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What to do if You are the Victim of Auto Accidents

Friday, September 09, 2016

Tragedy can strike anywhere -- even California. And all of the cities in the state are full to the brim with drivers -- commuters, taxis, buses, public servants. All of that traffic can lead to some nasty situations, including ones where you get hit by a vehicle. This is a difficult situation to handle, so here are some steps to follow in the wake of the accident, so that you can maximize your health and well-being.

What to do if you are victim of an auto accident:

The first thing to do in the wake of an automobile accident as a pedestrian is to make sure that you are not in any physical danger. If you are hurt badly, you will be taken to a nearby hospital; if the hit was not as hard, simply do an internal checkup on yourself. If you are not seriously hurt, the driver should wait for you and exchange information; if they do not, speak to other witnesses who can help provide you with identifying information. That is name, contact information and insurance information.

The next important step is to make sure you know your rights -- as a victim, you are afforded legal options that you may pursue. If the driver is liable for the accident, you may pursue legal action against them.

This legal action is important because it protects your health and wellbeing. For instance, medical bills (if you are seriously injured) can be very expensive, and this is a situation where you could be reimbursed by the driver's insurance; if the insurance company is not very forthcoming, you may take the action to civil court.

It is important to note, though, that these legal actions are complicated, and if you want to be able to make the most of them to pay for your medical bills, you will probably need to hire a lawyer. Speak with your attorney to determine liability, damages and any other pertinent information for the case.

If you are in California and experience such an accident, please contact us -- we will fight to make sure you receive just compensation for your accident.


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.

New Campaign Will Target Drowsy Driving

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Federal and California state administrations have made great strides in reducing drunk driving, and even distracted driving through the use of stronger legislation, enforcement initiatives, and awareness campaigns. However, the risks of drowsy driving have been ignored. One reason for this is that there is very limited research on these risks, and how to prevent these.

Now the federal administration has decided to spotlight the dangers of drowsy driving, and has launched a new campaign that will specifically focus on increasing public awareness about drowsy driving. It is a challenging task. For one thing, it isn't easy to measure drowsiness at the scene of an accident. It is not possible to tell whether a person was driving while sleepy at the scene.

That is in sharp contrast to a drunk driving accident, in which you can administer a test that will immediately help you determine if the person was driving under the influence of alcohol. Even when a person is in a distracted driving accident, it is possible to recover the cell phone records of the other motorist at the accident scene to determine whether texting was a factor in the crash.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that the campaign will focus on developing strategies that will target those motorists who are especially vulnerable to the dangers of drowsy driving. For instance, senior citizens are at a higher risk of drowsy driving, because they may be under the influence of more than one medication. The agency will also look more closely at technologies like lane departure warning systems. These technologies have a great role to play in helping prevent drowsy driving. One of the first signs of drowsy driving is that your car begins to move from your lane frequently. A lane departure warning system will alert you when you are dozing off at the wheel, and when your car begins to veer off from the lane, possibly averting an accident.

For help filing a car accident claim, call a Burbank car accident attorney.

50% of Teen, Young Driver Car Accident Fatalities Linked to Pot, Alcohol

Friday, January 16, 2015

Alcohol and marijuana use seriously increase the risk of accidents involving teen and young adult drivers. According to new statistics, approximately 50% of teen and young adult motorists, who are fatally injured in car accidents, are driving under the influence of marijuana, alcohol or a combination of both.

The findings were based on an analysis of accident data in those states where it is mandated to conduct toxicology screening tests on fatal accident victims. The study found that accident victims above the age of 21 and of legally drinking age, were much more likely than younger victims to have used a combination of alcohol and marijuana, just before the accident. This seems to prove that even when people are of the legal age for drinking alcohol, it doesn't reduce their risk of engaging in destructive driving practices that include both marijuana and alcohol.

The researchers also found that more than half of the young motorists, who died in the accidents, were either high on marijuana, or drunk at the time of the accident. About 6.8% of the victims tested had alcohol in their systems at the time of the accident, while 5.9% had traces of marijuana. 7.6% had used both marijuana and alcohol before the accident.

The researchers were also looking for evidence to indicate that lowering the minimum drinking age from 21 to 18, would lead to a reduction in the use of marijuana among young adults. They found that this was not the case at all. Rather, they found that lowering the drinking age could actually lead to increased consumption of a combination of alcohol and marijuana by young drivers.

Accidents involving teen and young drivers typically tend to involve speeding and aggressive driving. If you have recently suffered injuries in an accident, speak to a Burbank car accident lawyer about filing a claim for compensation.

Distracted Driving Is a Major Risk for Teen Drivers

Sunday, September 14, 2014

As thousands of teenage drivers across California head back to school, a new report confirms to Burbank car accident lawyers the serious problems involving teenage distracted driving, and the high accident risks affecting such drivers.

According to the report that was released by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, teenagers comprise the largest portion of distracted motorists involved in fatal accidents. Approximately 57% of fatalities in these accidents were the teen drivers, and the remaining were passengers, occupants of other cars, and other people on the road like bicyclists.

The report also had other intriguing findings. Contrary to popular belief, it found that teenagers who were most likely to be driving distracted were not the ones who were the most inexperienced or the youngest. In fact, it found that the most inexperienced drivers or youngest drivers were actually less likely to use cell phones while driving, compared to older teenagers.

Teenagers continued to remain overrepresented in motor vehicle accident statistics. Teen crash fatalities dropped by 49% between 2003 and 2012. However, teenagers who account for just 6% of the total number of licensed drivers in the country, comprise 9% of all drivers involved in fatal accidents and 30% of all accidents that are reported to the police. Teenagers simply have higher numbers of distractions to cope with than adults.

More than one-third of teenagers now have smart phones, an increase from 23% back in 2011. Many teenagers access the Internet not just on their cell phones, but also electronic communication devices like tablets, and much of that access happens when they are driving. Distractions from changing radio channels, distractions from outside the car and distractions involving fellow teenage passengers all of these increase the risk of an accident involving a teenage motorist.


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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.