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  • Slip and fall accidents and trip and fall accidents are the third leading cause of unintentional death in the United States.  In 2014, the most recent year for which statistics are available, approximately 32,000 people died from these types of incidents.  Thousands more were injured, some of them so severely their lives will never be the same.  Sometimes, no one is at fault for the accident other than the person who fell.  Other times, the fall and its resulting injuries are caused by the carelessness of a property owner or manager.

    Premises Liability Law: Duty of Property Owners

    Property owners have a legal duty to keep their premises safe from conditions that may cause harm to those who are authorized to be on their property.  If the dangerous condition cannot immediately be fixed, the owner has an obligation to warn people about it.  Some of the most common dangerous conditions leading to slip and fall accidents are slipping on:

    • Liquids that were spilled on the floor or sidewalk.
    • Debris on a sidewalk that should have been removed.
    • Clutter or another obstacle left in the aisle of a store.
    • Uneven or cracked sidewalks.
    • Stairway with missing or broken handrails.
    • Inadequate lighting in areas that are common passageways.

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    In order for you to be able to make a claim for damages, so that your medical bills, lost wages and other expenses are paid for by the person at fault, you must be able to prove the accident was caused by the negligence of the property owner.

    Proving Fault in a Slip and Fall Accident in California

    Under California law, there are situations that do not give rise to a lawsuit.  For example, if you are at the grocery store and you ignore a “Caution Wet Floor” sign and slip and fall as you walk right through a puddle on the floor, the store owner may not be liable for your injuries.  You may be able to collect under California’s comparative fault law. This means that fault will be apportioned.  For example, if you were 25 percent at fault and the owner 75 percent at fault, and your damages equal $100,000, you will only collect $75,000, not the full $100,000, since you were partially at fault for the accident.

    In order to prove fault and collect for your damages, you must prove all of the following:

    • A condition on the property created an unreasonable risk of harm.
    • The owner or manager of the property knew or should have known about the dangerous condition.
    • The owner or manager’s failure to repair or warn you about the dangerous conditions was the cause of your accident.
    • You incurred financial damages due to the owner’s failure to correct or warn about the dangerous condition.

    If you were injured in a slip and fall or trip and fall accident, and believe the accident was caused by the negligence of a property owner, contact Pasadena personal injury lawyer Greg Aslanian, Esq. at The Aslanian Law Firm, PC for a FREE consultation. Call us at: (626) 345-7210 or visit us online.

    The material on this web site has been prepared and is copyrighted by The Aslanian Law Firm, PC. The material is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The material is not guaranteed to be correct, complete, or up to date. 

  • The most recent available statistics show that, in the U.S., nearly 5,000 pedestrians are killed every year in traffic collisions involving pedestrians. Another 150,000 sustained injuries requiring emergency room care. This means that every two hours, a pedestrian dies from a car crash. According to the Los Angeles Times, California leads the nation in number of pedestrian deaths with 700 killed in 2014.

    PicturePedestrian injuries can be life-changing.  Head injuries, broken bones and internal injuries are all common injuries in auto v. pedestrian accidents.  Sometimes, injuries can result in a need for a lifetime of medical care.  These types of pedestrian accidents may be due to unsafe road conditions, driver negligence, failure of the pedestrian to exercise proper safety measures, or a combination of all these factors.  Below we explore some of these factors:

    Unsafe Road Conditions

    Federal, state and even local governments have a duty to maintain safe roads. When they fail to do so, and pedestrians are killed or injured as a result of the governmental entity’s negligence, they may be liable and required to pay damages for the injuries or deaths that result. Some examples of unsafe road conditions are:

    • Lanes of traffic are too narrow.
    • Speed limit is too high for the area.
    • Inadequate lighting of the roadway.
    • Missing or non-functioning signal lights at intersections.
    • Failure to provide flashing lights signaling a hazard ahead.


    Driver Errors That Cause Pedestrian Accidents

    More commonly, auto v. pedestrian accidents involve the vehicle operator’s negligence.  Some of the most common driving errors include drivers who:

    • Fail to stop for pedestrians at an intersection that does not have a marked crosswalk. Whether there are marked lines specifically delineating a crosswalk, drivers need to assume that every intersection comes with a crosswalk and pedestrians have the right-of-way.
    • Speed so they are unable to stop in time when they see a pedestrian.
    • Turn without signaling or watching for pedestrians.
    • Drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
    • Ignore weather conditions and drive at unsafe speeds even if under the speed limit.
    • Are distracted by talking on the phone, texting, putting on make-up, eating or any activity where they take their eyes off of the road.
    • Drive while fatigued which is as dangerous as drunk driving.

    Pedestrian Errors That Contribute to Pedestrian Accidents

    Pedestrians are sometimes at least partly responsible for their own injuries. As a pedestrian, you need to exercise caution in the following areas:

    • Cross only at marked crosswalks.
    • Even if there is a marked crosswalk, do not assume cars will stop. Make sure the vehicle is coming to a stop. Do not just dart into the road.
    • Obey traffic signs. Stop when the light says stop. Do not cross unless the signal gives you the okay. Many pedestrians enter the crosswalk after the “do not cross” signal has appeared.  Doing so may be at your own peril.
    • Wear visible clothing if walking at night.
    • Avoid texting, talking on the phone, looking at a map or any other distracting activity while crossing the street.  A distracted pedestrian is more likely to be hit than one who is paying attention.
    • Avoid “drunk walking.”

    If you were injured in a pedestrian accident, or someone you love was killed, contact a knowledgeable Pasadena personal injury lawyer at The Aslanian Law Firm, PC for a FREE CONSULTATION.  Call (626) 345-7210 or contact us online.

    The material on this web site has been prepared and is copyrighted by The Aslanian Law Firm, PC. The material is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The material is not guaranteed to be correct, complete, or up to date. 


  • According to the most recent available statistics, there are nearly 23 million licensed drivers in California.  Approximately 15 percent of them are driving without auto insurance even though it is required by law.  Thousands more are under-insured, which means they have the minimum amount of required insurance, but it may not be enough to cover your losses in a serious auto accident.

    If you are in a crash with an uninsured motorist (UM) or under-insured motorist (UIM) , your own insurance may cover you if you opted to purchase UM/UIM coverage with your own policy.  The law does not require you to have this coverage, but your insurer is required to offer it to you.  If you decline uninsured or under-insured motorist coverage, you must sign a waiver confirming you were offered the coverage but chose to decline it.

    Uninsured Motorists

    If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist, report the accident to the police and to your insurer as soon as possible.  The at-fault driver may show you proof of insurance, but you may find out later the coverage had lapsed. 

    In order for your uninsured motorist policy to cover you, the accident must not have been your fault.  If you were not at fault, your UM policy will pay for your damages up to your policy limits.  It is also important to note that UM covers you, passengers in your vehicle, and your family members even when they are pedestrians, motorcyclists or bicyclists and hit by an uninsured motorist.

    Uninsured Motorist: Hit-and-Run Driver

    Your UM policy may cover you if you are involved in an accident with a hit-and-run driver if you follow  strict legal requirements:

    • The hit-and-run driver must have had physical contact with your car or with you if you are a pedestrian or bicyclist.   If a driver cuts you off, forces you to swerve and run into a tree, even if there are a million witnesses who confirm it was the hit-and-run driver’s fault, your uninsured motorist coverage will not cover your loss because there was no physical contact with your car.
    • You must make a police report about the accident.
    • You must report the accident to your insurer within 24 hours of its occurrence.  This law is strictly enforced.  Wait 23 hours and you will be okay. Wait 25 hours and there will be no coverage.


    Under-insured Motorists

    Under-insured motorist coverage applies in a completely different circumstance: when the at-fault driver’s coverage is not sufficient to cover the amount of your damages.  If you are severely injured, and the driver who caused the accident only has the minimum insurance required by law, your expenses may exceed the amount of the coverage.  If so, you may make a claim under your own UIM policy which, if the other driver was at fault, will be available to make up the difference up to your policy limits.  Your own policy will not make any payments until the policy limits of the UIM driver have been exhausted. 

    Also, for under-insured motorist coverage to apply to a loss, the limits of your own UIM coverage must exceed the at-fault driver’s policy limits.  Thus, it is a good idea to get under-insured motorist coverage that is greater than the lowest offered by your auto insurance company.

    Collecting for your damages under your UM or UIM policy may be difficult. A personal injury attorney knows what to do.  Contact us at The Aslanian Law Firm, PC at (626) 345-7210 for a free consultation to see how we can assist you with your claim.

    The material on this web site has been prepared and is copyrighted by The Aslanian Law Firm, PC. The material is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The material is not guaranteed to be correct, complete, or up to date. 

  • Many workers suffer due to unfair and illegal practices of their employers or are forced to work in unsafe conditions. Employees worry about losing their jobs if they complain about the issues, or refuse to take part in illegal conduct, so they try to tolerate the working conditions as they are.  If you are in any of these types of situations, you need to know that the law protects employees who “blow the whistle” on their employers when employers engage in illegal or unsafe practices or try to coerce employees into engaging in workplace actions that are illegal.

    Who is Covered as a Whistleblower

    A “whistleblower” is an employee who reports any violation of a local, state or federal law to a person or agency that has the authority to investigate the allegation. This includes reporting to law enforcement or any governmental regulatory agency.

    The California Labor Code, section 1102.5 and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), as well as 20 other federal statutes, specifically provide protection to employees from employers who engage in any retaliatory action against whistleblowers.

    Employers Are Prohibited from Retaliating Against Whistleblowers

    Retaliatory actions may be bold or subtle, but any retaliatory action is prohibited. For example, your employer may not:

    • Fire you
    • Transfer, demote or reduce your pay or working hours
    • Reduce or deny you benefits
    • Threaten you in any way
    • Deny you a raise or promotion

    ​NOTE: This is not a comprehensive list.  Any unusual action that appears retaliatory is prohibited.

    Remedies for Employer Retaliation Acts

    California Labor Code section 1102.5 establishes remedies available to you if your employer has taken retaliatory action against you for being a whistleblower. Remedies include:

    • Reinstatement in your job if you were fired
    • Back wages that you would have earned if you had not been fired
    • Any other damages you suffered due to the retaliatory action


    If the retaliation came from a corporation or limited liability company, a $10,000 fine will be imposed for each violation and the employer may be charged criminally with a misdemeanor and be sentenced to spend up to one year in jail.

    You must file your retaliation claim within a certain amount of time after the retaliatory act occurs. You need to discuss your case with an employment attorney as soon as possible so you do not lose your opportunity to collect damages for the retaliation.  You may also be able to collect for the attorney fees you incurred in pursuit of your claim for damages.

    Qui Tam Whistleblower Actions

    ​What is a Qui Tam Action?

    A Qui Tam lawsuit is a lawsuit authorized under the federal False Claims Act (31 U.S.C. § 3729 et seq.) that provides a method for ordinary citizens to file a claim against a company or individual who the whistleblower reasonably believes has committed fraud against the federal government.  The False Claims Act provides a method by which a private citizen may sue to recover funds on the government’s behalf.

    Requirements for Filing a Qui Tam Whistleblower Action

    Qui Tam cases are usually filed under seal, meaning that no information is made public, at first.  Evidence is typically then presented to the appropriate government agencies, which may assist in or take over the investigation and prosecution of the case. 

    Qui Tam cases are often difficult prove.  Typically a strong showing of fraud committed against the government is required; mismanagement alone may not be sufficient.  For example, you must have some evidence that the person you are alleging was fraudulent in collecting money from the government, or in filing a fraudulent income tax return, or committed some other sort of fraud. 

    There are other certain requirements for being a proper “relator” (i.e., the whistleblower who provided information regarding the alleged fraud) in a Qui Tam action.  Among other requirements, there is a “public disclosure bar,” meaning that if the information about which the employee is blowing the whistle was obtained from a public source, you may not be entitled to any reward for being a relator.  Additionally, you must be the “first to file” the Qui Tam action.  So, if another employee had provided information regarding the employer’s fraud prior to you, you may not be entitled to receipt of any reward. 

    Remedies for Qui Tam Whistleblowers

    Qui Tam cases are difficult and have a number of legal requirements.  But if the government intervenes and wins the case, the whistleblower stands to receive a substantial reward, including a percentage of the amount ultimately recovered from the defendant(s).

    If you believe you have any type of whistleblower case, or have been retaliated against by your employer, contact us at The Aslanian Law Firm, P.C. at (626) 345-7210 for a FREE CONSULTATION. 

    The material on this web site has been prepared and is copyrighted by The Aslanian Law Firm, PC. The material is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The material is not guaranteed to be correct, complete, or up to date. 

  • ​At The Aslanian Law Firm, we know that auto accidents are always traumatic.  That is why we have put together a checklist of things you should do and know following an accident.
     
    1.​  Assess the Situation – Determine whether you or your passenger(s) were injured. 

    2.  Call the Police – Do not hesitate to call 911 if you have sustained any personal injury or property damage.  It is always helpful to have a report of the incident, as people’s recollections can fade over time.  Note though, that some police department will only come out if injuries are reported.  However, a call should almost always be placed to have the authorities come out.

    3.  Gather Information – ALWAYS exchange information with all parties involved in an auto accident.  Even if the other party is offering to pay cash for your property damage, it is always a good idea to gather their insurance information.  It is California law to carry auto insurance, thus, there is no reason why the other party should not have proof of valid auto insurance.  In the event that the other party is uninsured, make sure that the police are notified immediately.  Aside from insurance information, note the other vehicles’ information (license plate, VIN #, color, make and model), as well as each driver’s information.

    4.  Get Information for Any Potential Witness – non-biased witness are always helpful.  It is always a great idea to get the names and contact information of third-party bystanders/witnesses.  Even if you have a passenger in the vehicle, insurance companies may discount their testimony as being biased.  Therefore, if there are witnesses to the incident, it is always a good idea to get their names and contact information, especially in an accident where police are not present.

    5.  Take Photos – take photos of the vehicles, the scene of the accident, and any injuries you observe.  Proper documentation of any damages and injuries are key in a disputed liability case.  Please take care to ensure your safety when taking photos at any accident scene.

    6.  Get Medical Treatment Immediately – injuries may not present themselves immediately at the time of the accident.  As most people are not medical care providers, they may not know the warning signs of an injury.  It is good idea to visit your doctor for a physical assessment following an auto accident. 

    7.  Speak to an Accident AttorneyBefore contacting the insurance companies, it is important to speak to a knowledgeable accident attorney, as they will counsel you on your rights and on how best to proceed.  Insurance companies often try to settle claims quickly and for less than what victims deserve.  Refrain from providing any written or recorded statement to insurance companies prior to speaking to an attorney.  Your attorney should be familiar with these processes and will facilitate the best way to proceed.

    8.  Notify your Insurance Company – Although you may choose to go through the other parties’ insurance policy for reimbursement for damages, you may want to notify your insurance carrier of the incident.

    Contact The Aslanian Law Firm, PC at (626) 345-7210 for a Free Consultation regarding your auto accident today. 

    The material on this web site has been prepared and is copyrighted by The Aslanian Law Firm, PC. The material is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The material is not guaranteed to be correct, complete, or up to date. 

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  • greg-aslanian

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