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How Insurance Adjusters Calculate Settlement for a Personal Injury

Thursday, June 23, 2016

When you’ve been injured and are looking to settle with the insurance company regarding compensation for your personal injury, you may wonder how the insurance adjuster calculates the value of your claim. There are no set rules and no guide that helps the adjuster determine the amount: It’s generally an educated guess.

The insurance adjuster must investigate your claim and document enough information so the insurance company can set the adjuster’s requested reserve on your claim. Once that is approved, the adjuster attempts to settle at or below that set amount.

Evaluation of Injury Claims

One way or another, insurance companies must evaluate insurance claims. Over time, they’ve relied on a few tactics in order to establish the claim reserve, and they’ll use that reserve as a guide to settle the claim.

Some adjusters use a method that triples the “specials”. These are the components of a settlement that pertain to the lost wages and medical bills. The adjuster would try to settle for three-times that total amount, adding in the cost of pain and suffering, along with other damages.

Personal Affect

Some insurance companies understand they cannot evaluate all claims in the same manner. Sometimes adjusters need to consider how the injuries affect the personal life of the injured. They’ll ask themselves questions such as can the injured person work, can he do household chores, can he still maintain an intimate relationship with his spouse? These are questions that require a bit more personal detail, but those factors are considered.

Computer Evaluation

Some adjusters just input the information into a computer and rely on the calculations that come from the data. This is more of a “one-size-fits-all” adjustment which can be manipulated when needed.

The bottom line is, your injuries are personal to you, and you want to ensure you receive a fair settlement. When you're ready to settle, contact us and we will make sure the insurance adjuster gives you an offer you can live with.

What You Should Know About Slip and Fall Injuries / Premises Liability

Friday, June 17, 2016

Slip and fall injuries/premises liability are areas of the law that can be confusing. It is not always easy to tell who is responsible for the costs of injuries caused when someone slips and falls in a public place, or even in the residence of a friend or acquaintance. There are times when the property owner should take responsibility, and times when he or she is not liable.

To be legally responsible for the injuries suffered from slipping and falling on another person's property, one of the following stipulations must be true:

  • Since a "reasonable" employee or premises owner should have been on the lookout for a dangerous surface, discovered and removed or repaired it.
  • The property owner or an employee of the business where the fall occurred must have known about the dangers inherent in the surface, but did nothing to rectify it.
  • An employee, or the owner of the property where the fall occurred, caused the situation (such as a spill, torn carpeting or other dangerous surface) and did nothing to rectify it.

In virtually all slip or trip and fall cases, one must determine whether or not his or her carelessness contributed to the cause of the accident. The rules of "comparative negligence" help determine and measure the degree to which one's own reasonableness in certain factors, such as why the injured party was going where he or she went, or what the injured party did, just prior to the accident.

It takes the assistance of an experienced, professional attorney to sort through all the confusing details of a slip and fall injury case and to help determine whether or not the owner or employee of a premises was at fault. If you live in the vicinity of Los Angeles or the greater LA area, and were injured due to a slip and fall accident, please contact us to schedule a consultation. We can help.

Things You Should Know If You Received a Burn Due to Negligence

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Burn Injuries can ultimately require significant medical treatment. Burns can occur when your body's tissues have direct contact with radiation, heat, sunlight, or electricity. A burn can be the result of steam, fires, or hot liquids. If you received a burn as a result of negligence, it is necessary to consult an attorney.

In order to receive compensation for your burn, you must prove that the person who caused the burn was acting in a careless manner. You must establish that the defendant did not meet the standard to provide a duty of care. You must then prove that the defendant's breach was ultimately the direct cause of the injury you sustained.

You must also provide evidence for the injuries you sustained to receive compensation. A burn injury often leaves physical wounds and may sometimes even result in hospitalization. Burns may also leave scars as a reminder of the pain that a burn victim has endured. For this reason, a burn victim may be able to recover compensation for damages such as lost wages, physical therapy, and medical expenses. A loved one of the burn victim may also be able to receive compensation if they lost their loved one's companionship as a result of the burn injury.

If you or a loved one has suffered from a burn injury, you may be able to receive compensation. To discuss your burn injury case today, contact us. We will help evaluate your case to make sure you receive the full compensation you deserve.

A Drone Injury Lawyer Will Maximize Your Monetary Compensation from Drone-Related Injuries

Thursday, June 02, 2016

New technologies inevitably increase the possibilities of injuries. The industrial revolution, for example, saw an explosion of machinery-related injuries. The advent of the automobile gave rise to new theories of negligence and damages for injured parties. Drones that have been adapted for personal and business uses are becoming the next frontier of personal injury law. If you suffer an injury from an errant drone, your right to recover damages that injury will be best protected by an experienced drone injury lawyer who understands this technology, and who can identify any negligent parties that caused an injury.

At present, drone operators are subject to the same standards that apply to operators of other machines, namely, they are obligated to use reasonable and customary care to avoid damages and injuries when they operate those drones. This can include, for example, receiving proper training for how and where they are using the drone, and avoiding situations that represent and undue level of risk of injury. An operator who uses his drone only in open or remote locations might be held to a different standard than an operator whose drone is deployed into crowded areas or where visibility is limited.

At least until more standards are imposed or adopted for drone, not all drones are technologically equal. A drone that is poorly designed or manufactured might be used by a skilled operator who has received thorough training, but that drone's manufacturing or design flaws might lead to an accident and injuries. Your drone injury lawyer should be familiar with operating and design standards, as well as with training and operating requirements that may be applicable to drone usage in your vicinity. 

Drone accidents are increasing in frequency, leading many injured parties to seek assistance from attorneys who understand their technology and operation. A New York photographer suffered facial injuries when an errant drone that was used for a promotion clipped his nose and face. A drone that was recording video crashed into spectators at a Virginia festival, injuring several people. An Australian triathlete suffered head injuries when an operator lost control of the device while filming portions of a triathlon race. Some level of negligence was present in each of these incidents.

If you have suffered injuries from a drone accident in southern California or elsewhere, please contact us for an assessment of your case. We understand drone technology and can protect your rights to give the largest potential damages award.

Getting Fair Treatment After Bicycle Accidents Can Be hard

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Legally, a bicyclist's injuries in an accident deserve the same consideration as a car driver's or passenger's. Unfortunately, because they don't provide revenue in license and registration fees — or maybe just because a bike doesn't look as impressive as a big shiny car — the legal system doesn't always give cyclists the same consideration.

D.C. lawyer Bruce Deming says that police often take a casual attitude toward reporting bicycle accidents. He cites a case where a cyclist was seriously injured and the police were there to report the accident, but they didn't even take down witness names, causing serious difficulty with the rider's subsequent insurance claim.

In Bethesda, Maryland, a driver struck and killed a cyclist and was fined for failure to avoid a collision, failure to pass safely, and negligent driving, yet was not charged with any crime.

In Portland, Oregon, a truck struck a turning cyclist, causing the loss of his right leg. The cyclist had the right of way. No criminal charges were filed.

The situation will vary greatly from one location to another, but cyclists often find it difficult to get treatment as first-class citizens of the road. You can improve your chances by treating a crash like any other accident involving a motor vehicle, getting identification, waiting for the police to arrive, and filing a report. Make sure the police take your report, even if they're only interested in the driver's story. Get witnesses if possible. Be careful of what you say to the driver's insurance company. Talk to a lawyer if necessary.

Please contact us if you need legal assistance concerning a bicycle accident in the greater Los Angeles area.



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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.