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Jeffrey Michael Padilla
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Jeffrey Padilla’s Answers

160 total


  • Are car accident cases normally settled in or out of court?

    I was in a car accident that left me with significant injuries. Will I have to go to court to get a fair settlement, or will I be able to have this settled out of court?

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    There is far too much that goes into that question to answer on this forum. An attorney would need to know the nature of the accident, the parties involved, what they were doing at the time of the collision and, ideally, what insurance is available to the responsible parties, before beginning to make such an evaluation. Most important is the injuries suffered and the ultimate recovery. Are there any residual limitations that will result?

    That being said, in order to get the full value of your claim - assuming a source of recovery exists - you need to have a trial attorney representing you. The insurance company for the responsible party will not make their best offer until they are faced with the real threat of litigation. That is something they doubt an unrepresented person will ever do.

    I recommend consulting with an injury attorney and providing a more detailed description of your situation. The consultation will be free and I am certain that you will learn much about your claim following that meeting.

    Good luck.

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  • Attys don't want auto PI cases w/ med specials <$1K. Adjusters don't take non-represented claimants seriously. What to do now?

    Police report confirms other driver at fault (rear ender at speed that daisyed into a head on) Soft tissue damage (cuts, head and limb bruises and burns thanks to the air bags that saved my life). Dealing with shock, trauma, anxiety, stress, emo...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    The insurance company is not going to put a reasonable sum on the table until they are faced with the threat of a judgment. This is why most serious injury cases require a trial attorney because then the insurance company appreciates that if they don't make a fair offer the attorney will put the matter before a jury. Most of the time, the insurance company doesn't want that.

    Now, in your situation, while it may not make sense to have an attorney taking a fee and running up costs on a case with little medical bills, you can still put some pressure on the insurance company. You can take their insured to small claims court and get up to $7500.

    The benefit of small claims court is the low costs of bringing the matter to the court and the expeditious manner in which it is handled. You will get to keep the lion's share of your recovery rather than having to spend much of it on litigation costs and attorney fees.

    Here in San Diego the court has done a great job of explaining the process and providing forms on-line. Hopefully the Oakland Courts have done the same thing.

    Once in court, you can use your medical records and bills to evidence your injuries. You may not be able to use the traffic collision report as evidence, but see if you can get a declaration from the officer or any witnesses listed in the report to establish liability.

    Good luck!

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  • The other driver is at fault but has no insurance. Is it worthwhile to sue them?

    I was in an accident and was found to not be at fault. The other driver does not have any insurance, but I need more money for my medical expenses than my insurance has provided. Is it worthwhile to sue them? Or is it a waste of my time?

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    There is much more that needs to be examined. A consultation with an attorney will be free and, after providing the attorney with more information, you will get a better sense of your options. The first thing I would suggest is checking your own auto coverage to see what your uninsured/underinsured bodily injury limits are. The State requires an insurer to provide you with at least $15,000 in coverage unless you signed a waiver. This coverage will provide you an opportunity for recovery once you establish that the other driver has no insurance.

    Should you decide to consult with an attorney I would recommend getting a copy of the traffic collision report and your own auto insurance declarations page to reference. You should also be able to provide some detail as to the injuries and treatment you have received and expect to receive in the future.

    Good luck.

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  • I would like to know who and/or what type of lawyer would be best? I was rear ended in March 2013 waiting for a red light.

    I was waiting for a Red Light (going straight). A lady had stopped behind me about 10 or so feet, as I had looked in my rear view mirror. Noticing that the arrow for the left turn lane changed green, all of the sudden KABOOM & my lower back to all...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    You need to consult with an experience trial attorney. After reviewing all available documents and getting more information about your medical care required by this accident, they can then provide a plan for resolving the matter for the maximum available to you.

    Prior to the consultation, try to have the traffic collision report handy, your own automobile coverage and any contact information for witnesses and medical providers.

    You will likely require an attorney to achieve the best results.

    Good luck and best wishes for a speedy and full recovery!

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  • Truck rear ended my vehicle causing me lower back and neck injury escalating to severe head aches from my neck.........

    The fault driver rear end of my vehicle, then struck the rear end of my vehicle a second time for some unknown reason. Yet, my lower back injury and especially my neck injury is causing head aches and hasn't let up. I'm waiting for copies of the ...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    There are many factors that go into an injury claim evaluation. You attorney is privy to those issues and any respondent in this forum is not. It would not be very fair for anyone hear to give advise on whether or not you should settle the claim.

    That being said, if you attorney has not so advised you, you should know that you have two years in which to file a lawsuit for your injuries resulting from this accident. That also means that you have time to heal and determine the full extent of your injuries before deciding what amount of settlement would be fair.

    If this accident was fairly recent and you are still in pain, it may be a good idea to wait and see what ultimate prognosis your doctors provide to you.

    Good Luck.

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  • I got into an accident and my girlfriends insurance doesn't cover me.

    So I was hit by a truck while stopped in my car on a road. I was very injured. The police report places full blame on the other driver who was driving a commercial vehicle. I found out, however, that my girlfriends insurance policy does not cov...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    You need to speak to an attorney and provide more information. If you have a copy of your girlfriends insurance policy you will want to provide it to the attorney for review. If you don't have it, start working to get it now.

    The law says that if you do not have insurance on your car and you are hit and injured, then you cannot recover pain and suffering damages. In your case, much more information will need to be provided. The fact that you were in your girlfriends car and that she did have insurance makes the situation less clear.

    Good luck.

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  • Is there a form to fill out to extend the 2 year limit for settling an auto accident claim?

    My time runs out on August 14th, 2013. I'm was wondering if it's too late to get an extension or a lawyer who can help. I was a passenger in an auto accident. I have had to have epidural injections in my neck and surgery to my clavicle and shoulde...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    There is no extension to this deadline. The only way to preserve your claim is to file a lawsuit prior to August 14. I urge you to consult with an attorney for a proper and thorough examination of your claim. There still may be a chance to resolve the claim without filing a lawsuit if you act fast.

    It is a simple fact that the insurance company representing the defendant will never provide you with their best offer until they are faced with the threat of a possible jury trial. That threat doesn't become real until you retain an experienced trial attorney.

    A consultation with a reputable attorney would be free of charge and I promise you will benefit from the meeting even if you don't retain the lawyer.

    Good luck.

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  • I was in a hit an run accident, the guy hit me on my driver side, should I just go through my insurance or get a lawyer?

    I'm not sure what to do, but this guy was caught, and he might have been drunk. Now I had some neck pain and headache, and back pain. Should I just go through my insurance, or should I get a lawyer first? As of now it seems it may be minor my ...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    Your own insurance company may provide you reimbursement for medical expenses, but that is it. If you have other damages from the accident or want compensation for your pain and suffering you will most likely have to go through the insurance of the defendant.

    If you damages are small you could probably handle it yourself and even take them to small claims court if they don't satisfy your demands (up to $7500 if the other driver has insurance - $10,000 if he doesn't).

    If you think your case is worth more than $8000 I would suggest you consult with an injury attorney. The consultation will be free of charge and once they get the complete story and more details regarding your injuries and treatment you will get a more thorough evaluation.

    Good luck.

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  • How long will it take for a pedestrian hit and run case to settle?

    I was parked at a gas station near the air pump, about to get air for the tire. As I was exiting the car, both my feet were on the pavement. As I stood between the driver's door, and the driver's seat, a car backed in to my Van, squeezing me be...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    There are no set time tables in these cases. Three months is certainly not a long time considering the circumstances of your case. I imagine your attorney has provided you some of the following, but it bears repeating:

    You have two years in which to settle the claim without filing a lawsuit. If you don't file a lawsuit within two years of the date of the accident you will lose your rights.

    In the meantime, your lawyer would be doing you a great disservice if they attempted to settle your claim without first fully understanding the damages that you suffered in this accident. This means that the doctors must either release you from care or be able to provide you and your attorney a reliable prognosis before a complete evaluation can be made.

    That being said, if your attorney is comfortable that there are no other avenues of recovery besides the insurance coverage on the offending vehicle, then a settlement may be finalized while you are still treating once it can be established that the value of your claim exceeds the available policy limits.

    I am sorry for what you are going through and wish you the best in your recovery. You were smart to work with a lawyer on this case and I trust they will do well for you.

    Good luck.

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  • Personal Injury Claim, what options do I have a vailable?

    November 2011 I was on vacation from work and excited to be taking my son to school. The parking is horrible so I parked my car before the light . Halfway through the crosswalk ( light was still green) an F150 truck making a left turn, accelerated...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    You need to consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. They will want to review the traffic collision report and get a more thorough description of your medical treatment and quality of life impacts.

    It certainly sounds like you have a claim worth well in excess of the available policy limits, however, an attorney will be able to look for other avenues of recovery, including the possibility of getting some contribution from the driver.

    A consultation should be free of charge and you will get a better idea of the services that the attorney can provide to you.

    I am sorry for what you and your son are going through and hope that you are able to find the justice that you deserve.

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