Southern California Injury Law Blog https://manibog.com Manibog Law Firm Thu, 25 Jun 2020 07:02:10 +0000 en hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3 DUI Crashes and Personal Injury Cases: Understanding the Connection https://manibog.com/dui-crashes/ Mon, 10 Jun 2019 16:33:01 +0000 https://manibog.com/?p=12010 Read More]]> Most people realize that drunk driving is illegal in California, like the rest of the United States. What they may not realize is that drunk driving crashes can lead to both criminal charges and civil cases. The two types of cases deal with the same facts, but what the other party has to prove is very different—and the goal of both types of cases is also different.

On June 4, someone driving a pickup was traveling at high speeds before crashing into another vehicle and the side barrier on the 15 Freeway in Temecula. At least five total vehicles were involved in the incident. The driver was intoxicated at the time of the crash. He will likely end up facing criminal charges in addition to being subject to several civil claims for the damage and harm that he caused.

Criminal DUI Cases

In a criminal case, the State is the party that brings the action. This is true even if the driver harmed others on the road because of their conduct.

The State has to prove that the driver was, in fact, intoxicated and that he or she was operating their vehicle. There does not have to be any specific harm that resulted from the driver’s actions because the simple act of being drunk behind the wheel is illegal.

The driver will then face possible jail time, fines, and other penalties. These penalties in no way help the victims that the drunk driver may have harmed while driving. Instead, the money that the driver pays in fines goes to the state or the Department of Transportation.

Civil Cases Involved in Drunk Driving Accidents

Any time someone causes damage or harm to you, then you likely have a valid personal injury case. The same rationale applies when the driver was drunk and caused harm. You still have to prove four basic facts in this type of personal injury case, which include:

  1. Duty. The other driver had a duty to you not to cause you harm or keep you safe.
  2. Breach of that duty. The driver’s actions or inactions violated the duty that they have to you. This is often referred to as “negligence.”
  3. Causation. The violation of the duty caused you harm.
  4. Damages. You actually suffered some harm or damage because of the accident.

When the other driver is drunk at the time of the crash, he or she certainly violated their duty to you to drive safely on the road. That means that the first two requirements of your personal injury case are met pretty easily if you can prove that the driver was drunk.

Proving the Driver was Drunk

Technically, you do not have to show that the driver was intoxicated to get damages in a car accident case. You just have to show that they were driving dangerously. In the crash that happened on June 4, for example, the driver’s high rate of speed alone would have been enough to show that he was not safely operating his car. Showing a violation of the law is often enough to prove negligence.

You can show that the driver was drunk in several ways, including:

  • That they appeared intoxicated after they got out of the vehicle to speak with you
  • They were driving erratically, including speeding, swerving, or stopping and speeding up suddenly
  • They smell like alcohol
  • You actually see an open container in their vehicle

If you suspect that the other driver was intoxicated at the time of a crash, you need to report that to the police when they come to do the investigation.

One of the most helpful ways to prove that a driver was drunk, however, is to show that they were criminally convicted or that they plead guilty to a DUI charge. Criminal cases have a higher burden of proof (“beyond a reasonable doubt”) compared to civil cases. That means that a guilty verdict is practically definitive proof that the driver was drunk when the crash occurred.

Getting Help After a Drunk Driving Crash

DUI crashes can involve severe injuries and are somewhat complicated because of the overlap between criminal and civil law. If you or a loved one has been involved in a drunk driving accident that caused you harm or damage, contact us. We can help walk you through what you should do next. Call today to schedule your free consultation: 1-800-MANIBOG.

 

 

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Three Teens Injured in One-Car Accident: Passenger Claims https://manibog.com/passenger-claims/ Mon, 03 Jun 2019 18:14:59 +0000 https://manibog.com/?p=12005 Read More]]> One-car accidents are extremely common. In fact, 58-percent of all fatal car accidents in the United States involve just one vehicle. Injuries are also widespread after one-vehicle accidents, too.

On May 23, 2019, at about 12:30 p.m., three teens were involved in a one-car accident in Stevenson Ranch, California. The driver lost control and hit a tree. Sources say that he might have been speeding at the time of the crash.

Two of the three teens were able to exit the vehicle on their own, but the passenger had to be extricated because of the damage done to the car at the point of the crash. He suffered some injuries, but it is unclear at this point how serious those may be.

The passenger in this case might have a legal claim, even though there was only one car involved in the crash. How can this be?

Fault in One-Car Accident Cases

In most one-car accident cases, fault is very clear—usually the driver did something that caused him or her to lose control. That could be a variety of actions or inactions, such as:

  • Inattention (texting, talking on the phone, eating, etc.)
  • Driving too fast for conditions
  • Overreacting to an outside factor
  • Failure to properly operate the vehicle for any reason

While there are certainly situations where someone else may be at fault, the driver will often take the brunt of the blame in a one-car accident.

You may think that one-car accidents generally do not lead to litigation, but that is not always the case. Passengers can often bring a claim against the driver for their injuries.

Passenger Claims in California

When you are a passenger in someone else’s vehicle, you expect that they will generally follow the rules of the road and keep your safety in mind when driving. When a driver violates your expectations and causes an accident that results in your injury, you may have a legal claim to help you recover for damages associated with the crash.

However, passenger claims do have some limitation in California. Specifically, if a passenger is aware of a danger, then the passenger must take reasonable steps to protect their safety. This exception is used only rarely—and often only in the context of whether the passenger was wearing their seatbelt.

California is a comparative fault state. That means that if the passenger is partially to blame for his or her injuries, then their damages that they can obtain from the driver will be reduced by their percentage of the fault. In many situations, the comparative fault is very slight in these cases because only the driver had control of the vehicle at the time of the accident.

Getting Help with Your Passenger Claim

Many people hesitate to start a legal claim against a friend or family member who may have been driving a vehicle. However, you should keep in mind that it is their insurance company that will generally deal with your claim. If you would like to learn more about your legal rights as a passenger after an accident, contact our team to set up an appointment today.

Contact MANIBOG LAW

These cases are very fact-intensive. If you were injured due to another person’s negligence, it’s a good idea to talk a personal injury lawyer to determine whether you have legal options. Manibog Law offers free consultations for potential clients for this purpose—let us help you determine if you have a claim and suggest some next steps for you. Call today to schedule your free consultation: 1-800-MANIBOG.

 

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Billionaire Has to Be Removed from Courtroom During Sexual Harassment Case https://manibog.com/billionaire-removed-from-courtroom/ Thu, 25 Apr 2019 17:01:18 +0000 https://manibog.com/?p=11955 Read More]]> On April 23, 2019, billionaire hologram producer, Alki David, lashed out at female attorney Lisa Bloom during his cross-examination for a sexual harassment trial against him. David is the CEO of FilmOn, a company that offers TV channels over the internet and various mobile apps, and Hologram USA.

The Case

David has been accused of sexual harassment by Chastity Jones, who worked for two of David’s companies, Hologram USA and FilmOn.TV. She worked as a sales accountant. She alleges that David fired her in November 2016 after she refused to have sex with David. Ms. Jones testified that David inappropriately touched her and that David showed her a pornographic video on her work computer.

The Outburst

David’s outburst occurred during his trial for sexual harassment. His target was Jones’ attorney, Lisa Bloom, and her mother, Gloria Allred. Specifically, he stated: “I think you are an abhorrent woman. Do something with your life, woman.” He also told Bloom that she had “no morals,” and that she was a “cruel and opportunistic thief.”

At one point during the cross-examination, David got down off the stand, got on his knees, and offered his wallet to Jones. He even went as far as to say that the judge should enter a default judgment against him.

The Morale

The type of conduct that Ms. Jones has alleged is a form of sexual harassment as well as sexual abuse. Although these cases can be very touchy and overwhelming, reporting the harassment is often one of the best things you can do for the situation. Sexual harassment or abuse cases are notoriously underreported for a variety of reasons, from embarrassment to fear of the consequences of the reporting.

David’s conduct in this situation and at trial is unacceptable in many ways. He is likely angry and lashing out because he knows what he did was wrong, and he is being called out on it. All of his outrageous antics are being showcased to a jury who will, more than likely, have very little sympathy for him.

Getting Help

If you or a loved has suffered through sexual abuse, you may have legal options that can help you deal with many of the negative side effects of this type of treatment. You may have emotional or physical trauma that you need to address. The emotional and mental toll that these cases take on the victim is often significant—but you do not have to go through this alone. In some cases, entities in charge (such as a school, church or other business may be legally liable for the actions of their employee or even some third-parties, especially if they knew the harassment was occurring and did nothing to correct it. Contact Manibog Law for more information or to schedule a free consultation.

For victim support and additional information, contact the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA): http://www.calcasa.org/

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Thank you Angela for the review! Gilda does have a heart of gold! https://manibog.com/angela-yelp-review/ Wed, 17 Apr 2019 18:01:24 +0000 https://manibog.com/?p=11950 Read More]]> Thank you Angela for your kind Yelp review of Gilda. She has a heart for helping others and we are so lucky to have her on our team.

 

Contact MANIBOG LAW

These cases are very fact-intensive. If you were injured due to another person’s negligence, it’s a good idea to talk a personal injury lawyer to determine whether you have legal options. Manibog Law offers free consultations for potential clients for this purpose—let us help you determine if you have a claim and suggest some next steps for you. Call today to schedule your free consultation: 1-800-MANIBOG.

 

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Boulder Falls onto Malibu Canyon Road – Is Anyone Liable? https://manibog.com/boulder-falls-on-malibu-road/ Tue, 16 Apr 2019 19:09:08 +0000 https://manibog.com/?p=11944 Read More]]> On March 3, a huge boulder fell from the side of a steep cliff and onto Malibu Canyon Road in Las Angeles County. The size of the rock caused the road to be closed for all traffic while it was removed on Sunday afternoon. This occurrence is just one of many instances that resulted in road closures in this area due to natural disasters, including the recent severe storms and the Woolsey Fire.

Thankfully, no one was injured in this instance, but this type of occurrence raises a few interesting legal questions.

Who Would Be Legally Responsible in a Boulder Fall?

Although it may not seem like it at first blush, a boulder falling onto the road and causing a car accident could actually have legal implications. Generally, the fact that the rock fell could likely only be the responsibility of anyone who is charged with maintaining the land in the area. That could include Los Angeles County authorities, but it could also include private property owners as well.

However, legal liability will generally only result if one of these potentially responsible parties was actually at fault for the rock fall. That is, if the property was poorly maintained or the party involved knew that the boulder was going to fall because it was loose or otherwise unsafe, then they may be responsible.

On the other hand, if the boulder falling was truly an “act of God,” or some random, natural occurrence, then no one may to blame. In those situations, your personal auto insurance would likely be the entity to turn to for help with your medical expenses and damages to your vehicle.

Car Accidents in Emergency Situations

As a driver, you have a responsibility to act reasonably while behind the wheel. That means that you should not do things like text and drive, operate your vehicle drunk, or drive over the speed limit. You need to be able to react appropriately to emergency situations if they arise suddenly—including falling rocks.

Imagine that someone is texting while driving when this large boulder fell down the hill. They may not see the stone fast enough to avoid hitting it, or they swerve into oncoming traffic to avoid it because they are reacting too slowly to stop in time. When their failure to respond (or overaction, as the case may be), causes a traffic accident, they are likely still liable even though they had nothing to do with creating the emergency situation in the first place.

Legal responsibility in car accidents is always focused on what a reasonable person would have done in a similar situation—and a reasonable person would not have been texting while driving at all.  

 

Contact MANIBOG LAW

These cases are very fact-intensive. If you were injured due to another person’s negligence, it’s a good idea to talk a personal injury lawyer to determine whether you have legal options. Manibog Law offers free consultations for potential clients for this purpose—let us help you determine if you have a claim and suggest some next steps for you. Call today to schedule your free consultation: 1-800-MANIBOG.

 

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“Atmospheric River” Forces Southern California Flight to Make an Emergency Landing in Reno https://manibog.com/extreme-turbulence-southern-california/ Fri, 15 Feb 2019 17:08:27 +0000 https://manibog.com/?p=11940 Read More]]>  

For many people, experiencing turbulence while in flight can be unnerving. Turbulence sometimes triggers thoughts of emergency situations and plane crashes, but, in reality, emergency landings or crashes are very rare.

On February 13, 2019, one flight experienced some flyers’ greatest fears—having to make an emergency landing because of turbulence. The plane was heading from Southern California to Seattle, but it had to land because of “extreme turbulence” in Reno.

Because of the turbulence, several people were injured, including three that were immediately transported to a local hospital after the landing. A video of the incident shows debris in the aisles and a refreshment cart that toppled over.

Before the flight, the National Weather Service had warned of heavy winds and other intense weather that was moving into the area. They stated that those conditions could create extreme turbulence. However, turbulence is challenging to predict in many circumstances. Turbulence forecasts are available, but they are somewhat generalized, giving large zones of potential areas where turbulence could occur.

The Basics of Turbulence Injuries

Turbulence is the result of air movement. Pilots generally cannot see this air movement, and it can be difficult to detect with accuracy. It often occurs unexpectedly, or a pilot has minimal warning. When a pilot can tell that turbulence is about to affect the plane, he or she has an obligation to warn passengers about the incoming turbulence so they can be prepared.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reports that an average of 35 people are injured every year in turbulence-related incidents. However, some critics say that that number could be inaccurate because airlines are only required to report events that result in a two-day stay in a hospital. That means that less severe injuries may go unreported altogether, making the actual number of incidents much higher.

Turbulence and Legal Liability

Many people make the mistake of assuming that you have to actually be involved in a plane crash to have a legal claim against an airline. The truth is that you may have a claim any time you are injured on a plane for any reason.

Airlines are “common carriers,” which are entities that provide public transportation for a fee. We put a lot of trust in these people, and, as a result, they are held to a higher standard than the average driver on the road in Southern California. However, just because they have this higher standard does not mean that they are legally responsible for everything that could go wrong on a flight.

Pilots and airline personnel are expected to:

  • Check weather conditions in their designated flight path before leaving the airport
  • Alter flights or delay flights to deal with potential weather issues
  • Adjust the speed of the aircraft to cut down on the effect of the turbulence
  • Warn passengers of potential turbulence, if possible

When pilots or other airline personnel don’t take the precautions they need to keep you, as a passenger, safe, they may have legal liability for your injuries.

On the other hand, if the flight crew does everything they can to prevent injuries and damage, they may not be responsible.

The “Act of God” Defense for Turbulence

Turbulence can occur unexpectedly. In these situations, there may be very little that anyone can do to prepare or warn you in advance. In those situations, the airline may have a valid “act of God” defense. That means that they cannot be responsible for the condition because there was no way for them to know, expect, or plan for it.

While airlines often make this kind of argument, the truth is that there are usually signs or signals that turbulence was going to be a problem on a particular flight. Turbulence forecasts are particularly helpful. If an airline ignored a forecast and sent a plane up when they shouldn’t have, for example, that may result in liability.

Contact MANIBOG LAW

These cases are very fact-intensive. If you were injured on a plane, it’s a good idea to talk a personal injury lawyer to determine whether you have legal options. Manibog Law offers free consultations for potential clients for this purpose—let us help you determine if you have a claim and suggest some next steps for you. Call today to schedule your free consultation: 1-800-MANIBOG.

 

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Physician Group Indicted for Workers’ Compensation Fraud https://manibog.com/physician-group-charged-with-fraud/ Mon, 11 Feb 2019 18:25:04 +0000 https://manibog.com/?p=11935 Read More]]> A unique workers’ compensation fraud case recently made the news because of the extent of the fraud and the individuals that it involved.

A group of 8 physicians was recently indicted for an alleged workers’ compensation scam. They are accused of ushering thousands of workers through their clinic that may have dealt with Blue Oak Medical Group workers’ compensation claimants. The indictment alleges that they they may have swindled over $123 million in workers’ compensation funds that should have been going to pay for medical treatment and prescription medication.

Several employees of the Inland Empire physicians’ group were charged with defrauding the California workers’ compensation system, including:

  • Prescribing a “high-priced cocktail of unnecessary medications”
  • Laundering money from prescription medication that may not have even been dispersed to patients
  • Using shell companies to exchange money to other cohorts, both overseas and in California

Essentially, it is claimed that this group charged insurance companies for prescriptions that patients did not want or need—and they may not have even given the patients the medication.

Workers’ Compensation Fraud and Choosing Your Doctor

The focus in many workers’ compensation fraud cases is on the worker. Many people try to blame honest, hardworking people for abusing the system. While there certainly are people that take advantage, the vast majority of workers who use workers’ compensation in California meet qualifications to get these benefits. This workers’ compensation fraud case is unique because it involves medical professionals instead of workers.

In California, your employer can choose which doctor you should see after a work injury if you decide not to predesignate a doctor. That means that you may not have much choice in your care in many circumstances. Unfortunately, that also sometimes means that you do not get the medical care that you need.

Your doctor should provide you with the care that will give you the best chance of getting back to work after a work injury. When doctors do not listen to your complaints or tell you that you should be able to work when you know you cannot handle it, you may need to consider other options.

In this large fraud case, these doctors were prescribing medication that patients did not need (and may not have even received). If you feel like the care or treatment you are getting does not address your injury, you can take action.

What Should I Do If I Need a Different Doctor?

It depends. How you go about getting a different doctor will be affected by the type of coverage system your employer is using.

No MPN or HCO

Employers who do not have a medical provider network (MPN) or health care organization (HCO) will allow you to switch your doctor once within 30 days of your illness or injury. But, even if you ask for a new doctor, the workers’ compensation carrier may still pick out your new doctor if you did not provide a name before you were hurt. You can also choose a new doctor after 30 days as long as he or she is within a reasonable distance from your home.

MPN

If your employer has an MPN, then you can switch doctors two times, but they must be within the MPN as well. If you still do not like the opinions or care you are getting, you may be able to get an independent medical examination to get another opinion.

HCO

You can switch once to another provider within the HCO. Then, if you go through a waiting period of up to 180 days, you can then get another doctor who is within a reasonable distance to your home.

Put Your Health First

You should be comfortable with your treating doctor. If you are not, then switching treating doctors may make sense for you. You want to be sure that you are getting the best treatment possible for your work injury—do not keep quiet about your care just because you think switching doctors will be a hassle. You deserve good medical care!

If you want help with this process, Manibog Law PC is here for you. Give us a call to learn more – 1-800-MANIBOG. 

 

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Bicyclists Can be Charged with Felony Hit and Run Under New 2019 California Law https://manibog.com/bicyclists-can-be-charged-with-felony/ Thu, 24 Jan 2019 23:13:01 +0000 https://manibog.com/?p=11925 Read More]]> Hit and Run Laws Expanded in California

As of January 2019, California is expanding its hit and run laws to not only apply to other vehicles and pedestrians but also bicyclists. While the law covered cyclists on the road before, it did not apply to bicyclists that are on bike paths at the time of the crash. This law will extend the criminal laws to apply to these situations.

By law, drivers are required to stop at the scene of an accident if the crash resulted in injury or death. Failure to stop is a felony charge, which may result in jail time and fines.

Reasonable Drivers and Hit and Run Accidents

Hit and run accidents are a serious problem in California. In fact, the California Highway Patrol reports an estimated 28,000 hit and run accidents each year in Los Angeles County alone.

Although hit and run criminal charges have been expanded, the new law doesn’t really affect the civil liability of a hit and run crash. The fact is that hit and run accidents are still treated as car crashes, even if they are not illegal. However, having the police investigate this type of claim for you can be very helpful to your case.

Every driver has a duty to act reasonably when they drive. In California, part of that duty is to stop and report a crash if it resulted in injuries or death. At a minimum, the at-fault driver should alert emergency services that an accident took place. In serious accidents, they may need to notify the police as well. Clearly, a driver cannot fulfill these obligations if he or she does not stop after a crash.

Civil Liability for Hit and Run Crashes

One of the main things that you have to prove in a car accident case is that the other driver wasn’t acting reasonably.  In many situations, then, it is easier to prove that a drive was acting unreasonably in hit and run cases.

Hit and run cases are also different for another reason: Punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded in car accident cases when the other driver shows extreme recklessness or a disregard for the other person involved in the accident. Because a driver who leaves the scene of a crash clearly indicates that he or she does not care about the person that they hit, punitive damages are much more likely to be awarded in those situations.  

Punitive damages are not related to your losses or injuries. Instead, this type of damage is designed to punish the driver who drove off after hitting you. Punitive damages are provided in addition to the money that you can receive for the losses and harm caused by the crash.

Getting Help After a Hit and Run Accident

If you or a loved one have been involved in a hit and run accident, you should do three things right away:

  1. Get the medical attention you need. Your health and safety should be your first concern.
  2. Report the incident to the authorities. The police will help you find whoever hit you, and they may bring felony charges against him or her.
  3. Set up a free consultation with Manibog Law PC to talk about what your next steps should be to start a civil lawsuit. Call today – 1-800-MANIBOG.

 

 

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Historic Storm Fueled by Atmospheric River to Slam Southern California through Thursday. https://manibog.com/historic-storms-slam-southern-california/ Thu, 17 Jan 2019 03:31:57 +0000 https://manibog.com/?p=11918 Read More]]> The weather plays a big role in your ability to drive. After all, you need to see to control your vehicle and avoid collisions. When heavy rainfall, mudslides, and other natural disasters hit Southern California, you may get more than just wet. It could cause car accidents and property damage as well.

California Weather Gets Dicey

Southern California is reporting heavy rainfall and snow for the past few days. The next few days are expected to be even worse.  Reports of flooding and mudslides are coming in, especially in those areas that no longer have vegetation because of wildfires. Although it may be safer to stay inside, that is not an option for those heading to work, school, and doing errands. So, what happens when the weather contributes to an accident? Whose fault is it?  Can fault simply be chalked up to bad weather?  If someone hits you car during a rainstorm, do they get to point to the weather and say, “sorry, not my fault.”  Not necessarily.

How Weather Affects Driving

Rain, snow, sleet, fog, and any number of other weather conditions affect drivers’ ability to operate their vehicles effectively. This is especially true when drivers are not used to a specific weather condition, such as heavy rains in areas that generally do not get much rain.

Drivers that are unsure of their abilities will drive at very slow speeds. Although they may think this is safer, it can actually be very dangerous for those around them who are not expecting someone to drive that slowly. On the other hand, drivers are sometimes overly confident and driver too quickly for the conditions.

Heavy rains can cause visibility problems and puddling on the road. If your vehicle hits large puddles just right, it can skid or hydroplane. Hydroplaning occurs when your tires are no longer touching the ground, but they glide over the surface of the water. When this happens, you cannot control the direction of your tires, which often leads to a loss of control.

Legal Liability and the Weather

The standard for “negligence,” or carelessness that must be shown in virtually every car accident case is that a driver was not driving reasonably for the conditions. For example, if there is dense fog and the driver does not have his or her headlights on, that could be considered negligent. Other vehicles cannot see that car and may not react appropriately as a result.

As a driver, you must slow down, make more space between vehicles, and take appropriate safety precautions where there are hazards that you must address while driving. If you do not, then your carelessness could lead to an accident—and legal responsibility for someone else’s damages and injuries.

Some Quick Tips for Driving in Heavy Rain

If you need to drive in heavy rain conditions, you should use the following quick tips to decrease the likelihood that an accident occurs.

  1. Slow down. Keep in mind that driving slower allows you to have more time to react to potentially dangerous conditions. But, you should not drive so slow that you are a hazard to others.
  2. Focus on the car ahead of you. If you are driving in traffic, keep a close eye on the car ahead of you, but do not follow too close. The other driver may need to brake suddenly, and you should react quickly.
  3. Turn on your lights and defrost. Windows often fog up in heavy rain. Be sure to also use your headlights so others can see you better too.
  4. Pull over if necessary. If you are not comfortable driving, play it safe and pull over when you can. Avoid parking on the side of the road if possible—find an off-ramp or nearby side street to wait out the storm.
  5. Avoid standing water. Driving through large puddles of water is never a good idea. You can hydroplane, or you may even get stuck. Go around large pools of water if at all possible.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident that involved poor weather conditions, do not just write it off as bad luck. You may have a legal claim against the other driver for your injuries and damages. Let Manibog Law help you consider your options: Call 1-800-MANIBOG.

 

 

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How to Get Free Rides in L.A. on New Year’s Eve https://manibog.com/free-rides-in-l-a-on-new-years-eve/ Sat, 29 Dec 2018 17:27:31 +0000 https://manibog.com/?p=11910 Read More]]> New Year’s Eve (technically New Year’s Day, come midnight) is “the worst day of the year for fatal crashes involving impaired drivers,” according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.  Half of all fatal auto accidents on New Year’s in the U.S. involve a drunk driver.

So how can you help prevent accidents and protect yourself, yet still have fun on New Year’s Eve?  The easiest ways are either: (a) stay home, or (b) don’t drink and drive.  Fortunately, you have lots of options in Southern California to help you get out and enjoy New Years Eve without running the risk of drinking and driving.

Free Public Transportation on New Year’s

L.A. Metro:  free trains and buses will be running from 9 PM to 2 AM on New Year’s Eve. Fare gates will be unlatched at subway stations.

Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus: free rides will be available from 9 PM to 1 AM on all Big Blue Bus routes

Orange County Transportation Authority: free rides on OC buses will begin at 6 PM on New Year’s Eve, Monday, Dec. 31 until 2:30 AM on Tuesday, Jan. 1.

Long Beach Transit: free bus rides will start at 5 PM on Monday, Dec. 31. Extended routes leaving the Transit gallery on 1st Street, between Long Beach Boulevard and Pine Avenue, will go as late as 2:35 AM on New Year’s Day. The service will include 10 routes throughout the city.

West Hollywood Trolley: the Pickup trolley will be running from 2 PM to 3 AM on New Year’s Eve along the regular route. The Pickup is free. See the route here.

AAA Offering Free New Years Tows to Members and Non-Members

On New Year’s Eve, AAA’s “Holiday Safe Ride Program” will provide complimentary ride and vehicle tow for drivers who have consumed too much alcohol in an effort to help reduce auto accidents on New Year’s.  Local motorists must dial 800-400-4222.  The Program begins Monday, 12/31 at 6 PM and ends Tuesday, 1/1 at 6 AM.

Beware of Uber/Lyft “Surge Pricing” on New Year’s

If you want to use Uber or Lyft, surge pricing typically happens between 8 PM and 11 PM on New Year’s Eve, then picks up again between midnight and 3 AM.  Try to avoid haling your rideshare during those peak hours.

An option to avoid surge pricing would be to hail a taxi, since cabs don’t use surge pricing.  You can download the Curb app (formerly known as Taxi Magic) and use it to hail a taxi.

All of us at Manibog Law wish you a safe and prosperous New Year.  If you or a loved one have been injured in an auto accident, you may have legal options. Manibog Law will provide a free case evaluation to determine what your rights are and help you decide what you should do next. Call today: 1-800-MANIBOG.

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