the ban and regularly tickets e-scooter riders.

Whether you have been injured while riding on a e-scooter or hit by an e-scooter, you may have a right to compensation against the company or the person who caused your injury. It is important to speak with an experienced attorney who understands the often-complex liability issues involved.

If you have been injured in an e-scooter accident and received serious injuries, give the Law Office of Craig Charles a call today for a free, no-cost, no obligation consultation. The Law Office of Craig Charles has vast experience dealing with the complexities of e-scooter liability. Allow us to put our experience to work for you. The Law Office of Craig Charles is located on the Sunset Strip in the City of West Hollywood and is an LGBTQ affirming law firm. Give us a call today at 424-343-0660.

LGBQT Discrimination

California has long been one of the most progressive US states in terms of LGBTQ rights. The state legalized same-sex sexual activity in 1976, legalized same-sex domestic partnerships in 1999 and briefly legalized same sex marriage in 2008, before the law was overturned. After the U.S. Supreme Court refused to recognize the legal standing of same-sex marriage opponents on June 26, 2013, the ban was no longer enforceable, allowing same-sex marriages to recommence shortly thereafter.[1] Same-sex adoption has also been legal statewide since 2003, allowing stepchild adoption and joint adoption between same-sex couples.

California also adopted statewide legal protections for sexual orientation and gender identity and expression in 2003.   Let’s take a closer look at the state of LGBTQ protections in California, and the options you have if you’re facing discrimination.

How California Law Protects its LGBTQ Residents Against Discrimination

LGBTQ Californians enjoy some of the broadest and anti-discrimination protections in the US, covering employment, credit, housing, accommodations etc. Sexual orientation is considered a protected class in California, which means that discrimination claims alleging LGBTQ bias are given added scrutiny. Some of the laws protecting LGBTQ Californians include:

  • The Unruh Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination by businesses based on sexual orientation
  • The California Fair Housing and Employment Act, which protects LGBTQ Californians from discrimination in housing, credit or employment situations
  • California hate crime statutes, which clarify protections for LGBTQ residents against hate crimes
  • Gay panic and trans panic defenses. California was the first state to bar so-called “gay panic” and “trans panic” legal defenses, which defendants in murder trials have used in cases where LGBTQ victims were killed.

Other California LGBTQ Rights Regarding Discrimination

In addition to formal legal protections, California now offers its residents gender neutral birth certificates and driver’s licenses, and has also mandated that all single occupancy bathrooms be gender neutral.

California also requires that health care workers meet certain cultural competency standards when dealing with LGBTQ patients.

Have You Been Discriminated Against Based on Your Sexual Orientation? If so, Call a Seasoned LGBTQ Discrimination Lawyer.

At Craig Charles Law, we are proud of our commitment to protecting the rights of our LGBTQ clients. Our office is based in the City of West Hollywood and we are fortunate to live and work in the epicenter of gay freedom and diversity. We believe there is no place in a civilized society for discrimination based on LGBTQ identity.  If you have been discriminated against based on your sexual orientation through housing, employment, adoption services, medical services or financial services, give the Law Office of Craig Charles a call to discuss your rights.  All consultations are free and there is never a fee unless we win for you. Call us today at 424-343-0660.

Lyft Accidents

At Craig Charles Law, we fight for the rights of passengers and motorists injured in accidents with Lyft drivers.

It’s hard to believe that ridesharing is little more than a decade old. Today, Uber and Lyft are inescapable, and help Californians get to where they are going in a faster and more convenient way.

However, that’s not the whole story. According to some researchers, the act of hailing a Lyft and sharing a ride is actually making local roads more dangerous and congested.

Is Getting A Lift From Lyft Making California Roads Less Safe?

A study by the San Francisco County Transportation Authority found that Uber and Lyft are “significant contributors” to traffic gridlock in and around the Bay Area. That study estimated that the ridesharing services were combining to make area roads around 14-percent more congested.

Another study, conducted by the University of Chicago, uncovered a link between higher traffic fatality numbers and cities where Lyft and Uber are operational. The study indicated there is about a three-percent increase in traffic and pedestrian fatalities in these cities that is directly attributable to ridesharing.

Despite their reputation for making transportation more efficient — and picking up drivers who may be too intoxicated to drive themselves safely — it appears that the issue of ridesharing safety may be much more complex than previously believed.

 How To Handle An Accident Involving Lyft

Accidents involving ridesharing services are a bit less straightforward than conventional auto collisions. In the case of Lyft, the company offers four insurance products for its drivers: Contingent liability (which only covers the period when drivers are waiting for customers), primary auto liability, contingent collision and comprehensive and uninsured motorist. When Lyft drivers are not actively looking for riders and operating the company’s app, the driver’s personal insurance policy is in effect.

So, what does this mean for people injured while riding in a Lyft or hurt while in another vehicle that collides with a Lyft? It’s simple: If the Lyft was in service and the driver opted for the Lyft-based coverage, all insurance claims (or litigation) will likely be initially directed to the company policy. Lyft policies offer drivers up to $1 million in coverage. If the accident occurs while the Lyft driver is “off-duty,” action will be initially directed at the driver’s day to day carrier.

It’s important to remember there is some overlap here and the line between on and off-duty can be something of a gray area. This is one reason why it makes sense to speak with an attorney who specializes in ridesharing cases in the event of an accident.

Why Contact Craig Charles?

While Lyft may offer insurance coverage, their carriers are experienced negotiators who have one primary task: To keep all settlements as low as possible. In order to even the playing field, it’s essential to have an attorney who specializes in Uber and Lyft litigation fighting for your rights.

At the Law Offices of Craig Charles, we have the experience to handle even the toughest ridesharing cases. Don’t let the insurance company steamroll you or cause you to take an unfair settlement. Instead, arrange for a consultation and let us walk you through your legal options.

The Law Office of Craig Charles is located in West Hollywood. We are LGBT-friendly and we have the experience to handle even the most complex and challenging Lyft accident cases. Contact us today for an immediate consultation.

 

Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents are often painful and traumatic. Because motorcyclists are exposed to the elements and have little in the way of protection from other vehicles, the damages from collisions are typically much more severe than seen with auto accidents. This can leave accident victims with financial, physical and mental consequences that will last for a lifetime.

Here’s something that’s even more disturbing: If you ride a motorcycle in California, you’re increasingly likely to be injured in a collision. According to a report from the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, fatal motorcycle accidents have been rising for 22 years.

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at motorcycle collisions in California, and what you need to do in case of an accident.

California Motorcycle Collisions: By the Numbers

Currently, motorcycling accidents make up 14% of all traffic deaths in the US, even though motorcycles only represent about 3% of all vehicles on the road. California, which ranks in the top 15 among all states for motorcycle fatalities, witnessed more than 400 motorcyclist deaths in 2017, and thousands more serious injuries.

In total, motorcycle deaths on California roads have more than doubled since 1997. Summer is the deadliest season, with most motorcycle fatalities occurring in July. Roughly half of motorcycle deaths occur on the weekends, and the majority of those occur after 6 p.m.

I’ve Been in a Motorcycle Accident. What’s Next?

If you’re unfortunate enough to be involved in a motorcycle accident, there are some key safety steps you need to take.

  • Contact first responders immediately and render first aid if possible. Make sure that no one is left lying in the road or in a dangerous position.
  • Exchange vehicle, license and insurance information. Ask the police officer on the scene to provide an accident report number if possible.
  • Take photos and video of the scene, any injuries and any damage to vehicles. This may help establish liability.
  • Ask any witnesses to provide contact information and/or statements.
  • Keep a running tally of any expenses you’ve accrued as a result of the accident. You may be entitled to compensation for lost wages, medicals bills etc.

It is important not to attempt to handle your case directly with an insurance adjustor as they their primary goal is to settle for as little as money as possible. Insurance companies employ experienced negotiators who are trained to get you to settle for less. They may be friendly and pleasant to deal with, but they do not have your best interests in mind. Instead, put your trust in an experienced lawyer like Craig Charles who fights for victims of car crashes every day. Don’t let the insurance company deny you fair compensation and cause you to leave money on the table.

The Law Office of Craig Charles will handle every aspect of the case for you, so you can focus on healing. Craig Charles will help to ensure that your medical needs are taken care of; if you do not have health insurance and you will never pay any money unless Craig Charles recovers a settlement on your behalf.

If you or your loved ones have been injured in a motorcycle you may be entitled to damages, such as lost wages, medical bills and pain and suffering. It is important to speak with an experienced attorney right away before giving any statement to an insurance company adjustor.

The Law Office of Craig Charles is located in West Hollywood. We are LGBT-friendly and we have the experience to handle even the most complex and challenging motorcycle accident cases. Contact us today for an immediate consultation.

Personal Injury

An unexpected injury can wreak havoc on your life, causing physical pain, mental distress and long-term financial complications. Fortunately, California law protects those who have been injured due to the negligence of another. At the Law Office of Craig Charles, we have a track record of fighting vigorously for those who have suffered personal injuries and helping our clients make a full financial recovery.

Understanding Personal Injury Law

 If you have been injured due to the negligence of another, California law gives you the right to pursue a legal claim that may result in a financial settlement. Common forms of personal injury cases include:

If you’ve been injured in such a scenario, it’s critically important to follow some smart safety protocols to protect yourself and the viability of any legal case. First, immediately after your injury, contact any relevant medical and legal authorities. If possible, document the scene and the conditions that contributed to the injury with photos or video.

Those who have suffered an injury may be entitled to medical bill payments, lost wages and other forms of compensation. Because of this, it’s important to carefully track all expenses during your recovery. Once you’re feeling well enough to move forward, it’s advisable to contact an experienced personal injury attorney.

Finding the Right California Personal Injury Attorney

Those who are liable for causing serious personal injuries (or their insurers) often make an inadequate first offer in the hope that the injured person will accept it and walk away. These offers often underestimate the expenses that occur with long-term injuries, leaving the victim in an even more precarious position.

Our law firm will fight to make sure that doesn’t happen. We’ll negotiate to ensure that you receive equitable compensation. If a trial is necessary, we have access to medical experts, vocational specialists and other professionals who can help substantiate your case. To give yourself the best odds of receiving a fair settlement or prevailing at trial, it’s important to understand how personal injury law works, and the steps you need to take right after being injured.

If you’ve been injured through another’s negligence, we urge you to contact us today for a free, no-cost, no obligation consultation. The Law Office of Craig Charles is located in the City of West Hollywood on the Sunset Strip. We are LGBT-friendly, deeply experienced and committed to helping our clients make a full recovery from their injuries.

Product Liability

Purchasing a product and bringing it into our home is a covenant of sorts. We trust that the manufacturer followed all necessary safety protocols to ensure that the product we use is safe.

Unfortunately, this is a covenant that is all too often broken. Defective or dangerous products injure or kill thousands of Californians each year.

When that happens, it’s essential to have an experienced legal advocate — someone who can help ensure that justice is done.

Product Liability Basics

California has some of the strongest consumer safety laws in the United States. If you are injured by a defective product, you have up to two years to file a personal injury claim. Damages to personal property (such as a house fire) may be sought up to three years later.

When dealing with defective products, California uses a standard called “pure comparative fault.” This means that victims can still receive damages even if they are partially at fault.

There are three core types of product liability: Defective design, manufacturing defect and lack of adequate warning or instructions.

When considering defective design, courts must weigh the risk and benefits of the product and its design, along with consumer expectations of that product.

Manufacturing defects are any flaws or errors that are overlooked during the production process.

Lack of adequate warning claims focus on products that are still dangerous even when designed and manufactured correctly. In such cases, product producers must give the public reasonable warning of these risks.

Finding the Right L.A. Product Liability Law Firm

At the Law Office of Craig Charles, we have the necessary experience to handle even the most complex product liability cases. If you or a loved one has been injured due to a defective product, don’t wait to contact us for a free consultation. Located in West Hollywood. LGBT Friendly.