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Hit & Run? Don't Be Hit & Burned

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Car accidents aren't always so plain and simple. Unfortunately, all too many auto accidents are made more complex because one of the individuals leaves the scene. When a driver does this without purposefully leaving behind information, it is called a hit and run accident. Don't worry if you find yourself in an accident like this, though; hiring a lawyer can help you seek compensation for your damages.

California Law Requires You Stop After an Accident

As in any other state, California drivers are required to pull over to the side of the road and follow procedure for obtaining driver information. This is the case whether you caused damage to property (like a vehicle or a mailbox) or a person (like a pedestrian or bicyclist). You are required to stop as soon as it is safe to do so. If somebody continues to drive on, they are breaking the law. This is even the case if the vehicle hit is unaccompanied.

What If The Other Driver Runs?

While there are criminal penalties, even prison time, in place for drivers who run, these only work if they can be identified. Many drivers have dashcams that capture the driver's license plate, make, and model. Even a cell phone picture can aid the identification process.

You are probably more interested in the potential civil penalties. If you have the identity of the other driver, you can take them to court. You can sue to cover the costs of medical bills, wages lost, and damage to property.

How Can a Lawyer Help You If You've Been Hit & Run?

  • A lawyer can prove that the other driver was liable for the accident before running.
  • A lawyer can demonstrate that you were injured or deserve compensation based on the accident.
  • Lawyers are familiar with court communications and meeting deadlines.
  • Your lawyer can prevent the insurance company from coming after you.
  • Lawyers understand the significance of a fair settlement, and can easily calculate a manageable amount.

Without a lawyer you are on your own when it comes to getting your case to trial. The process of identifying and fighting a hit and runner driver in court can be difficult without solid legal counsel.

Do you have questions about your hit and run case? We may be able to help. Contact us and let us know how we can be of service.

Pool Accidents and Drownings

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Swimming pool accidents, drownings and near drownings occur far too frequently in the United States, and with devastating results.

According to a CDC article based on US mortality through 2007, drowning is the fifth leading cause for unintentional injury death. And, while California did not lead the nation, it was unfortunately among the top 10 states for numbers of drowning deaths. While our climate lends itself to enjoying the sunny weather outside, it also means we are more at risk of being injured or drowning at the pool.

If a pool accident does not result in death, the effects are often both debilitating and expensive, including traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, disembowelment, and permanent brain damage.

A number of things can lead to pool accidents, including:

  • Broken or defective pool equipment;
  • Poorly maintained pools and pool decks;
  • Inadequate supervision;
  • Inadequate fencing and/or inadequate gates around the pool area;
  • Other negligence.

If you own a swimming pool, take steps to help minimize the risk of pool injuries or deaths, including:

  • Learn CPR, and keep your certification current;
  • Make sure children will be closely supervised in and around the pool;
  • Make sure the pool area is secure by installing fencing and gates, using pool safety covers, and removing steps and ladders when not in use.

If someone you love was injured or died as a result of a swimming pool accident, you may have the legal right to seek compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering and other monetary losses. Contact us to find out how Freeman & Freeman may be able to help you aggressively fight for your rights.

You Got Bit? Don't Get Burned by Ignoring California's Dog Bite Law

Friday, March 18, 2016

Dogs are wonderful companions, but when poorly trained by their masters and under limited supervision, they can be a threat to the community. If you or someone you know has been attacked by an unsupervised dog, California's Dog Bite Law states that the owner of the animal must be held responsible for the actions of their pet. Before paying for hefty medical bills, be sure to understand that you may be able to take legal action against the dog owner to make sure that the fault of their actions doesn't have to come out of your wallet.

California Civil Code Section 3342 states, in its simplest terms, that the owner of any dog is held liable for damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog on either public or private property, which includes the dog owner's home. This also holds true regardless of whether or not this was the dog's first display of viciousness. The only exceptions to the law is if the dog bite victim was provoking the animal, trespassing, or in the process of committing a crime.

When to Seek Legal Representation?

If you were the victim of a dog bite that resulted in either physical injury or documented emotional trauma, you are eligible for litigation against the dog owner. With strong evidence of the event, you can also seek to any damages caused by the traumatic event.

Claim damages can include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Surgeries
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress

Were you or a loved one bit by a dog in California and forced to pay your own legal expenses? We can help. Contact us for a free consultation, we can make sure that you can win your court case before paying a penny in legal fees.


Checklist: Steps to Take After an Auto Accident

Friday, March 11, 2016

Drivers who are in an auto accident are often unsure of what to do immediately following the crash. They are overwhelmed with emotions and find it hard to think clearly. Therefore it is wise to be aware of the steps to take if you are ever in a collision BEFORE you face the situation. Consider the following checklist of steps to take after an auto accident.

Injuries:

Check all occupants of all vehicles involved in the collision to see if anyone is injured and in need of medical attention. Call for an ambulance if needed. Keep in mind that some injuries do not show up immediately after the accident but surface hours later. Check yourself and your passengers again at a later time to verify no one is experiencing any pain or discomfort.

Record Information:

Many people know to exchange insurance information but there are more details that should be recorded immediately following the accident. Include the following:

  • Insurance information for all vehicles.
  • Contact information for all drivers and any witnesses.
  • Number of passengers and approximate age in each car.
  • Injuries that occurred.
  • Make and Model of all vehicles.
  • License plates of all vehicles
  • Weather conditions at the time of the accident.
  • Traffic level at the time of the accident.
  • Your version of what happened. Include a sketch of the accident scene.
  • Photographs of the scene of the accident and damage to the vehicles.

Don't Apologize:

Avoid apologizing to the other driver at the time of the accident. This may be taken as you admitting you caused the accident. It is best not to say anything about who was responsible at this time.

Don't Accept a Settlement:

The insurance company may want to settle the claim right away. Although this seems wonderful because you can start repairing your car and recovering from your injuries it is most likely an attempt to get you to accept less than you deserve. Keep in mind that your injuries may require a considerable amount of medical attention in the future. Contact us before you settle so we can help you determine the value of a settlement you will really need to fully recover.

If you are in a car accident in the future keep the above checklist in mind immediately following the crash. These steps will help protect you financially.

Investigating Truck Accident Causes

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Truck Accidents are often devastating. Trucks outweigh cars by a significant amount. Therefore the car often suffers major damage and occupants of the car are injured. In some cases the car occupants do not survive the crash. Truck accidents can be due to the negligence. Therefore if you or a loved one was injured or killed in a truck accident it is important to evaluate the cause. You may be entitled to damages.

Maintenance

In some cases the accident was because proper maintenance was not conducted. For example the load on the back of the truck may not have been properly secured. If it falls off causing an accident that is negligence on the part of the driver. Or maybe the truck brakes may not have been maintained as they should be and a mechanical failure occurred.

Driver Issues

Accidents have been caused due to a fatigued driver. Truck drivers are required to follow specific regulations about how many hours they can drive before they must take a break. If they fail to comply with those regulations an accident may result. Drivers should also obviously not be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They should not be texting while driving. Distracted driving is dangerous.

Proper Driving

Was the driver speeding? Did the driver ignore a stop sign? Sometimes the situation is a little less obvious. Were they going the appropriate speed for the weather conditions? Did they make an improper or illegal turn? A driver that has not driven in a safe manner is responsible for causing the accident.

If you have been involved in an accident with a truck contact us. We can help you determine if the driver was negligent. In some cases we may find that a manufacturing defect in the truck was the cause. Another option is the road was not properly maintained resulting in the crash. No matter the reason, we can help you attain the settlement you need to recover from the accident.


Office Locations

21900 Burbank Boulevard
Third Floor
Woodland Hills, CA 91367-7418

P: 818-992-2919
F: 818-992-2940


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.