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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.

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.

Why Didn't My Air Bag Deploy in an Accident?

Thursday, May 03, 2018

If you have been in an auto accident, the last thing you will be thinking at the time is why your airbag isn't full on in your face. However, after things calm down, it might begin to beg for your attention. After all, if your crash had been worse, you wouldn't have had the protection that an airbag is supposed to provide. This might make you wonder why it didn't deploy? Is it a defect? Could you have been in danger?

5 Reasons Why Your Air Bag Didn't Deploy

When an air bag fails to deploy in a crash, there are five major reasons for it. One of them is pretty innocent and the other four are a little more dangerous. If you are wondering why your air bag didn't deploy, consider these causes.

  • Type and Severity of the Collision - Whether or not the air bags deploy can often depend on the crash itself. If you didn't collide hard enough to trigger the sensors, the air bags won't deploy. Furthermore, you may have been hit in an area where the sensors won't trigger. In rear and side collisions, the frontal air bags have less of a chance of triggering.
  • Defective Sensors - If you were in a crash where the air bags should have deployed and indeed would have helped lessen injury, then you may be looking at defective sensors. Improper testing, design, installation, and even software calibration can result in the sensors not firing when they should.
  • Defective Electrical - Sometimes a sensor and other parts work as they should, but the electrical in your car does not give them the juice they need to do their job properly. If electrical signals are not communicated properly, the air bags won't work properly. Usually, this is the case where one air bag deploys, but another does not.
  • Severed Wires - In particularly bad crashes, the wires that allow the sensors to detect and the air bags to deploy can become severed. If your crash was particularly sudden, then this can happen, although most manufacturers make it difficult to happen.
  • Defective Air Bag Modules - There have been incidents where the vehicles sent all the right signals, but the air bag module itself prevented itself from deploying.

What to Do When an Air Bag Didn't Deploy

If it can be determined that your air bag didn't deploy for a reason outside of a defect, then there isn't much you can do. However, if there was a defect with the module, the sensors, or even the wiring in your car that caused the bag not to deploy, you may be able to pursue compensation. This is particularly true if the air bag that failed to deploy can be shown to have lead to increased injury from the crash.

On top of a personal injury suit for the crash, you may also be able to pursue a separate suit against the manufacturer. This means you can recover extra compensation from the manufacturer for defects. However, this will be void if they have already sent out recalls that you ignored, such as with the Takata air bag recalls.

Need Help?

Have you been in an accident where your air bag didn't deploy and you believe it lead to further injury? If your vehicle can be investigated and it can be determined that a defect caused the air bags not to deploy, we may be able to help you recover compensation for injuries that never should have happened. If you have been in an accident in the Los Angeles area, contact us today to see what we at the Law Office of Freeman and Freeman can do for you.

When is an Injury Serious Enough for an Lawyer?

Thursday, March 15, 2018

soft tissue injury hospital bill

If you were hurt in any kind of accident, your injuries will need treatment. Many believe that they should only get lawyers involved if they are laid up in a full body cast and unable to work, but the truth is that minor injuries can often rack up huge expenses too. If the injury was not your fault, why should you be stuck paying for your medical bills even if they are for something small? If someone else's negligence caused an injury, even if it is a minor one, you shouldn't be stuck with the bill.

Seeking Compensation for Soft Tissue Injuries

By insurance companies, relatively minor injuries are labeled as "soft tissue" injuries. While they are small, they still merit representation by a skilled personal injury attorney in order to receive compensation. Soft tissue injuries include:

  • Sprains
  • Strains
  • Injuries like whiplash
  • Torn ligaments

The above injuries might be something that people feel they can just walk off or that seeking compensation is not worth the effort. However, the problem with soft tissue injuries is that they can often turn into something more. Everything from a strain to a torn ligament can potentially become worse and lead to permanent damage. Unfortunately, if you only decided to seek compensation after it gets worse, often you will find yourself outside the statute of limitations to file for a personal injury case. This is why it is important to file even for small injuries, not only in order to not pay for an injury that wasn't your fault, but to be able to get future compensation if complications occur.

Unfortunately, those who think that pursuing compensation for soft tissue injuries will be somehow easier, but they would be wrong. Insurance companies are unwilling to pay out any sort of money, even if it is a relatively small amount, without a fight. This is why it is so crucial to invest in a personal injury attorney for any injury. Going it alone will allow insurance companies to try to trip you up in order to try to give you less compensation than your injuries deserve.

When to Talk to a Lawyer

When injured, you shouldn't wait to contact an attorney if you decide to pursue a personal injury claim. One of the first benefits is that even during your initial consultation, a lawyer will evaluate the specific details of your case in order to make sure it is a legitimate claim. The evidence will be analyzed, the details will be looked over, and if the other party involved was truly negligent then your lawyer will meet with the insurance company with you to get compensation.

If you decide to meet with insurance adjusters first without a lawyer, you are setting yourself up for disaster. Alongside not wanting to pay you, insurance adjusters will also work hard to make sure you don't reach out to an attorney. They make try to make you feel very comfortable and seem upstanding, but it is every insurance adjuster's job to keep costs low. The best way that they can do that is to keep you in the dark about the process as much as possible, and that means keeping you from feeling like you need a lawyer.

If you were hurt in Greater Los Angeles area, even if it was just a minor injury, you deserve compensation. Contact us today so the great legal minds at Freeman & Freeman can go over your case and represent you. Don't just let the injuries caused by another negligent party go, you don't deserve to have to pay 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.