Tag Archives: car accident

How Gap Insurance Can Help You After a Car Accident

GAP Insurance, or Guaranteed Asset Protection, fills the gap between the auto insurance company’s payout and the actual damages. Even though California requires all drivers to have car insurance, there are many instances when damages can be higher than a driver’s coverage limits. Other times, the driver who caused the accident may not have insurance at all. Having gap insurance is not required, but it can lessen your out-of-pocket expenses if you are involved in a car accident.

In California, the minimum policy insurance limit required is $15,000 for personal injury and $30,000 for personal injuries if multiple people are involved. The minimum limit for property damage is $5,000. Therefore, if a driver does not carry full coverage insurance, the chances of damages from a car accident exceeding policy limits are very likely.

GAP Insurance

The purpose of GAP insurance is to cover the difference between what’s owed to the lessor for a totaled vehicle and the fair market value that car insurance pays on a total loss. Most new cars lose a full 20 percent of their value within the first year. Depending on the vehicle, the price paid, and interest rates, the balance remaining can sometimes be more than the car’s actual value.

Where standard auto insurance policies only cover your vehicle’s actual cash value at the time of the accident, the gap insurance can provide the driver with the exact amount still owed on the car. Gap insurance may be more beneficial in accidents involving a new or leased car.

Car Accidents

In California, the most typical auto-insurance policies include:

  • Bodily injury liability
  • Property damage liability
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist. Covers expenses if the at-fault party doesn’t have enough insurance to cover damages.
  • Personal Injury Protection. Also referred to as PIP or no-fault. This type of coverage is provided as per-person or per-accident limits. It’s used to cover medical expenses, rehabilitation, disability, or loss of income caused by a car accident.

 GAP insurance does provide restitution for bodily injury, emotional trauma, medical expenses, or other damages incurred from a car accident. GAP insurance’s primary purpose is to protect buyers from the cost of financing a new vehicle. GAP policies are only applicable to vehicle losses.

To find out what your particular Gap insurance covers, it is crucial to understand the details of your policy. For example, Gap insurance usually provides restitution for major damage or total loss. It usually doesn’t cover ordinary maintenance on a vehicle.

Involved in a Car Accident

In California, a person injured in a car accident has two years from the accident date to file a personal injury claim. Once this two-year time frame passes, the injured person is no longer entitled to collect injuries.

Understanding Options if Damages are Greater Than Insurance Coverage

The at-fault party’s policy limits do not bind you. If you are injured, you may seek compensation beyond the auto insurance policy limitations. Other options may include:

  1. Identify Other Liable Parties

Sometimes, there may be more than one party responsible for the accident. If another party is also responsible for the accident, the injured party can recover damages from them.

  1. Sue the Liable Party Beyond Their Insurance Coverage

If the at-fault party’s policy limits do not cover your damages, you have the right to sue the individual if their negligence caused your accident personally.

  1. File a Claim Against Your Uninsured Motorist Policy

Contact a Skilled Attorney

Deciding on whether Gap insurance is the right decision for you depends on your financial circumstances. Speak to an experienced personal injury attorney at the Dan Rose Law Firm to help make the right decision for you.

What Happens When a Car Accident Claim Exceeds Insurance Limits?

If you experienced injuries and losses as a result of a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, most victims understand that they have the legal right to receive compensation from an insurance company for their medical bills, loss of wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. However, in some cases, a car accident is catastrophic with severe injuries and losses. As a result, the car accident claim of the victim exceeds insurance limits. If you filed a personal injury claim, learn more about your legal rights regarding what to do if you claim exceeds the negligent party’s insurance limits.

Car Insurance Policy Limits

Every person will have a different insurance company and a different insurance policy within that company, which offers different coverage limits. While every driver must have the minimum amount of coverage under the law of their state to operate a motor vehicle legally, there are often different levels of coverage to choose from by a policyholder. If a car accident policy only allows for a $50,000 limit for the personal injuries of a victim, what happens when the victim suffers such severe injuries that their medical bills exceed that amount? The insurance company does not have a legal obligation to pay any amount of compensation to a victim in excess of the policyholder’s limits, which may make obtaining full and fair compensation unattainable through the insurance policy alone.

California Insurance Policy Minimum Standards

According to California Insurance Code §11580.1b, the following are the minimum amounts of insurance coverage that every driver in the state must legally carry:

The minimum coverage amount of $15,000 for injury to one person involved in a car accident in California is quite low. Therefore, a victim must look to other options in order to reimburse their costs for medical bills, lost wages and property damage.

Options When a Car Accident Claim Exceeds Insurance Limits

If you suffered injuries or losses in a car accident and your economic and non-economic losses exceed those covered by the negligent party’s insurance policy, the following are some legal options available to you:

  • File a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party for the remainder of your losses
  • Attempt to recover additional compensation from your own insurance policy, if possible
  • File a personal injury lawsuit against another defendant who has legal liability with respect to the car accident, if applicable
  • File a claim under an “umbrella policy” held by a negligent party, if the negligent party is a larger business or corporate entity, such as a trucking company or business that the driver operated a motor vehicle for at the time of the accident

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney

You have many legal options available to you following a car accident in which your claim exceeds the negligent party’s insurance limits. Learn more about your options by contacting an experienced car accident attorney at The Law Office of Daniel H. Rose at 415-946-8900 or online today.

Ways to Prove PTSD Damages on your Personal Injury Case

If you have been involved in a car accident or other terrifying event, the person who caused you harm is not only responsible for your physical damages, like your medical bills and property damage. They are also responsible for your emotional harm, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

PTSD is a medical condition that is triggered by a terrifying event. Depending on the event and the person, PTSD can be relatively minor. However, there are many cases when PTSD can be severe. Some PTSD symptoms include flashbacks, nightmares, and severe anxiety. There may also be uncontrollable thoughts about the event. These symptoms can sometimes prevent a person from their everyday normal activities.

If you suffer from PTSD due to a reckless or negligent driver, you may want to include that in your lawsuit. It is important that all your injuries are properly compensated. However, because most of this harm is done inside the mind and body, it is difficult to prove PTSD and its harm, to a jury. Here, we explore ways that you can convey to a fact finder – usually a jury or a judge – that you suffer from PTSD and the extent of your injuries.

How to Succeed in a PTSD Lawsuit

When you bring forward a personal injury suit, you will be responsible to prove certain elements to the fact finder. These include:

(1) Injury. You must prove that you suffered PTSD. That injury must be evident through symptoms, tests, and usually through testimony from an expert witness.

(2) Causation. There must be a link between the PTSD suffered and the car accident. That means that the PTSD was a result of the car accident.

(3) Recoverable Damages. Damages are monetary awards to the injured party. Damages usually work to make the victim whole again. Damages will always be specific to the injury of the victim and the conduct of the party at fault. However, at a minimum, you can expect to recover your own out-of-pocket expenses.

Expert Witness

An expert witness has special knowledge in a particular field that is important to the case. Expert witnesses are necessary in a PTSD lawsuit settlement because the average person may be unable to determine whether a plaintiff can be diagnosed with PTSD. Also, the average juror may not be able to understand the severity of PTSD.

An expert witness does at least two things in a PTSD case for the jury. First, the expert witness must explain to the jury, in a way they can understand, what is required to diagnose PTSD. The expert witness is essentially helping the jury to understand what PTSD is, and what facts must be present to establish a diagnosis PTSD. That way, the jury can make a finding whether the plaintiff has exhibited those symptoms. Second, the expert may give additional testimony as to whether the plaintiff has shown symptoms associated with a PTSD diagnosis.

In some cases, the expert witness is the therapist who is treating the plaintiff. In these cases, if the therapist has personally witnessed the plaintiff exhibit all the symptoms of PTSD and has diagnosed them with PTSD, then the expert witness also becomes a fact witness. This means that not only can the expert witness help the jury understand what is needed to diagnose PTSD, but they also have personal knowledge that the plaintiff has PTSD.

The more credible sources a plaintiff can provide to the jury about what PTSD is, and whether they have exhibited those symptoms, the stronger the case will be.

What Factors Determine the Value of a PTSD Lawsuit Settlement

Just because the plaintiff can prove they suffer from PTSD, doesn’t mean that they will be awarded damages. The severity of the damages will affect the value of the settlement. For example, if the victim of PTSD suffered job loss and/or pain and suffering, they may be able to receive compensation.

  • Severity of the injury. Documenting mental injuries are more difficult than documenting physical ones. However, it is critical to a PTSD case. To show the extent of your injuries, you can provide evidence showing the need for therapy, the need for medications, time lost from work, and other loss of other activities.
  • Inability to work. Document how PTSD has affected your day-to-day life and your ability to provide for yourself. This can include the amount of time missed from work, job loss, and even lost future income.

If you have been involved in an accident and suffer from PTSD, it may be difficult to prove. However, when a PTSD lawsuit is won it is worthwhile. The experienced attorneys at Dan Rose Law will ensure that your case has all the elements for success. We invite you to schedule a consultation, at no cost to you, by calling 415-945-8900 or online.

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.

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.

Top Five Things Car Insurance Companies Don’t Want You to Know

If you are ever involved in a car accident that results from someone else’s negligence, you will likely have to deal with an insurance company in order to obtain a settlement to compensate you for your injuries and losses. You should never expect that an insurance company has your best interest in mind during these negotiations. Learn the top five things car insurance companies do not want you to know regarding the process of attempting to receive the compensation you deserve after an accident.

They Will Make Filing and Paying a Claim Obnoxiously Long

The longer an insurance company draws out the process regarding a settlement offer, the longer they do not actually have to pay a victim. Additionally, some insurance companies hope that the long process will frustrate a victim so much that they will simply accept a lower settlement offer than they deserve. With mounting medical bills and life expenses, coupled with an inability to return to work, insurance companies know that victims count on settlements in order to pay daily expenses. Additionally, if they wait long enough to pay, a victim may fail to realize that the statute of limitations to file a claim in court has passed, leaving them with no legal ability to file a claim for the compensation they deserve.

Insurance Company Doctors Are Not Trustworthy

Insurance adjusters will always refer you to one of their doctors regarding your medical injuries in an attempt to find reasons to not fully pay a fair settlement claim. Doctors recommended by insurance companies will often attempt to find pre-existing conditions, arguing that your medical injuries are not the result of an accident at all. These tactics are simply used to discredit victims and minimize the amount of compensation offered as a settlement. Always make sure to visit your own doctor or medical professional in order to receive proper evaluation and treatment.

The Insurance Adjuster is Not Your Friend

Insurance adjusters will always come across as friendly and helpful. Many will ask simple questions such as how are you feeling today? If you say fine, they could use this answer against you regarding a lower settlement offer. Never make the assumption that the insurance adjuster is your friend. Most will sound very friendly and have manipulative tactics that attempt to endear themselves to victims. However, they have a vested interest in attempting to have you accept the lowest settlement offer possible. Never discuss anything with your adjuster that you do not have to, never offer complete medical records, and never allow yourself to be recorded.

The Insurance Company Does Not Want You to Sue

While an insurance company may use manipulative tactics in order to delay providing victims with appropriate settlement offers, they truly do not want a victim to sue for compensation following an accident. If a victim makes the decision to sue an insurance company for a fair and just settlement, they will have to expend additional resources and money in order to fight that lawsuit. This will only provide additional financial losses to the insurance company. Therefore, make sure to always stand your ground as it will likely provide you more of an opportunity to get the fair and just settlement that you deserve.

You Will Have a Lower Settlement Amount Without an Attorney

The truth is that you will likely have a lower settlement amount offered by an insurance company if you are not represented by an attorney. Insurance companies have adjusters who know manipulative tactics in order to get a victim to accept a lower settlement amount than they deserve. However, attorneys know these deceptive tactics and how to address them directly. If you suffered injuries and losses as a result of a car accident, make sure you have strong legal representation to get the settlement you deserve. Contact The Law Office of Daniel A. Rose as soon as possible, and our experienced accident lawyers will help you negotiate with the insurance company. Call for a free consultation today at 415-946-8900 or visit us online.

Top 7 Things Parents Have to Know When a Child Is Injured In a Car Crash

Any car accident can be overwhelming, and many people enter a state of shock following serious collisions. However, if you were involved in a car accident in the State of California, and your child was in the car with you, you may feel even more panicked or terrified. There are several steps you can take to ensure that your child receives the best possible treatment and care for their injuries and can receive justice if their injuries were due to someone else’s negligence.

Do Not Move Your Child

First, if your child is not injured in any way, or only has minor injuries, you may want to consider moving them from the vehicle, as there may be secondary accidents where other vehicles crash into the first accident causing a multiple-car pileup. However, if your child suffered injuries that seem serious or severe, you should make the decision to not move your child. Call 911 as soon as possible, and make sure to let them know that a child has been injured. This will alert emergency medical personal that there is a child on the scene of the accident to better prepare their medical attention and treatment. The police dispatcher may be able to help you make a decision regarding whether or not you should move your child out of the vehicle

Obtain Immediate Medical Evaluation and Treatment

If emergency personnel arrive at the scene of the accident, they will likely decide whether your child needs to go to the emergency room immediately. If they do not believe the injuries are severe enough to warrant an emergency room visit, you should still seek immediate medical evaluation from your personal physician or healthcare provider as soon as possible. Your child may have injuries that remain unnoticed for hours or even days such as traumatic brain injury, internal bleeding, internal organ damage, fractured bones, whiplash, neck and spine injuries, or even nerve damage. The sooner your child is seen by a medical professional, the sooner they will be able to receive appropriate treatment.

Obtain a Police Report

While a police report will not help your child’s injuries, having an official copy will help you file a claim with an insurance company in order to receive compensation for your child’s suffering, medical bills, and pain due to someone else’s negligence. You have the right to hold those negligent parties responsible for your child’s injuries and receive compensation for the substantial medical bills you may have, as well as lost wages due to the inability to return to work as you care for your child.

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

If your child was injured in a car accident, contact The Law Office of Daniel H. Rose. We will work on your child’s behalf to ensure that you receive compensation and a just settlement. Contact our experienced car accident attorneys at 415-946-8900 or online today.