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Jeffrey Michael Padilla
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Jeffrey Padilla’s Answers

169 total


  • Do I have a case?

    I was in an accident. And the guy I hit. Drove off and ran me over. I have extensive damage to my body. My insurance covered 300,000 in medical bills. But I was told that my insurance has a lien on me, and whatever money I get will go to them first.

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    Yes, you have a case. Much more needs to be determined before any estimate of the success of that case can be evaluated. I suggest you consult with a personal injury attorney for a more thorough review of the facts and circumstances.

    Regarding the lien issue, yes, that is also true. However, there are limits to how much they can take. For example, they should not be able to take all of your recovery if you file a claim against the other driver and receive a judgement or settlement. There is a law in CA that should limit Kaiser's recovery to 1/3 of the net recovery if you are represented by an attorney and often a good attorney can negotiate that figure down even further.

    Again, you would be best served by setting up a free consultation.

    Good Luck!

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  • What should I expect next?

    My father was killed 8-25 by a hit and run drunk driver, he is partly at fault because he was walking but he was killed. The driver who left a bar admits to 6 beers in 2 hours, but it could not be proven that he was drunk at the time because he ra...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    I am terribly sorry for what your family is going through. While I am not a criminal attorney, and I defer all responses in that arena to them, I do believe I have some information that could be useful to you.

    While the other driver is likely going to prison, you still have the option of making a claim against him for the wrongful death of your father. If the driver had little or no insurance and no assets worth pursuing, you do have another option in the civil arena. You can pursue any available coverage under your father's automobile insurance.

    Find out if you father had auto coverage. If so, call and request a copy of his declarations page. This will provide you with an inventory of the coverages he purchased and the policy limits of each. Look for "Uninsured Motorist Coverage" and find out how much he had.

    If the other driver had insurance, then you must subtract the amount of his coverage from your father's uninsured motorist coverage to come to the amount available to his heirs. For example, if your father had $100,000 in uninsured motorist coverage and the other driver had $15,000, then you have $85,000 to pursue from your father's insurance after collecting the $15,000 from the other driver.

    You mentioned that your father may share some responsibility. This would impact the uninsured motorist claim, but should not negate it.

    I suggest you contact a personal injury attorney to discuss this if you wish to investigate the option further.

    My condolenses to you and your family. I hope you find answers and justice.

    Good Luck.

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  • My husband and I were in Beverly Hills on the sidewalk when we were run down by a speeding cab.

    We were on holiday from the uk. We were both quite badly injured with permanent scars and fractures. The cab driver ran a red light and was speeding around 50-60 mph. Obviously were in the uk and he is in the USA..how long would you estimate the c...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    You would need to file the claim here and if it went to formal litigation, the jurisdiction would remain California. There are many factors that need to be considered when estimating time and I suggest that you consult with an attorney here in California to get a more clear picture. That being said, I can tell you that a claim can settle fairly quickly or, if it requires a jury trial, could take two or more years to be decided.

    I am very sorry for the horrible injuries that you suffered and hope that you are recovering well. If the facts as you state them are accurate, then liability sounds very clear and the primary issues in resolving the case would be the extent of your injuries and the value placed on all catagories of damages you suffered. Again, for a more complete explanation of your situation more facts would need to be known and I believe you would be well served by consulting with local counsel. Any experienced trial attorney in California could provide a free consultation over the phone.

    Best wishes!

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  • I am taking Hertz to court. I have all the evidence needed.

    Hertz knew the terrible head on collision I was involved in as a passenger. With going threw the windshield, airlifted on life support, torn Aorta, instant comatose, the Hospital had to drill a hole in my skull to release the pressure off my brain...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    I am very sorry for your troubles. It seems that your message got cut off before your question was posted. Bottom line, with the injuries you are dealing with and the circumstances of the accident, you need to consult with an experienced trial attorney as soon as possible. You have two years from the date of the accident to file an injury claim or forever be barred - with rare exceptions - and it sounds like you may be approaching that deadline. Do not wait, contact an attorney as soon as possible. Conslutations are free of charge.

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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?

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    This is likely to be a complex matter and I urge you to consult with an experienced trial attorney.

    The short answer to your questions is, yes. You will be able to claim lost wages and pain and suffering. Your claim will be against both the driver and the company.

    There are so many variables that may go into resolving a claim like this that they can't possibly be summarized on this forum. For now, I would recommend you not discuss the claim with a representative of the other driver or their employer until you have at least consulted with an attorney.

    I hope that you are recovering well from the accident and are able to resume your normal activities soon.

    Best wishes.

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  • Car accident insurance and hospital bill question?

    I was in a car accident and went to the ER. I had health insurance and made the co-pay of $50. The total ER bill is $25,000. My health insurance paid about $10,000. The ER now put a lien for $15,000 on my claim against the other driver. Is this le...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    This is a very complex area of law. The Hospital is attempting to "Balance Bill." What is important for you to know is that most reputable insurance companies do not permit balance billing of their insureds. The problem is that the terms are in a contract between the insurance company and your treating facility. It is unlikely that you will ever be provided a copy of that agreement, if one exists. They are guarded like national secrets.

    I suggest contacting your insurance company and let them know what the hospital is doing. If you don't have a copy of your own policy have them provide you one. Make sure it is the complete policy. You then need to review it and see what it says for emergency coverage. There is a chance you could point out to your insurance company that you have paid for indemnification from emergency bills like this and they are in breach if they haven't properly protected you from this exposure. If nothing else, that may get their attention and force them to provide you with a clear understanding of the relationship they have with the hospital in question.

    Sorry I couldn't provide anything more concrete, but like I said, this is a very complex area of law.

    Good luck!

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  • How long after an accident do i have to retain a personal injury lawyer in California?

    I got in an auto accident not my fault and need surgery on my hand have not had the opportunity to retain council its only been 2weeks

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    You have 2 years to file a claim. If you don't file within that time you will be forever barred from any recovery. That being said, it is always best to get an attorney involved as soon as possible. The attorney will protect you from any missteps with the insurance companies and help you manage the claim and potential litigation. A consultation is free and will be very informative. I would encourage you to contact someone as soon as possible to review the accident and all potential claims you have available to you.

    I hope that you are recovering well and wish you the best as you move forward.

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  • My questions is should I go through my Insurance company or have a lawyer handle my uninsured accident case?

    I was involved in a auto accident that injured both my wife and I. I suffered 5 broken ribs and my wife broke her wrist and had multiply bruises from the seat belt. The condition of the accident were, we were going to visit a friend and make a lef...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    A lawyer will always ensure your interests are thoroughly protected. However, to answer you question more directly, you may not need the attorney. You and your wife suffered serious injury and I am certain have had your quality of life dramatically impacted as a result. If you policy limits are small, your insurance company may not dispute a claim for those full limits.

    Despite the simplicity of collecting the claim, there may be other pitfalls to watch for. Your health insurance may claim a right of reimbursement, but may not be entitled to one. Your insurance company may claim that you were at fault and try to minimize their exposure. Consulting with an attorney and providing a more complete picture will help you make the right decision. At the very least, you may decide you want any attorney but can negotiate a reduced fee if the recovery of the policy limits seems all but certain.

    Good luck!

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  • Does uninsured motorist coverage the same as underinsured motorist coverage?

    I was in an accident and my medical bills are over $40k. The other driver's policy limit is $15K. My policy has uninsured motorist coverage of $15k. Does my uninsured motorist coverage kick in? What do I do about the remaining $10k plus that I wou...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    Yes, your uninsured motorist coverage is the same as underinsured coverage. However, here in California your insurance coverage does not "stack" on top of the third party coverage. Your insurance receives an offset for any amount recovered from the other driver. They would also receive an offset for any benefit received from your employer if this was a work injury.

    Unfortunately, under these circumstances it appears that the $15,000 that you have in your own coverage will be negated after subtracting the $15,000 from the other driver.

    If you have medical bills outstanding you can attempt to negotiate the total owed to a manageable sum, or you could set up a payment plan. If you have health insurance, they should be responsible for any charges. However, they would then likely be entitled to a portion of your recovery from the other driver. They would not be able to take it all though.

    Before accepting the policy limits from the other driver, you will want to make sure there are no other possible recovery sources. For example, confirm that the other driver was not working at the time of the accident. If he was in the course and scope of employment, then you could pursue the employer for a full recovery.

    Good luck.

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  • 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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