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S. David Rosenthal Esquire
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S. Rosenthal’s Answers

1,426 total


  • Should I release policy limits for an at-fault accident?

    Over a year ago I was deemed at-fault for an accident. Now my insurance tells me a claimant's attorney is requesting me to release my policy limits. I have liability insurance, and have reason to believe the claimant's expenses will exceed the lim...

    S.’s Answer

    I believe that the best policy is to release the policy limit. If the medical bills alone exceed your liability policy limit, you insurance is probably going to offer the policy limit to the other attorney eventually. In exchange for payment of the policy limit, your insurance company will insist on a release of all claims from the injured party that will cut off any further liability on your part for additional damages arising from the incident. That's a good thing for you. Be prepared for the attorney to ask for a declaration indicating you do not own money or assets that will satisfy a higher settlement or judgment.

    Good luck.

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  • I was injured in an auto accident by a driver operating a company vehicle. Is my lawsuit against the driver, the company or both

    I was rear-ended in the collision. My injury is ongoing and I have been out of work several weeks. Will I be able to recoup lost wages and pain/suffering in a lawsuit?

    S.’s Answer

    The driver that hit you was negligent and is liable to you for all past and future medical expenses, lost income and pain and suffering caused by the collision. Assuming he was actually working for the company at the time, i.e., "in the course and scope of his emploment", the company will also be "vicariously" liable for all of your damages. More than likely there was a commercial liability policy that will provide a good amount of insurance coverage for your losses. If there is a lawsuit, it would be against both the driver and the company.

    You may want to talk to a good personal injury attorney about your case in more detail to know your rights and options.

    Good luck.

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  • I was in a auto accident the other parties insurance has accepted fault. How do I find out how much insurance she has w/o lawye

    The insurance co has agreed to pay medical, damage to my car and all medical expences. But they wont tell me how much liability insurance she has. If she only carries $15000/$30,000 it is not worth getting an attorney. However, if she carries more...

    S.’s Answer

    The most you can do is ask that the insurer disclose the policy limit. Try something like this: "I hereby request that you obtain your insured’s permission to disclose his/her third party liability policy limits with respect to the above claim and confirm the same to us in writing. (See Boicourt v. Amex Assurance Co. (2000) 78 Cal.App.4th 1390.) "

    Otherwise, the best approach is to make an effective time limited liability policy limit demand. You may think you don't need an attorney, but unless you know how to do this yourself or figure out how to do it yourself, then you need a good attorney to maximize your recovery. If you are worried about how much the fee is, then negotiate to pay less if the case settles with only a policy limit demand.

    Good luck.

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  • How can I get a lawyer that does not REQUIRE cash up front, sounds expens?expensive. Do i give driver my insurance information?

    This seems complicated. I told the other driver I would call him back. Do I give him my mothers insurance information? Are there any attorneys that can take there pay out of whatever is paid to me? I dont understand how all this should work.

    S.’s Answer

    With regard to to insurance information, the best way to proceed is to report the accident to any insurance company that may have provided insurance coverage for your vehicle and give it the information regarding the other driver. It can then conduct its investigation. I suggest that you do not give a statement to the other person's insurance company. If you have been injured, you should constul with a good California personal injury attorney. Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they do not charge any money up front and take their fee as a percentage of any recovery.

    Good luck.

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  • What are my options if I get into a car accident and I don't have insurance but other driver is 100% at fault

    I, being the person that dose not have a stop sign in a neighbor 4 way intersection, I Travel back and forth on this road for many years. Having the right away i continue to my speed of 10 - 15 mph (do to snow on the ground). As I am twenty ft fro...

    S.’s Answer

    It sounds like this person is legally liable for all of the damage caused to you by the collision, including damage to your car and any damage to bodily injury. In California, the fact that you did not have insurance would not affect your ability to recovery your property damage but would affect your right to recovery pain and suffering damages (but not medical or lost income.) You should check to see if Minnesota penalizes you in any way for not having insurance.

    For your car, you are entitled either to cost of repair or fair market value of the car if the repair cost will exceed 50-60% of the vehicle's value. You are also entitled to towing and reimbursement of rental expense or loss of use.

    For injuries, you would be entitled to all past and future medical expenses, lost income and pain and suffering caused by the collision.

    You should probably at least consult with a Minnesota attorney about your rights.

    Good luck.

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  • I panicked and gave false information in a car accident two days ago. What can I do to remedy it?

    I am behind on my insurance payments. I want to correct my mistake.

    S.’s Answer

    Gave false information to whom? Giving false information to the police or an insurance company, it may be a crime and you should probably talk to a criminal defense attorney before doing anything. If you gave false information to a private person, you can probably correct it by contacting them and explaining that you panicked and gave incorrect information and providing the corrected information.

    Good luck.

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  • If you are injured and lose wages in a car accident, are you entitled to gross pay or net pay? I am an hourly employee.

    i work as a union electrician for a company in california and am paid hourly. the responsible insurance carrier has stated they will only reimburse my lost wages of 80% due to the fact that this is what i NET. they said they dont owe me 100% or g...

    S.’s Answer

    You are entitled to recovery of your gross wages. California's jury instruction on lost income is contained in CACI 3903c, and simply reads as follows:

    California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI) - 3903C. Past and Future Lost Earnings (Economic Damage)

    [Insert number, e.g., "3."] [Past] [and] [future] lost earnings.

    [To recover damages for past lost earnings, [name of plaintiff] must prove the amount of [insert one or more of the following: income/earnings/salary/wages] that [he/she] has lost to date.]

    [To recover damages for future lost earnings, [name of plaintiff] must prove the amount of [insert one or more of the following: income/earnings/salary/wages] [he/she] will be reasonably certain to lose in the future as a result of the injury.]

    If you were only entitled to your net, the jury instruction would spell that out.

    Good luck.

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  • There was a car that was hit at my auto shop i have the drivers info i called maif and found out his insurance was cancelled.

    I called the police and they advised that i waited to long to report it. I told them i was under the impression that as long as there was no injury to report that all we had to do was change drivers information. I have the persons name address l...

    S.’s Answer

    It is possible that you have some commercial insurance that would cover this loss. Also, there may be collision coverage on the vehicle that was hit that would pay the loss. If either of these insurers pays, they can pursue subrogation recovery from the individual.

    If there is no other insurance and if he in fact does not have insurance, then you are left with the prospect of suing the individual. The problem typically becomes whether you will actually collect on any judgment you obtain and whether it would be worth your time and expense in obtaining the judgment in the first place. You can consider small claims if your loss is within the jurisdictional limit, or speak to an attorney.

    Good luck.

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  • I lost control of my vehicle on ice and the jeep ended on its side I was charged but were dismissed can I get pain and suffering

    I lost control and slid and ended up on its side. It was a no fault accident. I want to sue for pain and suffering. Can I?

    S.’s Answer

    Who would you sue? Unless there was someone who had a duty of maintaining the roadway in an ice free condition where this happened, I doubt that there is a viable person or entity to sue. Most public entities would have immunity from that kind of suit. If you sustained serious physical injuries however, it would be worth talking to a Colorado personal injury attorney about your options.

    Good luck.

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  • Being sued after a fender bender- how do I know what happened after she left the scene?

    I am being sued over a minor (under $500 in damage to her vehicle, a cop doing radar clocked me going about 5 mph at impact) fender bender after rear-ending someone roughly two years ago. She refused medical treatment at the scene and even signed...

    S.’s Answer

    The good news is that you have very good insurance coverage and your insurance company must pay for the defense of your case. Although no one can tell you for sure at this point, it is virtually certain that your insurance company will settle this claim within your policy limit (i.e., for $300k or less), resulting in a release of any further claims against you and resulting in no out of pocket loss to you. If your insurance company suspects that there is a likelihood of a judgment exceeding the policy limit, they must advise you accordingly and give you an opportunity to retain your own independent counsel. In the meantime, you should be able to discuss that likelihood with the insurance lawyer.

    As the plaintiff in the lawsuit, the other person has the burden of proving all of her injuries and damages. Most insurance defense lawyers (lawyers hired by insurance companies), are very good at investigating the claims people injured in accidents and developing evidence that will refute their claim. In your case, the fact that this is a low impact accident and that she did not appear hurt at the time will work in favor of reducing the value of the claim. There may be other things that will work in favor of a settlement well within the policy limit.

    In sum, your insurance should provide plenty of protection for you.

    Good luck.

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