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Personal Injury Blog

The Differences of Being Injured in an Uber or Lyft vs a Taxi

Monday, May 20, 2019

Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft do not employ their drivers. They are contracted as independent contractors. Under current circumstances, many insurance companies may deny coverage if the driver is driving "for profit."  Uber and Lyft drivers carry "excess insurance coverage," beyond the coverage that the driver carries for him or herself. This means if you are injured in the backseat of a rideshare car, the liability insurance the company carries covers for damages, even if your claims are denied by the driver's own liability insurance.

Taxi Companies vs. Rideshare Companies

Although taxicab companies have been advertising that Uber and Lyft do not carry adequate insurance to cover passenger injury, in practice, this is not the case. According to Uber and Lyft, the rideshares carry up to $1 million in coverage. Taxicab companies' coverage varies from state to state, usually between $250,000 and $500,000. This comes to about $30,000 maximum coverage for each case. The maximum coverage for collisions in a taxicab is around $60,000 for all passengers involved in the accident.

Uber and Lyft drivers are required to carry their own personal insurance policies. The rideshare companies carry a million dollar personal liability coverage policy and one million dollars in uninsured/underinsured property damage coverage. However, it gets more complicated; rideshare drivers are simply private drivers using their own vehicles. If you have an accident while the driver is not formally logged into the Uber or Lyft system, only the driver's personal insurance will cover you and these claims are often denied. If the collision happens while the driver is logged in, but waiting for a ride request (is in an on-call mode) the driver's personal insurance will have primary responsibility, but the rideshare company may provide some additional coverage. The full insurance policy of Uber or Lyft will apply only if the driver is en route to pick up a passenger or has a passenger in his or her car.

What Has to Be Done in Case of Accident?

Accidents are complicated from the standpoint of the Uber or Lyft driver as well as their passenger. In a normal accident, what happens is pretty clear-cut. The at-fault party is liable for property damages, medical bills, and other liabilities. However, for the Uber or Lyft driver, they have a passenger to worry about. They have to keep in mind Uber's or Lyft's terms and conditions. They have to consider what state they are driving in. They have to follow procedures in the aftermath of the accident. 

  • Assess any injuries and call emergency services (911).
  • Photograph damage to both cars.
  • Collect information from witnesses if possible.
  • Call the company's hotline.
  • Call their personal insurance company.
  • They must never admit they are at fault. Even if they believe they are, they must not say so.
  • They must never escalate the situation by acting angry or threatening.

Accidents in rideshare vehicles are complicated. If your Uber or Lyft driver has an accident which injures you, it's important that you treat the collision as a legal matter.

  • Consult an Uber Accident Attorney or Lyft Accident Attorney or Rideshare Accident Attorney.
  • Seek necessary medical attention and save the medical documents.
  • Obtain all of the driver's insurance information including both the Uber policy and the driver's own personal insurance.
  • Take pictures and the accident scene and your injuries.
  • Find out exactly what the driver's log-in status was at the time--try to document it.a
  • Inform law enforcement and file a police report.

Freeman & Freeman are rideshare accident attorneys who know the nuances of ridesharing laws in California. There are many benefits to having an experienced personal injury attorney on your side.  Please contact us to learn more.

Burns as the Result of a Poorly Trained Stylist

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Burns as the Result of a Poorly Trained Stylist

Every day thousands of people put their hair and more in the hands of a professional hair stylist so they can look good. Whether it is just a quick wash and set or a speedy waxing, things can go wrong, and if they do, it can leave very visible injuries. While most hair stylists attend cosmetology school, this is roughly just a few months of lessons. For some, they may not graduate with all they need to provide you a safe experience at the salon. Unfortunately, the hair salon can be a dangerous place when you are in the hands of an inexperienced stylist, but they can be held liable for these serious injuries.

Injuries From Hair Salon Negligence

With luck, you will never need to know all the many ways you can get hurt at the salon. However, with an inexperienced stylist or even a salon that doesn't give proper care, you very, unfortunately, could find out. Salon injuries include:

  • Curling iron burns to the scalp or skin
  • Burns from the hair dryers
  • Burns from hot wax heated beyond recommendations
  • Chemical burns from dyes and other products
  • Slips on wet or debris-covered floors

To many, the worst thing that can come out of the salon is a bad haircut or a terrible dye job, but all of the above can have a much more lasting effect. However, the good news is that if you were hurt at the salon due to the negligence of another, you have the right to compensation through a personal injury suit.

Proving Hair Salon Negligence

Hair salon cases can be difficult. Often if it is just a small burn on the scalp, many personal injury lawyers will let you know that your case isn't really worth it. However, many injuries can be very visible and may even need surgical intervention to rectify. For these cases, typically they will be stronger not only because you have very visible injuries, but because it will likely be easier to prove a breach in duty of care.

For a successful personal injury case against a salon, which will generally cover the liability of their workers, you need to prove that the employee in question failed to follow directions or the reasonable safety standards of their peers. This can come in many forms, including witness statements from the time of the accident or security camera footage. One of the most crucial pieces of evidence to your case, however, is pictures of the injuries. The thing about injuries is that they tend to heal, so courts will not get an accurate picture of how badly you were hurt unless you document those injuries soon after they happen. Evidence for every incident is different, and thus it is best to consult with your lawyer after seeking medical treatment.

Once treated and making the decision to pursue a personal injury case, it is important to keep documentation of all medical treatment. Personal injury cases are designed to cover your medical bills, but if you don't have records of all these treatments, it can be more difficult to get accurate compensation. After being injured at a salon, you can also receive compensation for future medical expenses, pain and suffering, as well as a loss of income while you recovered from the injury.

Need Help?

Have you been injured by a hair salon or other spa-type business? Whether you were hurt due to an inexperienced employee or by malfunctioning equipment, we can help you. For those in the Los Angeles area, contact us today to see what the Law Office of Freeman & Freeman can do for you.

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 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.

Seeking a Personal Injury Suit on Behalf of a Child

Thursday, November 08, 2018

All parents never hope they have an injured child. It doesn't matter the injury either. If they fall off the monkey bars and break their arm, it can be just as terrifying as a child getting hit with a car. However, if a child has been injured in an accident due to someone else's negligence, it is something that affects the whole family. A parent may have to amend their schedule to take care of a child, siblings may need to change plans or may be overlooked by parents, and of course, the child themselves may end up missing school. So if a child has been injured in an accident, they, too, deserve justice and compensation for their injuries even if they aren't part of the working class yet.

Personal Injury

There are many who think that personal injury suits are only worthwhile if your ability to work has been compromised and you need to pay your medical bills. However, for a child who doesn't work and doesn't pay their own medical bills, parents might not think to pursue a personal injury case for them. However, a parent will still have to pay those medical bills even though another caused the accident. Furthermore, accidents are incredibly traumatic even for adults. Your child may suffer disfigurement or emotional trauma that will need to be treated. As a parent, it is your responsibility to treat these issues, but it should not be your responsibility to pay for them if another caused the accident.

Injury Claim for a Child

When it comes to filing a personal injury claim for a minor aged child, it works much the same way as if you were filing a claim for yourself as an adult. You will speak with your lawyer and get the whole process rolling. Much like in an adult claim, your case hinges on if the negligence of another was the cause of the accident. If your child ran into traffic, for example, your personal injury suit won't likely be successful.

There is also one more important distinction when it comes to personal injury cases for minors – time. The statute of limitation in which you can file a personal injury claim for a minor is different compared to an adult. You actually have much longer than you would have for an adult. If an adult were injured, they would have two years to file a claim before they would be barred from doing so. However, a parent of a minor, or a minor themselves later, has until two years after their 18th birthday to file a personal injury suit. This means, if a child is injured when they are 17, their parent can file a claim or the child can wait until they turn 18 years of age and file the claim themselves. Of course, the longer one waits to file after an accident, typically the weaker their case will because due to loss of evidence and witnesses.

Get Help

If you are the parent of a child injured in an accident, you will likely care more for their health over anything else. However, nursing an injured child back to health is expensive, and it is a bill that you shouldn't have to pay yourself. Some parents may innately think that a minor can't have a personal injury case, but it simply isn't true. With the help of a lawyer, it isn't much different than an adult personal injury suit.

If you have a child who was the victim of an accident due to another's negligence, contact us today. The Law Office of Freeman & Freeman is dedicated to helping injured people, even children, get the compensation that they need to get back on their feet.


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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.