Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Seattle Neck Injury on the job Procedures

The number of people who suffer neck and back injuries at work is a lot higher than most people think. Back injuries at work can be hard to resolve. In many cases, ongoing chiropractic care and therapy might be the only partial or temporary relief. Some back and neck injuries aren’t curable, which makes the situation even more difficult for some people to deal with. If you have suffered a neck or back injury as a result of your job, you’re aware of how much it can affect your life and how difficult it can be to get back to feeling good again. It’s important, first of all, to file a claim with your workplace so that you aren’t paying for the treatment or missed work out of your own pocket. Workers’ Compensation was designed specifically for this situation and you need to take advantage of that.

Neck injuries can be severe and chronic. The types of injuries that most people have end up needing consistent treatment or ongoing review and support. This can be difficult if you aren’t working with the right medical professionals. It helps if you can find the support and medical care that you need from the beginning so that you can have the best experience with your neck or back injuries and getting relief. It isn’t difficult to do, so long as you know where to look.

Groups like OSHA, the Washington Texas Department of Insurance, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics consistently have injury reports and information about workplace injuries that can keep you informed of your own industry or the specific injuries that you want to know about. There is nothing to joke about when it comes to neck and back injuries at work, and all employees need to seek prompt, proper treatment so that they don’t cause further damage or put themselves in a difficult situation. Chiropractic care can generally provide a safe, effective treatment option for a variety of neck and back injuries at work that are received.
If you are injured at work and are in need of assistance to get care or seek financial compensation, let us earn your trust. We are a Bellevue and Seattle Personal Injury Firm. Call us at (425) 889-9300 to discuss your case.
Our Firm:
PI Law Group, pllc
520 Kirkland Way, Ste 103
Kirkland, WA 98033

Basics of a Washington Wrongful Death Claim

When someone dies due to the fault of another person or entity (business) the survivors may be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. Such a lawsuit seeks compensation for the survivors' loss such as lost wages, lost companionship, and funeral expenses. Here's a primer on wrongful death claims -- what they are, who can sue, who can be sued, and what damages may be recovered. If you have further questions, consider contacting a Seattle Personal Injury Attorney.

What is a Wrongful Death Claim?

A wrongful death claim exists when a person dies due to the legal fault of another person. The right to file a lawsuit for wrongful death is a relatively new concept. "common law" (the laws brought to the United States from England) did not allow this kind of lawsuit. But during the last century, state and federal courts created the right to bring a wrongful death action. Every state in this country now has some kind of wrongful death law.

Wrongful death claims involve all types of fatal accidents from simple car accidents to complicated medical malpractice or product liability cases. Persons, companies, and governmental agencies can be legally at fault for acting negligently (failing to act as a reasonable person would have acted) and for acting intentionally.

Who May Sue for Wrongful Death?

A wrongful death claim must be filed by a representative on behalf of the survivors who suffer damage from the decedent's death (they are called the "real parties in interest"). The representative is usually the executor of the decedent's estate. The "real parties in interest" vary from state to state. Some of those people might include:

Immediate family members. In all states, immediate family members like spouses and children (including adopted children) and parents of unmarried children can recover under wrongful death actions.

Life partners, financial dependents, and putative spouses. In some states, a domestic or life partner, anyone who was financially dependent on the decedent, and a "putative spouse" (a person who had a good faith belief that he or she was married to the victim) have a right of recovery.

Distant family members. Some states allow more distant family members, such as brothers, sisters, and grandparents, to bring wrongful death lawsuits. For example, a grandparent who is raising a child may be able to bring an action.

All persons who suffer financially. Some states allow all persons who suffer financially from the death to bring a wrongful death action for lost care or support, even if they are not related by blood or marriage to the victim.

Parents of a deceased fetus. In some states, the death of a fetus can be the basis for a wrongful death suit. In several other states, parents cannot bring a wrongful death action to recover for financial and emotional losses resulting from the death of a fetus. In those states, the parents can bring a wrongful death action only if the child was born alive and then died. Check your state law and consult with an experienced wrongful death attorney to find out if such an action is allowed in your state.

Who May Be Sued for a Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death lawsuits can be brought against a wide variety of persons, companies, government agencies, and employees. For example, in a car accident involving a faulty roadway and a drunk driver, a wrongful death action might include defendants such as:

·         the driver or employer at fault in the automobile accident

·         the designer or builder of the faulty roadway

·         a government agent who failed to provide adequate warnings regarding a road hazard that caused the accident

·         the manufacturer, distributor, or installer of a faulty or dangerous part of the vehicle

·         the persons who sold, served, or gave alcohol to the impaired driver, or

·         the owner of the premises where the alcohol was served.

Immunity for Government Agencies and Employees

In some cases, certain persons or agencies may be immune from a wrongful death lawsuit. That means they cannot be sued for wrongful death. Who might be entitled to immunity again varies from state to state. For example, in some situations, government agencies and employees might be immune from a wrongful death lawsuit, or even family members in certain circumstances.

Recent federal laws provide immunity from wrongful death claims to defendants in railroad collisions and certain product liability cases including medical devices. Such immunity might also extend to drug manufacturers -- this will be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2009.

Types of Damages

In general, there are three types of damages that may be available to the survivors in a wrongful death lawsuit: (1) economic, (2) non-economic, and (3) punitive.

Economic damages. These include the value of the financial contributions the victim would have made to the survivors if he or she didn't die, and include the following:

·         medical and funeral expenses connected to the death

·         loss of the victim's expected earnings

·         loss of benefits, such as pension plans or medical coverage

·         loss of an inheritance caused by the untimely death, and

·         the value of the goods and services that a victim would have provided.

Non-economic damages. Although less tangible, non-economic damages often have more value than economic damages. Examples include:

·         damages for the survivors' mental anguish or pain and suffering

·         loss of the care, protection, guidance, advice, training, and nurturing from the deceased

·         loss of love, society, and companionship from the deceased, and

·         loss of consortium from a deceased spouse.

punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded to punish the defendant for especially bad conduct. In many states these damages are not available in wrongful death lawsuits or not recoverable against certain defendants including most governmental agencies. However, treble damages (which are in an amount equal to three times the actual damages) may often be recovered against nursing homes for elder abuse and death.

Interest and attorneys' fees. Survivors can recover interest on the damages from the time they were incurred up to the time they are collected. And in some cases the survivors can get reimbursed from the defendant for attorneys' fees and costs incurred in the bringing the lawsuit.

Calculating Damages

Calculating damages can be extremely complicated, and the parties often use expert witnesses, such as economists and actuaries, to give their opinions on the proper amount of damages. These calculations include not only income and benefits earned outside the home, but also the monetary value of services and care provided inside the home by a homemaker parent (such as child care, cooking, laundry, house cleaning and maintenance, shopping, education, medical care, and transportation).

Time Limits for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim

Every state sets certain time limits, called the "statute of limitations," on bringing wrongful death lawsuits. Generally speaking, the time limit in Washington State is three years. That said, there are exceptions to this, so it is wise to discuss with an Attorney.

In many states, the statute of limitations does not begin ticking until the harm is discovered (sometimes called the "date of discovery"). For example, if a doctor's failure to diagnose cancer is not discovered for years after the error (because the cancer lays dormant), the statute of limitations may not start until the patient learns of the cancer.

Getting Help

Because wrongful death actions often involve complex areas of the law (like medical malpractice) and can result in large damage awards, it is often wise to hire, or at least consult with, a Seattle Personal injury Attorney.

For more information, call our Firm today at (425) 889-9300 and let us earn your trust.
PI Law Group
520 Kirkland Way, Ste 103
Kirkland, WA 98033



Friday, October 4, 2013

Ten Worst Insurance Companies - Seattle Personal Injury

This was an interesting post we found on the Washington State Trial Lawyer Association website.

We are not endorsing this, but posting for informational purposes.


Top Worst Insurance Companies for Consumers

For more information on your rights if you are injured, consider consulting with a Seattle Personal Injury Attorney.

Our Firm:

The PI Law Group
520 Kirkland Way, Ste 103
Kirkland, WA 98033

Friday, September 13, 2013

Seattle Personal Injury Law: What Should I Do if I Need to File a Personal Injury Claim?

Accidents can happen at anytime, but handling the legal aspects of a personal injury claim can be challenging.  Personal injury claims can involve many different types of injuries, including automobile accidents, slip and fall accidents, or defective products

Fortunately, there are several steps you can take after a personal injury to prepare you for filing a claim or a lawsuit.  Here’s a list of the top ten tips for personal injury claims:

1) Seek out medical attention immediately:  If you have been seriously injured, the first thing you should do is to get medical attention.  Do not attempt to handle any claims before you have properly addressed your injuries with a medical professional.

Note that failing to seek medical attention after an accident can sometimes reduce the amount of damages you are able to recover.  As the injured party, you may have a duty to “mitigate your losses”.  This means that you must take steps to ensure that your own neglect does not cause any further injuries or economic losses.

2) File a Police Report: Filing a police report can help ensure that you have records of important information.  This may include the names and contact information of other parties that were involved.  Also, the report itself can serve as a record of the important facts involved in the accident.  The police report can be used in court if a lawsuit arises.

3) Be aware of what you say at the scene of the accident:  While it is necessary to communicate with the other party after an accident, exercise discretion when speaking with other parties.  You are under no duty to state whose fault the injury was or to offer additional information.  Avoid making statements that might make the situation more complicated, and avoid creating conflicts in relation to the event.

4) Keep accurate records of all costs and expenses related to the injury:  These may include hospital bills, medical diagnosis statements, bills related to property damage, and insurance records.  You may also need to maintain records of lost wages if the injury has caused you miss work.  It’s also a good idea to make a written account of the injury, especially while the events and facts are still fresh in your recollection.

5) Be cautious when dealing with insurance companies:  Involvement with insurance companies can sometimes make the legal process more complicated in a personal injury claim.  However, in most cases, working with an insurance company will be necessary to completing your personal injury claim or lawsuit.  Be sure to protect your interests when negotiating with an insurance company.  It may be helpful to have a lawyer on hand for advice when dealing with third parties.

6) DO NOT sign any forms or documents without understanding themThis is huge!! Make sure you completely understand the terms of any forms and documents to be filled out in relation to the personal injury.  Do not sign any forms if you are not sure of how they will affect you in the long run.  This includes any forms that may be presented to you well after the actual event.  Be especially wary of any documents or contracts that ask you to release the other party from liability, or that require you to forfeit your right to a lawsuit.

7) Avoid trying to settle on your own if you don’t understand what to do:  Trying to settle on your own with the other party or with their insurance company can sometimes be a complicated process.  If you are unsure of what you are doing, it is best to find some help through the advice of a legal expert.  This is especially important if the other party will be hiring a lawyer.  Working with your own lawyer can help you avoid costly mistakes that can have negative effects on your claim.

8) Be aware of filing deadlines:  Make sure that you file your legal claim or lawsuit in a timely manner.  For most personal injury claims, you only have a certain window of time after the accident to file with the courts.  This is known as the “statute of limitations”, which can vary depending on the state and the type of accident involved.  Once the statute of limitations has expired, you might not be able to file your claim anymore.

9) Do some preliminary research on the legal process:  It may be worth your while to familiarize yourself with the basics of personal injury lawsuits in your area.  Local rules may vary, and personal injury claims can take some time to be fully resolved.  While you are not expected to become an expert, speaking with a lawyer for some basic guidelines can help take some of the confusion out of the process.

10) Be aware of what type of lawyer you will need to hire:  Remember, not all personal injury lawyers are the same.  Some specialize in certain fields, while others handle more general claims.  There are many different types of personal injury lawyers, and one may be more suitable for your situation than another.

If you find yourself in a Personal Injury situation, we can help. We pride ourselves on providing honest, effective advice. If we can help, we'll get you to the best teams in town who can. We are Seattle Personal Injury Attorneys looking out for your best interest.

Our Firm:

Weitz Law Firm, PLLC
520 Kirkland Way, Ste 103
Kirkland, WA 98033
(425) 889-9300

Seattle Slip and Fall Legal Facts

We have a lot of slip and falls cases come into our office. We've established some facts to help those who face such cases.

1. A slip and fall injury is a type of tort or civil case: This means it is a private lawsuit that one person brings against another in order to recover monetary damages.

2. Slip and fall injuries can occur in businesses or in private homes- Most often, slip and falls occur in stores or other public places. However, if you go to someone's house and they have created unsafe conditions which cause you to fall and hurt yourself, that individual can be liable and you may be able to sue and recover damages from him and his home owners insurance.

3. The standards for a slip and fall injury differ depending on where you are- If you are in a public business, the business has a higher duty of care. You are considered an invitee and they must make sure the premises is safe. If you are in a home, on the other hand, you are a licensee only and that homeowner doesn't owe you quite the same duty of care as a store owner does. As such, it will be harder to prove negligence and to recover for a slip and fall injury if it occurs at a private home.

4. A personal injury attorney can help you bring a tort case- If you want to sue as a result of your fall and your injuries, a personal injury attorney can help you file the necessary papers and collect the necessary evidence to do so.

5. It is your burden to prove the negligence- If you fall and hurt yourself, the other party is liable only if their actions were a breach of legal duty that caused your fall. As the plaintiff, it is your burden to prove this. You must prove it by a preponderance of the evidence, which means you have to prove that- more likely than not- the defendant was negligent in creating the conditions that led to your fall.

6. You will have to prove damages- This means you have to prove you actually suffered some type of harm that you can be monetarily compensated for.

7. Your recovery can be reduced if your negligence contributed to your injury- Under the laws of most states, you can still recover damages even if you were partially at fault for the fall. Your damages will simply be reduced by the percentage of responsibility the court decides belongs to you.

8. Your damages will be based on the extent of your actual injuries-
The more severely injured you are, the more monetary compensation will be appropriate to pay for your medical bills, pain and suffering or emotional distress.

9. Emotional distress damages may also be possible- In addition to compensation for your actual injury, if you experienced stress or fear as a result of your fall or the resulting injury, this is compensable as well.

10. Most slip and fall cases settle out of court. This means that most of the time, you won't have to go to trial and the defendant will simply offer you a lump sum payment.

For more information on your rights if you are a victim of a slip and fall case, consider contacting a Seattle Personal Injury Attorney.

Our Firm:

Weitz Law Firm, pllc
520 Kirkland Way, Ste 103
Kirkland, WA 98033

(425) 889-9300

Who Should Attend Mediations?

Weitz -  All “decision-makers” who have the authority to make a binding decision should obviously attend the mediation along with their Counsel. In most cases, this person will be an officer of a company, or a human resources representative who will have “settlement authority” up to a set dollar amount.

In some cases, it makes sense to have a technical expert on hand. This is especially true for noncompete or injury matters. Because noncompete matters can turn on highly technical issues, bringing a person who can explain the company’s software, trade secrets, or other technology can help an employer ensure that the mediator understands its position.

Some employers like to bring other key people so that these people can explain facts, if necessary. While this can be helpful, sometimes it’s best to leave the people closest to the dispute behind. For example, in a harassment situation, inviting the alleged harasser to the mediation could lead to an emotional response from the plaintiff that does nothing to further the settlement discussion between the parties.

Monday, July 29, 2013

What To Do After a Car Accident in Washington State

Being involved in a car accident is an overwhelming, and often painful, experience. It can be particularly frustrating having to worry about paying for medical bills and missing time at work when the accident was not even your fault. The very last thing you want to do in the middle of all of that stress is ensuring proper compensation from an insurance company.

Some insurance companies are very skilled at minimizing the amount they pay for personal injuries. Typically, an insurance company will not be forthcoming about the amount of coverage an insured driver might have, and can even pressure the injured person to settle for far less than deserved. Personal injuries fall under Tort Law, and being familiar with it can increase your settlement considerably. Obtaining skilled legal representation can relieve much of the stress following your accident and facilitate a more favorable settlement.

What To Do Following Your Car Accident
There are things that you can do following your accident which will set the foundation for receiving the proper settlement for your injuries:
1.  Do not claim that you are uninjured immediately following an accident. While it may feel natural to insist you are OK to reduce the stress of the situation, making such a statement can cause future difficulties when injuries surface. Many accident related injuries lay dormant and pain associated with those injuries can increase over time.
2.  Document your experience as soon as possible following the accident. Your account of the accident will be much more accurate the closer it is to the actual event. Having documentation of specific details can help you and your lawyer refute inconsistent or false statements from the other driver(s).
3.  Keep a journal of all pain and suffering related to your injuries, as well as any subsequent expenses you have incurred. It is easy to forget or overlook increasing pain or medical expenses over time.   

                                                                 Report Your Collision
All collisions involving a personal injury or injuries are investigated by the Washington State Department of Transportation (DOT). If the police are called to the scene of the accident they will file an official report. In this case, you can obtain a copy of the official report for your records. If the police are not called to the accident, and therefore do not file an official report, it is important for you to file a report with the DOT. Each driver must file a report within four (4) days of the accident. This is particularly important if you sustained any injuries. You can get collision report forms from your local police department, county sheriff’s office, or Washington State Patrol detachment. Preserving evidence is essential to later establishing that your injuries are a direct result of the accident.

Get Help
A personal injury lawyer can help you preserve evidence early in the process. Your lawyer can also be proactive in negotiating with the insurance company early on, when you are still recovering. Furthermore, most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means they only get paid if you do, and will offer you a free consultation to discuss your options. One very important thing to remember is that time can either work for or against you. Documenting your injuries, reporting or collision (if not already done by a police officer) and consulting with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible following your accident will greatly help when later reaching a settlement.

For more information consider contacting a Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer.

Weitz Law Firm
520 Kirkland Way, Suite 103
Kirkland, Washington

Monday, July 22, 2013

Personal Injury Protection Insurance in Washington State

What is Personal Injury Protection?

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is insurance coverage which is added to an auto insurance policy. PIP is not required in Washington State, but insurers are required to offer it. Generally speaking, PIP pays out regardless of who is at fault and applies to all parties injured in the automobile accident (some exceptions below). Pedestrians and bicyclists injured by an automobile are also covered.

What does PIP cover?

·         Medical Expenses:

Minimum of $10,000 for reasonable and necessary medical expenses for each person injured in an automobile accident

Available up to three years from the date of the accident

·         Loss of Wages “income continuation benefits”:

Minimum of $10,000, subject to a limit of $200 per week

·         Loss of Services: (payment to non-family members for work the injured party cannot perform)

Minimum of $5,000, subject to a limit of $200 per week

·         Funeral Expenses:

Minimum of $2,000

RCW 48.22.095

Insured parties have the option to increase PIP coverage upon request, at a higher monthly premium, to $35,000 for medical expenses, $35,000 for income continuation benefits and $14,600 for loss of services.

RCW 48.22.100

Exceptions: What is not covered by PIP?

It doesn’t cover injuries caused by using:

·         Farm equipment

·         Recreational or off-road vehicles

·         Mopeds

·         Motorcycles (coverage may be available on motorcycle policies at a high price)

In addition, Washington law states that PIP does not cover:

·         Intentional, self-inflicted injuries caused by the insured person

·         Injuries sustained by insured person participating in, or preparing for, a prearranged or organized speed or racing contest

·         Injuries to the insured person while using automobile in commission of a felony

RCW 48.22.090

How do I get PIP?

Washington State law requires insurance companies to offer you PIP when signing up for auto insurance. Although PIP coverage is optional, it is most likely already included in the insurance company’s initial offer. An insured person has the option to reject PIP coverage, but that waiver must be in writing. Once an insured person has successfully waived his or her PIP coverage, the insurance company is released from coverage of all individuals who would have been covered under PIP. An insured party does have the ability to request coverage at a later date, but that request must also be in writing.


Injured people often think they do not have PIP when they actually do. An insurance company will not readily offer up coverage if the insured does not file a claim. Simply put, if you have not waived PIP insurance in writing then you are covered. Getting compensation following an injury stemming from automobile accident can greatly reduce the stress associated with such an event. There is a reason Washington State requires insurance companies to offer it: injuries can be costly.

If you have questions regarding your auto accident injury or PIP coverage, consider contacting a Seattle Automobile Injury Lawyer.


Weitz Law Firm, PLLC
520 Kirkland Way, Suite 103

Kirkland, Washington 98033

About Personal Injury Law

In legal terms, “injury” is defined as any harm done to a person by the acts or omissions of another. Injury may include physical hurt as well as damage to reputation or dignity, loss of a legal right or breach of contract. In cases of personal injury, lawsuits are focused on injury that results from acts of negligence from either a person or company.


The purpose of personal injury laws is to protect people from being harmed by the negligent acts of others. When harm does occur, a personal injury lawsuit is brought in order to compel insurance companies and/or the responsible parties to compensate the injured person, to the extent possible, so that the person is placed back into his/her pre-injury condition. A successful personal injury suit will ensure that the injured party’s medical bills, lost wages (both present and future), pain and suffering, and other related expenses are paid for by the party responsible for the injury.   


While there are many types of personal injury cases, the most common is for injuries sustained in traffic accidents. Other types of personal injury claims stem from animal bites, slip and fall accidents, workplace injuries, products liability and wrongful death. Since personal injury law spans a wide range of topics, many personal injury lawyers will specialize in a few select types. Some lawyers will focus more on individualized injuries, such as car accidents and slip and fall, while others will specialize in larger cases that deal with defective products and large-scale work injury, such as asbestos and mesothelioma. Most personal injury negotiations and litigation involve insurance companies to some extent.  


Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee. This means that the lawyer only gets compensated if the lawsuit is successful. If the lawsuit fails, the lawyer does not receive a fee. However, when the judge finds for the plaintiff, the lawyer will receive a percentage of the total amount awarded. The amount varies from state to state, but typically a lawyer will be compensated one-third of the amount granted. The percentage taken for legal services will be disclosed and agreed upon prior to representation.


For further information regarding Personal Injury claims, consider contacting a Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer.


Weitz Law Firm, PLLC
520 Kirkland Way, Suite 103
Kirkland, Washington 98033

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Monetary Compensation for Dog Bites in Washington State: Damages

When you hear about Personal Injury claims, you inevitably hear about what damages the injured party received. The term ‘damages’ refers to monetary compensation awarded to an injured party when the injury resulted from the wrongful (tortious) conduct of another party. Although there is no exact formula used to reach the dollar amount awarded, there are clearly defined categories of damages the courts look to when determining how much money to award the injured party.
The overall goal of damages is to make the injured party whole. In other words, the purpose of damages is to put the person who was injured by another person’s wrongful conduct back into the position he or she was in prior to the injury. While it is impossible to put someone in the exact ‘pre-injury condition’ with money, the amount decided on is supposed to account for the loss as best as possible. Washington courts adhere to this traditional rule of damages in these cases.
Damages are unique to every case and determined by the court on a case by case basis. Each dog bite is unique in physical damage and emotional impact. Damages are divided up into two main categories: compensatory and punitive.
The most common damages are compensatory. As the name would suggest, these damages compensate the victim’s loss. Examples of compensatory damages are: medical expenses, lost wages (both current and future) and loss of enjoyment of life.
Punitive damages are less frequently awarded. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish the wrongdoer, rather than to benefit the injured party. Punitive damages are sometimes awarded in cases where the dog was trained by its owner to be violent or if the dog owner willfully and knowingly exposed others to a violent dog.
Both types of damages are determined by the unique set of circumstances of each case.
For more information on your dog bite claim consider consulting with a Seattle Dog Bite Attorney.
Weitz Law Firm
520 Kirkland Way, Suite 103
Kirkland, Washington 98033


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Motor Vehicle Accident Settlement in Washington State

            There is a lot of stress that comes from getting into a motor vehicle accident. Aside from the obvious anxiety related to the physical and emotional injuries arising from the accident, there is also the stress of getting compensated. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) gives several suggestions to aid in getting the proper amount of compensation for injuries. These suggestions are helpful for both minor and severe

·         Document everything. Save every memo, e-mail, prescription order, and receipt that's related to your medical care. Include names and dates on every document.
·         Keep receipts of all injury-related costs. This may include child-care expenses, canceling airline tickets, or paying for taxi service.
·         Provide before and after photos. Take photos of your injuries and retrieve recent photos before the car accident occurred to compare them with.
·         Keep diligent records of how much time you've lost at work. You may even ask your employer to provide a letter verifying how much income you've lost.
·         Maintain a daily diary, documenting your recovery. Be specific: pain levels and your emotional state. This will aid in your quest for compensation should you suffer from long-term, lingering effects.
·         Hold firm against a quick settlement. Don't agree to anything until you know for certain the short- and long-term effects of your injuries. The insurance company's claims adjuster will try pressuring you into an immediate agreement in an effort to avoid paying out future compensation for lingering medical problems.
·         Hire a personal injury attorney if you feel you're being pressured to agree to a quick settlement, or if you think the compensation is inadequate, or even if you don't understand the claims process. These lawyers will level the playing field, as it were, bettering your chances of receiving fair compensation.
            To get a better idea of what the insurance company is considering when determining what compensation it will offer you, the DMV has further provided a list of factors that claims adjusters take into consideration. Having this information can help with knowing what to have prepared when consulting with an attorney and negotiating with the insurance company. Having this information organized and ready in a timely manner following the accident will help when reaching a settlement.
·         The police report (and whether you obtained a copy). The report will provide specific accident-related details, and will list the investigating officer’s name and badge number. An insurance company claims adjusters will often confirm the claims an injured party makes.
·         Whether or notand how quicklyyou sought medical attention. Visit the emergency room or your physician as soon as possible after an accident.
·         Whether or not injuries you suffered post an auto accident were pre-existing. If you had existing injuries or health conditions prior to the accident, ask your physician to take new x-rays or ultrasounds of those injured areas. Comparisons in the pre-accident scans and the post-accident scans can help to show that the accident did in fact cause additional damage to the area.
·         DUI/DWI charges and other citations related to the accident.
·         Statements that you make to other drivers or passengers after the accident. Keep in mind that although your emotions might be intense following a car accident, you should avoid making promises or statements of blame.
·         Witness testimonies.
·         Photographs taken of the accident scene.
·         Records and documents that validate the number of days and wages you lost due to the accident.
·         Personal injury limits written into your car insurance policy.
            According to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), in 2011 there were 454 fatalities, 2,122 serious injuries and 43,015 minor injuries from motor vehicle accidents in Washington State. Unfortunately, you never know who will be driving. While it is possible to drive cautiously and take steps to prevent accidents, it is not possible to control the actions of other’s operating a motor vehicle. It is possible, however, to be as prepared when it comes time to get compensated for an injury.
For more information consider contacting a Seattle Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer.
Weitz Law Firm520 Kirkland Way, Suite 103
Kirkland, Washington 98033