Car Accident Lawyer for Powerful Representation in Kirkland

If anyone you care about is injured in a car accident in the Kirkland and surrounding area, it is prudent to engage the services of a car accident lawyer or accident attorney to represent you in a claim against those responsible for injuries.

We live in a litigious environment so it is wise to evaluate the degree of the car accident and if it involves anything greater than a simple fender bender, contact us to speak with a car accident lawyer or accident attorney serving the Kirkland area and beyond.

We have a highly-qualified car accident lawyer and accident attorney team that is tenacious in working on behalf of our clients to discover all contributing factors related to their cases in achieving the best possible compensation for losses.

Our car accident lawyer provides powerful legal representation for clients in the Kirkland and surrounding area. For an experienced accident attorney for all types of car accidents, call our Wiener and Lambka office.

Experienced Accident Lawyer for Kirkland Residents

It is vital to consult with an accident lawyer following a car accident that involves multiple injuries and property damage. It is even more important to contact a car accident lawyer if you are certain you did not contribute to the cause of the accident in any way.

A consultation with our car accident attorney serving the Kirkland area and beyond will provide essential information regarding the issue of liability.

The importance of hiring a car accident lawyer or accident attorney following a car accident includes:

  • An accident attorney will inform you of available options
  • An accident attorney can assist in determining fault
  • Importance of filing a claim before statute of limitations expires
  • A car accident lawyer will file a lawsuit following proper protocol
  • A car accident lawyer understands implications of accepting a settlement offer

With the experience, resources and knowledge of our accident attorney serving the Kirkland area and beyond, we are confident in taking on any opponent of our client in working for a financial settlement.

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

In many cases involving a car accident with personal injury, a lawsuit is in order.

Our experienced accident attorney can provide assistance to the injured car victims in fighting against insurance companies, proving liability that can become complex, understanding settlement options, and filing a lawsuit on your behalf.

Our accident attorney serving the Kirkland and surrounding area will work tenaciously to ensure full compensation for your losses.

Other important reasons to choose us as your accident attorney include recovery losses such as:

  • Wages and income
  • Medical and rehabilitation expenses
  • Property damages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Physical disability

We welcome your call for powerful legal representation by our car accident lawyer or accident attorney serving the Kirkland and surrounding area. Call Wiener and Lambka at 800-680-8112.

Don’t Leave the Scene

Drivers of vehicles involved in an accident that results in death, injury,or damage to a vehicle is required to immediately halt 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 Vehicles Involved in the Accident 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. However, if you can leave the vehicles where they are stopped, so that everything can be properly documented by the police, this is preferable. But if the vehicles are presenting a hazard, by blocking traffic, and they can be safely moved, than that should be done.

Prior to moving the involved vehicles, if photos can be taken to document the scene, this is advisable. No matter how straight-forward you might believe the accident to have been, failure to document the scene leaves open the possibility of the other driver saying something different later.

Phone the Police

Whether or not you believe that the collision merits a call to the police, it is likely advisable to do so. Sometimes the police will indicate that they cannot come to every accident and, if smaller and without apparent injury, will advise that the parties should handle it themselves. In this instance, you would at least be able to state that you called them but were unable to bring them to the scene.

Typically, however, the police will come to the scene and fill out an official police report. Having an officer as a witness, along with the report, can be a key part of your case later. 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 with a small collision where fault seems clear, having a police report to support your version can be crucial.

Exchange Insurance

Drivers are required to have proof of current liability insurance any time they are driving their vehicle. This is why your insurance company typically sends you two cards: one to carry with you and one to keep in your car. The ticket for not having insurance information handy is several hundreds of dollars, so be sure you have your card.

Contact Your Insurance Company

Your policy likely requires that you contact your insurance company immediately after 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 cooperate with your own company in a reasonable and forthcoming manner. Call your agent to notify them as well. Make sure you follow the specific requirements in your policy and document your efforts. Store copies of letters you exchange with your insurance company and make note of all conversations, including time, date, and the name of the adjuster you spoke to. Failure to comply with your policy could result in the denial of coverage.

Take photographs

Take pictures from a safe area around the scene. Take pictures of anything that might be relevant. Damage to the vehicles, the scene, the surrounding areas, personal identification, injuries, if anything broke in the cars, 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 especially true if the vehicle is to be totaled out before the vehicles are repaired, sold for salvage, or simply disappear. It is much easier to convince the insurance company and the jury that the impact from the collision was severe enough to cause your injuries if you have a photograph of your crushed vehicle.

Also, any physical manifestation of your injuries should be photographed Bruises get worse and then heal up, scars change, everything that is not going to stay static during the healing process should be documented with photos.

Be Careful 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, who will be taking your statement, are trained to find ways to limit or deny claims of the other driver. Many clients of ours have given statements that cause unnecessary problems in their case due to lack of properly understanding the system they are now involved in. 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. You should be taking down notations of anything that may seem to be important at the time of the collision.

Seek Medical Care

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.

The problem with taking this approach in the context of a car accident case is that the insurance company for the other driver will use any delay against you and claim that if you were all that hurt, you would have sought medical care. Also, without seeking medical care immediately, you can be susceptible to the claim that you failed to take reasonable steps to limit harm.

By the same logic, it is important that you follow your doctor’s instructions and follow up as appropriate. Make sure that you mention any perceived problems to the doctor so that 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 police report itself and whether one party got a ticket or not are not admissible evidence in a trial on the matter. These things do, however, matter to the insurance companies and drivers.

If you receive a ticket that you do not believe is justified, then you have a right to challenge it in court. Follow the instructions on the ticket given for this process. Sometimes hiring an attorney who handles traffic tickets is a good idea. A personal injury attorney may also be able to assist with fighting the ticket.A personal injury attorney is another possible option who may be able to help you fight the ticket.

Keep in mind that the ticket can have bad consequences to both your injury case as well as your long term financial interests as it can raise your insurance rates for years to come.

Is Giving a Recorded Statement Advisable?

As discussed above, if the insurance company requesting the statement is your own, then you have a duty to cooperate with them and should give the statement. In Washington, statements given to your own company are not discoverable to the other driver’s insurance company. While not as pressing as if the other insurance company wants a statement, it is advisable to contact an attorney to go over what the unique facts of your matter before providing any statement on the matter, even to your own company.

You should never give a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance company. They do not have your best interests in mind. If they request this, you should contact a personal injury attorney immediately. An insurance company doesn’t have the right 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

The internet is a fairly open place, and if you’ve ever Googled yourself or someone else, you know how easy it is to find information you didn’t know what public. 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 Facebook posts can be accessed by anyone if your settings allow it. There are numerous other sites that keep your information online and readable by anyone who wants to find it. Investigators may even be able to find out information about you through friends’ 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. It’s also important to remember that if you change your social media posts after a collision, you could get in trouble for alter 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 incident and do not post about your injuries and how they are affecting your life. These posts will only come back to haunt you later. Do not post anything you wouldn’t want a judge or jury to take into account when making a decision.

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 cost of a rental car, your lost wages, your out of pocket expenses, damage to personal property, your medical bills incurred for accident-caused injuries, your future medical bills, future lost wages, future impairment of earning capacity, and your general damages – all pain and suffering and impairment of your life caused by the injuries you incurred. Additional forms of damages may be present in individual cases, but these are typically the ones looked at by most attorneys.

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 insurance provider may also cover wage loss and have a home helper provision. Funeral expenses are also sometimes included in automobile policies. All of this is dependant on the coverage that you have paid for.

Typically the other driver’s insurance company with pay for your property damage at the time of the accident. They will then write you one check for all other losses when you agree to release them and the negligent driver. Because you need to be in a proper position to know about your future as it relates to the accident in order to sign off on that release, the bodily injury payment typically does not occur until you are completely done with your treatment and have knowledge of your medical future.

Your own policy coverage will pay for things as they are incurred, consistent with the policy you have purchased.

Handling the Totaling of a Vehicle: Repairs and Reimbursement:

Your vehicle must be in pre-accident condition when all repairs are done to be considered repairable. The vehicle may be repaired at the shop of your choice. Some insurance companies have a list of “approved shops” and the company will guarantee the work as long as you own the vehicle if you use one of their approved shops. You should receive a rental car, or the daily cost of the car paid directly to you. Make sure that all work performed is to your satisfaction before you sign an insurance check over to the repair shop.

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 what your car or truck could have been sold for the day before the accident. Market value is dependant upon many factors such as age, mileage, condition of the body and paint, condition of the interior, tread on tires, damage history, recent maintenance expenses, 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 conduct a market survey. Under the law, the insurance company cannot offer a “book figure”. Used car guides are usually on the low side because car dealerships 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. Fair Market Value

2. Sales tax on that value

3. Prorated unused portion of your 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

You can retain the damaged vehicle by matching the highest bid for the salvage that the insurance company obtains from a wrecking yard.

It usually take about two weeks from the date of reporting a claim until a total loss offer is made as it takes time to determine all of the above. If you have questions feel free to call.

What You Suffered Injuries While the Passenger in a Car?

There are two important things to keep in mind if you are the passenger in a car accident. As the passenger it does not matter to you who was at fault in the accident You are not remotely at fault, and can collect from any of the negligent parties.

The second consideration is what the insurance will look like that will help with medical bills and wage loss. We would look first at the insurance on the vehicle, then whether the driver had additional insurance, and last whether you had automobile insurance that would apply. We are always looking for Personal Injury Protection coverage. If there was none, or it exhausts, then your health insurance would kick in at that point.

Should You Use Your Own Medical Coverage for Automobile Accident Caused Injuries?

The reason you have your medical coverage is to use it in situations like this. Your automobile insurance rates will not be raised when you use your coverage in connection with an accident that was not your fault. The amount that your insurance company pays for your injuries is reimbursed by the insurance company of the negligent party.

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, does the amount offered make you happy? Do you believe that it is fair? In cases where there is less injury and folks bounce back quickly, if the amount seems fair, that’s probably good.

Most cases end up on a less positive note. Usually insurance companies try to save money and settle claims for 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 it doesn’t seem like you are going to get a fair offer, you should consult with an attorney. 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. Only a consultation will help you to understand what is best for you and your unique legal matter.

How Long Can You Wait Before Starting a Lawsuit?

In Washington state, three years is the amount of time you have to resolve or properly file and serve a lawsuit. If you do not take appropriate legal steps in front of the three year mark, then you will lose your rights to compensation. We suggest that you begin the process at or before the two year mark so you can maneuver the legal process with plenty of time. We suggest you give yourself plenty of time for the paperwork as the legal process takes time. Most people would prefer to avoid a lawsuit, so we suggest you act early. 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 does not mean that you cannot 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. Check out our complete information on UIM here.

Car Accident Attorney Kirkland

Kirkland Car Accident Lawyer

“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
“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
“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 took care of the leg work for me and even managed to get a larger settlement than expected.” - J. Hanson
“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
“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 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
“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
“Everything was great. It was the best legal experience I have ever had!” - T. Hoskins
"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
“You minimized my stress levels on a process foreign and scary to me. Very professional, caring, and patient with me.” - A. Maas
“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
“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
"Wiener & Lambka always kept me up to date with my case. I'd certainly suggest them to a friend." - J. Trujillo

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