neck injuries
AREAS OF PRACTICE

Bicycle Accident
Bike riders and cycling enthusiasts in the Southern California area bear an unfair burden when car and truck drivers do not drive carefully. With so little protection beyond a bike helmet and their quick reflexes, cyclists often suffer severe injuries when a motor vehicle makes a sudden stop or turns into their path.

If you or a loved one has been injured in the in a bicycle collision with a motor vehicle or suffered a cycling injury due to hazardous property conditions in the Southern California area contact the Hartunian Law Firm.

In Los Angeles, many roads have inadequate bike lanes or shoulder, and drivers often ignore these protected spaces even when they are present. If you or a loved one has been injured - or even killed - in a bicycle-vehicle accident, you need the services of a Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyer - you have the right to take the responsible party to court. Especially in collisions with automobiles, cyclists are vulnerable to serious injuries such as broken bones, head trauma, spinal cord injury, and lacerations even when wearing the proper safety gear.

However, some bike accidents are not due to careless driving but stem from the rider's
irresponsibility. Bicyclists must follow many of the same laws as car drivers.

What are the California bicycle laws?
  • California Vehicle Code VC 21201 deals with bicycle requirements.
  • Functional brakes - It is illegal (and dangerous) to ride a bike with faulty brakes.
  • Handlebars must be appropriately sized for the rider, and not above the rider's shoulder height.
  • LA Bike has a city by city breakdown of the vehicle codes in all L.A. County cities.
  • There are additional requirements for nighttime riding.
  • Bikes must be equipped with a lamp or headlight that can be seen from 300 feet to the front or either side of the bicycle.
  • The rear of the bike must be equipped with a red reflector that can be seen from at least 500 feet away.
  • The bike pedals must be equipped with white or yellow reflectors.

Statute of Limitations for Bicycle Accidents
Anyone involved in a bicycle accident in California has two years to file a lawsuit for damages that result from a car accident. This is called the statutory period; if you do not file your claim within this period, a judge may bar your claim. Certain exemptions do apply if the injured person was rendered incapable of filing a claim or suffers from mental incompetence (especially if said incompetence was the result of any of the accident injuries, such as a concussion).

If a minor is involved in a bicycle accident, he or she may wait until he or she is twenty years old to file a claim. The minor will be permitted to file any time up until an 18th birthday, at which point the two-year statutory period kicks on.

Fault in Los Angeles Bike Accidents
In some states, the driver is always at fault in a car-bicycle accident. Not so in California; the fault rests squarely with the negligent party, and said party is responsible for all damages. "Negligent," in California law, is defined as "failing to act in a manner expected of a reasonably prudent person acting under similar circumstances.”

What does this mean for car-bicycle accidents?

To prove the driver was acting negligibly, the crash must have caused property damage or personal injury. It must also be proved that the driver or bicyclist acted carelessly and that the carelessness directly caused the crash.

Pure Comparative Fault in Los Angeles, California
If the faulty party is responsible for all damages. However, if there are two faulty parties, who will pay?

To fix this problem, California decided to use a pure comparative negligence model. The model asks: Who is more at fault? Who sustained more damage? If, for example, one party is 25% at fault and the other party 75%, the former party is entitled to 75% of the damages, which holds them accountable to the portion of the total damages for which they are responsible.

Car Accident
Auto accidents can have numerous serious consequences, including life altering injuries, costly property damage, lost wages, and wrongful death.

In the United States, the automobile is a way of life - especially in Los Angeles. We drive or ride in a car, bus, truck, or other motor vehicle almost every day. However, because of how ubiquitous cars are to our lives, we often forget just how dangerous they can be and how often serious car crash occur. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; automobile accidents are the cause of one death every 12 to 15 minutes and injure more than 2.5 million people each year. Nearly half of those injured come away with permanent disabilities like brain damage, paralysis, amputation injuries and other serious ailments that significantly and negatively affect the functions, independence and futures of victims.

Los Angeles County Freeways and Roadways
There many contributing factors to the large number of car and motor vehicle accidents that occur in Los Angeles. However, none are bigger than the sheer amount of motorists on the thousands of miles of roadways and highways. According to the California Department of Transportation, there are over 20,771 miles of total roadways, 527 miles of freeway and 382 miles of conventional highway in Los Angeles County. In addition, there are over 5.8 million registered cars and well over 7.5 million total motor vehicles in Los Angeles county. Incredibly, only 5 STATES have more registered vehicles than Los Angeles County and this figure is only going up as 600,000 cars are sold in L.A. every year. On the average day, motorists in Los Angeles county drive over 92 million vehicle miles.

Why Should You Hire a Car Accident Attorney?
If you've lost a loved one or sustained a very serious injury in a car accident because of another driver's carelessness, you have the right to hold that driver responsible for his or her actions. A Los Angeles car accident lawyer can' t make things the way they were before the crash, but we can help compensate you for the terrible, unexpected losses the crash caused. A car accident lawsuit can also help pay high medical bills and other costs caused by the accident, and provide financial support for those who've lost an income to an injury or an unexpected death. And in some cases, it can help you prevent the same tragedy from happening to others.

"About half of those injured come away with permanent disabilities like brain damage, paralysis and other injuries that rob victims of their functions, their independence and their futures.”

Worldwide Auto Accident Statistics
  • Nearly 1.3 million people die in road crashes each year, on average 3,287 deaths a day. An additional 20-50 million are injured or permanently disabled.
  • More than half of all road traffic deaths occur among young adults ages 15-44.
  • Motor vehicle accidents are the 9th leading cause of death and account for 2.2% of all deaths globally.
  • Auto accidents are the leading cause of death among young people ages 15-29, and the second leading cause of death worldwide among young people ages 5-14.
  • Nearly 400,000 people under 25 worldwide die in auto accidents annually..
  • Over 90% of all road fatalities occur in low and middle-income countries, which have less than half of the world's vehicles.
  • Road crashes cost (U.S. dollars) $518 billion globally, costing individual countries from l-2% of their annual GDP.
  • Auto accidents cost low and middle-income countries $65 billion annually, exceeding the total amount received in developmental assistance.

United States Motor Vehicle Accident Statistics
  • Over 33,000 people were killed in U.S. motor vehicle accidents in 2012
  • An additional 2.35 million are injured or disabled
  • An average of 92 people died each day in motor vehicle crashes in 2012-that's one every 16 minutes
  • Over 1,600 children under 15 years of age die each year
  • Motor vehicle accidents cost the U.S. $230.6 billion per year
  • That comes out to $820 per person
  • The U.S. fatality rate has gone done by almost half from 2.1 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles in 1990 to 1.1 in 2009
  • Car, truck, and motorcycle accidents are the leading cause of death for persons aged 8-34

What Can You Do To Reduce Your Risk In An Auto Accident
While you can never completely avoid the risk of a car accident altogether, you can significantly reduce the chance that you or your loved ones suffer serious injury or death.

Wear your seatbelt - Research has found that the proper use of a seatbelt reduces the risk of fatal injury to front seat passenger car occupants by as much as 45 percent and the risk of moderate~to-severe injury by up to 50 percent. Observational data from NOPUS has put seatbelt use for all U.S. passenger vehicles at around 86 percent. Buckle up.

Use car safety seats for children - According to the NHTSA, proper use of child safety seats reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71 percent for infants and by 54 percent for toddlers in passenger car accidents.

Obey the speed limit - The NHTSA reports that 30 percent of fatal accidents are speed related - that amounts to over 10,000 deaths in 2012.

Keep up with safety recalls for your vehicle - 2014 was the "year of the auto recall" with
automakers issuing more than 550 recalls for more than 52 million vehicles. Some of the recalls are for minor issues, but many were issued to fix very real safety issues. For example, Ford issued a recall for 2 parts in the ignition of several models that could cause the car to shut off and loose steering and prevent the airbag from deploying. You can search for recalls by vehicle make and model or by entering your car's VIN into the database at
safercar.gov.

Don't drink and drive - Alcohol was a factor in over I 0,000 motor vehicle fatalities in 2012.

Watch out for pedestrians - In 2012, 4,743 pedestrians were killed by cars in the United States and the vast majority were not at intersections.

Construction Accident
The Hartunian Law Firm is the premier construction accident attorney law firm in the Southern California area. Construction work is inherently dangerous. Construction workers are injured or killed every year across america, often through no fault of their own. Construction is one of the largest industries in the United States - and it remains one of the most dangerous. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has seen a decline in injury rates among most professions during the past two decades - except for construction workers.

Our Southern California construction accident attorneys have a strong understanding and comprehension of your rights in the area. Dangerous working conditions and inadequate safety equipment are among the factors in construction accidents that cause injury and death on a daily basis. Construction sites can be dangerous to a passersby also; if you or someone you know has suffered serious injury because of the negligence of a construction company or due to defective construction equipment, we can help you.

Construction workers and those who have been injured at a construction or job site, may have grounds for a lawsuit that would seek out compensation for damages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and any potential loss of future earnings. Such a claim may find the owners of the construction site, the general contractors, subcontractor, or another entity negligent, and deem them liable for damages. This could result in an award, judgment, or settlement against the at fault party.

Defective Product
Manufacturers have a duty to place only safe products on the market. When people are
injured from the use of defective products, the Hartunian Law Firm is ready to hold the makers of those products accountable for the injuries they have caused.

Defective Design
There are many ways a product may be defectively designed that make it unsafe. If you are looking for strong representation by a product injury attorney in the Southern California area, give us a call for a free consultation today.

Dog Bite Injury
Every year millions of Americans, mostly small children, are attacked by dogs. Fortunately, most of these bites are minor. However, some attacks by dogs produce disfiguring or life-threatening injuries. If you have been injured by a dog attack, call our office and our Southern California dog bite injury attorneys to discuss your legal rights.

Our dog bite injury attorneys in the Southern California area have understand the statute and legal rights of the victim. California is one of the few states that has a dog bite statute. Previous knowledge that an animal has injured a person is not required. The prior behavior or aggressiveness of an animal is not necessary to pursue a case. The statute is designed to prevent dogs from being a hazard in the community. Therefore, liability is automatic.

Who is Responsible?
When a dog bites and you want to obtain compensation for losses, you typically will take legal action against the dog's owner. However, there may be others who are responsible for your injuries as well. For example, when a dog attack occurs on a rental property, the landlord could be held legally liable if the property owner was aware of the dangerous dog. Sometimes, taking legal action against both the dog owner and the property owner increases the chances of being fully compensated for all damages caused by the dog.

It is also important to remember that when you make a claim against a dog owner or property owner, that individual is not usually going to pay the costs personally. Homeowner's insurance and renter's insurance typically covers the cost of dog bite claims. This means you shouldn’t hesitate to take legal action after being bitten by a dog belonging to a friend or a neighbor. You have costs and losses to cover, and that is what insurance is for.

Elder Abuse
The Hartunian Law Firm has represented victims of nursing home abuse and neglect, as well as fiduciary abuse in the Southern California area. Our clients have included nursing home residents who suffered falls, pressure sores, and assault as well as those Seniors that have suffered an economic loss at the hands of their caretaker or conservator. We are dedicated to holding negligent caregivers, conservators and facilities responsible for their actions.

Southern California Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Settlments
Our Southern California elder abuse attorneys have the knowledge and experience to successfully handle cases involving nursing home abuse, neglect, and negligence as well as those acting as fiduciaries that cause our client to suffer an economic loss. Our Personal Injury Law Firm is a law firm that is committed to achieving justice for our clients.

Motorcycle Accident
The Hartunian Law Firm has obtained numerous settlements and verdicts for the victims of motorcycle crashes. The risk of serious bodily injury is very high for motorcycle riders who are involved in collisions. From broken bones and damaged bikes, to spinal injuries, traumatic brain injuries and wrongful death, motorcycle accidents can result in life-altering injuries and damage to expensive property. These accidents also tend to be the most challenging for your attorney. We understand the dangers inherent in this activity as several are avid motorcyclist enthusiasts.

Settlements For Motorcycle Accident Lawsuits
Motorcycle accidents can be particularly devastating to the motorcyclist because of the lack of protection a motorcycle rider has in comparison to those occupying a vehicle. With little to protect them in the event of a motorcycle crash, the motorcycle rider tends to sustain significant serious injuries. With the injuries from the motorcycle accident comes medical treatment, medical bills, lost earnings, and often as important to the motorcycle rider, the loss of their bike and the loss of their freedom to ride. Motorcycle riders who have suffered an accident or injury due to the negligence of other driver may be able to recover financial compensation for medical expenses, past, present and future lost wages, their property and damages for pain and suffering. Our law firm has recovered many 6 and 7 figure settlements and verdicts for motorcycle accident victims.

Pedestrian Accident
If you are a pedestrian who has been injured in an accident, our lawyers are prepared to give you the best representation possible for your case. We have decades of experience representing pedestrians who have suffered personal injuries or wrongful death.

What To Do If You Are An Injured Pedestrian
Immediate investigation and preservation of evidence is often a critical element in proving a personal injury and wrongful death cases involving pedestrians. Investigation may involve examination of the scene of the accident and the gathering of witness statements. After a pedestrian accident, it is also critical for your lawyer to establish contact with the investigating authorities, such as the local police. If you or a family member has been injured, you should not give statements to insurance investigators before you are represented by an attorney who will protect your rights.

Premises Liability
Individuals can become victims of slip and fall injuries due to the poor or negligent upkeep of a walkway or public space. Many slip and fall accidents occur in areas such as grocery stores, cruise ships, office buildings and shopping malls. Slips caused by water leakage or inattentive custodial staff can leave a walking surface slick and dangerous leading to possible severe injuries. Improperly stored materials and poorly maintained sites can be sufficient to support a finding of negligence in the serious injury of a pedestrian.

Typically, a slip or fall will only leave you with a temporary pain; however, more serious injuries can result that require costly and extensive treatment. If negligence on the part of the property owner contributed to your injury, you may be entitled to compensation for you medical expenses pain and suffering and even lost wages. The slip and fall accident attorneys at are available to represent your best interests to the property owner's insurance company or legal counsel.

The full compensation of any and all medical expenses caused by the accident is the first and foremost goal of our personal injury lawyers. Tremendous medical, personal, and legal expense can develop in the aftermath of an accident, and reimbursement for those expenses and your pain and suffering is possible.

If medical treatment is not provided through your health insurance, our firm is prepared to arrange any required medical treatment by our network of participating physicians and hospitals. Our attorneys demand repayment by the liable party for costs related to any of the following afflictions attributed to a slip or fall accident:

  • Broken or fractured bones
  • Damage to internal organs
  • Internal bleeding
  • Deep puncture wounds
  • Dislocated bones Head trauma

Evidence of fault or liability can be obtained through investigative services employed by the firm. Eye witness statements and physical evidence is uncovered and used to build a case against the liable party to better ensure a favorable settlement. Video evidence can be created through re-creation of the accident events and attest to the negligence of supervisors or personnel that allowed the circumstances leading to the accident. Also, testimony from certified medical experts can document the extent of your injuries and possible duration of required medical treatment. Physical evidence may help when a favorable settlement cannot be obtained through negotiations with the insurance company and could defer a legal course of action to achieve justice and repayment for your suffering.

Our premises liability lawyers are dedicated to fighting for the rights of individuals who were injured on another's property due to negligent security, unsafe or dangerous property conditions and other negligent acts on the part of property owners and business establishments.

Brain Injury
A victim of a traumatic brain injury is not only presented with a tremendous physical challenge but a psychological one as well. As such, it is important that brain injury victims seeking legal representation consult with a lawyer that has experience with brain injuries in particular. The Hartunian Law Firm has assisted several brain injury clients reach extremely successful results in their legal matters.

Did you suffer a head wound, or an infection such as meningitis, a physical ailment like a stroke, or exposure to workplace chemicals that resulted in permanent brain damage, TBI, or MTBI, and it wasn't your fault? The brain is without question, the most vital bodily organ. It is essential to cognitive function, maintaining normal human emotions, and in performing daily tasks. Damage to this highly susceptible organ means things we take for granted like balance, breathing, restful sleep, typing, smelling, seeing, hearing and tasting can all be thrown out of whack. If you are a brain injury victim and unable to work, you may want to speak to a brain injury attorney to understand your potential legal options as a victim. The Hartunian Law Firm assists victims of tragic accidents who are trying to recover the financial losses brought about by their unfortunate mishap.

Understanding the Brain
There are many aspects of the brain that must be understood when determining what approach to take as follows:

  • Human Brain Injury Anatomy
  • Skull Fractures
  • Diffuse Axonal Injuries (DAI)
  • Concussions and Contusions
  • Anoxic Brain Injuries
  • Contrecoup
  • Subdural Hematoma
  • Epidural Hematoma [1. Learn more about brain mechanism of injury and types here]
  • Intracerebral Hemorrhage

Serious brain injury is often life long and may require at home nursing care and gadgets and devices to assist the person in his medical treatment, not to mention medication. Our Los Angeles and Palm Springs Injury attorneys have vast legal experience in brain injury lawsuits. Our legal counsel specialize in helping the victim manage his or her care to maximize the total compensatory award for special and general damages. For example, a victim should be keeping a day in the life journal, or "diary", documenting their day to day struggles with memory loss, pain, etc. Vigorous case management maximizes potential economic recovery. For it to be just, it needs to look at the given circumstances of each case. Our job is present that case to the insurance adjustor, or judge, in a light most favorable to you.

Spinal Cord Injuries
What Parts Does the Spine Consist Of?
The spinal column is attached at the neck, connecting the brain to all nerves, from lower part of the back down to the tailbone. The spine is primarily grouped in into 3 parts:

  • Lumbar
  • Thoracic - The thoracic spine is the part of the vertebral column centered in the mid to lower back.
  • Cervical - Travels from the brain stem area into nerve branches of your limbs and organs. This sends and receives signals to your body. The cervical spine is responsible for carrying the electrical signal to the rest of the body. When the nerves are pressed down, such as in a compression, a person could be paralyzed and lose sensation.

All injuries to the nervous system are particularly important. The risk from damage to the spinal cord is severe, especially coupled with the accidents that caused them. When faced with these severe problems, we see that auto accidents are the primary reason for back injuries in the country and in Europe today, as shown by recent statistics. Other major causes for spinal cord injuries come from work related accidents, including falling of ledges and ladders. Children can also suffer these types of accidents when jumping into swimming pools or hot tubs. Many of these back injuries are apparent while others will grow over years into a severe case. If you or a loved one has been injured in such a manner, call the experts at the Ehline Law Firm to find your legal rights.

Problems With X-Rays In Determining True Damage and Importance of MRI or CT Scan

X-Rays are only capable of taking a photo of hard tissue and can see some issues, such as a cervical lordosis, often found in whiplash, or a similar modality. An MRI, or Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or CT scan can see the damaged tissue itself.

Wrongful Death
In the U.S., more people die in accidents than any other event. According to the National Safety Council, one's doom is sealed every five minutes in this country, due to the negligence of inattentive or downright pernicious people. Statistics tell us that at least 101,500 decedents met their bitter end this way, in the U.S., in 2003 alone. (Source: CDC Website Accidental Deaths or Injuries.) Topping the list of these doom sealing misfortunes, are of course, automobile wrecks. Right after that, most other happenings are from slips and falls, things like food poisoning, choking on food, smoke inhalation, and being burned in an inferno, such as a house fire.

Who Gets Paid?
Survivors in order of priority include: parents, siblings, step-kids, and in some situations can include grandparents. In some cases, the judge may appoint a conservator to hire a lawyer to sue for the survivors. Conservators are simply a people who stand in the shoes of someone legally incompetent. These representatives usually have power of attorney, and are approved and appointed by a probate judge. Once a verdict, or settlement is reached, the proceeds are disbursed. Typically, money is held in trust for a minor, until the young plaintiff finally reaches majority. Otherwise, such as a case of a demented senior, a court supervised trustee delves out funds - on an as needed basis - on behalf of their incompetent charge.

Truck Accidents
The Hartunian Law Firm have expertise in the specialized litigation facing victims of truck accidents. We employ nationally recognized experts to provide the highest quality representation for those injured by a commercial vehicle.

A person who negligently operates a vehicle may be required to pay any damages by that carelessness, either to other persons or to their property. Operators of vehicles must operate "reasonable care under the circumstances". If such care is not used, a person may bring an action for damages. A lawsuit may be brought against:

A driver by another driver who was injured in an accident
A pedestrian on the sidewalk or
A passenger in an automobile

Truck accidents often are caused by factors in addition to the carelessness or recklessness of drivers. For instance, truck accidents may be caused by:

A defect in the truck: In these cases, the automobile manufacturer or supplier may be responsible for the injuries caused under the law of product liability.

A repair person: The person who improperly repaired the automobile, resulting in an injury, may also be liable.

An intoxicated driver: Unfortunately, in the truck driving industry, the use of drugs can be a factor in the cause of injury. Depending on the circumstances of the individual case, a plaintiff may be entitled to make a claim for punitive damages.

Swimming/ Drowning
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over 3 ,300 Americans die each year in unintentional drowning accidents. Of these fatal drowning victims, over 1000 are children, making child drowning injuries the second leading cause of death for children under the age of 14. For every one child who dies in a drowning accident, another five children will require emergency medical care in a hospital or other facility.

Unfortunately, near-drowning accidents have a high risk of fatality. Of victims who survive a drowning accident, many will be left with serious brain damage that can result in long-term disabilities such as memory problems, learning disabilities, and even coma. The cost of treating drowning accidents is often tremendous. Medical costs for near-drowning accidents can range from $75,000 for initial medical treatment, to as much as $4.5 million in patients who have suffered brain damage in a drowning accident.

Who is at Risk for Drowning Accidents?
According to the CDC, nearly 80 percent of all drowning victims are male, though females represent a disproportionately high percentage of bathtub drowning victims. More than 25 percent of all young children (aged 1-4) who die suffer fatal drowning injuries.

Where Do Most Drowning Accidents Occur?
Drowning accidents commonly occur in bathtubs, buckets, toilets, spas/hot tubs and swimming pools. Fatal drowning accidents can occur in only 1-2 inches of water. Drowning often occurs quickly and silently: within just a few minutes, a child or other drowning victim can lose consciousness, suffer brain damage and die. Swimming pool accidents account for a large percentage of drowning injuries. Drowning accidents can also occur in open water areas or in boating accidents.

Why Do Drowning Accidents Occur?
The most common factors in drowning accidents include lack of adequate supervision,
improperly designed and constructed pools, and failure to properly maintain a pool area.
Because drowning can occur so quickly, a responsible adult must keep a close watch on children at all times. Negligent supervision is a common factor in drowning accidents. Many states, including California, have safety laws requiring some type of fencing around all residential swimming pools. Inadequately designed, constructed and maintained pool areas are often common factors in drowning accidents.

Want to learn more about Drowning Accidents?
If you or a loved one has suffered a drowning injury, you may be able to seek compensation for your losses. Drowning accident lawsuits typically involve three types of law: negligence or personal injury law, product liability and premise liability. Our firm has expert knowledge in each of these legal areas and can evalu