You Ask.  

We Answer. 

Please Submit any Questions You may have by calling Nina at (310) 859-8638 or by sending her an email at legalteam@brahmanlaw.com

1.  Why Should I Hire an Attorney from the Start if the Person Who is at Fault has Insurance?

You should consult a competent Attorney because the Insurance Company for the person at fault does not owe a third party (you!) a duty of good faith and fair dealing under California Law.  More often than not, the insurance company wants to rush you and compromise your claim for a lot less compensation than California law allows so they have to pay less money.   You should be careful when dealing with insurance companies who often look for any excuse to blame you for the incident or undermine the seriousness of your predicament.   Having an experienced and caring  personal injury attorney from the start will allow you to assess the true value of your claim and to recover what is fair and just under the law.  It is important not to sign any documents or give any statements without consulting an attorney first.

2.  What is the Basic Premise of California Personal Injury Laws that apply when someone is injured?

California’s personal injury laws provide an avenue for compensation to those who have suffered damages to their health, wellbeing and/or their right of pursuit of happiness due to someone else’s actions or negligence.  Examples of such cases are when a person is injured as a result of a car accident caused by a negligent driver or as a result of a dangerous condition at a property.  

3.  What is the Regular Process of a Personal Injury Case?

The vast majority of personal injury claims settle before a lawsuit is filed.  Once your damages are properly evaluated, an experienced personal injury attorney will send a particular correspondence detailing the facts of the incident, your losses, your medical treatment and your specific pain and suffering to the insurance company for the party at fault and demands a settlement pursuant to certain specific sections of California laws that apply to your case.  Within a reasonable time after receiving the demand (usually 30 days), the Insurance company is supposed to deny your claim or extend an offer which you and your attorney may 1) accept if fair or 2) negotiate if too low (usually the case!).  If your attorney and your insurance company reach a settlement that is satisfactory to you and fairly compensates you for your losses, you do not need to go to Court.  While not every injury, whether physical, financial or harm to reputation, warrants a lawsuit, However, if the insurance company denies your claim or makes an unfair offer or unreasonably low offer, you have the option to resort to our Justice System by filing a case with the Court and going through the litigation process to obtain the compensation that you deserve.

Often times, the case settles during the litigation process.  But if it doesn't settle, it is primordially important to have an attorney on your side who is experienced in leading a trial and can competently present your case to a judge or a jury of your peers and obtain a just Judgment in your favor.

4.  What Types of Damages Are Covered Under California Personal Injury Laws in Case I get Hurt because of Someone Else's Negligence?

Under California Tort Laws, a person who is injured because of someone else's negligence can recover certain categories of compensation, which are called "damages". Examples of such damages are:

        a. Past and Future Medical Expenses

        b. Past and Future Loss of Earnings

        c. Damages to Personal property (Car, Carseat and anything else that may have been damaged as a result ofsoemone's negligence.

        d. Past and Future Pain and Suffering or General Damages.  These are the most important damages as even though you and your good health are truly priceless, under our Justice System, a monetary amount gets attached to each of the following losses (and more!):


i.   Physical Pain

ii.  Mental Suffering 

iii.  Limitations of Regular Daily Activities

ivLoss of Enjoyment of Life

v.   Anxiety

vi.  Physical Impairement

vii. Humiliation

viii. Worry

ix.  Inconvenience

x.   Disfigurement

xi.  Emotional Distress

5.  What if the Person Who Negligently Hurt Me Does not Have Insurance (or not enough Insurance)?

If you have suffered injuries from a car accident, motorcycle accident, bike accident or as a pedestrian, and the responsible party does not have insurance or has a small insurance policy, you are able to recover a high value settlement or verdict as long as you have uninsured motorist coverage under your own auto policy.

It is not unusual for people to have an accident with a car where the other driver just runs away or does not have insurance. What should you do if you encountered this circumstance? You could pursue the uninsured driver but most people who drive without insurance, do not have much to recover from or could file for bankruptcy if you obtain a judgment against them.

There is an easy solution to this dilemma if you (or someone you live with) have uninsured motorist (UM) coverage on your (their) own auto insurance policy.  The UM insurance company pays when the other driver does not have any insurance.  Without any penalty to you and without your insurance rates going up, you are able to make a claim against your own insurance company for the damages you suffered as a result of the accident.  Never worry about making a UM claim as it is not a gift from your insurance company to you.  For years, you have been paying this type of premiums just to be covered in case an accident happens and the other person is uninsured or underinsured.  Now that the accident has happened, it is expected that you would use your UM coverage.  Again, be assured that your insurance premiums will not go up as a result of making a UM claim as many states, including California, prohibits the insurance companies to increase your premium if the accident was not your fault .

If you were an innocent passenger, you may also use the Uninsured Motorist insurance of the owner of the vehicle you were in, without any penalty whatsoever to the owner.  Most of the time, the UM coverage of your auto or the automobile of the person you reside with also kicks in if you were a pedestrian or bicycle rider.

The interesting thing about Uninsured Motorist coverage, is that unlike the responsible party’s insurance policy if they had one, your own insurance company owed you a duty of good faith.  This means that they are not supposed to nickel and dime you on your settlement.  If your own insurance company wrongfully handles your UM claim, you may be able to bring a separate action against the insurance company for the bad faith handling of your claim and collect punitive damages.

Nina P. Brahman 

Experienced Trial Attorney 

For more than 28 years, Attorney Nina Brahman has dedicated her efforts to providing competent representation and affordable legal advice to individuals and small businesses throughout Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties in Southern California. 

Ms. Brahman’s greatest assets are her sincere care for her clients, her extensive courtroom experience and her dedication to achieve the best possible results in their legal cases. 

Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley, South Bay, Orange, Ventura, Riverside and All California Counties.

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Call Nina at (310) 859-8638 or send her an email at legalteam@brahmanlaw.com

Because It Matters to Have a Lawyer Who Cares.