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Saturday, August 17, 2019

Los Angeles attorney: 'Rarely do hit-and-run victims find justice'

Attorneys & Judges

By Carrie Bradon | Aug 2, 2019

Jason Javaheri (left) and Yosi Yahoudai (right).

LOS ANGELES (Legal Newsline) – A California law firm recently achieved a $1 million settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit stemming from a 2017 hit-and-run collision. 

Pablo Rosa-Velez was traveling east on Main Street in Chula Vista on a motorcycle on July 3, 2017, when the driver of an SUV struck him while pulling out of a driveway, according to NBC 7 San Diego. He died at the scene from blunt force injuries. 

Yosi Yahoudai, attorney and a partner at J&Y Law in Los Angeles, who represented Rosa-Velez's wife, commented on the case, the settlement between the widow and the insurance company of the SUV driver, and why it can often be difficult to win a hit and run case.

Yosi Yahoudai

“Our client was speeding, so we had to deal with that and he did not have a great history in that he had some criminal history in the past,” Yahoudai said concerning the challenges that his legal team faced in this case. “We went to mediation and they started low, but we had a really good mediator and he was able to get us up to $1 million.”

In order to get the settlement to reach $1 million, however, Yahoudai and his team had to take depositions, interview the other driver in the accident and do a good deal of written discovery.

Though he was able to help his client receive a decent settlement, most hit-and-run victims are not so lucky.

“Rarely do hit-and-run victims find justice, very rarely,” Yahoudai said. “There is no insurance information and if somebody does not get the license plate and nobody stops, we are not able to find their insurance. I would say that over 90 percent of drivers do not have coverage for uninsured drivers.”

Though he knew it would be a difficult case, Yahoudai decided to represent the plaintiff because of the circumstances.

“This poor wife and kid lost their husband and father, and I wanted to help them out,” Yahoudai said. “Insurance companies are multi-billion dollar companies and they are in the business of not paying and denying claims. It is a David and Goliath situation, and I like to help people who do not have any say, do not know the law and are being taken advantage of or bullied, and give them a fighting chance to get justice.”

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