You don’t have to travel far to realize there are more vehicles on the road and more car accidents with each passing decade that require the professional services of a car accident lawyer or accident attorney to help sort out who is at fault for the accident.
There are numerous distractions that lead to car accidents in the Renton and surrounding area, and if you are the victim of one, it is vital that you contact a car accident lawyer or accident attorney immediately.
Do not allow the other driver talk you out of calling the police or your insurance company, but it is extremely important that you contact a car accident lawyer or accident attorney at once.
A few simple examples of when to contact a car accident lawyer or accident attorney promptly in the Renton and surrounding area:
Call Wiener and Lambka for powerful representation by a car accident lawyer or accident attorney serving the Renton area and beyond.
The statute of limitations for most Washington car accident lawsuits is usually three years. And whether the lawsuit is an injury or a death, your case will hinge on your ability to prove that it was the result of someone else’s negligence that caused the car accident.
Your choice of a car accident lawyer or accident attorney is an important decision. We’re in the business of providing legal help to accident victims with an accident lawyer and accident attorney for the Renton area and beyond.
There is urgency in seeking an accident lawyer or accident attorney. A good method for finding an experienced accident lawyer is to locate a firm that argues cases for accident victims rather than insurance companies.
And never underestimate need for support of an accident attorney after a car accident in the Renton or surrounding area. The other driver or an insurance company representative may try to manipulate you into accepting a lesser settlement amount.
Our experienced accident lawyer or accident attorney will help you put all things back together with the best financial out come.
There are many reasons to choose an accident attorney to protect the rights of residents in the Renton and surrounding area. The following provides a few reasons:
Call Wiener and Lambka for trusted and experienced accident attorney assistance serving the Renton area and beyond at 800-680-8112.
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 also required to cooperate with police and provide their name, vehicle registration and license.
Drivers should also aid any injured parties within their reasonable ability, including calling for an ambulance.
Most vehicle collisions do not involve death or serious injury such that a police investigation needs to be done for the purposes of evaluating the possibility of criminal conduct. That being said, it’s preferable to leave the vehicles as is, so that it can be properly documented by the police. On the other hand, if the vehicles are presenting a hazard and can be moved to a safer place, then 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.
Police should always be called to the scene of a collision, whether or not you believe that it merits the call. 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. At least in these circumstances you will be able to state later that you did call them, but you could not make them come to the scene.
Police will typically come to the scene and fill out an official report. This report and the officer being a witness can be important aspects to your case later on. You should remember that injury may not be immediately apparent as some have slow onset, and many people experience adrenaline at the scene of an incident.
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.
You should have, and are required under Washington law to have, current proof of liability insurance with you while driving. 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 proof of insurance is several hundred dollars so, keep that information handy.
Your insurance policy likely requires that you report collisions and accidents to it. Your insurance policy is a contract so the parties 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 agent to keep them up to date on the situation 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 scenes from a safe place 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.
Continue to take relevant photos after you leave the scene. 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 was totaled, or before it’s repaired, sold for salvage, or 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.
Also, any physical manifestation of your injuries should be photographed You should also photograph any injuries as they evolve and change form: bruises get darker and then lighten, scars change form, etc.
While you have a duty to cooperate with the authorities and your own insurance company, you are not required to give a statement to the adverse driver or his insurance company. The best course of action is to seek legal advice before speaking to them because they will seek 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. 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. Obtaining legal advice prior to providing a statement to the opposing insurance company is always a good idea.
If there are witnesses to your automobile accident, obtain their statement and information While in most cases witnesses do not prove to be important or necessary, the problem is that you won’t know that at the time of the crash. You should be taking down notations of anything that may seem to be important at the time of the collision.
If you find yourself injured in any way, you should seek medical attention. While this may seem like common sense to some, often people wait and hope that their injuries go away.
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. Also, without seeking medical care immediately, you can be susceptible to the claim that you failed to take reasonable steps to limit harm.
With this same logic in mind, it’s also important to follow your doctor’s instructions exactly, and follow up when 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.
Whether someone receives a ticket and the other contents of the police report are not admissible in a trial on the matter. These things do, however, matter 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 you have received You might consider hiring an attorney that handles traffic tickets. 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.
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 it’s not as pressing that you speak to an attorney before giving a statement to your own insurance company, it is advisable.
What you should not do is 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. 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.
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 upon the settings in your social media, others can have access to interesting information about you. For example, Twitter keeps a running record of your tweets. Your Facebook posts can be accessed by anyone if your settings allow it. It’s possible to find your information on websites you didn’t even know existed. Investigators may even be able to find out information about you through friends’ pages.
While it’s probably a good policy to keep your information faily private, the prospect of a legal claim is especially good 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 simplest way to avoid issues with your social media account is to not post about the case at all. 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.
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:
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.
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. Individual cases may have additional forms of damages, but these are typically the ones looked at by most attorneys when presenting a case.
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 expenses might also be covered in your automobile policy. 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. 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 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.
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 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. 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 . “Fair market value” is the price you could have received for the car the day before the accident, were you to sell it. Market value is determine based on factors such as mileage, age, condition of the exterior and interior, maintenance, 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 do the same. Under the law, the insurance company cannot offer a “book figure”. The used car guides are usually low as to value because car dealerships use them for trade- in purpose more than for “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. The fee for transfering the title
If you are interested in retaining the “salvage” (damaged vehicle) then you have the right to match the highest bid for the salvage 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.
If you were a passenger involved in a car accident, there are two important things to keep in mind. 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 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. First we would look at the insurance of the vehicle, then at the driver to see if they have any additional insurance, and finally whether you have automobile insurance that would apply. In all cases we are looking for Personal Injury Protection coverage. If there wasn’t any, or if it exhausts, then your health insurance will kick in.
You likely bought your medical coverage for instances like this. Automobile insurance, if used in connection with an accident that was not your fault, is not adversely affected in terms of raised rates. The negligent party will reimburse that amount that your company pays (subject to legal reductions that your attorney can use to help benefit you).
If you do not have PIP (please see our articles and pages on this HERE) then your medical insurance will pay for your care, and will be reimbursed by the negligent party as well.
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.
This depends on a lot of factors. First, are you happy with the amount offered? Does it seem fair? 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 happy scenario, however, are most of the cases. Usually insurance companies try to save money and settle claims for less than they are worth. Corporations have duties to maximize profits for their shareholders, so it makes sense that they would want to see if they could get you to accept a smaller settlement.
If it doesn’t seem like you are going to get a fair offer, you should consult with an attorney. Consultations are free, so you might as well take advantage of the opportunity to gain insight about 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.
In Washington, you have three years in which to either 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. If you would prefer to avoid a lawsuit, and most people would, acting early is your best course of action. It takes time to gather the medical records and review same and understand a case for presentation, negotiation and settlement. Start early with a consultation with a good personal injury attorney.
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. Check out our complete information on UIM here.
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