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What Damages are Available to Burn Injury Sufferers?

Thursday, December 22, 2016

It has been some time since it happened, but the United States (if not, the world) will all still remember one of the most famous personal injury cases of all time - the McDonald's "hot coffee" incident. In this case, a woman sued the fast food company after she was severely burned from spilling their hot coffee on her lap. It was a media circus with much of it shaming the victim because, well, coffee is supposed to be hot, right?

What they failed to address is that McDonald's keeps their coffee at a temperature of up to 190 degrees, making it way too hot for human consumption and way hotter than it needs to be. Essentially, by creating coffee that was too hot to drink, this lady had herself a case.

Initially, the woman offered to settle for $20,000 to keep the case out of court. This would have been enough to cover her significant medical bills and some lost wages from a time where she couldn't work due to the injury. McDonald's counter it with an insult of $800. After her attorneys pushed forwards to court and made the case of McDonald's negligent and reckless behavior, she ended up with $3 million dollars in punitive damages.

In a burn injury case, the injured party can and should seek damages for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering they had to endure for such a horrific injury. When the other party has shown negligence and recklessness, that McDonald's case sets the precedence for punitive damage as well.

If you have been the victim of a severe burn injury and aren't sure what you are entitled to, contact us today.

Personal Injury Accidents: Do I Need a Lawyer?

Thursday, October 27, 2016

You were in an accident and you hurt yourself. Suddenly you wonder if that accident gives you the right to legal representation. Technically, you always have the right to legal representation, but you don't always need it. If your accident merits a band-aid or an ice pack, you probably don't have a good personal injury case. However, if your injury from the accident merited any sort of medical attention, you may have a case to have the persons responsible cover your medical bills.

What do Personal Injury Lawyers Do?

A personal injury lawyer will represent your rights throughout your case proceedings to make sure you are fairly compensated for any damages you experienced in the accident. Essentially, they eliminate the stress of a personal injury case, and seek compensation for:

  • Medical Treatment

  • Income Loss

  • Property Loss - This could be clothing, vehicles, or any substantial property that was destroyed due to the accident.

  • Pain & Suffering

  • Emotional Distress

  • Loss of Enjoyment - If the injury prevented you from pursuing daily hobbies.

  • Loss of Consortium - If the injury impeded your relationship with your spouse.

Depending on the severity of the injury, compensation for any or all of the above can be sought with the help of your personal injury lawyer. If you have suffered an accident in the Los Angeles area that resulted in the injury of yourself or a loved one, you may have legal representation available to you. Contact Freeman & Freeman law offices today to see if we may be able to help you get the compensation you deserve.

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.


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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.