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Los Angeles Pedestrian Accidents: Who Will Enforce Your Rights?

Thursday, February 25, 2016

It's a nightmarish scenario: you're walking or running when you are hit by two tons of moving metal. Whether you saw the vehicle coming or not, you didn't stand a chance against it. You now have physical injuries that may keep you from work for a few days, months or even years. The emotional trauma can be even worse, leaving long-lasting scars on the inside.  

Unfortunately, accidents involving pedestrians are all too common. A February 2015 LA Times story reported that California led the nation for pedestrian accidents for the second year in a row.

There are many reasons for pedestrian accidents; many involve inattentive drivers or drivers operating while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Others accidents are just that: accidents, and in some cases, you may feel partially responsible. But, whatever the cause, these types of accidents invariably involve medical evaluations and treatment for injuries. 

Whether your injuries were relatively minor or more severe, a consultation with a personal injury attorney is a critical next step. You have rights under the law, and by engaging an experienced law firm, you will have a team of experts working to enforce those rights. Pedestrian accidents are almost always complex, and no two cases are exactly alike.

Rather than accepting a driver's or an insurance company's initial offer of settlement, you owe it to yourself to ensure the offer is fair and appropriate based on the circumstances.  

If you or a loved one was involved in any type of pedestrian accident, contact us for a free consultation. You won't pay a penny in legal fees unless we win your case and get you the compensation you deserve.  

Bitten by a Dog in California? Things You Should Know

Friday, February 19, 2016

Dogs are wonderful, loyal creatures, but not all of their owners are. Sometimes, their owners let their loyalty stray, or misguide it. A dog with the wrong master can become a real menace. On the occasion that a dog bites a human, that dog's owner must be held responsible. Fortunately, California law reflects this.

In plain English, the law has several points that are worth noting:

  • Lawsuits against owners are either dismissed or damage amounts are reduced if the victim was found to be provoking the dog.
  • A defense of provocation is not applicable if the victim is under five years old.
  • Dog bite lawsuits apply strictly to an act of biting, not ramming or knocking-down.
  • If the victim is the dog owner's landlord, lawsuits can be filed on the grounds of negligence.
  • If the victim is an employee of the dog owner and the bite took place on company property, the lawsuit falls under labor action instead of dog bites.
  • People eligible for lawsuits are those who are bitten when invited onto the dog owner's property, or who are permitted by law to enter someone's property in the line of work, such as mail carriers, firefighters, or police officers.

If you or anyone you know falls under any of the above criteria, you may be entitled to a settlement. Freeman and Freeman represent all personal injury cases, including dog bites. Feel free to contact us or visit our website for more info or to see if you are eligible for our services.


Lane Splitting and Motorcycle Accidents in California

Friday, January 29, 2016

Riders are often tempted to ride the white line or lane split when they are in a typical Los Angeles traffic jam. If you have a motorcycle accident while riding between lanes, your conduct will be used against you to show that you bear some or most of the responsibility for the accident. Even if your lane splitting contributed to the accident, you can still protect your right and opportunity to recover a monetary award for damages that were precipitated by another driver.

Lane splitting is not explicitly illegal in most U.S. jurisdictions, but you should avoid arguing the legality of your actions if a trooper pulls you over. Your objections will probably result in citations for failure to signal a lane changes or reckless riding.

Lane-splitting accidents typically occur when you ride between lanes and a driver abruptly turns into you. The attorney for the other driver will argue that the accident itself is evidence of unsafe lane-splitting riding, thus shifting some responsibility for the accident to you. You can counter these arguments by collecting all available information about the accident immediately after it happens. This information includes photographs of traffic conditions. Those photographs should show the distance between the two lanes of cars. If there are any witnesses, ask for their contact information but do not ask them to make any statements or guesses about what caused the accident. Let your attorney handle witness interviews.

Note the damage to your bike and the car that was involved in the accident. Record how fast you were riding. Most lane-splitting riding is done at slower speeds, and your direct notations of your own speed can easily contradict a driver's estimates. Riders should know that road paint is more slick in wet conditions and that riding on a painted line in those conditions should be avoided. If you were avoiding the painted lines while you were lane splitting, tell your lawyer that fact, as he will use that evidence as proof of your care while you were riding.

Riding in stopped or slow traffic is difficult and dangerous for many reasons. If the traffic was uncommonly slow when your accident happened, tell your lawyer that you opted to ride between lanes to avoid fatigue in your clutch hand. You can more balance your bike while it is in motion, so again, your lane-splitting may have enhanced your overall safety.

Each motorcycle accident presents a unique set of facts that each side to a lawsuit will use to his own benefit. If you have been in a motorcycle accident in Los Angeles County, please contact us as soon as you can for a complimentary review of the facts of your case.

Some of the Strangest Causes Ever For Child Injuries

Thursday, November 26, 2015

People use the Internet for a variety of reasons. Some like to play games, read the news, or follow their favorite sports teams. Many people pay bills online. Some like to learn unusual facts about a variety of topics. There are facts about child injuries you may find amazing. You will stop and think. Some of the ways children suffer injuries are quite unusual, and these are some of the strangest causes ever for child injuries:

  • Bounce houses are fun, or are they? Nevertheless, 30 children go to the hospital daily after playing in a bounce house.
  • Almost 700 Americans suffered injuries in 1995 after swallowing Christmas ornaments. Although this could have included adults too, do you know any adults that swallow them?
  • Thousands of people suffer injuries every year after pillow fights. Remember having them with your brothers and sisters when you were younger?
  • Small, shiny, round button batteries power cameras, television remotes, toys, and watches. Thousands of children swallow them and end up in the emergency room. The website, livescience.com, reported more and more children are swallowing high voltage lithium batteries, and that 84% of the children who went to the emergency room in between 1990-2004 for injuries involving batteries swallowed just such a battery. "The battery can lodge in the esophagus, where it can burn a hole in less than two hours," the website reported.
  • They're designed to protect children, but did you know many little ones get a rash, called a car-seat dermatitis, after sitting in one? Dermatologists believe foam in the seat causes an allergy, and it can many times be prevented by placing a sheet, or other soft padding, between the baby and the seat.
  • Did you ever play a counting game with your baby son or daughter's toes and fingers? Sometimes just such a game can cause a hair or a piece of thread to get caught around their tiny digits and cut off circulation.
  • Many children suffer injuries when they mistake colorful laundry pods for candy and swallow them.
  • More than 23,000 children go to the emergency room annually from an injury caused by a shopping cart, according to the American Association of Pediatrics.
  • A total of 15 children suffer injuries annually by fireworks, for every one hurt by using school supplies.
  • Many children get choked on magnets. Children, or even teens, often swallow them after pretending they are lip or tongue piercings or playing with them. Those who swallow two or more of them might even be in more danger. They can cause tissue damage, damage to the intestines, obstructions, or even death, as they attract each other. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has reported 200 incidents of children swallowing magnetic balls since 2008, with some children needing emergency surgery.

Regardless of whether a child is hurt in a bounce house, by fireworks, or in a shopping cart, nobody wants to see a little one injured. Sometimes a parent or guardian who believes someone's negligence caused an injury might even consider legal action. Feel free to contact us to talk about this or any other matter.

Valley News Live published an article on helping children feel better after an injury.

Uptick in Bicycle Accidents Causes Personal Injury Attorneys Great Concern

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Bicycle accidents are becoming all too common these days thanks to a number of factors. Some tragic situations are caused by manufacturing issues. Such was the case with several accidents caused by Trek Bicycle Corporation’s products. Faulty brakes attached to a number of their bicycles resulted in one person being paralyzed for life.

Because the recalls happened in April 2015 and the faulty bikes were sold long before that, it is not known how many personal injury lawsuits may be filed as a result of related, bicycle accidents. Trek Bicycle Corporation wasn’t the only manufacturer in the cycling industry to issue recalls in the last several months either. There were others, including but limited to brands like Felt, Civia, Shiv, Vanish Evo, Marin Mountain Bikes and Zipp.

The list of defects that prompted the assorted recalls varied. Some of the production problems involved handle bars, wheels, helmet straps, frames and seats. At this time, it is not known how many bicycle accidents, if any, occurred as a result of those other problems. It is also unknown whether or not personal injury lawsuits have been filed on the behalf of any alleged victims against the other manufacturers that we mentioned.

Of course bicycle manufacturers are not the only ones that may be liable for accidents. Additional elements, like environmental factors, cyclists’ errors and motor vehicle drivers’ actions may play a critical role in assigning liability in bicycle accident cases as well. In 2014, the LA Times published an article about bicycle accidents that helps make our point. It noted an increase in accident rates and attributed some of the incidents to factors like cycling or driving impaired.

It is also critical to mention that bicycle accident cases are often impacted by a myriad of state laws. There are so many laws, in fact, that a lot of national cycling organizations devote entire sections of their websites to making cyclists aware of liability issues. Similar may be said for State Department of Motor Vehicles’ offices, who often publish entire books for both cyclists and motor vehicle operators on the rules of the road.

When bicycle accidents occur, participants should take action to protect themselves, their personal property and others from further harm. It is also necessary to extensively document the events leading up to, during and after the cycling accident for possible inclusion in personal injury or criminal cases. However, that information should be shared with no one except a personal injury or criminal attorney willing to represent the person doing the sharing.

Notes taken after bicycle accidents should ideally contain as much detail and verifiable evidence as possible. They should also focus solely on fact and not conjecture. For example, it is not merely enough to accuse another person of being impaired. Documentation about the person’s impairment should be provided to back that statement up. The list of backup materials includes, but is not limited to emergency room technician’s notes, toxicology reports and statements from first responders or officers called in to interview bicycle accident participants.

To learn more about the nationwide increase in bicycle accidents and how victims may benefit from legal counsel, 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.