Top 7 Dirty Tricks Insurance Companies Use After an Accident

If you suffered injuries and losses after an accident that was a result of someone else’s negligence, you may have the legal right to receive a settlement from that person’s insurance company to cover your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. Unfortunately, many insurance companies will use manipulative tactics and dirty tricks following an accident in order to pay the minimum amount possible to a victim of an accident. The following are some of the unscrupulous tactics that an insurance company may use following an accident in order to pay the minimum amount possible to a victim.

  1. Settle Quickly

Many insurance companies will attempt to settle with a victim as soon as possible in order to provide a low settlement and close the case. Unfortunately, many victims feel overwhelmed with their astronomical medical bills; their inability to return to work resulting in lost wages as a result of their injuries; property damage to a vehicle making it impossible for them to drive anywhere, and overall pain and suffering resulting from physical or psychological trauma following the accident. Insurance companies understand this and will use it to their advantage to offer low settlement amounts quickly, in the hopes that a suffering victim will simply take the money.

  1. Prevent You From Seeing a Doctor or Requiring You to See Their Doctor

Insurance companies want to pay as little as possible for medical bills, and therefore, they may attempt to deter you from visiting a doctor at all. In other cases, they may indicate that it is a requirement that you visit with their recommended doctor instead. You have the legal right to pursue any medical care you need to ensure your health.

  1. Failing to Disclose the Value of the Insurance Policy

Many insurance companies work hard to keep the value of the insurance policy a secret for as long as possible. This is an attempt to prevent a victim from receiving the amount they deserve under the law.

  1. Delay and Stall Tactics

Insurance companies know that a victim only has a limited amount of time to file a claim in court, and they will intentionally delay the entire process in order to prevent a victim from filing a claim in a court of law within the statute of limitations.

  1. Making the Claim Process Intentionally Difficult

Many insurance companies add layers and layers of bureaucracy in order to frustrate victims and hope that they either give up or fail to actually fill out the necessary paperwork in order to obtain the compensation they deserve.

  1. Attempting to Get You to Go to Their Repair Shop

Many insurance companies want you to go to their specially-selected repair shop which will ensure that they will pay as little as possible for your property damage portion of your claim.

  1. Requesting a Full Medical History

Insurance companies may attempt to request a full medical history in an attempt to find something in your past that could be responsible for your current medical illnesses or injuries a “pre-existing condition.” Victims do not have the legal responsibility to disclose a full medical history to insurance companies following an accident.

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today

If you suffered injuries or losses in an accident, consider visiting with an experienced personal injury attorney today at The Law Office of Daniel H. Rose at 415-946-8900 or online who can negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf and ensure your legal rights remain protected.

How Do You Prove Wrongful Death?

If your loved one died as the result of another person’s negligence, you may have the legal right to pursue justice and compensation on their behalf. While no amount of money will ever bring your loved one back, a wrongful death claim can hold the responsible party accountable for your tragic and unexpected loss. The law of California allows family members to pursue a wrongful death claim if they can provide evidence that the other party’s negligence directly caused their loved one’s death. Learn more about wrongful death cases, and how to ensure your legal right to pursue justice remains protected.

State of California Wrongful Death Laws

The wrongful death laws in the State of California are found in the California Code, Code of Civil Procedure – CCP § 377.60. In order to prove that you have the legal right to compensation following your loved one’s death, you must provide evidence to meet a burden of proof that their death occurred as the direct result of someone else’s negligence. It is important to note that a family does not have an obligation under the law to prove that their loved one’s wrongful death occurred as the result of negligence beyond a reasonable doubt, as in a criminal case. Instead, a family of a loved one who died a wrongful death in the State of California must simply prove that the death is at least 51 percent likely the result of the negligence of another person. This burden of proof is known as “preponderance of the evidence.”

Proving a Wrongful Death Claim

In order to prove a wrongful death claim, the family of the person who died must prove the following:

  • The negligent party had a duty of care owed to others, including their deceased loved one
  • The negligent party breached that duty of care
  • The breach of that duty of care was directly responsible for their loved one’s death
  • The result was the death of their loved one, as well as economic and non-economic damages

It is important to note that some wrongful death claims arise from intentional violence instead of negligence. These cases may result in a criminal case; however, many victims still have the legal right to pursue a civil case as well to receive compensation for their loved one’s injuries and their losses. Evidence to prove a wrongful death claim will include accident reports, police reports, independent investigations, surveillance footage, witness testimony, medical notes from those who diagnosed and treated your loved one, employer information providing evidence on lost wages, funeral expenses, and legally complex calculations regarding pain and suffering and the loss of consortium of family members.

Contact an Experienced Wrongful Death Attorney Today

If your loved one died as the result of another person’s negligent or intentionally violent actions, you may have the legal right to pursue a wrongful death case in the State of California. Contact the experienced wrongful death attorneys today at The Law Office of Daniel H. Rose. We will work on your behalf to ensure that you receive the full compensation you deserve and ensure your loved one receives justice. Contact our experienced attorneys today at 415-946-8900 or online.

Can I Sue Someone for Exposing Me to COVID-19?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hundreds of thousands of people in the United States have now lost their lives a result of the COVID-19. There are certain circumstances under which a person may have the legal right to file a claim against another person or entity for exposure to COVID-19. Learn more about your legal rights below.

Basis of Personal Injury Claims

A claim regarding exposure to COVID-19 would fall under personal injury law. In order to have a strong personal injury claim, you would need to prove the following elements:

  • The person or entity had a legal duty and responsibility to you to protect you from COVID-19 exposure.
  • The person breached their legal duty regarding protecting you from COVID-19 exposure
  • You suffered actual exposure to COVID-19.
  • The exposure to COVID-19 resulted in either actually contracting the COVID-19 virus. and/or suffering any other types of economic or non-economic damages.

Legal Duty

In most cases, one human being does not have a legal duty to another human being regarding exposure to viruses. However, there have been cases regarding HIV, where someone knowingly and purposefully infected another person, resulting in a lawsuit. Given the fact that the laws in several areas now require people to wear masks and remain socially distant, an argument can be made that the failure to do so breaches a person’s legal duty and the requirement to ensure the safety of others with respect to COVID-19. Additionally, if an employer failed to provide proper safety equipment, you may have a legal right to bring a claim against your employer for your exposure and development of COVID-19.

Causation

While an argument can be made that a person has a legal duty to wear a mask and social distance themselves from others (or quarantine if they have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus), the victim must prove that they received the exposure from this exact person. The evidence to do that may prove legally complex, as it is challenging to directly determine which person gave another person the COVID-19 virus conclusively. You may have the ability to prove causation if an employer failed to send home people who are sick, failed to provide protective equipment, or large gatherings were not appropriately canceled.

Damages

Exposure to COVID-19 is simply not enough to file a claim in a court of law. A victim must have suffered actual physical, psychological, or financial harm because of COVID-19 exposure.

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today

To date, nearly 800 cases involving COVID-19 exposure have occurred and many of these claims are directly related to exposure issues and negligence of different parties. If you contracted COVID-19 as the result of someone else’s negligence, consider visiting with an experienced personal injury attorney today at The Law Office of Daniel H. Rose at 415-946-8900 or online who can work with you to help you understand your legal rights.

Difference Between Personal Injury Cases and Wrongful Death Cases

If you suffered injuries in an accident due to someone else’s negligence or if your loved one died as a result of someone’s negligence, you may have the right to file either a personal injury case or a wrongful death case to receive justice and compensation for your injuries and losses. Understanding the difference between personal injury cases and wrongful cases can help you better understand which type of case is right for you.

Personal Injury vs. Wrongful Death Cases

When you suffer injuries or losses as a result of someone else’s negligence, you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit in order to receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. If a person dies as a result of their personal injuries resulting from someone else’s negligence, the family of the deceased person has a legal right to file a wrongful death case. A wrongful death case the same as a personal injury case a victim would file if they had lived after the accident. A family of a victim who dies due to someone else’s negligence may have the legal right to receive compensation for funeral expenses, remaining medical bills, loss of wages, property damage, loss of consortium, loss of companionship, and pain and suffering of the victim.

Types of Personal Injury Cases and Wrongful Death Cases

Many personal injury cases and wrongful death cases stem from similar accidents.. The difference is that in some cases, a victim receives serious injuries (personal injury cases) versus when a victim passes away from their injuries (wrongful death cases). Some of the types of accidents that result in either personal injury cases or wrongful death cases include the following:

  • Car accidents
  • Trucking accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Construction accidents
  • Manufacturing defects
  • Defective drugs
  • Medical malpractice
  • Railroad deaths
  • Defective medical devices
  • Drunk driving accidents
  • Premises liability accidents
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Nursing home neglect and abuse cases
  • Product liability cases

Parties Who May File a Personal Injury or Wrongful Death Claim

Any person who suffers injuries as a result of someone else’s negligent, careless, or reckless actions may file a personal injury claim in order to receive compensation for their injuries and losses.

If a person dies as a result of their injuries related to an accident due to someone else’s negligence, some family members may have the legal right to bring a wrongful death claim on behalf of their loved one. In most cases, spouses, children, or siblings of the victim can bring a wrongful death claim. In the instance that none of those parties exist, a court may appoint a plaintiff ad litem to prosecute the negligent party in the wrongful death claim.

Contact an Experienced Attorney Today

If you suffered injuries or if you have a loved one who died as a result of someone else’s negligent actions, you may have the right to file a personal injury claim or wrongful death claim. Consider visiting with our experienced attorneys at The Law Office of Daniel H. Rose. We will work on your behalf to ensure that you received the full compensation you deserve. Contact our experienced attorneys at 415-946-8900 or online today.

How Can Hearsay Issues Affect a Wrongful Death Case?

Hearsay is a statement made outside of the court that is then presented as evidence by another person during a trial for purposes of submitting that statement as evidence and as fact. In most cases, hearsay is typically inadmissible evidence when a proper objection is made in a timely manner. However, in wrongful death cases, a deceased plaintiff (victim) may offer testimony prior to his or her death. Learn more about hearsay and how it may impact a wrongful death case.

Wrongful Death Cases

A wrongful death case is one in which the victim dies from the injuries inflicted upon them resulting from someone else’s negligence. If the victim lived, they would have had the legal right to bring a personal injury case to receive justice and compensation for their injuries and losses. Because the victim died, the family members of the victim have the legal right to pursue this justice and compensation on behalf of their loved one.

Testimony of the Victim

Many wrongful death cases include testimony from different parties as well as evidence that is presented to the court in order to make a determination of liability and responsibility for negligence with respect to an accident. If the victim lived, they would have had the legal right to testify on their own behalf. However, due to the fact that they passed away from their injuries prior to a trial, the question remains whether or not any statements made by the victim can be introduced as evidence.

Hearsay Exception – Dying Declaration

There is a hearsay exception which is the “former testimony” exception, where evidence is admissible if the other side had an opportunity to cross-examine or introduce the testimony at a prior time. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 804(b)(1); Conn. Code Evid. § 8-6(1); Mass. G. Evid. § 804(b)(1); R.I. R. Evid. 804(b)(1); see also Lohrmann v. Pittsburgh Corning Corp., 782 F.2d 1156 (4th Cir. 1986).

However, the more common hearsay exception that occurs within wrongful death cases is the “dying declaration” exception. If a victim made a statement under the belief that their death was either “imminent” or “impending” and their statement was directly related to the cause or circumstances surrounding their death, it can be admitted as evidence as an exception to the hearsay rules. See Fed. R. Evid. 804(b)(2); R.I. R. Evid. 804(b)(2).

It is important to note that Dead Man Statutes (allowing a hearsay exception for the admissibility of a decedent’s statements) is available only in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. While some plaintiffs still attempt to admit the testimony of a deceased victim under these Dead Man Statutes, in most cases, they will not be allowed within a wrongful death case.

Contact an Experienced Attorney Today

If your loved one died as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may have the legal right to submit their testimony at a wrongful death trial under a “dying declaration” exception to the hearsay law. The laws surrounding wrongful death cases remain complex and legally challenging. Call our experienced attorneys at The Law Office of Daniel H. Rose. We will work on your behalf to ensure that the legal rights of your loved one remain protected. Contact our experienced attorneys at 415-946-8900 or online today.

What Are Non-Economic Damages in Wrongful Death Cases?

If your loved one died as a result of someone else’s negligence, as a family member you may have the legal right to file a wrongful death lawsuit to receive justice in the State of California. While no amount of money will bring back your loved one, you may have funeral expenses, remaining medical bills, lost wages during the time your loved one was too injured to work, or property damage. However, as a family member who lost a loved one, you may have the legal right to also bring non-economic damages as part of your wrongful death lawsuit. Learn more about the different types of non-economic damages that you may have the legal right to receive in a wrongful death case.

Understanding Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages represent more intangible items that represent the loss that a family experiences following a loved one’s death. While these items are truly non-economic, the courts will attempt to assign a financial amount to these damages in an attempt to allow a family to receive justice because they lost their loved one due to someone else’s negligence, carelessness or recklessness. Some of the types of non-economic damages are explained in more detail below.

Spouse and Family Loss

When someone loses a family member, they lose the ability to share a life with them. Spouses lose their life partner, and children lose a parent to guide them through life. This loss of comfort, loss of instruction for children, loss of services in the home and in life, loss of guidance, loss of support, loss of counsel, and loss of training for children is devastating. This loss of consortium and loss of companionship impacts the family permanently. The calculations regarding loss of consortium and loss of companionship are incredibly complex and legally challenging. Visiting with an experienced wrongful death attorney can help you understand your legal rights and realize how you may have the right to file for these types of non-economic damages in your case.

Loss of Income

Your loved one likely was unable to return to work following their accident, resulting in lost wages. Lost wages may include not only a salary or wages, but also missed bonuses, missed promotions, lost employee contributions, lost pension contributions, lost vacation or sick leave, lost transportation allowances, and more. However, if your loved died, then you may also have the ability to include loss of future income as part of your wrongful death claim. The calculation for the loss of future income can also be legally challenging and complex.

Contact an Experienced Attorney Today

There are other types of non-economic damages including the pain and suffering your loved one experienced as a result of their injuries in their accident. Visiting with an experienced attorney can help you better understand what types of non-economic damages you may have the right to file in your wrongful death case, and what amount of compensation you may receive on behalf of your loved one. We understand you are likely grieving during this emotional time and look forward to helping you through this process. Call our experienced attorneys at The Law Office of Daniel H. Rose. We will work on your behalf to ensure that you received the full compensation you deserve. Contact our experienced attorneys at 415-946-8900 or online today.

Tips for Driving Safely After Quarantine

Car accidents can happen at any time to any person on the roadways. Our nation has now faced an unprecedented modern crisis due to the global pandemic of COVID-19. As a result, many states and counties have made the decision to have their residents shelter-in-place and quarantine. After quarantine measures are lifted, you may want to reconsider how and when you drive, as your health and safety may depend on it.

Overworked Emergency Rooms

If you are in a serious accident, there is a significant chance you may have to receive emergency treatment for your injuries. Oftentimes, medical conditions need to receive an evaluation by a medical professional or additional medical complications or even death may occur. As a result, ambulances typically arrive on the scene of a car accident and are ready to take any victim who needs emergency medical evaluation to an emergency room. However, many states are feeling the serious burden of patients suffering from COVID-19. Emergency rooms as well as hospital beds are reaching capacity in many different areas around the country. If you suffer injuries as a result of a car accident, you will be placed in an environment that likely has had COVID-19 patients, causing you additional health risks. Also, there may simply not be enough room for you in a hospital depending on its current capacity and staffing levels.

Drive Safer After Quarantine

Make sure that no matter how you drove prior to quarantine or shelter-in-place ordinances, that you take extra care on the roadways. Some tips for driving safer after quarantine include the following:

  • Drive slower and obey all traffic signals and signs
  • Check your mirrors
  • Stay out of the way of anyone that appears to weave through traffic or exhibit road rage
  • Never drink and drive
  • Put away your cell phone and avoid texting or talking while driving.

The last thing you want is a car accident, and given the current climate in the United States, the last place you want to be is in an emergency room.

Additionally, even if you do not need emergency medical treatment, if you suffer injuries or losses as a result of a car accident, the process to file a personal injury case in a courtroom may be slower as courts are overwhelmed and often shut down or have reduced hours. As our entire society learns to live in this “new normal,” your best course of action is to stay as safe as possible, and only drive when necessary.

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney

If you were involved in a car accident recently, many procedures have changed with respect to filing a personal injury lawsuit in court. We are prepared to handle your case and ensure your legal rights are protected. Our office can visit with you by phone or video conferencing. Even though there is a global pandemic, you have the right to still receive compensation if you suffered injuries as a result of someone else’s negligence. Contact the experienced attorneys at The Law Office of Daniel H. Rose at 415-946-8900 or online today.

What Happens Next If You Can’t Identify a Hit and Run Driver?

Being involved in a car accident is always stressful and overwhelming. This only intensifies if the other driver involved in a car accident makes the decision to leave the scene of the accident. While being involved in a car accident is not illegal, making the decision to leave the scene of a car accident in which you were involved is actually a crime. If you suffered injuries related to a “hit and run” accident, you should understand that you still have legal rights.

California Penalties for Hit and Run Accidents

California law Vehicle Code 20002 VC specifically addresses misdemeanor hit and run accidents and makes it a crime in the State of California to leave the scene of an accident in which you were involved. Every person must provide their name, contact information, and insurance information after being involved in an accident in the State of California. If a person fails to do so and leaves the scene of the crime, then the person may be charged with a misdemeanor. If there was a serious accident that involved physical bodily injury or death, then the State of California will charge Vehicle Code 20001 VC, which is a felony charge.

Receiving Compensation Following a Hit and Run Accident

If you suffered injuries related to a hit and run accident, you may still have the ability to file charges against the other driver if the police are able to discover their identity through an investigation. In this case, the car accident insurance claim or personal injury case would move forward, and you would have the ability to receive compensation for medical expenses, property damage, lost wages as a result of being unable to return to work, and pain and suffering.

Uninsured/Underinsured Insurance Claims

If the other driver is not found through an investigation, you may still be able to receive compensation for your injuries. While you are required to have car insurance coverage in the State of California, you are not required to have uninsured or underinsured insurance. All car insurance companies in California are required to offer these types of insurance, but a driver has the legal right to refuse to pay for these additional coverages.

If you are involved in a car accident with a hit and run driver, you may have the right to receive compensation from your own insurance company through uninsured coverage if you selected this type of insurance coverage and protection. Visiting with your insurance company directly is typically the best practice in order to determine your coverage and if you have this type of insurance in your policy.

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney

If you were involved in a car accident and the other driver leaves the scene of the accident, you may still have the legal right to pursue compensation for your injuries and losses. Contact the experienced attorneys at The Law Office of Daniel H. Rose at 415-946-8900 or online today.

Who Is Liable When You Are Hit by a Delivery Driver?

Delivery drivers often carry substantial loads and are on a tight time schedule with strict deadlines. As a result, some truck drivers fail to appropriately follow speed limits and traffic rules in order to reach their destination as quickly as possible. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) established very specific regulations regarding large commercial trucks as well as any trucks that deliver goods that meet certain specifications. If you suffered any kind of injury or losses as a result of being hit by a delivery driver, there are several different parties that you may have the legal right to hold liable.

Delivery Trucks

Delivery trucks are on the roadways far more frequently, as more and more people make the decision to quarantine at home due to COVID-19 and have their goods or groceries delivered. As a result, there is an increased pressure on delivery trucks to make substantial deliveries within strict timelines. Delivery trucks are often filled with significant cargo, which may not have been loaded appropriately. Safety requirements may not be followed as a result of hurrying to load cargo or deliver goods. If any accident results from the failure to follow safety regulations, a victim may have the legal right to pursue charges against several different entities.

Determination of Liability and Responsibility

Depending on the facts and circumstances of an accident involving a delivery truck or delivery vehicle, a victim of a delivery vehicle accident can file a claim against the following parties:

  • The driver of the delivery truck or delivery vehicle
  • The delivery company that hired the driver
  • The company that has a fleet of delivery vehicles for its business that was responsible for hiring the delivery driver
  • The owner of the delivery vehicle (which may be different than the parties listed above)
  • Any third-party company that has the responsibility to load cargo in the delivery vehicle
  • A manufacturer that designed or distributed a faulty part or component of the delivery vehicle that caused the accident.

Making a determination of legal liability and responsibility can be a complex and challenging legal task. Contacting an experienced personal injury attorney can help ensure that you receive a full and fair investigation of the accident, that a spoliation letter is issued to preserve evidence, that all parties are interviewed, and expert witnesses are available to testify to the determination of liability and responsibility for your injuries.

When Is a Personal Injury Considered Catastrophic?

In the best circumstances, a car accident victim will only have minor injuries that resolve quickly and require minimal medical intervention. If you are a victim of a minor fender-bender, you likely will not need weeks, months, or even years of medical treatment. However, in many car accidents, trauma victims suffer severe injuries requiring emergency medical care, hospitalization, surgeries, extended hospital stays, continued medical treatments and therapies, and ongoing medical prescriptions. In some cases, victims suffer permanent or life-altering injuries. Victims receive compensation comparable to their severity level. Learn when a personal injury is considered catastrophic and how you can receive compensation for your injuries and losses.

Catastrophic Injuries

In most cases, catastrophic injuries are considered those that require extensive medical attention and treatment following a car accident. A victim has the legal right to pursue compensation for any injuries that they receive as a result of someone else’s negligence, however the more severe the accident, the greater the chance the injuries will also be severe. Victims are allowed to receive additional compensation for their injuries, damages, and losses if their injuries are considered catastrophic. Some examples of catastrophic injuries resulting from an accident include the following:

  • Permanent or long-term disabilities
  • Any permanent or long-term bodily impairment or loss of functionality
  • Any major body system suffering permanent damage
  • Incapacitation in any way
  • Severe pain and suffering
  • Diagnosis of a terminal medical condition or death of the victim
  • Severe traumatic brain injuries, or serious injuries to the head, neck or spinal cord
  • The victim remains unable to return to any kind of employment
  • Amputations
  • Paralysis
  • Vision loss or hearing loss
  • Multiple fractures or broken bones
  • Severe damage to the central nervous system or severe nerve damage
  • Neurological conditions or disorders
  • Severe burns that result in pain and suffering, disfigurement or scarring

Catastrophic Injuries and Insurance Companies

If you were a victim of a serious accident and suffered catastrophic injuries, you may have astronomical bills associated with your injury that may include ambulance bills, doctors’ visits, surgeries, hospitalizations, prescription medications, continued physical therapy treatments, diagnostic testing, and a need for mental therapy as well. Many victims of severe accidents suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, as they endured a traumatic event that resulted in catastrophic injuries. A victim has a legal right to receive compensation for their lost wages as a result of remaining unable to return to work due to their injuries. Additionally, victims of serious accidents that result in catastrophic injuries typically suffer severe pain and suffering which can increase the total amount of compensation received in settlement packages from insurance companies. Visiting with an experienced attorney can help ensure that the calculations for pain and suffering are fair and just for a victim with catastrophic injuries.

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today

You have the legal right to receive compensation for injuries, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering resulting from a serious accident resulting from someone else’s negligence. If you suffered catastrophic personal injuries as a result of an accident, learn how an experienced personal injury attorney can help you develop a strong case. Contact The Law Office of Daniel A. Rose as soon as possible, and our experienced accident lawyers will help you understand your legal rights. Call for a free consultation today at 415-946-8900 or visit us online.