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Personal Injury Blog

What to Do When Bicycle Brakes Failed to Work?

Thursday, August 09, 2018

When it comes to bicycle accidents, people will tend to think that either the cyclist or a driver was at fault and there is no in-between ground. After all, accidents due to careless motorists or cyclists crashing into objects accidentally are common in every city. However, there are times when an accident is completely out of a cyclist's control, like when they are riding and their brakes fail to engage. In these cases, often the law meets at a crossroad of product liability and personal injury suits.

When the brakes fail to engage on a bicycle, if there was another at fault for the accident, then you can pursue both a personal injury claim and a product liability claim. This does mean twice the work but can also mean double the chance at compensation for your accident. However, if you were the only one injured, then you need to consider your rights as the consumer because there is no other option to pay for your accident.

A bicycle injury can manifest itself as a product liability claim for the following reasons:

  • Manufacturing Defects - In this sort of claim, the injured cyclist will allege that the company that manufactured the bicycle or even just the brakes did not do so in the same quality standards as their competitors. In order for this to be a valid claim, the cyclist and their lawyer must prove the poor construction of the bicycle or breaks as well as prove it was defective when sold.
  • Design Defects - Similar to manufacturing defects, this sort of claim seeks to prove that the way the bicycle brakes were designed were innately flawed and dangerous. If the cyclist and their lawyer can dig up evidence of other brake failures by the same model of bicycle brakes, then the problem lies not in the manufacturing, but in the design of the product itself.
  • Failure to Warn - It is a product creators duty to warn consumers of potentially dangerous risks that come with their products. For example, any bicycle brake has the potential to lock up or fail to engage if certain conditions are met, but if the bicycle manufacturer failed to put a warning about that, then you can pursue them with a failure to warn claim because it is likely they cyclist won't know otherwise.

Personal Injury Claim or Product Liability

If you were involved in a bicycle accident that was technically the fault of another, but could have been avoided if your brakes worked properly, you can engage in both a personal injury case and a product liability claim. This will involve filing a personal injury claim with the other involved party and their insurance company as well as filing a separate claim against the manufacturer of the bicycle or the brakes.

As an example, if you hit a car door, the motorist would have been responsible for checking for cyclists before opening. However, if you were traveling at a moderate speed and your brakes did not engage, that accident could have been avoided. In this case, you can pursue both claims for compensation from your accident.

Unfortunately, as one would expect, two claims means twice the work. In order for the best chance of success at both claims, you need a lawyer by your side that can help you. If you have been in a bicycle accident, no matter whether it was the fault of another or a defect of your bicycle, then contact us today. The Law Office of Freeman and Freeman is dedicated to helping injured individuals get the compensation that they need to recover from their accident.

Pool Injuries and Drowning: Is the Lifeguard at Fault or the Pool Management?

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Spending time at the local pool is a tradition for many neighborhoods. Whether your kids take a few dollars and their bicycle to the local pool or you go with the whole family on weekends, you trust the pool management and lifeguards to have rules and a routine to make sure everyone stays safe both in and out of the water. But every now and then, something really bad happens. A child slips on the slick pavement, someone tumbles over the deck chairs or, worse, a child nearly drowns and the lifeguard is slow to respond. If you, your child, or someone you know has been seriously injured or was in a life-threatening situation at a local pool, it's natural to want to get to the bottom of the issue and seek compensation for any medical costs that resulted.

However, it's very important to understand whether you should be looking into the lifeguard who was on duty or the pool management itself who made the policies for both swimmers and lifeguards. There are situations where an adult professional lifeguard really was negligent and that can be the cause of poolside injuries and trauma but all too often, the blame really lies with pool management and the policies they set for their teen summer lifeguards.

Teen Lifeguards with Summer Jobs

Being a lifeguard is one of the classic jobs that teens can get over the summer and is one of the few ways younger teens can earn money at all. Inexperience, lack of physical strength, and insufficient training can make it difficult for teens to perform their lifeguard duties even if they are vigilant and respond quickly. However, not every teen lifeguard is in peak condition, is paying attention, and many don't even want to be lifeguarding. When parents force their kids to get summer jobs or when teens are desperate for cash, they become subject to the whims of pool management and you might be surprised how abusive this can become. In many cases, the faults of a teen lifeguard can be directly blamed on exploitative policies that actively get in the way of their ability to be good lifeguards.

Abusive Pool Management Policies

For a lifeguard to be alert and able to properly do their job, they need to stay hydrated, keep their head in the shade, and take more frequent breaks than most occupations because they are out in the sun. A properly run pool should have lifeguards switching out every 15 to 30 minutes with cool water delivered to an active lifeguard every five to ten minutes. However, when pool management cuts corners, your teen lifeguards could be suffering from heat stroke and exhaustion far worse than any kid playing in the water. Bad pool management practices are notorious for denying lifeguard breaks and lengthening shifts beyond advisable lengths, especially when they understaff to safe money or even one lifeguard calls in sick.

This is especially dangerous for teen lifeguards who may not feel they have the right to stand up for their rights and personal safety. Most teens, especially those who have summer jobs, are still inclined to obey authority and do what they're told, even if what they're told is bad for them and their swimmers.

Who is Responsible?

If a lifeguard was slow to respond to the needs of you or your child, or if their efforts seemed feeble in response to the emergency, it might be because they are victims of bad pool management as well. When lifeguards are forced to become dehydrated and overheated up there on their platform chairs, everyone is at risk. If you are conflicted by the prospect of suing a teen or their family, make sure to look closely at the faults of the pool management as well. Reach out to an experienced personal injury lawyer and they can help you investigate the pool's history of lifeguard treatment and other injuries they have allowed to happen. For more information about how to move forward with pool injury and drowing compensation or to consult on your unique experience, contact us today.

Mistakes to Avoid if Bitten by a Dog

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Los Angeles dog bite lawyer

While not often highlighted by the media, dog bites are extremely common. Among the average citizen, a dog bite is most common among postal workers and children, but it can happen to anyone that has an encounter with a dog that they do not know, or even sometimes with a dog they have known for years. However, regardless of the how or why you are bitten by a dog, you may be able to pursue a personal injury case to receive compensation for your injuries. However, you will also want to make sure your case is as strong as possible. As such, there are certain mistakes you will want to avoid so they don't hurt your case or make it harder than it needs to be to get the compensation that you deserve.

Not Seeking Medical Treatment

Some dog bite injuries might be something you can walk away from. However, by failing to seek medical attention, it makes your injury seem less serious and it can make proving your case in the future difficult. The biggest complication you will face from this mistake is the injury worsening from infection. A dog's mouth is home to a myriad of bacteria that can make a minor wound have major problems if not treated. If you failed to seek medical attention, it could be argued that you caused it to get infected with your inaction and you could be stuck with the bills.

Not Photographing Injuries

Alongside not getting immediate medical treatment, you should also avoid not photographing your injuries. By the time your legal case progresses, it is likely your injuries will have healed quite a bit. It will make some people unsympathetic to your plight, but if you have photos of just how bad you got hurt, it serves as both proof and persuasive evidence that you need to receive compensation.

Not Reporting a Dog Bite

After a dog bite incident, it is likely you will be fairly rattled. However, do not forget to make a report of the incident to the proper authorities such as police or animal control. These authorities allow for the incident to be well documented and will take measures to ensure it doesn't happen to anyone else. Never believe a dog owner that begs you not to report and promises to repay your medical bills. There is nothing legally binding them to do so and it is likely they will not.

Talking to an Insurance Company Alone

In some cases, a dog's actions may be covered by the owner's insurance. However, you should be wary of giving any statement to an insurance company alone. Their job is not to make sure you are taken care of, but rather to keep the costs of a claim as low as possible. Much of what they trick you into saying can go to hurt your case and lower what they need to pay you.

Instead of talking to an insurance representative alone, you will want to do so with a skilled lawyer by your side. They will advise you as to whether you need to answer the question or how to answer so as to not hurt your case. Dealing with insurance companies isn't particularly common in dog bite cases, but even if you don't have to, you will want an attorney by your side to help you with your case. If you have been bitten by a dog and need someone in your corner to help you get the compensation that you deserve, contact us today. Let the Law Office of Freeman & Freeman make sure you get what is fair for your injuries.

Pedestrian Safety Tips

Thursday, July 12, 2018

For many people, when possible, walking is their preferred way to get from one place to another. Walking is a great way to get exercise while also saving on gasoline, but it also requires you to take extra care to avoid getting injured by an inattentive driver.

Pick the Right Path

One of the most important things you can do as a pedestrian is to pick the right path. When sidewalks are available, use them. When possible, even if it means taking a slightly longer route, take roads that have well-maintained sidewalks. If the street does not have a sidewalk, walk as close to the edge of the left side of the road as possible. This allows you to see oncoming traffic and to avoid impeding traffic.

It is also important to use crosswalks. When possible, cross at streets with pedestrian lights. Drivers are more likely to be watching for pedestrians at crosswalks than they are if you simply cross in the middle of the road. Even when crossing at crosswalks, always make sure drivers see you before you cross the street. Never assume a driver will stop for you. Even after the driver has stopped, you may want to make eye contact with the driver to ensure that the person really has seen you.

Make Yourself Visible

It is always important for pedestrians to be easily visible. When walking along the side of the road, if there are vehicles parked along the road, avoid weaving between them. Maintain as straight of a path as possible.

It is especially important to make sure that you are visible when you are crossing the street. Never attempt to cross the street between two parked cars or if there are other items that might hide you from passing drivers' view.

Pedestrians traveling after dark or in bad weather can be especially hard for drivers to see. When traveling after dark or in bad weather, avoid wearing dark clothing. Instead, wear bright colors. You may even want to invest in reflective clothing, especially if you often travel on foot after dark. To make yourself even more visible, carry a flashlight or other device that gives off light to help drivers to see you better.

Be Smart

Pedestrians who make smart decisions are more likely to be safe pedestrians. People often emphasize the importance of not driving impaired, but it is also important to not walk impaired. Drugs or alcohol may impact your judgment or your ability to walk straight. Because of this, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you may weave into traffic or try to cross the street when it isn't really safe to do so. Stay where you are or get a ride rather than trying to walk or drive anywhere until the effects of the drugs or alcohol have worn off.

It is also important to avoid distractions, which may also cause you to weave into traffic or step off the sidewalk when you cannot do so safely. Put down your cell phone. Don't try reading and walking. Do not engage in any other behavior that may distract you from paying attention to your surroundings.

Another part of being a smart pedestrian is paying attention to drivers near you. If there is someone driving erratically, you may need to move onto the grass or otherwise get out of the driver's way to stay safe. You may also need to move over if someone is driving close to the curb or might otherwise hit you.

Unfortunately, even if you are careful, sometimes drivers are not watching for pedestrians. If you or a family member was the victim of a pedestrian accident, contact us. We will provide you with a free evaluation of your case and work to get you with fair compensation for any injuries you or your family member suffered as a result of the accident. 

Common Types of Medical Malpractice Suits

Friday, July 06, 2018

Many people often wonder if they have a medical malpractice suit. Whether they are unhappy with their care or they believe that they are sicker than they were before, medical malpractice suits are not always easy to win.

Unfortunately, doctors are human like the rest of us. They can make many different mistakes when it comes to medical malpractice suits. They can order the wrong test and give the wrong medication. Accidents can happen during a surgical procedure and there are times when it doesn't help a patient.

However, the mistakes that they make often fall into several categories, making them a little easier to define. This may help you decide if you truly have a case. The best way to determine this is by meeting with a lawyer who specializes in medical malpractice cases.

Here are some of the most common medical malpractice suits that occur today.

Failure to diagnose. 

Most doctors are very careful when diagnosing patients. They know that the wrong diagnosis and treatment could kill a person. However, doctors are also human and there are times when a doctor can be wrong.

To have a medical malpractice suit for failing to diagnose a patient, you must be able to prove that another doctor would have diagnosed you differently, giving you a better outcome.

Wrong treatment. 

If your doctor treats you differently than another doctor would, you may have a medical malpractice suit. You may also have a case if they treated you with the right medication but gave it wrong. This could be the wrong dose (five tablets instead of one) or the wrong method (intravenously instead of in the muscle).

Again, you are going to have to prove that another doctor would have treated you differently and you would have gotten better.

Failure to tell a patient the risks.

 Every treatment has some risks and it is your right, as a patient, to know about all of them. Your doctor should go over all of the risks and potential outcomes of a medical procedure before administering the treatment.

If your doctor doesn't go over the risks and you have the procedure, they can be held liable if something goes wrong. This is especially true if you wouldn't have gone through with the treatment knowing what the risks were.

In order to have a medical malpractice case, you need to be able to prove that your doctor did something wrong, whether he or she diagnosed or treated you wrong. You also have a case if he or she didn't warn you all about the risks prior to scheduling a procedure or treatment. You deserve to know everything before you go through with any tests and treatment.

However, to win your case, you have to hire the best lawyer so don't hesitate to contact us today. We have plenty of experience to help through this difficult time. We work with medical professionals who will help us to see if you have a case. Our entire team will review your chart so we thoroughly understand your case.

It is important to remember that you may have to go through a medical malpractice review panel before you ever end up in court. This allows experts to hear both sides of the story (both evidence and expert testimony). They use this to find out if you even have a valid case. If they vote on your behalf, it doesn't mean that you have won. It simply means that you should get ready to take it to court.

Contact us for all of your legal needs. We will be there for you every step of the way.



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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.