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Questions Answered by Steven M. Sweat
3 Answers | Asked in Car Accidents for California on
Q: Someone crashed in to a parked car in front of me. And the parked car in front of me hit my car. Who is liable?
Steven M. Sweat
Steven M. Sweat answered on Jul 6, 2020

If the party that crashed into the parked car was negligent, then they would be liable.

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6 Answers | Asked in Car Accidents, Insurance Defense and Personal Injury for California on
Q: I sold a vehicle on Craigslist, was negligent, & now I owe an insurance company 20k in damages?

I sold the vehicle, I had them sign their name and everything necessary on the pink slip, as well as my signature to release it, but forgot to remove and take the release of liability. The person has caused damages worth 20k yet I am liable. I have records of the conversation leading up to the... Read more »

Steven M. Sweat
Steven M. Sweat answered on Jun 11, 2020

This is a tough one. You will probably not find an attorney willing to help you on anything other than an hourly basis with an up front retainer. Unfortunately, to be relieved of liability, you must comply with the legal requirements of filing with the DMV (See Savnik v. Hall (1999) 74... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Car Accidents for California on
Q: Can I sue the city if I crashed into a fallen tree in the middle of the road? It was night time and I did not see it.

I was on my way to work and it was night time/early morning. I drive the same road every day and there has never been a fallen tree in the middle of the road. Some street lights dont work. Someone should have reported the fallen tree before the accident.

Steven M. Sweat
Steven M. Sweat answered on May 29, 2020

It is possible. However, claims against public entities are difficult. There are legal protections called "governmental immunities" that apply to them and don't apply to private parties. There is also a very short statute of limitations (time limit to file a claim) of only 6... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Car Accidents and Personal Injury for California on
Q: I was in an auto accident in April 2019. My case is still ongoing, how long typically do cases like this last?

My accident was in April 2019. They found the other driver at fault she ran a red light. I was injured. They settled for an amount but the attorney never reached out and I always have to call or email. If they already settled for the amount and my medical they said picked up alot of the bills back... Read more »

Steven M. Sweat
Steven M. Sweat answered on May 21, 2020

Once the case settles, the normal procedure is for the law firm to obtain your signature on a release agreement, send this to the insurance company, and obtain and deposit the full settlement amount in an Attorney-Client Trust Account. The attorney would then normally negotiate reductions on the... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Personal Injury and Health Care Law for California on
Q: I caught an insect in my motel room where I've been staying for a week this morning ad I believe it's a kissing bug

Do I notify the manager of the motel? I already filed online report with public health services

Steven M. Sweat
Steven M. Sweat answered on Dec 2, 2019

Yes. You may have a claim if you sustained bites.

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2 Answers | Asked in Insurance Bad Faith and Small Claims for California on
Q: Is it too late for me to hire a Personal Injury Attorney to negotiate my claim with insurance co.?

I was rear-ended in a car accident where my car suffered minimal damage (rear bumper had to get replaced) but my injuries were still significant (severe whiplash). Ultimately I was treated 23 times (19 PT sessions and 4 dr visits/urgent care). The claims adjuster does not believe my 19 PT sessions... Read more »

Steven M. Sweat
Steven M. Sweat answered on Dec 2, 2019

This is a typical tactic from a California auto insurance carrier. Claiming "minimal impact" and alleging "delay in treatment" are two of the more common excuses for low settlement offers. Because you have already initiated the small claims action, you have two choices: (1)... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Car Accidents for California on
Q: My wife was hit by a drunk driver in my car. I have full coverage but she is not on the policy. Am I screwed?
Steven M. Sweat
Steven M. Sweat answered on Sep 23, 2019

If she was an excluded driver on your policy, you may not be able to file any claims with your own insurance. If she was injured, she would still have the right to assert a bodily injury claim against the drunk driver or their insurance. You would also have the right to assert a claim for the... Read more »

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5 Answers | Asked in Personal Injury for California on
Q: Live in California and was injured in Hawaii on vacation.

Can I sue a large chain store in California or must action be filed in Hawaii?

Steven M. Sweat
Steven M. Sweat answered on Jun 3, 2019

The proper venue is usually where the accident and injury took place.

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4 Answers | Asked in Personal Injury for California on
Q: On the highway a motorcycle in front of me wiped out

- a truck pulled in front of him and the bike swerved and went out under the guy - i hit his bike - am I at fault in any way here?

Steven M. Sweat
Steven M. Sweat answered on Oct 19, 2018

Possibly. From what you describe, it would appear that the majority of fault lies with the truck driver who pulled out and caused the initial collision in violation of California Vehicle Code 21804. However, there MAY be some fault attributable to you for either following too closely (California... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Car Accidents for California on
Q: When 3 people in same car accident and one is more Sirius hurt than the other two what is the outcome of that

I was in one car with my daughter and her boyfriend I was in the back and I had the most serious injuries but it's taking too long so why is it taking long for that outcome

Steven M. Sweat
Steven M. Sweat answered on Aug 2, 2018

Unfortunately, insurance companies don't want to settle claims "piece meal". They want to have a settlement that includes all people making claims. I would suggest retaining a personal injury attorney if you don't have one and asking them what can be done to expedite the claim.

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3 Answers | Asked in Personal Injury for California on
Q: What is the US Civil Statute to be stated in a Negligence, Negligence Per Se, Complaint for Damages?
Steven M. Sweat
Steven M. Sweat answered on Jul 27, 2018

In general, negligence is a "common law" doctrine and not a statutory cause of action. However, California does have a negligence standard set forth in California Civil Code 1714.

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4 Answers | Asked in Car Accidents for California on
Q: The other driver's insurance company is offering a settlement but it won't cover the cost of my injuries. What do I do?
Steven M. Sweat
Steven M. Sweat answered on Jul 17, 2018

Retain an attorney to advocate for your position. People not represented by lawyers in personal injury claims tend to be offered very little.

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5 Answers | Asked in Personal Injury and Car Accidents for California on
Q: Car hit while legally parked - can't get police report. Can't get car fixed.

Car hit while parked. My insurance doesn't cover. SF police won't give me police report [Gov't Code 6254(f)] so I don't know who is responsible so I can't contact their insurance. Can't afford even an estimate. Car not drivable as-is. No one was in my car so... Read more »

Steven M. Sweat
Steven M. Sweat answered on Jun 25, 2018

If you have collision coverage, your insurance should cover this incident.

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2 Answers | Asked in Car Accidents for California on
Q: Hi i had a freeway accident my car was totaled&the other party addimiting fault 2yrs ago and my lawyer is telling me all

This time we got only 1 offer &that was in the beginning which i dont believe &he not be truthful about question is he playing me.

Steven M. Sweat
Steven M. Sweat answered on Jun 11, 2018

Not enough information has been provided to analyze your situation.

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3 Answers | Asked in Personal Injury for California on
Q: 2007 I was given a serious brain injury, I developed a serious brain disease 6 years later, can anything be done
Steven M. Sweat
Steven M. Sweat answered on May 23, 2018

Unfortunately, you would need to provide some additional information. The normal deadline for filing a personal injury claim in California is 2 years from the date of the incident that caused your injury but, delay in diagnosis is possible. Consult with an attorney immediately on any potential... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Car Accidents for California on
Q: I have an involuntary lien on me for 20,000 for a car accident, I am a student and don't make much money. What to do?

Hello, I'm 19. I had a car accident in Dec 2016 and I was unlicensed at the time and not on the insurance policy so I got charged 20,000 for the damage of a KIA Optima. A few months ago I received a paper in the mail from Los Angeles COUNTY court saying we had to settle the payments through... Read more »

Steven M. Sweat
Steven M. Sweat answered on May 15, 2018

Tough situation. Your options are to work out a payment plan or, assuming the incident didn't involve drunk driving, it would probably be dischargeable in bankruptcy. You should consult with an attorney who handles debt negotiation and bankruptcy issues.

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4 Answers | Asked in Car Accidents and Personal Injury for California on
Q: My brother took my car without asking and got into an accident.

Now my car is all smashed up and my brother is hurt in the hospital. The other car is also a mess and the passenger of that car is still in the hospital too. The driver wasn’t hurt so bad. I have insurance for me on my car, but does this cover my brother? I’m not sure who I’m supposed to... Read more »

Steven M. Sweat
Steven M. Sweat answered on May 7, 2018

Report the claim to your insurance carrier immediately. You are not obligated to speak with the insurance company for the other side.

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3 Answers | Asked in Car Accidents for California on
Q: We are having problems with the other parties insurance company paying for loss of car among other things.

My daughter was in a car accident and her car was totaled. The other insurance company keeps lowering the amount that they will pay and the want us to sign a waiver saying we wont go after the other party or them for more money. We don't feel that that is fair and the are offering us way less... Read more »

Steven M. Sweat
Steven M. Sweat answered on May 7, 2018

You are entitled to "fair market value" on the vehicle. Most insurance carriers calculate this value based upon a "market comparison" (i.e. what have vehicles similar to your daughters in specs and mileage sold for in the past 6-12 months). If you have collision coverage... Read more »

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4 Answers | Asked in Car Accidents and Personal Injury for California on
Q: I was injured and in auto accident and their inuance issayig that they 100%at fault
Steven M. Sweat
Steven M. Sweat answered on Apr 6, 2018

You should seek prompt medical attention and retain a personal injury attorney. Just because the insurance company for the other driver is accepting "100% liability", does not mean they will compensate you fully for your injuries. Having a personal injury attorney to obtain medical... Read more »

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