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Los Angeles Personal Injury And Employment Law Blog

Parents and teens: Do you know what to do after a car accident?

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The end of the school year and start of summer means one thing: more teenagers will be on the road. It is normal for parents to worry about their teens becoming new drivers. Will they wear their seat belt? Will they stay off their cellphone? These are common concerns that every parent thinks.

Parents can take steps to help their kids learn about safe driving behaviors like staying off the phone, obeying the speed limit and always wearing their seat belt. However, one area that many parents fail to discuss with their kids is what to do in the event of a car accident.

Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Uber Over Driver Pay Dispute

Rafii & Nazarian, LLP, is filing a class action lawsuit against Uber for defrauding drivers of a fair commission. The plaintiff, a driver for Uber, alleges that Uber uses a fare structure that intentionally shortchanges drivers.

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The lawsuit is being filed in Superior Court in Los Angeles. The complaint states that "Uber essentially calculates two fares for each ride - one charged to the passenger and a cheaper one used to determine the driver's pay." This results in Uber keeping the difference and making more money off each ride, according to the suit.

Know Your Rights: Motorcycle Lane Splitting And Lane Sharing

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May is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. As part of our Know Your Rights blog post series, we would like to educate motorcyclists in Los Angeles and the surrounding communities about their rights and responsibilities when it comes to lane splitting and lane sharing in California.

Know your rights: Bicyclists in Los Angeles

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Bicyclists in Los Angeles face many risks on the road. Motorists are supposed to share the road with bicyclists but that does not always happen. Failure to share the road with bicyclists can lead to a serious accident.

To help keep everyone safe and have a better understanding of their roles and responsibilities on the road, we have put together a list of rules for cyclists, along with common safety tips, for riding in the Los Angeles area.

New law aims to prevent distractions by limiting cell phone use

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Did you know that driver inattention is the cause of roughly 80 percent of auto accidents? That's according to the California Office for Traffic Safety, which also reported that 3,000 people are victims of fatal crashes every year involving distracted driving.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. We believe it is important to make you aware of the dangers of distracted driving, learn how to prevent distractions and understand the penalties drivers can face if they violate local and state laws prohibiting cellphone use behind the wheel.

Pedestrians in California: Know your rights

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Pedestrian accidents can result in serious and even fatal injuries. Motorists need to watch for pedestrians and obey the rules of the road to prevent an accident. Pedestrians can also take steps to keep themselves safe.

Pedestrians and motorists should understand their responsibilities on the road to keep everyone safe. Right of way laws that both pedestrians and motorists need to know:

  • Pedestrians have the right of way in marked and unmarked crosswalks
  • Motorists must stop for pedestrians crossing in both marked and unmarked crosswalks
  • Motorists cannot pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians in marked and unmarked crosswalks

Could safety devices on tractor-trailers prevent fatal crashes?

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Accidents with tractor-trailers often result in horrific outcomes. This is not surprising due to the size of semi-trucks compared to automobiles. One type of tractor-trailer accident that almost always results in fatalities or catastrophic injuries: when an automobile crashes into the side of a trailer and slides underneath.

Decapitation and other fatal injuries are common due to the top of the automobile being sheared off when crashing underneath the side of a trailer. Even though you may not hear about these crashes too often, they happen more than you think. From 1994 to 2014, 5,081 people were killed in 'under ride' accidents with semi-trucks, according to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System. The Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine said in 2013 that fatal accidents from side crashes with semi-trucks are "likely three times higher than data collected by FARS" due to their reports not distinguishing between crashing into the rear and side of trailer.

California law "prohibits on duty and on call rest periods" for non-exempt employees

On December 22, 2016, the California Supreme Court held in Augustus v. ABM Security Services, that California law "prohibits on duty and on call rest periods" for non-exempt employees. Almost all California employers must provide rest periods for non-exempt employees of at least 10 minutes for each four hours of work or major fraction thereof. The California Supreme Court stated, "during required rest periods, employers must relieve their employees of all duties and relinquish any control over how employees spend their break time." 

Background

The case involved security guards employed by ABM Security Services, Inc., who claimed that ABM failed to consistently provide uninterrupted rest periods as required by California law. ABM had a policy requiring security guards, while on rest periods, to carry pagers and potentially respond to calls. The trial court held that a rest period subject to such control was indistinguishable from the rest of the work day, and thus not a break at all. 

Were you harmed by a defective product over the holidays?

The holidays are a season of giving for many Los Angeles residents. Individuals give their time to the less fortunate, their money to their favorite charities, and gifts to the friends and family members that they love. They prepare meals to give and share and give donations to others in need.

Many Californians also receive a great deal from others during this season. They may get presents that they hoped they would receive or they may get gifts that they never anticipated. As they unwrapped their new treasures and removed them from their packaging, risks of injuries may have been far from the recipients' minds.

Southern California city loses employment discrimination appeal

In 2009 several police officers for the city of Burbank filed an employment discrimination lawsuit against the department and city. The officers alleged that they were the victims of racial discrimination during their time as officers; in 2012 a court ruled in favor of one of those officers and awarded him more than $800,000 in damages and attorneys' fees for the losses he suffered.

The city of Burbank appealed that decision and contended several defenses that, if successful, may have overturned the lower court's ruling in favor of the officer. First, the city claimed that the officer's lawsuit did not fall within the statute of limitations applicable to an employment discrimination case. The appellate court rejected that claim, noting that the officer endured ongoing discrimination that was not limited to a single of isolated incident.

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