No one wants to become adversarial with their own insurance company but it is often necessary
Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) February 26, 2015
Los Angeles has a major problem with hit-and-run crashes. A February 10, 2015 Los Angeles Times report, "L.A. fights hit-and-run epidemic with new alert system" by Laura J. Nelson, indicates that the city has approximately 20,000 hit and runs each year. While many involve only property damage, 27 people died in 2014 after being struck by cars that fled the scene of the crash, according to Nelson. Many involved catastrophic injuries to pedestrians, motorcycle riders, other vehicle drivers and especially cyclists. Armand Emamdjomeh, Laura J. Nelson and Joseph Serna reported in their November 29, 2014 Los Angeles Times article, "Hit-and-runs take a rising toll on cyclists," that "hit-and-runs involving bicyclists surged 42% from 2002 to 2012 in Los Angeles County."
Attorneys Stan and Steven Freeman of Freeman & Freeman, LLP are personal injury attorneys who, for the last several decades, have represented injury victims throughout Los Angeles County. Many of their clients are victims of hit-and-run crashes and many have suffered serious injuries. Steven Freeman says "we are currently working on two hit-and-run cases and we have worked on dozens of them over the course of our careers. In addition to the challenges arising from serious injuries, the victims often have to fight their own insurance company to get fair compensation because the other driver who left the scene took their insurance with them." Though hit-and-run is a felony when injuries or fatalities are caused, most hit-and-run drivers are never apprehended.
Stan Freeman adds that "if only property damage and car repairs are needed when the responsible driver leaves a crash, the victim’s own collision or uninsured motorist coverage may be enough to cover most of the damages. But in cases where serious injury occurred and substantial dollars may be needed for medical care and other compensation, insurance companies can be extremely resistant to paying on these types of uninsured or underinsured claims. These are often the cases that Freeman & Freeman take. No one wants to become adversarial with their own insurance company but it is often necessary."
While the attorneys can assist injury victims in these types of cases, they are both hopeful that the city's new plan to fight hit-and-runs will be successful. In the article "L.A. fights hit-and-run epidemic with new alert system" Nelson writes that L.A. is "launching a hit-and-run alert system that will publish information on social media about cars and drivers linked to fatal and other severe hit-and-runs." City leaders are also hoping for more help from the public and "will offer standing rewards for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of a hit-and-run driver: $50,000 for crashes where someone was killed; up to $25,000 if the victim was severely injured; $5,000 if someone was hurt; and $1,000 if property was damaged."
"This looks like a sign that city leaders are taking the problem seriously," Stan Freeman says. "Pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists are so vulnerable on city streets. Even in cases where the responsible driver stops, these types of crashes are rarely minor and can devastate victims and their families. But, when the other driver leaves the scene, this just adds more difficulty to an already tragic situation. Not only does the victim need to recover from injuries, these cases can also involve complex litigation. These new steps will, hopefully, reduce the number of these cases."
Steven Freeman echoes his brother and law partner: "In so many of these cases, the hit-and-run driver is never found. We often have to fight the victim's own insurance company to get them to do what is right. Hopefully this new social media alert system and the reward for information will lead to more arrests and potential hit-and-run drivers will be deterred. While these new steps may combat the problem, eradicating hit-and-run in Los Angeles is going to be an ongoing challenge. Because victims deserve maximum compensation, Freeman & Freeman will continue to fight on their behalf no matter how complex their cases or how severe their injuries."