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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, 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.

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.  

Tips for Fighting Traffic Offenses

Thursday, November 05, 2015

It's a commonplace practice, many drivers across the US get traffic tickets for a variety of offenses. However, just because you get one, doesn't mean that you always did something wrong. At that point in the situation, it is your word versus the officer issuing the ticket.

Here are some tips for fighting a traffic ticket.

- Challenge the officer's conclusion (or their subjective opinion) about whether you deserve the ticket. This defense works very well when you collaborate with your lawyer to challenge what they perceived happened. Particulars include, but aren't limited to, defending against "unsafe" traffic maneuvers, and whether or not the officer was at a good vantage point to issue a ticket in the first place.

- Challenging the officer's observation consists of debating the facts that lead to the ticket. An example of this is arguing the facts behind whether you made a complete stop at a stop sign. A case like this is difficult to win, and usually goes to the police, but if you truly believe that you were in the right, you have every right to defend against the ticket as long as you have sufficient evidence.

- Arguing a "mistake of fact" requires some extra work when defending against a ticket. However, when a judge decides that there were circumstances out of your control, you may get some leniency in the outcome of your case. The main argument in this defense is whether the outcome expected from you was up for debate, like if you ran a stop sign that was newly installed and received a ticket for it.

- "Legally justified" behavior is another way to defend against an unfair ticket. For example, if you receive a ticket for driving too slow on the highway, but the reason you were doing so was because you had car troubles, you could easily say that you were legally justified to be doing so for safety concerns.

- It is also possible to defend against a ticket by proving that your actions were a result of you trying to avoid bodily harm. This sort of defense attempts to prove that your actions were a necessity and that, without them, you would have been in danger. An example is trying to prove that your speed on the highway at the time you were clocked was to avoid an out-of-control driver, and not for egregious reasons.

Defending against a traffic ticket isn't out of the question. The important factor of your defense hinges on the strategy you and your lawyer work out. Just remember, it's your legal, Constitutional right to defend and plead your case in front of a judge.

Primary Texting Bans Do Contribute to Lower Accident Fatalities

Saturday, August 02, 2014

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 3, 300 people were killed in 2011, in accidents directly caused by a distracted driver. There has been a lot of debate on California’s ban on text messaging devices while driving, and its effectiveness in helping prevent accidents. According to the results of a new study released recently, bans that come with primary enforcement do a much better job of helping lower accident and fatality numbers.

The research was conducted at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health. The researchers analyzed laws against texting while driving like the one that exists in California, and the effect of these laws on traffic accident fatalities. Several states have passed laws banning texting while driving. In some states, these laws are linked to secondary enforcement, while in other states, the law is linked to primary enforcement. The study found that states that had secondary enforcement did not see a significant drop in traffic accident fatalities as a result of the new laws. On the other hand, states that had primary enforcement for texting while driving bans saw a drop in traffic accident death numbers among all age categories. According to the researchers, that translates into an average of 19 saved lives every year in states that had primary enforcement.

Further, when anti-texting laws were primarily enforced, and banned only young motorists from texting while driving, they were the most effective in helping reduce traffic accident fatalities in the 15-to-21 age category. In states with primary enforcement, police officers can pull a driver over to cite him when they see him using a texting device while driving, and do not have to see or notice any other traffic infraction to pull him over.

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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.