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Personal Injury Blog

You Have a Strong Case, But A Lawyer Won't Take It

Thursday, January 03, 2019

You don't have to be educated in the law to know what makes a strong accident case. If you were in an accident that was not your fault with your vehicle totaled, it looks like you have a pretty solid case. However, when you take it to a personal injury attorney to get your injuries and other damages covered, they turn you down. For most lawyers, they will explain why they won't take your case. However, sometimes that answer isn't really enough to satisfy you. 

So why isn't a personal injury lawyer taking your case?

In some instances, a law firm may simply be too busy to take your case. In fact, if you don't get a yes, this is the answer you want. No one wants a law firm that is technically too busy to try and take their case. It won't get the attention that it deserves.

However, aside from that very reasonable excuse not to take on your case, the main reason is that your case isn't as strong as you think it is. Even if you know that it is not your fault, legal cases are all about being able to prove it. The biggest reason that a law firm won't take your case is that they don't think they can prove it, or it would be too much of a challenge to do so.

The law firm would be responsible for presenting evidence that supports the fact that the accident was both not your fault and caused your injuries. For most accident cases, this isn't as hard. They will gather witness statements, examine police reports, and often evidence can be gathered from simply examining the scene of the crime.

Another big issue comes with proving how much you were hurt. If you were in an accident other than an auto accident, compensation comes from covering your injuries. However, they will need to prove the extent of those injuries. This is where problems can come from. Certain injuries, such as spine or head injuries, can be very tricky to prove. Furthermore, they can be worse than anyone imagines, so it is difficult to prove and get adequate compensation for them.

What does all this have to do with a lawyer not wanting your case? 

 The reason is simple: they don't want to lose. Some lawyers get paid only if they win, so if they don't win then that case has been nothing but a waste of time. Even if a lawyer does get paid for their time even if they lose, fighting a case that is extremely difficult may not be worth their time either. It means they have less time for other cases and it is a detriment to their firm.

If you have had your case denied by a law firm, it is not the end of the world. However, if you have had your case denied by several law firms, there is usually a reason for it. It is too difficult to prove and too difficult to win. However, in these cases, it may be tempting to give up. Yet, for those in an accident, giving up on their case may not be an option. You need that compensation for expensive medical bills and you need a lawyer that will help you fight for it.

If you have been in an accident in the greater Los Angeles area and need a lawyer that is willing to fight for your case, contact us today. The Law Office of Freeman & Freeman is ready to help you go over your case as well as to point out any specific problem areas that may occur.

Advice on Avoiding The Most Common Bicycle Accidents

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Although we are a law firm that represents those hurt in accidents, we certainly never want to see anyone get into an accident. Even if it would put us out of a job, no one should have to get hurt if they can avoid it. When it comes to bicycling accidents, many accidents come from drivers still learning how to share the road with an ever-growing number of cyclists. However, there are ways to stay safe on the road, especially when you know the most common cycling accidents.

The most common cycling accidents include:

  • Getting Hit By a Car Turning Right

  • Getting Hit While Being Passed By a Car

  • Car Door Collisions

There is much advice on how to avoid all of the above that goes above and beyond just "staying safe" on the road. Hopefully, it can help prevent a devastating cycling accident.

Right Turn Accidents

The situation is very common for cyclists at intersections. Cars are accustomed to looking left and right before turning, but what they are not accustomed to is checking their right rearview mirror for cyclists. The car turns rights and hits the cyclist, or the cyclist hits the car because they cannot stop in time. The obvious piece of advice is to anticipate that any car at the intersection may turn right. However, in turn, it is always best to reduce speed at intersections and make yourself as visible as possible when waiting to go through.

Passing Car Accidents

Bicycles can move at a decent clip, but in many cases, you may not be able to go as fast as traffic. This urges cars to pass you. Unfortunately, they often do not give sufficient room when passing. This is what leads to these potentially catastrophic accidents. Cars are supposed to give three feet of clearance when passing, but that is not often the case, despite many new laws stating so.  For cyclists, the best way to assure safe passage in traffic is to move into the lane if there is no bike path available. While cars can be lax with passing distance when a cyclist is riding on the shoulder, they still respect the traffic lane boundaries. This assures you get the safe distance you deserve.

Door Accidents

Many cities have taken to creating bicycle lanes for safer cycling. Unfortunately, too many have taken to sandwiching bicycle lanes between active traffic and parked cars. As car doors can swing into the bike lane, this creates painful door accidents. The key to preventing these accidents is more about training drivers to check their mirror before opening the door. For the cyclist, it may be prudent to keep left in these sort of situations as well as reduce speed. Unfortunately, until drivers have it ingrained in them to do the proper door check, cyclists trying to prevent this accident need to be overly cautious.

Need Help?

Unfortunately, many cycling accidents happen because cars don't yet know how to share the road. Car drivers are woefully under-educated on how to share the road with cyclists, and that isn't likely to change. Unfortunately, there are only small things that a cyclist can do to prevent accidents. The true prevention of accidents is the fostered understanding between car and cyclist drivers. Until that happens, these things will continue to happen. If you are a cyclist that has been in a bicycle accident, contact us today.

The Law Office of Freeman & Freeman is dedicated to getting justice and compensation for the victims of accidents. If you have been hurt and have medical bills to pay, we can help make sure you get the compensation you deserve.

Bus Injuries As a Result From Sudden Acceleration

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Not all injuries on a bus occur from a random accident. In fact, bus travel is a relatively safe form of travel where accidents are either fairly minor to those inside or very rare altogether. However, an accident is not the only way to get hurt on a bus. Often the biggest cause of bus-related accidents comes in the form of accidents between the passenger and just riding on the bus. One of the most common includes accidents from rapid acceleration by the bus driver.

Rapid Acceleration: Driver or Passenger Fault?

For those who ride on the bus every day, they might not be altogether unfamiliar with the rapid acceleration of the bus by its driver. You get on the bus and while looking for a seat, the bus suddenly jolts forward as the driver eagerly pushes towards their next stop. Bus drivers are trained so that this acceleration should be rather gentle, but they still should wait until all passengers are safely sat down before moving.

So if this rapid acceleration did occur, whose fault is it? It seems fairly straightforward that it would be the driver's fault for not waiting for all passengers to be secure, but that is not always the case. The driver can't always control the passengers or other outside factors on the road. If they need to accelerate to change lanes or avoid hazards, they need to do so. If this time coincides with a passenger fooling around and not sitting safely, then the fault doesn't actually lie with the driver, but with the passenger.

However, while a bus may be full of many witnesses, usually it is not the witness testimony that is relied upon to prove fault. Instead, many buses come with surveillance that helps determine the liability in the accident. If passenger surveillance determines that the passenger was misbehaving in an unsafe manner, they may be barred from compensation from the accident.

Types of Injuries That Can Occur From Sudden Acceleration

When it comes to the rapid or sudden acceleration of a bus, the most common type of accident is a fall. This can manifest a number of serious injuries. However, while a fall on a public bus may be embarrassing, it is important to remember that you must have sustained sufficient harm in order to pursue a lawsuit. A scrape or a scratch, in most cases, it is not enough to pursue what will be an expensive lawsuit.

In bus accidents, it is usually only worth pursuing a lawsuit if your injuries forced you to go to the hospital. The sudden acceleration could be breaking your arm after a fall or serious head trauma after hitting something on the bus like the edge of a seat. Both these injuries, and many others, will likely result in your hospitalization after the accident. If you have medical bills that resulted from an accident, this is always a case for litigation. However, you will find that if you only suffered minor injuries, a lawsuit seeking punitive compensation will likely be unsuccessful even if the driver is completely at fault. The world looks down on frivolous lawsuits that are solely meant to punish, and they have a much higher chance of being unsuccessful these days.

Need Help?

For most, the only bus accident they fear is a serious auto accident that will be blamed on traffic. However, injuries can happen on a bus without an actual crash. If you have been the victim of a sudden acceleration bus injury, and need help getting compensation to cover your medical bills, contact us today. Let the Freeman & Freeman Law Firm come to your aid.

Can Wrongful Death Occur in the Ambulance?

Thursday, December 06, 2018

When we think if wrongful death in a medical setting, typically we think of mistakes made in the ER, surgical errors, wrong medication, or any number of medical negligence in a hospital setting. However, in truth, wrongful death can easily occur even before a patient gets to a hospital due to action – or inaction – on the part of the EMTs transporting them there.

While EMTs have some of the most stressful jobs, they are prone to the occasional mistake, whether it be due to that stress or a lack of crucial knowledge. When these mistakes result in death, it can still be wrongful death, and you just have to know how to prove it to get your justice.

Circumstances of Wrongful Death in Ambulances

Negligence can occur during the ambulance rides, but many people don't realize that it could have ultimately caused the death of a loved one. We are quick to blame the doctors in that regard, but it could have been an issue with first responders as well. If a loved one has passed away during the ambulance ride, consider the following:

  • Medication Errors – The troubling thing about EMTs is that they often cannot administer medication without first knowing what you are on. They are required to ask patients or family if the person is on certain medications that may interfere with what they want to administer. If they do not ask, or administer the medication anyway, it is clear negligence.
  • Wrong Diagnosis – It is not an EMT's job to diagnose you. Instead, they are to treat any life-threatening conditions and those symptoms while getting you to doctors that will diagnose you. If they take steps to treat your illness beyond what is life-threatening and it causes death, then it can be wrongful death.
  • Ambulance Crash – We don't often hear of ambulance crashes, but they do happen. Often a driver is eager to get a patient to the hospital quickly, but that doesn't always mean they will get there safely. As you can imagine, ambulance crashes can be extremely damaging, if not deadly.
  • Miscommunication With The Hospital – When the ambulance arrives, the EMTs are responsible for relaying all symptoms and conditions to the doctors in the ER. If they fail to communicate a crucial symptom to the doctors, it can cause a fatal mistake and they can be held responsible.

What to Do After a Death in the Ambulance

In some cases, there may have been nothing that the EMTs could do to in order to prevent a patient's death. They are required to try resuscitating measures, but that may not be enough. If you believe that a wrongful death occurred due to some action or inaction on the part of the EMTs, you are afforded the right to file a wrongful death suit. Unfortunately, as there is often a lack of witnesses in the ambulance, these cases may be exceptionally difficult. Furthermore, you will find that EMTs tend to protect their own in these cases.

Your best option is to get in touch with a lawyer to go over your potential case and what options you can take. Gathering evidence for a wrongful death case in an ambulance can be difficult, but lawyers often have many options available to them that can help. It can turn a hopeless situation into a successful wrongful death suit in many cases.

If you are in the Los Angeles area and believe a loved one perished due to negligence in an ambulance, contact us today. The Law Office of Freeman & Freeman is dedicated to getting both justice and compensation for those who have been wronged. Let us help you get what you deserve.

Can an Animal Rescue Be Liable For a Dog Bite?

Thursday, November 15, 2018

When it comes to the city or state-run animal control, their business is to take dangerous animals off the street to prevent various issues, namely animal attacks. However, you also have groups working independently of the government to re-home dogs and other animals found on the street or in neglectful situations. These groups have the benefit of being able to place dogs and other animals with loving homes and also removing them from shelters in which, if not adopted in a certain amount of time, they will be euthanized.

Dog Bites

Unfortunately, while dangerous animals can be rehabilitated in many cases, it takes time to do so. During this time, there is the potential that they could lash out violently and hurt someone. If you were the victim of a dog bite by an animal that was under the care of an animal rescue group, can you hold those groups liable for the attack?

The answer, in most cases, is yes. As there is always the potential for any dog to bite someone this means that rescue groups need to take the time to protect themselves from what could very well be not a possibility, but an eventuality. In the larger animal rescue group, you will find that they have insurance to protect the group in case of an animal bite. If a dog bites someone, whether it is a worker or someone looking to adopt a dog, the insurance will be there to pay for the medical bills of the victim. However, if you are dealing with smaller animal rescue groups, they may not have the insurance, but you still retain the right to file a personal injury lawsuit.

Who's Liable?

While you maintain the right to pursue a personal injury suit against an animal rescue group, you must also realize the certain reality of doing so. Animal rescues, particularly small ones, run on a limited budget. Typically, this is the reason they did not have insurance in the first place. Often one bite and the impending lawsuit will unravel the organization. For some, they may choose not to pursue a lawsuit because it would likely mean the end of that particular rescue. However, dog bites can be more than just simply bites. They can be vicious attacks that require extended medical treatment, even plastic surgery to rectify. In these cases, there is no question who should come first – the victim.

Personal Injury

A personal injury suit against a group is much like a personal injury suit against an individual. You must first prove that the organization was liable for the injury. If the animal had attacked you on the animal rescue's property, they had the responsibility for making sure it was secured. However, it needs to be proved that you did not actively provoke the animal either. As they were harboring the animal, the organization has the responsibility to actively work to prevent attacks.

As for who to file the personal injury lawsuit against, you may not be filing it against the animal rescue group as a whole. Often these groups work on donations and have very little if any, profits from it. Instead of filing against the group as a whole, it is likely you will be filing the personal injury lawsuit against the person in charge of the group such as a leader or a founder. This is generally why many animal rescue groups insist they have insurance because a personal injury lawsuit against an individual is damaging financially.

If you have been bitten by a dog, whether it was held by an animal rescue group or just a private owner, contact us today. The Law Office of Freeman & Freeman can help get you the compensation you deserve for your injury.



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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.