Legal Considerations in an Automobile- Motorcycle Accident with Multiple Victims and Low Policy Limits

So many accidents occur on a daily basis. So many individuals are injured as a result. For example, a car accident with a motorcycle, can injure both the motorcyclist and the driver of the other vehicle. In addition, if the automobile had passengers, then all of them are also potential victims in this personal injury accident. In such a situation, an attorney is needed to properly manage the claims and interests of all parties (meaning their clients).

If the motorcyclist ran a red light, crashing into the automobile of 5 people, then all 5 people would have a claim against the motorcyclist’s insurance. When policy limits are low and the injuries are high, it is up to the attorney and legal team to best manage the client’s interests both legally and in terms of the medical treatment received. For this hypothetical, let’s assume that 3 of the 5 injured people in the car are adults, and the other 2 are minors or children. Let’s also assume that at least 1 of the 5 require extensive surgery or epidural injections due to their injuries.

Let’s throw in the mix that the motorcyclist defendant (who caused the accident and would be liable) has a policy limit with his insurance company for $25,000 per accident and $50,000 aggregate. This means that any one injured individual cannot obtain more than $25,000 for his or her injuries as a result of this accident. It also means that the total of the 5 injured passengers and driver of the car cannot get more than a total of $50,000 from the defendant’s insurance.

Let’s Map this out:

5 Plaintiffs in Car VS. 1 Defendant Motorcyclist

On average, the 5 total riders in vehicle 1 cannot obtain more than $10,000 each on average (which is an important consideration if each of the 5 incurred medical expenses of more than $10,000). In reality, the amount of settlement for each injured party is calculated proportionally based on their injuries and cost of medical treatment/bills (since the bills need to be repaid out of the settlement). But total settlements (including cost of medical expenses and treatment), may require more money to certain passengers than others. It is in this balancing act that we your attorney manage each of our client’s interests. Of course, the individual that was most injured and needed surgery will take a proportion of the policy limit that is reflective of that medical expense. In certain situations, the policy limit is insufficient to make each client whole or to just cover the medical expense.

At Los Angeles based law firm Akiva Niamehr LLP, we work hard to make things right and fight the insurance company tooth and nail to get just settlements for our clients. Contact us today if you were injured in a car or motorcycle accident and the other driver was at fault or caused the accident. We can help.

How Personal Injury Claims for Minors Must be Handled Legally and What it Means for Your Settlement

In California, a minor is anyone below the age of 18. If a minor is injured in a car, motorcycle accident or any other type of personal injury accident, he or she will not have access to the settlement money until he or she reaches the age of majority or adult which is 18 years old.

Many insurance companies require law firms to file minors compromise petitions with the court for approval of the settlement amount by a judge. This process is tedious, lengthy and time consuming. Hundreds of pages of documentation, medical records, agreements, negotiations, liens, bills, and more must be provided and documented to the court in an organized fashion.

Usually, when a minor’s claim settles for $4,999.99 an insurance company may forego a minors compromise depending on their own internal rules. There is a battle for example if the settlement is for any amount over $5,000.00- for example $5,050.00. A significant settlement of $10,000 or $20,000 or more will require a minor’s compromise be filed with the court. The process of filing a minor’s compromise, attending the hearing if the minor and his or her guardian have moved out of state and must appear, and getting a petition approved can take months and even up to a year.

What Types of Accidents Cause Back Pain Injuries?

Car accidents and crashes, slip and fall accidents, construction injuries typically cause back pain as a primary consequential injury. Back pain and injuries include muscle damage (often called a back strain), injury to ligaments (back sprain), a herniated or ruptured disc in the backbone, pinched nerve, nerve damage, and a fractured or dislocated spine.

Many of our clients sustain back injuries in addition to other injuries such as whiplash, broken bones, and neck injuries. Back and neck injuries usually go hand in hand and typically result in car accidents in addition other symptoms such as whiplash and soft-tissue injuries. The first step in our legal advice to our clients is always medical treatment and recovery. Since time is of the essence, and your well-being is the most important to us, medical care is always the first topic of conversation between us, the attorneys, and our clients. Legal claims will ensue and be pursued in the background while you recover from your injuries.

If you are in need of a back Injury attorney who specializes in car accident cases and these types of injuries, contact Akiva Niamehr LLP to speak to our team of highly knowledgeable personal injury litigators, attorneys and case managers. We will guide you on your path to recovery while we fight the liable third party to obtain a deserved settlement on your behalf.

Personal Injury Bus Accident Lawyers in Los Angeles

If you or a loved one was injured in a bus accident, contact our team of professional personal injury bus accident lawyers at Akiva Niamehr LLP. Bus accidents are increasingly common at intersections, crosswalks, near schools with school buses and potentially injured children.

Sadly, such accidents have the potential to do major damage given the scope, size and nature of buses and what they collide with. Even a bus that comes to an abrupt stop to avoid an accident could potentially injure its passengers, or someone who is thrown from their seat as a result of or due to the impact. The longer the bus, perhaps, the greater the whiplash.

At Akiva Niamehr, we have represented many clients who faced severe injuries as a result of a bus accident in Los Angeles, California.

Did you Slip and Fall on Private Property?

Did you slip and fall on private property? If so, you may be entitled to compensation under a premises liability claim or cause of action if certain circumstances were present in your accident. First, you must have slipped or fallen on a person’s property as an invited guest or permitted visitor and not a trespasser. Second, your fall must have caused you injury. There must be a direct causal connection between the act or inaction of the property owner or landlord which is legally defined as “negligence” and the resulting bodily injury or harm to you.

These types of accidents frequently occur in supermarkets, grocery stores, restaurants, nightclubs and bars and much more. A spilled drink that was not properly or timely cleaned up to fruits that were stomped on in a market and were unnoticed by the patron or invited guest can give rise to legal liability for the landlord or property owner. Even stores like Target, Ralphs, the 99 cent store see these types of accidents on a regular basis. If the store employees do not have a proper protocol or follow a protocol to inspect the premises routinely (every 15 or 30 minutes perhaps), and if they do inspect but fail to clean it up in an appropriate manner and someone is injured as a result– then the store can be held liable and owe monetary compensation under California law to the injured party.

Such a legal action or claim is something the attorneys at Akiva Niamehr LLP routinely pursue for our clients in the most vigorous manner. Often times, an injured person who has slipped and fallen may suffer severe injury like a broken hip or bone or even a laceration. This would require medical treatment and even time off work depending on the nature and extent of the injury. Our team of attorneys work hard for our clients to recover all compensation you are legally entitled to under the law. This includes past and future medical treatment, lost wages or loss of income (both past and future) and damages for pain and suffering. If a loved one/spouse is involved and the injuries are quite severe or there is a wrongful death claim that is warranted, then there is damages for loss of consortium as well- which is the loss of companionship from a wife or husband.

Car Accidents: How to Survive them and Pursue Legal Action

Car accidents occur regularly and daily. On average, six (6) million car accidents occur in the United States annually. Of that number, three (3) million are injured in car or automobile accidents. Each year two (2) million sustain permanent and life-altering injuries in these auto accidents. It also has been discovered that one in seven people do not wear seatbelts.

With these statistics, it becomes apparent that not only are car accidents prevalent but their resulting injuries are real and tangible. The most common causes of traffic fatalities and car accidents include distractions like cell phones, speeding, drunk driving and bad weather.

At the law offices of Akiva Niamehr LLP, located in Los Angeles, we concentrate on providing our clients who were victims of such car accidents with excellent service and help guide them to obtain proper and beneficial medical treatment. At the same time, we pursue our clients’ legal and best interests by filing a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company in a timely manner to avoid any problems with having the statute of limitations run. The statute of limitations in California in a car accident personal injury case or claim is two years from the date of the car accident, where there was resulting injury. The statute of limitations for property damage only in California is three years. Every state is different with different timelines and deadlines. To preserve your interest and legal claim, it is important to consult with an attorney almost immediately after the accident has occurred- after you have obtained the necessary emergency medical attention or treatment, in serious automobile accidents.

Liability in Motorcycle Accidents

Because motorcycles are smaller than cars, only have two wheels and do not protect the driver with boundaries or an enclosure like a vehicle does, motorcycle drivers are at a higher risk when an accident occurs. Motorcycle accidents are more dangerous and the injuries can be more serious and often are.

This is due to the risks of driving a motorcycle on a road or freeway, which include less visibility to other cars, less stability and the lack of a physical barrier to protect the motorcyclist from other vehicles. Liability is determined by the standard of negligence. Was the accident caused by the motorcyclist’s action or inaction or in other words did the motorcyclist not act in a reasonable manner? Or was the accident caused by a truck or car that was negligent, did not see the motorcycle or failed to drive safely or properly in some other manner?

The determination is usually made in the first instance if for example one of the parties did not stop at a stop sign which would constitute a California Vehicle Code citation. A violation of a vehicle code citation automatically raises the assumption or inference of negligence and is legally called “negligence per se.”

In either event, either the motorcyclist will be found negligent or the driver of the other vehicle (truck, bicycle, car). In some rare occasions, both drivers can be said to be comparatively at fault. Perhaps, the motorcyclist did not put his signal on and so would be allocated 20% at fault while the driver of the vehicle was driving at such an unsafe speed (in violation of vehicle code section 22350) that he would have been unable to stop in any event and therefore deserves 80% allocation of fault. These are arguments the insurance company’s adjuster and your attorney will undertake and rehash in determining liability, especially where it is questionable.

It all depends on the factual circumstances of the accident, whether any laws were violated, whether there is a police report citing either party, whether there are witnesses, who was injured and to what extent and so on. Many considerations will be made and all of the factual scenarios will be reviewed by your attorney. For example, if a party did or did not have car insurance is also an important consideration. If a driver of a motorcycle is involved in a personal injury accident and did not have proper or effective insurance coverage, then his recovery in a legal case can be limited monetarily even if he was found to not be at fault or liable for the accident. When an injured party who was not negligent or liable does not carry insurance or the insurance was for some reason not in effect during the date of loss, the injured party can be limited in terms of his or her financial recovery against the negligent driver’s insurance company. This means pain and suffering money damages could be excluded and usually are, unless the insurance company is unaware of the coverage issue.

It is important to consult with an attorney if you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, either as the driver of another vehicle or as the motorcyclist yourself.