EXPERIENCE MATTERS...
LET US PROVE IT TO YOU.

view our case results read client reviews

Personal Injury Blog

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.


What Should an Injured Passenger Do if Injured in an Auto Accident?

Friday, August 17, 2018

Auto accidents are traumatic for anyone involved. However, there is no denying that injured drivers have a certain amount of rights towards compensation for their injuries and we all know it. However, what if there injured passengers? Not every driver that gets into an accident is alone in the car, and if you were riding with friends or family during an accident, you might wonder if you have any right to compensation, especially since you had no part in the accident itself. However, rest assured that as an injured passenger, you also have certain rights to compensation to cover any resulting injuries.

Seeking Compensation From the Driver's Insurance

As an injured passenger, your first task - after healing, of course - is to determine the fault of the accident. We certainly don't want to pursue a claim against the driver of the car we were in because of any personal feelings for the driver, but it may be necessary. However, it is important to remember that you are not taking money straight out of their pocket, but rather your injuries will be covered by their insurance company if they were at fault. As an injured passenger, you have a legal right to file a claim with their insurance for your injuries. This claim will cover your medical expenses, any lost wages accrued due to healing, as well as a certain amount for pain and suffering.

Even if the driver of your car was at fault, you also still have the right to file a claim with the other driver's car insurance as well. This can be necessary because often auto insurance does not let passengers related to the driver file as they are seen as part of the insurance. However, you cannot collect from both insurance providers to an amount that exceeds the total value of the claim.

Using the Passenger's Policy

As an injured passenger with your own auto insurance policy, you may be able to get coverage for your medical expenses from your own policy. This coverage is not based on any liability and does not require the passenger to be at fault. However, using this method, typically pain, and suffering or lost wages are typically not covered. Yet, if there are any expenses that are related to your medical expenses, then your own auto insurance will typically cover it.

If you collect a portion from your own auto insurance and then later receive compensation from another driver's insurance, you may find a certain amount will be deducted from the liability settlement. Using your own auto insurance policy is a great option is you need coverage for your medical bills quickly but expect a certain amount of coverage later from a larger settlement.

Need Help?

With all the options above available to you, it actually makes getting compensation for an injured passenger more complex than for either of the drivers. Which option do you pick to suit your unique needs? It can be really difficult to figure out. If you are an injured passenger and need compensation for your medical bills now or simply want to make the most out of the coverage options you do have, contact us today. Don't let all the options you have available to you overwhelm you with choice, the right auto accident attorney can help you sort out which options are right for your unique needs.

If you were a passenger who was in an auto accident, contact us today. Let the Law Office of Freeman and Freeman help you get compensation for your accident so you can pay your medical bills now when you need to.

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.

How Distracted Walking Effects Pedestrian Accidents

Friday, June 22, 2018

distracted walker

As a pedestrian, you should expect a certain amount of safety on sidewalks and crosswalks. Unfortunately, things happen and you may find yourself hurt by a car as a result, even as a pedestrian. However, if you have been injured, you need to be able to prove that the driver was at least at some fault for the accident. However, if you were engaging in distracted walking, such as looking at your cell phone, you may not be able to recover as much compensation as if you were walking around without distraction and had all your senses about you.

Types of Distracted Walking

When walking, especially near busy streets, it pays to be undistracted and alert of your surroundings. While you as the pedestrian have the right of way in most cases, cars do not always see you and the pedestrian has a certain duty to do their due diligence when walking near roadways, especially when crossing them.

When it comes to distracted walking, many people consider cell phones or other handheld devices to be the only sort of distraction that counts. However, audio devices count too. This means if you step off the curb while looking at a device or listening to music, you can be held at least in some fault for engaging in distracted walking.

How Distracted Walking Affects Your Case

If you are at a crosswalk and it signals that it is safe to cross, but a car hits you anyway because you were looking down at your cell phone, you may not be at full fault, but you will be at some fault. Alternatively, if you step off the curb, trip, or cross at a crosswalk that designates it is not safe to cross because you were looking at a device or listening to music, then you will, in fact, be in full fault for the accident. If the driver could not avoid you, you may be on the line for your damages as well as potentially theirs, depending on the unique circumstances of the case.

However, if you were distracted and the situation resulted in the driver being mostly at fault, you can still receive compensation. In this situation, it will limit how much compensation you can receive depending on how much of a percentage you were at fault in the accident. For example, if you are set to receive $10,000 in compensation for the accident, but were 10 percent at fault, you will only receive $9,000 in compensation as the percentage is deducted.

If you were walking while distracted and got into an accident, things are going to be bad going on worse. You need that compensation for your injuries and you will want to get as much as possible. This is why it is crucial to get an attorney as soon as possible. If you were walking while distracted and the witnesses can prove it, you will be held at least in some fault. There is no resolving that, but your attorney can help keep that percentage of fault as low as possible so you can get as much compensation as possible.

In order to do this, your attorney will need to prove that the car that hit you was acting illegally, such as running a red light or making a right turn without first looking for pedestrians crossing. If you have been in a pedestrian accident in California, contact us today. The Law Office of Freeman & Freeman is ready to fight for the rights of injured pedestrians, even if they were walking while distracted when they probably shouldn't have been. Let us fight to get you the compensation that you deserve for your case.


Important Steps to Take After Your Child is Injured in a School Bus Accident

Thursday, May 17, 2018

We like to think that school buses and the schools themselves are the safest places in the world. While recent news has proven that the safety of public schools is deeply flawed, this there is no question that school buses can have their issues as well. After all, the roadways are a dangerous place.

While many school bus drivers keep their passengers very safe through safe driving, they are not the only drivers on the road. Any driver can cause an accident and unfortunately, school buses are not always overflowing with safety features. While what safety features they do have may help prevent fatalities, they don't always go a long way to prevent injury. This means that if your child is in a school bus accident, they have a much higher chance of being injured. This is a breach of trust between you and the people you trust to keep your child safe, and when that trust is breached, you should pursue them for compensation. So what steps should you take when your child is injured in a school bus crash?

Seek Medical Treatment

If there was a bus crash and your child was injured, ideal they should be treated before you even know they were in a crash. However, the most important thing will always be to make sure your child gets the medical attention they need to heal to the best of their ability, and worry about everything else second. However, if you intend to pursue compensation, be sure to keep track of doctors, treatments, and medical bills so you can potentially get reimbursed from a personal injury lawsuit.

Document the Injuries

After your child has been seen by a doctor and all their injuries have been treated, you will strongly want to consider snapping a few pictures of the injuries. In personal injury cases that involve children, visual proof of the injuries can really tug at the heartstrings. Document everything from bruises and stitches to broken bones. It is one thing to read off a list of injuries from a piece of paper, but it is quite another to be able to show how badly your child was hurt.

Document the Accident

Often parents of children injured in school bus accidents don't know what actually happened unless they probe into it a bit. If you intend to pursue compensation to cover your child's medical bills, you need to find out what happened in the accident, who is at fault, and how well the accident itself was documented. As school buses carry so many young passengers, police will often flood the scene, meaning there will be a police report that can be pulled. This will detail all the crucial pieces of the accident as well as list any witnesses to an accident. Police reports are a crucial pieces of evidence to prove and support your case.

Contact a Lawyer

If your child was injured in a school bus accident, you will want to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after your child's injuries have been treated. The unique thing about school bus accidents is that often there will be quite a few other parents seeking to take the same legal action. This means that instead of taking the case to court and risking a number of high award amounts given by the courts, the responsible party for the accident may try to settle with as many parents as possible. In cases that involve children, often the odds are stacked high against those responsible.

If your child has been in a school bus accident and you want to seek compensation to cover their injuries, contact us today.


CATEGORIES

Submit

Office Locations

21900 Burbank Boulevard
Third Floor
Woodland Hills, CA 91367-7418

P: 818-992-2919
F: 818-992-2940


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.