Calling a personal injury lawyer after a car accident can save you thousands of dollars.Read More
Even though it's illegal to drive without car insurance in California (punishable by fines and license suspension up to four years), many people still get behind the wheel while they're uninsured. If you've been hit by someone who doesn't carry auto insurance you still may be able to get compensated from the at fault party, but it may be better to get compensated by your own carrier, especially if the other party is insolvent. Here are several options you can take:
You can contact the other party directly and see if you can come to a resolution on your own (generally not suggested).
You can have a lawsuit filed against the person who hit you and see if you can recover anything from him personally (may be suggested).
You may also be able to file a claim with your own insurance carrier and get compensated through them. If you have the proper coverage, your insurance carrier will pay for the damage to your car, medical bills, pain and suffering, etc. More specifically, if you have collision coverage your car insurance carrier will pay (minus your deductible in most cases) for the repairs to your car or the value of the car if the cost of repairs exceed the value of your car. If you have uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist, your own car insurance carrier will cover you for your bodily injury claim (medical bills, pain and suffering, etc.). If you have medical payments coverage, your car insurance carrier will pay for the medical treatment you received up to the medical payments policy limits.
Because many California drivers are driving without a valid policy in effect, it is important for all California drivers to carry UM coverage.
The above-mentioned is not to be construed as legal advice.
By West Covina Personal Injury Lawyer, Lem Garcia
If you've been involved in a car accident that was not your fault, you deserve to get compensated not only for the damage to your car, but for your bodily injury. Compensation for your bodily injury includes, but is not limited to the following:
- medical bills,
- pain and suffering,
- emotional distress,
- lost wages,
- loss of consortium,
- loss of enjoyment, and
- punitive damages (in some cases).
After a crash, there is a good chance that you will have medical bills. Even if you have health insurance, you should still get compensated from the other party's insurance company for your medical bills. In the event of a recovery from a third party, your health insurance carrier will most likely demand reimbursement for what they paid for your medical treatment.
If you don't have health insurance and refuse to get medical treatment because of the fear of mounting medical bills, it is important that you speak to an attorney as soon as possible. An attorney may be able to help you get medical treatment on a lien basis, which means that you can get medical treatment now and pay later. While you are ultimately financially responsible for the treatment you received on a lien, it is very important for your health that you seek medical treatment early and on a consistent basis.
It is also important to keep in mind that you may not be able to recover anything for pain and suffering if you don't have any medical records indicating that you were injured and were concerned enough to see a doctor about your health.
Pain and Suffering
If you've been injured in a collision you deserve to get paid for your pain and suffering for your injuries. Placing a dollar amount on pain and suffering is typically difficult and is often a hotly debated issue with the insurance company of the person who caused your injuries. To get the most for your pain and suffering it is important to have an attorney represent you. An attorney will be able to help prove your injuries and threaten the insurance company with a lawsuit if they refuse to treat you fairly.
If you want to recover as much as possible for your medical bills and pain and suffering, it is important that you have a qualified attorney that you trust help you. If you handle your case on your own, you will be up against a for-profit insurance company who is very experienced and has a long track record of treating injured victims unfairly.
By West Covina Car Accident Attorney, Lem Garcia
After you've been in a car accident that was not your fault, you deserve to get paid for your property damage and your bodily injury. The insurance carrier for the at-fault party is obligated to pay you for your property damage if their insured was at fault and had a valid policy at the time.
If your car can be repaired for less than the value of your car, the other party's insurance carrier will pay for the repairs for your car and for the cost of a rental car while your car is being repaired. You can get your car repaired at a body shop of your choosing (typically recommended) instead of going with the repair shop the insurance carrier recommends. It is also possible to get paid for the diminished value of your car after a collision. The diminished value represents the inherent drop in value of your car because it was involved in a collision. Diminished value can be difficult and costly to prove, but it may be worth it in the end.
If your car cannot be repaired for less than the value of your car, it means that it is a total loss. When your car is a total loss, the other party's insurance carrier should pay you for the value of the car at the time of the collision plus the cost of a rental of a comparable vehicle or loss of use of your vehicle while you wait for the settlement check to arrive.
To determine the value of your car, the insurance carrier typically hires an independent vehicle appraiser who compares your vehicle to similar vehicles within 30 miles of your residence. They will provide you with an evaluation report of your vehicle upon request. It is important to look over the report to make sure they are paying you fairly for the value of your car.
If you still owe money on the car, the insurance carrier will issue payment to the party who holds your loan. If the settlement amount is not enough to satisfy your loan, you will still owe money on the loan. This means you will have no car and you will still owe money on your car loan. If you carry gap insurance, your gap insurance will cover the difference between the amount of your car loan and the value of your car at the time of the collision.
It is also important to keep in mind that if the other party's insurance policy limits are insufficient to cover you for all of your damages, it may be wise to submit a claim through your own insurance carrier if you have collision coverage. It is possible that your deductible may be waived by your own insurance carrier or reimbursed to you (at least partly) once the other party's insurance carrier admits liability.
When an attorney is representing you for your car accident case, he or she typically will not receive any payment in relation to your property damage claim, especially for the cost of repairs, total loss value of your car, or the rental of a vehicle or the loss of use of your vehicle.
The above-mentioned is merely general information and is not to be taken as legal advice. Every car accident is different and should be treated accordingly. If you have questions about your car accident, please feel free to contact us directly.
By West Covina Personal Injury Lawyer, Lem Garcia
No, you don't really need a car accident attorney after an accident, but it's a good idea. The insurance carrier of the other driver is going to try to minimize your claim or deny it entirely. Don't let them. Find a skilled attorney that you like and trust.Read More
Pedestrian accidents can be absolutely horrifying and traumatic. The last thing on your mind is a lawsuit and how to get compensated fairly, and fully. Unfortunately, there are many things you need to know to make sure that you preserve your legal rights and the value of your case. Here are four things for you to keep in mind.
- A recorded statement can ruin your case. It's a good idea not to provide any insurance company with a recorded statement after your accident. They will want to use it against you to diminish the value of your case.
- The insurance companies are building your case against your from the beginning. Contrary to all of their popular commercials and slogans, the insurance company does not have your best interests in mind. Understand that they are working to decrease the value of your case from the start. It is a good idea to have an attorney advocating for you when nobody else is.
- Even though you might be seriously injured, your recovery can be greatly limited. Personal injury cases are not only about damages. Fault is a very important element. The other party may try its hardest to argue that you were at fault, even in the slightest because it can greatly reduce what you should recover. A few things they might ask are: were you paying attention? Was the light red? Was the light yellow? Do you have any witnesses? Were you on the phone? Were you texting? Were you distracted? How do we know you had the green light? Were you completely in the intersection?
- You need to know when to hire an attorney. Even though an attorney gets paid from your recovery, the attorney's job is to make your recovery larger than what you would be able to recover on your own. An attorney knows what the insurance company is up to and what their plans are to diminish the value of your case. An attorney knows all of your possible avenues of recovery and how to reduce your medical bills. Without an attorney fighting for you, you may be leaving a lot of money on the table.
Pedestrian accidents can be very serious. It's important that you receive the maximum compensation for your injuries. Nobody should be a victim twice.
A 33-year-old man from La Mirada was found trapped under a truck on the 91 Freeway going eastbound on his motorcycle during rush hour. The first witness initially thought that the truck's bumper was loose, but after a closer inspection, he realized that there were human legs on the front end by the tires under the truck.
The California Highway Patrol indicated that the driver of the motorcycle sideswiped a vehicle, fell off the bike, and landed on the road. The driver of the truck was unable to stop timely and the truck ultimately landed on top of the motorcyclist.
The first witness exited his vehicle while in the middle of the freeway and joined others who came to help the motorcyclist who was trapped under the truck. The crowd of Good Samaritans gathered and used jacks to lift the truck and save the motorcyclist.
The crowd found the motorcyclist in a tremendous amount of pain with a tire on top of his leg and the rear axle on top of his lower back. Two jacks were used to save him. One was on the truck's front axle and the other was on the rear axle.
Ultimately, the Good Samaritans were able to free the trapped motorcyclist by pulling him out by his legs.
Hill-bombing sounds like fun, but it can also prove to be fatal. West Covina personal injury lawyer, Lem Garcia, provides a story about a hill-bombing enthusiast who lost his life engaged in this dangerous activity.Read More
There are approximately 4.1 million uninsured motorists in California. If you are hit by one of these drivers, it could cost you a lot of money. Make sure to check your car insurance policy to make sure you have the right coverage for you.Read More