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Russell Steven Kohn
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Russell Kohn’s Answers

19 total


  • Motorcycle accident, other party's insurance company accepted full responsibility. Do I still need a lawyer to help me?

    I was on a motorcycle heading toward a traffic signal when a van pulled out of a driveway, perpendicular to me. I collided with the van and my bike and helmet were heavily damaged and I fractured my clavicle. The van driver's insurance company tol...

    Russell’s Answer

    Yes, you should consult an attorney who handles personal injury. The consultation is usually free. I am biased since this is what I do, but there is a high probability that having an attorney will result in a better monetary recovery for you. We handle many cases where liability for the injury is accepted, yet the major dispute turns on what is fair compensation for the injury. Insurance companies must be forced to pay a fair amount. They do not perceive unrepresented victims as much of a threat.

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  • My daughter hit a clothing rack in a department store

    she was not running. she simply turned an bumped into the clothing rack that was her height like 3ft high. split her eyelid and severed her tear duct. she was hospitalized and received surgery totaling $20,000 in medical expenses.

    Russell’s Answer

    I hope your daughter is doing well. There are many valid cases involving injuries inside retail stores where the dangerous condition is not apparent to the customer. These concealed dangers result is significant injuries and damages that should be compensated. The attorney you retain should consult a safety expert who can review the matter and give an opinion about the negligence of the store personnel.

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  • Who is liable for adult son's car accident?

    I have a question in regard to car insurance for my 19 year old son (in college, stay at home, dependent on our tax return). If he is driving a car that is registered under my name and is insured by us, if he gets into an accident, are we liable f...

    Russell’s Answer

    The owner of a car is liable for the negligence of a permissive user up to the statutory limits, which are the minimum insurance limits ($15/30/5K). This liability will be covered by the owner's auto insurance. The only other way that the owner will be liable for unlimited damages is if the owner is negligent, such as for not properly maintaining the vehicle, or letting an incompetent driver use the vehicle. Otherwise, it is usually a lot less expensive premium wise to keep a child on the parent's insurance policy, and this usually requires the parent to be the vehicle owner. I am speaking from ongoing personal experience! However, discuss your options with your insurance agent or your insurance company. They do this stuff for a living too!

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  • An uninsured motorist hit me while riding my motorcycle, I'm not sure what to do. Is it worth it for me to hire a lawyer?

    The driver turned left into me as I was passing through an intersection. There was a 3rd party witness. The accident report still hasn't been finished. I took evasive action, but the driver continued to move toward me. 3-day hospital stay and surg...

    Russell’s Answer

    It appears that you can obtain the $15,000 policy limit from your uninsured motorist coverage on your own without an attorney. Do not hire and pay an attorney one-third of this recovery, unless your insurance company fights you on your demand for the policy limit. It would also be wise to investigate whether the driver that caused the crash was in the course and scope of any work for another at the time of the crash, as there may be another to seek recovery from. You may wish to hire an attorney solely to investigate other avenues of recovery, such as from an employer of the driver.

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  • How much should I settle a whiplash claim for?

    On Saturday night, I was getting in my PARKED CAR after dinner with my fiance. I was in the passenger seat. The driver in front of us backed into us over 10mph. He said "sorry, I didn't see you". Anyway we exchanged info and went on our way. H...

    Russell’s Answer

    I presume you will need additional medical care to treat your whiplash injury. Be sure you get that treatment, and do not try to tough it out! Thus, it is difficult to now say what your case is worth until you finish treatment and get a final prognosis from your doctor. The fair value of your claim will then be able to be determined. Be wary of settling quick for less than your claim may be worth. Many insurance companies will try to get a quick settlement before all of the damages are known. Generally the value of damages for pain and suffering goes up as the treatment required increases. Most personal injury attorneys offer a free initial consultation, and you should get one before deciding to settle your claim.

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  • My dog bit a canvasser who entered my gate without invitation. I have no money. Should i get a defense lawyer or file bankruptc?

    Canvasser entered my gate with no one home. My dog allegedly bit her. She is suing for half million. Bankruptcy was suggested, tho i dont want to. Do any lawyers take payment plans?

    Russell’s Answer

    A person who enters private property uninvited may be considered a trespasser. In California, trespassers have no right to claim liability of a dog owner for being bitten on the dog owner's property. The dog was where it was allowed to be, but the person was not where he/she was allowed to be. Strict liability laws for dog bites do NOT apply to trespassers. I also suggest that you tender the injury claim to any homeowner's or renter's liability insurance that you may have, which should both defend and indemnify you for any claim of injury, unless the type of dog is not covered by the policy.

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  • Do I have to sign a medical records release to 3rd party insurance co when recovering damages for a not at fault car accident?

    I have demanded a settlement for a not at fault car accident to a third party insurance co of the at fault driver. They requested medical records and for me to sign a records release. Do I need to do this if I am trying to settle out of court? I h...

    Russell’s Answer

    You do not have to give a medical records release to the insurer for the party at fault. Send them the records and the bills for your related medical treatment with a letter demand for a settlement amount. Give them ten days to respond. If they want more time, then they can ask you for it. You should send them the provider bills showing the payments and write offs. California law unfortunately now provides that the most a victim can claim for reasonable medical expenses is the amount accepted by the providers as payment in full. Thus, the insurer will want to know what the provider accepted as payment in full.

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  • Intoxicated friend hit by car in crosswalk, does it matter that she(pedestrian not driver) was very drunk?

    all three of us were drunk. I believe all three of us were in crosswalk but she lingered behind and got hit. Also if she were just a few feet outside of the crosswalk does that change things?

    Russell’s Answer

    In California, pedestrians in the crosswalk have the right of way. It doesn't matter if your friend was dunk, or a child, or a disabled person. The vehicle should have yielded until it was safe to proceed. If she was outside the crosswalk then she may no longer have the right of way.

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  • What would be a fair compensation for soft tissue injury and pain and suffering in a not at fault auto accident?

    My 20 year daughter's car was broadsided at an intersection by another vehicle that ran a red light. The police report concluded that the other driver was at fault based on witness statements. I have over $5500 in medical bills and the insurance...

    Russell’s Answer

    Personal injury victims can obtain compensation for both economic (special) damages and non-economic (general) damages. The latter includes damages where no definite standard or method of calculation is prescribed, and includes: physical pain/mental suffering/loss of enjoyment of life/disfigurement/physical impairment/ inconvenience/ grief/ anxiety/ humiliation/ emotional distress. The amount of reasonable compensation for these losses depends upon the specific nature of the impact of the injuries upon the lifestyle of the injured person. Each individual will have unique lifestyle impairments from their injuries. Many insurers use computer systems based on verdicts and settlements in other similar injury cases to try to calculate a generic number for everyone, but this is only a starting point in determining what a judge or jury would decide is reasonable in any given case. The facts matter, as does your attorney's knowledge and experience.

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  • In California is a drunk driver always at fault in a car accident?

    A vehicle crosses traffic and I hit them , am I at fault automatically because I was under the influence of alcohol and arrested?

    Russell’s Answer

    Simple answer is no, you are not automatically at fault because you were DUI. I agree with the other answers. If a claim is made against you, then your auto insurer will defend you on the claim, unless there is an exclusion on coverage when the driver is DUI. I have heard of such exclusion, though it is rare. You should ask your criminal defense attorney if you could be ordered to pay restitution for the damages in the crash as part of your sentence even if you were not negligent. I would expect it would still require a finding of fault, but I do not know that area of law.

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