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Richard Andrew Harting
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Richard Harting’s Answers

1,675 total


  • Can my step-father keep all of the settlement from a wrongful death suit (for my mom) in California?

    My step-father, brother and I signed up for the Pradaxa lawsuit after my mother was killed due to internal bleeding from the drug. Although I filled out all the orignal ppwk, the attorneys told us that my step-father would be the official represen...

    Richard’s Answer

    The answer is - it depends. There are two causes of action when someone dies. 1) A survivor action whereat a personal representative of the estate of the decedent pursues damages on behalf of the estate, such as outstanding medical expenses and burial expenses. In this case, yes your step father would recover the monies. 2) wrongful death action - this action will be pursued by the spouse and children (there are other possible plaintiffs but they don't apply on your facts) and this will be for each individuals personal damages for the loss of the decedent. You can all be represented by the same attorney; however, you will need to be advised of and sign of on a conflict waiver. If you retained the same attorney to handle your wrongful death damages and he/she only recovered on behalf of your step-father, the attorney may have a problem. Your should first contact the attorney and clarify what claims have been presented, review your retainer agreement and get the story straight and go from there. Wrongful death is specialized claim, it is not your typical personal injury claim. You must have an attorney experienced in wrongful death.

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  • A DUI Defendant permanently disabled my non-minor son

    My son has sued the defendant for negligence and negligence per se. As a parent, who has to take care of his son for the rest of his life, because his son is going to live like a vegetable, don't I have a cause of action against the drunk driver?

    Richard’s Answer

    No (unless you witnessed the accident). However, within your son's claim, your son can recover the cost /value of your services as a home health aide / assistant. Along with a variety of other necessary expenses. The unfortunate part is there must be a defendant with a sufficient insurance policy or assets to cover the full value of the claim.

    I assume you have retained counsel and they should guide you through this process. If you don't have counsel get one fast. This is a serious matter and requires an attorney with the appropriate experience to handle the many facets of this type of claim.

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  • Can I sue for medical bills due to a fall that occurred at the entrance to mall?

    I had to be transported to the hospital by ambulance due to injuries to my face, leg, and mouth, including a head injury, cuts, and a broken tooth.

    Richard’s Answer

    Lets change your question to do I have a good case worth filing suit. Sometimes a premise owner will have what called a "medical payment policy". This type of policy will pay medical bills regardless of a finding of fault against the premise owner. You will need to ask the claims adjuster if they have this coverage. Now to justify filing suit, there must be something about the condition of the property that presented a dangerous condition and that condition caused you to fall. Depending on the type of dangerous condition, there may be a requirement that the property owner had notice of the condition or enough time elapsed from the creation of the condition that the property owner should have discovered the condition and taken steps to warn of or remedy the condition. Contact an attorney experienced in slip and fall cases - which are not your run of the mill personal injury case.

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  • Possible wrongful death question and lawsuit

    My father was involved in a fatal accident where the woman driving did not have a drivers licence my family and I received a letter stating that she was found at fault of course and that she would be paying restitution and was on probation now. So...

    Richard’s Answer

    Short answer is yes you can file a civil suit. Your family will need to consult with an attorney experienced in wrongful death cases which are vastly different than regular PI auto case. Attorneys in this area will handle cases up and down the state. There will be two claims, one on behalf of the estate which will include such claims as for medical expenses and funeral expenses. And, one on behalf of the heirs for wrongful death damages. This is where an experienced attorney will come because their is a good chance the defendant's policy will insufficient to fully pay the value of these claims. You do not want to present both claims to the insurance carrier. One should be handled through restitution and the other through insurance.

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  • Does my ex husband get any of wrongful death settlement?

    My morher was hit by a company car and now I am suing the company's insurance. This happend when my ex husband and I were legallyseparated. We are currently divorced and I did not list this settlement under an community asset. I have not received ...

    Richard’s Answer

    As I read this post - this is your mother's personal injury case and has nothing to do with you or your ex-husband. However, lets assume this is a situation whereat your mother passed as a result of the car accident and you are pursuing a wrongful death action/survivor action. these cross over legal situations are fairly common and attorneys handling wrongful death actions (which are very different than your normal personal injury case) should be able to obtain the answer for you since it can have significant ramifications on your case. I am not your attorney and do not know all the specifics of your case - so I will state a general application of the law - if you were legally separated it is not a community asset. If you were not legally separated it most likely is not a community asset. The Court has the power to make the determination which almost always results in a finding of separate property.

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  • Do i need to get a lawyer

    I was injured in a company semi truck in a car accident so i got to the doctors and reported that i was a workers comp cause the nurse @ the clinic said it a work related injury. I told my boss i was going to see the doctors. he said that theres n...

    Richard’s Answer

    get into a work atty ASAP. if the accident was the other cars fault you can also pursue a third party case.

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  • Dog bite at work. Working a temp retail job. Boss brought dog who bit me. Can I seek out a personal injury claim or work comp?

    So my question is: the business has nothing to do with dogs and the dog shouldn't have been there. Nevertheless, the owner brought his dog to the store and it bit me, requiring stitches. I have heard only bad things about worker's compensation cla...

    Richard’s Answer

    The quick answer is yes - you can just pursue the owner of the dog. However, that is not the appropriate or suggested way to proceed. For example, there is no guarantee the owner of the dog has the appropriate insurance to cover the dog bite. By pursuing both a workers comp and third party claim (against the dog owner) you get the best of both claims. The work comp will cover your medical treatment and provide a temporary wage if you are placed on disability form the injury. the third party claim will provide general damages (pain & suffering). As suggested get an office that has both a work comp department and a PI department.

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  • My fiancé died because he was given a medication he was known to have an allergy to. Can I sue for his wrongful death in CA,

    We lived together for 7 years, have all utilities in both names, purchased cars together in both names and rented property together in both names.

    Richard’s Answer

    Unfortunately no. Spouses, children, parents.

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  • Can I file a claim for bodily injury even if I have the same address of the driver, my brother and his wife, I'm living with?

    I was involved in a car accident as passenger a year ago, August 2013 in Glendale, California. My brother, the driver, and his wife were not badly injured, but I was. His blood sugar went so low and lost control while exiting the freeway and crash...

    Richard’s Answer

    The first step is to get a copy of the policy brochure. You will be most likely looking to the resident relative exclusion if the policy contains one. Then you will need to determine if you fit within the definition of a resident relative - quite frankly this is not an easy interpretation. We have litigated the issue successfully both ways so there may not be a clear answer until the claim is actually pursued. You will need to sit down with an attorney armed with the policy for review.

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  • Compensation, loss of wages, etc

    hello my name is Hugo. to make story short. my mom asked me to take my brother to the mall, two of his friends and my niece, it was 5 of us. on our way there someone rear ended us. police came and took police report. the other parties insurance ad...

    Richard’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    There is a lot more that needs to be explored here. What your attorney is referring to is commonly called Prop 213. If you were not covered by liability insurance you can only recover your economic damage - medical bills, wage loss, and you can claim your travel expense but it is difficult to recover, etc.. Attorney fees are not an element of damage and cannot be recovered in a personal injury claim. You are precluded from recovering pain and suffering damages. So you need to find coverage. You may be covered under you mother's insurance (either as a permissive user or possibly under an agency theory) and/or your insurance may cover you under a substitute vehicle theory. If you live in the same household with your mother that can be a complicating factor - but since you have your own policy that may well overcome that problem. All good things to discuss with your attorney.

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