Personal Injury Questions

Q. Is my spouse required to release her loss of consortium claim in order for me to receive my own auto accident injury settlement?

A. Your wife’s loss of consortium claim is distinct from her own bodily injury claim. It is common to request a release of a spouse’s LOC claim as part of the settlement for the physically injured spouse. If your wife was physically injured, waiving her loss of consortium claim will not impact her ability to sue for her own bodily injury.


Q. Does prop 213 apply if the vehicle is still registered to the dealership after I bought it? I did pay for registration.  On a side note – can I collect my absurd impound fees from the other driver’s insurance company as part of my financial losses?

A.  The answer to your question about coverage really depends on the terms of the policy. However, most auto insurance policies follow the vehicle, not the driver, and so having coverage on another motorcycle is unlikely to help you here.

You can recover impound fees from the at-fault driver to the extent they foreseeably arise from your accident. You can also recover for the “loss of use” of your motorcycle, which amounts to the rental cost for a replacement vehicle until you are able to buy something new.

If your injuries are severe, which is likely the case if you were on a motorcycle, you would be well served to hire an attorney. Even if we assume Prop 213 applies, there are a great deal of potential issues here ranging from subrogation rights, liability (which insurance companies are notorious for denying against motorcyclists), future loss of income, medical bill negotiation, and more.


Q. Can I hold my homeowners insurance liable for damages in a person injury, dog bite case, if there is a canine exclusion clause?

A.  If the homeowners policy was revised to have a “canine exclusion,” the only way to hold the insurance company responsible would be to argue that the revision is unenforceable, either because it was misrepresented to you or changed during a coverage period for which you had already paid and during which the claim arose.

You’d need to discuss the dischargeability of a punitive damages award with a BK attorney, but my understanding is that punitive damages fall within the 523(a)(6) exemption from discharge. That said, unless you were sicking the dogs on someone, it would be hard to imagine that punitive damages would be warranted in a dog bite case.

I hope this helps.


Q.  Am I at fault if someone hits my long board and it damaged their side mirror?  I was long boarding one night and then I fell off my long board, my long board started rolling down the street and then a car ended up running over it as it was turning right on an intersection, my long board ended up flying up in the air and hitting his side mirror which caused his side mirror to break. Before he hit my long board I tried running towards his car to stop him from going but he kept on driving that’s why he hit my long board. I was wondering if I am at fault for this or not? He’s asking me to pay for my side mirror, should I pay for it? Because he technically hit my board because he wasn’t paying attention on the street?

A.   Unfortunately, the accident would be your fault because you lost control of your long board.

Of course, you can refuse to settle and force the driver to sue you in small claims court, but then you will likely be liable for their filing fee in addition to the actual damage. Plus, you will lose the ability to negotiate a partial payment, or payment in installments, which you cannot do once the driver obtains an actual court judgment.

Good luck.