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Geoffrey Trachtenberg

Geoffrey Trachtenberg’s Answers

18 total


  • My dad was killed in a motorcycle accident this wk. It looks like the driver who hit him has a maximum of $25,000 in insurance.

    Happened in Oklahoma and the boy was texting at the time. The funeral alone will be thousands. We can't afford all these bills. Is there anything we can do? Five kids lost their dad and five grandkids lost their papa. This hardly seems fair!!

    Geoffrey’s Answer

    I am so very sorry about your father. Regrettably, this is not an uncommon issue in wrongful death cases.

    What generally needs to be done is someone needs to determine if there is any other applicable insurance. This can be tricky. Was the adverse driver working? Was the driver on a family errand? Is there underinsured coverage in the household that might apply?

    While you would also typically evaluate the adverse driver's assets, you described the driver as a "boy," so it is unlikely he has any meaningful assets that you could recover (and the $25,000 policy limit tends to further confirm this). But you never know.

    Also, you need to find out if drugs or alcohol were involved. You need to evaluate the roadway and other conditions to determine whether there is a viable claim against any other entity or person.

    It's entirely possible that $25,000 is the limit of what you are able to recover, but a good attorney will do a thorough investigation before reaching that conclusion. Good luck.

    Geoff

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  • How long do out of state parties have to Answer a Complaint in Arizona?

    I'm aware that parties have 20 calendar days to answer a complaint in Arizona, however, does that same time limit also apply to Defendants that were served out of state, or do out of state parties to a Complaint get 30 calendar days to file an Ans...

    Geoffrey’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Yes, you have 30 days per Rule 4.2(m), Ariz.R.Civ.Proc., to respond to a complaint when served outside the State of Arizona.

    Yes, if the damages are not stating in the Complaint, and sometimes even when they are, the Court will hold a hearing to determine damages. It is not a "default hearing," because by that time default will have already been established. It is simply a "damages hearing" where the plaintiff's put on basic damages evidence and request a judgment for the specific amount. Unless it is contested, the Court will generally accept reasonable requests at these hearings.

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  • If my front airbag did not deploy during an accident to front of vehicle, can I sue the auto company for damages to the vehicle?

    No personal injury was caused to me except a bang to the head from the steering wheel.

    Geoffrey’s Answer

    Maybe I don't understand your question, but if I do, the answer is, "No, you cannot sue a manufacturer for damage to the vehicle." You can, however, sue the manufacturer for damage to your body (i.e., bodily injury) that was caused as a result of the vehicle's airbag failing to properly deploy.

    A cautionary note: these cases are extremely tough and it will be very hard to find an attorney willing to handle the case unless (1) you have some meaningful bodily injury and (2) you can show convincingly that an adequately maintained air bag failed to deploy properly (which means you will need the vehicle in the untouched condition so that the airbag can be examined by one or more experts).

    Hope that helps you.

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  • Hit by a car while walking in gas station parking lot what can I expect in a lawsuit and how long dose it take

    I parked my car at a pump was walking toward convince store to pay I had stopped until the traffic of two cars drove by then a man waived me to walk so I started to walk took 3 steps or so and he hit the gas and truned right into me it happend so ...

    Geoffrey’s Answer

    Sorry to hear about what happened. Even though statements were taken, no matter what what said at the time, stories change. So, aside from advising you that you have two years to get a complaint on file from the date of the accident, you need to consider whether there are any witnesses. Also, because this occurred at a gas station, there may be video recordings of what happened, but you have to act quickly to get these things or they will, undoubtedly, be routinely erased to discarded. Whatever you do, don't wait until the time is about to run on the statute of limitations -- few, if anyone, will want to get involved at such a late date.

    As for how long it will take, there's no honest way to really tell you. These things are unpredictable and some can be resolved quickly while others take years.

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  • Do I need a new attorney?

    Hello and thanks for your time. I was in an accident a couple years ago and retained an attorney (contigency fee) for personal injury. Throughout the first 10 or 11 months, we kept in contact and after I settled with workers comp, I have not hea...

    Geoffrey’s Answer

    Answer: Yes. And, I agree with others.

    Unless you've been told otherwise (such as your attorney is on vacation or in trial, etc.), you should expect to hear back from your attorney within 24 hours.

    If he/she cannot be bothered to communicate with you, how lazy will they be in handling your claim?

    Find someone new.

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  • 6 months ago we had a major car accident. My vehicle was totaled. My now 7 yo, 5 yo & 3 yo daughters were in the car.

    They still suffer from fear, I'm still dealing with awful pain in my shoulder. What ballpark figure should I expect tO receive? Medical bills are about $5,000 so far. My glasses & phone had to be replaced for about $700. I've put out $2,500 in hel...

    Geoffrey’s Answer

    It's impossible for anyone to tell you what your claim is worth without looking at your medical records and bills. Someone with low bills can sometimes have a very valuable claim (e.g., it does not cost much to amputate a leg, but the claim is worth a lot). Best advice is keep good records of your expenses and seek an attorney's help.

    By the way, all of your kids have claims as well, but any money they get will need to be approved by the court and will need to be put into a restricted bank account or some other form of court-approved account/investment vehicle.

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  • I hired an attorney for a car accident, personal injury, and wrongful death case. I am getting a second opinion

    If the second opinion says I need to go further with it cause things are wrong what do I do? The wrongful death part is settled. My rights as there daughter are gone because the Statue of limitations ran out for me. There is a Minor involved als...

    Geoffrey’s Answer

    I agree with others, it is very difficult to answer your question without more. But here's a couple of pointers:

    1) To the extent there is a minor involved, most claims are tolled for minors -- except wrongful death claims against an estate where you are seeking more than the auto policy limits.

    2) Unless the grandkids were injured in the car accident, they do not have claims. They do not have wrongful death claims in California.

    3) If you are concerned about whether your attorney did everything correctly, you should get an opinion right away as to whether there is any liability for legal malpractice.

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  • I hired an attorney for a Wrongful Death, Personal Injury and car accident. my Mother was killed in the accident

    Wrongful death has been settled by the insurance company.Insurance pd 100g. But I believe there might have been more defendants if the case got lookede at properly. This accident is over 2yrs old. I feel like I have been left out of the loop hole ...

    Geoffrey’s Answer

    Based on what you have said, it is impossible to say what additional claims you have or may have had. Among other things, there could be legal malpractice against the attorney who handled it for not tapping additional assets or investigating additional insurance. Of course, the time is important because the statute of limitations applies to when you knew or "should have known" about potential claims.

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