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Personal Injury Blog

Child Bicycle Accidents: Are The Parents to Blame?

Friday, June 08, 2018

Children on bicycles - it is not a case of if they will get into an accident, but rather when it will happen. Any parent who learned to ride a bike as a child knows that most of these accidents will be them falling off and scraping a knee. However, there is always a chance that the naturally reckless behavior that comes with youth will result in something more serious. However, the question is, if your child gets into an accident on their bicycle with a pedestrian or even a car, do the parents shoulder the legal blame for any damages?

The Driver's Duty of Care

For drivers involved in accidents with children who were out riding their bikes, the law tends to be deeply more sympathetic to the child, more so if they were injured. However, the law goes above simple sympathy in these cases as it is expected that adults exercise a certain duty of care in the presence of children. If it can be proved that the driver saw the child, knew they were traveling through areas where children frequent or passed any sort of cautionary sign that children may be about, it can be argued that they needed to exercise more caution than usual.

In these cases, it needs to be proved that the adult driver had no way of preventing the accident in order to not be negligent.

Who is at Fault When the Child is to Blame?

If it can be proven that the adult driver was in no way negligent, then there is only one other side that will be to blame. However, a child can't pay for damages. When a child is found negligent, their caretaker is the one whole will bear the punishment.

Under the law, a child cannot be negligent under the tender years doctrine. This means children under three are incapable of the thought required to cause a negligent accident. However, most children do not ride their first bicycle until after that age. Any child that is older than three can be considered negligent, and until the age of majority - 18 years old - their parent will still be held responsible for their actions.

What to Do in Cases That Involve Children

When there is a bicycle accident that involves a child, essentially it becomes a defense case for both sides until it can be decided where negligence lands. The adult will be out to prove that they fulfilled their duty of care while the child's parent will seek to prove that their child was not negligent. After the courts make the decision on where negligence lies, that is where your standard accident suit begins. The driver may press for damages from the parents, while the parents may press for damages from the driver. If the latter is true, the adult driver should expect court sympathy to come into play. The younger the child was, the more sympathetic they will be. Alternatively, if the child was a teenager, the courts will be less sympathetic. The adult driver's legal counsel may even be able to prove a pattern of reckless behavior when it comes to placing negligence on them if the child has been in an incident before.

Have You Been in a Bicycle Accident?

Have you been in an accident with a cyclist? Bicycles on streets are becoming more common with each passing day. It is not only an environmentally friendly travel option, but it is affordable and great for the body as well. However, until drivers are properly educated on how to share the road with bicycles, accidents will continue to happen. If you have been in a bicycle accident and need representation to help you get the compensation that you deserve, then contact us today.


When is an Injury Serious Enough for an Lawyer?

Thursday, March 15, 2018

If you were hurt in any kind of accident, your injuries will need treatment. Many believe that they should only get lawyers involved if they are laid up in a full body cast and unable to work, but the truth is that minor injuries can often rack up huge expenses too. If the injury was not your fault, why should you be stuck paying for your medical bills even if they are for something small? If someone else's negligence caused an injury, even if it is a minor one, you shouldn't be stuck with the bill.

Seeking Compensation for Soft Tissue Injuries

By insurance companies, relatively minor injuries are labeled as "soft tissue" injuries. While they are small, they still merit representation by a skilled personal injury attorney in order to receive compensation. Soft tissue injuries include:

  • Sprains
  • Strains
  • Injuries like whiplash
  • Torn ligaments

The above injuries might be something that people feel they can just walk off or that seeking compensation is not worth the effort. However, the problem with soft tissue injuries is that they can often turn into something more. Everything from a strain to a torn ligament can potentially become worse and lead to permanent damage. Unfortunately, if you only decided to seek compensation after it gets worse, often you will find yourself outside the statute of limitations to file for a personal injury case. This is why it is important to file even for small injuries, not only in order to not pay for an injury that wasn't your fault, but to be able to get future compensation if complications occur.

Unfortunately, those who think that pursuing compensation for soft tissue injuries will be somehow easier, but they would be wrong. Insurance companies are unwilling to pay out any sort of money, even if it is a relatively small amount, without a fight. This is why it is so crucial to invest in a personal injury attorney for any injury. Going it alone will allow insurance companies to try to trip you up in order to try to give you less compensation than your injuries deserve.

When to Talk to a Lawyer

When injured, you shouldn't wait to contact an attorney if you decide to pursue a personal injury claim. One of the first benefits is that even during your initial consultation, a lawyer will evaluate the specific details of your case in order to make sure it is a legitimate claim. The evidence will be analyzed, the details will be looked over, and if the other party involved was truly negligent then your lawyer will meet with the insurance company with you to get compensation.

If you decide to meet with insurance adjusters first without a lawyer, you are setting yourself up for disaster. Alongside not wanting to pay you, insurance adjusters will also work hard to make sure you don't reach out to an attorney. They make try to make you feel very comfortable and seem upstanding, but it is every insurance adjuster's job to keep costs low. The best way that they can do that is to keep you in the dark about the process as much as possible, and that means keeping you from feeling like you need a lawyer.

If you were hurt in Greater Los Angeles area, even if it was just a minor injury, you deserve compensation. Contact us today so the great legal minds at Freeman & Freeman can go over your case and represent you. Don't just let the injuries caused by another negligent party go, you don't deserve to have to pay for injuries that weren't your fault.

What If My Brain Injuries Don't Show Up Right Away?

Thursday, March 01, 2018

After an accident, broken bones and lacerations are bad injuries to have. However, when it comes to non-fatal injuries, traumatic brain injuries are the worst injuries that you can receive from an accident. The issue is that the brain is a complex organ and controls so much in the body. This means that even small injuries to the brain can manifest themselves in a wide variety of symptoms and can greatly affect your daily lives.

However, because brain injuries are so serious, they often qualify victims for large payouts to cover their treatment and any long-term effects of the brain injury. Yet, there is a major problem that can come from brain injuries that occurred during an accident - they don't always show up right away. The real issue is that so many people don't realize that they have a traumatic brain injury until much later when the symptoms and other effects start to show up. However, if you are diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury from an accident months or even years in the past, can you still receive compensation to cover it?

What To Do If Brain Injury Symptoms Show Up Later?

It is recommended that as soon as an accident is over, you visit a doctor. Even if you feel fine, the doctor can examine any symptoms as well as examine the specifics of the accident to see if a brain injury may be present. However, if they manage to overlook it and you manifest symptoms or discover an injury later, you may still have some options available.

Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Cases

If you are injured in an accident, brain injury or otherwise, California gives you a set statute of limitations in which you can pursue compensation. In California, this time limit is two years after the accident. If you try to pursue compensation for an injury any later than two years, your case likely will not be heard.

However, there are quite a few exceptions to this statute of limitations time period. The exception that will typically apply to those with traumatic brain injuries is the delayed discovery rule. In this exception, the statute of limitation time period is suspended and actually begins when the victims suspects or should suspect that they were injured by some wrongdoing. This means that if you feel fine for months after an accident, then manifest symptom and discover there is some injury to the brain that likely came from that accident, then this is when the clock starts.

However, the issue with using the delayed discovery exception is that is much easier for the person that caused the accident to argue that you injured yourself in some other way. This is even more suspect if you have been in other accidents, even minor ones, since the accident you are holding suspect.

This is why it is so crucial that if you even hit your head a little bit or were subject to a motion that would make your head rapidly snap back and forth that you have a doctor check it out at the time. Not only will this increase the chances of detecting a brain injury early, but it will document that one may have been caused by that particular accident.

Need Help?

Have you been the victim of a brain injury whose symptoms didn't start showing up until much later? Unfortunately this means that you are in for a tough fight for compensation, but the Law Office of Freeman & Freeman are ready to fight for you. If you need representation to get the compensation that you deserve, then contact us today.

 

Who is Liable if a Bicyclist Gets Doored?

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Riding your bicycle in a city is filled with many dangers. Many drivers do not yet know how to share the road with cyclists, meaning that the rider has more to worry about than your average motorist. However, while cyclists need to mind motorists and pedestrians, they also need to pay attention to the point where motorists are about to become a pedestrian – when they leave their car.

Riding along a line of parked cars is always a major worry. One car door opening immediately in front of a cyclist can make it dangerous to dodge and difficult to stop. However, for the cyclist that actually does get doored, who is at fault?

Traffic laws for cyclist require them to ride in the bike lane if available or to the right of traffic. Both circumstances will put them very close to parked cars, with bike lanes typically giving them a little more clearance. However, it is not so completely uncommon for drivers to park in a way that leaves their car in the bicycle lane as well. This makes things frustrating and dangerous. However, one thing is for certain, in most cases if a cyclist gets doored, the motorist is responsible.

Part of a driver's rules of the road states that before opening a car door, they need to check if it is safe to do so. While a driver can argue that a cyclist should have been able to dodge if there was no traffic, and thus contributed to the accident, that is not always valid. There is no denying the rules that state a driver needs to check their mirrors to make sure the door zone is clear before opening.

If you have been in a bicycle accident, regardless of if you are the driver or the cyclist, contact us today. By examining the details on a case-by-case basis, the Law Office of Freeman & Freeman can help make sure that you aren't stuck with the bill.

Can the Pedestrian be at Fault in an Accident?

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Typically when we think of pedestrian accidents, we somehow think that the car or other vehicle that was involved was strictly at fault and the pedestrian is the victim. This belief is typically because the pedestrian is often hurt much worse than the other party, but could they be to blame for their own accident?

Short answer? Yes, the pedestrian can be partly or wholly at fault for a pedestrian accident.

When determining the fault of a pedestrian accident, much of the proof will need to come from witnesses. Some circumstances, like where the pedestrian was clearly jaywalking, are pretty clear cut. However, if they were struck at a crosswalk, there will need to be someone who can attest that the pedestrian did or did not have the sign to cross. Pedestrians can even be at fault if they were intoxicated during the accident since that impairs their overall judgment.

However, in many cases, both parties share the blame. The driver may have been intoxicated and the pedestrian may have tried to chance it and cross the street on the do not cross sign. In most states, these cases are handled by comparative negligence, in which the injured person’s damages are reduced by a percentage equal to the share of their fault.

If you have been in a pedestrian accident in los angeles, whether you are driver or pedestrian, and believe that the other party is at least partly to blame and you aren’t getting your justice, contact us today. The Law Office of Freeman & Freeman is ready to fight for your rights.


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