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You Got Bit? Don't Get Burned by Ignoring California's Dog Bite Law

Friday, March 18, 2016

Dogs are wonderful companions, but when poorly trained by their masters and under limited supervision, they can be a threat to the community. If you or someone you know has been attacked by an unsupervised dog, California's Dog Bite Law states that the owner of the animal must be held responsible for the actions of their pet. Before paying for hefty medical bills, be sure to understand that you may be able to take legal action against the dog owner to make sure that the fault of their actions doesn't have to come out of your wallet.

California Civil Code Section 3342 states, in its simplest terms, that the owner of any dog is held liable for damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog on either public or private property, which includes the dog owner's home. This also holds true regardless of whether or not this was the dog's first display of viciousness. The only exceptions to the law is if the dog bite victim was provoking the animal, trespassing, or in the process of committing a crime.

When to Seek Legal Representation?

If you were the victim of a dog bite that resulted in either physical injury or documented emotional trauma, you are eligible for litigation against the dog owner. With strong evidence of the event, you can also seek to any damages caused by the traumatic event.

Claim damages can include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Surgeries
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress

Were you or a loved one bit by a dog in California and forced to pay your own legal expenses? We can help. Contact us for a free consultation, we can make sure that you can win your court case before paying a penny in legal fees.


Bitten by a Dog in California? Things You Should Know

Friday, February 19, 2016

Dogs are wonderful, loyal creatures, but not all of their owners are. Sometimes, their owners let their loyalty stray, or misguide it. A dog with the wrong master can become a real menace. On the occasion that a dog bites a human, that dog's owner must be held responsible. Fortunately, California law reflects this.

In plain English, the law has several points that are worth noting:

  • Lawsuits against owners are either dismissed or damage amounts are reduced if the victim was found to be provoking the dog.
  • A defense of provocation is not applicable if the victim is under five years old.
  • Dog bite lawsuits apply strictly to an act of biting, not ramming or knocking-down.
  • If the victim is the dog owner's landlord, lawsuits can be filed on the grounds of negligence.
  • If the victim is an employee of the dog owner and the bite took place on company property, the lawsuit falls under labor action instead of dog bites.
  • People eligible for lawsuits are those who are bitten when invited onto the dog owner's property, or who are permitted by law to enter someone's property in the line of work, such as mail carriers, firefighters, or police officers.

If you or anyone you know falls under any of the above criteria, you may be entitled to a settlement. Freeman and Freeman represent all personal injury cases, including dog bites. Feel free to contact us or visit our website for more info or to see if you are eligible for our services.


Swimming Pool Accidents: The Raw Facts

Thursday, October 29, 2015

In the United States, about ten people die per day due to accidental drowning.

It's a sobering statistic, but drownings and other swimming pool accidents occur with surprising frequency. What should have been a nice, relaxing day can all too quickly turn into a nightmare. An accident in a swimming pool can be a traumatic and tragic event for you and your loved ones.

Children are especially at risk while swimming. According to the Centers for Disease Control, one in five people who die from drowning are children aged 14 or younger. For each one of these children, another five recieve emergency care for "nonfatal submersion injuries." These injuries can result in memory problems and learning disabilities. They can even lead to the victim becoming trapped in a permanent vegetative state.

For younger children ages 1-4, the risks are even more alarming. For these children, drowning ranks ahead of all causes of death other than congenital birth defects. When children up to the age of 14 are included, drowning becomes the second-leading cause of accidental death, following only car accidents.

Swimming pool accidents can too often prove to be fatal, but unfortunately, many of the worst accidents often prove to have been avoidable. Even something so simple as a fence around a swimming pool can have a dramatic effect in stopping accidents and especially drownings. Young children, left unattended or unwatched, often wander off and sometimes make their way into the inviting waters of a nearby swimming pool. Some of these pools are easy to get into: they sit at ground level and are unprotected by any gate, fence, or wall. With the pool unsecured and unattended, it becomes very easy for a young, inexperienced swimmer to get in trouble in the water. In this one example, which accounts for a fair number of drownings in the United States each year, a fence would have prevented the child's entry in the first place. The statistics on this, in fact, are notable: a four-sided fence around a pool can lower the risk of drowning in children by a shocking 83%! Because of this, many municipalities now require such a fence to be installed around any new swimming pool.

On a similar note, any pool area should be cleared of inviting floats and toys after use. These items are definitely fun in the pool- and they look fun to young children, too! Unattended children are too often attracted by these objects and are drawn into the pool area out of curiosity or in an attempt to use them. Because of this risk, the CDC recommends in the interest of safety that all such items be removed or placed in a secure location after their use is concluded. This will reduce the chance that a child will wander into a pool unattended and possibly suffer an accident in the water.

Swimming pool accidents can be life-altering, but as we have seen, many could have been prevented through various means. If you or a loved one have suffered a swimming pool accident that you believe could have been prevented, it might be a good idea to contact an attorney. A personal injury lawyer can walk you through your case and help you and those closest to you get the help and compensation you deserve.

Steps to Take After a Personal Injury at Work

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Injuries happen every day in the work place. If you have been injured at work, the things that you do immediately after the injury happened can affect whether or not you win your workman’s compensation case. Here are some tips that you can use to help you be successful in getting compensation.

Report Your Personal Injury

The injury you had at work needs to be reported immediately to your supervisor or boss. The person you work for needs to know about it so that they are able to enter the information into the report book of the company. Also, when you report the accident right away it will show that you are really hurt. Waiting until later to report the accident and injury is going to look very suspicious.

Go to the Doctor

When you have been injured at work, you need to make sure that you are checked out by a doctor. Your workplace might have a doctor that they use specifically for work related accidents. If not, it’s a good idea to go to the hospital. When you are being examined by the doctor, make sure that you tell the doctor that your injury is related to work. This is going to let the doctor put the information that they get from the examination into the report that goes to your employer.

Make sure that you collect the medical documents, receipts, and bills that you have gotten from your doctor. This is going to show that you did go to the doctor and it will help your case.

Follow Your Doctor’s Orders

Whatever your doctor tells you to do, make sure that you do it. Otherwise your employer may not believe that you are truly injured or that you aren’t as injured as you claimed. The last thing that you want to do is to have your employer be suspicious about the validity of your claim and terminate your employment.

Find a Lawyer for Your Work Injury

Even though chances are that your employer will give you compensation for the injuries, there’s also a really good chance that they are going to try to pay you the bare minimum. When you find a lawyer to represent you, you can be sure the lawyer is going to deal with the company’s adjuster and ensure that you’ll get the most compensation possible. He or she will also be sure your claim process is very simple for you through providing legal tips and advice. Your lawyer also is going to talk to the company’s insurance company if they need to and be sure that you’re fully compensated for your lost wages.

These are the things that you should do when you have sustained a personal injury at work. If you have taken the right steps, it will make your lawyer’s job a lot easier and help with expediting your claim. When your lawyer has the information that he or she needs about your work injury and knows that you have taken the right steps, your lawyer will be able to help you much more.

Do I Need a Lawyer when My Injuries Are Minor?

Friday, June 05, 2015

It may be tempting to proceed with negotiating with the insurance company on your own because your injuries seem to be minor. Doing so can be a serious mistake.

For instance, when you suffer whiplash in a rear-ender accident, the actual symptoms may not appear for days or even weeks later. In the meantime, you might struggle with some amount of neck pain that you believe is not serious enough to bother about. In many, injuries, symptoms do not make their presence felt for weeks later. One prime example is whiplash, but there are several injuries in which the extent of the injury can become evident only weeks later.

Even if your injuries are what you consider to be minor, they may have long-term consequences that you may not have completely appreciated. Say, for instance, that you have suffered a finger injury in an accident. You may believe that since it is a simple finger injury, you do not require an attorney to negotiate a settlement for you because the injury will heal quickly, and you can continue working as you did before.

That however, may not be how things turn out for you. If your job currently consists of manual tasks, or tasks in which you use your hands or fingers very often, then you may find that the finger fracture now limits your ability to perform the same tasks that you were performing. That immediately impacts your ability to earn an income, and could even determine whether you are able to return to the same job that you did before. These are questions that you may consider after an accident, and these are issues that you must resolve before you agree to any kind of settlement with the insurer.


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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.