Archive for January, 2013

Does not having a driver’s license establish fault?

“If the person that hit me didn’t have a valid driver’s license, does that help my case?”

I’m often presented the question of how the lack of a driver’s license affects liability, or “fault” of a party. In short, it doesn’t solely establish liability.

Whether a driver’s license has expired or has been invalidated (or the person could not get a license to begin with), many accidents occur where one driver does not have a valid driver’s license.

In order for a driver of a vehicle to be found responsible (“liable”) for an accident, it must be proven that the driver was negligent in being the cause of the collision. The question then arises: is driving a motor vehicle without a license “negligent?” It might be, but then it must be established that the negligent act (driving without a license) caused the accident.

Courts have come to the conclusion that age, or lack of an operator’s license could not be the proximate cause of an injury. The lack of skill or knowledge about operating an automobile may cause an injury, but if an unlicensed person is entrusted with one and operates it with a degree of care and skill that is required of a licensed operator, fault cannot be based upon the fact of age or lack of an operator’s license.

However, if a vehicle owner was to loan their vehicle to someone whom they know does not have a license, they may be liable through the theory of negligence entrustment (to be discussed later).

All in all, lack of a driver’s license really has nothing to do with whether a person is responsible for an accident, though the unlicensed driver is guilty of breaking California law requiring all drivers to have a license. However, but that is a criminal matter.

Have a particular question relating to the above? Feel free to contact San Diego Personal Injury attorney Josh Bonnici for a free consultation. Contact him at: http://www.bonnicilawgroup.com/

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How can I get medical treatment after an injury?

Medical Treatment for My Injuries after a Car Accident

In today’s economy, people are trying to save money wherever possible, and for some, struggle to keep a job that offers benefits. If you’re faced with an unexpected injury, what can you do? Medical treatment can be a significant challenge for those without insurance.  

There are a number of possible options for injuries suffered after an accident. Like any other injuries, the accident victim will be able to seek treatment under private health insurance, if available.  

Private health insurance is obviously not available to everyone.  Even if there is private insurance, the deductibles may cause significant financial strain. Many auto insurance policies have Medical payments Coverage (MedPay). Fairly standard MedPay coverage will be for $2,000.  It may be higher or lower depending on the policy.    

In the event that you have MedPay coverage, you will be able to seek medical attention under the coverage with the insurer paying the medical provider directly. Oftentimes, an attorney can help direct any applicable MedPay to necessary treatment, specialists, or any provider who will not provide treatment on a lien basis.

If you have no private health insurance or MedPay coverage, there are few other options for obtaining medical care unless you are Medicare or Medicaid eligible.  One possible option depending upon the type of medical care needed is a medical lien.  A lien guarantees that the medical provider will get paid for treatment rendered, but delays payment until any judgment or settlement proceeds. An experienced personal injury attorney can often negotiate liens with different medical providers.    However, it can be quite challenging at best to find orthopedic doctors and other specialists that will accept a letter of protection.  

While many cases follow similar time tracks, every case is different and deserving of individual analysis of coverage and care options. This applies to all aspects of insurance coverage, medical care and representation model. 

If you are injured in car accident, it is important to understand these issues.  It is generally advisable to seek the guidance of an experienced and personal bodily injury attorney.

Please feel free to contact our law firm by phone or by email for a free case evaluation. We can be reached by phone at (760) 445-7118 or through our email contact form by clicking the link below!

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Opening blog – Introduction

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As the first published entry, I thought I’d introduce myself, my practice and my personal mission. 

I’ve lived in San Diego nearly my entire life, and have found a connection with the communities here. After attending law school, I continued to work with a local Plaintiff’s law firm helping injured individuals fight against insurance companies to make sure they received the care, treatment and compensation they deserved under the law. My goal as always been to help protect the everyday citizen against the large, well-funded and staffed corporations. 

Recently, I have branched out and started my own practice, the BONNICI LAW GROUP, where I am able to team up with other like-minded attorneys and help people get a fair shake when confronted with legal issues. 

My focus has shifted to mainly helping two types of claims:

  •  Bodily Injury Cases: involving auto and trucking accidents, pedestrian injuries, bicycling and motorcycle accidents, as well as slip and fall injuries and dog bites);
  • Foreclosure Defense Cases: involving wrongful foreclosure, mortgage fraud, eviction defense and quiet title actions. 

In continuing to help the San Diego community in these areas, I give the people a voice against corporate America. A more descriptive and detailed account for each area of law will follow in future blog posts. 

As always, as a reader or subscriber to my blog, I offer a free phone consultation on any matter you may have questions on. Feel free to contact me at you convenience  Click the link below to be directed to my website where you can call or email.

Thank you for reading, and look forward to more advice, tips and fun topics to come!

JMB

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