Car Accident Lawyer for Powerful Representation in Everett

Being injured in an automobile accident can change your life, sometimes for the worst. Whether you sustain minor injuries or serious ones, you are sure to be traumatized. In these testing times you need the help of an experienced accident attorney who can help you. We, at Wiener & Lambka serve as the leading car accident lawyers in Everett, WA.

When you choose us to be your car accident lawyers in Everett, we ensure that all your legal rights are protected and that you get the rightful representation. Our services as reliable car accident lawyers in Everett include the following:

  • Unparalleled support throughout the proceedings
  • Assistance in dealing with insurance companies
  • Rightful representation in court
  • Fair compensation

With us as your lawyers in Everett, you can be relieved of any legal hassles because we take care of them. You can focus on recuperating from your injuries while we cater to all the legal issues.

Experienced Accident Lawyer for Everett Residents

It has been often seen that the party at fault in an accident never admits their mistake. Therefore, it becomes necessary to have an experienced car accident lawyer in Everett on your side who can get you the rightful representation in court. Moreover, an experienced accident lawyer in Everett would help you be absolved of any false charges.

You can choose us as your car accident lawyers in Everett as we are:

  • Experienced
  • Skilled and trained
  • Well versed with car accident laws
  • Good negotiators

The long list of satisfied clients that we have is testimony to our claim of being a reliable accident attorney firm.

Why Choose an Accident Attorney to Protect Your Rights in Everett?

When you are looking for the best accident attorney in Everett to represent your case, you cannot rely on just anyone. Since this could be a life changing decision, you need to find the best accident attorney in Everett. You can choose us to be your accident attorney due to any or all of the reasons mentioned:

    • Nobody is admitting to the fault
    • You have sustained life-changing injuries
    • The insurance company is pressuring you

Driver at fault is insured

If you, or any of your family members have been grievously injured in a car accident and you need assistance from an accident attorney in Everett, call us at 800-680-8112.

Stay at the Scene

The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury or death of any person or damage to a vehicle is required to immediately stop and remain at the scene. Drivers are required to cooperate with the police and provide their name and vehicle registration, driver’s license, etc.

Drivers should also aid any injured parties within their reasonable ability, including calling for an ambulance.

Should the Vehicles Be Moved?

Most collisions involving vehicles to not result in serious death or serious injury, such that police investigation needs to be made into criminal conduct. That being said, if you can leave the vehicles where they stopped so that this can be properly documented by the police, this is a good idea. If the vehicles are presenting a hazard, on the other hand, and they can be safely moved out of the way, this should be done.

Prior to moving the vehicles, if photos can be taken in a safe manner then this is advisable. No matter how straight-forward the incident may appear, failure to document the scene can leave the possibility open for the other driver to change their statement.

Locate Your Phone and Call the Police

It is always advisable to call the police, whether or not you believe that the collision merits the call. Sometimes the police will be unable to respond to ever minor collision and will advice both parties to handle it themselves. In this case you would be able to state that they were called, but did not come to the scene.

Typically, however, the police will come to the scene and fill out an official police report. This report and the officer being a witness can be important aspects to your case later on. Keep in mind that many people do not feel any symptoms of injury at the accident scene as they have adrenaline moving through them and, in the case of soft tissue injuries, the symptoms tend to come on progressively over the next hours and days as the inflammatory process begins.

Even in small collisions and accidents that appear to clearly be the fault of the other driver, having a police report to support your version of events later can end up being crucial.

Exchange Insurance

You should have, and are required under Washington law to have, current proof of liability insurance with you while driving. This is why you’ll receive two cards from your insurance company: one to carry at all times, one to keep in your vehicle. The ticket for not having proof of insurance is several hundred dollars so, keep that information handy.

Notify Your Insurance Company

Your insurance policy most likely requires that you notify your insurance company to report a collision. Because an insurance policy is a contract, the parties to it owe one another a duty of good faith and fair dealing. This means that you should keep your insurance company apprised of all details around your incident in a reasonable and upfront manner. Call your insurance agent and notify them as well. Follow all of the specific requirements in your policy and ensure that you are documenting your efforts. Keep copies of letters which you send to the insurance company and make notes of your conversations including the date, time and the name of the adjuster you spoke with. If you do not comply with your policy, this could result in denial of coverage.

Take Photos of the Collision

Take pictures from a safe area around the scene. Take photographs of anything that you think might turn out to be important. The scene itself, the vehicles, the other person’s informational cards for identification and insurance, any injuries that are apparent, any unique thing that happened in the vehicle (did things fly around the car, get knocked to the floor, etc).

After you have left the scene, continue to take photos of anything that could later be relevant to your case. Take photos after any revealing work at a body shop, such as a bumper tear down (Most shops will do that for you.

Continue to take any photos you may conceivably need. This is particularly true if the vehicle was totaled out, or before it’s sold for salvage, repaired, or simply disappears. It is easier to convince an insurance company of injuries if you’ve documented the state of your vehicle. It is much simpler to convince a jury and your insurance company that your needs are valid if you’ve documented the crushing of your vehicle.

You should also photograph any physical manifestation of injuries. You should also photograph any injuries as they evolve and change form: bruises get darker and then lighten, scars change form, etc.

Watch What You Say

While you do have a duty to share your story with the authorities and your insurance company, you don’t have to say anything to the adverse driver or his insurance company. Seek legal advice before you speak to them, as they may wish to record your statement. Insurance adjusters are trained to find ways in which to limit or deny claims of the other driver. We’ve taken on clients who haven’t understood the system experience problems with their case due to giving a statement they weren’t prepared for. Seeking legal advice prior to providing a statement to the opposing insurance company is definitely recommended.

Obtain Witness Statements and Information

If there are witnesses to your automobile accident, obtain their statement and information While witnesses don’t often need to be contacted after the incident, that’s not always the case. For that matter, you should take notes on anything about the crash that seems relevant so that you have something to rely upon later.

Get Yourself checked Out

If you are injured in any way, you should seek medical care for it. While this seems like common sense to some, often after an accident, folks wait and hope that their injuries go away naturally.

Any delay will give the insurance company for the other driver some wiggle room where they can claim that if you had really been hurt, you would have sought medical care immediately. Moreover, without adequate medical care, you are also susceptible to the argument that you failed to take reasonable steps to limit the harm caused.

By the same logic, it is important that you follow your doctor’s instructions and follow up as appropriate. Mention any and all pain and possible problems at the time of the collision to your doctor so they can be properly documented. Not having the injury documented is the same as not having suffered the injury when it comes time to settle your case.

What You Should Know About Tickets

The contents of the police report, and who is given a ticket, are not admissible evidence in your trial. However, these do matter quite a lot to the insurance companies and drivers.

If the collision results in a ticket that you do not believe is justified, than it is your right to challenge that in court. Simply follow the instruction on the ticket you were given. Sometimes hiring an attorney who handles traffic tickets is a good idea. Sometimes a personal injury attorney will also be able to help you with fighting the ticket.

Tickets can have a negative impact on insurance rates and your injury case.

Is Giving a Recorded Statement Advisable?

As we said above, if it is your insurance company requesting the statement, it is your duty to offer it. In Washington state, statements given to your own insurance company are not discoverable to the other driver’s insurance company. While it’s not as pressing that you speak to an attorney before giving a statement to your own insurance company, it is advisable.

You should never give a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance company. Their priorities are themselves and the other driver. If you are being asked to provide such a statement, you should immediately contact a personal injury attorney to discuss this. The insurance company has no right whatsoever to a recorded statement. You should be able to have a reasonable conversation to answer any questions, but please do contact an attorney before speaking to the adjustor, so you will fully understand what you are doing.

Social Media

If you have ever Googled yourself or another person, you know that you can sometimes find information about them that you otherwise would not know. Depending on the privacy settings you have on your social media account, there may be more information public about you than you realize. It’s good to keep in mind that Twitter keeps a running record of your tweets. Your privacy settings may allow lurkers to access all of your Facebook posts. There are numerous other sites that keep your information online and readable by anyone who wants to find it. Your friends can have different settings that you do and thereby allow investigators to find out information about you from their pages.

While it’s probably not a bad thing to have your information locked down, the prospect of a legal claim is even more reason to do so. If you alter your social media posts following the collision in light of your newly granted legal rights, you can get into trouble for altering evidence.

The most important piece of advice in this area is to not post about anything that has to do with your case. Do not post about the collision at all and don’t post about your injuries. These posts will only come back to haunt you later. Do not make any posts regarding issues you want a judge or jury to take into account.

When Do You Need a Lawyer?

Our consultations are free and completely without obligation to retain us as your attorneys. Most personal injury attorneys have the same policy. There is no reason why you shouldn’t at least put in a telephone call or email inquiry regarding the pros and cons of hiring an attorney.

There are many times that having an attorney in your corner is a good idea:

  • If the insurance company wants a recorded statement
  • If they want you to turn over medical records (especially from the time period in front of the car accident)
  • If the property damage adjuster is being rude or uncooperative
  • If the insurance company for the other side is being rude or unresponsive
  • If your own company is not cooperating in helping you with areas of coverage on your policy such as opening a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) claim or helping with property damage
  • If your accident involves any possibility of the other person’s insurance company alleging that you were partially or fully at fault.

How Should You Choose Your Lawyer?

It is difficult to select an attorney. Attorneys are good at self-promotion and persuasive arguments. All attorneys will happily tell you about how good they are in order to obtain your business. Here are some things that will help you sort through the marketing.

  1. Look for experience. At Wiener & Lambka, PS we have more than 50 years experience in the personal injury field just between Bruce Wiener and James Lambka. We’ve seen almost any type of case that you can imagine and have dealt with almost any type of issue that can arise in this field.
  2. Look for track record. With attorneys, just obtaining a won / loss record is deceiving. Attorneys select what cases they want to work on and which ones to take to trial. Most attorneys do not take cases that are too difficult to trial because the costs and time of doing so must be offset by the strong possibility of obtaining an award sufficient to justify the work and expense. Many attorneys therefore only accept cases that have a very good chance of winning. Also, simply winning is only half of the story in any case. You can win and only obtain a small award for your client. The proper question is more, how successful have your cases been?
  3. Look at reviews. While some sites, such as AVVO, utilize an algorithm that attempts to fairly rate the attorneys, for the most part these formulas are manipulatable and imprecise. A better method of understanding how good the attorney is involves looking at what former clients have to say about that attorney. You should not just go with a rating system either, but look at the comments and try to find someone that you think will provide the customer service and professional advice that you deserve.
  4. Call and talk with them. Do they treat you kindly and respectfully? Will they come to you to meet and go over your case? Do you feel comfortable? Trust your gut and ask questions that are important to you. At the end of your case, in order to obtain a settlement, the insurance company is going to have you sign a release. This release will basically say that, in exchange for the money, you will never ever ask for another penny, no matter what may happen in the future regarding your injuries. If you do not believe that your attorney has done a good job or if you do not trust them and their advice, then how will you be able to settle and release your legal claim? Find someone that you trust and work with them to make sure that your legal matter is resolved successfully for you.

What Types of Things Can I Receive Reimbursement For?

The at fault party is responsible for all reasonable losses. This means: the damage to your vehicle, the rental car costs, lost wages, out of pocket expenses, personal property damage, medical bills for accident-related injuries, future medical bills, future lost wages, impairments toward earning capacity, general damages, pain and suffering and impairment of your life cause by the injuries incurred through the collision. These are the typical areas looked at by attorneys when presenting a case, though other areas may be investigated for individual cases.

Depending on the insurance you have on your vehicle, you may be entitled to payment of medical bills by your own company. You may handle property damage and car rental through you own company. Your policy may also cover wage loss and home help. Funeral costs may also be included in your automobile policy. What you can obtain depends upon the type and limitations or the coverages you have paid for.

Generally, the negligent party’s company will only pay for your property damage at the time of the accident. You will then receive a check for all of the other losses when you have signed the release at the end of the case. Because you need to fully understand the future of your injuries, the bodily injury payment typically does not occur until you are done with treatment and have knowledge of your medical future.

Your coverage through your own automobile insurance will pay for things as incurred, consistent with what coverage you actually have purchased.

How to Handle Vehicle Repairs/Reimbursement for a Totaled Vehicle:

Your vehicle must be in pre-accident condition when all repairs are done to be considered repairable. You may choose the shop where you wish the car to be repaired. Some insurance companies with guarantee the work on the car for the amount of time you own it, if you have it repaired at one of their “approved” shops. You should receive a rental car, or the daily cost of the car paid directly to you. Be sure that the work on your car is performed well because you sign the insurance check over for the repairs.

If you elect to use the insurance company recommended shop, you should probably obtain an independent review of the damage and an estimate for repair from that shop as well to make sure that everything is being properly considered.

You will receive “fair market value” for this car if it is deemed a “total loss.” “Fair market value” is the price you could have received for the car the day before the accident, were you to sell it. The market value is based on the history of the car, age, condition, exterior and interior, condition, maintenance history, etc.

To determine the market value of your car, the insurance company must perfect a market survey by calling dealerships and checking newspapers to find out the selling price on comparable vehicles. You should also do your research. Under the law, the insurance company cannot offer a “book figure”. Guides are typically low because car dealerships tend to use them for trade-in rather than selling price.

Itemized below are the evaluations factors that must be included in a total loss settlement offer:

1. What is the Fair Market Value?

2. Sales tax on that value

3. The prorated unused part of the license tab fees.

4. The use of a rental car until the offer is made or the cost of the rental car paid directly to you.

5. Fee for transferring the title

If you wish to retain your “salvage” (damaged vehicle) then you do have the right to match the highest bid that the insurance company obtains from a wrecking yard.

It typically takes roughly two weeks from the date of the claim report until the total loss offer is made, as it take time to determine everything.

What If You Were a Passenger Who was Injured in a Car Accident?

There are two important things to keep in mind if you are the passenger in a car accident. First, it doesn’t matter much who is at fault to you, whether it is your driver, the other driver, or a combination of both. You are fault-free and can collect from any of the negligent parties.

You’ll need to consider what insurance will be available to you in the short run to help with medical bills and wage loss. We would consider the insurance on the vehicle, then whether the driver had additional insurance, and lastly: whether you had automobile insurance that would apply. In all cases we are looking for Personal Injury Protection coverage. If there was none, or it exhausts, then your health insurance would kick in at that point.

Should Your Own Medical Coverage be Utilized For Accident Caused Injuries?

You likely bought your medical coverage for instances like this. Auto Insurance rates will not go up when used in connection with an accident where you were not at fault. The negligent party will reimburse that amount that your company pays (subject to legal reductions that your attorney can use to help benefit you).

You should have PIP (please see our posts and pages on this coverage HERE), but if you do not than your medical insurance will pay for your care.

It will take time to be reimbursed for all losses save vehicle damage. If you have good coverage, you will be better off while waiting for the final settlement to be agreed upon.

Should You Accept the Settlement Offered By the Negligent Party’s Insurance?

This is dependant on several factors. First, are you pleased with the amount you were offered? Do you believe that it is fair? In cases with less injury and where people bounce back quickly, and are confident that they are fully healed, than if the amount seems fair, it’s probably a good thing.

Most cases end up on a less positive note. Insurance companies typically seek to settle claims for far less than they are worth. You cannot really blame them for at least trying to see if you will settle for a small amount; such is the nature of a corporation, which has duties to maximize profits for its shareholders.

If the insurance company will not raise its offers to the point of what you consider to be reasonable, then you should consult with an attorney about your case. The consultation will be free, so you should take the opportunity to gain some insight into your case Unfortunately it’s normal that you won’t be treated fairly unless an attorney is there to maneuver the case for you. Every case is unique and only a consultation will help you understand the ins and outs of what to expect with your claim.

How Long Do You Have to Start a Lawsuit?

In Washington, you have three years in which to either resolve or properly file and serve a lawsuit. If you do not take these appropriate legal steps within that time frame you will lose your rights to compensation. In reality, we suggest taking these steps at the two year mark in order to have time to discover and correct and problems with the legal process. We suggest you act early if you would like to avoid a lawsuit. It takes time to get everything together for the case, review it, negotiate, and settle. Start the process right away by consulting with a good personal injury attorney.

What if I Am Partially at Fault for the Accident?

Being partially at fault doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t also bring a claim. This type of insurance covers you in case the negligent party does not have, or does not have enough, bodily injury insurance. Please see our discussion of UIM here.

Car Accident Attorney Everett

Everett Car Accident Lawyer

“I was satisfied by the timely manner with which my case was handled. I would definitely recommend Wiener & Lambka to a friend in the future.” - D. Yusuf
“Wiener & Lambka helped me through the process, always discussing all of the available options. In particular, I was happy about the ease with which I was able to access my attorneys.”- B. Froton
“Wiener & Lambka get the job done. I appreciated their concern and interest in my case, and would definitely recommend them to a friend.” - Y. Martin
“Everyone was great. The staff at Wiener and Lambka make a good thing out of a bad situation, and for that, I am very thankful.” - D. Grami
“Everything was great. It was the best legal experience I have ever had!” - T. Hoskins
“Wiener and Lambka did a good job of keeping me up to date on my case, and I’d definitely suggest their services to someone looking for an attorney.” - L. Lafond
“The Staff at Wiener and Lambka are friendly and understand customer needs. They reduced their fee on my case and didn’t even take any on my son’s.” - M. Ngo
“The service and the staff were great. I was happy with everything, and would refer Wiener and Lambka to someone else in the future.” - I. Aleman
“Calls were returned in a timely manner, and the office staff is friendly. I’d recommend Wiener and Lambka to a friend in the future.” - T. Their
"Wiener & Lambka always kept me up to date with my case. I'd certainly suggest them to a friend." - J. Trujillo
"It was a stress free experience. I particularly enjoyed when, on my initial call, they sent someone out to my house to speak with me in person. I would certainly use or recommend Wiener & Lambka in the future." - M. Randall
“In my moment of Crisis Wiener & Lambka lent me a helping hand. Their dedication to my case was outstanding. They stuck by my side and fought for my rights. Thank you!” - K. Tuazon
“Wiener & Lambka took care of the leg work for me and even managed to get a larger settlement than expected.” - J. Hanson
“A job well done! The staff at Wiener and Lambka made a point of explaining everything to me and if necessary I’d work with them again in a heartbeat.” - O. Yusuf
“You minimized my stress levels on a process foreign and scary to me. Very professional, caring, and patient with me.” - A. Maas

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