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Personal Injury Blog

How Long Do Personal Injury Cases Take?

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Time is precious. You will find that it becomes even more precious when you are injured, have bills due, and are largely depending on a personal injury settlement to get everything paid. However, personal injury cases are often not quick closes. Depending on the nature of the accident, they can take a while to come to a conclusion. For some, they may wonder if the suit is even worth it, but that often depends on how long the case takes.

Factors that Affect the Time of a Personal Injury Case

Every type of personal injury case is different. How long a premises liability case takes may be vastly different from an auto accident case. Furthermore, each individual personal injury case is different as well. This means predicting the time it will take, even on average, can be near impossible. However, there are some common factors that do affect the time your personal injury case will take.

  • Proof – Even in personal injury cases, you are charged with the burden of proof. In some cases, you need to prove that negligence was responsible for your injury. In other cases, you have to prove a breach of duty. The more you have to prove, the longer the case may take. Not only because there is more work to do, but there is more evidence that your lawyer has to gather.

  • Treatment – The more treatment that you need, the more it could push back the actual legal proceedings. Your lawyer will be doing the majority of the work, but it can be difficult if you were, for example, recovering from surgeries.

  • Preparing Witnesses – Your lawyer may need time to prepare their witnesses. Especially expert witnesses that need to actually come to the area. Furthermore, if the claim requires any forensic experts, it will take time for these witnesses to examine the evidence.

  • Complications – It can happen, but rarely is a personal injury case straight out of a textbook. There is always some kind of complication that will add time to the case. In fact, some injured clients can do it to themselves. If they were to lie or exaggerate parts of their case, it is only adding time to how long it will take.

  • The Defendant – In many cases, you collect compensation from the insurance company of the other person. These cases can be quicker to resolve depending on the proof provided. If the evidence is strong for the injured party, the claims adjuster won't fight it as hard. However, if you are pressing a personal injury claim against a business, such as a department store, they can infinitely extend out the timeline. The more resources the defendant has to pay for a legal team, the more they can draw a case out. In some cases, they may do so just to get the case against them dropped.

All of these factors can work to extend the timeline of your personal injury case. If you want to know an estimate for your case in particular, it is best to talk it over with your lawyer. If you need the money, your lawyer may also be able to suggest options to help make ends meet until the case reaches a conclusion.

Need Help?

Have you been hurt and need a personal injury suit to help cover your medical bills and other damages? The process sounds easy enough, but personal injury suits are a lot more complicated than the look. You need help, and we are here for you. Contact us today to see how the Law Office of Freeman & Freeman can help you get the compensation that you need.


6 Common Causes of Wrongful Death Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

Thursday, April 04, 2019

When you go to a doctor, you want to know that they are going to help you. But unfortunately, a lot of times a doctor or a medical professional makes a mistake that causes their patient's death. Below are six common reasons for wrongful death lawsuits due to medical malpractice.

Missed Diagnosis or Misdiagnosis

A common reason that people file wrongful death lawsuits due to medical malpractice is because of a healthcare provider not correctly diagnosing a medical condition that threatens their patient's life.

Another situation that is similar is when a doctor completely misdiagnoses their patient, or they diagnose them with something the patient doesn't have.

Birth & Delivery

When what should be a happy occasion becomes tragic, this is one of the most heartbreaking reasons for medical malpractice. When a child or mother dies during birth, it's something that a lot of families have trouble enduring.

It doesn't matter if the death happens prior to, during, or following the birth, a doctor might be in deep trouble legally if their negligence caused a death.

Surgical Mistakes

Mistakes during surgery are the misjudgments or mistakes that could occur during surgery. If the patient dies because of this mistake, whether they die while on the surgical table or it happens, later, because of surgery complications, it's important to seek justice.

A wrongful death lawsuit from medical malpractice due to surgical errors can be really hard for the family to fight since surgery is almost always risky, but it can happen.  

Abuse in a Nursing Home

The last thing that someone wants to think about is that their loved one is being abused in the nursing home, but it happens. That's why it's one of the most common reasons for wrongful death lawsuits due to medical malpractice.  

When you believe that someone's died because of negligence or abuse in a nursing home, it's essential that you speak with a lawyer to find out what they can do to help you. You trusted the people in the nursing home to care for your loved one. If your loved one died because of them, you should hold them accountable.

Wrong Medications and Prescriptions

One type of medical malpractice that people don't think about is when a doctor prescribes the wrong medication. If someone has died because they were prescribed or given the wrong medication, this could lead to a wrongful death lawsuit.

This could happen because they prescribed the medication that killed the patient. But it also could the result of them not prescribing the right medicine that could have saved someone's life.

Prolonged or Delayed Treatment

It's really heartbreaking when someone dies. But it's even worse when they died due to the doctor delaying their treatment or because the doctor took too long to diagnose their loved one.

This kind of lawsuit also can happen if someone didn't begin the needed treatment in enough time because their doctor didn't diagnose them quickly enough.

Whether the patient didn't get their treatment, or the treatment started too late, having a wrongful death lawsuit might help with settling things down and ensuring that the doctor is held responsible.

Even though filing a lawsuit isn't going to bring your loved one back, it can help you with getting some closure and help with paying their final bills. It also helps to ensure that they're held responsible and that they won't do it to another patient. The last thing that you want is for someone to go through the pain and suffering that you are experiencing right now. Filling a lawsuit can help bring the medical professional's mistakes to light.


Coping with Brain Injuries Both Physically and Legally

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Few types of personal injury are more devastating and life-altering than a brain injury. Even the mildest, non-life threatening versions can still have a grave impact on your quality of life. They're not something to take lightly, especially if you've recently been in an accident that may have left you such an injury.

Just as bad if not worse, though, is dealing with the aftermath of this kind of injury. Both for yourself or a loved one, coping with brain injuries can be a lot of unpleasant work as you try to adjust to life and find the proper treatment. Even more troubling can be how difficult it is to get proper compensation for your injury if it wasn't your fault.

For a lot of people, it's hard not to feel like you're completely on your own when you've suffered a brain injury. That doesn't have to be the case, though. To help you get off on the right foot in adjusting to everything, here's some advice on coping with a brain injury both physically and legally.

Acceptance

The first step to dealing with a brain injury is the simple act of accepting that it's happened. While this sounds simple on the surface, it's much harder than many would expect. It often means realizing that there are things that you once enjoyed or took for granted that simply aren't possible due to things like loss of motor functions, impaired senses, or any number of other issues that can come about as a result of this injury.

However, it's equally important that you don't try to force yourself to move on immediately. Much like you'd grieve a loved one's death, you're in a period of grieving for yourself. Accepting your injury and any resulting disability can take months or even years to fully come to terms with. The only thing to always keep in mind is not to give up.

Medicine

Proper medical care is obviously an important part of coping with a brain injury. Both immediately after and in the future, you'll likely need competent and experienced care to help you recover and deal with the aftermath.

In many cases, you'll likely need to see a specialist in your particular type of injury. The kind of care they may prescribe will depend on the severity, as well, so try to stay informed of your condition on your own. Additionally, don't be afraid to look for a second opinion. Brain injuries are a tricky subject and getting more eyes on the problem is almost never a bad thing. All of this will make adjusting to your injury that much easier.

Legal Counsel

No matter what type of injury you have, it's important to have proper legal representation to stand beside you in your lowest moments. This is especially true for brain injuries, as there are numerous pitfalls and annoyances you can encounter when trying to help yourself. One such problem could be in holding people accountable for the accident that caused your injury, the process of proving negligence on their part often being arduous and difficult for various reasons. 

Not only that, it can often be a battle to get proper compensation from your insurance company. As your insurance is motivated by profit above all else, there are numerous ways they might try to short change you on the money you should be paid out. It's not uncommon for them to even accuse you of outright faking your injury, as certain brain injuries are hard to spot through medical imaging.

To avoid this, you'll need legal counsel experienced in these types of cases. Places like the Law Firm of Freeman & Freeman are one effective option, as they have extensive experience helping those in need get what they're owed in situations of traumatic injury.


Motorcycle Accidents Caused By Road Defects

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Most motorcycle accidents typically involve two drivers or at least the ones that turn into litigation. Do to someone's negligence, a crash occurs and the party not at fault will seek compensation for their injuries. It isn't a simple matter by any stretch, but it can be done. However, where motorcycle accidents and compensation get more complicated is when the accident wasn't caused by another driver, but by the road itself.

Every motorcyclist has driven on some spectacularly bad roads before. However, every time you take that bike out onto a bad road, you are taking a pretty big risk. When a car drives over something like loose gravel or a pothole, it doesn't really affect them. However, if a motorcyclist hits a pothole or loose gravel in the wrong way, it means a pretty bad accident.

Roadway hazards include:

  • Rough Seams – Roads are constructed so that there is typically a seam in the middle as they only typically do one side at a time. When the road is finished, however, that seam should be minimal. That is unfortunately not always the case. If you hit this uneven seam while doing something like passing another vehicle, it could be dangerous.

  • Gravel – Gravel road will always be difficult for bikers. Even just loose gravel on paved roads can be an issue. Essentially they can cause the front wheels of a motorcycle to slide out.

  • Railroad Crossings – The reason railroad crossings are required to be properly marked is not only to watch for trains but so drivers can take proper care while crossing them. They are rough to cars but even rougher on motorcycles.

  • Bad Design – We have all rode on roads that were a little iffy. Maybe there was a blind corner or a particularly tight curve without a guard rail. These are dangerous and should be dealt with by the governing entity before someone gets hurt.

Getting Compensation For Motorcycle Accidents Caused By Road Defects

The obvious difficulty when looking to recover compensation from a motorcycle accident caused by any kind of road defect is that there is often not one person responsible. Instead of going after another driver as you would with other accident cases, you instead need to seek compensation for the state or city that is responsible for maintaining that roadway

As you would expect, the city or state will try very hard to get out of paying you for an accident they caused by likely not wanting to spend any money maintaining that particular road. Many will try to insist that it was your fault for one reason or another. This is why it is crucial that if you need to file a claim against a government, something that is vastly more complicated than the normally complicated personal injury cases, that you hire a knowledgeable attorney. You can trust that the government entity will bring in their best lawyers to save themselves both money and reputation, so you need a lawyer to evaluate the success rate of your case and make sure you get that compensation that you need.

Need Help?

Were you a victim of a motorcycle accident that is fully to blame on a road defect that should have been fixed? You have a difficult case ahead of you, but it is not impossible. Contact us today to see what the Law Office of Freeman & Freeman can do to help you recover compensation from the government that was responsible for maintaining that road. Just because another vehicle wasn't involved doesn't mean you can't recover damages from your motorcycle accident if the road itself was to blame.


The Responsibility and Liability of Uber Drivers

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Uber Accidents Los Angeles

If you use have an accident with a driver for shared ride services like Uber in California, how does the liability insurance work? Uber and other transportation network companies are required by California law to carry one million dollars in full coverage liability insurance. Dealing with car insurance companies can be difficult, even in commonly occurring accident situations between licensed drivers. When you have an accident involving companies like Uber, the issues can quickly become complicated. Uber has had a long history of issues regarding driver registration and regulation issues.

Uber is a Technology Company Not a Transportation Company.

Part of the trouble is that the private vehicles Uber uses for its on-call service are usually not registered as commercial vehicles. The drivers do not need commercial driver's licenses. Currently, in fact, the courts have been viewing Uber, not as a transportation company, but as a technology company that just provides software to drivers and the public so they can communicate to arrange carpools. This is a handy legal device for an industry that appears to be competing head-to-head with taxi services. Courts in the European Union have ruled the Uber is a transportation company but the issue is still contentious.

In 2015 the California Department of Motor Vehicles issued an "advisory" to ridesharing companies that drivers must have commercial license plates on their vehicles. This advisory strengthens the view that Uber is a transportation company in competition with licensed taxi companies. This advisory is expected to make recruiting drivers for Uber to be more difficult. An advisory has an ambiguous legal status and its effect may lead to ambiguity.

Uber Drivers Are Not Uber Employees.

There are many legal wrinkles in the insurance for Uber drivers. The procedure is that accident claims must first go through the driver's personal insurance. The personal insurance usually covers the claim for your damages. If the personal insurance company denies the claim, the driver can file a claim on Uber's supplementary policy. The courts are still working through the question of whether Uber drivers are employees. It may be settled in California, but those claims to Uber's supplementary policy are sometimes hard to recover because Uber does not list its drivers as employees, but independent contractors. Uber disclaims responsibility for the driver's accidents or issues. In accident situations, victims have had to resort to lawsuits and the issues around settlements are not clear.

Uber Offers Primary Liability Insurance and Contingent Collision/Comprehensive Insurance.

Ordinary auto insurance policies do not cover the kind of commercial use of vehicles that Uber operates. The company, Uber, itself provides a supplementary insurance policy to cover its drivers and passengers. When Uber drivers are just driving their cars, not for Uber, they are just covered by their own personal liability policies. Once the driver accepts a passenger, the supplementary policy kicks in to a value of $1 million from the time the driver goes en route to pick up the passenger until the ride is complete. Drivers are covered by the Uber Insurance Policy for liability. Uber describes this insurance as a "primary policy." In case of an accident Uber's policy is supposed to take effect before the driver's personal insurance does. Uber offers collision and comprehensive insurance to cover damage to the driver's vehicle. The insurance has a $1,000 deductible and is payable only after the driver's own policy rejected the claim. The amount of collision damage varies by state. In California, coverage is $30,000.

Uber / Lyft Accident Attorneys

If you have an accident with an Uber vehicle or that of any ride-sharing company, the status of the driver as an employee is not crystal clear. If you have an accident, you will be insured for liability, but the coverage may be unclear and may be hard to collect. Collection of claims for damage may be complicated. You should probably contact a lawyer to work through the issues with you.

Freeman & Freeman, LLP personal injury lawyers are based in Los Angeles but represent clients throughout Southern California. They have the resources and experience to help you pursue compensation after an injury caused by someone else's negligence.  Please contact us to learn more.



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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.