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Auto Accidents: When a car owner negligently entrusts his or her car to a bad driver

Thursday, November 10, 2016

When a vehicle owner allows another person to use the owner's car, the owner may be held to be civilly liable if the person causes an accident if certain circumstances apply. California recognizes the doctrine of negligent entrustment of a motor vehicle. In cases in which the circumstances fit the law, the vehicle's owner may be named as a co-defendant with the driver to whom the owner loaned the car. This can help to maximize the potential recovery by having additional sources.

Negligent entrustment

California case law indicates that a person is not allowed to let another person drive his or her vehicle if the owner knows or should know that the borrower is likely to place others at an unreasonable risk of danger because the driver is incompetent or unfit to drive. An example could include loaning a vehicle to a friend who has had multiple drunk driving convictions, numerous speeding tickets or who has no valid license. Several specific prohibitions are outlined in the California Vehicle Code at sections 14606 - 14608.

What the plaintiff must show

In order to prove negligent entrustment in an auto accident case, the plaintiff must be able to show that the owner gave permission to the driver to use the vehicle. He or she must also show that the owner either knew or should have known that the driver was incompetent or unfit to drive. The plaintiff must then prove that the driver's incompetence resulted in an accident and that the plaintiff's injuries directly resulted from it.

How negligent entrustment can help

If a driver is uninsured or underinsured, the ability to name a vehicle's owner as a defendant in the lawsuit may help an injured plaintiff to recover damages for his or her losses. Even if the negligent driver is insured, having additional sources of coverage may help when the policy limits are not sufficient to cover all of the losses caused by the accident. This may help an injured victim to secure fair compensation for his or her losses.

Why Bus Accidents are So Common?

Thursday, October 20, 2016

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, bus accidents are responsible for up to 15,000 injuries per year, with an average of 300 fatalities out of that number. Considering how many communities rely on buses as a primary mode of transportation, not to mention school children, the number of bus accidents is far higher than it should be.

So with so many people relying on buses, why are bus accidents and bus injuries so common. Bus accidents are just that, accidents. Sometimes they are caused by other drivers or common bus driver fatigue, but the injuries that happen can be prevented. However, for anyone who has ever taken the bus, they will know why injuries are common. It is because buses don't require any kind of safety equipment.

There are no seat belts, no roll protection, and buses are some of the most top heavy vehicles on the road. Recently there have been a number of reports of "party" bus crashes that could have had many preventable fatalities if the bus had been inspected properly to find fatal safety flaws responsible for a number of deaths.

Many commuters feel safer on a bus than in a car, but the truth is that riding a bus is actually much more likely to be fatal in a bad crash. If you have been in a bus accident in the Los Angeles area, you may have some legal action available to you. Contact Freeman & Freeman today to see if you have a case against the bus company or bus driver responsible for you accident.

Building Your Personal Injury Claim for Whiplash After an Auto Accident

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Sometimes it is hard to recognize at first, but whiplash isn't just for milking money out of a simple accident. If you experience any kind of neck pain after an auto accident, you may have a serious medical problem on your hands. While no one really likes to file a personal injury claim, when a driver's negligence puts you are risk for lofty medical bills, you need to file or suffer the bill yourself.

Seek Medical Attention Immediately

If you auto accident isn't severe enough to warrant paramedics, you still need to seek medical attention as soon as possible after the crash. Whiplash can set in later and the biggest mistake that victims make is to delay medical attention.

The longer you wait after an auto accident to get medical attention, the more difficult it will be to build your case. So just go in for a quick check up.

Keep Track of Medical Documentation

If you want to file a successful claim, you want to establish a paper trail through reputable doctors. The more injuries that can be backed up by medical documentation, the more can be paid out. However, do not try to pad your medical bills, it is never worth the potential trouble.

Be sure to have emergency room (or urgent care) admission forms and medical charts, x-rays, MRIs, CT scans, blood tests, doctors' notes, and documentation of any follow up treatment so that you can get proper payment.

Have you been in an auto accident in the Los Angeles areas where you suffered whiplash or other injuries? You may have some legal action available to you in order to cover your medical bills. Contact us today to see if Freeman & Freeman can help you.


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.


Truck Accidents and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations

Friday, July 29, 2016

Truck accidents can be especially severe. Because large trucks weigh so much more than the other vehicles on the road, collisions involving them are usually devastating. In order to prevent truck accidents, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has implemented a number of requirements for interstate motor carriers and truck drivers to follow. When a motor carrier or driver fails to follow these rules, they are liable for any accident they cause.

Truck drivers must know how to safely operate their trucks, and if they are carrying anything hazardous, the FMCSA requires that they get additional licensing. Like any other drivers on the road, truck drivers must operate their trucks with reasonable care. The regulations of theFMCSA are intended to ensure that truck drivers operate safely so that truck accidents are limited. Any time a truck driver is involved in an accident, they are required to report it. Another important aspect of these regulations is that truck drivers are limited in the number of hours they are allowed to work per day and per week. A driver that is overly-fatigued is much more likely to be involved in an accident. There are also regulations requiring motor carriers to properly hire, supervise, and qualify drivers.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident, it is imperative that you consult with an attorney that is familiar with FMCSAregulations. When these rules are violated, it creates a great danger to everyone else on the road. When an accident occurs because of these rules are violated, it is important for victims to get the compensation they deserve. If you would like more information about this issue, or would like to discuss your case, please contact us.


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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.