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The Tops Signs That You Should Consult an Attorney After Being Injured in an Auto Accident

Sunday, July 19, 2020

After being injured in a car accident as the result of another driver's negligence, you may find yourself wondering how you will pay for mounting medical bills, and how you will get by if you are temporarily unable to work. Fortunately, you do not have to navigate this difficult time alone. A personal injury attorney can walk you through your options for filing a personal injury claim, and they can work to make sure that you are properly compensated for your injuries. Yet, many people hesitate to contact an attorney after being injured in a car accident if they are unsure whether their case warrants legal action. If you have recently been injured in a car accident and are unsure what your next steps should be, here is a look at a few of the signs indicating that you should consider consulting an attorney. 

You Are Unable to Work

If you were hurt so badly in your accident that you cannot return to work, either temporarily or permanently, it is critical that you consult an attorney to help maximize your compensation. Not only will you need to be compensated for your medical bills and damages to your personal property, but if you are unable to work you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages as well as pain and suffering. An experienced attorney will be able to assess your situation based on the extent of your injuries, and they can calculate how much you may be entitled to. If the accident has left you permanently disabled, you will need a lawyer to help you determine the proper compensation you are entitled to based on future lost wages, as your family may be left without a significant source of income.   

You Need Help Determining Fault

Of course, just because you believe that the other driver was at fault and should be responsible for your injuries, this does not mean that the other driver or their insurance company will view things the same way. In fact, the other driver's insurance company will ultimately be looking out for their bottom line, and they may try to claim that you are at least partially at fault in order to reduce their liability. If your fault in the accident is being called into question, it is important that you consult an attorney as soon as possible. You will need a lawyer by your side who can help to collect and analyze evidence pertaining to the accident and present your case for why the other driver should bear full responsibility for the accident and your resulting injuries.  

Your Insurance Company isn't Treating You Properly

It is also important that you consult an attorney if you feel that you are not being treated properly by your insurance company. While your insurance company should be looking out for your best interest in theory, the reality is that you are likely just a case number to them, and they may be trying to close your case as quickly as possible. If you feel as if your insurance company isn't listening to/addressing your needs, is treating you unfairly, or is not doing anything to progress your case, then it may be time to consult an attorney. An attorney will work for you and will work tirelessly to make sure that your needs are met. 

You Are Being Asked to Settle

If things are progressing between your insurance company and that of the other driver and you have been asked to settle your case, it is critical that you consult an attorney. The fact is that you should never discuss offers, or accept a claim settlement, without talking to an attorney, as you may not get the compensation you deserve. Insurance companies will often try to offer a lowball settlement in the hopes that you will not know what your case is truly worth. Having an attorney by your side will ensure that you have someone who is looking out for your best interests and who will negotiate on your behalf to get a settlement that is in line with your injuries. 

If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a car accident, contact us to find out more about the signs that you may want to consider consulting a personal injury attorney. 





Six Techniques to Avoid Hospital Readmission - Part 2

Thursday, April 02, 2020

[Continued from Part 1]

 

4) Learn the Recovery Plan Instructions with a Friend

Don't rely on your own memory as the sole source of detailed care instructions. Two sets of ears listening and two brains remembering is better than one. You can benefit from another person at home who fully understands your care instructions. Anyone you talk to regularly can help with medication reminders and encouragement to stick to the recovery plan as defined by the doctor.

Try to have a friend or relative present when you get the explanation for outpatient care routine. Having someone else who can recite "what the doctor said" can be a huge help, especially if you tend to be forgetful or have trouble keeping track of the layered recovery tasks. When a spouse, adult child, or friend can remind you to take the right meds at the right times or go through certain physical therapy techniques, it can make a real difference. You will also have an easily accessible person to ask if you forget or get confused.

When receiving a complex and layered recovery plan or a plan built from various sources, it can also help you to build a cohesive set of recovery plan instructions. This should layer all medications, treatments, and advised lifestyle changes from each medical professional you have worked with.

 

5) Build a Comprehensive Schedule for Physical Therapy and Follow-Up Appointments

Another major cause of hospital readmission is a failure to understand the recovery plan schedule. After a serious personal injury, patients are often told in a disjointed way when to go to physical therapy, when to schedule follow-up appointments, and when to come in for an additional test. Instead of giving them three separate schedules, build a comprehensive recovery plan schedule with all the important dates mapped out visually.

Craft the complete schedule in an app or draw it on a single calendar. Make sure there is one unified place your patients can check to know if a check-up appointment, test, or physical therapy session is coming up in the next week. This way, you don't have to compare three or four different calendars and listed dates to maintain a complete care schedule.

 

6) Be Prepared for Follow-Up Support Services

Finally, be prepared to sometimes need reinforcements. If you want to stay out of the hospital, it may be necessary to seek little extra help at home. Some patients may need a physician to check on them in the home if they can't or won't make it to follow-up appointments. Some might need temporary or long-term in-home care assistance. Some might need meal plans delivered. Whatever you need, having this help provided can help to avoid hospital readmission.

While many services can be provided through your primary care provider's facilities, it is often smart to find additional local providers as well. The more options that are close-to-home, the more likely you are to make use of important follow-up services that will keep you out of the hospital.

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After you've been released from the hospital for injury recovery, one of your biggest goals is avoiding hospital readmission. The last thing you want is to deal with accidental re-injury, complications, or illness made possible by your recovery state. Here at Freeman & Freeman, we're dedicated to helping you get the personal injury settlement you deserve and we'd like to help you reach a full and rewarding recovery. We hope these tips will help you take better care of yourself or of a loved one who has recently experienced a serious personal injury. Contact us today for more personal injury insights or to consult on your injury case.


Six Techniques to Avoid Hospital Readmission - Part 1

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Six Techniques to Avoid Hospital Readmission - Part 1

When you are released from the hospital after a serious injury or illness, hospital readmission is one of the biggest considered risks. While it's true that people often recover more completely at home, you also want to avoid re-injury or a return of symptoms that force them back into monitored care. Your medical provider can help you take control of your recovery and avoid costly and time-consuming readmission.


Hospital readmission occurs when a condition relapses or when a recovery plan fails and the patient needs to go back under constant medical care again.  In post-acute care, this can be the aftermath of a surgery, recovery from a severe illness, or just managing a serious medical condition that has periods of severity. Post-acute care patients can take care of themselves at home, but only with the right tools and support from their healthcare providers.

No matter what injury or illness took you to the hospital, it's up to you to keep yourself healthy and maintain their outpatient care. As a personal injury law firm, we see many clients who are also currently patients in recovery. Let us share a few of the best tips to keep yourself from needing hospital readmission once you're home for a more comfortable recovery.

 

1) Understand the Risk of Readmission

Start by making sure you understand that readmission is a risk. Many patients see recovery as a one-way road, not understanding that there is a significant risk of winding up back in the hospital if they start skipping pills or taking risks. Explain how their condition relates to the risk of readmission and what they can do best to continue recovering comfortably at home. Ask your provider to give examples of how everyday situations can lead to readmission due to a return of their illness, injury, or other medical complications. Be sure to understand the exact ways that you might be at risk of hospital readmittance and how to avoid those risks with smart outpatient care and self-care.

 

2) Get a Final Check-Up Before Hospital Release

A patient should never be released from the hospital or care facility without a final check-up. Make absolutely certain that you (or your released loved one) are physically healthy and ready to depart on the day they check out. Even if you were healthy the day before. This is also a good time to get an explanation of readmission risk.

Make sure they take your blood pressure, check the basic systems, and do a final round of blood tests just to be sure that you or your friend are healthy enough to leave. Make sure that questions of feelings are asked, as sometimes the biggest warning signs are things only the patient can tell, and patients don't know that sharing these sensations can be important. Patients are also more likely to stay engaged with their recovery plan if they are engaged all the way out the door.

 

3) Understand Your Medications and How to Take Them as Prescribed

One of the most common causes of hospital readmission in outpatient post-acute care is a failure to follow instructions taking prescribed medicine. It's easy to forget how many, on which day, or which ones to take with food. Patients get busy, they forget or don't really want to take their medication. Even if you are eager to tackle a home health regime, you may make mistakes if you don't fully understand the instructions.

Patients are more likely to get it right if they fully understand before they leave the hospital. Make sure you understand not only how to take your meds, but what each medication does and why to take them as prescribed. Quiz yourself on identifying each pill by size, shape, and color. This way, you know what you're taking even if labels or pill-savers get mixed up. Adding context and routine to the mix will help you build the medication instructions into your daily life and remember the steps more clearly during your recovery.

[Continued in Part 2]

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Convenience vs Safety: Uber and Lyft Accidents

Friday, February 21, 2020

As the 21st century is nearing the end of its second decade, the demand for ridesharing services is growing quickly. Meanwhile, the safety of hiring such "non-taxis" is becoming more and more questionable.

Uber has been around for 10 years. It has turned the life of people in many countries around. Cheaper rides with high accessibility upped the convenience tremendously. Some people have given up their vehicles in favor of such services. As Lyft and Uber made their way to the market, more and more users left taxis behind.

However, as the convenience of using rideshare over regular taxi services has become obvious, the safety and legal responsibility seem to be lurking in a grey area. What happens if there is an accident? Who is responsible?

Uber and Lyft Aren't Taxis 

When you book a taxi ride, you are entering an agreement with a taxi service provider. In case an accident occurs, the company's insurance covers the expenses.

When you get into an accident while using Uber or Lyft, you are covered by either the driver's insurance or the company's insurance. That's where it could get tricky. None of the companies is happy with covering your accident-related expenses, especially if a serious injury is involved. Most likely, you would need to hire an attorney to have your expenses settled timely and properly.

Ridesharing Services Increased the Number of Accidents 

According to a study done by researchers from the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business, the rise of ride-sharing services increased traffic-related deaths by 2% to 3% in the United States.

Other problems associated with the overwhelming use of rideshare are higher congestion and decreased exploitation of public transport. Both lead to harming the environment and making life inconvenient for busy city dwellers.

Some cities have already started to conquer the problem. For example, NYC introduced a cap on ridesharing services in 2018 and extended it for one more year in August 2019.

Top Reasons For Rideshare Accidents 

The convenience of using rideshare services is starting to be offset by dangers. The top reasons for rideshare accidents include:

Speeding

While rideshare drivers may be careful about maintaining speed limits when carrying a passenger to get 5-star reviews, they are likely to speed to get to the next client.

Lack of experience

When you hire a taxi, you are likelier to enjoy a ride with an experienced driver than when riding with Uber or Lyft. Drivers only need one year of experience to offer ridesharing services.  

Drowsy driving

In the race to earn more money, rideshare drivers tend to overwork. As a result, you may face a sleepy driver behind the wheel, thus increasing the chances of getting into an accident substantially.

Distraction

As rideshare drivers are taking you to your destination, they can get distracted by the rideshare app to take a new order. Drivers often look at their smartphones to secure a new client faster than the competition, thus pulling the attention away from the road.

Improper vehicle maintenance

Rideshare drivers often fail to maintain their vehicles properly due to the lack of time and financing. As a result, many passengers are injured when tires blow, brakes stop working or airbags don't open.

Final Thoughts 

While such rideshare companies as Uber and Lyft are highly convenient, they don't offer taxi services, which complicates the insurance payment process. As the number of rideshare-accidents is growing, more and more passengers are sucked into the black hole of unfulfilled claims. In some cases, proper expense coverage is impossible without legal assistance.

For more information about rideshare-related accident claims in Los Angeles and beyond, please contact us today.


Will the Rideshare Million-Dollar Insurance Policy Cover My Uber or Lyft Accident?

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Much has been said about the one-million-dollar insurance policies carried by the leading rideshare companies of Uber and Lyft. These million-dollar policies are extended to protect every vehicle working on the clock for these ridesharing giants and the insurance coverage is even mandatory in several states. While a million-dollar policy sounds pretty extravagant, it's also absolutely necessary.

The insurance policy is how ridesharing brands take responsibility for their driver's actions, attention, and even intoxication. If a driver is on the clock, they and anyone who might be injured in a wreck with them is covered by the policy. Of course, there are also some pretty strict rules. Today, we're here to highlight just what the million-dollar policy covers in a real-world context. As an experienced rideshare attorney's office, we're here to help.

 

When is the Million-Dollar Rideshare Insurance Policy Active?

The Moment a Driver Accepts the Assignment

The million-dollar insurance policy is not covering all Uber or Lyft drivers all the time. Rather, it only covers drivers when they are officially on the job. Hanging around waiting for jobs does not count. This means that there is a specific moment when the insurance policy does become active. That moment is when the driver accepts the assignment to pick someone up. If they are hit or if they hit someone on the way to the pick-up, that incident is covered. And if an accident occurs involving the rideshare vehicle while ferrying the client, the damages to all will potentially be covered.

 

Who Does The Insurance Policy Cover?

The Passengers, and Any Additional Injured Parties, and Sometimes the Driver

Uber and Lyft's main goals with the insurance policy are to cover liability and damages for passengers and anyone who might be damaged by their drivers. This means that once your trip is accepted and you are on the policy, you are covered, Other drivers on the road are also covered if the accident is deemed the Uber driver's fault. An Uber or Lyft driver may make a claim on the company policy, but first, their claim has to be rejected by their personal policy with rideshare commercial endorsement.

So again: If you are a rideshare passenger or if you are in another vehicle hit by a rideshare driver, then the Uber or Lyft policies will cover injuries and damages if a strong claim is made. Drivers, however, must jump through hoops to have their injuries or vehicle damages covered by the policy.

 

My Uber/Lyft Got Into an Accident. Am I Covered by Their Insurance Policy?

Yes, Most Likely

You may be wondering what happens if you sign up for an Uber or Lyft ride, climb into the backseat, and then the vehicle experiences an accident. Are you covered? As mentioned above, the answer is most likely, yes. You are covered by the million-dollar insurance policy and able to make a claim against the rideshare company's insurance rather than against the driver themselves. You may have no problem with your driver and, in fact, it might not even be their fault.

 

My Uber/Lyft Driver was Not At Fault. Can I Still Claim my Injuries on the Million-Dollar Insurance Policy?

Yes, They Have Under-insured and Un-insured driver coverage.

Speaking of it not being the driver's fault, there are plenty of instances where a rideshare vehicle is severely damaged in a crash, not of their own doing. They may fail to slow down too fast or get slammed into by another vehicle.

If you have been injured in a rideshare accident where the injuries were not the fault of your driver, can you still make a serious claim against the insurance? Yes. You can and should. The rideshare million-dollar policy includes coverage for uninsured and overinsured drivers so that passengers can get the settlements they need even when the drivers at fault cannot pay.

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Have you been injured in a rideshare accident, or do you know someone who has? If so, contact our office today. We would be proud to help you tackle the complex process of making your rightful claim on that million-dollar insurance policy in order to get the treatment and damages payments you deserve.



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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.