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Personal Injury Blog

How Distracted Walking Effects Pedestrian Accidents

Friday, June 22, 2018

distracted walker

As a pedestrian, you should expect a certain amount of safety on sidewalks and crosswalks. Unfortunately, things happen and you may find yourself hurt by a car as a result, even as a pedestrian. However, if you have been injured, you need to be able to prove that the driver was at least at some fault for the accident. However, if you were engaging in distracted walking, such as looking at your cell phone, you may not be able to recover as much compensation as if you were walking around without distraction and had all your senses about you.

Types of Distracted Walking

When walking, especially near busy streets, it pays to be undistracted and alert of your surroundings. While you as the pedestrian have the right of way in most cases, cars do not always see you and the pedestrian has a certain duty to do their due diligence when walking near roadways, especially when crossing them.

When it comes to distracted walking, many people consider cell phones or other handheld devices to be the only sort of distraction that counts. However, audio devices count too. This means if you step off the curb while looking at a device or listening to music, you can be held at least in some fault for engaging in distracted walking.

How Distracted Walking Affects Your Case

If you are at a crosswalk and it signals that it is safe to cross, but a car hits you anyway because you were looking down at your cell phone, you may not be at full fault, but you will be at some fault. Alternatively, if you step off the curb, trip, or cross at a crosswalk that designates it is not safe to cross because you were looking at a device or listening to music, then you will, in fact, be in full fault for the accident. If the driver could not avoid you, you may be on the line for your damages as well as potentially theirs, depending on the unique circumstances of the case.

However, if you were distracted and the situation resulted in the driver being mostly at fault, you can still receive compensation. In this situation, it will limit how much compensation you can receive depending on how much of a percentage you were at fault in the accident. For example, if you are set to receive $10,000 in compensation for the accident, but were 10 percent at fault, you will only receive $9,000 in compensation as the percentage is deducted.

If you were walking while distracted and got into an accident, things are going to be bad going on worse. You need that compensation for your injuries and you will want to get as much as possible. This is why it is crucial to get an attorney as soon as possible. If you were walking while distracted and the witnesses can prove it, you will be held at least in some fault. There is no resolving that, but your attorney can help keep that percentage of fault as low as possible so you can get as much compensation as possible.

In order to do this, your attorney will need to prove that the car that hit you was acting illegally, such as running a red light or making a right turn without first looking for pedestrians crossing. If you have been in a pedestrian accident in California, contact us today. The Law Office of Freeman & Freeman is ready to fight for the rights of injured pedestrians, even if they were walking while distracted when they probably shouldn't have been. Let us fight to get you the compensation that you deserve for your case.


Fighting Accusations of Malingering in Brain Injury Cases

Thursday, June 14, 2018

If you have been in an accident, the last sort of injury you want to endure outside loss of limb is a brain or spinal injury. These injuries can be debilitating, and permanently so. However, alongside that, brain and spinal injuries are some of the most complicated issues both medically and legally. Even if you were to have a limb amputated in an accident, you will have permanent loss, but at least it is a visible injury and easy to get compensation for.

However, if you have a spine or brain injury, it can be more difficult to get compensation for because it is not always an injury that you can physically see. Worse yet, there may come accusations of malingering - otherwise known as faking.

If there is no physical sign of trauma, such is often the case with brain injuries, you might hear the term malingering thrown around by the insurance company that doesn't want to pay. They are essentially saying that you are faking a brain injury for more compensation. The complicated thing is that proving a brain injury often requires expensive tests that only cause the amount they need to pay to rise.

Preventing Malingering Accusations After a Brain Injury

After an accident, if you have endured head trauma or were in a car accident that caused your neck (and thus your head) to snap back and forth, there are a number of tests your doctor may want to run. If you are visiting your family doctor after an accident as you didn't need ER treatment, you may want to ask them to refer you to a specialist if they suspect you may have brain injuries. Insurance companies are often quick to question the diagnosis of a family physician, but it is much harder to call into question the diagnosis of a specialist that you have been unaffiliated with.

When visiting a specialist, you will want to be candid with them in order to avoid any potential accusations of malingering later. You may not be aware of any periods of lost consciousness, and it is often not recorded on most EMT reports. However, you will want to mention any periods of confusion or trouble speaking. In many cases this is just a simple concussion, but a brain or spine specialist will still want to run some tests to make sure you are okay.

There are a number of diagnostic tests to find and diagnose brain injuries and their severity. Each are used for specific suspected problems, but at very least you will be looking at either an MRI or CT scan to get a better look at what is going on inside your head. If the specialist finds anything wrong, they may want to do further tests. However, during this period, you will want to record what tests you had done, the results, and the price for later compensation.

What to Do If Your Insurance Company Calls You a Faker

If you went to a specialist, it will cut down the chances of your insurance company accusing you of malingering, but they can still try it because of how complex brain injuries can be. In most cases, they will request a medical exam from one of their doctors. If there really is something wrong, they have an oath not to lie about it.

However, because brain injuries are so complex, you will definitely want a lawyer by your side to defend your rights and help you get the compensation you deserve. If you have been in an accident and need help, contact us today to see what the Law Firm of Freeman & Freeman can do for you.


Child Bicycle Accidents: Are The Parents to Blame?

Friday, June 08, 2018

Children on bicycles - it is not a case of if they will get into an accident, but rather when it will happen. Any parent who learned to ride a bike as a child knows that most of these accidents will be them falling off and scraping a knee. However, there is always a chance that the naturally reckless behavior that comes with youth will result in something more serious. However, the question is, if your child gets into an accident on their bicycle with a pedestrian or even a car, do the parents shoulder the legal blame for any damages?

The Driver's Duty of Care

For drivers involved in accidents with children who were out riding their bikes, the law tends to be deeply more sympathetic to the child, more so if they were injured. However, the law goes above simple sympathy in these cases as it is expected that adults exercise a certain duty of care in the presence of children. If it can be proved that the driver saw the child, knew they were traveling through areas where children frequent or passed any sort of cautionary sign that children may be about, it can be argued that they needed to exercise more caution than usual.

In these cases, it needs to be proved that the adult driver had no way of preventing the accident in order to not be negligent.

Who is at Fault When the Child is to Blame?

If it can be proven that the adult driver was in no way negligent, then there is only one other side that will be to blame. However, a child can't pay for damages. When a child is found negligent, their caretaker is the one whole will bear the punishment.

Under the law, a child cannot be negligent under the tender years doctrine. This means children under three are incapable of the thought required to cause a negligent accident. However, most children do not ride their first bicycle until after that age. Any child that is older than three can be considered negligent, and until the age of majority - 18 years old - their parent will still be held responsible for their actions.

What to Do in Cases That Involve Children

When there is a bicycle accident that involves a child, essentially it becomes a defense case for both sides until it can be decided where negligence lands. The adult will be out to prove that they fulfilled their duty of care while the child's parent will seek to prove that their child was not negligent. After the courts make the decision on where negligence lies, that is where your standard accident suit begins. The driver may press for damages from the parents, while the parents may press for damages from the driver. If the latter is true, the adult driver should expect court sympathy to come into play. The younger the child was, the more sympathetic they will be. Alternatively, if the child was a teenager, the courts will be less sympathetic. The adult driver's legal counsel may even be able to prove a pattern of reckless behavior when it comes to placing negligence on them if the child has been in an incident before.

Have You Been in a Bicycle Accident?

Have you been in an accident with a cyclist? Bicycles on streets are becoming more common with each passing day. It is not only an environmentally friendly travel option, but it is affordable and great for the body as well. However, until drivers are properly educated on how to share the road with bicycles, accidents will continue to happen. If you have been in a bicycle accident and need representation to help you get the compensation that you deserve, then contact us today.


Seeking Compensation for Chemical Burns From a Restaurant

Thursday, June 07, 2018

The only burns you may worry about when walking into a restaurant or those coming from the liquid lava hot coffee or heated fajita skillet. Perhaps in the worst case you may worry in the back of your mind about a kitchen fire gone out of control. However, it is actually more common for burns that happen inside a restaurant to be of a chemical nature, and knowing how will make you second guess every restaurant you ever step into.

Consider this scenario: You walk into a restaurant and order a nice cold beer. While you look over the menu you have a few sips, but you start to feel strange. Your mouth starts to burn, then your throat, and soon you begin to vomit. After being rushed to the hospital, likely have your stomach pumped, you find out that you have a series of chemical burns in your throat and stomach.

Even if your beer tasted fine, it could have been deeply laced with caustic chemicals. Yet, to many, this horror story seems like something that happens rarely, but unfortunately for everyone, it happens in the United States several thousand times per year. For those who have worked in restaurant kitchens before, they likely already realize how it is possible.

Why Chemical Burns From Restaurants are So Common

For those who have gotten sick or internal burns from eating or drinking at a restaurant, it happened because of a general lack of care. Often during peak hours, those cleaning dishes in the back of the house are in a hurry due to general pressure to get those dishes back in serving shape in record time. This might mean that they skip steps that are done for safety.

Often plates are generally kept safe because they have good natural drainage. However, cups are at risk because obviously, they can hold liquid. This means they are at risk to become coated with the chemical cleaner used to sanitize the dishes between use. However, it is not always the dishwasher's fault. In the above scenario, that chemical-laced beer could have very well come from the tap lines. Some establishments clean their tap lines using chemicals, and when not properly flushed, you could find yourself drinking a chemical-laced brew.

What to Do About Chemical Burns

If you ate or drank at a restaurant and had to be rushed to the hospital for chemical burns, there is no denying that you should have a right to compensation to cover your medical bills. The key to any personal injury case is being able to prove liability. Due to the very nature of chemicals, you often will have a solid case. Most caustic chemicals do more harm over time, but they start doing harm almost immediately. This means if that restaurant full of witnesses can attest that you drank beer from the tap and started having a reaction, then it can be blamed on the restaurant.

While restaurants typically have good insurance to cover incidents like this, that doesn't mean they won't fight against your claim. The real issue is not that they don't want to pay for the injuries their negligence caused you, but rather that the lawsuit would affect their reputation. Issues like this can often close down a restaurant.

Alternatively, it may not always be the restaurant's fault. If they outsourced someone to clean their tap lines, for example, then the fault may actually lie with that third party. This means that it is actually that company you would need to pursue.

If you have suffered from chemical burns while eating at a restaurant and want to seek compensation for your injuries, contact us today. Chemical burns, particularly in your throat can be devastating and have lifelong consequences.


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