I was hit by a car as I was walking down the cross-walk. The light changed as I was half-way through the cross-walk. The driver gave his information along with his Insurance policy #. It turns out that the driver's insurance lapsed the same month the incident occurred. I'm currently in a wheelchair as I have sustained several injuries, I've had to withdraw from classes because I have missed so much. I'm not sure what to expect at this point, I've tried contacting the driver myself but it seems as if he gave a false phone number. Any information is greatly appreciated!
You need a personal injury lawyer ASAP. The consultation will always be free so call many of us and choose the lawyer with whom you feel most comfortable. So sorry to hear of your injuries.
Nothing in this answer is to be interpreted as legal advice. I would need more facts to fully assess your case. This does not establish an attorney-client relationship.
Get local personal injury counsel involved as they can track down the car owner. There may be difficulty in collecting from him based on his assets but your damages/injuries demand that you try.
I agree with the other attorneys who have responded to your question. You need to talk to a local personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. You may still be able to make a recovery - either from the driver's assets or potentially from your own auto insurance company (depending on the details of your policy). Given the extent of your injuries, you should consult with a lawyer - free of charge - to find out more. If you need help finding a lawyer, you can use AVVO's Find a Lawyer tool or you can contact your local bar association. I wish you a full and fast recovery from your accident injuries.
You really need to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. Most if not all provide free consultations. If you have auto insurance, you may be able to proceed under the uninsured motorist provisions of your policy. Do not delay, and do not try to do this yourself without counsel.
Whether or not the light had changed the driver still must yield the right of way to a pedestrian. You as a pedestrian are covered by your automobile insurance uninsured motorist coverage, so file a claim if you have it, it does not affect your rates, insurability, etc. If non then get a personal injury attorney and go against the driver for your damages.
If he didn't have insurance, then you will have a difficult time collecting from him. You might try the Crime Victim's Compensation Board, although I din't know if it applies to these facts. http://www.vcgcb.ca.gov/victims/howtoapply.aspx. You might also look for coverage under your UIM coverage or your parents' UIM coverage (since you are a student, you might be eligible for coverage under your parents' polilcy) in the respective auto policies. You should consider retaining an attorney to investigate these options for you.
I am not your attorney and don't know anything about your problem. Do not rely on my response other than as information used to hire an actual attorney.
1. First and foremost, I would like to express my empathy and condolences to you.
2. Assuming that the automobile accident occurred in the State of California, in which city and county did the automobile accident occur?
3. On what date did the automobile accident occur?
4. As a result of the automobile accident, what injury or injuries did you suffer?
5. Is there a police report? If not, in my professional opinion, I believe that you should contact the police and have a police report made.
6. More facts would be needed with respect to how the automobile accident occurred.
7. In my professional opinion, I believe that you should consult with a licensed California car accident/personal injury attorney so that you can receive the best legal advice possible.
8. In my professional opinion, I believe that you would need to find out if the opposing party has uninsured motorist coverage through his or her automobile insurance.
A big piece of this is whether the car driver is the same as the car owner. If not, you may have multiple defendants to target. Also, do the police know of the accident? Was there a police report? If yes, then the police would have his contact information. If not, did you get his license plate and driver's license number? He can be tracked that way. Also, once you hire an attorney, your attorney can seek copies of video recordings from nearby businesses. You should not delay in hiring an attorney. These tapes get routinely deleted quickly.
The above answer should not be considered and does not constitute legal advice. You should not rely on any of this advice because each case is fact specific and could be subject to different local, state, and federal laws. No attorney-client relationship exists based on this response.
A person who is hit by a vehicle in a crosswalk and is now wheelchair bound should be more focused on getting better than worrying about how to sue and who to sue... there are attorneys, and lots of them, who will do that hard work... the victim here should hire an attorney to handle the non-medical side of this mess, and spend his or her time on getting the best medical care. Fortunately, most of us personal injury types offer free consultations and take such cases on contingency no matter where the case is in California, so there is nothing to fear in calling us.
* Dr. Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D. (Attorney and Physician) ** This post and all others I make on Internet are for informational purposes only. None of the information or materials I post are legal advice. Nothing I post as comments, answers, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. While I try to be accurate, I do not guarantee accuracy. *** Fransen & Molinaro, LLP practices in the areas of defective drug and medical device litigation, medical malpractice, personal injury, health supplement litigation, and real estate law and does so anywhere in the State of California. **** If you enjoy my posts, enjoyed a consultation with me, or are a happy satisfied client, please give me an Avvo recommendation/review.
The driver may have insurance, but if it was lapsed, it's key that you had some kind of auto insurance. If you did and had UM, that might be an avenue for recovery. Also a question if the other driver had assets.
If the person that hit you is uninsured, you could pursue your own insurance policy uninsured motorist coverage. If you don't have uninsured motorist coverage you could run an asset check on the person that hit you to see if you can recover against them personally. If the person has no assets and no insurance you could be in trouble without uninsured motorist coverage. Because he gave you his name and insurance policy number, you may have enough information to track him down. There are a lot of investigation services who could run a skip trace on him and find him and his information and run an asset check. If he has significant assets, you should consult with a personal injury attorney. Attorneys that take these kinds of cases do so on a contingency fee basis so you won't have to pay anything unless there is a recovery.
This response is unverified and meant to provide general information. It does not constitute legal advice and in no way establishes or offers to establish an attorney-client relationship. If representation is sought, contact your local attorney bar association.
Sorry to hear that you were injured so badly. Hopefully good medical treatment and time will heal all.
There is sometimes more than one way to find coverage in cases that seem to be a dead end. Below are some ways that you may be able to be compensated for your injuries. This is not an exhaustive list, just a starting off point.
If you have uninsured motorist (UM) coverage on your automobile policy, then you should be able to invoke that coverage in this situation. If you do not have UM coverage but a member of your household does have UM coverage on his/her policy, and if you're not excluded on your household member's policy, then you should be able to invoke that coverage in this instance as well.
You need not be an occupant of a car involved in a collision. You need only demonstrate that you were injured as a result of the uninsured motorist's neglect.
You may also be able to invoke medical payments coverage under your own or a household member's automobile coverage (subject to the same proviso stated above).
Another avenue of recovery may apply: If the driver that hit you was in the course and scope of his or her employment at the time of the accident you would be able to go after his/her employer who should have a commercial liability policy covering automobile accidents.
An attorney can run an asset search on the uninsured driver. Although they may not be insured they may have sufficient assets which can be pursued.
It could also be that the driver's insurance lapsed due to a mistake on the part of the insurance carrier (unlikely, but possible) and that, in the end, the policy did not actually lapse.
If there have been multiple similar accidents at the same location then you may have a claim against the government for a dangerous road condition/design (governmental claims must be made within a limited time frame the scope of which should be addressed by an attorney).
Your injuries sound severe enough that a consultation with an experienced attorney who will leave no stone unturned could be of great benefit to you.
Good luck and I wish you Godspeed in your recovery.
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