Articles Posted in Auto Insurance

Car accidents between two or more vehicles have become somewhat commonplace. In San Diego, it is not uncommon to see at least one accident each day on the local news. A somewhat less common, and more confusing, situation occurs when a car hits a home.carhitshouse.jpeg

On September 21, at 2:14 AM, a car slammed into a home on Crandall Drive near Garston Street. A young girl was asleep in her bed when the car hit the home, intruding some five feet into her bedroom. Fortunately, she was not hurt. The police suspect that alcohol was a factor in the accident.

Then on September 22, at 2:45 PM, a car driven by a man in his mid-20s struck a house in the 2200 block of Balboa Avenue. Police believe the driver had a seizure prior to the crash. The police did not say whether the residents were home at the time of the accident, but only one person was taken to Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla.

According to Sign On San Diego, Friday was one of the worst days for traffic accidents in the San Diego region for a very long time. The rain that the region endured at the end of the workweek resulted in some 340 traffic accidents around the San Diego County region.

The worst time for such collisions was between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Friday, according to figures released by the California Highway Patrol. The peak hour was 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., when a whopping 38 collisions occurred, averaging more than one accident every two minutes. California Highway Patrol was stretched thin tending to the accidents that clogged major arteries across the metro area. rain%20crash.jpg

This rate is better put into perspective when compared with a typical, non-rainy day when San Diego County car crashes number between 50 and 75. That means that the Friday commute saw some fivefold increase in the number of crashes. Though any time there’s rain the number of accidents increase, this Friday saw an especially full day of San Diego auto accidents.

Four people were seriously injured, including a 12-year-old boy, in a head-on collision on State Route 76 near Escondido. The car accident closed the highway for more than an hour, and two helicopters were needed to transport the victims to the hospital.

According to reports, a man driving a late model Toyota Camry westbound unexpectedly swerved into eastbound lanes and collided with a 2002 Chevy Trailblazer. The driver of the Camry and his 12-year-old passenger suffered major injuries. Two individuals in their 50s were the Trailblazer, and both were seriously injured. Witnesses estimate that both drivers were travelling near 50 mph at the time of the collision, which occurred near Stage Coach Road.

CHP is still investigating what caused the Camry to swerve.

The troubled company AIG has just sold is automobile insurance arm – 21st Century Insurance – to Zurich Financial Services for $2 billion. Zurich will fold the new purchase into its car insurance business Farmers Group.

We’ll have to wait and see what does to auto insurance rates, or Farmers current ranking as the 7th worse insurance company in America.

The San Diego accident and injury attorneys at Walton Law Firm LLP represent individuals who have been injured in automobile accidents, motorcycle accidents, products defect, and cases involving insurance disputes.

After a car accident, it’s not uncommon for the victims to call our office months later with complaints about their insurance claim. Usually the complaint is that the insurance adjuster is a jerk, won’t return calls, won’t make an offer, or simply is denying liability altogether. Clients then call us to ask if this is normal.

I don’t know if it’s “normal,” but it sure is prevalent. One would think that the insurance companies would do whatever it takes to prevent a person from contacting a lawyer after a personal injury claim, but every year our office takes over the cases of many people who simply want to avoid any further dealings with the insurance company.

Is there any way to make the process easier? Not really. But after a car accident, there are certain obligations under California law that insurance companies must follow:

The American Association for Justice (AAJ) is out with a research report on the egregious ways insurance companies make money at the expense of consumers. Despite being an industry with trillions (yes, trillion with a “t”) in assets, and billions in profits, insurance companies engage in time-honored tricks of the trade to avoid paying claims.

In this report, the AAJ lists how some of America’s largest insurance companies such as Allstate and AIG have denied valid claims for the sake of profit, including employment practices where employees are given incentive bonuses to deny claims or make low-ball offers. It also includes instances of insurance carriers delaying claims in the hope the claimant will give up, or, in the case of long-term care insurance, die.

Anyone who has had to make a claim for insurance benefits is probably not surprised by these findings. Occasionally you’ll find people who are totally satisfied with their experience, but by far most people come away upset, confused, and angry. In fact, many of our auto accident clients come to us after a bad experience with the adjuster assigned to the claim. They feel they have no choice but to involve a lawyer.

When attorneys get phone calls on serious auto accident cases the first thing they think of is insurance coverage. It’s not just that they’re wondering if there is a deep pocket – they are – but they’re primarily wondering if there is much of a pocket there at all.

As you probably know, California requires that all drivers in the state maintain a policy of insurance of at least $15,000 per person, $30,000 per accident. Because that is the lowest amount of coverage a driver can possess and still drive legally in the state, it is also the cheapest… and many, many drivers buy it for that reason.

What does that mean? If you are in an accident that is not your fault, and the driver that hit you has a $15,000/$30,000 policy, the most you can collect from that insurance policy is $15,000 no matter how severe your injuries are. If you broke a leg and incurred $18,000 in medical bills, and missed one month of work at $4,000, and endured a tremendous amount of pain and suffering and inconvenience, your claim against the bad driver’s insurance policy will be limited to $15,000 – not even enough to cover your financial losses.

Hit-and-run auto accidents have declined in nearly all of San Diego’s North County cities over the last three years. Oceanside had the most dramatic decrease. In 2007 the city recorded 695 hit-and-run accidents, 157 fewer than were recorded in 2005. Escondido, Vista, and Encinitas also reported decreases. Only Carlsbad and San Marcos saw an increase over the same three-year period.

Based in Carlsbad, the law firm of Walton Law Firm LLP represents individuals throughout San Diego County in all types of personal injury, wrongful death, and nursing home abuse and neglect cases.

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