| Read Time: 2 minutes | Auto Accidents

Automobile Insurance Policy must-Haves to ensure you’re fully covered.

California mandates that vehicle owners have an auto liability insurance policy in effect that covers the other party’s medical costs, lost earnings, and property damage. The minimum amount of insurance required is: $15,000 for each person harmed; $30,000 all persons harmed; $5,000 for property damage. This is all you need to legally register and drive your car in California, but this scant coverage is probably not sufficient to protect you financially if you have an accident. An experienced California injury claim lawyer can advise you about how much coverage you need and how to file your claim.   What The Options For Additional Coverage? Unless you’re driving an 20 year old car and have no assets, this probably isn’t enough coverage for you. You should seriously consider purchasing uninsured/under-insured coverage in case you suffer severe injuries caused by a driver carrying a minimum policy.  If your car is valuable, it’s important to have comprehensive and[1]  collision insurance which will reimburse you for damage to your car. This coverage is valuable if: The damage costs more to repair than the policy limits of the car that hit you; A hit and runs and; An accident that you cause yourself. Med Pay is also worth considering because it usually has no co-pays or deductibles and pays for services not usually covered by health insurance. It even protects you when you’re a pedestrian, a passenger in somebody else’s car, or when you’re using public transportation.   When Would I Need Additional Liability Coverage? If you own a house or other property, you should opt for higher limits for liability in case you’re sued by somebody else. Most homeowners have at least $100,000 in coverage, and many choose to purchase umbrella policies of $1,000,000 or more. The best way to make sure you’re properly covered is to discuss your coverage needs with an insurance broker or an experienced California injury claim lawyer.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Auto Accidents

California Livestock Collision

The Federal Highway Safety Commission (FHSC,) estimates that there are over a million collisions a year caused by animals on the road. In rural California, accidents involving livestock cause a substantial amount of injuries and property damage. If you’ve been injured in a collision with cows, horses, sheep, pigs or other livestock, you may have a claim against the owner of the animals. It’s important to speak to a California livestock collision attorney as soon as possible after your accident, as deadlines can be short.   What Causes Livestock Collisions in Turlock, Modesto, Merced, and Monterey, California? Drivers rely on traffic signals and speed limit signs to ensure that they can quickly and safely reach their destination, not expecting large obstructions en-route. California has many roads that are adjacent to grazing areas, where animals or groups of animals that appear to be contained. Unfortunately, these animals sometimes escape their enclosures and they can become road hazards. When an animal weighing hundreds of pounds suddenly appears in front of a vehicle, the results can be catastrophic. The force of a collision with a large animal can cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle, spin into oncoming traffic or rollover. If you’re a victim, it’s important to hire an experienced California livestock collision attorney to handle your case.   California Laws Protect Motorists Injured In Collisions With Livestock California Food and Agricultural Code Section 16902 creates a duty for persons that own or control livestock to protect the public by not permitting animals to stray upon or remain on a public highway. Section 16904 of the Code specifies that despite the duty of the animal owners, there is no presumption of negligence when a motor vehicle accident occurs involving their animal, placing the duty on the claimant. It’s possible to bring a successful case against the animal owners, but only with the help of an experienced California livestock collision attorney that knows how to successfully prove the animal owner was negligent.   California Livestock Collision Attorney If you’ve been injured by a collision with livestock in Turlock, Modesto, Merced, and Monterey California, it’s important to contact a California livestock collision attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal rights and claims for compensation. Please call today for a free consultation.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Auto Accidents

Were you in a car accident with a minor child who sustained injuries?

If you were in a car accident that involved a minor child, and you and the minor child sustained injuries, you both may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, which may include compensation for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other resulting harms or losses from the accident. Often these cases are resolved through a settlement agreement, whether before or after filing a lawsuit.   When the car accident caused injuries to a minor child, there are important factors to consider when reaching a settlement. Generally, the court must approve a settlement that includes a minor child because the minor child does not have the legal capacity to enter into a binding contract as a matter of law. The court can appoint someone with the legal power to represent the minor child and enter into a settlement agreement on his or her behalf. Often though, a formal appointment is not needed because the minor child lives under the care of a parent who is not being sued. Accordingly, the parent can represent the minor child and enter into a settlement agreement on behalf of the minor child.   The court, however, must still approve the settlement agreement, and may schedule a hearing. If the matter is settled before filing a lawsuit, the settlement agreement must be filed with the court for its approval in the county where the child resides. If the matter is settled following the filing of a lawsuit, then the judge assigned to the case would have to approve the settlement agreement. Without the court’s approval, a settlement agreement on behalf a minor child may not be valid and enforceable, so it is important to follow the required procedure.  

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Auto Accidents

Were you injured in a car accident and partly at fault?

If you were in a car accident, sustained injuries, and were partly at fault in the accident, you may still have a right to recover compensation for your damages, which may include compensation for your injuries, property damages, and other losses resulting from the accident. Being partly at fault does not mean that you do not recover any compensation for your injuries; rather, it will depend on how much you were at fault.   California is called a comparative fault state, which means that when there is a car accident for which more than one driver is responsible, each driver’s contribution to the car accident is assessed to determine how much compensation a driver can receive. For example, suppose you are driving on a four-lane street and a driver in the lane next to you merges into your lane. The driver does not signal or look over his shoulder to see if there is a car in his blind spot, and he hits your car. The other driver’s unsafe merger causes you to suffer physical injuries and car damage, totaling $10,000 in damages. An investigation finds that while the other driver was 90% at fault, you were 10% at fault because you were driving 20 miles above the speed limit, which contributed to the accident. Consequently, if your recovery totals $10,000 for the damages you sustained from the car accident, your recovery will be proportionally reduced by your fault, which in this example would be 10% or $1,000, leaving you with a total recovery of $9,000.  

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Auto Accidents

What To Do If You’re Injured In An Uber or Lyft Accident

  If you’re injured in an Uber or Lyft accident in California, it’s important to make sure to report the accident to the police. Don’t let the driver talk you into letting him leave you at the scene or keep going to your destination. If you’re seriously injured, make sure that the police call an ambulance to take you to the closest emergency room to be checked out. Once you’ve taken care of reporting the accident and your health, you should call an experienced California Uber and Lyft injury attorney.   California’s Rideshare Insurance Scheme Is Complicated California requires drivers for  “Transportation Network Companies (TNC’s,) such as Uber, Lyft and other rideshare companies, to be covered by “rideshare insurance” whenever the app is on. The coverage has different policy limits depending on the “period” the ride is in.   The App is Off: This is period 0, the driver’s personal insurance is in effect, and California’s minimum insurance requirements apply. ($15,000 per person, $30,000 per incident for liability, and $5,000 for property damage.)   The App is On, but not yet paired with a Passenger: This is Period 1, and the minimum policy limits increase substantially. ($50,000 per person, $100,000 per incident for liability, and $30,000 for property damage.)   Passenger In Vehicle: These are Period 1 and 2, and California requires $1,000,000 in liability coverage, plus $1,000,000 in uninsured and underinsured coverage.   If you’re seriously injured in a California Uber or Lyft accident, you can collect up to $1,000,000 in compensation for pain and suffering, lost present and future earnings, emotional distress, and other causes of action. This is true even if the car that caused the accident is only carrying a minimum policy for liability for $30,000 because of the required underinsurance coverage. If you’ve been involved in an Uber or Lyft accident, you should call an experienced California Uber and Lyft attorney as soon as possible to discuss your claim.  

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Auto Accidents

You May Be Entitled To Punitive Damages If You’re Injured By A Drunk Driver in California

When you’re injured by a drunk driver, you’re entitled to compensation for your medical costs, lost earnings, and pain and suffering, just like any other personal injury case. In addition, based on the facts, you might also be entitled to collect punitive damages from the persons or entities responsible. The intent of punitive damages is to punish heinous behavior, sending the message that our society will not tolerate such conduct. If you’ve been injured in a drunk driving accident, you should speak to a California personal injury attorney about collecting compensation and punitive damages.   Does My Case Meet the Standard For Punitive Damages? Not every drunk driving case meets the standard for punitive damages. For example, somebody that had a few glasses of champagne at a graduation party, and bumped your car in the rear would be liable for negligence, but it’s unlikely that it would be possible to collect punitive damages even if they tested slightly over the legal alcohol percentage. On the other hand, if somebody stopped at a bar at the end of their shift driving an 18 wheeler, downed 10 shots of whiskey, got back in the truck and plowed into you, there would be a serious chance of collecting punitive damages. The issue is whether the drunk driving behavior was truly outrageous. An extra glass of champagne at a party is negligent, but drinking shots before driving an 18 wheeler is extremely reckless!     If you’ve been seriously injured by a drunk driver, you should contact the Silva Injury Law firm at (209) 600-4389 to set-up your free consultation.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Auto Accidents

What to Do After A Commercial Truck Accident

It’s hard enough to know what to do after a car accident, but if you’ve been involved in a commercial truck accident it’s even more complicated. Commercial trucks can be registered in any of the 50 states and also in Canada or Mexico, involving both state laws and federal laws governing interstate commerce. If you’ve been seriously injured in a commercial truck accident, it’s important to hire an attorney that has experience handling cases involving big rigs and 18 wheelers.   Call the Police to the Scene The most important thing to protect is your health. That’s why the first thing to do is to call the police, who will arrange to have an ambulance sent to the scene. If you are seriously injured, try to move around as little as possible until the ambulance arrives. It’s important to have your injuries checked out at the hospital even if they don’t seem serious at first as internal injuries might not be symptomatic.  If you are not seriously injured, use the time that you’re waiting for the police to take photos and videos of the scene or ask others to do this for you.   Report the Accident To Your Own Insurance Company Many insurance policies have timely reporting requirements so it’s important to report the commercial truck accident as soon as possible. If you have coverage for medical benefits, lost earnings or damage to your vehicle, it’s helpful to begin these processes quickly so that you can collect the monies due to you quickly.   Do Not Speak To The Commercial Truck’s Insurance Company Insurance adjusters can be very friendly when they call you up and tell you that they can help you resolve everything quickly. What they are trying to do is to get to you say things that will hurt your case and/or to settle your case for much less than it’s worth. If you are contacted by the commercial truck’s insurance company before you’ve retained an attorney, just ignore the calls. Consult with an experienced commercial truck accident attorney as soon as possible after the accident.   If you have been injured by a commercial truck driver, call Silva Injury Law, Inc. today!

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Auto Accidents

California Drivers – 10 Amazing tips for staying safe when driving in the rain

As you know Californian’s typically don’t encounter too much rain and when we do, it can unexpected and challenging to be in the road, As of recent, we have gotten a lot of rain here and the storms aren’t stopping anytime soon. Safety should be your main concern, but not all drivers follow these rules.   Here are our top 10 tips for driving in the rain: 1.)  Watch your speed.  This is the thing that can make or break your travels. The faster you go the harder it will be to stop or slow down. Hydroplaning can happen in the slightest of weather conditions.   2.) Headlights are your friend. Most new cars have an auto headlight feature, some older cars need to have the headlights turned on manually Headlights will help you see better, additionally, they help other drivers see you. Drivers behind you need to see your lights and break lights as well. Remember – wipers on, headlights on! It’s easy to perform a brake light test to see if you have a broken taillight and very affordable to replace these lights that are not working.   3.) First rain on the road. The first rain of the season can be the most difficult. There is residue of accumulated grease and oil on the roads, then when the rain starts the roads it creates s really slick and slippery road. It’s easy to loose control with these conditions.   4.) The wind is not your friend. Many rainstorms bring the heaviest of winds and if you are driving and you feel your car starting to move or sway, be sure to hold onto your steering wheel and remember to not panic. Make slight adjustments to stay in your lane. Also, be aware of large trucks and buses on the road, these larger vehicles are more susceptible to high winds due to their larger cargo area.   5.) Debris and puddles in the road. This can include objects such as car parts from accidents, fallen trees, large puddles or branches. Downed power lines also present a hazard. be alert for all these dangers on he road.You can not determine how deep the puddle is and the impact of a pothole or large area of water can cause you costly damage to your car and possible injury to you.   6.) Maintain a safe following distance. This rule should apply in regular driving conditions. However, under normal conditions, you would drive at least 5 seconds behind the vehicles in front of you. This should be practiced in all weather conditions. It’s especially important to increase your distance when driving behind vehicles, especially trucks and buses.   7.) Flooding and deep areas. Don’t drive through moving water or area where there are large puddles. If water is crossing the road, turn around and find an alternate route. Although It may not look like a strong current or a deep puddle, you never know what’s under the water (ie.a hazard in the road) , If the water is a moving, the current can carry you very easily, it can very-well carry you off the road. Turn around, don’t drown, don’t risk it. You risk getting stuck or trapped or ultimately ruining your vehicle can causing you harm.   8.) See and be seen. When it’s raining so hard that you can’t see the road or the cars around you, it’s best to pull over to be safe. It’s best to wait it out. If you can’t see the road, put on your four-way hazard flashers and find a safe place to pull off the road or highway. Other cars may have trouble seeing the road too and might not see you, it’s better to be safe than sorry.   9.) Windshield wipers. If you haven’t yet replaced your windshield wipers for this winter season, make this a priority. You need to have the best viability possible so you can see the road. Most auto supply shops and dealerships will install them for you at no charge.   10.) Wear rain gear! If, in the event you are stranded or are stuck in this crazy rainy weather, be sure you have the appropriate clothing and are prepared for all conditions. There is nothing worse than being cold whike waiting for assistance.   All of here at Silva Injury Law, Inc. we encourage all drivers to be careful when driving in rainy and stormy conditions. We can all reduce the number of injuries and fatalities if you follow these tips. If you or a loved one is the victim of a car crash in the rain we can help you. Additionally, a slip and fall on wet pavement can cause severe injuries. If your car crashes due to hydroplaning or other weather related accidents, consult us so we can assist you with the appropriate legal advice.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Auto Accidents

DON’T SIGN ANYTHING!!!

Prior to becoming a personal injury attorney, I worked as a deputy district attorney. My job was to prosecute individuals accused of crimes. Most of the time, the people I prosecuted on behalf of the State of California were represented by capable defense attorneys. On rare occasions, a defendant would choose to represent him/herself. They would forfeit their right to be represented by counsel. The right to have someone on their team to ensure that their rights were fully protected. The judge would implore these defendants’ to reconsider their choice to go at it alone. After all, the defendant is oftentimes not trained in the law or how to protect their legal rights. The judge would tell them that if they were to lose, they cannot later say they want another trial with an attorney. Similar to the situation described above, you should not go at it alone if you’ve been injured in an auto accident through no fault of your own.   You have been in an auto accident. It is not your fault and you’re injured. You can expect a call from the insurance company of the driver who hit you very soon. They will try to get a statement from you hoping you will say something they can later use against you. Of course, they will be recording the conversation.   At some point they might even offer you a couple hundred dollars, maybe even a couple of thousand. They will hound you to sign the release before they will cut you a check. If you ask them whether you should get an attorney they will try to convince you that it is not necessary and an attorney will take all of your money.   Just take a moment to think about what has happened…Really think about it. First, they represent the person who hit you, NOT YOU! They work for the insurance company of the person who hit you, NOT YOU!   Consider the great NFL Quarterback Tom Brady. He did not become a great quarterback by taking advice and counsel from the linebackers on the opposing team on the field. He had his team to support him in winning.   Insurance companies care about paying out as little as possible to you, not what’s fair. They won’t tell you attorneys help their clients recover on average 3.5 times the amount they will offer to an unrepresented injured person. They will not ensure that you have adequate funds to cover past, present, and future medical treatment or damaged property.   Unfortunately, these tactics work for insurance companies, and injured persons who were not at fault are stuck with the medical bills, co-pays, loss of earnings due to missing work, lingering pain from the injuries sustained, etc.   Don’t sign anything unless you know exactly the consequences that your signature will lead to in the future. Even the playing field. Call a personal injury attorney to join your team.   IF YOU HAVE BEEN INJURED IN AN AUTO ACCIDENT, CALL SILVA INJURY LAW TODAY!

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| Read Time: < 1 minute | Auto Accidents

MedPay – What is it?…and why you need it…

What is MedPay? Medical Payments coverage, commonly known as MedPay coverage, pays medical expenses for you and any passengers in your vehicle who are injured during an accident or auto-related injury. You can and should consider getting MedPay coverage as part of your auto insurance policy.   Why you need MedPay… Unfortunately, medical bills accrue from treatment you receive from an auto accident, even if the accident wasn’t your fault. Personal injury claims can take time to resolve; however, that won’t stop medical bills from showing up in your mailbox. MedPay coverage can assist with paying your medical bills while your personal injury claim is pending. Your personal injury attorney can help you make a claim for MedPay with your auto insurance to help pay your medical bills while your personal injury claim is being handled.   CALL SILVA INJURY LAW IF YOU HAVE BEEN INJURED IN AN AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT FOR A FREE LEGAL CONSULTATION!

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