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

Los Angeles, CA |

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 and struck my son and I. I tried to run but the truck was too fast. I managed to try to push my son out of the way but he was still struck . He was thrown about 10 ft on to the pavement and I was thrown about 40 ft. as a result I had a dislocated elbow, fractured rib and brusing ,swelling and bleeding. fast forward a few months , I had an MRI done and it revealed significant injuries to my spine. I experience a lot of excruciating back pain. Cannot walk for too long before my hip and leg swells amongst other complications. My sons MRI revealed

fluid in one of his joints (inflamation) the doctor determined it was a result for the accident. He complains about leg pain and cannot walk for long periods of time. The person who hit us has an insurance policy of 30,000 per accident . Ive lost time from work , school , activities(baseball) not to mention the gas to and from appointments, food , and promotions that I have been passed up on. I have kept gas receipts , food etc. Can I go after the driver to pay out of pocket expenses? My injuries are going to affect me for the rest of my life , the quality of life will never be the same I just turned 28 and my son just turned 8 . This man has ruined a big part of my life and I cant ever get that back even if I tried. I want him to pay for his negligence ( was texting while driving in a school zone)

Attorney Answers 19

  1. Best answer

    OMG, sorry to hear about your situation. Godbless that your son is still alive. I hope by now you guys have all of your treatments square away including estimate for future treatments. Have your attorney include that with your damages...

    The Statute of Limitation (SOL) in California for Personal Injury case is 2 yrs. You have two years from date of accident to file a lawsuit. Since it happened in 11/11, you have until 11/13 to file a civil suit. Filing a suit in court will halt the SOL from expiring and protect your claim. Since your son is a minor, he has until he is of age to sue (I believe it's age 18). Maybe you should settle your case FIRST ....and settle your son's case LATER (since the driver might file bankruptcy or is filing bankruptcy). If the drive file bankruptcy now, then you can wait until he has more money and sue him for your son when the guy has money again or wait until your son is 18 to sue the driver. Your son or you on behalf of your son can sue the driver when he is not suspecting a lawsuit. Catch him off guard. It's just a thought.

    Did you get restitution in the criminal case against the driver?

    Your tort options:
    1. Driver's insurance and have the Driver sign a declaration of asset that he does not have anymore.
    and from your own insurance under the UIM coverage.
    2. File a law suit in the Superior Court.

    OR have your current attorney or new attorney simultaneously put in a claim with your insurance and the tortfeasor's insurance, while initiating a lawsuit. That way you are protected since your statute of limitation expires in 11/13. So you have to file a lawsuit with the Court to halt the statute of limitation.

    How do you know if the driver is filing bankruptcy? Tough situation. Maybe the driver is bluffing about filing bankruptcy. If he does, at least you have your insurance and his insurance OR sue him in Court. Filing a case with the court will protect your rights and stop the SOL from expiring.

    Which ever comes first, the settlement with the two insurance company or your lawsuit. If the driver's insurance give you the full 30K, don't sign a release for all claims, just for partial claims, then have the defendant sign a declaration of assets. Have your attorney investigate to his background, he might inherit something valuable... then file a claim with your own insurance.

    If you do not have an attorney or not happy with your attorney, please get an attorney as soon as possible, your SOL is still accruing until you file a lawsuit. You son is a minor so his is tolled until he 18 or you can sue earlier for him as his guardian. PI consultations are free.

    Sorry about your situation. Whatever you decide to do or pursuit, best of luck!

    *Disclaimer: This response does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and I. I am not your lawyer and I am not representing you in the underlying issue stated in your question. The response I have offered is not intended to be relied upon, you should seek out an attorney to assist in this matter. You may contact me directly at (415) 362-6765 ext.120; website: (Attorney for Law Offices of William E. Weiss)

  2. Both of your injuries sound horrible--I'm so sorry this happened to you. You need to contact a local personal injury attorney ASAP (as the statute of limitations is quickly approaching).

    Ms. Berjis is licensed to practice law in the State of California. The laws of your jurisdiction may differ and thus this answer is for informational and educational purposes only and is not to be considered as legal advice. Since all facts are not addressed in the question, this answer could change depending on other significant and important facts. This answer in no way constitutes an attorney-client relationship.

  3. I'm sorry to hear you and your son had such a horrific experience. From what you describe, there is both civil liability on the part of the truck driver and significant injuries which need both present and future medical treatment. You would absolutely be best served to retain an attorney to assist you prior to making any statements to any insurance representatives. Our office has significant experience with pedestrian accident claims and would be glad to try to help.

    Nothing in this communication should be construed as creating an attorney client relationship. This is for informational purposes only. Attorney will take no action on your behalf unless and until a written retainer agreement is signed. There are strict time deadlines on filing claims and, as such, you are advised to consult with and retain an attorney immediately to file such claims timely or you will lose any right to recovery. Any testimonials or endorsements should not be construed as a guarantee, warranty or prediction of the outcome of your case.

  4. Your options are too numerous to discuss in this forum. You need to call a personal injury attorney in your area. You need to do this ASAP because there is a 2 year statute of limitations for this type of claim. That means, if you wait until 2 years after the event, you will lose all rights to file a lawsuit.

  5. I am sorry to hear about the accident. The statute of limitations in California for personal injury claims is 2 years. You should consult with personal injury attorneys without delay if you and your son are interested in pursuing a claim against the driver.

    This information is not intended as legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship between you and any attorney. Such information is intended for general informational purposes only.

  6. You have until the two year anniversary to either resolve your claim or file a lawsuit, which will give you an add'l 5 years. Your son has until his 20th birthday. Your auto policy may also offer coverage if the driver doesn't have enough insurance. You certainly need a lawyer due to the severity of your injuries.

    Jeffrey D. Bohn
    (559) 304-1549 direct line to me
    Statewide Attorney
    Over 10 wins in 10 counties!
    Million Dollar Advocates Forum

  7. 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.

    This response applies to California Law only and does not create any legal relationship between the attorney and the person who submitted the question.

  8. It is not a coincidence or a conspiracy that every is suggesting you get to an attorney. You really need to retain someone to help you explore your options. Note that you likely have only a two year statute of limitations on your case which should run in November 2013. Don't wait any longer. What happened to you and your son is awful and I hope you are able to get properly compensated.

  9. Why don't you set up a consult with Ms. Berjis? Be sure to have your auto insurance policy declarations of coverage available for the coverage you had at the time of the accident.

  10. You need to promptly consult with an attorney. Many offices like ours offer a no cost consultation. You will need to determine what assets are available from the defendant and what coverages you have for uninsured motorist (same as underinsured motorist) . If the police came and confirmed the texting issue than follow-up with the investigating officer and the DA for criminal prosecution. You can recover additional monies through a criminal restitution hearing.

  11. If you have Uninsured motorists coverage make sure that they are notified. Otherewise a lot more info is needed to comment.

  12. Do you have auto insurance that might cover excess over the 30 K (underinsured coverage)? You do need to protect the statute of limitation a.s.a.p. unless you already settled for the 30 K.

  13. You still have some options to collect more than the policy max. It may require bringing a law suit personally against the driver. From what you have written, this option should be explored with an attorney that can review all of the facts and help you make the right descisions on how to proceed.

  14. Get a good personal injury lawyer with a low contingency fee.

  15. You must call a personal injury attorney right away. You are going to have to go after the driver's assets and other liability insurance coverage that he might have. Obviously, you and your son are entitled to more than the $30,000 coverage available especially given your permanent injuries that you claim. A personal injury attorney will investigate the F150 truck driver and advise you of the right course of action. Best of luck !!!

  16. It is much more difficult to go after the personal assets of an individual responsible for your injuries. One other option is to file a claim with your own insurance company. I hope your recovery goes well. This is a tough situation for both you and your son.

  17. To supplement the excellent advise given you by my colleagues, a criminal prosecution should have been pursued and it would have entitled you at the prosecutor's expense to get an award of your economic losses (e.g., lost earnings, medical expenses). Whether or not it was illegal to text and drive then, the driving was reckless and thus criminal. Look to see if the driver was conducting business on someone's behalf. Lastly, complain to the Governor and your representatives in the State Legislature that stale State law (the same my entire 33 years in practice) should be radically upgraded to increase the minimum policy limits from $15,000 for a single victim and $30,000 for multiple victims per collision to something meaningful, perhaps 10 times that amount. Lastly, I cannot figure out the geography and actions you try to describe through your words "I parked my car before the light . Halfway through the crosswalk ( light was still green) an F150 truck making a left turn".

  18. Why have you waited so long to contact attorneys. If you do not file suit by Nov. 2013 you will lose your right to sue.

    No attorney/client relationship is or shall be created by this response on Avvo to non-clients of The Law Offices of Norman Gregory Fernandez.

  19. First of all, I am very sorry that you and your son were injured so badly. Secondly, I would strongly suggest that you contact a Los Angeles based personal injury attorney to discuss this matter with. My law office and others here in the Los Angeles area has experience with these type of pedestrian accident claims. Most Los Angeles personal injury attorneys such as myself, provide a free initial consultation. Why not contact a couple of attorneys and then select the one you feel comfortable with? You really need to do something quickly due to the Statute of Limitations issue. Contact a personal injury attorney immediately.

    Mr. Crosner is licensed to practice law in California and has been practicing law in California since 1978. The response herein is general legal and business analysis.. It is not intended nor construed to be "legal advice" but rather it is analysis, and different lawyers may analyze this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. See also terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.

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