Car Accident Lawyer for Powerful Representation in Burien

Do you need the powerful representation of a car accident lawyer serving the Burien and surrounding area?

With greater frequency we hear from people who are being mistreated by large insurance companies following a car accident. They need a car accident lawyer or accident attorney to serve as their advocate.

Our car accident lawyer serving the Burien area and beyond can assist a victim of an automobile accident in recovering money from the other driver to pay for damages to the car, current and future medical and rehabilitation expenses, and wages and income.

Our car accident lawyer or accident attorney and their professional staff are tenacious in working on your behalf to uncover all contributing factors related to your case to achieve the best possible compensation for your losses.

Call Wiener and Lambka for powerful representation by a car accident lawyer or accident attorney serving the Burien and surrounding area.

Experienced Accident Lawyer for Burien Residents

In making informed decisions following a car accident, it is crucial to obtain as much evidence as possible to support your claim.

Our experienced accident lawyer and staff serving the Burien and surrounding area have the knowledge, experience and resources to conduct a thorough accident investigation.

Recovery of compensatory damages requires the services of an experienced car accident lawyer or accident attorney. Additionally, it is vital that you consult with our car accident lawyer or accident attorney serving the Burien area and beyond prior to talking with an adjuster or accepting settlement from the insurance company.

Our firm and its car accident lawyer staff have a proven track record serving car accident clients and getting the financial settlements they deserve.

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

A car accident can affect your life forever. During the stress associated with a car accident, it is vital to have a knowledgeable, experienced accident attorney serving the Burien and surrounding area to deal with medical providers, insurance adjusters and the police to help protect your rights.

For example:

  • The statute of limitations may run out before you file a claim
  • A police report may need to be filed within a given period of time
  • An accident attorney will work on proving liability
  • A car accident attorney will file a lawsuit following proper protocol
  • An accident attorney understands implications of accepting a settlement offer

These are only a few reasons for choosing an accident attorney or accident lawyer to protect your rights.

Call Wiener and Lambka for accident attorney representation in the Burien area and beyond who knows the laws and will fight aggressively to protect your rights. 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 must cooperate with police, providing their vehicle registration, their name and driver’s license, and insurance.

Drivers must be prepared to offer aid to injured parties within their reasonable ability, including calling an ambulance to the scene.

Should Vehicles Involved in the Accident Be Moved?

Most vehicle collisions that occur to not involve serious injury or death, such that police need to investigate for the purpose of evaluating criminal conduct. That being said, it’s preferable to leave the vehicles as is, so that it can be properly documented by the police. 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 the collision may seem, failure to accurately document the scene allows for the possibility of the other driver changing their story 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 be unable to respond to ever minor collision and will advice both parties to 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

You are required to carry proof of current liability insurance while driving your vehicle. This is why you’ll typically be sent two insurance cards each year: one to carry on your person, and one to keep in your vehicle. The ticket for not having insurance information handy is several hundreds of dollars, so be sure you have your card.

Make Sure that Your Insurance Company is Aware

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. What this means is that you should communicate with your insurance company in a reasonable and honest 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. 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. If you do not comply with your policy, this could result in denial of coverage.

Take Photos of the Collision

Take photos of the scenes from a safe place Take pictures of anything that may end up being significant. Take pictures of the scene, the surrounding area, tire tracks left in the cement, injuries that were incurred, identification, anything unique (if items flew around in the car)

Continue to take relevant photos after you leave the scene. Be sure to take photos of any damage that is uncovered after a bumper tear-down or similar in the body shop (most shops will agree to do that for you)

Any additional chance to take photos should be taken advantage of. This is particularly true if the vehicle was totaled out, or before it’s sold for salvage, repaired, or simply disappears. 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.

You should also photograph any physical manifestation of injuries. 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 Tell People

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. You should seek legal advice before speaking to anyone because they may wish to record your statement. Moreover, insurance adjusters taking statements are trained to try to find ways in which to limit or deny claims of the other driver. We’ve taken on many clients who have given statements that have caused unnecessary problems due to not 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 Information

If there are witnesses to your automobile accident, obtain their statement and information While in most instances, witness statements are unnecessary, you won’t know that at the time of your collision, so just play it safe. You should be taking notes of anything that might seem like it will be important at the time of the collision.

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.

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. Moreover, without adequate medical care, you are also susceptible to the argument that you failed to take reasonable steps to limit the harm caused.

With this same logic in mind, it’s also important to follow your doctor’s instructions exactly, and follow up when appropriate. Mention any possible problems to your 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 about tickets?

Whether someone receives a ticket and the other contents of the police report are not admissible in a trial on the matter. However, these do matter quite a lot to the insurance companies and drivers.

You can challenge a ticket that you think isn’t justified in court. Follow the instructions on the ticket given for this process. 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 consequences for both your injury case and your long term financial interests in regards to insurance rates.

Should I give a recorded statement?

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 absolutely not record a statement for the other driver’s insurance company. Your best interests are not their priority. If they request this, you should contact a personal injury attorney immediately. Insurance companies have no 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.

How to Handle 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 may be accessible to anyone depending on your privacy settings. That are many websites that keep you information online and available for anyone to find who might want to. Investigators may even look at your friends who have more open privacy to find out information about you.

While the prospect of bringing a legal claim is good reason to make sure that you don’t have unwanted information available to the world on social media, this is probably a good policy in any event. 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 accident itself, do not post information that could be used against you regarding how hurt you are and how your injuries affect your life. These posts can only come back to haunt you later down the road. 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 Can I Receive Reimbursement For?

The negligent party is responsible for all of your 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 upon what insurance you have on your vehicle, you may be entitled to payment of your medical bills by your own company, up to the limits of your policy. You may also be able to handle property damage and car rental through your 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.

Generally, the negligent party’s company will only pay for your property damage at the time of the accident. At the end of the case they will write you a check for all of the other losses, once you’ve signed the release. 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.

The coverage you own through your insurance company will pay for things as they are incurred, based on the policy you have purchased.

What to Do About Vehicle Repair and Reimbursement for a Totaled Vehicle:

Your vehicle must be in pre-accident condition when all repairs are done to be considered repairable. You may have the vehicle repaired at a body shop of your choice. 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 of the repairs on your car before signing over the insurance check.

It’s a good idea, if you elect to go with the insurance company prefered shop, to get a second opinion on the cost of the repairs.

If your vehicle is deemed a ” total loss” which means that it would not be cost effective to make repairs, then you are owed the “fair market value” of the vehicle . The “fair market value” of your vehicle is determined based on the amount you would have made were you to sell the car 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.

Insurance companies must research the price of comparable cars by calling dealerships and checking newspapers to determine the price. You should also do your research. 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.”

Here are the factors that should 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. The fee for transfering 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.

Two weeks is typically the amount of time it takes to determine the total loss claim from the date of reporting, based on all of the information needed.

What You Suffered Injuries While the Passenger in a Car?

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

The second consideration is what the insurance will look like that will 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 You Use Your Own Medical Coverage for Automobile Accident Caused Injuries?

The reason that you purchased this type of insurance was to use if needed. 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.

There is no situation where the negligent party is going to pay for your losses in the short term, with the exception of the vehicle damage. The better your coverage, the better off you will be while weathering the storm and waiting patiently for a settlement that works for you.

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

The answer to this question depends on several factors. First, are you happy with the amount offered? Is it a fair offer? In cases where people get only slightly injured and then bounce back quickly and are confident that their injuries are a thing of the past, then an amount that seems fair to you is probably a good thing.

Beyond this positive situation, that’s where most cases end up. Insurance companies usually try to 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 the insurance company refuses to raise its offer to an amount that seems fair, 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. 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 Can You Wait Before Starting a Lawsuit?

Three years is the amount of time you have to resolve or properly file a lawsuit in Washington State. If you do not take appropriate legal steps in front of the three year mark, then 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. Most people would prefer to avoid a lawsuit, so we suggest you act early. It takes time to gather everything you need such as medical records, understanding of the case, negotiation and settlement. Start the process right away by consulting with a good personal injury attorney.

How to Proceed When You Are Partially at Fault for the Accident

If you are partially at fault you may still be able to bring a claim Interestingly, there are some cases where being a little bit at fault actually results in our clients being able to achieve a better end award than if they had not been at fault (this involves a legal discussion about Washington law and insurance rights to recovery that is beyond the scope of this question and also very case specific).

As with any car accident case, a consultation is free and advisable so that you know your rights.

What Should You Do if The At-Fault Driver is Uninsured

Hopefully you have prepared for this scenario. It is very important that you have UIM (under/uninsured motorist coverage) on your automobile insurance policy. (This type of insurance steps into the shoes of the negligent party who either does not have, or does not have enough, bodily injury insurance. Please see our discussion of UIM here.

Car Accident Attorney Burien

Burien Car Accident Lawyer

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

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