Spinal Cord Injury Resources in California
If you have recently sustained a spinal cord injury (SCI), you may feel overwhelmed by the many obstacles that await you. However, you are not alone. There are many resources in California you can turn to for help in all aspects of your post-SCI life. We have compiled a list of resources below along with descriptions and links to their websites. It is our hope that these resources work to minimize your hardships and speed up your recovery. Accessible Fitness: This fitness organization based in Santa Clara provides in-home personal training and a Fitness Center to the physically challenged. Believe Ability: Believe Ability provides personalized therapy services, including occupational and speech therapy, to children and adults of all abilities in the home, school and community settings. California Centers for Independent Living: Centers for independent living (CILs) are private, nonprofit corporations that provide, among other things, several core services: advocacy, independent living skills training, information and referral, and peer counseling. Californians for Disability Rights: THE oldest and largest membership organization of persons with disabilities in California, CDR works to improve the quality of life for all disabled persons by working to remove barriers through advocacy and change in public policy. Care Meridian: With specialty skilled nursing and rehab facilities through California, Care Meridian provides personalized care plans, which include one-on-one physical, occupational, speech and respiratory therapy, to patients with spinal cord injuries and other equally catastrophic and medically complex injuries. Centers for Accessible Technology: CfortAT’s focus is on making computers and technology accessible to people with disabilities so they can live independently. Disability Benefits 101: DB101 gives disabled persons tools and information on health coverage, benefits and employment. EmpowerTech: EmpowerTech trains disabled children and adults throughout Los Angeles County on Web browsers, computer screen readers, note takers, popular office software, and other assistive technology and devices. HeadNorth Fund at the Sharp Healthcare Foundation: Their mission is to provide financial assistance and resources to help and guide SCI survivors and their families, while also supporting research for a cure. Life Goes On: Life Goes On is a nonprofit organization devoted to helping people with various disabilities improve their home environments to maximize accessibility, independence, safety and social interaction. NextStep: NextStep is a nationally recognized nonprofit organization that provides all persons living with paralysis and other physical disabilities the opportunity for health and recovery through affordable and progressive community fitness, health, and wellness facilities. Project Walk: Project Walk provides an improved quality of life for people with disabilities through intense activity-based recovery programs, education, training, research and development. Smile Partners: Smile Partners is a Los Angeles-based “Portable Dental Hygiene Services” dedicated to serving patients with a wide variety of challenges, including those with complex medical conditions. Since they are a portable service, they come to you. Triumph Foundation: A non-profit organization based in Canyon Country, Triumph Foundation’s mission is to help SCI survivors triumph over their disability and maintain the highest possible quality of life. They provide information and resources about many organizations, assistance programs, and activities that exist to help SCI survivors get access to necessary health services, expand fitness and recreational opportunities, receive mentorship and advocacy, and reintegrate back into the community. Similar groups include United Spinal Association Southern California Chapter and San Francisco Bay Area Chapter. If you are in need of legal representation because your spinal cord injury was caused by the negligence of another party, please contact Wilshire Law Firm for immediate assistance. Our experienced personal injury lawyers will fight to get you the compensation you need to get access to the best medical treatment and rehabilitation services available. Call us today at (800) 522-7274 to learn more about what our firm can do for you in a FREE consultation.
5 Best Bike Rides in Los Angeles
Photo from Flickr https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ Where to Ride Your Bike in LA While Los Angeles isn’t exactly known for being the most bike-friendly city in California, much less the United States, it’s getting better. More and more residents are reducing their carbon footprint by opting to commute on two wheels rather than four; mass bicycling events like CicLAvia are getting stronger turnouts every year; and city officials are even working on a Bicycle Master Plan with the goal of implementing approximately 831 miles of new bikeways as well as various bicycle-friendly policies all throughout the county. Riders in the region will probably have to wait some time before the city becomes a veritable bicycle utopia. In the meantime, you can check out the many quality trails and pathways Los Angeles has to offer – those considered to be among the best by many avid cyclists are listed below. Marvin Braude Bike Trail This easy and flat bike path stretches for 22 miles along the city’s iconic shoreline, with the northern tip touching Will Rogers State Beach and a southern bottom brushing Torrance County Beach. There are many beloved beach towns along the way where riders can grab a drink or a meal, including Santa Monica, Venice, and Redondo. However, since this is a rather popular bikeway, expect to see crowds. Glendale Narrows/Elysian Valley Bike Path Considered to be a local favorite by many veteran cyclists, this 7.4-mile stretch beginning in Atwater Village and heading up through the Glendale Narrows is a great route for nature-lovers. There are several parks along the route, including Griffith Park and Rattlesnake Park. Take your wheels here if you want to see a lot of green space and hear birds chirp away while you’re pedaling. Griffith Park Bike Loop As Los Angeles’ biggest park, Griffith Park offers more than just performance venues and tourist attractions – it’s also blessed with an idyllic, tree-lined, nine-mile bike loop. What’s more, it also connects seamlessly to the River Bike Path! Cyclists can either begin from the northern tip by taking Zoo Drive at Riverside Drive or start from the south by taking Crystal Springs Drive at Los Feliz Boulevard. There are rental bikes available in the park for those without their own set of wheels. Long Beach Bike Path Long Beach natives can take their bikes to Shoreline Village and embark on this scenic three-mile path that ends at Alamitos Bay. Along the way, they can stop by Belmont Brewing Company to refuel. For more bike paths around Long Beach, check out the Bike Long Beach website. The Donut This historical bike loop, which began at a donut shop, is not for the beginner bicyclist. The 28-mile circuit consists of rolling hills, making for a difficult, strenuous ride. However, riders who push through are rewarded with beautiful views of Catalina Island, Point Vincente Lighthouse, Fort MacArthur, and other notable landmarks. This list has been brought to you by the experienced California bicycle accident attorneys at Wilshire Law Firm. Please come to us for all of your accident needs. Since 2007, we have obtained more than $90,000,000 in settlements and verdicts on behalf of our clients. We can help you get the compensation you need to pay for medical bills, lost wages, and more. Call us today at (800) 522-7274 to receive a FREE consultation.
Ways Family Can Help a Loved One with a Brain Injury
Helping Others Understand a Brain Injury It pains you to see your loved one struggle with the effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI). You want to help him or her in any way possible, but you just don’t know what to do. Due to your profound sense of empathy and love for this person, you may feel overwhelmed by the task. Your greatest fear at the moment is that your support is inadequate. But nothing could be further from the truth. Your presence alone helps a lot. By showing your loved one you truly care, you are doing wonders for his or her mental and emotional health. However, you want to assist in other ways and make your loved one as comfortable as possible without overstepping your boundaries. The recommendations below will help you care for your loved one once he or she has returned home: Restore Structure and Normalcy Establish and maintain a daily routine. Make sure all the items your loved one needs are within easy reach. Let him or her rest often. Involve him or her in family activities and conversation even if he or she cannot speak. Keep a calendar of activities visible on the wall and cross off days as they pass. Keep a photo album with labeled pictures of family members, friends, and familiar places. Be Considerate and Respectful Don’t express overly optimistic sentiments on a frequent basis, but do point out every gain your loved one has made since the onset of the injury. Don’t talk down to him or her. Respect his or her likes and dislikes regarding food, fashion, entertainment, and so on. Avoid admonishing him or her for small accidents and mistakes. If your loved one has memory issues, explain an activity in simple terms before you begin and review each step in more detail as you go. Avoid Overstimulation Allow only a few visitors at a time. Don’t speak over each other. Use simple language. Keep your voice soft and calm. Present only one thought or command at a time and wait patiently for a response. Avoid crowded places. Keep stimulation to one sense (hearing, sight, and touch) at a time. For more advice, talk to the therapists and nurses providing care. They can instruct you on ways to be of further help to your loved one, whether it’s physically, mentally, or emotionally. If you are seeking legal help because the injury was caused by another party, please don’t hesitate to contact Wilshire Law Firm for immediate assistance. Our experienced California brain injury attorneys and concussion lawyers can get you the compensation you need to cover damages such as past and future medical and rehabilitation expenses, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and more. To learn more about what our firm can do for you and your family, call us today at (800) 522-7274. We offer FREE consultations.
Construction Workers: Beware of Silica Exposure
Copyright: olegdudko / 123RF Stock Photo Dangers of Silica Exposure to Construction Workers At construction sites, the air is usually full of dust, as workers pulverize rocks or concrete with high power tools. Although it may not seem like it, the dust can actually be harmful, even deadly. Studies have shown that construction workers are at risk of developing silicosis and other lung diseases if they are exposed to high levels of concrete and rock dust over a significant period of time. What Is Silicosis? Inhaling dust containing crystalline silica particles (a main component of the earth’s crust) can cause lung fibrosis – a disease marked by scar tissue formations in the lung that can interfere with the ability to breathe. There is no known cure for this disease. Other diseases associated with silica exposure include chronic airway obstruction and bronchitis, tuberculosis and lung cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. What Construction Activities Have High Risk? Construction activities which have the highest risk of silica exposure include the following: Sandblasting to remove paint and rust Jack hammering Rock/well drilling Concrete mixing and drilling Brick and concrete block cutting and sawing Tunneling Setting, laying, and repair of railroad tracks Although the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) imposes certain site standards to protect workers from the dangers of silica exposure, recent studies suggest that the current OSHA standard may actually be insufficient. What Are the Symptoms of Silicosis? If you are a construction worker and are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you may have contracted silicosis during the course of your work: Shortness of breath Fever Bluish skin at the ear lobes or lips Chronic fatigue and shortness of breath Loss of appetite Chest pains Respiratory failure Chronic silicosis, which usually occurs after 10 or more years of exposure, may eventually lead to death, depending on the severity of the symptoms. Am I Entitled to Compensation? If you or someone you love has developed silicosis or another respiratory illness due to construction work, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, loss of income, future medical treatment, pain and suffering, and more. However, it is up to you to take action to ensure maximum recovery. Get in touch with an experienced construction accident attorney as soon as possible. At Wilshire Law Firm, our legal team can conduct a thorough investigation of your claim and help you prove that your employer and/or the equipment manufacturer caused your exposure to silica dust. For years, we have helped injured and sick construction workers get the financial support they need to cover their medical bills and secure their financial future. To learn more about your rights and legal options, call us today at (800) 522-7274.
Uber Faces Possible Ban from California
Copyright: dennizn / 123RF Stock Photo Uber may be fined $7.3 million and be suspended from operating in California, thanks to chief administrative law judge Karen V. Clopton of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). In her decision, the judge accused the major ridesharing company of not complying with certain state laws that ensure fair treatment of all passengers, even though they had a year to do so and were given less strict regulations to follow than regular taxi companies. A spokesperson with Uber called the decision “deeply disappointing.” She also stated that the company plans to appeal the decision within the 30 day period it has been granted by the CPUC. The appeals process could take several months before the CPUC determines whether to uphold the fine and suspension. The multimillion dollar fine is miniscule compared to Uber’s total assets (worth around $40 billion) and thus poses no threat to the company’s finances. However, if the ban is upheld, it could have devastating implications for the company’s future. Uber is already banned in many places around the world and its policies have been heavily scrutinized by regulators in the U.S. in recent years. A bad outcome here could ruin their public image and jeopardize their existence in the market. This is not the first time Uber has faced legal issues nor will it be the last. With multiple injury and employee lawsuits in the works and regulatory change on the horizon, it is only a matter of time before Uber is forced to change their ways, or perhaps fail. If you want to learn more about the legal issues surrounding ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft, click here.
Who Pays for a Crash Caused by an Uber or Lyft Driver?
Photo from NYPost.com Injured in an Uber or Lyft Accident? Here’s Some Advice Surely, the people reading this article, especially Millennials, are familiar with Uber and Lyft, the two giants of the “disruptive” ride-sharing industry. Now valued at billions of dollars each, these companies have achieved enormous success at an extremely rapid pace. There are two primary reasons for their success: convenience and competitive rates. How Uber and Lyft Work Uber, Lyft, and other ride-sharing companies use the ubiquitous ownership of smartphones to connect passenger clients through their proprietary applications. To put it in simpler terms, they offer personal transportation services that can be requested with the push of a button (on an app). Once a ride seeker has made a request, the closest available driver is notified and sent to his or her location. It’s as simple as that. This certainly beats having to call or wait for a taxi and flag it down. Uber and Lyft rides also price their rides at a very cheap rate, relative to taxi fees. They accomplish this by labeling their drivers as contract workers, not employees, which, in turn, allows them to externalize costs like gas, payroll, etc. so that profits are maximized and expenses are kept to a minimum. Employee obligations and benefits aren’t the only things they’ve cut down on, though; they have been able to skirt insurance liabilities as well through the use of convoluted mumbo jumbo in their respective policies. The Ride-Sharing Liability Dilemma To their credit, both Uber and Lyft provide adequate coverage to injured passengers. However, matters get quite murky when it comes to accidents involving other drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and so on. While both companies have expanded their coverage to include accidents incurred during a gap between rides, their policies come into effect only if a driver’s personal policy does not cover the accident. Many questions immediately come to mind: What happens if the resulting damages of an accident exceed the driver’s coverage? Who or what fills this insurance gap? Does the victim have to turn to his or her own resources? Isn’t personal policy coverage ineffective in cases where the liable driver was driving for commercial purposes? If this is the case, who covers the damages? A Complex Legal Issue Clearly, there are significant issues surrounding third-party liability insurance in the ride-sharing industry, and many are starting to realize this fact. Legislators in multiple states, including California, have challenged Uber and Lyft on their policies, and there will be many legal disputes in the coming years before clear regulations are established. At Wilshire Law Firm, our knowledgeable attorneys stay on top of the latest developments in ride-sharing accident liability law. Visit this page on Uber and Lift liability if you would like to learn more.