As a cyclist, you are at an increased risk of injury than someone who is traveling in a motor vehicle. A bicycle is simply no match for an automobile weighing thousands of pounds. When you’re involved in a wreck caused by a negligent driver, you should be able to recover a portion of your losses from the at-fault party.

However, you can be sure that the defense is going to do everything they can to minimize the total amount they’ll be required to pay you. If you weren’t wearing a helmet, for example, your claim could be impacted dramatically, per California’s negligence laws. Continuing reading to learn more about how your claim can be affected by your lack of helmet use.

California Negligence Laws

The state of California practices comparative negligence in regards to personal injury claims. This essentially enables injury victims to file claims even when they are partially responsible for the cause of the accident. Now, you might be wondering how you contributed to the cause of the accident by not wearing a helmet.

The answer is: You didn’t. But, you did contribute to your injuries by making the decision to not put on a helmet. The defense will argue that this shows a disregard for your safety. You will still be able to file a claim, but your final award will be reduced based on the percentage of liability you are found to carry.

For example, if you were considered to be 10 percent culpable for your injuries and were awarded $250,000, your award will be deducted by 10 percent, or $25,000, and you’ll come away with a total sum of $225,000.

When you’re already at an increased risk when sharing the road with vehicles capable of causing catastrophic injuries, choosing not to wear a helmet simply isn’t worth the risk. If not for your personal safety, than for the risk of diminishing the value of your claim and leaving you with out-of-pocket expenses.

Obtain Full Compensation for Your Damages

The goal in pursuing a civil lawsuit is to obtain repayment for the damages you endured. Some of the different types of losses that could be considered when calculating the value of your bicycle injury claim include the following:

  • Property damages
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Damage to your earning potential
  • Loss of companionship and love
  • Inconvenience
  • Loss of household services

The amount that you’ll be awarded will largely depend on how significant your injuries were on your life. It stands to reasons that the more impactful your condition has been on your life, the more you can expect to be awarded. Your attorney will be responsible for quantifying your damages accordingly so that you can get the most out of your claim.

Contact an Orange County Personal Injury Lawyer

Are you ready to regain control of your life? If so, reach out to a qualified Orange County personal injury lawyer at Kohan & Bablove, LLP today. Our firm will work diligently to secure maximum compensation for your suffering.

We are pleased to offer prospective clients a complimentary case assessment where we can examine the details of your bike crash in greater depth. To take advantage of this opportunity, simply complete the quick contact form we’ve provided below or call our office at 1-844-404-2400.

Riverside County is home to some of the most dangerous intersections in all of California. People who suffer injuries after being involved in motor vehicle accidents in these areas are likely to endure serious damages that can be recovered when you file a claim in civil court with the help of a Riverside car accident lawyer.

If you’re interested in learning more about which intersections and streets you need to avoid or use extreme caution when traveling through, continue reading.

Ynez Road at Winchester in Temecula

This up-to-seven-lane intersection has been home to hundreds of crashes over the last ten years. With so many lanes of traffic, surrounding shopping centers, and sometimes-difficult-to-read street signs, it’s no wonder that Ynez Road and Winchester is one of the most dangerous intersections in Riverside County.

Additionally, crossing Ynez as a pedestrian can be particularly challenging, as there are only three pedestrian crosswalks available for use, and none available as you cross Ynez on the north side.

Gilman Springs and Bridge Street in Moreno Valley

Traveling along Gilman Springs Road, you’ll eventually see Bridge Street. This small intersection in a rural area in Moreno Valley is a one-lane road with a short left-turn-only lane as you turn onto Bridge Street. Unfortunately, there are no street or traffic lights in this area.

Where Bridge Street meets Gilman Springs, there is one lonely stop sign meant to direct and control traffic. There are no pedestrian crosswalks, and a speed limit of 55 mph is guaranteed to see plenty of speeding drivers, making this a particularly hazardous intersection in Riverside County.

Magnolia Avenue at Tyler Street in Riverside

Magnolia Avenue and Tyler Street in Riverside is one gargantuan intersection. With up to six lanes of traffic on one side and surrounded by shopping centers, banks, gas stations, and pedestrians, it’s not surprising that this intersection sees up to thirty accidents annually.

Though street signs are easily readable and there are pedestrian crosswalks on all four sides, there are no bike paths for bicyclists to utilize and the road turn signals are faded, making them difficult to decipher.

Arlington Avenue and Van Buren in Riverside

Take one look at Arlington and Van Buren, and you might find it hard to believe that it’s home to more than 200 crashes in the last ten years.

After all, there are pedestrian crosswalks on all four sides, lanes of traffic for bicyclists, and easy-to-read street signs, and there aren’t many surrounding shopping centers that might draw in additional traffic.

However, this intersection has enough traffic of its own without the dangers of coffee shops and other consumer interests. With a total of thirty-two lanes of traffic at this intersection, the large number of cars that travel throughout this intersection every day dramatically increases the number of individuals exposed to distracted driving, aggressive driving, and drunk driving, making it the most dangerous intersection in all of Riverside County.

Hurt in a Motor Vehicle Wreck? Get Help from a Riverside County Personal Injury Lawyer

Avoiding these intersections entirely is the only way to ensure you aren’t injured there, but that’s not a realistic choice, is it? If you suffer an injury in any of the previously mentioned intersections, or anywhere in Riverside County for that matter, get in touch with an experienced personal injury lawyer at Kohan & Bablove, LLP.

You can schedule your free, no-obligation consultation by calling our office at 1-844-404-2400 or by filling out the convenient contact form we’ve included at the bottom of this page.

A semi-truck accident can be especially devastating. You’ll likely need help getting back on your feet. You’re not just seriously injured, either. You’re dealing with expensive treatments, repairs to your vehicle, and the pain and suffering that come with a serious accident.

Sadly, getting compensated for a wreck with a semi-truck is rarely easy. Fighting for compensation can take time, and if you’re not familiar with what you’re owed and how to obtain it, you could end up with a settlement that’s far too small to help you as much as you need.

When you’re dealing with an 18-wheeler crash, don’t hesitate to reach out to a lawyer for help getting compensated. Anything less than full compensation means more time struggling to overcome your injuries, so contact a lawyer for assistance.

Who’s Responsible for Your Compensation?

Determining fault for your truck crash will be one of the more complicated aspects of your case. It seems like it would simply be the trucker, right? Not always.

You may need to dig deeper than that to find the right person. That’s thanks to the concept of employer liability. This type of liability means that people on the job are not solely responsible for their actions. That person wouldn’t be driving a semi-truck under normal circumstances—he or she is on the clock. This means the trucking company may be responsible for the trucker’s negligent actions.

This process can take time and research, but a lawyer can help you find the at-fault party quickly.

Compensation Owed After a Semi-Truck Wreck

Once you know who’s supposed to compensate you for your semi-truck wreck, you’ll need to calculate how much that party owes you. Accidents involving large trucks like 18-wheelers can cause more damage than a typical car crash, so you’ll need to be sure you’re getting the full compensation you need.

Don’t just seek out the financial losses you’ve suffered. While these are likely your priority, chances are that you’ve suffered more than that. Your injuries can take a mental toll on you, leading to conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). You deserve compensation for damages like that.

Calculating the true value of a semi-truck crash claim can be complicated because non-economic damages don’t have a financial value, but a lawyer can help you determine what you’ve suffered and what that’s worth.

Your damages may include the following:

  • Medical expenses
  • Mental trauma
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Property damage

Call an Orange County Semi-Truck Accident Attorney

A truck crash can leave you struggling with costly bills and an inability to work. You need compensation to overcome these hardships. Sadly, getting compensation for a wreck with a semi-truck is especially difficult if you’re working alone. Calculating the value of your claim isn’t easy, but it’s a necessary step as you seek full and fair compensation for what you’ve been through.

Fortunately, a lawyer from Kohan & Bablove, LLP can help. We’ll fight hard to make sure you get the compensation you need. We can start with a free consultation, where we’ll review your case and discuss how we can help you through this difficult time.

For more information, reach out to us. Give us a call at 1-844-404-2400 or fill out the form below.

If you were asked to name the types of crashes that cause the most deaths, you might say head-on collisions. Or, if you know something about traffic statistics, you might expect intersection crashes or left turns to be high on the list, or even single-vehicle crashes off the road.

You might not expect that rollover crashes are still one of the crash configurations with a high number of fatalities each year, but they continue to rank near the top.

Increased Concern

The popularity of SUVs, beginning in the mid-1980s, led to both an increase in rollover crashes and concern about the design of these vehicles. The problem was real: When the US Department of Transportation took a hard look at the data in 2002, they found that rollover deaths had risen 9 percent across the 1990s, despite a decrease in passenger car rollovers. The reason? A more than one-third increase in incidents involving light trucks and SUVs.

Other interesting information was revealed, including that victims in rollovers were noticeably less likely to be wearing seat belts than the average driver. And yes, the data showed that SUVs had a higher chance of rolling when their drivers tried to maneuver before a crash, but that more than half of all drivers in multi-vehicle crashes that included a rollover fatality made no attempt to avoid the crash at all.

Improved but Not Removed

In 2005, more than 10,800 people died in rollovers, about 27 percent of all crash fatalities, and around four in ten of those rollover deaths were in passenger cars (not SUVs). Those numbers have been on a mostly steady (but slow) decline for some time.

By 2014, rollovers accounted for under 19 percent of crash deaths (nearly 7,600), and in 2016, the estimate was below 7,500 total, with tens of thousands more injured. But that was nearly one-third of fatalities that year, while rollovers only made up a few percent of all crashes.

Single- and Multi-Vehicle

It’s true that the majority of rollovers are single-vehicle crashes. But they still happen in crashes with other vehicles. In February, a pickup in Lakewood was left on its roof after causing a crash at an intersection. A day rarely goes by without news of a crash of this type, like the one earlier this month in El Cajon, where a two-vehicle collision left one on its roof.

Orange County Car Accident Lawyer

It doesn’t matter what type of crash you’ve been in, when you’re the victim of someone else’s careless driving, it’s critical that you take all the steps necessary to ensure that you are compensated for all damage and injury caused. Your medical expenses and lost wages need to be recovered—and without the right legal assistance that can be difficult.

Contact the experienced automobile accident attorneys at Kohan & Bablove, LLP today at 1-844-404-2400 or contact us online through the form below to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case. We’ve helped hundreds of clients settle their cases successfully, and we’re ready to help you.

In personal injury claims, victims are sometimes injured so severely that they are unable to work for a long period of time, and sometimes they are never able to return to their old jobs.

Clearly, when an injury is catastrophic the injured party will seek a greater amount of damages—both economic and noneconomic—than when an injury is temporary. And catastrophic injuries often leave both physical and non-physical scars, all of which need to be taken into account when determining the current and future needs of the victim.

What Is a Catastrophic Injury?

Precisely what qualifies as a “catastrophic injury” is a moving target. Current state law doesn’t get into an explicit definition, describing a catastrophic injury only as one “including, but not limited to, loss of a limb, paralysis, severe burn, or severe head injury.” That’s led to some debate over what does and doesn’t qualify as catastrophic, especially when it comes to psychiatric injuries.

The definition in federal law doesn’t provide detailed guidance because it only characterizes an injury by the end result: “an injury that permanently prevent(s) an individual from performing any gainful work.”

But between those definitions and general practice, it’s usually agreed that severe burns, amputations, traumatic brain injuries, spinal injuries (including paralysis), major organ damage, and severe broken bones qualify. Incidents that result in serious psychological injury, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, are also usually considered.

Causes of Catastrophic Injury

We might expect that catastrophic injuries only happen in industrial workplaces and a few other settings, but the truth is that they can happen under many circumstances—almost too many to mention.

Work accidents can cause them, of course, but so can car and truck accidents, public transportation crashes, and even situations that don’t seem like they could escalate to that level of severity, such as slip-and-fall accidents, defective product issues, and even dog bites. Most accidents of all kinds don’t reach a catastrophic level, but it can happen.

Orange County Catastrophic Injury Lawyer

The costs related to a catastrophic injury are equally catastrophic. Immediate medical expenses will give way to rehabilitation and long-term care needs. A person affected in this way will often lose all future income as an effect of the injury, and yet living expenses and other needs continue to accumulate.

That’s why when you’ve suffered a catastrophic injury it’s vital that you work with someone who understands how to help. Each situation is different, but the attorneys at Kohan & Bablove, LLP have the experience needed to approach every catastrophic injury case effectively.

Give us a call today at 1-844-404-2400 or contact us online through the form below to schedule a no-cost, no-pressure consultation to discuss your case and learn more.

California is one of many states that allow a driver who has been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) to plead to a lesser charge. One of those lesser charges is “wet reckless” (reckless driving involving alcohol).

Understanding what this charge means and how it works is useful when you’ve been in a crash with a driver previously charged with wet reckless. The existence of this plea on a driver’s record can be meaningful to your own car accident case and settlement.

Why Does Wet Reckless Exist?

Some states don’t allow a DUI charge to be pled down, even on a first offense with no harm caused. California law instead takes the approach that in some situations a compromise works for everyone. In this case, the prosecution can benefit by getting a plea to a lesser charge. They might be concerned that their evidence might not hold up in court, often because the defendant’s blood alcohol level was right around the legal limit.

The defendant who takes the plea admits guilt to an infraction but avoids the more serious DUI charge, which carries fines, license restrictions, jail time, probation, and other potential penalties.

Wet Reckless Restrictions

Being able to make a wet reckless plea is far from automatic and there are important conditions involved—no property damage or injury can have been caused, for one—but it allows a first offender to avoid the more serious DUI charge. While it keeps a DUI charge off the guilty party’s record, the court can place the defendant on probation and require him or her to enroll in an alcohol and drug education program.

Most importantly, the charge and plea stay on the defendant’s record, and if they have an additional DUI offense within ten years, the wet reckless will be converted to a DUI charge, causing the new offense to count as a second DUI with additional penalties.

The rules will be tightening soon, too: Beginning in 2019, the courts will have the option of requiring those convicted of wet reckless to use ignition interlock devices while on probation.

Why Does All This Matter?

If you’ve been the victim of a crash caused by another driver, it’s important to know if the driver has previous convictions—including a wet reckless charge—in their past. The record of offenses, their circumstances, and any previous harm caused by a driver can be important factors in a case; they can affect whether a case goes to trial or is settled, as well as what settlement is reached.

Orange County Car Accident Lawyer

After a car crash has left you injured or with property damage that needs to be repaired, contact the team at Kohan & Bablove, LLP. Our experienced automobile accident attorneys know how to approach all kinds of motor vehicle accident cases, regardless of the circumstances, and we’ve helped hundreds of clients recover their medical expenses, lost income, and many other costs that they face after a crash.

We offer each client a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss his or her specific case, so you have nothing to lose. Call us today at 1-844-404-2400 or contact us online through the form below to learn more.

It’s easy enough for people to understand that the victims of accidents suffer physical injuries, but it’s sometimes not recognized how serious the psychological and emotional damage caused by a traumatic event can be.

The fact is that in the same way that serious injuries can leave a person with long-term or permanent disabilities, some incidents are so disruptive to a person’s life and can be so difficult to face psychologically that they leave a victim with long-term or even permanent problems. These difficulties might only manifest under specific circumstances, or they can afflict a victim in such a way that even facing normal activities is a challenge.

More Common Than Many Realize

Human beings are not frail creatures, but few of us go through life with an unlimited capacity to face hardship and suffering. It’s long been known that shocks and trauma can leave a person in a less steady psychological state, but a better understanding of this kind of psychic injury was only reached in the twentieth century.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was only added to the standard list of psychiatric diagnoses in 1980, despite having been described under other names and studied by medical professionals for more than a century. Reliable estimates now suggest that nearly 8 percent of all adults will suffer PTSD at some point in their lives, with as many as 3.5 percent suffering from it in a given year. PTSD is often what is at issue in an injury claim when pain and suffering is discussed.

No Trivial Diagnosis

PTSD and other emotional injuries should always be taken seriously. The incidents that cause them are not the routine hardships of daily life nor even the serious problems people face at times, such as a divorce, a bankruptcy, or a personal failure on the job. Serious psychological scarring is instead the result of those moments that are “outside the range of usual human experience.”

These are often traumatic and disruptive events, such as violent crimes and sudden physical harm, including unexpected work injuries and accidents or car crashes.

Valid Workers Compensation Condition

In addition to being a reason to claim and receive compensation in a personal injury suit, the State of California has recognized PTSD as a valid form of on-the-job injury, making a harmed worker eligible for benefits required for treatment, for more than two decades. As in the case of any injury, a worker must prove that the condition was the result of events that happened on the job.

Orange County PTSD Lawyer

When you’ve been harmed, it’s important to consider all forms that damage can take, both physical and psychological. If it’s time for you to consider a claim for PTSD, turn to the experienced attorneys at Kohan & Bablove, LLP for a free, no-obligation review of your case. Call us at 1-844-404-2400 or contact us online through the form below to schedule an appointment.

An important part of any lawsuit is specifying the remedy being sought. In a personal injury claim, two of the important factors in every claim are the harm or injury that has been caused and the damages or reparations that are being requested. These two factors go into creating another important part of most personal injury lawsuits: the demand letter.

Important in All Cases

A demand letter (or demand package—in this post the terms are interchangeable) can be important in almost any kind of personal injury case. Whether the claim is centered on a slip-and-fall accident, a dog bite, or a car crash, the demand letter will serve a number of useful functions. For one thing, simply writing the letter will serve to collect all the details of your claim. It forces you, as the potential plaintiff, to specify exactly what wrong you’re seeking to right. The damage done, as well as the circumstances that caused it, will be outlined in your letter. It will also include the amount being sought to correct the harm that was done.

This is an excellent opportunity for you and your attorney to make sure that all your details are correct. Not only do you want to make sure that you can accurately describe what happened, but when you tally up the costs you seek to recover, you may discover that you’ve forgotten something.

Depending on who the letter is intended for, you may also need to include other information. When seeking compensation for an injury, for example, you might need copies of medical reports and receipts from treatment, in addition to those for related expenses such as transportation or a home health aide. This can begin to pile up (which is why calling it a “demand package” can be appropriate).

 

Why the Demand Letter Matters

A demand letter might seem like a formality, but it shows the other party that you’re serious about your claim. If the other party hasn’t been giving your claim the attention it deserves, the demand letter can be an effective wakeup call: Most cases settle before trial, but legal experts believe that about one-third of all civil disputes move to a settlement simply because of a demand letter.

 

Don’t Overstep

You’re legally entitled to make a demand for harm done to you, and it’s important to do so. However, California courts have ruled on more than one occasion that a demand letter has overstepped acceptable bounds and become an attempt at extortion. This happens not when a demand threatens legal action (which is often part of the demand process), but when a demand makes other threats that can be viewed as harassment, such as the filing of false criminal charges or the public release of potentially embarrassing materials unrelated to the case. A knowledgeable attorney will make sure that this kind of mistake doesn’t happen with your demand letter.

 

Orange County Personal Injury Lawyer

The experienced attorneys at Kohan & Bablove, LLP have helped hundreds of clients navigate the sometimes complicated waters of personal injury claim filing. If you find yourself in a situation where pursuing a civil suit is a necessary step to correct a harm done to you, give us a call at 1-844-404-2400 or contact us online through the form below. We offer every client a free, no-obligation consultation to go over the specifics of his or her case and suggest how to move forward.

Are older drivers really a problem? All of our lives we’ve heard stories and jokes about their driving behavior and the problems they cause on the roads. But is this a real concern or just a case of stereotyping and ageism? If you are an older driver (age sixty-five and above), or you’re concerned about them, you want to know the facts. Let’s take a look.

More Seniors, More Accidents

In 2016, the most recent year with full data, the number of drivers sixty-five and older involved in fatal crashes was up 8.2 percent (noticeably more than the 5.6 percent increase in all fatal crashes for the year). The only category with a larger increase was young drivers (under age sixteen).

That increase by itself might not be alarming, but some underlying numbers could be. Over the past ten years, the number of drivers age sixty-five and over has increased by 33 percent, far more than the 7.5 percent overall increase. Drivers in that age category have been involved in a disproportionate increase in fatal crashes over that time period: They’re up 19.9 percent over ten years (they were down for every other age group, and down more than 7 percent overall).

California: Ahead of the Curve

Can you believe that as soon as eight years from now as many as one in four licensed drivers in California will be over the age of sixty-five? That’s a possibility the CHP noted not long ago in a press release announcing a new, free driver safety course for older drivers. The course is touted as a refresher, designed to help seniors evaluate their own abilities and improve their safe driving skills.

It’s too soon to tell if the message will get across. A report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that 90 percent of older drivers have not installed any equipment on their vehicles to make them safer and easier to handle. These devices aren’t meant to be simple conveniences but are instead meant to improve vehicle safety while allowing seniors to continue driving as they age.

Safer for Seniors, Safer for Everyone

Older drivers face challenges, but so do all of us, and making driving safer for older drivers can help everyone. Some of the devices AAA looked at (such as extra mirrors to remove blind spots) would help all drivers.

Those who look at traffic safety know this well. Since 1998, the Federal Highway Administration has recognized that the “typical” driver and pedestrian in the twenty-first century are both likely to be sixty-five or over, and it regularly issues a road design handbook that takes this into account (while applying ideas and principles that improve roadway safety for all users).

Orange County Car Accident Lawyer

When you’ve been in a car crash, the most important thing to you isn’t knowing how old the other driver is, but knowing that you’ll be compensated for all repair costs and medical expenses that you face. Regardless of how the crash happened and who was driving, you need an experienced automobile accident attorney to help with your case.

At Kohan & Bablove, LLP, we’ve helped hundreds of clients reach the settlements they need to put their lives back on track. Call us today at 1-844-404-2400 or contact us online through the form below to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case.

You’ve been injured in a car accident in California. The other driver caused the crash. Now what? There’s a lot to understand, think about, and act on, but one thing to remember is that California is a tort or “fault” state when it comes to auto insurance.

You might have heard these terms before, but if you’ve never had to deal with an accident claim, you might not have given them much thought. What do they mean?

Tort (Fault) vs. No-Fault

About one quarter of US states have adopted what is known as a “no-fault” insurance system (California is not one of them). In these states, a system is in place to make sure that most car accident injury claims are handled without the need for lawsuits. The idea behind these systems was to take the burden of these suits out of the courts, to save everyone time and money. No-fault systems also make sure that those with serious injuries receive appropriate compensation.

The rest of the states (including California) still rely on a system that, by default, does nothing when someone is injured in a crash. If a victim wants to recover damages for his or her injuries—medical expenses, lost wages and income, rehabilitation costs, and so on—he or she needs to file a civil lawsuit (a tort) against the person who caused the accident.

What Insurance Is Required?

While California is not a no-fault state, there is still a state requirement that every driver have liability insurance. A driver needs $15,000/$30,000 coverage for death and bodily injury (the separate numbers are for a single victim and multiple victims). A driver also must have at least $5,000 in property damage coverage.

These are minimums, and a driver can carry much more insurance than this. But drivers must meet the minimums: If a driver is caught without insurance, he or she will be fined at least $100 (and it could be more). If lack of insurance is discovered at the scene of an accident, the penalties will be much stiffer: A driver could have his or her vehicle impounded and license suspended with much higher fines.

Who Do You Sue?

Since no action will happen unless you make it happen, you have to sue the driver who hit you. Your insurance company might help, but their interest is usually limited to the amount that driver is insured for.

Your injuries might be much more serious, however, and recovering the true costs associated with them may require a personal injury lawsuit. That’s where an experienced accident attorney comes in. They’ll gather evidence, develop a solid demand letter, and follow through on whatever legal filings need to be made to ensure that your claim has the best chance of succeeding. They’ll deal with the other driver’s insurance company, its investigators, and its experts.

You could do all this yourself, but bringing in an attorney is usually a much better idea. They have experience and expertise that you don’t, but—more importantly—pursuing your claim will be the lawyer’s job while you get on with the other things your life demands.

Orange County Car Accident Lawyer

If you’ve been the victim of a car crash, Kohan & Bablove, LLP can help you with the many details involved in your automobile accident case (such as the statute of limitations). Give us a call today at 1-844-404-2400 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.