State-by-state car insurance works either under the presumption of fault or no-fault. What is the difference, and which regulations apply in the state of California? Read on for some important info if you are ever injured in a car accident.
What Is At-Fault Insurance?
At-fault insurance means that every accident will have a driver who is deemed the one to blame for the incident. Even if one driver is considered 51% in the wrong and the other 49%, someone has to be chosen as the at-fault driver. This means one driver’s insurance will be responsible for the other driver’s injuries. Your liability insurance will pay for the other driver’s injuries if you are at fault, and your insurance will only cover your injuries if you have personal injury protection (PIP) insurance.
What Is No-Fault Insurance?
In no-fault states, each driver’s insurance will cover his or her own injuries regardless of who caused the accident. In these states, PIP is mandatory (except in KY, NJ, and PA where a person can opt-out in writing). If you cause an accident, your liability coverage will still pay for the other driver’s car, so the no-fault coverage really just applies to injuries.
What Kind of State Is California?
Only 12 states have no-fault insurance, and California is not one of them. The good news is that if you are in an accident and the other person is at fault, your insurance premiums should not increase (in no-fault states, both drivers are affected). The downside is that the at-fault driver’s insurance may contest their driver being at fault, which could delay a payout.
Getting Help in an At-Fault Insurance Case
Whether the at-fault driver’s insurance is dragging their feet paying damages or offering way less than you should be receiving, Petrov Law Firm can help. Out personal injury attorneys specialize in car accident cases, so you can be confident of getting compensated for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and the like. Just call 619-344-0360 to schedule your consultation.Read More
As Uber becomes a more popular service in San Diego and across the nation, it only makes sense that more people might find themselves getting a ride through the popular service when an accident occurs. What can you do to be properly compensated if an injury occurs? Here’s what you need to know.
What California Law Requires from Uber
The company itself carries a million-dollar policy to cover cases of personal injury or wrongful death should one of their drivers be at fault. That means while your Uber driver may have personal insurance as well, it will be Uber’s insurance that should cover your settlement.
What if the other driver is at fault? Then it would be the other driver’s insurance that needs to cover your damages due to the accident. But don’t worry about what will happen if the other driver isn’t carrying insurance. Uber’s insurance covers for uninsured or underinsured drivers. That means if the at-fault driver has no insurance or not enough to cover your expenses, Uber’s insurance will take over.
Thanks to California state laws, you don’t have to worry about what will happen if you are in an accident during a ride. You know there are funds to cover your medical expenses and other damages. Now you just need to the right personal injury attorneys to help you maximize your settlement.
If You’re in Need of a Personal Injury Attorney in San Diego
Petrov Law Firm can provide you with the experienced legal counsel you need when an injury occurs in a motor vehicle accident. Contact us today by calling 619-344-0360 to schedule a consultation.Read More
With spring break in full tow, undoubtedly there is plenty of partying going on, especially from young folks reveling in their first semester accomplishments. It is during holidays and celebratory times such as these that we all must be more cautious and mindful when on the road. The chance of a run-in with an intoxicated driver is likely higher when there are more reasons to celebrate.
Drunk driving laws make it illegal nationwide to drive with a blood alcohol content at or above 0.08% for people of legal drinking age. There is also a no-tolerance law for drivers under 21, meaning there is no allowable level of BAC for this age group. Accurate BAC is determined with a blood test (analyzed at a lab) or breathalyzer administered by the onsite officer.
Incidents of drunken driving have decreased in the past few decades due to strict laws and higher awareness and education. The ease of access and availability of hired transport (such as taxi cabs, Uber, and Lyft) have also helped to lower the occurrences of intoxicated drivers on the road. However, accidents involving alcohol influence still do occur and are often injurious or fatal.
Should you or a loved one get involved in a vehicular accident involving alcohol, seek the advice and assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney immediately. Your injuries will likely require medical attention and you are entitled to have all your costs covered by the other party’s insurance. A personal injury lawyer will represent you if your case end up in the court of law, as is often the case with alcohol-related car accidents.Read More
Drivers and bike riders are not allowed to operate their vehicles while wearing a headset or earbuds in both ears. 2016 brought about a slight change in the law, but a similar law been in place for several years.
Covering one ear is still OK. Why? Because there is almost no research that suggests using one ear for a phone conversation is an accident risk. As long as the driver is using a headset and remains able to drive with both hands, then using one ear for a phone conversation (or music) is still legal.
If you were in an accident with someone who appeared to be wearing a headset, you need to contact a lawyer immediately. Establishing blame is critical in determining who is financially responsible for any medical costs, property damage, and lost wages. Witnesses become a critical part of any case involving drivers or bike riders wearing ear buds in both ears.
The lawyer will help you contact the witnesses who can support your claims. Although you can try to contract the witnesses yourself, a layer is better equipped to collect all the evidence to support you claim. If you are being blamed for the accident and being accused of wearing ear buds, you should also have a lawyer to ensure that any evidence against you was properly attained.Read More
A four-year study out of the San Francisco Bay Area shows that roughly 60 percent of drivers involved in a car-pedestrian accident faced NO criminal charges. And this study only reviewed drivers who hit pedestrians who were within the protected crosswalk zones.
If you hit a pedestrian, you have a 40 percent chance of facing criminal charges. Don’t delay in calling a lawyer — the longer the lag in your own personal investigation, the more difficult it will be for your lawyer to defend you. Time is a critical factor and you can’t depend on a low-priority police investigation to find the witnesses who might be able to vouch for you actions as a driver. In addition, you don’t want to rely on your car insurance company to be the only professionals looking to relieve you of undue burden. You need a lawyer on your side.
If you were a pedestrian hit while in the crosswalk, you also can’t rely on the police to prosecute the driver who hit you. Keep in mind, the driver has a 60 percent chance of walking away without any legal penalties. The driver can simultaneously face criminal and civil charges — meaning that if the driver doesn’t have to face criminal charges, you can still sue for damages in the civil courts.
Once the accident has occurred, there is no time for delay. You need to hire a personal injury attorney to help defend or prosecute your case. The longer the delay, the fewer details your lawyer will be able to recover about the accident.Read More
In California there are two primary laws that define settlements or judgments for cases that include a driver using a handheld device. A recent study revealed that at any moment, more than 600,000 people are using a handheld device while driving somewhere in the US. And if any of them gets in an accident while using their phone, the blame for the accident will fall squarely in their lap.
If you were using your cell phone in any way during an accident, you will need a lawyer to defend you and help keep any judgement fairly within the law. Lawyers, police, courts, insurance companies, and the media are vocally critical of drivers who use their phone without a headset. And while the criticism is fair, sometimes those drivers take on a greater share of blame than necessary for the accidents.
To start, many drivers are embarrassed about causing an accident. They feel guilty and are willing to take on the majority of the blame out of a sense of obligation. The insurance companies are more than willing to use these feelings of guilt. Both sides of an insurance claim don’t want lawyers to drive up the cost of the claims; so when a driver is willing to to take blame, the insurance companies don’t protest.
Frequently, the blame is far closer to 50-50. In order to determine the true distribution of blame, you will need a good lawyer to ask some tough questions of the other driver. Instead of letting you be the default reason for an accident, a good lawyer will dig deep and look at other factors such as the other driver’s speed, driving record, and condition of his or her vehicle. Frequently, when a good lawyer analyzes the other driver, blame can be shared more evenly.
Being on your phone without a headset while driving is against the law. And if you caused an accident, you should expect to pay a fine for your choices. However, the financial cost of the accident doesn’t have to fall entirely on your shoulders. Have a good lawyer to help you determine a fair and equitable determination of fault.Read More
If you’ve sustained personal injury because of a car accident, the insurance companies are the first to decide on a settlement amount. In California, you can either take the settlement offered to you through insurance, or you can file a lawsuit against the other driver. When you sue the other driver, his or her insurance company has a contractual obligation to pay for the defense costs. That court case either goes to trial or is settled out of court.
So, in general, you aren’t likely to get directly involved in arbitration about the case. The insurance companies, however, can use an arbitrator to determine a fair settlement offer. For example, if your insurance company thinks you deserve $50,000 and the other driver’s insurance company believes that you only deserve $25,000, the two insurance companies might use arbitration to come to agreeable terms without an additional lawsuit. And as the victim of the accident, you might be called upon to testify in front of that arbiter.
If you’ve been involved in an accident, you should immediately call a lawyer. Assuming that the insurance companies will make the best decision for your losses as the victim may not be in your best interest. Insurance companies are failable. Plus they are looking at their own bottom line and an expensive lawsuit may cost them money.Read More
If you are at fault for an auto accident, generally your insurance policy will cover the cost of the damages. Keep in mind, your insurance policy has limits, so if you have minimum coverage, your insurance policy might not cover more than a few thousand dollars.
If the accident costs rise above your insurance limits, you will want hire a lawyer to help you keep those costs as low as possible. Anything not covered by your insurance policy will come out of your pocket — either now or over the course of the next twenty years.
Even if the accident costs don’t rise above the limits of your insurance policy, it might be worth your time to ask a lawyer to review the case. If you’ve been deemed at fault, then you will be looking at a very steep hike in your insurance costs over the next five years. A good attorney can minimize the extent of your blame.
Lastly, if there is even the suggestion that anyone was injured, you will want a lawyer. The victims of an accident have years in which they can claim problems arising from an injury caused by the accident. Medical costs are high, and could easily use up your insurance coverage.
If you caused an auto accident, then you will probably have to pay — from delayed medical problems to expensive insurance hikes. Get an attorney to represent your best interests.Read More
People slip and fall. And while you hope nothing like that would ever happen at your wedding (birthday party, anniversary, or business meeting), sometimes people get drunk, rowdy, or careless. Accidents happen, and if you’re not careful, you could be become a defendant in an expensive civil case.
If you are hosting an event at a rented space and someone gets hurt, you will need to hire a personal injury attorney to create a proper defense. Generally, there are three parties involved in circumstances like these: the host (you), the injured party, and the event venue.
Although the event venue may not have insisted that you carry an insurance policy to cover such accidents, you might have agreed, unknowingly, to have one. Buried in the small print of the contract you signed allowing you to use a hotel banquet hall or conference room, there was probably a clause about the host having an insurance policy.
If someone gets hurt on site, the hotel (or other event venue) will pull out the contract, highlight the clause, and claim that you are responsible for covering the medical bills.
If the injured party decides to get a lawyer, you will have no choice but to hire one for yourself. If you are facing an injured party, hire a lawyer to get your defence in place before you see your name on a civil lawsuit filing.Read More
When you have a car crash and you are at fault, you absolutely have to call a lawyer. While your insurance company is technically going to represent your interests, the insurance company will always be looking for ways to avoid paying out on the accident. Unless you are a lawyer, don’t try to master the kinds of legal maneuvers that lawyers and insurance companies can make to manipulate a case.
But I thought I had full coverage?
“Full coverage” isn’t an insurance term. It’s a term consumers use, but it doesn’t have any defined meaning inside the insurance industry. Every insurance policy is made up of dozens of options and line items. Very few people tell their insurance agent to activate every option and extend coverages to the max. Those kinds of “full coverage” insurance policies are very expensive.
But I have liability coverage, right?
If you have insurance, you probably have liability coverage. California requires you to carry a minimum of insurance in case the accident is your fault. Unfortunately, that minimum is far below the actual cost of most car accidents. If you only have the minimum liability coverage, you are probably going to spend some of your own hard-earned cash to settle the case.Read More