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John Winston Phillips

John Phillips’s Answers

173 total


  • My wife was found to be partially at fault for an auto accident and we are both being sued. Will I be liable for damages?

    We live in California where the accident occurred and are are both named in the lawsuit. We have separate finances but file taxes jointly and our house is in my name only. We have no debt except for the mortgage, two auto loans, and wife’s student...

    John’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    As the other attorneys have noted, the plaintiff needs to articulate a specific theory of liability to obtain a judgment against you personally--simply being the spouse of someone who was negligent does not make you liable. However, even if you are not found liable for the plaintiff's damages, the assets you share jointly with your wife are subject to seizure or levy if you lack adequate insurance to cover the judgment.

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  • What should I do

    Hello. Yesterday I was hit from behind on the freeway. I was completely stopped (as in not moving) for two seconds when someone hit me from behind. It messed up my bumper and we exchanged information. Today, I called his insurance and filed a clai...

    John’s Answer

    Do you have uninsured motorist coverage? If you do, you can make a claim for your bodily injuries with your own insurance company. You should also check to see if you have collision coverage.

    As mentioned above, you should consider suing the person who hit you directly. Unfortunately, odds are that if this guy was unable to pay his insurance he probably doesn't have much in the way of assets to satisfy a judgment against him.

    (818) 348-9515
    http://johnphillipslaw.com
    http://thecaliforniainjuryblog.com

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  • What the passenger can do when got into an accident?

    I was a passenger in my friend's car and we got an accident. I hurt my leg and I want to know who gonna take care of this? Is that depending on which driver is at fault? I should ask compensation from my friend's insurance company or the other dri...

    John’s Answer

    Who you can recover from depends on who was at fault for the accident. Sometimes, liability is divided between the drivers involved in the crash. In that case, you would have a claim against both your friend's insurance company and the third party's insurance company and damages would be apportioned according to fault. In short, the answer to your question is highly fact-specific. I would advise immediately retaining an attorney. He or she will determine the applicable limits of coverage and whether either policy provides for medpay.

    Please feel free to contact me with any questions at (818) 348-9515.

    http://www.johnphillipslaw.com
    http://www.thecaliforniainjuryblog.com

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  • Accident Happened 2 yrs and 2 months ago, being sued now!

    I rear ended a car March 09, 2009 on rush hour in Los Angeles. There were hardly any damages except for my front plates bent a little. No signs of dent to the other party and no personal injury that require Paramedics. During the time of the acci...

    John’s Answer

    The above attorney is correct. You were misinformed. The requirement is not service within two years, but filing within two years. If it were the latter, defendants could conceivably cause the statute of limitations to run simply by avoiding service for a long enough time.

    http://johnphillipslaw.com
    (818) 348-9515

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  • My daughter was caught ditching and petty theft (less than $50) i get a settlement from H&M to pay them $500. what should I do?

    how much will the truancy charge be and will I need a lawyer for this type of case?

    John’s Answer

    The above attorney is correct that the civil demand you received has nothing to do with the criminal proceedings that have been initiated against your daughter. You didn't specify whether your daughter is below the age of majority. This will often affect how petty theft is prosecuted. If it is her first offense,, it is very likely that a deal can be made to reduce the charge to at least an infraction. She will probably also have to do some sort of community service.

    http://johnphillipslaw.com
    (818) 348-9515

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  • Legal Liability- Accident while driving uninsured vehicle

    My nephew was in a car accident driving a friends vehicle, which was unknown to him, uninsured. He owns his own vehicle which is insured. The friends parents now want him to pay for her loss of vehicle, is he liable?

    John’s Answer

    Nowhere in your question do you state whether your nephew was at fault for the accident. If a third party was responsible for causing the accident and not your nephew, your nephew cannot be liable for the damage to the vehicle and the friend's parents should pursue compensation through the at-fault third-party.

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  • What does this mean? BENCH WARRANT ISSUED AND HELD UNTIL 06/29/2011. BAIL SET AT $50000.00. MAY NOT FORFEIT.REASON: 3-FTA ON O.R

    will i be arrested? will they not give me bail if im re arrested?

    John’s Answer

    You will be arrested unless you go to court immediately and get this cleared up with the judge. If you do so, you may also be able to negotiate a lower bail at your bail hearing. In general, California law gives judges a lot of discretion in regard to setting, modifying, or eliminating your bail. Judges will consider a number of factors in setting your bail, such as the violent or non-violent nature of the offense and your past criminal history. It is highly advisable to hire an attorney to help you clear up this matter and represent you on any pending charges. Feel free to contact me with any questions.

    http://johnphillipslaw.com
    (818) 348-9515

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  • Do I stand A chance hiring a lawyer for dui dismissal

    Officer pulled me over because a trunk was tailgating me and the person in the truck called my passengers cell phone. He thought it was suspicious. Also I failed to turn right on a red light were there is a sign posted stop on red. He told me most...

    John’s Answer

    There are a number of theories upon which you can get a DUI case thrown out, and many other ways that you can mitigate the consequences of the charge. An officer needs to have probable cause that you have committed a violation of the law to pull you over. I'm not sure that I understand the truck/phone call thing that you are describing, but failing to turn right on a red light where a right turn is optional does not to me sound like probable cause to me. This is one way that an attorney could attack the DA's case. There are probable several others.

    What was your blood alcohol percentage? Is this your first DUI? Do you have a record of any other driving offenses? The answers to all of these questions will affect what sort of plea deal the DA would be willing to offer in your case. A skilled attorney might be able to get the charge reduced to a "wet reckless" (alcohol related reckless driving, less serious than a DUI) or even better, a simple reckless driving. Again, this will depend on your blood alcohol percentage and your driving and criminal history. Nothing can be guaranteed.

    There are many ways that you can benefit from hiring an attorney to handle this matter. If you'd like to discuss this with me further please do not hesitate to give me a call.

    http://johnphillipslaw.com
    (619) 491-0803

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  • I was diagnosed with a deep bone bruise in my arm. Is this something for which I should consult an atty? [California]

    Hello - Slip and fall in a supermarket, slipped on wet floor and fell onto the side of a produce bin. Produce manager had already been notified that there was a spill that need cleaning about 1/2 hour earlier by other shoppers. My question, ...

    John’s Answer

    I am an Agoura resident myself and am probably familiar with the grocery store that you were injured at.

    I agree with the above posters that it would be advisable to hire an attorney in this matter. This is because it may be difficult to get the grocery store to take your claim seriously without one. An attorney may also recognize legal theories that expand the value of your claim.

    In general, premises liability claims such as this one are difficult to win because the plaintiff needs to demonstrate that the property owner--in this case the grocery store--was aware of the dangerous condition and neglected to repair it. It's very fortunate if you can prove that a manager was aware of the wet floor 1/2 hour before you fell. This makes your case rather strong.

    Continue seeking whatever treatment necessary for your injuries and feel free to give me a call if you have any questions.

    http://johnphillipslaw.com
    (818) 348-9515

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  • Can 4 trys at blowing into a breathalyser build up the reading falsly?

    After 3 inadequate blows into a breathayser, would the 4th one show an elevated reading due to a build up of alcohol from the previous unsuccessful attempts?

    John’s Answer

    A number of things can skew the reading of a breathalyzer test. For example, studies have shown that holding your breath immediately prior will result in a falsely elevated reading. On the other hand, hyperventilating before taking the test will often result in a falsely lower reading. Taking the test within 15 minutes of drinking will also produce a higher result. Point is, yes, it is entirely possible that multiple blows affected your breathalyzer exam.

    If you plan to argue the validity of the test, you need an experienced attorney to request the breathalyzer calibration records and present your evidence in a persuasive and organized way before the court. Even a first DUI is serious business, so this is not a time to screw around. Have you requested a hearing with the DMV to contest your license suspension? You have ten days!

    http://johnphillipslaw.com
    (619) 491-0803

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