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Own a Pool? Follow These Steps to Protect Yourself Against Pool Injuries and Drowning Accidents on Your Property

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Enjoying your backyard swimming pool with friends and family members on a hot summer afternoon can be a welcome way to beat the heat, but nothing can make a pool owner's blood run cold like the thought of a serious pool injury or drowning accident occurring on his property. If you are a pool owner, there are important steps you can take to lessen the likelihood of a tragedy occurring in your own backyard oasis.

Check the Equipment

One of the best ways to prevent a swimming accident is to make sure all your equipment is in good working order. While the drain of a pool or spa may seem harmless enough, many drain cover of older pools and spas were designed in such a way that the entire flat cover could be completely blocked by a human torso. If completely blocked, the amount of suction could potentially be strong enough to hold a victim on the bottom of the pool. Newer anti-entrapment covers are required in public swimming pools. Unfortunately, many private pools still have not been retrofitted with a new, safer drain. If you have concerns about the safety of the drain in your pool or spa, contact a professional to have the drain checked and, if necessary, fitted with a new cover.

Additionally, keep lifesaving floatation devices and rescue poles in plain sight and easily accessible. If you do not own these important pieces of safety equipment, make it a priority to obtain them today.

Secure Your Pool

A fence is a basic deterrent. While it is likely that any determined person will be able to access your swimming area, a fence around your pool can send a powerful message for others to stay away, and the presence of a fence, or lack thereof, can affect your liability if a tragedy should occur on you property. Your fence should be at least four feet high, and gates should be both self-closing and self-latching. To prevent a determined child from pushing the gate open, gates should always swing out, away from the swimming area.

Educate Yourself And Others

Of course, one of the best ways to prevent a swimming injury or accidental drowning is to educate yourself and others regarding water safety. Post your poolside rules in a prominent place. Follow them, and insist that guests do the same. Educate yourself in the basics of CPR so you will be able to react quickly, calmly, and with confidence if an accident should occur.

Keeping your pool in good working order, and following proper safety procedures can help ensure that your pool remains an asset, and not a liability. If an accident has occurred on your property, and you are concerned with your legal rights, our staff is standing by to help. Don't hesitate to contact us today!


Bus Accidents Caused by Human Error are Common

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Bus Accidents happen every week in the Los Angeles area. Most of the time these accidents are just a result of bad luck, and no one gets hurt.

Statistics show that 90% of bus accidents are the result of human error, at least in part. Sometimes bus drivers get caught on video texting or taking personal calls on their mobile phones. Simple inattention and fatigue can contribute to bus drivers having accidents.

In February, a Redondo Beach bus driver accidentally hit and killed an 83-year-old putting another pedestrian in the hospital. The driver is now facing criminal charges connected with the accident.

In January, two passengers were ejected from a Greyhound bus that crashed near San Jose.

Other bus accidents end like the March 28 bus crash and fire in LA that resulted in a massive fire and injured two people.

With hundreds of buses moving students, tourists, and commuters around the metro area on any given day, there are plenty of opportunities for things to go wrong even without human error entering into the equation. Pedestrians and cyclists are especially vulnerable to being seriously injured or killed by careless bus drivers.

Bus passengers, pedestrians and other drivers cannot always assume that a bus has been well maintained. If not, bad brakes and worn tires can fail at a crucial moment and cause an accident. Bus passengers, pedestrians, and people in cars can be seriously injured, see their cars wrecked, and so on.

If you were injured by a negligent bus driver, don't hesitate to contact us and discuss your case with one of our experienced attorneys.


Do You Have a Wrongful Death Claim?

Friday, April 22, 2016

Have you recently lost a loved one and wonder if you would be able to bring a wrongful Death lawsuit to court? California law statutes can be confusing at best. Let's start at the beginning, and we'll help you determine if you just might have a case.

What Is Wrongful Death?

When someone dies due to the negligence or wrongful act of another, a wrongful death has occurred. This is a civil matter, not a criminal one. It is actually possible to bring forth a wrongful death lawsuit alongside a criminal trial proceeding. These two actions would be totally separate cases.

Who Can File a Lawsuit?

Not everyone can file a claim under this statute. The law gives the following people the ability to bring a lawsuit.

  • The deceased's spouse or domestic partner
  • The deceased's children
  • If there is no one directly in line to inherit the deceased's estate, then anyone who is entitled to the estate by intestate succession may file. This could include the deceased's parents, siblings, etc.

In addition to those listed above, the following people may bring a claim if they can prove they were financially dependent on the deceased.

  • An ex-spouse and their children
  • The deceased's parents
  • Step-children

What Damages Are Available?

Keep in mind, this is a civil case, not criminal. Any damages awarded will be monetary in nature. Money can be awarded to cover the funeral and final expenses, as well as future income that the deceased would have earned had they lived to a normal age.

Family members may also be entitled to financial compensation for loss of love, household services, and even moral support.

If you believe that you may have a wrongful death claim, please contact us for a consultation. We can help you work through the process and get the compensation you deserve from the negligent party.

Bicycle Accidents: Motorists May be Liable for Dooring

Friday, April 15, 2016

As more Americans realize the health and wellness benefits of bicycling, bicycle accidents are becoming more common. In most jurisdictions, bicycles must follow the same rules as cars and liability in an accident is determined using the same methods as in an accident involving two cars.

"Dooring" is a type of accident that primarily impacts bicycles. Dooring occurs when a motorist opens his door into traffic, either striking a cyclist or placing an obstacle in the cyclist's path. Dooring can cause severe injuries either through the direct impact or by pushing a cyclist in front of a moving vehicle.

The risk of dooring is exacerbated by the instructions that cyclists are often given about how to ride. Many state and local governments ask bicyclists to ride to the right of the lane. This places them in an area where they are at risk of being hit by a door.

Most jurisdictions have laws against unsafely opening a door into traffic. For instance, California's vehicle code 22517 states: "No person shall open the door of a vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless it is reasonably safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the movement of such traffic...". Laws against unsafe opening of a door create an infraction that police or accident investigators can cite during an accident investigation. Such a citation can help to define liability during an accident.

If you have been hit by a car door while riding your bicycle, you may be due compensation for your injuries. To find out more, please contact us.

Brain Injuries / Back Injuries / Spinal Cord Injuries May Lead to Major Lawsuits

Friday, April 08, 2016

On February 5, 2016, a lower Manhattan crane collapse garnered nationwide coverage. A 38-year-old man walking to work died in the accident. Three other individuals sustained injuries of varying severity. One of them was a man who was sitting in a parked car, waiting for his daughter to complete a medical appointment. The 73-year-old Massachusetts man suffered fractures to both his skull and spine when the crane boom came down on him.

Buildings Department Faulted

On Friday, March 18, 2016, the attorney for the man filed a complaint with the New York City Controller that blamed the city buildings department for failing to adequately monitor the construction site. In the complaint, the department is accused of "negligence, recklessness and carelessness."

A $30 million lawsuit names the New York City Department of Buildings as the defendant, according to the New York Daily News. The suit claims that the department failed to consider weather reports that predicted high winds across New York City on the date of the crane collapse.

Medical Evaluation Continues

The case illustrates some of the potential consequences of brain injuries, back injuries and spinal cord injuries. The injured man is still being evaluated for a possible traumatic brain injury according to his attorney. It is also possible that he'll require spinal surgery to repair the fractures. The retired businessman and dirt bike enthusiast now faces repeated visits to a Boston physician's office.

Although the circumstances of every construction accident are unique, it is important that there be a knowledgeable analysis of which parties were negligent. When it is reasonable to assert negligence in such an accident, it is often possible for a victim to seek monetary damages for a variety of losses, including medical expenses, pain and suffering and lost wages.

If you or a family member suffers injury or loss of life in an accident, it is possible to review the details with a personal injury attorney focused on relevant areas of the law. Our firm offers this type of consultation free of charge. To learn more, please contact us.


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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.