My name is Nathan Kabanuck and I have specialized in personal injury law my entire career. Initially practicing personal injury defense law for a major insurance company, I now represent injured parties. Having practiced and tried numerous cases on the defense side, I have the unique understanding of how insurance companies and defense attorneys attempt to minimize your personal injury matter. I know the importance of understanding how both sides of a lawsuit operate. In my career I have made court appearances throughout all of California. I graduated from Golden Gate University School of Law, Dean's List.
Although a common occurrence, once an insurance company becomes involved, automobile accidents and collisions can become quite a frustrating and confusing experience. Often, it’s difficult to manage the stress of dealing with the insurance company while at the same trying to heal from your injuries and attending doctor’s appointments and receiving necessary medical care. Like all personal injury matters, it is beneficial for your case to consult with an attorney as soon as possible following an automobile collision in order to ensure your rights and the integrity of your case are being protected.
It is important to gather as much information about the collision as possible. If the police come to the scene and create a report, all the necessary information about the identities of the parties involved, the name of each party’s insurance company and the types of vehicles involved will be contained in the report. However, if the police do not hand you a “crash card” (a card with a report number and the officer’s name and badge number on it) a report may not be made. Or, sometimes the police don’t arrive at the scene unless there are injuries reported needing an ambulance. In these cases, it is up to you to obtain valuable and necessary information. Be sure to get the other drivers’ names and addresses and what insurance company covers them. It’s always a good idea to take pictures of the cars involved especially if there is visual damage. An easy way to obtain information is to also take pictures of the other drivers’ drivers’ licenses and insurance cards.
It’s also important to seek medical attention for your injuries as soon as possible. Regardless of whether you plan on bringing a personal injury claim, the earlier you address your injuries with medical treatment, the better the chances are you will make a full recovery. Also, it is helpful if you begin to document early on the impact your injuries have on you. If there are activities you are prevented from doing or occasions you have to miss out on because your injuries prevent you from doing them, write it down so you can recall these events at a later date. These are important aspects of your injury claim that you are entitled to recover for.
Although truck and big-rig drivers are professional drivers, they do make mistakes and do cause accidents. Unfortunately, because of the sheer size and mass of the vehicles these drivers operate, often times the accidents they cause have devastating effects. Like all personal injury matters, it is important to get as much information about the incident as possible specifically pertaining to the big-rig driver and the company he or she drives for.
I’ve handled numerous cases in which the big-rig driver wasn’t even aware he or she caused an accident because the trailer hit my client’s car rending it inoperable and the big-rig driver just kept driving down the road. In these cases it is important to obtain whatever information possible to later identify the truck.
Obviously in a motorcycle versus automobile accident, it is usually the motorcyclist that bears the brunt of the personal injuries. Many motorists have a negative view of motorcyclists and consequently, when such people are involved in an accident with a motorcyclists, they often deny the accident was their fault. It is often the case, in a motorcycle versus automobile accident, the motorcyclists has to prove he wasn’t at fault. To this end, it is important to document by writing down or being specific about facts to the reporting police officer if there is one, how the accident occurred. This includes the speeds you were traveling on your motorcycle, where you were in relation to the other car when you first noticed it and where you were when you first realized a collision or accident was going to happen.
Also, it is useful to preserve the riding attire you were wearing at the time of the collision. Maintain your helmet, jacket, boots, gloves and other items of clothing you were wearing at the time in the same condition as they were just after the incident. The markings on these items, scuff marks, tears, cracks etc. can recreate how your fell to the ground and the posture of your body following the collision. This way, even if you don’t recall what happened to your body after the impact, your clothing can tell the story for you. It’s also a good idea to take pictures of the damage to your items of clothing, your bike and any visible injuries you sustained in order to preserve such damage and injuries to depict the nature and extent of the incident later on.
The death of a loved one is an emotionally draining and devastating experience. This is especially true when it occurs due to the act of another. If a spouse, child, or loved one has been killed by someone’s negligent, reckless or intentional actions, you may have rights to collect fair compensation for loss of companionship, love, financial support your deceased loved one would have provided, funeral expenses and medical costs. Moreover, dealing with an insurance company at a time of such grievous loss adds to an already overwhelming circumstance. In these cases, one of my goals is to prevent this additional concern and handle the dealing with the insurance company so you don’t have to.
Contacting an attorney at the outset of such a loss can protect your rights of recovery and ultimately assist in the financial burden losing a loved one often causes. In such delicate times I aim to take as much anxiety off your shoulders as possible and assist you in any way I can to resolve your claim as swiftly and as justly as the law allows.
Dog bite incidents can be an extremely frightening experience. Moreover, it may be confusing as to what to do if you are the victim of a dog bite. First and foremost, if you are in the need of first aid or medical attention, seek the closest medical attention you can find. After addressing your medical needs, be sure to report the dog bite to animal control. Animal control personnel will contact the dog owner and create a report regarding the incident.
What many people do not know is that in most circumstances, a dog bite claim places strict liability on the dog owner, meaning, the dog owner is automatically at fault for the injuries you sustained in the dog bite. Like any personal injury matter, it is always important to document as much as you can early on. In that regard, be sure to take pictures of your injuries, the dog involved and any other evidence surrounding the incident. Be sure to obtain a report number from animal control you can later turn over to your attorney to better allow your attorney to obtain the report.
Perhaps even more so in a dog bite case than other personal injury cases, it is important to contact legal counsel sooner rather than later in order to allow your attorney the opportunity to investigate the matter while evidence is still available. I have seen cases in which dog owners attempt to hide their dogs or even give them away in an attempt to avoid liability claiming the dog involved in the bite wasn’t theirs. The sooner an investigation into the incident gets under way, the better chance key evidence is procured that will assist you in your case.
Brain injury cases often delve into complex areas of the law requiring various medical experts to testify to the cause and extent of the injury. In most cases brain injuries have a profound effect on the injured party’s cognitive ability and alters that individual’s life is drastic ways. An injured party may not be able to continue working or socialize as before. In some instances the injury prevents the individual from caring for his or her loved ones. In these circumstances it is important that the injured party is fairly and justly compensated for every aspect of his or her life that has been affected by the injury.
In addition to medical bills for past and future treatment, the injured party can recover for past and future wage loss. Future necessary in-home care is also recoverable. It’s important that your attorney understands the various components of a brain injury case so that any settlement obtained is comprised of every aspect of what is recoverable. In this sense the injured party is truly benefited by retaining an aggressive attorney who understands the complex legal issues that pertain to brain injury cases.
Slip and fall cases are often the most difficult type of personal injury cases to prove. Many personal injury attorneys do not take these types of cases for that reason. However, slip and falls can often cause serious injury to no fault at all to the injured party. If you are involved in a slip and fall incident it is important to try to remember as many of the details of the incident as possible. You should write down how the fall happened, what type of shoes you were wearing, what time of day the incident occurred, where exactly the incident occurred within the premises of the location etc. Moreover, preserve the articles of clothing you were wearing at the time. Put the footwear in a safe location where they will not be lost, destroyed or worn further.
The key questions that arise in a slip and fall case is whether there is a basis for comparative negligence on your behalf. In other words, are you responsible for the fall and if so, to what extent? The reason slip and fall cases are difficult to prove is because the defendant will always argue comparative fault. This is why it is important to document as much information about the fall as you can. What caused your fall? Did you see the condition on the ground before you tripped/slipped on it? Were there warning signs posted to make you aware of the condition before it occurred? The answers to these questions can prove, or disprove, your case, which is why it’s important you know the answers.
From starting my career working as a defense attorney for a major insurance company, I learned valuable insight in how insurance companies operate and approach personal injury cases. Often times it may feel like an insurance company is on your side and trying to help you even though its insured is the person who caused you injury. In this way the insurance representative assigned to handle your personal injury claim may seem sympathetic to your situation or even apologetic. The representative may seem friendly as if he or she is only trying to make the process easy for you. Ultimately, this is nothing more than an attempt to make you let down your guard so you will trust the representative.
Another approach claim representatives take in handling your personal injury claim is to bully you in order to pressure you into resolving your claim quickly for little money. The representative may attempt to convince you that you need to accept their offer to settle your claim right away or there won’t be any chance for you to settle later. Or the representative will try to convince you obtaining an attorney only complicates the process and slows down your settlement.
In either case, I can assure you, the insurance representative for the averse insurance company is not talking to you to assist or help you obtain more money from your claim. Quite the opposite, the insurance representative’s entire purpose is to resolve your claim as quickly as possible for as little money as possible. Remember, the insurance representative doesn’t work for you, he or she works for the insurance company. And the insurance company doesn’t pay the representative to give you more money, he or she gets paid to save the insurance company money in settling claims.
In this regard, there are a few things you should always be mindful of when you first open a personal injury claim with the insurance company for the at fault party: