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Personal Injury Blog

Important Steps to Take After Your Child is Injured in a School Bus Accident

Thursday, May 17, 2018

We like to think that school buses and the schools themselves are the safest places in the world. While recent news has proven that the safety of public schools is deeply flawed, this there is no question that school buses can have their issues as well. After all, the roadways are a dangerous place.

While many school bus drivers keep their passengers very safe through safe driving, they are not the only drivers on the road. Any driver can cause an accident and unfortunately, school buses are not always overflowing with safety features. While what safety features they do have may help prevent fatalities, they don't always go a long way to prevent injury. This means that if your child is in a school bus accident, they have a much higher chance of being injured. This is a breach of trust between you and the people you trust to keep your child safe, and when that trust is breached, you should pursue them for compensation. So what steps should you take when your child is injured in a school bus crash?

Seek Medical Treatment

If there was a bus crash and your child was injured, ideal they should be treated before you even know they were in a crash. However, the most important thing will always be to make sure your child gets the medical attention they need to heal to the best of their ability, and worry about everything else second. However, if you intend to pursue compensation, be sure to keep track of doctors, treatments, and medical bills so you can potentially get reimbursed from a personal injury lawsuit.

Document the Injuries

After your child has been seen by a doctor and all their injuries have been treated, you will strongly want to consider snapping a few pictures of the injuries. In personal injury cases that involve children, visual proof of the injuries can really tug at the heartstrings. Document everything from bruises and stitches to broken bones. It is one thing to read off a list of injuries from a piece of paper, but it is quite another to be able to show how badly your child was hurt.

Document the Accident

Often parents of children injured in school bus accidents don't know what actually happened unless they probe into it a bit. If you intend to pursue compensation to cover your child's medical bills, you need to find out what happened in the accident, who is at fault, and how well the accident itself was documented. As school buses carry so many young passengers, police will often flood the scene, meaning there will be a police report that can be pulled. This will detail all the crucial pieces of the accident as well as list any witnesses to an accident. Police reports are a crucial pieces of evidence to prove and support your case.

Contact a Lawyer

If your child was injured in a school bus accident, you will want to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after your child's injuries have been treated. The unique thing about school bus accidents is that often there will be quite a few other parents seeking to take the same legal action. This means that instead of taking the case to court and risking a number of high award amounts given by the courts, the responsible party for the accident may try to settle with as many parents as possible. In cases that involve children, often the odds are stacked high against those responsible.

If your child has been in a school bus accident and you want to seek compensation to cover their injuries, contact us today.

Why Didn't My Air Bag Deploy in an Accident?

Thursday, May 03, 2018

If you have been in an auto accident, the last thing you will be thinking at the time is why your airbag isn't full on in your face. However, after things calm down, it might begin to beg for your attention. After all, if your crash had been worse, you wouldn't have had the protection that an airbag is supposed to provide. This might make you wonder why it didn't deploy? Is it a defect? Could you have been in danger?

5 Reasons Why Your Air Bag Didn't Deploy

When an air bag fails to deploy in a crash, there are five major reasons for it. One of them is pretty innocent and the other four are a little more dangerous. If you are wondering why your air bag didn't deploy, consider these causes.

  • Type and Severity of the Collision - Whether or not the air bags deploy can often depend on the crash itself. If you didn't collide hard enough to trigger the sensors, the air bags won't deploy. Furthermore, you may have been hit in an area where the sensors won't trigger. In rear and side collisions, the frontal air bags have less of a chance of triggering.
  • Defective Sensors - If you were in a crash where the air bags should have deployed and indeed would have helped lessen injury, then you may be looking at defective sensors. Improper testing, design, installation, and even software calibration can result in the sensors not firing when they should.
  • Defective Electrical - Sometimes a sensor and other parts work as they should, but the electrical in your car does not give them the juice they need to do their job properly. If electrical signals are not communicated properly, the air bags won't work properly. Usually, this is the case where one air bag deploys, but another does not.
  • Severed Wires - In particularly bad crashes, the wires that allow the sensors to detect and the air bags to deploy can become severed. If your crash was particularly sudden, then this can happen, although most manufacturers make it difficult to happen.
  • Defective Air Bag Modules - There have been incidents where the vehicles sent all the right signals, but the air bag module itself prevented itself from deploying.

What to Do When an Air Bag Didn't Deploy

If it can be determined that your air bag didn't deploy for a reason outside of a defect, then there isn't much you can do. However, if there was a defect with the module, the sensors, or even the wiring in your car that caused the bag not to deploy, you may be able to pursue compensation. This is particularly true if the air bag that failed to deploy can be shown to have lead to increased injury from the crash.

On top of a personal injury suit for the crash, you may also be able to pursue a separate suit against the manufacturer. This means you can recover extra compensation from the manufacturer for defects. However, this will be void if they have already sent out recalls that you ignored, such as with the Takata air bag recalls.

Need Help?

Have you been in an accident where your air bag didn't deploy and you believe it lead to further injury? If your vehicle can be investigated and it can be determined that a defect caused the air bags not to deploy, we may be able to help you recover compensation for injuries that never should have happened. If you have been in an accident in the Los Angeles area, contact us today to see what we at the Law Office of Freeman and Freeman can do for you.

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 Responsible for Accidents with Student Drivers?

Thursday, January 04, 2018

At one point, every single driver that travels the road was a learning student. They learned the rules of the road and then began to put them into practice under the instruction and supervision of a driving instructor. While an instructor's job is to make sure a student learns to drive safely, it is also part of their job to make sure they don't get into any accidents. Unfortunately, the thing about accidents is that no matter how hard you try to prevent them, they still happen. However, an accident with a student driver is tricky business. As they are not yet fully-fledged drivers and don't have insurance, does that automatically make you, the adult driver, responsible for covering the damage?

Negligence in Student Driver Accidents

If you, the adult driver, were the negligent party in an accident with the student driver, then it would work very much the same as a regular auto accident. Your insurance may be held on the hook for damages to both vehicles. However, if it can be proven that the student driver was the negligent one, then things will happen a little differently. Instead of the student being held responsible, since they have no insurance, instead the instructor will be held responsible.

If the instructor is part of a driving school, typically they have top-notch auto insurance and there is very little to worry about. However, quality of auto insurance can vary if the instructor comes as part a high school driver's education program, yet that doesn't change their liability. Similarly, if you got into an accident with a learning student while they were logging driving practice hours on their learner's permit with a parent, it will be the parent's auto insurance that will be used to cover your damages.

It is also important to remember that it is a driving instructor's job to intervene in dangerous situations to prevent accidents. In these cases, you may be able to hold the instructor as well as the driving school responsible for any injuries you sustained if they did not take enough precaution to prevent the accident. If the student was speeding or conditions on the road were not safe for driving, it is the instructor's duty to intervene in order to prevent accidents. If accidents happened as a result of that, then the instructor's skills can be called into question and the driving school can be pursued for negligent hiring practices.

However, this route should only be pursued if you were grievously injured in an accident. Otherwise, it will not result in much other than just ruining someone's life for a simple accident.

What to Do After an Accident with a Student Driver?

Actions taken after an auto accident with a student driver are actually very similar to any other auto accident. After the accident has occurred, you should:

  • Gather Information - Get the name of the student, the driving instructor, and the driving school as well as any insurance information. You may also want to gather witness statements, if possible, to verify how the accident happened and who appeared to be at fault.
  • Call the Police - It is crucial to call the police after an accident so they can create a police report. This is excellent evidence for your claim.
  • Take Photos - Be sure to snap as many photos as need be to document the damage to both vehicles, the scene of the accident, and any injuries that were the result of the accident.

Have you been in an accident with a student driver in the Los Angeles area only to find that the instructor is pushing back against covering the damage? Contact us today so the Law Office of Freeman & Freeman can help you.


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