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Does Texting Raise The Punitive Damages in a Truck Accident?

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Getting into an accident with a commercial truck is traumatic enough. Often your little car doesn’t escape with just minor damages. When you discover the accident wasn’t just from a bad call or poor weather, but from texting, it can be almost infuriating. However, the good news is that if the truck driver was texting, it could raise the amount of punitive damages you receive.

The question is, how can the simple act of texting raise punitive damages? The first and primary reason is that texting is now being considered akin to drunk driving. In fact, when a phone is in the hands of a trucker and they are using it to text, it actually becomes 23 times more likely that they will cause a wreck on the road. This statistic is so staggering that it is even now put in CDL manuals to remind truckers how important focusing on the road is. So if they are texting, it is not as if they weren’t warned not to text and drive just like normal drivers.

Furthermore, by not acknowledging the warning in the CDL manual, by their employer, or even from a state law that dictates no cell phone use while driving, this is proving to be direct negligence on the truck driver’s part. All of that combined means that amount of punitive that you can receive from an accident.

If you have been involved in a trucking accident and need representation to make sure you get an amount to cover all your medical and repair needs, contact us today.

Who Pays if the Smoke Detectors Don't Work?

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Home fires are an absolute nightmare, but that is compounded by the fact that if your smoke detectors aren't working, you may have little warning of what is happening. When a smoke detector doesn't work, you could find your home engulfed in flames and could sustain substantial burns and smoke inhalation from it, not to mention home damage. However, if your smoke detector isn't working, who pays for it?

The bad news is that if your smoke detector wasn't functioning due to low or no battery in it, and you own your own home, you are responsible for it. However, if you rent your home, then it is a landlord's responsibility to check and maintain smoke detectors. Failure to keep smoke alarms in working order means that your landlord can be held responsible for it regardless of if the apartments or homes were kept up to city code in all other requirements.

While it is a landlord's responsibility to ensure that smoke alarms are working, even if you own your own home, if your smoke alarm did not go off regardless of battery, it could be a defect from the company. The major problem with this is proving it. Often smoke alarms suffer substantial damages in the fire, and if this is the case, then your case against the company goes up in flames with it.

If you have been burned in a house fire due to a poorly maintained or malfunctioning smoke alarms, contact us today so we can talk about all your available options.

Trucking Accidents and Hazardous Chemicals

Friday, August 25, 2017

Commercial trucks haul a lot of cargo, and on occasion, the truck driver might not even know what they are hauling. In many cases, it doesn't matter. However, the cargo can matter if they get into an accident with another driver, particularly when that truck is hauling hazardous chemicals.

Hopefully, a trucking accident is not major enough to bring the cargo into play. While many times the other vehicle sustains significant damage due to the large nature of commercial trucks, typically the commercial trucks don't come out with huge amounts of damage themselves. However, in major accidents, commercial trucks can tip and spill their cargo everywhere. What happens if that cargo was hazardous chemicals?

If you were in a trucking accident and were exposed to hazardous chemicals, that isn't the truck driver's fault, it is the shippers. Particularly if the shipper failed to tell the driver the sensitive nature of the chemicals, they can be held responsible for any adverse effects from exposure. However, if the driver was in full knowledge, then the trucking company is still responsible but drivers can also go after the shipper for chemical-related injuries as well.

In general, truck accidents are extremely dangerous and that fact is compounded by the occasional dangerous nature of their cargo. If you were hurt in a trucking accident, or worse, hurt by the hazardous cargo of a truck, contact us today. The Law Offices of Freeman and Freeman are dedicated to representing the rights of the injured to make sure they get the justice and compensation that they deserve.

4 Places Where Slip and Fall Injuries Are Common

Friday, August 18, 2017

yellow-slippery-when-wet-warning-sign-on-tile-floorWhen suffering a slip and fall on someone else’s premises, and the owner of the premises was negligent, you may be entitled to compensation. Slip and falls can happen anywhere, even when you least expect it. Here are common places where slip and falls occur.

When Delivering Packages

Do you deliver stuff for a livelihood? Whether you deliver mail, packages, pizza or flowers, the owner of the property has invited you on their premises and is responsible for keeping you safe from any hazards. If the owner was negligent -- for example, if they failed to remove black ice from their front steps, you may be entitled to compensation.

In Hotels

Hotels may owe you compensation if you slip and fall as a result of their negligence. However, not every slip and fall will result in compensation; hotels have lawyers to help them get out of situations like this. If an employee spilled a drink on the floor and caused you to slip, the hotel will probably be responsible. If you slipped in the shower because of a broken mat, that might also be the hotel’s fault.

In Stores

Stores, including groceries and restaurants, are also required to keep you safe from any hazards. If a waiter spilled oil on the floor and failed to clean it up, you will probably be entitled to compensation. Of course, you will have to prove that they were negligent.

Workplaces

Slip and falls are also common in the workplace. If your employer was negligent, you have a case against them. An example would be faulty equipment that caused you to fall.

Suffered a needless slip and fall? Contact us today for help!

5 Steps to Take After a Slip and Fall

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Suffering a slip and fall injury is never fun. If you slip and fall as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Here are the steps you should take after a slip and fall on someone else’s property.

Call Medical Help

The first thing to do is take care of yourself. Get medical help so that you can be checked for any broken or sprained bones or other injuries. Having a medical assessment will also give you the opportunity to get documentation about the nature of your injuries.

Document the Evidence

Before leaving the scene, make sure to document the evidence. Take notes of your account. Take pictures of the area and of the things that caused your fall (for example, an icy stairway). This way, the property owner won’t be able to hide the evidence after you leave.

Collect Witnesses

Were there any people who witnessed what happened? Get their names and contact details so you can get in touch with them and collaborate your account. Witnesses are important when the property owner is denying your story.

Keep Your Mouth Shut

Don’t make any statements to the property owner or their lawyers that can be used against you to minimize your compensation. Don’t talk to the insurance agency before you talk to a lawyer. It’s best not to post about your case on social media either.

Get Legal Help

Finally, it’s time to contact an attorney. An experienced lawyer will be able to get your case through all the necessary channels. This way, you will get all the compensation that you deserve.

Suffered a slip and fall injury? Contact us today for help!


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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.