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Personal Injury Blog

Pedestrian Safety Tips

Thursday, July 12, 2018

For many people, when possible, walking is their preferred way to get from one place to another. Walking is a great way to get exercise while also saving on gasoline, but it also requires you to take extra care to avoid getting injured by an inattentive driver.

Pick the Right Path

One of the most important things you can do as a pedestrian is to pick the right path. When sidewalks are available, use them. When possible, even if it means taking a slightly longer route, take roads that have well-maintained sidewalks. If the street does not have a sidewalk, walk as close to the edge of the left side of the road as possible. This allows you to see oncoming traffic and to avoid impeding traffic.

It is also important to use crosswalks. When possible, cross at streets with pedestrian lights. Drivers are more likely to be watching for pedestrians at crosswalks than they are if you simply cross in the middle of the road. Even when crossing at crosswalks, always make sure drivers see you before you cross the street. Never assume a driver will stop for you. Even after the driver has stopped, you may want to make eye contact with the driver to ensure that the person really has seen you.

Make Yourself Visible

It is always important for pedestrians to be easily visible. When walking along the side of the road, if there are vehicles parked along the road, avoid weaving between them. Maintain as straight of a path as possible.

It is especially important to make sure that you are visible when you are crossing the street. Never attempt to cross the street between two parked cars or if there are other items that might hide you from passing drivers' view.

Pedestrians traveling after dark or in bad weather can be especially hard for drivers to see. When traveling after dark or in bad weather, avoid wearing dark clothing. Instead, wear bright colors. You may even want to invest in reflective clothing, especially if you often travel on foot after dark. To make yourself even more visible, carry a flashlight or other device that gives off light to help drivers to see you better.

Be Smart

Pedestrians who make smart decisions are more likely to be safe pedestrians. People often emphasize the importance of not driving impaired, but it is also important to not walk impaired. Drugs or alcohol may impact your judgment or your ability to walk straight. Because of this, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you may weave into traffic or try to cross the street when it isn't really safe to do so. Stay where you are or get a ride rather than trying to walk or drive anywhere until the effects of the drugs or alcohol have worn off.

It is also important to avoid distractions, which may also cause you to weave into traffic or step off the sidewalk when you cannot do so safely. Put down your cell phone. Don't try reading and walking. Do not engage in any other behavior that may distract you from paying attention to your surroundings.

Another part of being a smart pedestrian is paying attention to drivers near you. If there is someone driving erratically, you may need to move onto the grass or otherwise get out of the driver's way to stay safe. You may also need to move over if someone is driving close to the curb or might otherwise hit you.

Unfortunately, even if you are careful, sometimes drivers are not watching for pedestrians. If you or a family member was the victim of a pedestrian accident, contact us. We will provide you with a free evaluation of your case and work to get you with fair compensation for any injuries you or your family member suffered as a result of the accident. 

Common Types of Medical Malpractice Suits

Friday, July 06, 2018

Many people often wonder if they have a medical malpractice suit. Whether they are unhappy with their care or they believe that they are sicker than they were before, medical malpractice suits are not always easy to win.

Unfortunately, doctors are human like the rest of us. They can make many different mistakes when it comes to medical malpractice suits. They can order the wrong test and give the wrong medication. Accidents can happen during a surgical procedure and there are times when it doesn't help a patient.

However, the mistakes that they make often fall into several categories, making them a little easier to define. This may help you decide if you truly have a case. The best way to determine this is by meeting with a lawyer who specializes in medical malpractice cases.

Here are some of the most common medical malpractice suits that occur today.

Failure to diagnose. 

Most doctors are very careful when diagnosing patients. They know that the wrong diagnosis and treatment could kill a person. However, doctors are also human and there are times when a doctor can be wrong.

To have a medical malpractice suit for failing to diagnose a patient, you must be able to prove that another doctor would have diagnosed you differently, giving you a better outcome.

Wrong treatment. 

If your doctor treats you differently than another doctor would, you may have a medical malpractice suit. You may also have a case if they treated you with the right medication but gave it wrong. This could be the wrong dose (five tablets instead of one) or the wrong method (intravenously instead of in the muscle).

Again, you are going to have to prove that another doctor would have treated you differently and you would have gotten better.

Failure to tell a patient the risks.

 Every treatment has some risks and it is your right, as a patient, to know about all of them. Your doctor should go over all of the risks and potential outcomes of a medical procedure before administering the treatment.

If your doctor doesn't go over the risks and you have the procedure, they can be held liable if something goes wrong. This is especially true if you wouldn't have gone through with the treatment knowing what the risks were.

In order to have a medical malpractice case, you need to be able to prove that your doctor did something wrong, whether he or she diagnosed or treated you wrong. You also have a case if he or she didn't warn you all about the risks prior to scheduling a procedure or treatment. You deserve to know everything before you go through with any tests and treatment.

However, to win your case, you have to hire the best lawyer so don't hesitate to contact us today. We have plenty of experience to help through this difficult time. We work with medical professionals who will help us to see if you have a case. Our entire team will review your chart so we thoroughly understand your case.

It is important to remember that you may have to go through a medical malpractice review panel before you ever end up in court. This allows experts to hear both sides of the story (both evidence and expert testimony). They use this to find out if you even have a valid case. If they vote on your behalf, it doesn't mean that you have won. It simply means that you should get ready to take it to court.

Contact us for all of your legal needs. We will be there for you every step of the way.

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.



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From our offices in Woodland Hills, California, Freeman & Freeman, LLP, provides legal advice and representation for clients in communities throughout the state, including those in Burbank, Glendale, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys, Tarzana, Santa Clarita, Agoura Hills, Reseda, Canoga Park, Chatsworth, Northridge, Granada Hills, Pacoima, Panorama City, North Hollywood, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Lancaster, Palmdale and Alhambra.