What our Personal Injury Team Does at Akiva Niamehr LLP

If you were involved in a car accident, slip and fall, pedestrian accident, construction accident, electric scooter accident or any other type of injury causing crash or circumstance that was not your fault, contact our team of Los Angeles personal injury lawyers at Akiva Niamehr LLP.  To find out the full extent of personal injury claims we work on and the types of cases we litigate, you can click here. If you sustained any injuries ranging from a broken hip to a fracture, amputation, brain injury, suffer seizures, epilepsy or have any other life-changing conditions that you must now live with for the rest of your life and your family’s life, please call us today. We want to help.

How We Operate

From our case managers who help schedule your doctor’s appointments and help guide your medical recovery to our attorneys who negotiate your case with the insurance company before litigation, we are a one-stop shop. Our lien negotiators will resolve your medical bills before your case is closed so you do not have to worry about paying off any bills or having enough money to cover everything and still walk away from your legal case with money in your pocket.

Click here to see our client’s testimonials about our work and what we do on a daily basis for our personal injury clients.

Important Documents to Obtain After A Beverly Hills, California Auto Accident

There is a particular document that most people forget when they are involved in an auto accident in Beverly Hills, California. The document is not what you may be thinking of. You see, most people remember to bring some documentation or information when they speak with a car accident attorney. They will remember something like the police report, but they often forget the declaration page that is on their own insurance policy indicating their own policy’s limits and available coverage.

What Is This Declaration Page of an Insurance Policy?

It is a single sheet of paper that can impact the outcome of your lawsuit should you try to pursue one. It has plenty of information for those who know what they are looking at. It is essentially a summary of all of the coverage that you have in your car insurance policy, including property damage, Medical Payments, collision, comprehensive and more. That is important because having some coverage or not can really tilt your case one way or the other in the state of California.

Of course, your attorney once retained will have access and be in most communications with both your own insurance company and the defendant or the at-fault third-party’s insurance company. If you have a copy of your insurance policy at home, you may be able to identify and locate the Declaration page of the policy. You can then take it to your attorney should you meet with them or have a consultation. Our team of car and motorcycle accident lawyers at Akiva Niamehr LLP can obtain a copy of your Declaration page from your own insurance company once retained as your attorney of record. This will allow us to see what coverage is available to you, and advise you regarding the medical treatment you should obtain. This is especially important when the other person involved in the accident is uninsured.

Understanding How Much You Could Potentially Win

Insurance coverage is important in determining how much you could potentially win if your claim or lawsuit is successful. It is also a critical factor in the team’s determination of how much medical treatment should be received. Most attorneys are going to go after the maximum that the other driver’s insurance has them covered for. Your own insurance policy information is important to bring along with you as well, but the other driver’s insurance is critical as well. Your attorney will gather all necessary information from the insurance companies, the DMV, the Police Department, witnesses and anything else they deem necessary to strengthen your claim and case.

Contact our team of established personal injury attorneys for your car accident today and get the legal help you need.

A Discussion About Uninsured Drivers and Medical Payment Insurance Coverage

Many times, you will be driving on a road, freeway or highway and will either be witness to or victim to a car. motorcycle, truck, bicycle or pedestrian accident. Many times one or both vehicles contain injured drivers or passengers. Other times, one or both of the drivers may be uninsured. The question is, what do you do when this happens?

Pursuing An Uninsured Driver

Personal injury litigators would like the public to know that they should not throw their hands up in the air and give up if they happen to be struck by an uninsured driver in a motor vehicle or car accident. The myth is that no one can get any money from an uninsured driver, but Los Angeles personal injury attorneys would like to challenge those claims. They are sometimes able to win money for their clients who were struck by an uninsured motorist.

In the event it is not possible to collect from the uninsured driver’s personal assets, it may be worth pursuing with your own insurance company to obtain the benefits you are entitled to, especially if medical treatment was involved due to bodily injury and harm. This would be covered under your own insurance policy’s Medical Payments Coverage, a clause entitling you to reimbursement for the cost of your medical treatment. However, Medpay is reimbursable, if you do recover or settle with the opposing party’s insurance company. In that case, your own insurance will ask for you to reimburse the Medpay benefits you received. Sometimes, with a good attorney, you can get your own insurance company to waive their reimbursement requirement. All you need is an excellent Akiva Niamehr LLP attorney on your side.

Personal Injury Lawyers who Fight For You

One of the frustrating things about dealing with insurance companies in these situations is that they frequently do not cover everything that is involved in an uninsured motorist accident. They want to cover just the property damage that can be seen on the vehicle for example. What this means is that they try to wiggle out of having to pay for things such as pain and suffering and other intangible monetary damages to which you may be entitled. These are real things that need to be compensated for as well. In order to make the most out of a bad situation, all drivers are encouraged to seek out the professional help of Los Angeles personal injury attorneys at Akiva Niamehr LLP. It is the only way to ensure you are receiving justice for the harm that occurred to you or a loved one while obtaining fair and appropriate compensation for your bodily injury, medical treatment, lost wages and pain and suffering. When spouses are involved, a loss of consortium claim may also be presented to the insurance company adjuster.

How Does Negligence Work In A Court Of Law?

There is a lay person’s definition of the word negligence, and then there is the definition of this action as it relates to what holds up in court. Personal injury lawyers frequently investigate if the incident that is being described to them by a potential client seems to fit into the category of someone who has literally committed negligence or not. Car accident lawyers will not proceed with a case in California if they do not think that it will reach the legal definition of negligence at the very least. Aggravated forms of negligence that will definitely be less difficult to prove in court include recklessness such as felony drunk driving.

What Is Negligence?

In a strict sense this means that the offending party did not act with the necessary care to perform the action that they were taking at a necessary time and as a result, someone ended up getting hurt.  Negligence can be present in dog bite attacks, premises liability cases, drunk driver accidents, pedestrian accidents, car accidents, construction accidents, burn injuries  and more. In a car accident scenario, this can mean that they were doing something such as talking or texting on their cell phone while driving or failing to act as a reasonable person would under the circumstances. An automatic or inferred assumption of negligence, called negligence per se,  is arrived at when a California Vehicle Code Section is violated. This is why police reports also become a critical factor in a negligence or recklessness determination. For instance, if the officer cited the other party for driving at an unsafe speed which is California Vehicle Code section 22350, then an inference of negligence already exists. In more serious accidents that involve a car getting totaled, a person being taken to the hospital for serious injuries, negligence is somewhat easier to prove when one looks at the property damages and bodily injury that resulted, especially where more than one person was injured.

Since many different scenarios can occur and do occur, it is best to contact one our fine car accident litigators at Akiva Niamehr LLP to discuss your case.

How is Negligence Proven by Our Car Accident Attorneys at Akiva Niamehr LLP?

Our law firm is going to look at each individual case that comes before it to try to determine if one of our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys can make your claim a successful one. Proving this means showing a number of elements to the court.

One has to show that the other driver had a duty of care that they were expected to uphold. They must also prove that the offending individual breached that legal duty that was placed in them when they acted in a certain manner or failed to take certain actions. Finally, it must be shown that the negligence was what caused the accident and injuries as a result. These are all high bars to get over, but that is why it is just so important to have a talented attorney who has succeeded on such claims for his clients. Click here to learn about the track record of our attorneys at Akiva Niamehr LLP on a wide array of legal cases including motorcycle accidents, premises liability cases, automobile accidents and more.

Why is it Critical to Purchase Auto Insurance? California Proposition 213 is the Answer

Enacted in 1996, Proposition 213 limits the entitlement of those who are injured in an auto-accident to economic damages alone… if the injured driver was not carrying automobile liability insurance at the time of the accident.

Typically, those drivers who have valid insurance and are injured in an automobile accident are entitled to recover both economic damages as well as non-economic damages. If you are a passenger in a vehicle with a driver that is uninsured, this law does not affect or apply to you.

Economic Damages

What are economic damages? They are easy to calculate because they are costs that have been incurred or have yet to be incurred. These include medical expenses both past and future, lost wages or loss of income, property damage, towing, rental and more.
Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages typically include pain and suffering, disfigurement, loss of use, disability, and mental anguish, or impaired quality of life. These damages are harder to calculate as they are less evident and may require expert testimony and assessment to prove.

If you are the driver of an uninsured vehicle, and you are involved in an accident that is not your fault, then you will not be able to collect non-economic damages.

Exceptions and Exemptions To Prop 213

Luckily, California law does provide exceptions for the recovery of non-economic damages for those without valid insurance.

If the at-fault driver was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (i.e. DUI), then the injured driver may be entitled to non-economic damages regardless of whether he or she had auto insurance at the time of the accident.

If the injured party is a passenger of the non-insured vehicle, then the passenger may also be entitled to non-economic damages even if the non-insured driver is exempt.

In either case, it is important to retain the services of a personal injury attorney to fight for your rights.

How Necessary is Auto Insurance?

The bottom-line for drivers: Make sure the vehicles you drive have valid insurance. You don’t want to be the victim of an auto accident and find you can’t collect for continuing impairments to your mental, physical and financial health.

Click here to learn about other types of personal injury accidents that are not limited to car accidents.

Pedestrian Motorist Accidents

You’re walking along, minding your business, humming the tune of a Natalie Cole song. When… flash! Blam! Alakazam! Some driver pulls too far into the crosswalk, throwing you head over heels. Luckily the nice old lady stops her car to ask if you’re okay. Aside from the throbbing pain in your arm, you feel like an El Camino just hit you. As she helps you to your feet, she confesses she doesn’t have insurance. Times are tough she says. “No kidding,” you think. “But someone’s going to pay for my medical bills, and I sure hope it’s not me.” Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents are becoming more common and with them oftentimes comes severe and life-long injuries. Motor vehicle and pedestrian accidents can involve a drunk driver under the influence.

As you might suspect, not all auto accidents involve other motorists. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in its 2009 Traffic Safety Facts Research Note (Highlights of 2009 Motor Vehicle Crashes, August 2010), over 2 million motor vehicle accidents took place nationally in 2009; but out of this number, 51,000 involved bicyclists, while 59,000 involved pedestrians. The fact is pedestrians and moving vehicles just don’t mix. As long as vehicles are on the road, the possibility remains that anyone could be the victim of a negligent motorist.

Recouping your Losses

It’s been three weeks since the nice old lady who wasn’t paying attention to the crosswalk hit you. Your broken arm is feeling a little better, your bruises have almost disappeared… but the bills from your trip to the ER are starting to pile up. Luckily for you, you have Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage. Such coverage protects you when the party at fault does not have insurance coverage and you have medical expenses and bodily injury treatment to pay for.

Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage for Pedestrians

Uninsured Motorist coverage can be a broad and complex; sorting through all your rights and benefits may be too overwhelming for the average someone who is not versed in the law. Often, insurance companies, seeking to minimize their liability, will gloss over the UM benefits to which a client is entitled, leaving them to cover medical expenses and time missed from work on their own. Speaking with a professional attorney is the best way to access all the benefits and services for which you have been paying.

Medical Treatment and Medical Bills

Great news! You just got off the phone with your lawyer, and you’ve been assured your UM coverage does in fact apply to your crosswalk accident. Looks like your medical bills will be reduced, and you’ll be compensated for that time you missed from work. You’ve even learned that your UM insurance would have covered you had you been riding a bicycle, or had the driver fled the scene. Good to know for any future accident, but you’re going to keep your fingers crossed that it doesn’t happen again. In the meantime, you can sleep easier knowing we are looking out for you and your best interests.

Contact A Pedestrian Accident Attorney at Akiva Niamehr LLP

If you or a loved one is hit by a moving vehicle, contact Akiva Niamehr LLP today.

DUI Misdemeanor and Felony Violations Cause Automobile, Motorcycle, Bicycle and Pedestrian Accidents

Nobody plans on being hit by another driver, let alone someone driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. But when the unexpected does occur, it’s important to know the damages to which you may be entitled. Our personal injury lawyers at Akiva Niamehr LLP offer the following advice.

Were you a Victim to a Drunk Driver as a Driver, Pedestrian or Passenger?

You may have been driving without valid insurance when you were unexpectedly hit by a DUI driver in a motor vehicle accident. You may have suffered injuries and think you have no recourse. In fact, you may even be afraid to pursue any type of compensation. The reality is you have more options than you think.

In an earlier post, we told you about California’s Proposition 213, which limits the type of compensation to which individuals without valid insurance are entitled. This compensation includes economic damages only, which are damages that are easily assessed and often involve quantifiable loss to one’s health or to one’s property.

However, the exceptions are those occurrences in which the at-fault driver is found to be driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This means, that if you don’t have valid insurance at the time of your accident, and the at-fault driver is found to have illegal amounts of drugs or alcohol in his body, then you may be entitled to both economic and non-economic damages.

What are your Money Damages?

For those who don’t know, non-economic damages are those that may result in chronic, recurring, debilitating pain, including mental anguish or anxiety. These injuries may not manifest themselves directly after an accident and may take several weeks or months to materialize and to diagnose. As a result, non-economic damages are harder to prove and may require special testimony in order to secure compensation. Thanks to proposition 213, you may still seek compensation for such injuries even if you lack proper insurance.

Victims of Drunk Driving and Drunk Drivers

Of course, those with valid insurance are naturally entitled to pursue both economic as well as non-economic damages. The latter category is especially relevant to victims because, as mentioned before, these injuries are often slow to materialize and may not be covered by initial settlements.

A skilled lawyer can assist you in providing for long term conditions of which you may not be aware. Your lawyer will work to ensure that you receive compensation for loss to your person and property, as well as potentially devastating impairment to your future health and financial wellbeing.

Victims of DUI’s usually have a strong case against the at-fault driver. Because of their portrayal in popular culture, DUI’s are often mischaracterized as easy meal tickets. This can lead individuals to settle prematurely with insurance companies or lawyers.

The smart choice? Obtain a lawyer. You can call the personal injury lawyers at Akiva Niamehr LLP today.

The Many Types of Automobile Insurance Coverage and Policies

Auto insurance coverage come in a variety of types, and what you pay for determines how much coverage you have in the event you are involved in an auto accident. Understanding the differences in coverage you can purchase and have purchased is essential if you want to be properly insured and to understand what exactly you are insured for. The following is a basic guide to help get you started:

Types of Auto Insurance Coverage

Bodily Injury Liability (BI)

Covers physical harm (including death) caused by you to another person (i.e. you caused the accident). This coverage is meant to protect you if someone decides to file a personal injury claim against you. In California, the minimum limits are $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident. What this means is if you were to cause harm to someone else, the maximum your insurance would pay is $15,000 for each person you harm, but no more than $30,000 total for all the victims of the accident. In situations where there are multiple passengers and/or victims to an accident, their damages are prorated and calculated by the insurance company based on their medical bills and treatment. In serious accidents, this amount may not be sufficient and where the injuries are aggravated – this may expose your personal assets. As such, it is important to protect your assets if you have any by buying higher bodily injury coverage. Coverage can range from $15,000 (per person)/$30,000(aggregate per accident); $25,000/$50,000; $100,000/$300,000, or even higher. Some coverages are available for $250,000 per person and even up to $1,000,000 per accident.

Property Damage (PD)

Designed to cover damage you might inflict to someone else’s property. The property may be someone else’s vehicle, but could include other items, like fences, fire hydrants, houses, etc. This coverage is meant to protect you if someone decides to file a property damage claim against you.

Collision Coverage (COLL)

Protects your car if it is damaged by another vehicle or object. Usually, this coverage is not required by the state, but can be required if your vehicle has been financed through a lending agency, or is leased.

Comprehensive Coverage (COMP)

Also known as “Other than Collision” (OTC), this insures your vehicle and, to a limited extent, other vehicles you may be driving from losses resulting from circumstances other than collisions. Common circumstances include: damage from flooding, fire, vehicle theft, etc. This coverage also protects you if vehicle is stolen. This coverage is usually required if you are financing or leasing your car.

Medical Payments (Med Pay)

Medical payments coverage typically referred to as “Med Pay” provides some coverage for medical payments made in connection with medical treatment received. This is paid by your insurance company when there is coverage. However, it is reimbursable if there is a settlement against the defendant’s insurance company. This coverage is typically sold in increments of $1,000 or $5,000.

Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UMBI)

If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, this will cover you, your passengers, other drivers on the policy and unlicensed members of your household. It provides you with protection in the event you are injured in an accident that was not your fault and the at-fault party does not have auto insurance. It also covers you if you are involved in a hit-and-run accident (provided you obtain a police report).

Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UIM)

This policy covers the same individuals as the above (UMBI) for accidents that are not their fault. This policy applies when the party who caused your accident has insurance, but the bodily injury limits are not sufficient to fully compensate you for your injuries. For example, if you have losses of $35,000 and the other side has insurance that pays only $25,000 per person, then they would not be able to fully compensate you for your losses. If you have UIM-BI coverage through your own insurance company in excess of the defendant’s coverage of the stated example of $25,000, then you would be able to pursue the excess from your own insurance company. The excess or difference would be $10,000 in this case.

Uninsured Motorist Property Damage (UMPD)

Covers property damage to your vehicle sustained by an uninsured driver.
While these coverages are not required, they can save you a lot of money in the long run. These coverages are typically very cheap, and if you get a sufficient amount of coverage, it can protect you and your loved ones from being financially responsible for any injuries you or they sustain.

Deciding on Deductibles

Typically speaking, the higher the out-of-pocket deductible (what you pay), the less your monthly insurance payments; and the higher your monthly insurance payments, the greater the deductible. When picking insurance, be sure to factor in how much out-of-pocket costs you can afford if you are involved in an accident.

Look at Insurance Limits

What insurance you choose determines the extent of your coverage. For instance, you might inflict damage to someone else’s property that far exceeds the amount of coverage you possess. In such a scenario, you will have to pay the difference. Though it’s hard to anticipate your future needs, be sure to pay for as much coverage as you can reasonably afford. Doing so can save your wallet some future heartache.

Get Insured

Most states have strict laws requiring you to carry some form of auto insurance. If you are not insured, you could be one accident away from having your life and finances ruined. Having insurance means you can drive with a greater peace of mind.

If you have been injured in an auto accident and have questions regarding your automobile insurance policy, call us today.