Tuesday, March 29, 2016

PIP Coverage in Washington State

Many of our clients encounter the concept of ‘Personal Injury Protection’ (“PIP”) if they are in a car accident and need immediate medical care. We’d like to explain exactly what it is, how it works and why its an important part of every insurance plan.

What is PIP?  
PIP is a part of your insurance policy that covers (up to certain limits) medical expenses, wage loss, loss of services, and funeral services and it applies no matter who is at fault.

Is PIP required?
PIP is not required, but Washington Law does require that your insurance offers it to you. If they do not offer it to you and receive a rejection in writing, your company must add it to your policy and charge you for it. Sometimes, even if its not a part o your policy the insurance company must honor it post - accident if they cannot provide something in writing that the coverage was waived.

How it works:
If you are a ‘named insured’ are injured, PIP coverage kicks in. It covers 1) persons named on the policy; household residents related by blood, marriage or adoption, as well as any non-family passenger and pedestrians involved in an accident.

Why its important.

Should you find yourself in an auto accident where injuries are incurred, PIP will pay for your medical care as you negotiate with a liable parties insurance company. If you don’t have it, you will have to pay these costs out of pocket thus potentially prohibiting the quality of care in your recovery.
For me information on your rights in a Seattle Auto Accident, please consider contacting a Seattle Personal Injury Attorney.

Our Firm:

520 Kirkland Way, Ste 103
Kirkland, WA 98033
T: (425) 889-9300

Monday, March 28, 2016

Seattle Auto Accident Insurance Policy basics:

In assessing an insurance claim for a Washington Auto Accident, it’s important to know the various types of insurance that you may encounter.

Auto insurance coverage is typically broken down into separate components:
Liability coverage: This provides protection for claims made against an insured, where the use of an insured vehicle caused bodily injury or property damage to someone else

Medical payments coverage or personal injury protection (‘PIP’): This provides coverage for various medical expenses incurred by the insured and others as a result of an accident, regardless of negligence or liability on the part of the insured

Collision coverage: This provides coverage for losses that the insured suffers as a result of damage to his or her covered vehicle caused by a collision

Other-than-collision (also known as comprehensive) coverage: This provides coverage for losses that the insured suffers as a result of damage to or loss of a covered vehicle not caused by a collision (e.g., fire, theft, vandalism, falling objects, explosion, earthquake, flood, and civil commotion)

Uninsured motorist coverage: This provides coverage for losses that the insured and others sustain when injured through the negligence of an uninsured or unidentified hit-and-run motorist

Underinsured motorist coverage: This provides coverage for losses that the insured and others sustain when injured through the negligence of a motorist who has liability insurance, but the limit of that insurance is insufficient to pay for damages.

If you are injured by another party in an Seattle Auto Accident, the insurance that will pay for your damages is the other drivers Liability coverage. That said, your PIP coverage will pay your medical bills while the other claims are settled. 

If you are in need of a assistance, consider contacting a Kirkland Auto Accident Attorney

Our contact: 

520 Kirkland Way, Ste 103
Kirkland, WA 98033
(425) 889-9300



Tuesday, March 1, 2016

How to value a Auto Accident Case in Washington State

Clients often ask us how to value personal injury cases, and the honest answer is that no cases are truly the same. That said, there are some parameters we consider in valuing claims for our clients. 
In personal injury cases, if an insurance adjuster is using a damages formula to value your claim (which is almost always the case), it's usually based on a multiplier of between one-and-a-half to five times medical costs. This is how the adjuster typically arrives at a base negotiating figure -- not including lost income. However, in some cases, certain factors line up so overwhelmingly  that the top multiplier of five is simply not high enough. In those claims, the multiplier might move up to six, seven, or even as high as ten times special damages (ie. medical and lost income). 
Here are some factors That Justify a High Personal Injury Multiplier
In order to realistically consider a multiplier of more than five, you must have had a serious injury, and most, if not all, of the following factors must be present:
  • 1) the other party’s fault/ liability for an accident must be obvious and almost total
  • 2) injuries must be unquestionably observed or detected by medical examination
  • 3) injuries must be patently painful and dramatic -- a fracture, or a wound, tear, or displacement that requires surgical treatment, or that cannot be successfully repaired
  • 4) diagnosis and treatment must come primarily from physicians and hospitals
  • 5) recovery must be prolonged (six months or more)
  • 6) suffering of some permanent issue -- pain, immobility, weakness, discomfort, scarring -- that is medically documented, and
  • 7) your physicians must clearly indicate that you will have recurring, degenerative, or future problems as a result of the injuries, even if they have stabilized for the time being.
If most or all of these factors are present in your case, larger multiples may be justified in seeking more than five times your medical costs. 
Unfortunately, the fact that you feel justified in initially seeking such an amount doesn’t mean that you will receive it. Please note that allowing yourself to get carried away with the unjustified hope of a high settlement when the facts of your case don’t support it will only delay an already process. 
For more information on your rights in a personal injury case, please consider contacting a Kirkland Personal Injury Attorney
Contact us today at: 
DC Legal, pllc
520 Kirkland Way, Ste 103
Kirkland, WA 98033
T: (425) 889-9300