What Should I Do if I’m Hit by an Uninsured Motorist?

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A motor vehicle accident can be shocking enough, but finding out that the other driver is uninsured can take the stress of the accident to an entirely different level. If you are injured or if your car is damaged, it can become expensive to pay the bills. So, what do you do if the other driver is not insured and your insurance will not cover all the expenses?

Insured or Uninsured

In 2012, it was estimated that nearly 15% of California motorists were uninsured. That figure ranked California 13th in the United States. Meanwhile, an unbelievable one-quarter of all motorists in Oklahoma were estimated to be uninsured. If the other driver in your accident is not insured, your own car insurance could take care of all the expenses you incur. However, in some cases this is not enough, especially if you are injured severely.

When you buy your vehicle insurance policy, there is an option to buy uninsured motorist coverage. This will cover your vehicle’s damages as well as medical bills in the case the other driver in an accident lacks automobile insurance. Purchasing uninsured motorist coverage is seen as the ideal and only way to potentially prevent losing thousands of dollars due to an uninsured driver. Getting the best vehicle insurance you can is a step in the right direction, but what happens to the other driver?

Traditional Negligence State

California is a traditional negligence state when it comes to auto accidents. Due to the Golden State’s stance on car collisions, you can file a lawsuit against the person that hit you if he or she does not have auto insurance. In this case, you will need to prove it was the other driver’s fault for hitting you and causing the accident.

Problems with Lawsuits Against Uninsured Drivers

You can already guess the problem with filing a lawsuit against an uninsured driver. If you can prove it was his or her fault and you win your case, it can be difficult, or even impossible, to obtain any compensation.

Catch-22 Auto Insurance

In some cases, drivers who have their automobiles totaled can receive zero in compensation from their insurers. Of course, if the other driver is not insured, you will not receive any money from him or her, either. Your insurer could refrain from paying out due to your policy. It is important to read over the policy when you purchase it.

In a recent case, one man who was injured in a car accident by an under-insured motorist sued his auto insurance company for not paying his medical bills. The under-insured motorist’s policy was not enough to pay for his treatment, which has brought on the lawsuit.

Best Advice

Insurance experts advise buying uninsured motorist coverage to make sure you are protected. Even if you are injured, it may be impossible to receive compensation in court.

Flahavan Law Offices | Thousand Oaks Uninsured Motorist Attorneys

If you or a loved one has experienced an injury from an auto accident and the medical expenses that come with it, contact Flahavan Law Offices. Flahavan Law Offices specializes in personal injury law and can give you advice on the compensation you deserve. Visit our homepage or contact us directly. Flahavan Law Offices is here to help with all your personal injury law needs.

Kevin Flahavan Named to Rising Stars List

In June, 2017, Kevin Flahavan was named to Super Lawyers Southern California’s Rising Stars List. An achievement given to the top 2.5% of attorneys under the age of 40 in Southern California! To read the full Super Lawyers Article click the link below….

Read Full Article Here

Best Attorney in Westlake Village
Kevin Flahavan: 2017 Southern California Rising Stars List

From Super Lawyers Magazine Rising Stars Edition June, 2017:

To say Kevin Flahavan feels at home in his new Westlake Village office would be an understatement. He literally grew up in a law firm. The son of William Flahavan, lead author of the “Personal Injury Practice Guide,” was just 8 years old when his dad turned part of the house into an office. He believes it is a big reason for his firm’s success.

“I remember all of the clients who would come to the house,” says Flahavan. “Without fully understanding the circumstances, I think I just associated them with friends and family. That mentality is something that has always stayed with me. I want to represent each of my clients just as I would my own family members.”

There was never a shortage of great attorneys around either. Flahavan is the godson of Tom Girardi of Girardi Keese and went to elementary school with the daughter of Larry Grassini of Grassini Wrinkle & Johnson. In 2016, he handled separate cases with each of their firms.

“These are people I’ve always looked up to,” says Flahavan. “You can learn a hundred things just from being around them for ten minutes. They each have their own unique style or way of doing things that make them great, but I think the one thing they have in common is a genuine care for their clients and a love for this profession. I like to think that’s one thing I share with them.”

Personal injury law has become the Flahavan family business. Kevin’s older brother, Brian Flahavan, has a firm in Northern California, which allows the Flahavans to handle cases throughout California. “My brother and I were extremely lucky to have such great parents,” says Flahavan. “They just wanted us to do something that we were passionate about. I think we saw how much our dad loved his work and his passion really rubbed off on us.”

Kevin Flahavan’s passion has been noticeable throughout the legal community. It’s one of the reasons why he was recently elected to the Ventura County Trial Lawyers Association Board of Directors. In addition to his practice, Flahavan is passionate about animals. He is a sponsor of the Ventura County Sherriff’s K9 Golf Tournament and, as you can see, loves Dobermans.

 

 

 

 

California’s Parking Lots are Full of Danger

Car Accident Attorney Westlake Village
photo by CBSlocal

California’s parking lots can be dangerous places. Everyday, people slip, trip, and fall in the parking lots of major businesses or in parking garages. But it is not just slips, trips, and falls that pedestrians should be aware of when walking in a parking lot or parking garage.

Too often, vehicles drive too fast when looking for a free parking spot. Pedestrians can be in danger when cars are zooming through the area. In addition, vehicles backing out of parking spots can leave those on foot in danger. Drivers can be hampered by blind spots or could simply not see someone behind their vehicles.

What Causes a Parking Lot Accident?

When motorists enter a business’s parking lot, they are often focusing on other things. Whether their thoughts are on work, shopping, or looking for a good parking spot, drivers often fail to see those on foot.

Another cause of accidents are blind spots when a driver backs out of a parking spot. These blind spots can cause sudden fender benders or pedestrians to be hit. In April of 2017, a car backing out of a parking place at high-speed at a Chino, California church mowed down six pedestrians. Two were killed in the accident and the other four were left badly injured.

It is important to remember that parking lots can be confusing because traditional traffic laws do not apply. Drivers feel they can drive as recklessly as they want when entering or exiting a parking lot.

Due to the amount of traffic in a parking lot, people can become irritated easily. When drivers becoming aggressive in their search for a parking spot, accidents are more likely to occur.

Parking Lot Attacks

It is not just vehicles that pedestrians need to be aware of in parking lots. There have been a number of attacks by people on other people at nationally known shopping chains. Walmart is one such chain that has seen attacks on individuals in parking lots. In 2016, a disabled man was attacked by a woman who had parked in an accessible parking space. The disabled man was physically removed from his vehicle before being thrown to the ground. He suffered several injuries in the melee.

Parking Lot Safety Tips

* Be aware of other vehicles and pedestrians when you reverse from a parking space,

* Park away from the shopping center’s entrance where fewer cars are located,

* Pedestrians should not walk in the middle of driving lanes,

* Pedestrians should pay attention to the parking lot’s traffic, and

* If pedestrian walking areas are available, use them.

Accidents happen every day in parking lots across California. Whether it is in an automobile or on foot, injuries occur. If you have suffered an injury and your medical bills are piling up, then you should seek out the help of a personal injury attorney.

Flahavan Law Offices | Car Accident Attorney Westlake Village

If you or a loved one has experienced an injury from an auto accident in a parking lot or on the road, contact Flahavan Law Offices. Flahavan Law Offices specializes in personal injury law and can give you advice on the compensation you deserve. Visit our homepage or contact us directly. Flahavan Law Office is here to help with all your personal injury law needs.

Self-Driving Vehicles Leave Liability in Murky Area

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Fads come and go, but one that the world seems set on exploring further is self-driving vehicles. For decades, the idea of a self-driving automobile seemed like science fiction. However, the new fad is a reality that is being tested around the United States. In fact, California has moved to allow tests and change regulations on fully self-driving vehicles in 2017, according to CNN. By early 2018, the state could have fully self-driving vehicles on its roads.

Rush to Adopt Self-Driving Vehicles

Although the technology is still being developed, many experts feel like there is a rush to adopt self-driving cars and get them out to the public. In the end, this rush of automated driving could be detrimental to the health and safety of other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.

There is no doubt that California’s roads could be the safest in the country if the technology in self-driving cars is 100% perfect. If each automobile had self-driving capabilities, the days of auto accidents could be a thing of the past. With the rush to adopt, though, problems can occur, especially with the technology being so new. According to Vice’s MotherBoard website, California has seen 18 auto accidents since 2016 from self-driving vehicles.

Accidents

One of the most interesting aspects of self-driving vehicles lies in whose fault it is when there is an accident. One consumer safety group wants to hold the automakers producing the cars liable for any accident involving a self-driving vehicle, according to The Detroit News.

Due to the automakers creating the software in the vehicles, making the auto companies liable for an accident is considered the right thing to do by many. If auto companies were held responsible, the amount of compensation each would pay out in personal injury claims could be astronomical. It could put some automakers in serious financial trouble.

There is still plenty of debate needed to clear up the murky waters that surround liability in the case of self-driving vehicle accidents.

Dangers of Self-Driving Automobiles

There are plenty of dangers associated with self-driving automobiles that worry consumer groups and drivers. One danger produced by self-driving vehicles is that passengers gain a false sense of security. Reports indicate that drivers using a semi self-driving vehicle that encounters danger take around 17 seconds to react.

Another danger involves the vehicle’s computer system, which can be hacked by savvy computer users. In late 2016, it was reported that Tesla’s Model S was hacked by a group of Chinese researchers. The hack was completed from 12 miles away and allowed the researchers to control aspects of the car’s performance.

The computer in a self-driving vehicle could also malfunction. A malfunction could take passengers to the wrong destination or misread traffic. Regardless, dangerous accidents could occur.

California could have fully functioning, self-driving vehicles on the state’s roads soon. Accidents and injuries could result in the early years of adopting the technology. If you are injured by a self-driving auto accident, hiring an experienced personal injury attorney is important in getting you the compensation you deserve.

Flahavan Law Offices | Westlake Village Injury Attorneys

If you or a loved one has experienced an injury from an auto accident, contact Flahavan Law Offices. Flahavan Law Offices specializes in personal injury law and can give you advice on the compensation you deserve. Visit our homepage or contact us directly. Flahavan Law Offices is here to help with all your personal injury law needs.

What Should You Do After a Car Accident?

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According to The Los Angeles Times, 2015 saw an increase in fatalities in car crashes in California. Due to a stronger economy, more people were on the road in the Golden State, increasing the likelihood of an accident. With 14.5 million registered automobiles on the road in California in 2015, it is little surprise that car accidents are commonplace. Auto accidents can happen anytime, whether a person is behind the wheel or riding public transport. Although fatalities can result from auto accidents, many drivers and passengers walk away from accidents unharmed. Some accident victims that do not go to the hospital or seek medical attention right away, find they suffer injuries or problems later on. Injuries and medical bills can pile up in any case, and cost an accident victim dearly.

So, what can you do to prevent expenses from mounting, and what should you do immediately after a car accident? 

Medical Treatment

Following an accident, you may need to seek emergency medical treatment. Even if you do not think you need medical attention right away, you could develop pain later on, so it is important to get checked out either way. Any medical treatment or doctor’s appointments you have attended post-accident should be recorded. Keeping track of medical expenses can help you receive compensation later.

Contact Your Insurance Company

After an accident has happened, it is important for you to contact your insurance company as soon as possible. When you speak with an insurance agent, explain the accident as clearly as you can. Your insurance company needs the facts of the accident to fill in the claims form. If the information you have given does not add up – due to not being completely truthful – you can get into serious trouble down the line. An insurance company may not cover you for the accident if it finds out you lied about certain details.

Missed Workdays

In the same way medical expenses can added up, so can missed workdays. Like medical appointments and expenses, be sure to keep track of the days and wages missed from work. In addition, if you are unable to complete normal tasks, keep track of them and be sure to speak with your attorney about the changes to your daily routine. You could be compensated for disruptions to your lifestyle.

Do Not Take an Early Settlement

After the accident, it is important not to settle for a payment right away. If an insurance company offers to settle, it should raise red flags for you. Be sure to get full treatment for any injuries before accepting a settlement. Some insurance companies want to settle quickly to avoid paying more money once further treatment is needed. It is always a good idea to enlist a personal injury lawyer from Flahavan Law offices to represent you after an accident.

Flahavan Law Offices

If you or a loved one has experienced a traffic accident and the medical expenses that come after one, contact Flahavan Law Offices. Flahavan Law Offices specializes in personal injury law and can give you advice on the compensation you deserve. Visit our dedicated page on auto accidents or contact us directly. Flahavan Law Offices is here to help with all your personal injury law needs.

Negligent Drivers and Auto Accidents

Picture by LATimes.
Flahavan Law Offices: Ventura County Bus Accident Lawyers

Despite the general decline in public transport use by residents of Southern California, plenty of Californians still ride buses and trains to and from their place of work each day.

Unfortunately, traveling by public transit is not always a flawless or safe experience. In the case of city buses, you are still on highways and busy roads with other automobiles. Accidents can happen when using city transit. Just like being behind the wheel of an automobile or being a passenger in a personal car, injuries or fatalities can occur.

In February, a tour bus driving through Southern California hit two oncoming cars. The auto accident killed one and injured over two dozen more. The victims of this accidents now have medical bills to pay and grieving family members left to mourn them. They can sue the company that owns the tour bus for negligence.

 What is Driver Negligence?

If a driver behaves in a careless way and has caused injury or harm to a passenger or fellow driver, he or she can be found guilty of negligence. In many auto accident cases, a driver can be seen as negligent if an accident is caused due to the person doing something they should not have done. This may include:

  • Running a red light
  • Speeding
  • Not turning on headlights at night
  • Not yielding to oncoming traffic
  • Not yielding to pedestrians

Suing for Negligence

In the case of the 26 people injured in the tour bus crash, a lawsuit can be brought against the bus company that owned the vehicle and employed the driver. The attorney for the injured (plaintiffs) will need to show that the bus driver acted without taking “reasonable care” while driving. In basic terms, the court will ask if the driver showed a reasonable amount of responsibility when driving and encountering other vehicles. Did the driver act in a “reasonable” way?

If the driver does not meet the criteria of what a “reasonable” person should have done on the road, then he or she may be found negligent, as well as his or her employer.

Were Injuries Caused by the Bus Driver?

The 26 passengers involved with the tour bus accident must prove that their injuries were caused by the bus driver. If one of the passengers received a broken arm in the accident, then that passenger must prove that it was the negligence of the driver that caused the injury in order to recover for that injury. On the other hand, if someone that was involved with the tour bus accident already had a broken arm, and it wasn’t injured further, that person would not be able to recover for that broken arm.

 Can a Victim Receive Compensation?

A passenger on the bus that broke his or her arm may be entitled to compensation for the injury. If the passenger has missed work or is unable to fulfill a regular daily responsibilities, compensation may be granted.

 In the coming weeks, we will take a further look at driver responsibility.

 Flahavan Law Offices: Injury Lawyers Ventura County and Los Angeles County

 If you or a loved one has experienced a traffic accident in Ventura County or Los Angeles County associated with driver negligence and the medical expenses that come after it, contact Flahavan Law Offices. Flahavan Law Offices specializes in personal injury cases and can give you advice on achieving the compensation you deserve. Visit our dedicated page on bus accidents or contact us directly. Flahavan Law Offices is here to help with all your personal injury law needs.

Wow! … Exactly Why Employee Guidelines Aren’t Enough

There are a lot of personal injury cases that deal with whether employers can (and should) be held liable for the actions of their employees. In almost every profession, an employee is given a handbook, courses, and/or other training that lay out what the safety systems and procedures are for certain situations.

Below is a perfect example of why employee handbooks cannot be a substitute for being reasonable. These Comcast employees seem oblivious to the fact that their actions are endangering the lives of everyone else on the road. However, what is most concerning is that they feel their guidelines and procedures can be a substitute for taking reasonable safety measures given the situation they are in.

Kevin Flahavan
Flahavan Law Offices
FlahavanLawOffices.com
(805)230-9973