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Car Accident Near Me

Do Pre-Existing Conditions Impact Personal Injury Claims?

When it comes to personal injury and car crash claims, there exists an assumption that all car crash injuries occur to victims that are in perfect condition before the crash. However, many of us know that this often is not reality. Over 27% of the United States’ population suffers from a pre-existing condition. There is a longstanding myth that pre-existing conditions can bar people from making much needed personal injury claims, however, this is not necessarily the case.

 

This myth comes from the understanding that a victim in a personal injury case is not entitled to receive payment for injuries and pre-existing conditions that are unaffected by an accident. While this is true, what often remains unknown is that these victims are entitled to receive compensation for pre-existing conditions to the degree that the accident has worsened or aggravated them. This means that any new injuries as well as exacerbated prior conditions can be subject to compensation.

 

It should be noted that the insurance companies and their lawyers will without a doubt attempt to argue the injury and pain is all preexisting and the crash did not aggravate that injury in the slightest.  They’ll insinuate and sometimes go as far as outright stating that the injured person is simply trying to blame the crash for an injury that already existed just to get compensation.  This is why it is important to seek advice from a car accident lawyer.

 

The Eggshell Doctrine

 

Many pre-existing conditions make a person more susceptible to injury that an otherwise average person would not be. Let’s look at why this doesn’t matter according to the Eggshell Doctrine:

 

Let us imagine that a negligent person injures another person, however the victim of this injury has an eggshell thin skull. The victim’s condition makes them much more susceptible to injury, causing them to suffer more damage than the average person. Under the Eggshell Plaintiff doctrine, the negligent person is liable for all the damages afflicted on a victim as-is, even if they are unaware that a victim is particularly fragile.  Remember that the injured party did nothing wrong and shouldn’t be punished for having a pre-existing injury or because the person was born with a certain condition.

 

The Eggshell Skull Doctrine stems from California Law, which has been defined by these cases:

 

“That a plaintiff without such a [preexisting] condition would probably have suffered less injury, or no injury does not exonerate a defendant from liability.” Ng v. Hudson (1977) 75 Cal.App.3d 250, 255 [142 Cal. Rptr. 69]

 

“The tortfeasor takes the person he injures as he finds him. If, by reason of some preexisting condition, his victim is more susceptible to injury, the tortfeasor is not thereby exonerated from liability.” Rideau v. Los Angeles Transit Lines (1954) 124 Cal.App.2d 466, 471 [268 P.2d 772]

 

It is important to understand that even with the Eggshell Plaintiff Doctrine, it will only apply when there are further damages beyond the scope of the pre-existing condition itself.  Please feel free to explore the many other articles on this website to learn more.  Next week, in a follow-up to this article, we will be sharing some do’s and don’ts if you’ve been injured and have a pre-existing injury.

 

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident,  hiring an attorney should be a strong consideration even if you have a pre-existing injury.  Our law office is ready to help so feel free to contact Ray Padilla Law, APC at (619) 431-1187 (San Diego) to speak with Attorney Ray Padilla directly.  Please call even if its simply to ask, “what should I do?”

Giving Back to Our Community

Helping Our Community

Recently we were fortunate enough to be able to be a part in a food give away in National City, CA.  Our friends at the Ministry of Jerusalem Corp., Inc. were kind enough to allow us to take part in their WEEKLY food drive.  We were humbled by the love and dedication of their volunteers, and their welcoming arms in allowing us to join in and help.  Miles upon miles of cars lined the neighborhood filled with people seeking assistance with food and the volunteers, hour after hour, and weekend after weekend, responded and continue to respond.

Ray Padilla, Esq. teamed up with The Katella Grill to add to the food give away and provide prepared meals for those in need.  The Katella Grill’s owner, Mike Learakos, had his team of cooks prepare 500 meals in advance and drove them down from Orange County to San Diego himself.

We could not be more thankful to all the wonderful volunteers at the Ministry of Jerusalem, Mike Learakos, and The Katella Grill staff.  Thank you also to our clients and community for trusting in us and giving us the ability to be able to give back.

More Food is ALWAYS Needed

There is still a great need in our community. If you know of anyone, please direct them to the Ministry of Jerusalem Website. If you would like to donate your time, food, or resources, please reach out to the Ministry of Jerusalem by clicking on the link above.

We truly believe that in order to properly represent people injured in car accidents, we have to care about them personally.

Our way of really caring for our clients and their families really shape our cases and their outcomes. We are humbled by the kind words that our clients have for us.

Here’s what some clients have to say in their own words:

K. Zepeda – Omg first of all i want to thank ray for everything! Ray was Excellent, me and my husband at first were like dang this case is going to be long but No! ray did everything he could and within a month we settled our case!! Me and my husband were like wow he’s awesome. Ray always called to let us know everything and explained everything in detail so we were in the know…. we’ve had other Attorneys for other cases where we’ve Constantly had to be calling and calling sometime we wouldn’t get an call back, we wouldn’t know what was going on, we had no answers at all with previous Attorneys but ray really wowed us!! I would/already have recommended ray!!! You’ll be happy and u wont regret it!!

L. Maldonado – I was referred to Ray as one of the best attorneys in San Diego County and I definitely wasn’t misinformed!! I didn’t think I had such a strong case, but Ray took a chance on me and my mom on a minor car accident and he fought for us to get way more than we had ever imagined! I highly recommend him. He’s very nice and easy to talk to.. we can’t thank him enough!!

E. Garcia – (Translated by Google) First of all, thanks lawyer Ray Padilla for your help !!! 100% recommended, excellent lawyer, in my case he inspired me confidence and explained in detail all my doubts, he was always on the lookout for everything and kept me informed of all the details, I am happy with his work and with the results I obtained ,Thanks a lot!! (Original) Primero que nada,gracias abogado ray padilla por su ayuda!!! 100% recomendado,exelente abogado,en mi caso el me inspiro confianza y me explico a detalle todas mis dudas,el estubo siempre al pendiente de todo y me mantubo informado de todos los detalles,estoy contento con su trabajo y con los resultados que obtubo,muchas gracias!!

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, hiring an attorney should be a strong consideration. Our law office is ready to help so feel free to contact Ray Padilla Law, APC at (619) 431-1187 (San Diego) to speak with Attorney Ray Padilla directly.

Is it Worth Hiring an Attorney? Insurance Offer Increases by 26 Times After Client Hires Attorney

Is it worth hiring an attorney after a car accident

In almost every single situation following a car accident, it is worth hiring an attorney to help you.   Hiring a car accident attorney is important for many reasons.  Being treated fairly and with respect are immensely important.  Attaining justice is the biggest reason why hiring a car crash lawyer is a good idea.  Of course, nothing is ever guaranteed; however, below is a true example of the difference a personal injury law firm can make.

Client deals with insurance company alone before hiring an attorney

When is it a good idea to hire a car accident attorney?  Before hiring Ray Padilla Law, APC, a very nice and hard working lady who we will call Ms. Smith, dealt with the insurance of the person who rear-ended her by herself.  Before Ms. Smith could even seek medical treatment to begin to understand what the nature of her injuries were, she was receiving nonstop calls and offers to settle her case from the insurance adjuster.

Mrs. Smith explained to us that she was receiving four and sometimes five calls a day from the adjuster offering her $250 to settle her case.  The insurance adjuster then began sending her email after email with a settlement release attached to it followed up by calls to continue their efforts to try and get her to agree.

Ms. Smith’s injuries continued to bother her and got worse so she sought medical treatment.  Ms. Smith then told the insurance company that she didn’t feel comfortable settling her case for $250 given that she didn’t know how bad her injuries would turn out to be and how it would affect her ability to work.  The calls and emails didn’t stop.  Ms. Smith then decided to hire an auto accident attorney.

Client hires car accident attorney who begins to deal with insurance company

As soon as our personal injury law firm was hired, we sent a letter instructing the insurance company to no longer communicate with Ms. Smith and to instead direct all communication to our car accident lawyers.  We understand that the most important thing is our client’s health and recovery.  This is best achieved by not having to constantly deal with the unwanted and unfair tactics that insurance companies resort to after car accidents.

Ms. Smith was then able to seek the proper medical care and together we were able to determine what she had lost as a result of being rear-ended.  Fortunately for Ms. Smith, her injuries were not too severe and she was able to recover promptly.  At this point, our office was able to begin to negotiate a settlement that would compensate her for her injuries, medical bills, time lost from work and of course the pain and discomfort.

Hiring an attorney resulted in the insurance company offering to settle her claim for an amount 26 times higher than what they initially tried to get Ms. Smith to settle for.

Hiring an attorney after a car accident is important

The reality is that there are no guarantees in law and not every case turns out this way.  This won’t be the highest settlement that you’ll hear about all year, all month and likely not even today.  But, to Ms. Smith and to us, it was just as important as any of the bigger results because justice was achieved.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident,  hiring an attorney should be a strong consideration.  Our law office is ready to help so feel free to contact Ray Padilla Law, APC at (619) 431-1187 (San Diego) or (310)893-5573 (Torrance/Los Angeles) to speak with Attorney Ray Padilla directly.  Please call even if its simply to ask, “should I get an attorney after a car accident?”

Uber accident? First Steps to Take if You Are Injured

First Steps to take if You’re in an Uber Accident

The most important consideration in any Uber accident or Lyft accident should always be your safety and that of the other people involved.  If emergency assistance is necessary, be sure to call 911 right away.  Below are answers to the most common questions people have, things to do and keep in mind and general information.

Will I be stuck with the medical bills After an Uber Accident?

As mentioned above, your health should be your first consideration.  If you think you need medical care, then get it.  We often get clients who refuse medical treatment because they either don’t have health insurance and/or feel like they will be stuck with the costs.  The likelihood of that happening when you’re riding in an Uber or Lyft that you hired is very unlikely.  Uber and Lyft provide millions of dollars worth of coverage for accidents which include payment of medical bills.

That being said, nothing is automatic and Uber and Lyft will put up a huge fight in order to try and pay an injured rider $0 out of that coverage or as little as possible.  That is why it is important to reach out to an accident lawyer that handles Uber and Lyft cases.  Getting medical treatment soon after the accident will help tremendously in proving that your injuries came as a result of the accident which in turn will be helpful and getting you compensation for your injuries.

What information should I gather after an Uber Accident?

Get as much information as you can including name, address, contact information, plate number and insurance information both the Uber or Lyft that you were on and that of any other vehicle involved in the accident.

Take photos of the damage to the vehicles, skid marks on the road (or lack thereof), and anything else that may look suspicious or related to the crash.

Look for witnesses who may have seen the car accident and get their contact information and a short version of what they saw.

If you are in an Uber Accident Do NOT contact any of the insurance companies before speaking to an attorney?

No matter whose insurance you call, it is very likely that all the information they collect will be geared towards gathering ammunition that they will later use against you to try and not pay for your injuries should you try and go after them.

After an Uber Accident Ask for Help.

Just about every single car accident attorney will give you a free consultation/case evaluation.  Make the call and ask questions.  Uber and Lyft are not in the business of writing checks and neither are the insurance companies that cover them.  Their agents, adjusters and lawyers will do the best they can to not give you a cent for your injuries, so protect your rights and find someone who can help you fight for justice.

If you need help or have questions with regard to your recent Uber or Lyft 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.

Ray Padilla Law, APC awarded ARAG’s 2018 Elite Service Award

We are always happy to help our clients with such important legal matters and their kind words drive us to keep improving.  The following is just one client review that helped us receive such a tremendous award.

“Mr. Padilla LISTENED!!! I am working on a family trust for my Disabled son before I retire. Mr. Padilla was comforting, reassuring and EXTREMELY helpful in guiding me thru the best choices I could make for my son. He was UNDERSTANDING and provided me with experience of others in my situation. He actually made me feel VERY CONFIDANT in my decisions and stated numerous times, that my son would be very well taken care of with the Trust I am leaving him. I was so IMPRESSED with him and his demeanor, that I have already referred 4 people to him. I know that 3 have contacted him already.” – Tamar G.

Attorney Ray Padilla Again Recognized as Rising Star for 2019

San Diego car accident attorney Ray Padilla has been selected for the second year in a row for inclusion in the list of 2019 San Diego Rising Stars by Super Lawyers®.  

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. 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, an honor reserved for those lawyers who exhibit excellence in practice. Only 2.5% of attorneys in San Diego receive this distinction.

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.

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.

The Person Who Hit Me Doesn’t Have Insurance

“The driver 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, knowledge and help from the right people, 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 Doesn’t have Insurance or has Insufficient 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 if the Person Who Hit Me Doesn’t Have Insurance?

Let’s assume that the person who crashed into you doesn’t have any insurance at all.  1 in 8 Drivers in the US has no car insurance.  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 if the Person Who Hit Me Doesn’t Have Insurance?

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.