I conducted an investigation and found out that my client’s friend had underinsured motorist coverage on his policy in the amount of $25,000. Based on my experience handling car accident cases, I knew that her friend’s underinsured motorist coverage extends to people that are “in, upon, entering into, or alighting from an insured vehicle.”
Insurance companies will always try and blame a bicycle rider for a collision when that bicycle rider was heading in the opposite direction of street traffic, despite the fact that the bicycle rider was not on the street. Insurance companies do this despite the fact that there is California case law that specifically says that they can’t do this.
Luckily for my client, he had underinsured motorist coverage on his own insurance policy in the amount of $50,000…
I know that drivers want to save the most they can on insurance premiums, so it is easy to waive your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage on your policy to save some money. However, there are many drivers in Los Angeles with minimum liability policies or no insurance coverage at all. I highly suggest that you keep your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage on your policies for situations just like these.
My clients were a family of five inside of an SUV. They were driving on the 405 to drop off their kids at school in the morning. They came to a complete stop in the exit lane and that’s when they felt a heavy impact from the rear. Two vehicles pulled over after the crash, a white sedan that was directly behind them and a box truck that was behind the white sedan.
The dad that was driving and one of the kids suffered the most serious injuries. Both of them suffered lower back injuries from the crash. After injections in the lower back did not help, doctors recommended surgery to alleviate the pain. Mom and the other two kids also suffered neck and lower back injuries, but they were able to recover well after treatment.
The insurance companies for the white sedan and the box truck did what they always do in this situation. The insurance companies blamed the entire incident on the other driver, instead of admitting any responsibility at all. That left my clients without a responsible party.
For three years, my clients were left wondering whether they would be stuck with all of the medical bills. For three years, they were forced to fight two insurance companies. Eventually, I invited trial lawyer, Minh Nguyen, of Nguyen Lawyers, to help with taking the case to trial. Once the insurance companies realized that we were ready for trial, we were able to settle the case. Together we were able to obtain a great result for our clients.
My client was stopped at a red light on Wilmington Ave. and 118th Street. There were a few cars stopped ahead of him. He looked in his rear-view mirror and saw a large white van barreling down on him. There was nowhere for him to go, so he braced himself for the impact. The van slammed into the back of my client’s truck.
The impact was so heavy that it pushed my client’s truck into the car in front of him. That car fled the scene immediately. My client’s Chevy Silverado truck was a total loss. The van was so damaged that it could not start on the scene and had to be towed away.
My client felt pain in his neck, shoulders, and back almost immediately after the crash. He did not have experience dealing with this type of serious crash, so he decided to call an attorney. That is when he contacted my office.
Immediately after contacting my office, I worked on having his own insurance company pay out the total loss of the truck because The City was still investigating the crash. Otherwise, he would have had to wait until The City finished its investigation to have his car paid out.
I referred him to an excellent chiropractor conveniently located near his home for evaluation and treatment. My client required several weeks of treatment before he started feeling better. After thirty visits to the chiropractor, my client was better but he still was not 100%.
That is when we negotiated a settlement with the city for $20,000. My client had enough money to continue treatment, and he was reasonably compensated for the months of pain and discomfort he had to experience after the crash. It is often very difficult to make bodily injury claims against government entities, and my client was relieved that he had me in his corner to take on The City.
My client was riding her motorcycle eastbound on Sepulveda in the South Bay. She was in the no. 2 lane closest to the curb. A car on her left changed lanes into her. The collision launched her from her motorcycle. She lost consciousness when she hit the ground and regained consciousness as she was rolling down the street. She ended up coming to a sliding stop in the middle of a cross walk down the street.
Luckily, my client was wearing a helmet and full protective gear at the time of the collision. She was also riding her motorcycle at a safe speed. These factors helped her survive the crash with a concussion, road rash, and a hairline in fracture in one of her fingers.
The at-fault driver that ran into my client told his insurance company that he had been in the no. 2 lane the entire time. He told his insurance company that my client tried to “shoot the gap” between his car and the curb. He alleged that he did not even know that he had made contact with another vehicle until he saw my client rolling down the street.
The at-fault driver’s story benefitted the insurance company, because if his story were true, the insurance company would not have to pay for my client’s damages. So, without further investigation, the insurance company denied liability for the collision. This is despite the fact that we told the insurance company that there were several stores and witnesses on the block where the collision occurred.
After signing up the client, my office conducted an investigation into the collision. After three visits to the site of the collision, my office found a witness. The manager at a McDonald’s saw the entire collision from the drive-thru window. The witness corroborated my client’s version of the collision. My investigator secured a sworn statement from the witness.
After having initially denied liability for the collision, the insurance company paid out the policy limits upon receiving the witness statement. My client would have been left owing medical bills if the at-fault driver and the insurance company would have gotten their way. But, we performed the hard investigation work and we fought the insurance company to obtain justice for our client.
My client was riding her bicycle, in the bicycle lane, southbound on Normandie Ave., approaching 2nd St. She is an avid cyclist and was riding her bicycle home to get ready for work. As she approached 2nd St., a vehicle traveling southbound on Normandie approached her from the rear, passed her, and then turned right directly into her.
My client was pushed into parked cars on her right. She bounced off the parked cars and fell to the ground. She tried to brace herself as she fell on her left side. She ended up with a small fracture in her left arm and bruising and road rash on her left side.
My client was shaken up on the scene. She was scared because she was young and had never been involved in a traffic collision before. To make matters worse, the at-fault driver tried to accuse my client of “coming out of nowhere” when, in fact, she was traveling straight in the bicycle lane the entire time. The police arrived on the scene and prepared a police report, which made my client even more nervous. Eventually, her mom picked her up on the scene and took her to a nearby hospital to be evaluated.
After the collision, my client called me because she did not know what to do next and did not know how she was going to pay for her medical treatment. I contacted the hospital and had them send me their bills. Then, I helped her find the doctors she needed to diagnose and treat her injuries. She received all of the treatment that the hospital recommended and she eventually made a full recovery.
The at-fault driver’s insurance company tried to offer less than their policy limit amount to settle the case. After battling back and forth, the insurance company was forced to tender its $50,000 policy limit. From that settlement, we were able to pay the hospital and all of her other medical bills. She was happy that she got her medical bills paid and was able to keep a significant portion of the recovery in her pocket.
Attorney Leo Herrera attended Virginia Road Elementary School's Career Day and spoke to 1st through 5th graders about being an attorney.