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Understanding Pedestrian Accidents: Do Pedestrians Always Have The Right-Of-Way?

Thursday, August 11, 2016

California vehicle codes grant pedestrians a great deal of protection, to the point that a popular belief has developed that pedestrians always have the right of way in traffic in the state regardless of the circumstances. This isn't always the case, however. While pedestrians usually have the right of way, they are also expected by the law to exercise the same caution and courtesy that drivers do.

Let's look at some potentially questionable situations. One such situation would be when there is a crosswalk in the middle of the street with no light or sign controlling traffic present. Vehicles are required to yield to pedestrians in these crosswalks according to Vehicle Code 21950. However, the code immediately goes on to state that the pedestrian has a responsibility to exercise due care for their safety, and gives the specific example of a pedestrian jumping off the curb immediately in front of a car as a case where the pedestrian could be found to be responsible for their own injury.

Another example is when a pedestrian chooses to walk across a street that does not have a crosswalk. The code that covers these instances is Vehicle Code 21954. Contrary to popular belief, pedestrians do not have the right of way outside of an established crosswalk. They are required to yield to all oncoming traffic that is near enough to present a potential hazard. However, drivers still have a responsibility to exercise due care for a pedestrian in any roadway; their being outside of a crosswalk is not a free license to get away with hitting them!

Though some pedestrians may believe that California law grants them a right to jaywalk, that just isn't the case and it is very possible to get ticketed for it. For both drivers and pedestrians, common sense and caution should always rule the day at any street crossing.

If you have been involved in a traffic accident and feel you may need the services of an attorney, contact us to learn what your options are and what we can do for you.

How Insurance Adjusters Calculate Settlement for a Personal Injury

Thursday, June 23, 2016

When you’ve been injured and are looking to settle with the insurance company regarding compensation for your personal injury, you may wonder how the insurance adjuster calculates the value of your claim. There are no set rules and no guide that helps the adjuster determine the amount: It’s generally an educated guess.

The insurance adjuster must investigate your claim and document enough information so the insurance company can set the adjuster’s requested reserve on your claim. Once that is approved, the adjuster attempts to settle at or below that set amount.

Evaluation of Injury Claims

One way or another, insurance companies must evaluate insurance claims. Over time, they’ve relied on a few tactics in order to establish the claim reserve, and they’ll use that reserve as a guide to settle the claim.

Some adjusters use a method that triples the “specials”. These are the components of a settlement that pertain to the lost wages and medical bills. The adjuster would try to settle for three-times that total amount, adding in the cost of pain and suffering, along with other damages.

Personal Affect

Some insurance companies understand they cannot evaluate all claims in the same manner. Sometimes adjusters need to consider how the injuries affect the personal life of the injured. They’ll ask themselves questions such as can the injured person work, can he do household chores, can he still maintain an intimate relationship with his spouse? These are questions that require a bit more personal detail, but those factors are considered.

Computer Evaluation

Some adjusters just input the information into a computer and rely on the calculations that come from the data. This is more of a “one-size-fits-all” adjustment which can be manipulated when needed.

The bottom line is, your injuries are personal to you, and you want to ensure you receive a fair settlement. When you're ready to settle, contact us and we will make sure the insurance adjuster gives you an offer you can live with.

Things You Should Know If You Received a Burn Due to Negligence

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Burn Injuries can ultimately require significant medical treatment. Burns can occur when your body's tissues have direct contact with radiation, heat, sunlight, or electricity. A burn can be the result of steam, fires, or hot liquids. If you received a burn as a result of negligence, it is necessary to consult an attorney.

In order to receive compensation for your burn, you must prove that the person who caused the burn was acting in a careless manner. You must establish that the defendant did not meet the standard to provide a duty of care. You must then prove that the defendant's breach was ultimately the direct cause of the injury you sustained.

You must also provide evidence for the injuries you sustained to receive compensation. A burn injury often leaves physical wounds and may sometimes even result in hospitalization. Burns may also leave scars as a reminder of the pain that a burn victim has endured. For this reason, a burn victim may be able to recover compensation for damages such as lost wages, physical therapy, and medical expenses. A loved one of the burn victim may also be able to receive compensation if they lost their loved one's companionship as a result of the burn injury.

If you or a loved one has suffered from a burn injury, you may be able to receive compensation. To discuss your burn injury case today, contact us. We will help evaluate your case to make sure you receive the full compensation you deserve.

A Drone Injury Lawyer Will Maximize Your Monetary Compensation from Drone-Related Injuries

Thursday, June 02, 2016

New technologies inevitably increase the possibilities of injuries. The industrial revolution, for example, saw an explosion of machinery-related injuries. The advent of the automobile gave rise to new theories of negligence and damages for injured parties. Drones that have been adapted for personal and business uses are becoming the next frontier of personal injury law. If you suffer an injury from an errant drone, your right to recover damages that injury will be best protected by an experienced drone injury lawyer who understands this technology, and who can identify any negligent parties that caused an injury.

At present, drone operators are subject to the same standards that apply to operators of other machines, namely, they are obligated to use reasonable and customary care to avoid damages and injuries when they operate those drones. This can include, for example, receiving proper training for how and where they are using the drone, and avoiding situations that represent and undue level of risk of injury. An operator who uses his drone only in open or remote locations might be held to a different standard than an operator whose drone is deployed into crowded areas or where visibility is limited.

At least until more standards are imposed or adopted for drone, not all drones are technologically equal. A drone that is poorly designed or manufactured might be used by a skilled operator who has received thorough training, but that drone's manufacturing or design flaws might lead to an accident and injuries. Your drone injury lawyer should be familiar with operating and design standards, as well as with training and operating requirements that may be applicable to drone usage in your vicinity. 

Drone accidents are increasing in frequency, leading many injured parties to seek assistance from attorneys who understand their technology and operation. A New York photographer suffered facial injuries when an errant drone that was used for a promotion clipped his nose and face. A drone that was recording video crashed into spectators at a Virginia festival, injuring several people. An Australian triathlete suffered head injuries when an operator lost control of the device while filming portions of a triathlon race. Some level of negligence was present in each of these incidents.

If you have suffered injuries from a drone accident in southern California or elsewhere, please contact us for an assessment of your case. We understand drone technology and can protect your rights to give the largest potential damages award.

Brain Injuries / Back Injuries / Spinal Cord Injuries May Lead to Major Lawsuits

Friday, April 08, 2016

On February 5, 2016, a lower Manhattan crane collapse garnered nationwide coverage. A 38-year-old man walking to work died in the accident. Three other individuals sustained injuries of varying severity. One of them was a man who was sitting in a parked car, waiting for his daughter to complete a medical appointment. The 73-year-old Massachusetts man suffered fractures to both his skull and spine when the crane boom came down on him.

Buildings Department Faulted

On Friday, March 18, 2016, the attorney for the man filed a complaint with the New York City Controller that blamed the city buildings department for failing to adequately monitor the construction site. In the complaint, the department is accused of "negligence, recklessness and carelessness."

A $30 million lawsuit names the New York City Department of Buildings as the defendant, according to the New York Daily News. The suit claims that the department failed to consider weather reports that predicted high winds across New York City on the date of the crane collapse.

Medical Evaluation Continues

The case illustrates some of the potential consequences of brain injuries, back injuries and spinal cord injuries. The injured man is still being evaluated for a possible traumatic brain injury according to his attorney. It is also possible that he'll require spinal surgery to repair the fractures. The retired businessman and dirt bike enthusiast now faces repeated visits to a Boston physician's office.

Although the circumstances of every construction accident are unique, it is important that there be a knowledgeable analysis of which parties were negligent. When it is reasonable to assert negligence in such an accident, it is often possible for a victim to seek monetary damages for a variety of losses, including medical expenses, pain and suffering and lost wages.

If you or a family member suffers injury or loss of life in an accident, it is possible to review the details with a personal injury attorney focused on relevant areas of the law. Our firm offers this type of consultation free of charge. To learn more, 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.