Can I still make an insurance claim even if I don’t have car insurance?

Anyone injured in a car accident can bring a claim for damages against the at-fault driver. However, in California there is a law known as “Proposition 213” which limits the types of damages an injured motorist can recover if they did not have automobile insurance at the time of the accident. Specifically, those uninsured motorists are only entitled to recover their economic damages like medical bills and lost wages, but are not entitled to recover non-economic damages which are commonly referred to as “pain and suffering.” 

This does not mean that Prop 213 is completely without exceptions. Specifically, Prop 213, which was codified into law as Civil Code Sec. 3333.4, allows an uninsured driver to collect economic damages from a driver who is subsequently convicted of a DUI during the crash and Prop 213 does not apply to passengers in an uninsured vehicle.  Nor does Prop 213 apply to employees driving company vehicles that the employer failed to insure.  Another important exception to Prop 213 is when a driver of a vehicle had insurance on a different car, but the vehicle involved in the auto-accident was uninsured and owned by another person.


Why should I hire an attorney for my car accident?

One of our primary jobs as your attorney is to do the legwork when it comes to the investigation side of the claim. Oftentimes injured parties are not able to get the other driver’s insurance and contact information, or the CHP or police report number. Our staff immediately investigates and obtains the evidence needed to support you claim and help win your case so that you can focus on healing from your injuries.

Our attorney’s knowledge of the law ensures that you recover all that you are entitled to after your accident. We also ensure that the proper paperwork is submitted on your behalf and that no deadlines are missed. 

MKP’s knowledge and experience extends to dealing with insurance carriers who want to pay you as little as possible. Insurance companies will not pay what they owe without a fight and will not make you a fair settlement offer. Our attorneys know the value of your case and will negotiate on your behalf to ensure the value of your case is maximized. Let MKP’s team hold the insurance company accountable and ensure your car accident claim is handled fairly.


How does my attorney get paid? 

Unlike most attorneys that charge clients upfront, what is often called a retainer, the attorneys at MKP don’t charge you a dime unless and until they win your case. Our attorneys are paid on what is known as contingency fee, meaning they only get paid if they recover money for you. If we don’t win your case, you do not owe us any money for our services or time.  If we do win your case, then we receive a specific percentage of the gross amount we win for you.  Also, MKP offers 100% free consultations, so you can get experienced legal advice without ever paying anything out-of-pocket. 


I got in a car accident but can’t afford to see a doctor, what are my options?

Our staff works with an extensive network of doctors and medical providers throughout California to help make sure you get the medical treatment you need. Many injury victims are unable to afford great medical care or do not have health insurance to contribute to the cost. In these instances, many doctors work on what is known as “lien-basis” meaning that you pay nothing out of pocket but the doctor is paid back and reimbursed from the insurance settlement. This allows clients to get the treatment they need, when they need it, and not have to be placed in a precarious financial situation. 

What are the first things I should do after getting in a car accident?

Often times people are shaken up after car accidents and forget to take certain steps that help increase the chances your insurance claim is successful. Below is a list of certain things to do and keep in mind immediately after getting in a car accident:

  1. Take Photos the Vehicles BEFORE They are Moved
    • The positioning of the vehicles can be crucial in determining who was at-fault in causing the accident so taking photos of the damage to the vehicles prior to moving them is very important. Also, more photos are better than less photos so be sure to take as many as possible including photos of the other car’s property damage and license plate number.
  2. Call the Police
    • Filing a police report is a great way to memorialize how the accident occurred and prove who caused the accident. The report will also provide the other driver’s contact and insurance information, as well as witness information.
  3. Get the Other Driver’s Insurance Information
    • Do not leave the scene of the incident without getting the other driver’s car insurance information so that a claim can be opened on your behalf. It is most helpful if you take a photo of their insurance card so that there is no confusion or mistakes when receiving the information.
  4. Seek Immediate Medical Treatment
    • It is very important that you receive necessary medical treatment and document the fact that your injuries were caused by the car accident. Gaps in medical treatment give the insurance company the opportunity to downplay your injuries or say you were hurt after the accident. You should tell the doctor the full extent of your injuries, even if you consider them minor. Lastly, some injuries may not be immediately apparent so it is still important to see a doctor even if you don’t feel pain until several days after the incident.

What are the first things I should do after getting bit by a dog?

Dog bite attacks are always traumatic, so it can be hard to keep a level head about the steps that should be taken immediately after an attack. If possible, the most important things dog bite victims can do after an attack are:

  1. Get the dog owner’s name and contact information
  2. Call Animal Services to report the incident
  3. Seek immediate medical attention
  4. Take photos of the injuries

The most important thing to do after a dog attack is to get the dog owner’s name, contact information, and insurance information. If our attorneys cannot locate and speak with the dog owner to get vaccination records and insurance information, it becomes very difficult to recover money for the victims. Reporting the claim to Animal Services or Animal Control will document the incident and will likely include the dog owner’s information. One should always see a doctor after a dog bite to make sure you receive necessary medical attention and antibiotics. 


Who can bring a Wrongful Death suit? 

In California, only certain individuals can bring wrongful death claims on behalf of the deceased individual’s estate.  In California, a person can only recover for a wrongful death claim if are:

  • The decedent’s spouse
  • The decedent’s domestic partner
  • The decedent’s children

Generally, if there is no surviving spouse, domestic partner or children then a deceased person’s parents or siblings Often times a “personal representative” is appointed to act on behalf of the estate (Per California Code of Civil Procedure §377.60). A “survival action” may be filed by the personal representative, and if none has been named, then by the deceased person’s “successor-in-interest.” (California Code of Civil Procedure §377.30). A survival action can only be brought if the victim did not die immediately, and allows for the decedent’s estate to recover punitive damages. 


What should I do after a slip-and-fall accident?

Aside from speaking with an attorney at MKP, one of the most important things to do after a slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall incident is to immediately report the incident to the property owner, manager or staff. Memorializing the incident and how it occurred allows the property owner to investigate the incident and gather the information necessary to open an insurance claim.  It is also very important to take photographs of the liquid, substance or debris that caused you to slip-and-fall. This will act as evidence that the condition of the property was dangerous at the time of the incident. Slip-and-fall victims should also look to gather the information for any witnesses to the incident to prove that the accident was not their fault. Taking these steps will help ensure our attorneys can prove and win your slip-and-fall case.