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Personal Injury Blog

Liability in Weather-Related Car Accidents

Thursday, January 17, 2019

There are a lot of factors that can cause a car accident. It could be because a driver was texting. It could because a driver was drunk. It could even be because the driver was thinking so hard and got caught up in their own thoughts. However, on occasion, it could be because the driver couldn't see because it was literally raining sideways or some other weather-related incident was taking place. When the weather causes a car accident, it can be a difficult situation when it comes to placing the blame so that those involved can get compensation.

Is It Your Fault When You Drive in Bad Weather?

The unfortunate reality is that when you go out on the road, you are expected to take "reasonable care" of your own safety. This means if road conditions were too unsafe to drive, they can place fault of an accident with you because you made the conscious choice to drive on them. You should have known that it was too unsafe to drive and should have gotten off the road. This is such an unfair thing to hear, but if your accident was caused by weather, you should get ready to hear it. So if you couldn't see because it was raining, if you swerved and hit another driver, you would be at fault for that accident without question. It was you that caused it, and not so much the weather.

While that seems rather unfair, you are burdened with the decision to get off the road or continue driving. By making the choice to just soldier on, you must deal with the consequences. Furthermore, if the weather was a known event and not unexpected, this further supports the fact that you chose to go and drive in it instead of staying off the road until it stopped.

Shared Fault in Weather Accidents

In weather accidents, often both parties can contribute to the crash. While the driver at fault will still probably be held liable, others can share some fault too. When the weather gets bad, drivers are expected to:

  • Drive at a reasonable speed, even if it is below the posted limit
  • Follow other vehicles at a safe distance
  • Take action to avoid accidents

If a driver was riding your bumper and you had to stop suddenly, your stopping technically causes the accident, but they were also not giving you a fair amount of space. As such, they share the fault for the accident. In fact, in that situation, they may be held fully at fault for it.

When a Driver is Not at Fault in Weather

While rare, there are some situations in which the driver that actually caused the crash is not at fault. Say, for example, that a giant wave came over a coastal road and pushed your car into the other lane. This caused a multi-car wreck. However, this situation would be considered an act of god, something that no one could have anticipated. This frees the driver from liability for causing the crash.

Need Help?

If there is one thing to take away from a weather-related car accident, it is that the person who caused the crash is likely the one to be held liable. Unfortunately, you cannot get compensation from the weather, so holding them to blame does nothing for anybody involved.

If you have been in an auto accident in the Los Angeles area, whether it was weather-related or not, contact us today. We can help you get the compensation that you deserve as well as help to limit your own liability if necessary.


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.

Motorcycle Accidents Without a Motorcycle License

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyers

Once you get that standard driver's license that many people get as teenagers, you can hop into most cars and be able to drive with a valid license. However, it doesn't work the same for motorcycles. You need a special motorcycle license to legally ride on the road. While the licensing type and timeline varies from state to state, they all share this in common. However, while you should have a license while riding a motorcycle, not everyone does.

Sometimes motorcycle driver's hit the road without a license for one reason or another. Yet, if they get into a crash, they believe that not having a license bars them from any legal action, but that isn't true. It is important to remember that even if you don't have a motorcycle license, you can still get coverage for a motorcycle accident if it was the result of the negligence of another.

Proving Fault

If you were in a motorcycle accident without a license, the smart money is on the insurance of the other driver blaming you for the accident because you do not have a motorcycle license. However, with the help of a lawyer, you can completely negate this if the other driver was indeed to blame. Fault in a motorcycle accident can be laid by proving the other driver was doing something they should not have been. These incidents include:

  • Speeding
  • Running a red light
  • Driving under the influence
  • Following too closely

However, no one will just take your word for it. You need to be able to prove that the other driver was at fault. If you cannot, then you may, in fact, be barred from compensation. In order to prove fault, consider collecting evidence via the following:

  • Photographs of the scene
  • Police reports of the accident
  • Witness testimony from the accident scene
  • Blood alcohol content results from the driver

By being able to prove fault, you can still get compensation for your injuries and the damages to your vehicle.

Penalties for Driving a Motorcycle Without a License

While you will not be barred from compensation if the accident was not your fault even if you did not have a license, you will not get off without punishment. You will still get the accident covered with the right lawyer, but they should also help to prepare you for legal action. When in an accident without a motorcycle license, the police pretty much have no choice but to charge you. In California, this is a misdemeanor level crime, meaning penalties range from a fine of up to $1,000 and/or six months in jail. It is also likely that the police will confiscate your motorcycle until you receive the appropriate license.

The unfortunate thing about this potential legal action is that it is particularly difficult to defend against. Prosecutors need to only prove you didn't have a license and that you were on an official roadway to get a conviction for driving without a license. However, the right lawyer can help to limit the punishments you receive from this.

If you have been in a motorcycle accident of any kind, whether you had a license or not, contact us today. The Law Office of Freeman and Freeman is no stranger to serious motorcycle accidents and we know how to fight to get you the compensation you deserve for injuries that are so often more serious than standard auto accidents. Just because you didn't have a license or might have had some fault in the accident doesn't mean you don't deserve compensation for your damages. So let us help you fight the good legal fight.


What to Do When a Truck's Cargo Caused the Accident

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Los Angeles truck accident lawyers

When we think of trucking accidents, we think of the pure negligence of just two parties. Either the driver did something wrong or the truck driver did something wrong. In many cases, negligence can fall to another party when it comes to the maintenance of the truck, but rarely do people in trucking accidents find anything else to blame outside of these two aspects. However, it can be common that not the truck, truck driver, or other driver is responsible. Sometimes, just the cargo of a truck is responsible for causing a terrible accident.

Trucking Cargo

The major benefit of using trucks to haul essentially anything is that it can haul several tons of equipment or freight fairly quickly. While the trucks themselves weigh a sizable amount, most of their weight comes from the freight they are hauling. This is why it is crucial that whatever is being hauled is strapped down appropriately and does not shift. If all this weight was to shift suddenly to one side, it can cause the truck to actually flip over. Alternatively, if it hits the doors hard enough, the freight can come spilling out the back and cause accidents as well.

Accidents with Trucks

So what happens when the cargo of a truck is responsible for the truck accident as well as any damages to other vehicles or pedestrians? The answer can differ depending on different factors. In some cases, truckers pick up cargo from sources and don't even really get a chance to glance at what they are carrying. Alternatively, they do have a responsibility to assure that everything is strapped down properly and of a safe weight to carry along the roads.

Who's at Fault?

When determining fault in a trucking accident caused by the cargo, it is important to know the specifics of the accident in order to determine and assign fault. In some cases, if the driver was weaving their truck through traffic, they could be the cause of the accident even if the place they picked up their cargo was responsible for strapping it down. If a trucker's actions were reckless, they contributed to the accident just as much as improperly securing the cargo did.

What to Do

In most cases of these accidents, however, you will be able to seek compensation for your damages in the accident from the trucking company. Even if the driver was responsible, they are often covered by their employer as an employee. So most often, you will want to pursue compensation from the trucking company and their insurance. While in a perfect world, if you were simply driving and had no part in the accident other than being injured or having your vehicle damaged, you should be able to get compensation for that no problem. Except, the world isn't perfect and the insurance of the trucking company will try to fight to give you the compensation you require. They can try to argue that you had some fault in the accident, but in most cases, they are just trying to cut costs.

It is due to the difficult nature of any accident lawsuit and because blame can be difficult to place in terms of cargo that you will want to consult an accident attorney. After the accidents, depending on the specific aspects of your accident, they can help you decide who to pursue compensation from and help you weather the inevitable fight for it. If you have been in a trucking accident, contact us today to see what we can do to help you. Let us go over your accident case and plot the best course of action, including how much compensation the damages that you suffered during it deserve.

Can You Make A Personal Injury Claim After a Hit and Run Accident?

Thursday, September 06, 2018


Hit and Run

In a perfect world, if you were struck by a car, whether you were a pedestrian or in a vehicle yourself, the other driver would stop and at least check if you are okay before exchanging information. However, the world is not perfect. Sometimes people get into accidents, panic, and then drive off never to be seen again. Where does that leave you, the victim of a hit and run? If we are honest, it often leaves you with a lot of medical bills and not a lot of clear options on how to handle them without using your own savings.

Personal Injury Claim

Typically when you are hit in an accident, you will file a personal injury claim with the person at fault and their insurance. However, in a hit and run accident, that other person is nowhere to be found. Do you have any options available to you?

Yes! What many forget about is that their own auto insurance coverage has coverage for uninsured drivers. This coverage also covers drivers who are nowhere to be found. As lawyers, we always encourage others to have reasonable uninsured driver coverage for this very reason, but even a small policy is better than no policy. Regardless, the fact that your own insurance can cover your medical bills is good news, but the more you get into it, the less good it gets.

Auto Insurance

The major issue is that an insurance company is an insurance company, be it your own or someone else's. A claims adjuster's job is trying to cut costs by denying claims or otherwise finding loopholes to limit your amount of coverage. Considering in this situation you are using an insurance policy that you pay for, it can be infuriating to have your claim denied or otherwise limited. All that money you paid them and they suddenly don't come through when you actually need it? Inconceivable, but likely to happen whether we like it or not.

It is for this reason that you still need the aid of a personal injury attorney when making a claim to your own insurance after an accident. You want to trust that they will treat you with the respect that a paying customer deserves, but it is not so. Your personal injury attorney can make sure that after a hit and run accident, your insurance company doesn't try to run away with the coverage you need.

Once you have made a claim to your insurance after a hit and run accident, the process is very similar to the process in which there is an identified other driver involved. Your medical records are gathered, your lost wages are calculated, pain and suffering is determined and then the amount is sent to your insurance company. Unfortunately, it is unlikely they will just decide to pay it without question. Instead, negotiations will begin between the insurance company and your lawyer. It is important that you and your legal counsel fight for an offering of a satisfactory amount and not just take the first counter offer that they present. Your lawyer doesn't inflate their calculations. The amount you asked for is money you lost, save for pain and suffering which should be the only amount that you allow to be lowered.

We Can Help

If you have been in a hit and run accident only to be left injured and confused about how you will cover your injuries financially, contact us today. The Law Office of Freeman and Freeman is dedicated to representing any injured party in their quest to get coverage for their medical bills. Let us help you get the compensation you deserve for injuries that weren't your fault.



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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.