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The Person Who Hit Me Doesn’t Have Insurance

As the title suggest, this is for the most part, never a good thing.  However, with the right amount of planning and knowledge, you may still be able to recover for the injuries that you have suffered.

I’ve Just Been in a Car Accident and the Person At Fault May Not have Insurance or Sufficient Insurance

The first thing you need to do is seek medical treatment if you are hurt.  Nothing is more important than that.  Once you’ve been seen by a medical professional, you can begin to figure out what to do next.  The first step would be to start looking for a qualified car accident attorney as it is almost never recommended to go up against the insurance companies alone.  The next thing you’ll want to do is find your own insurance information, specifically your declaration page, which states what coverage(s) you have been paying for every month.  What you will be looking for is whether you’ve been paying for Uninsured Motorist Coverage and/or Underinsured Motorist Coverage.

How Does Uninsured Motorist Coverage Work?

Let’s assume that the person who crashed into you doesn’t have any insurance at all.  Assuming you’ve been paying for Uninsured Motorist Coverage, you’ll be able to make a claim against your own insurance up to the limits that you have previously agreed to pay for.  This can be as low as $15,000 and up to $1 million or more.  No, this should not affect your insurance premium and you shouldn’t hesitate to proceed this way since that is exactly why you’ve been paying your monthly premium for.  Depending on the severity of your injuries, this can make the world of a difference between you not being able to be compensated at all for your injuries, to having you be fully compensated, assuming you have sufficient coverage.  While even your own insurance will fight you (preferably you and your attorney) every step of the way in order to pay you the least amount possible, it is important to have and pay for such coverage.  No they are not on your side, not good neighbors and you’re certainly not in good hands.  If you have the means, at a minimum you should carry $100,000 in coverage.  This can sometimes be as low as $7 a month depending on the insurance company.

How Does Underinsured Motorist Coverage Work?

Now let’s assume that the person that crashed into you only carries the minimum state legal limits of $15,000.  Let’s further assume that you’ve accumulated $40,000 in medical bills and have had to endure hand surgery to fix your wrist that you broke on your steering wheel during the crash.  Getting $15,000 from the other person’s insurance is in no way shape or form going to make up for what they’ve taken from you.  Here is where Underinsured Motorist Coverage comes in.  Hopefully you’ve planned ahead and elected and have been paying for at least $100,000 in Underinsured Motorist Coverage.  Once your attorney is able to recover the $15,000 from the at-fault insurance company, your attorney will then be able to attempt to recover for you as much of the difference between $15,000 (which you have already recovered) and $100,000 (or whatever limits you’ve been paying for).  Here that would $85,000 to attempt to make you whole again.  As you can see, there are options for you out there, so its important to keep calm and seek out the appropriate help.

There are many pitfalls along the way and intricacies which can limit and at times prevent you from being able to recover from your own insurance despite paying for the coverage if the right steps are not taken.  As such, you should seek an experienced attorney to assist you.

If you need help or have questions with regard to your recent car accident,  the attorneys at Ray Padilla Law, APC will be happy to discuss your potential case with you for free. Call (619) 431-1187.

The information contained on this page is for informational purposes only and is not to be considered a substitute for advice from a qualified attorney. If you require legal assistance, we highly recommend you speak to a qualified attorney. By reading this post, you agree this information is for informational use only and agree to hold Ray Padilla Law, APC harmless for any losses or damages as a result of this information.

Concussion or Loss of Consciousness From a Car Accident

A blow to the head can result in a traumatic brain injury (TBI).  These injuries can happen in many different ways, but many people sustain TBIs during a car crash.  It is not uncommon for people in a car accident to hit their heads on the steering wheel, window or dashboard.  The troubling thing is that some people are misinformed and believe that all concussions cause a loss of consciousness, and thus, if they didn’t lose consciousness they assume they’re fine.

Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injuries

Concussions and loss of consciuosness can lead to nausea, dizziness, blurry vision, confusion, head aches both severe and mild, behavioral changes, and forgetfulness following the injury.  What is especially concerning is that some of these symptoms may not arise until several days, weeks and sometimes even months after the car crash.  As you can imagine, this can become problematic when attempting to show that the car accident was the cause of the injuries and symptoms that a person is now suffering from.  However, most important is the need for treatment as the symptoms previously mentioned, if left untreated and sometimes even with treatment, can have hugely detrimental effects on the person’s relationships, career, mental health and life in general.

Early Detection is Important

In recent years, new techniques and advances in technology have allowed these injuries to not only be recognized but detected early on.  The most severe the brain injury the more easily it is detectable; however, most brain injuries come in the form of mild traumatic brain injuries “MTBI.”  As such, it is important to have a proper medical evaluation done to rule out such an injury.  After a car accident, people are happy to be alive and soaring with adrenaline so it is not always clear to them whether they may have suffered a concussion or loss of consciousness.  Thus, if you or someone you know is experiencing similar symptoms following a car accident be sure to seek help.

Every symptom is worth treatment and merits relief from it.  The attorneys at Ray Padilla Law, APC will be happy to discuss your potential case with you for free. Call (619) 431-1187.

The information contained on this page is for informational purposes only and is not to be considered a substitute for advice from a qualified attorney. If you require legal assistance, we highly recommend you speak to a qualified attorney. By reading this post, you agree this information is for informational use only and agree to hold Ray Padilla Law, APC harmless for any losses or damages as a result of this information.

How to Stay Safe During Summer Road Trips

Every summer, millions and millions of families across California and the United States hit the road on family road trips.  If you will be doing the same, keep safety on your mind.

California law states that each child must be properly restrained in a child safety seat, booster seat or other restraint system in the back seat, until the child is 9 years old or at least 4 feet 9 inches in height.  Exceptions are:

  • When there is no rear seat.
  • The rear seats are side-facing jump seats.
  • The child passenger restraint system cannot be installed properly in the rear seat.
  • All rear seats are already occupied by children under the age of 12 years.
  • Medical reasons require that the child not ride in the rear seat.  The court may require satisfactory proof of the child’s medical condition.

Additionally, the law states that a child may not ride in the front seat of a mother vehicle with an active passenger air bag if the child in: under one year of age, weighs less than 20 pounds, or is riding rear -facing in a child passenger restraint system.

Finally, nothing works better than setting the right example.  If you wear your seat belt, so will your children.  The California Highway Patrol website offers much more information on how to stay safe on the roadways.

 

The information contained on this page is for informational purposes only and is not to be considered a substitute for advice from a qualified attorney. If you require legal assistance, we highly recommend you speak to a qualified attorney. By reading this post, you agree this information is for informational use only and agree to hold Ray Padilla Law, APC harmless for any losses or damages as a result of this information.

Ray Padilla, Esq. Recognized as Rising Star by Super Lawyers

San Diego personal injury and car accident attorney Ray Padilla has been selected for inclusion in the list of 2018 San Diego Rising Stars by Super Lawyers®.  

Mr. Padilla has helped many injured clients in a variety of personal injury matters.  Recently, Mr. Padilla was able to attain $250,000 for a Riverside mechanic who suffered a leg injury when a malfunctioning car lift gave way and injured his leg.  Additionally, he obtained $175,000 for a Jones Act Seaman who injured his wrist due to the actions of the negligent captain who operated the vessel dangerously and without regard for the safety of his crew.

These are only some of the victories that Attorney Padilla has recently had.

Super Lawyer’s Rising Stars recognizes the best up-and-coming attorneys in the state and qualifying lawyers must be 40-years-old or younger or have practiced law for less than 10 years. Attorneys are selected for inclusion by being nominated by their peers and evaluated by a research team. Nominated lawyers are evaluated and ranked by point totals, with only those with the high total points selected for inclusion.

Should you or a loved one be injured in a car accident or as a result of someone else’s negligence, feel free to contact Ray Padilla Law, APC at (619) 431-1187 to speak with Attorney Padilla directly.

 

Low Impact Car Accident – Don’t Be So Quick To Determine That You’re Fine

Typical Scenario After A Minor Accident

Anyone who has ever been involved in a car accident, no matter how small, knows that immediately after the crash they feel many different emotions.  You get a rush of energy, you worry about others in the car, you may get angry, nervousness might creep up, happiness that you’re not terribly injured, etc.  All of these feelings and emotions (mainly the adrenaline) overshadow some of the pain or injuries that you may have suffered in the immediate moments after a car accident.

Most people get out of the car, go check to see if the other person is fine, tell the other person that they’re not hurt, check the damage and if the damage is not terrible they exchange insurance information and go on their way.  When the person who hit you then speaks to their insurance, you can be sure that their insurance will want an exact play by play of what you did and said immediately following the accident.  They will then try and use all that information against you later once the adrenaline has worn off and your symptoms develop.

The Science Behind A Minor Accident

Scientific data shows that the impact does not have to be very significant to cause an injury to your spine.  The article on whiplash injury published in The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery on June 30, 2009, points out that 90 percent of whiplash injuries occur with speeds less than 14 mph.  It also explains that many crash tests done with human subjects have shown results concluding that a car crash with a velocity of just 2.5 mph was sufficient to cause symptoms.  Interestingly, a speed of 8.7 mph was required to cause visual damage to the vehicle.  Injuries they point to are not only symptoms of neck pain and stiffness,  but also forgetfulness, post-trauma disorder and even depressive symptoms after six weeks.

Even a low impact accident is worth speaking to an attorney about, especially if you develop symptoms after first feeling fine.  The attorneys at Ray Padilla Law, APC will be happy to discuss your potential case with you for free. Call (619) 431-1187.

 

The information contained on this page is for informational purposes only and is not to be considered a substitute for advice from a qualified attorney. If you require legal assistance, we highly recommend you speak to a qualified attorney. By reading this post, you agree this information is for informational use only and agree to hold Ray Padilla Law, APC harmless for any losses or damages as a result of this information.

 

WHAT CAN ACTUALLY HAPPEN WHEN A PERSON DIES WITHOUT A TRUST (INTESTATE)?

Each individual’s situation is different; however, if you’re like me, you learn better by using and evaluating examples. Therefore, below, I’m going to go through a pretty standard example that we see and hear about. Please understand that this is meant to be a quick overview of the general process and is not meant or intended to be a step-by-step process on how this should be done.   This is not legal advice on how to do an estate administration and the advice of a qualified estate administration attorney should be sought.

 

The first thing that will need to happen is that someone will have to apply, qualify, and be appointed Administrator of the Estate of the decedent. Second, an inventory, accounting and appraisal of the estate will need to be done. Attorneys and other professionals will likely need to be hired.

 

For this example, we will say that the decedent’s estate was made up of a home, savings, IRA, and some stocks as well as personal property such as jewelry which added up to $1,000,000.

 

Notices will have to go out to all potential interested persons as well as creditors. Taxes will need to be paid, property sold, and most significantly, fees will have to be paid. The attorney compensation is statutory which means that the law dictates (for the most part) what the legal fees will be. For this million-dollar estate, they break down as follows:

 

FEE COMPUTATION
4% of the first $100,000 $4,000.00
3% of the next $100,000 $3,000.00
2% of the next $800,000 $16,000.00
1% of the next $9,000,000 $0
Total $23,000.00

 

Thus, for a $1,000,000 estate, the attorney fees alone would be $23,000. That does not include the administrator fee to the administrator/representative that will be the same amount as the attorney fees as well as all the other court fees and financial services costs. Please note that for every additional million in the estate, the fees just mentioned would go up by $10,000.

 

Finally, the remaining funds will be distributed according to California’s intestacy succession laws. This could have a great result by having, for example, your children receive the remainder, or a terrible result by having an estranged sibling get everything.

 

As can be seen from the forgoing, failing to set up a living trust can end up having tremendous financial consequences that can dwarf the cost of setting up a living trust.

 

Attorney Ray Padilla is the founder and President of Ray Padilla Law, APC