Car Accident Lawyer for Powerful Representation in Tukwila

There is nothing worse than losing a loved one in an automobile accident. While the personal loss of life cannot be compensated at any cost, you can at least get compensation for the monetary loss that you suffer on behalf of the victim.

We, at Wiener & Lambka can serve as the car accident lawyer for Tukwila, WA residents that have been victimized in a car accident. As an experienced car accident lawyer catering to Tukwila, we know that car accidents may be caused due to any of the following reasons:

  • State of intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol
  • Dangerous road conditions
  • Distracted driving
  • Road rage

Whatever the cause of the accident, if you have been injured or have lost a loved one, you need to be compensated rightfully. We will take on your case as the car accident lawyer in Tukwila and represent you in court. With years of experience as an accident attorney, we have the requisite knowledge and skills to handle accident cases.

Experienced Accident Lawyer for Tukwila Residents

You might be injured wrongfully due to the fault of someone else. However, at the time of injury, you do not think about your legal rights when you are traumatized. However, you need a competent car accident lawyer in Tukwila who can represent you and get you justice. As a leading car accident lawyer catering to Tukwila, we offer the following services:

  • Investigate the case
  • Reconstruct the sequence of events
  • Thoroughly go through all the details
  • Represent the clients

You can choose as your accident lawyer in Tukwila because we have a stellar reputation for obtaining rightful compensation for our clients. Our long list of satisfied clients is testimony to this fact.

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

You need to choose an accident attorney in Tukwila to protect your rights because often it has been seen that innocent people are the victims of car accidents. They do not have any knowledge of their rights and therefore, are vulnerable.

You must get the rightful representation and compensation, and only an experienced accident attorney in Tukwila can get this for you. You can choose us as your accident attorney in Tukwila because of the following qualities that we possess:

  • Experience
  • Reliability
  • Recommendation

If you or your loved one has been wrongfully injured in a car accident and you seek representation by a reliable accident attorney that caters to Tukwila, call us 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 render assistance within their reasonable ability including calling for an ambulance and any other reasonable act to help injured parties.

Should Vehicles Involved in the Accident Be Moved?

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, if you can leave the vehicles where they stopped so that this can be properly documented by the police, this is a good idea. 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 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

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 not be available to respond to a minor incident and will advise the parties 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.

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

Exchanging Insurance information

Drivers are required to have proof of current liability insurance any time they are driving their vehicle. 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 insurance information handy is several hundreds of dollars, so be sure you have your card.

Contact Your Insurance Company

Your insurance policy likely requires that you report collisions and accidents to it. 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 insurance agent and notify them as well. Make sure you follow the specific requirements in your policy and document 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 photographs

Take photos of the scenes from a safe place Take photographs of anything that you think might turn out to be important. 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)

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.

Any additional chance to take photos should be taken advantage of. 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.

Any physical manifestation of injury should be continuously documented with photos. Anything that isn’t going to stay static during healing should be continually photographed, bruises get darker and then lighter, scars change, etc.

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. 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 provision of statement to the insurance company that you will be seeking money from is always a good decision.

Obtain Witness Information

If there are witnesses to your collision, obtain their contact information and an understanding of what they saw. 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.

Seek a Medical Checkup

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 trouble with waiting to see if you feel better is that the insurance company for the other driver can claim that if you’d been really hurt, you would have sought medical care right away. 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 possible problems to your doctor so that they can be properly documented. Not having an injury mentioned in your medical records is the same thing as not having had the injury at all 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. That being said, these items still matter a whole lot to the insurance companies and the 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 you have received 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.

Tickets can have consequences for both your injury case and your long term financial interests in regards to insurance rates.

Should I Offer a Recorded Statement?

As mentioned above, if your insurance company requests a statement, you have a duty to give it to them. In the state of Washington, statements given to your own insurance company are not discoverable to the insurance company of the other driver. While it’s not as pressing, you might consider contacting an attorney even before speaking to your own insurance company, just to ensure that you have all of the facts of the case accurate.

You should never give a recorded statement to 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. The insurance company has no right whatsoever to a recorded statement. You should be able to have a simple conversation with the adjuster to answer reasonable questions, but please consult an attorney first to make sure you fully understand what you are doing in these circumstances.

Social Media

If you’ve ever Googled yourself or another person, you know it’s possible to find lots of information you didn’t know what public. Depending upon the settings in your social media, others can have access to interesting information about you. Twitter records your tweets. Your privacy settings may allow lurkers to access all of your Facebook posts. 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 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 simplest way to avoid issues with your social media account is to not post about the case at all. Do not post about the collision at all and don’t post about your injuries. 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 Seek 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 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 handle property damage and car rental through you own company. Your own company may have a wage loss provision and a home helper provision. 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. 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.

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

If your vehicle is repairable, you should have it in pre-accident condition when all is done. You may have the vehicle repaired at a body shop of your choice. Some insurance companies have approved shops where the company will guarantee the work for the length of time you own the car. 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.

If you decide to go with the insurance company prefered shop, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion to be sure everything is considered.

If you’re vehicle is declared a “total loss” which would indicate that it isn’t cost effective to repair it, than you will be reimbursed “fair market value for the car. 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. The market value is based on the history of the car, age, condition, exterior and interior, condition, maintenance history, etc.

The insurance company must perform a market survey by calling dealerships and checking newspapers ad for the selling price on comparable vehicles. You should do the same. Insurance cannot offer a “book-figure” under the law. Guides are typically low because car dealerships tend to use them for trade-in rather than selling price.

Below are the factors that must be included in a total loss settlement offer:

1. Fair Market Value

2. Sales Tax on the fair market amount

3. Any unused portion of the license tab fee.

4. RENTAL CAR UNTIL FAIR MARKET OFFER IS MADE or an amount equal to daily rental rate paid directly to you for the loss of use of your vehicle if you do not obtain a rental.

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.

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. 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. We are always looking for Personal Injury Protection coverage. If there wasn’t any, or if it exhausts, then your health insurance will kick in.

Should You Own Health Insurance be Used to Cover Auto Accident Injuries?

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 amount that your insurance company pays for your injuries is reimbursed by the insurance company of the negligent party.

If you do not have PIP (and you should, please see our posts and informational pages on this coverage, found HERE), then your medical insurance will pay for your care, also subject to reimbursement when you collect the bills from the negligent party.

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. 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?

The answer to this question depends on several factors. First, are you pleased with the amount you were 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. Usually insurance companies try to save money and settle claims for less than they are worth. This is not really surprising as it makes sense that they would at least try to see if you would settle for a lesser amount; such is the nature of a corporation with 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. Consultations are free, so you should definitely take the opportunity to at least 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. We suggest you act early if you would like to avoid a lawsuit. 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.

What to do if You Are Partially at Fault for the Accident

If you are partially at fault you may still be able to bring a claim This insurance steps in in case the negligent party does not have the insurance needed to cover your damages. For more information on this, please see our information on UIM here.

car accident attorney Tukwila

Tukwila 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 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
“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 took care of the leg work for me and even managed to get a larger settlement than expected.” - J. Hanson
“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
“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
“You minimized my stress levels on a process foreign and scary to me. Very professional, caring, and patient with me.” - A. Maas
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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

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