Frequently Asked Questions

How to use the FAQ Section and Search for the answer to your questions:
If you are looking for the answer to one of the questions below, please simply highlight the question and press ctrl+c on your keyboard, then press ctrl+f on your keyboard, then press ctrl+v and enter. This should display highlighted results for your search and by pressing enter on the keyboard, you can scroll through the results easily.

General Questions
What areas of law do you cover?
Why should I chose you over a bigger firm?
​How much do you charge?
​What is negligence?

Car Accident Questions

What is the statute of limitations for a Washington Car Accident?
I have been in a car accident, what should I do after the collision?
How am I going to pay for my injuries?

I feel bad about going after another person, should I tough out my injuries?

What happens to a person that injures me and I sue them or make a claim?

Should I talk to the 3rd party insurance company?

How long will it take for my case to settle? 

Will I have to go to trial?

How much will I have to pay an attorney to represent me?

I don't have insurance, how can I pay for my medical bills?

I have made a statement to a third party insurance company, is it bad?

How will I get money to pay for my car to be fixed?

What is PIP?

Do I have PIP insurance?

I was involved in a hit and run, how will I be paid?

The third party doesn't have any money, can I get paid?

The third party doesn't have insurance, can I get paid?

What is UIM Insurance?

What will my settlement consist of?

How much will I get in for my settlement?

What is subrogation?

Will I be deposed?

How do I handle a deposition?

What is an arbitration hearing?

What if multiple cars hit my car, who is at fault?

What if I kind of caused the accident or was partly at fault for the accident?

​What is an IME exam?

What happens if I am hit by a driver who spun out on frozen cement?

What happens if an insurance company denies liability?

Should I stay in my car after an accident or get out?

Will remaining in my car be considered negligent?

What is the first thing I should do if I am in a car accident?

When the police arrive at the scene of the accident, should I talk to them?

How soon after an accident should I contact my insurance company? Do I even need to contact them, if I wasn’t at fault?

Is there any information I should get to support my claim?

If I feel fine after an automobile accident, should I still go to see a doctor?

Should I contact the other driver’s insurance company?

How soon after an accident should I contact an attorney?

I wasn’t wearing my seatbelt when my car accident occurred. Can this be held against me in a suit for damages?

I have been asked to release my medical records to the other driver’s insurance adjuster. Should I do this?

If I file a personal injury claim, will we settle out of court or go to trial?

I feel fine. Should I go ahead and settle the auto accident claim with the insurance adjuster?

I feel that I may have contributed to the automobile accident. What should I do?

I said some things at the scene of the car accident that I now realize weren’t accurate. Will this hurt my case?

My air bags didn't deplouy during my car accident, can I sue the car manufacturer?

How much does it cost to speak with you about my car accidents?

What is alternative dispute resolution, mediation, and arbitration?


Bike Accident Questions

What should I do if I am injured while biking?

Who is going to pay for my injuries?

How long will it take to settle my case?

Who do I sue for my injuries?

I have auto insurance, will it cover my bike injury?

I wasn't injured by anyone specifically, who do I sue?

My medical bills are getting out of hand, what can I do?

Am I at fault for my injuries?

I wasn't riding on the sidewalk, am I at fault?

I was riding on the sidewalk, am I at fault?

I was riding in a bike lane, am I at fault?


Pedestrian Accident Questions

What is a pedestrian accident case?

I was walking across a cross walk when hit, who is at fault?

I was walking across a street without a cross walk, who is at fault?

Who is at fault for my injuries?

How long will it take to settle my case?

How can I pay for my injuries while I wait for the settlement?

The person who hit me did not have insurance, am I out of luck?

Slip/Trip and Fall Accident Questions

What is a slip/trip and fall accident case?

I slipped and fell at a business, are they liable?

I tripped over the curb outside of a business, are they liable?

I was beaten up at a business, who is at fault?

I slipped at a bowling alley, are they liable?

I was walking on a sidewalk and tripped, who is liable?

I was injured while at a business or on another's property, who is liable?

I was at a pool and was injured by another patron, who is liable?

Medical Mal Practice Questions

What is a medical mal practice case?

I caught an infection at the hospital, who is at fault?

My injuries got worse during treatment, who is at fault?

I underwent a surgery but the surgery didn't fix my problem, what to do?

When is a treatment facility at fault for my injuries?

What can I do if I am injured at a treatment facility?

Do treatment facilities have insurance?

Are these complicated cases?


Product Liability Questions

Who is at fault for an item injuring me?

What is a product liability claim?

How can I obtain compensation for these injuries that I sustained?

Are these complicated cases?


Premises Liability Questions

What is a premises liability case?

What is an invitee?

What is a licensee?

What is a trespasser?

Who do I sue in a premises liability case?

What is joint and several liability?


Sports or Other Waivers of Liability Questions

I was playing sports when injured but signed a waiver, am I out of luck?

I signed a waiver of liability when I was at an event, am I out of luck?

I was at a gym when injured but signed a waiver, am I out of luck?

Waivers of liability in general.

What is the statute of limitations for a breach of contract?






General Questions
What areas of practice do you cover?
The Cherin Law Firm primarily practices personal injury law with a focus on car accidents, bike accidents, truck accidents, premises liability injuries, medical mal practice injuries, and product liability claims. Examples of premises liability claims include pool accidents, slip and falls, trip and falls, and being injured by someone else on a business or private property, among other things (which could include waive of liability claims where someone has signed such a waiver but is injured i.e. gym accidents). Examples of product liability claims include faulty equipment causing an injury such as electrocution or the equipment breaking while you are on it and causing you injury i.e. a bike frame breaking.
Why should I chose you over a bigger firm?
If you like the personal touch of an attorney that can answer your every question at a moments notice and someone that can be empathetic and understanding instead of cold and distant, then the Cherin Law Firm is the place for you. Our attorney is here for you and is focused on your every need and concern while big firms simply do not have the time to cater to individual clients. An attorney at a large law firm will treat you like a number on a page and will be very short with answering your questions without a hint that they actually care what you are going through.
How much do you charge?
Our personal injury clients are paid on a contingency fee basis, meaning that we are not paid unless you recover money for your injuries. Generally, the fee is 33.3% of the settlement. This is the going rate at almost every law firm you will encounter who does personal injury law.
What is negligence?
Negligence is the rule of law that allows for most victims of a personal injury accident to recover for their injuries. Negligence is an unintentional act that caused harm to another that had a high probability of injuring someone. Negligence is conduct that falls below the standards of behavior established by law for the protection of others against an unreasonable risk of harm. A person acted negligently if he or she has departed from the conduct expected of a reasonably prudent person acting under the similar circumstances. In order to establish negligence as a cause of action, a plaintiff must prove that the defendant had a duty to the plaintiff, the defendant breached that duty by failing to conform to the required standard of conduct, the defendant's negligent conduct was the cause of the harm to the plaintiff, and the plaintiff was, in fact, harmed or damaged.

Car Accident Questions
What is the statute of limitations for a Washington Car Accident?
The statute of limitations is a rule that precludes people from bringing a lawsuit against someone because a certain amount of time has lapsed. The Washington State Legislature has passed a statute of limitations for three (3) years in order to bring a lawsuit for a personal injury case. This means that if you were injured by someone else, like a car accident, you have three years from the date of the car accident in order to bring a lawsuit against the person that hit you or you lose your right to sue them. This is vital to your case and is one of the most important reasons among many to call a Seattle Personal Injury Car Accident Lawyer immediately after a car accident in order to preserve your rights and maximize your personal injury settlement.
I have been in a car accident, what should I do after the collision?
Being involved in a car accident is one of the most traumatic events you could go through in your life and you are usually a little in shock after the accident. However, if you can safely exit your vehicle and you do not appear to be suffering any major injuries, you should try to inspect the damage to your car, determine if the car is drive-able, contact the police so that they can document the accident (very important!), contact any witnesses and get their information, allow EMT's to treat you at the scene if necessary, go to the hospital if necessary, exchange information with the driver who struck you, take pictures of the scene including your car and any injuries you might have, and contact us immediately so that we can get you set up with an auto repair shop, contact your insurance to have your car fixed and obtain a rental car if needed, and reccommend physicians for your possible injuries. It is important that you do not make any statements to the third party insurance company and that you see your doctor if you are injured soon thereafter.
Should I represent myself?

No! ​​The way that you are compensated for your injuries, generally, is that the third party insurance company (the person's insurance that struck you) will pay for your medical bills and then some. Only a trained attorney can gauge what your case is worth and will try to maximize the amount the insurance company will pay you. Attorneys are privy to this type of information because of their experience and their access to thousands of settlement records on databases showing how much each case settled for or was awarded at trial and what the injuries the person had suffered. However, the settlement or judgment at trial or arbitration will not come until you are fully healed. Insurance companies will generally try to buy out a person that is unrepresented early before injuries manifest themselves, which is why it is very important that you contact us immediately following an accident. How is my treatment going to be paid for?

Treatment for your injuries will begin soon after the accident, ideally as to not cause confusion as to how your injuries occurred. Treatment is expensive and not everyone has insurance to cover their injuries. You have about four options on how you can pay for your treatment. You can pay out of pocket for your treatment, which you will most likely be fully compensated for depending on the facts of your case. If you have PIP (personal injury protection) insurance with your car insurance, your car insurance company will pay for all your medical treatment related to the accident--everyone should buy this type of insurance because it can save you a lot of money and stress. If you have medical insurance, your medical insurance should pay for most if not all your bills; however, some plans do not cover chiropractic or massage therapy--very popular and necessary treatment options for someone with soft tissue injuries to their spine. Finally, you can treat on a lien with most treatment providers who will then ask to be paid once you settle with the third party insurance company or obtain a judgment at trial or award at arbitration. 

I feel bad about going after another person, I don't want the person to pay more money, they were nice?

No one wants to be a person that takes advantage of another person or "screw them over" by going after their insurance company for the injuries that you sustained in a car accident. However, this is a bad way to think about the situation. Most likely the other person's insurance premiums are going to increase just by them getting in an accident no matter if you make a personal injury claim against them or not. Additionally, their insurance premiums are not going to go higher whether you make a claim against them or not. Therefore, the thinking that you are "screwing over" someone that has insurance by going after their insurance is flawed greatly. The person will not suffer any more financial ruin than an increased premium that they are already going to have to pay but just being in an accident. Most of all, you are only saving the big insurance company money by not making a claim against them--the people that are taking your money every month to pay for the very probability that you just suffered, an accident. 

Should I tough out my injuries, they aren't that bad?

Some people feel like they can deal with the nagging injuries that an accident can cause. They decide to work through it instead of going to get treatment. There are many obstacles to getting treatment including most of all, your time. Your time is very valuable and you don't want to spend time going to the chiropractor, physical therapist, or massage therapy every day or every couple days a week. You would much rather be spending time with loved ones, walking with pets, enjoying the company of friends, or so on. However, allowing nagging injuries to linger and not seeking treatment can often lead into worse injuries, suffering for a longer period than if you sought treatment, bad moods, and a lower quality of life. The best thing to do is to get treatment for injuries that require treatment. This may be the first time you have ever been in a car accident and you may not know what to do. This is why it is very important to contact a Seattle personal injury car accident attorney today so that you can get the information that you need, at no cost. 

Should I talk to the 3rd party insurance company?

No, you should not talk to a third party insurance company under any circumstances. The third party insurance company is not your friend and is most likely trying to force you into a statement that is against your interest and may not even be true. Contact a Seattle personal injury car accident attorney today so that you put your best foot forward in your case.

How long will it take for my case to settle? 

This is a very tough question and one that cannot easily be answered. However, your case is not generally attempted to be settled until you are fully healed or have reached a maximum level of healing, as deemed by your treatment provider. A number of other factors go into the determination for this decision as well: how long it takes you to heal, whether liability is clear, and whether the insurance company is willing to give a good offer or you need to file a lawsuit or arbitration hearing against the party that struck you (which is for most purposes represented by the insurance company and financially backed by the insurance company). 

Will I have to go to trial?

Most cases settle before trial (one statistic that comes to mind shows that around 99% of cases never make it to trial). This is because there are many other mechanisms for settling a case such as arbitration or mediation hearings, which are like mini trials without the formality of a trial. Mediations are usually held in one of the attorney's offices and held in separate rooms where a mediator goes back and forth with each side's offer and their thoughts. While an arbitration is usually held at the arbitrator's conference room where each side offers evidence or testimony and the arbitrator decides who owes what. 

I don't have insurance, how can I pay for my medical bills?

If you don't have PIP (personal injury protection) insurance provided by your car insurance to cover you in the event of a car accident and you don't have your own medical insurance, there are other ways to pay for your medical bills. Most medical providers will allow you to treat on a lien, make you pay them back only once you have received compensation out of a settlement package. Chiropractors and massage therapists will usually accommodate such requests as will most family doctors. However, hospitals and physical therapists can sometimes be a problem so you may need to contact a Seattle Personal Injury Car Accident Attorney to contact them for you and let them know what is going on so that you can treat on a lien. Additionally, you can pay out of pocket for your bills if possible and then receive compensation after you are healed and your receive your settlement package. 

I have made a statement to a third party insurance company, is it bad?

Probably not. The truth will always come out and while it is generally not a good idea to make statements to someone that is trying to pull one over on you, you most likely are ok. Even if you said that you were not hurt in the car accident but later went for chiropractic or massage therapy, you are probably ok just because of the nature of these type of injuries. Most soft tissue injuries that I have encountered personally and with my clients, can manifest themselves a couple of days or even a couple of weeks after the car accident. However, you should refrain from talking to the third party insurance company as much as possible and notify your attorney if they have contacted you after your retained the services of a Seattle personal injury car accident attorney.

How will I get money to pay for my car to be fixed?

Generally, you have car insurance that covers your car's damages that will pay for you to have a rental car while your car is fixed at your car insurance's expense. After your car insurance approves of the price quote to fix the vehicle, your insurance company or your attorney will negotiate with the third party insurance company to determine what your car was worth before the car wrecked. If the other party does not have insurance your own insurance will cover the repairs on the car if you have this type of coverage. If you do not have coverage and the other party does not either, you may have to pay out of pocket until you sue the person that caused the car accident and their insurance company (homeowner's insurance, renter's insurance, or car insurance). Contact a Seattle Personal Injury Car Accident Attorney today to determine your rights and answer your questions with a free consultation. 

What is PIP Insurance?

PIP insurance, or Personal Injury Protection insurance, is an insurance policy which you pay a premium for each month. Under Washington law, the state requires the insurance company to offer every one of their insured in Washington State PIP insurance and get a signed written waiver of the insurance if they do not want to pay a premium for such a plan. PIP insurance covers your medical injuries if you are injured in a car accident, pays for your missed work, and any other associated expenses you may encounter associated with being injured in the car accident. PIP insurance coverage limits are generally $10,000 or $25,000 depending on how much you want to pay in premiums each year. PIP insurance is nice to have as it gives you financial stability in a time where you have large medical bills from hospitals and other various medical centers and while you are awaiting for your personal injury settlement. Contact a Seattle Car Accident Attorney if you have more questions today.

Do I have PIP insurance?

You may have PIP insurance and do not know it but chances are that you are paying a little extra each month or year if you have PIP and you know about it. Most people try to pay as little as possible for car insurance and may forego this very valuable plan. PIP insurance is invaluable in a time of need and should be purchased with every plan, in my opinion, as most people will be in a car accident at some point in their life and Seattle residents average an accident every 6 years or so according to some studies. Contact a Seattle Personal Injury Car Accident Attorney today to look over your plans and give you the direction that you need.

I was involved in a hit and run, how will I be compensated?

If you were involved in a hit and run and were injured, there are certain things that a Seattle personal injury car accident attorney can do that you may not be aware of. We can hire an investigator to track down any information involving a collision with your car, which could lead to video surveillance catching your car accident, a witness coming forward and testifying about what they saw, someone being admitted in the hospital that matched the paint on their car and your car, or some other pay in order to track down this person. However, you may have insurance that will cover you for a hit and run and step in and act as the third party. This insurance is called UIM insurance. It is very important, however, that you notify the police immediately to file a police report and contact your insurance company and report the accident to them as well. There are certain provisions in your car accident insurance policy that requires you to report hit and runs within a certain time period or you will lose your ability to claim personal injuries for a hit and run accident, even if you have UIM insurance. Contact a Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer immediately to determine your rights if you have been involved in a hit and run car accident. 

The third party doesn't have any money, can I get compensation?

If the third party doesn't have any money, you may still be able to get compensation for your injuries and pain and suffering through an insurance policy that you would have had to have already purchased before the car accident. This insurance company is called UIM insurance. However, you can also make a claim against their home owner's insurance or rental insurance, if they have any. Contact a Seattle Car Accident Attorney to learn more.

The third party doesn't have insurance, can I get compensation?

It depends. Depending on the amount of other assets the person that hit you has, you may not be able to obtain anything. However, this is a very rare case as people usually have some form of insurance, they own property, they have renter's insurance, home owner's insurance, or they have money in their bank account or retirement accounts. You could even go after your own insurance if you have UIM insurance in order to obtain compensation for your injuries, missed work, lost working capacity, and pain and suffering. Contact a Seattle Personal Injury Car Accident Lawyer to determine your rights and make sure that you have not overlooked something. 

What is UIM Insurance?

UIM (under insured motorist) insurance is insurance that you can purchase at an increased premium in order to compensate you in the event that the person that struck you in a car accident is unable to be located or they did not have insurance. If you have UIM insurance and are making a claim for a hit and run, you must notify the police within a certain amount of time or you may lose your right to make a UIM claim. I cannot over state the importance of this notification right as you must report to both the police and the insurance company of this hit an run accident or you will lose your right to make a claim for this car accident, even if you have UIM insurance. Additionally, if you did not come in contact with a car but were ran off the road, you have to have an independent witness in certain instances in order for your insurance to cover your claim. This is why it is important to write down witness information immediately after a car accident where you were run off the road, injured, and your car suffered damages. UIM insurance is important and could save you a lot of money and even give you more money if you are injured in a car accident. UIM insurance works in practice where the person either has no money to pay for your injuries or their plan does not cover enough of your injuries, such as where the person's insurance policy will only cover $25,000 in personal injuries. In this case, you can sue your own company for the amount that you believe you would have been entitled to had the other person had insurance or assets in the amount to cover your medical bill, lost wages, lost capacity to work, and pain and suffering among other things. 

What will my settlement consist of?

Your settlement will consist of compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, lost work capacity, money spent on pain medication, money lost incidental to the accident (gas paid for going to and from medical providers, money spent to hire other people to maintain your property or care for you, lost gym membership, lost trip you paid for that you can't go on, among other things), and pain and suffering.

How much will I get in for my settlement?

This is very hard to predict because of the volatile nature of juries and insurance companies. Moreover though, every case is different and comes with challenges that others lack or less than others contain. It is not in the best interest of you or me for me to be trying to "ballpark" an estimate of your settlement. If you want to talk about the various things to consider that could impact your case, contact a Seattle Personal Injury Car Accident Attorney today. 

What is subrogation?

Subrogation is a term that you will hear quite a lot if you have PIP insurance or you have your own medical insurance paying for your medical bills. Subrogation is an interest that these companies have in your case due to the fact that they have given you something that you will at one point receive double of. The double of, of course, refers to the collection of paid medical bills, lost wages, or other expenses twice, once by PIP giving you the benefit and then once again when you receive your settlement which consists of your medical bills being paid plus pain and suffering. The state does not like someone benefiting twice from the accident so they allow these insurance companies to have an interest in your settlement. Washington state, however, has case law that requires insurance companies that are being paid out by you from your settlement to only recover 2/3 at most for the bills that they expend due to a Washington State case called Mahler or Matsyuk now that requires them to pay for some of the attorney's fees that were used to secure the debt. Otherwise, the insurance company is gaining a windfall in not having to pay any costs for the collection of the medical bills that they paid. 

Will I be deposed?

You will only be deposed if there is a formal court proceeding or arbitration hearing filed against the person that struck you in the car accident. If you are deposed, answering questions from the third party insurance company under oath, it is not a big deal and is common practice. I have some tips for preparing for depositions that I have provided below.

How do I prepare for a deposition?

A deposition is a formal questioning of you by the insurance company that represents the person that struck you in the car accident, under oath. It can also be me the attorney asking the person that struck you in the car accident questions or the third party insurance asking your doctor's, other medical treatment providers, or witnesses who saw the car accident questions under oath. In order to prepare for this deposition, you should understand who is in the room with you. It will most likely be at my office if you are deposed. During the deposition, the other attorney will be trying to get you to commit to certain positions, catch you in a lie, or find out more information in order to determine the amount of the settlement they will offer. You have nothing to hide here because the truth will come out and your attorney will be present to object to objectionable questions. However, most, if not all questions, must be answered during this time, even though they may not be used at trial. The questioning will be split up during the day but could go on from either 9 or 10am to 4 or 5 pm, with breaks in between. A court reporter will transcribe the questioning, the other side will have an attorney, you will be there, I will be there, and maybe one other person will be in the room, maybe a video recorder. This means that not very many people will be there, the person that hit you will probably not be there. The most important thing you can do though, is to go over any journals you have written, medical records from doctors, and any other thing that may help you remember what happened on the day of the accident and during your treatment with your doctors. This is because the other attorney will try to question you with what happened, why doctors said certain things, or why you said something in the past. They can even ask you about past crimes you may have committed. The crimes, while generally not admissible, can be talked about as well as past accidents you have been in. This may bring up many hard topics to talk about and most attorneys are empathetic with your situation but some are idiots and are hard and cruel when asking you questions. 

What is an arbitration hearing?

An arbitration hearing is a mini trial that is an alternative dispute resolution process to trial. It is generally far less expensive, time consuming, and faster than trial. An arbitration hearing is usually conducted by a retired judge or lawyer who has done a lot of personal injury cases in the past. The arbitration is usually one day in length and acts like a mini trial. During the arbitration the arbitrator will already have reviewed each side's arguments but may have some other questions about the case including hearing from certain witnesses or looking at other pieces of evidence.  

What if multiple cars hit my car, who is at fault?

If you are injured by multiple cars or multiple parties both injuring you in the same incident, you may recover from both of the parties either in whole or in part. This usually occurs where there is an indivisible act simultaneously caused by two parties that is hard to determine who caused what. This concept is called joint and several liability. This theory fast tracks the recovery process for the plaintiff whereby the court assigns liability to both parties but does not apportion fault to any party at this point because it is hard to tell. The court leaves the at fault parties to fight amongst themselves to determine who is at fault and what portion each contributed on their own in a separate case if they like. Meanwhile, the plaintiff can collect from any of the defendants the full amount of the award but can't collect more than 100% of the judgment. 

What if I kind of caused the accident or was partly at fault for the accident?

If you caused part of the accident, under Washington State Law, you are allowed to recover so long as you were not 100% at fault for the accident. However, this is offset by the amount that the other party was also injured in the accident. Even if you were 99% at fault for the accident, Washington State is a pure comparative fault state and will allow you to recover for your damages minus your attributive fault. Therefore, if you were found to be 99% at fault and had $100,000 in damages, your award would be reduced by $99,000 and you would receive $1,000. If you were 50% at fault and your damages were $100,000, you would receive $50,000. This is done where there is a determination at trial that you were __% at fault and your award by the jury was $___. However, you will most likely have to go to trial and determine this amount if you had a good percentage of fault for causing the accident and your injuries. Contact a Seattle Personal Injury Bike Lawyer today to determine your rights with a free consultation.

What is an IME exam?

An IME exam, also known as an Independent Medical Exam, is an exam that is anything but an independent and unbiased. Usually you will face one of these if your own insurance company believes that you are not really as injured as you are claiming or that you should be done with your treatment by now. Additionally, the third party will want to have you undergo an IME exam if you file a lawsuit against them. They want someone to look over your records and give you a physical exam in order to determine if you are really unable to return to work or are permanently injured. If you are involved in a car accident, you most likely have a lot of soft tissue injuries and possibly injuries that have required major surgeries. An IME exam begins the moment that you drive onto the parking lot for the exam. The doctor is looking for anything that can help their client, the insurance company representing the person who hit you and is paying the doctor a lot of money to dig for any little flaw in your story. Contact a Seattle Personal Injury Car Accident Attorney immediately if you are facing an IME exam for a free consultation today. 

What happens if I am hit by a driver who spun out on frozen cement?

If you are injured in a car accident that was caused by winter weather or some other inclement weather, the other side will claim that there was nothing that the driver could do to avoid spinning out and they are not at fault. However, there are many ways to combat this argument. Usually if someone spins out because of inclement weather, the driver was driving too fast for the conditions of the road or their vehicle was not adequately equipped to be driving in such weather. 

What if an insurance company denies liability?

This is a common tactic of insurance companies--deny, deny, deny--and it only works on the uninformed. If an insurance company wants to blame the accident on you or says that the accident was not their fault, you need to contact a Seattle Personal Injury Car Accident Attorney today to determine your rights and get you what you are entitled to. Especially in cases where there is question of liability, insurance companies will deny and fight over liability until you show them concretely otherwise. This often requires the filing of a lawsuit to show the insurance company that you mean business and you are willing to go to trial, if need be. Never try to negotiate with insurance companies on your own. Seattle Personal Injury Car Accident Attorneys have been shown in studies to obtain more than twice for their clients what their clients could get on their own. 

Should I stay in my car after an accident or get out?

Remain in the car if you feel dizzy or feel any pain. Do you best to remain calm and avoid changing positions. It is far better to wait for ambulance or EMT than to end up crippled for life. No insurance claim is going to give your mobility back.If your airbag deployed, there may be some haze in the car, but there is no need to get out of the car hastily unless you see fire or smell smoke. If the car isn’t a safe place to be, get out of the car, and get as far away from any traffic as possible. Make sure that you do not get hit by another car though. Traffic may still be moving fast.

Will remaining in my car be considered negligent?

If you don’t feel OK after a car accident, remaining in your car until help comes is perfectly acceptable behavior. Do not feel that you have to get out of your car as there are many reasons that you don't want to get out of the car after an accident; may it be traffic still traveling around you very fast on a freeway, you are afraid of getting out of the car for fear of hurting yourself more, you are in pain, or you are in shock from the car accident, you don't need to get out of the car. However, you should make sure to get the other person's insurance information and call the police to make a police report that will be very important for your case.

What is the first thing I should do if I am in a car accident?

First, if you are injured, call 911. Give as many details as to your location as you can. Then call the police. While you are waiting, get as much information as possible, including name and contact information of the other driver(s), license plate numbers, and contact information of passengers and eyewitnesses to the accident. Be sure to get insurance information. Also, take pictures of the scene and your vehicles. Contact a Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer if you feel you need to but this is not always necessary. 

When the police arrive at the scene of the accident, should I talk to them?

Yes, you should. Whether you are the victim or the cause of an automobile accident, limit yourself to discussing the facts. Avoid taking blame for the accident or making accusations. As nice of a person as you may be, you should not try to say who is at fault or who is to blame for the person hitting you. This will only create more wiggle room for the insurance company to decrease the money they will owe you for your personal injuries suffered in the car accident. Contact a Seattle Personal Injury Car Accident Lawyer today to find out more. 

How soon after an accident should I contact my insurance company? Do I even need to contact them, if I wasn’t at fault?

Whether or not you were at fault, contact your insurance company as soon as possible after the accident. Stick to the facts and let the insurance company evaluate them. Meanwhile, hiring a Seattle personal injury car accident attorney is a good way to make sure your insurance company is playing fair.

Is there any information I should get to support my claim?

Yes. You should take pictures of the accident scene if you can. Take pictures of the cars, the surroundings, the street, and injuries you may have. This should be done as soon as possible, as evidence is often swept away within hours. Also, take pictures of yourself and any passengers immediately after the accident. Follow up with pictures a few days later, when bruises, etc. become apparent. 

If I feel fine after an automobile accident, should I still go to see a doctor?

Anyone who was in the car during an accident should consider seeing a doctor to make sure that there aren’t any hidden injuries. Often you won’t feel the effects of an injury until the next day or two maybe even a week later. Scheduling a doctor’s visit the day of an accident is a wise precaution. When you do see the doctor, make sure to mention any complaint you may have, no matter how minor. Don’t play medical expert and evaluate the importance of a symptom. Let the doctor do his/her job and don't be a tough guy saying you are not in pain when you are. Be honest and do not lie. 

Should I contact the other driver’s insurance company?

Unless you want to jeopardize your case, it is far better to hire a Seattle personal injury  car accident attorney to handle any communication with insurance companies. Most people have no concept of how the other side can twist something you have said so that you are robbed of much of the compensation you deserve, if not all of it.

How soon after an accident should I contact an attorney?

If there are injuries or the possibility of injuries, contact an attorney that understands car accident lawsuits as soon as possible. Whether you are the victim or the cause of the accident, having good legal advice from the beginning can make the difference between a successful case and great loss. The sooner the better is always the best method as the more information your attorney has and the more information you have about the process and your injuries, the faster you will heal and the settlement negotiations can begin.

I wasn’t wearing my seatbelt when my car accident occurred. Can this be held against me in a suit for damages?

According to the Washington State Safety Restraint Coalition web site, failure to wear safety restraints does not constitute negligence and cannot be used to prove negligence in a civil case. However, you should always make sure that you are wearing a seatbelt as you don't want to possibly get thrown through the windshield and become paralyzed or die. Contact a Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer today for a free consultation.

I have been asked to release my medical records to the other driver’s insurance adjuster. Should I do this?

Absolutely not. Always consult a Seattle personal injury car accident attorney before releasing any information, or your case could be seriously impaired. This is not lying and you have nothing to hide, but they can get the information in due time when we have all the facts down. Contact a Seattle Personal Injury Car Accident Lawyer today to learn more with a free consultation and protect your case.

If I file a personal injury claim, will we settle out of court or go to trial?

Many cases can be settled out of court. A lot depends on what the insurance company offers as a settlement for your claim. If we feel that the amount is fair to you, we will settle out of court. But if the offer is unacceptable, we may take the case to trial. Sometimes filing a lawsuit is the only way to get the insurance company to take your case seriously and make a serious offer. However, there are cases that do not need a lawsuit to be filed.

I feel fine. Should I go ahead and settle the auto accident claim with the insurance adjuster?

We don’t recommend it until you have seen a doctor and made sure that all is OK with your body. You want to be sure that all your medical costs, loss of work, etc. are covered. You will also want to get your own quotes for auto repairs before settling anything. After all, once you settle you cannot get compensated for injuries that flare up later. You could have a torn rotator cuff and not know about it until months after the accident because the presentment of paid comes in the form of neck pain which you may attribute to a strained neck. Talk to a personal injury car accident lawyer today about settling your claim, even your car damage could be settled for higher with a lawyer. 

I feel that I may have contributed to the automobile accident. What should I do?

While you may feel that you are at least partly at fault, you may not be the best judge of the facts. There are many factors that contribute to an accident—alcohol, road conditions, a faulty manufacturer installation, to name just a few. It’s better not to shoulder any blame at the scene of the accident. Let more qualified investigators and personal injury lawyers evaluate the accident scene before you make a statement that could come in at court and significantly hurt your case.

I said some things at the scene of the car accident that I now realize weren’t accurate. Will this hurt my case?

It is quite common for details to be incomplete at the time of an accident. After you go home, your mind replays the accident repeatedly. In the process, you become aware of details that you overlooked at first. While it is always challenging explaining why your story isn’t the same as you stated at the scene of the car accident, hiring a good personal injury car accident attorney is one of the best ways to get the support you need for your side of the story. Additionally, any statements made at the scene can be explained by fear, shock, pain, loss of consciousness, concussion, among others that could be making you not think straight. Contact a Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer who can better present your story and your case to the insurance company and at trial, in order to explain this inaccurate testimony. 

My air bags didn’t deploy during my car accident. Can I sue the car manufacturer?

This depends on which situations the manufacturer has warranted the air bags to deploy under. If the air bags failed under these warranted situations, then a qualified Seattle personal injury car accident attorney can help you pursue your case on a product liability theory. Otherwise, your only case is with the other driver. Air bags can deploy under the lightest conditions or might not even deploy under an extreme t-bone accident. Air bags deploying under light conditions can knock you out, cause bruising, concussions, or break bones. 

How much does it cost to speak with you about my situation?

Consultations about your car accident are free and you should feel free to call and schedule an appointment to come in or talk on the phone with a lawyer about your case.

What is alternative dispute resolution, mediation, and arbitration?

"Alternative dispute resolution" (ADR) refers to any method of resolving a claim outside of a courtroom. There are two main forms of alternative dispute resolution: mediation and arbitration.  Mediation involves all sides working with a mediator to reach a mutually agreeable settlement. The mediator in a mediation is usually an agreed upon personal injury  lawyer or former judge who is now working solely on mediations. Mediations are usually held at an office where both parties are in different rooms discussing the facts of the accident and medical treatment with a mediator who will try to push the two side's settlement offers closer to a more reasonable number that both parties can agree upon. Arbitration involves having the facts and law decided by an arbitrator, rather than by a judge or by a jury and a judge. The arbitrator, like the mediator, is usually a retired judge or former personal injury lawyer. There are many arbitration firms around Seattle. The arbitration hearing is usually held at the arbitrator's facility and is like a mini trial with no witnesses usually but some exhibits being presented with lax rules of evidence law being enforced. An arbitrator makes an enforceable ruling, whereas a mediator helps the parties themselves reach an agreement.  While mediations do not always result in settlements, and arbitration verdicts can be appealed, these are two very helpful methods of resolving your case should the insurance company be unreasonable. Contact a Seattle Personal Injury Car Accident Lawyer today to learn more about your claim with a free consultation.

 


Bike Accident Questions

What should I do if I am injured while biking?

If you are injured in a biking accident, you should try to take photographs of the scene, your bike, yourself, and your surroundings to show what caused your bike to crash, if you are not too seriously injured. Most likely, though, you are most likely going to be very injured and unable to notate the scene of the accident. You should also try to get the other biker's or motorist's information if you were struck by someone and you should try to get contact information from any witnesses. You should contact a Seattle Personal Injury Bike Accident Attorney as soon as you can following the accident in order to help you through the process, find insurance policies that you may have to cover your injuries, and get you on the path to recovery. 

Who is going to pay for my injuries?

If you are injured in a bike accident, you were either injured by another bicyclist who may have insurance to cover your medical bills and pain and suffering; if you were injured by a motorist, they most likely have insurance that will compensate you for your medical bills and pain and suffering; if you were injured by the road surface, the city, state, county, individual homeowner or business may be liable for your injuries; if your bike broke and you were injured, the store you bought your bike from, the seller, the manufacturer, the retail chain, and the designer of the bike may be liable for your injuries caused by their defective product. Contact a Seattle Personal Injury Bike Accident Attorney to learn more.

How long will it take to settle my case?

This is a very hard thing to predict due to the volatile nature of injuries and negotiating your settlement with insurance providers and attorneys. However, the best estimate for your case to settle is sometime after your injuries have fully healed or your doctors determine that you have reached the maximum amount of healing for your injuries, even if you have not returned to a pre-injury physical state. Therefore, your case could settle any where from 6 months after the accident to 2 or three years following the accident, but there are a myriad of factors that could come into play complicating or speeding up this process. The reason it takes this long is that insurance companies will not make a deal with you and it is not in your best interest to make a deal until the extent of your injuries are fully realized, which is generally not until you are fully healed, and the costs of everything you have suffered from is fully known.

Who do I sue for my injuries?

It's hard to answer this question without knowing your story. The short answer is: who ever wronged you. However, this could be anyone from the person who designed, manufactured, or sold you the bike to someone who directly ran into you or caused the street to be in such a state that you were injured. Contact a Seattle Personal Injury Bike Accident Attorney today to determine your rights and put you on the path to recovery.

I have auto insurance, will it cover my bike injury?

No, your auto insurance will not cover your injuries in a bike accident unless you purchased insurance that covers any injuries in a bike accident. However, it is unlikely you have purchased bike accident injury protection unless you are an avid bike rider. Bike insurance has just recently became something that is explicitly covered by major insurance companies. Ask your insurance agent for more information about bike insurance to purchase a policy. If you have questions about your plan, contact a Seattle Personal Injury Bike Accident Attorney today to determine if you have such coverage today with a free consultation. 

I wasn't injured by anyone specifically, who do I sue?

If you were injured in a bike accident, but did not impact anyone, you most likely either suffered the injury due to the road or path being uneven or not maintained, your bike broke, or some other obstruction was covering the ground and caused you to fall or be thrown from your bike. If the bike broke, the frame being broken, possible culprits could be the designer, manufacturer, retail chain, or seller of the bike to you. Contact a Seattle Personal Injury Bike Accident Lawyer today to determine your rights with a free consultation.

My medical bills are getting out of hand, what can I do?

If you were injured in a bike accident and your medical bills are not being paid, you either do not have insurance coverage or your insurance is not paying the bills because of some reason like the facility not providing the insurance company with medical bills in order to determine the relation of the treatment to the accident. If you do not have money to pay for your medical bills, some medical providers are willing to treat you on a lien, or a tab where you will pay your bills after you recover from the party that was responsible for your injuries. Most chiropractors, massage therapists, and doctors are willing to treat you on a lien, if they know that you have a lawyer representing you. Additionally, there are programs out there that will help you pay for your medical bills while you are awaiting settlement funds. Contact a Seattle Personal Injury Bike Accident Lawyer today to determine your rights and help put you in the right direction with a free consultation.

I may have had something to do with the accident, can I still recover?

Even if you were 99% at fault for the accident, Washington State is a pure comparative fault state and will allow you to recover for your damages minus your attributive fault. Therefore, if you were found to be 99% at fault and had $100,000 in damages, your award would be reduced by $99,000 and you would receive $1,000. If you were 50% at fault and your damages were $100,000, you would receive $50,000. This is done where there is a determination at trial that you were __% at fault and your award by the jury was $___. However, you will most likely have to go to trial and determine this amount if you had a good percentage of fault for causing the accident and your injuries. Contact a Seattle Personal Injury Bike Lawyer today to determine your rights with a free consultation. 

I wasn't riding on the sidewalk, am I at fault?

Washington has very lenient rules for bicyclists as they are allowed to ride on both the sidewalk, the street, and in designated bike lanes. However, bicyclists must follow the rules of the road the same as drivers do when riding on the street and follow pedestrian rules when riding on the sidewalk. A bicyclists is subject to the same moving violations as cars. If you weren't riding on a sidewalk, you were most likely riding on the street when an accident occurred. Therefore, a personal injury bike accident lawyer must determine whether you had violated a motor vehicle or other law that caused the accident or whether the other person violated some rule of the road. Contact a Seattle Bike Accident Lawyer today to determine your rights with a free consultation today. 

I was riding on the sidewalk, am I at fault?

Washington has very lenient rules for bicyclists as they are allowed to ride on both the sidewalk, the street, and in designated bike lanes. However, bicyclists must follow the rules of the road the same as drivers do when riding on the street and follow pedestrian rules when riding on the sidewalk. A bicyclists is subject to the same moving violations as cars. If you weren't riding on a sidewalk, you were most likely riding on the street when an accident occurred. Therefore, a personal injury bike accident lawyer must determine whether you had violated a motor vehicle or other law that caused the accident or whether the other person violated some rule of the road. Contact a Seattle Bike Accident Lawyer today to determine your rights with a free consultation today. 

I was riding in a bike lane, am I at fault?

Washington has very lenient rules for bicyclists as they are allowed to ride on both the sidewalk, the street, and in designated bike lanes. However, bicyclists must follow the rules of the road the same as drivers do when riding on the street and follow pedestrian rules when riding on the sidewalk. A bicyclists is subject to the same moving violations as cars. If you weren't riding on a sidewalk, you were most likely riding on the street when an accident occurred. Therefore, a personal injury bike accident lawyer must determine whether you had violated a motor vehicle or other law that caused the accident or whether the other person violated some rule of the road. Contact a Seattle Bike Accident Lawyer today to determine your rights with a free consultation today. 


Pedestrian Accident Questions

What is a pedestrian accident case?

A pedestrian accident case is where a person that is not in a vehicle or a bike, is injured by a car when the car hits them. However, these cases can be complicated if the person was some where they were not supposed to be, such as crossing the street illegally. However, like explained above in the contributory fault section above, even if the person crossing the street was 99% at fault for the accident, they can still recover that 1% of the total value of their case at trial. Most auto insurance policies have a provision that allows for the pedestrian to obtain PIP insurance from the owner of the car. PIP insurance, as explained above, allows the person that was injured to pay for their medical bills, collect lost wages, and pay for certain other bills associated with the accident. PIP insurance usually for about $10,000 if you receive it from a pedestrian on motor vehicle accident. Contact a Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer today for a free consultation to determine your rights. 

I was walking across a cross walk when hit, who is at fault?

Most likely, you are not at fault. However, you could have contributed to you being struck by some myriad of other reasons. There are things that can be highlighted by another party that says you are at fault for the accident because you wore black at night or you ran into the crosswalk without waiting to see if there was traffic. Therefore, you should contact a Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer today to determine your rights with a free consultation. 

I was walking across a street without a cross walk, who is at fault?

It depends. You could be partially at fault for jay walking and breaking a municipal code. However, that does not mean that you cannot recover for your injuries as Washington State is a pure comparative fault state. However, like explained above in the contributory fault section above, even if the person crossing the street was 99% at fault for the accident, they can still recover that 1% of the total value of their case at trial. Contact a Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer today to determine if you are entitled to compensation for your injuries today with a free consultation. 

Who is at fault for my injuries?

If you were struck by a motor vehicle when crossing the street, most likely the person that struck you is at fault for your injuries. However, you could be possibly at fault for your injuries. Additionally, other municipal agencies or departments could be at fault for your injuries if you were struck by a bus or the street caused you to fall or be injured in some way. Maybe the cross walk was put at a spot where cars cannot really see pedestrians, such as at a point where there is a lot of vegetation blocking the side walk, around a corner, or the sidewalk is not properly marked or maintained. Contact a Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer today to determine if you are entitled to compensation for your injuries today with a free consultation. 

How long will it take to settle my case?

It depends. It depends on how long it takes for your injuries to heal in order for your attorney to negotiate a settlement. Pedestrian versus motor vehicle accidents are generally very serious injuries that can take a long time to heal. This is a very hard thing to predict due to the volatile nature of injuries and negotiating your settlement with insurance providers and attorneys. However, the best estimate for your case to settle is sometime after your injuries have fully healed or your doctors determine that you have reached the maximum amount of healing for your injuries, even if you have not returned to a pre-injury physical state. Therefore, your case could settle any where from 6 months after the accident to 2 or three years following the accident, but there are a myriad of factors that could come into play complicating or speeding up this process.The reason it takes this long is that insurance companies will not make a deal with you and it is not in your best interest to make a deal until the extent of your injuries are fully realized, which is generally not until you are fully healed, and the costs of everything you have suffered from is fully known.

How can I pay for my injuries while I wait for the settlement?

There are many options for you to pay for your injuries while you await your settlement. Most of the time, if you are hit by a car, the driver most likely has an insurance policy that will require the insurance company to pay PIP for the injured pedestrian. This means that you will have $10,000 of PIP insurance to cover your injuries and lost wages. You may have your own medical insurance that covers you as well. Additionally, some medical providers will allow you to treat on a lien that will be paid back once you receive your settlement if they know you have an attorney representing your personal injury case. Contact a Seattle Personal Injury Attorney today to determine your rights with a free consultation. 

The person who hit me did not have insurance, am I out of luck?

Maybe not. Just because the person does not have auto insurance they could have home owner's or renter's insurance that may be able to cover your damages. Additionally, you may have insurance coverage that you did not know of that may pay for your medical bills and personal injury damages. Contact a Seattle Personal Injury Attorney today to determine your rights with a free consultation.

Slip/Trip and Fall Accident Questions

What is a slip/trip and fall accident case?

Slip/trip and fall accident cases usually occur where you are at a business and you slip on something like liquid being left on the ground. Another example is that the business owner negligently left some cleaning solution or made an area too slippery and thus created a hazard. Everything from a bowling lane or approach area being too slick or a business polishing the floors to slick to a spill that is not cleaned up after a reasonable amount of time at a grocery store and someone being injured, are all situations where the business is liable for their negligence. Additionally, there are situations where someone has made stairs that are not of the right ratio or are too dangerous for their intended purpose causing a high degree of risk to someone tripping, slipping, and ultimately falling on them. Such an example of such a place that may have this is a business or apartment complex, among others.To determine if you have a slip/trip and fall case, contact a Seattle Personal Injury slip/trip and fall accident lawyer today for a free consultation.  

I slipped and fell at a business, are they liable?

Slip and falls are very tricky and are hard to prove. The business may be liable for the injuries you have suffered but only if they were negligent in their ability to clean up and control the slippery area. In order for their to be negligence for a slip and fall you must prove that the business owed you a duty, in this case the duty to be free from slipping and being injured. Let's assume that they do owe you a duty to keep you free from injury, within reason. There are three classes of people (licensee, trespasser, and invitee) and different associated duties among the legal realm. The duty of a store manager is different from the duty of a social guest at a person's house and different from the duty of a landowner to a trespasser; yes, a trespasser is owed a certain amount of care owed to them. In the case of a spill, the owner must have either created or be given a reasonable time to clean up certain spills. If the spill was left on the ground for a long period of time, they are most likely negligent. Every situation is different so you should contact a Seattle Personal Injury Attorney today to determine your rights with a free consultation today.

I tripped on the sidewalk outside of a business, are they liable?

Maybe. It depends on the reason why you tripped on the sidewalk. If the sidewalk was raised a certain height above normal, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. If you tripped over some object that was on the ground, probably not, but possibly. It all depends on the business owner's control over the sidewalk. In Washington, residents are liable for the sidewalk in front of their property and any associated trees that may push up the sidewalk. This seems like something the city should be responsible for but oddly enough they have tried to push this onus upon the homeowners, or business owners. However, the city could also be liable for the damages that you have suffered. Contact a Seattle Personal Injury Slip and Fall Lawyer today to determine your rights with a free consultation.

I was beaten up at a business, who is at fault?

It depends. It depends on the nature of control the business had over this area that you were assaulted in and whether they had reason to know that there was a high likelihood that someone would be attacked by another person in this area. If the business knew that there was a high likelihood of someone being assaulted here and or there was inadequate security measures in place thus creating a high likelihood of someone being attacked, then they could be liable for your personal injury damages. An example of this type of situation could be at a night club that has inadequate security and they knew that there was a high likelihood for fights and they have had fights in the past leading to people getting injured. Another example of this is where a business had inadequate lighting outside it's business or apartment and the area was prone to violence and muggings, as they have had multiple incidents but have done nothing to address this problem--they could be liable. Contact a Seattle Personal Injury premises liability lawyer today to determine your rights with a free consultation. 

I slipped at a bowling alley, are they liable?

They could be liable. I have seen a Washington case where a woman slipped on an approach to a bowling lane and broke her shoulder. The approach was ultimately found to be inadequately maintained. The bowling alley had failed to keep an adequate record of the cleaning of the lanes and approaches, some employees reported skirting the fully maintenance procedures for mixing chemicals and treating the lanes, and the coefficient of friction--fancy name for the stickiness of the approach given the chemicals used--was found to be too sticky for bowling lane regulations. Contact a Seattle Personal Injury Attorney today to determine your rights with a free consultation.

I was injured while on a friend's property, who is liable?

The friend may be liable for your personal injuries if you were a social guest of the friend. A social guest is also known as a licensee. There are three classifications of people in the legal realm for this purpose: trespasser, licensee, and an invitee. A “licensee” is a person who comes upon the property of another with the permission, or at least at the tolerance, of the owner or occupier but without being invited and not for a business-related purpose that would benefit the owner or occupier. A licensee includes a social guest who is visiting for a non-business purpose. Washington law requires an owner or occupier of property to conform to a standard of care with respect to a licensee that is described as follows: “A possessor of land is subject to liability for physical harm caused to a licensee by a condition on the land, if, but only if, (a) The possessor knows or has reason to know of the condition and should realize that it involves an unreasonable risk of harm to such licensee, and should expect that he/she will not discover or realize the danger; (b) The possessor fails to exercise reasonable care to make the condition safe, or to warn the licensee of the condition and the risk involved, and; (c) The licensee does not know or have reason to know of the condition and risk involved. Contact a Seattle Personal Injury Attorney today to determine if you are entitled to compensation for your injuries with a free consultation.

I was trespassing on someone's land and was shot by the person, am I out of luck as a trespasser?

Maybe not. A “trespasser” is a person who remains upon the premises of another without permission or invitation. One who comes onto the property of another as a trespasser does so at his or her own risk.  Accordingly, under the original common law as well as present Washington law, a land owner or occupier of land owes no duty to a trespasser except to avoid deliberately, willfully or wantonly injuring the trespasser. Contact a Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer today to determine your rights with a free consultation today.

I was injured at a business, am I entitled to compensation for my injuries?

Maybe. You are designated as an invitee if you were at a shop buying something. An “invitee” is a person who is invited (either expressly or impliedly) onto the property of another for some purpose connected with a business purpose or potential business benefit to the owner (or occupier) of the property or for some purpose for which the property is held open to the public generally. The operator of a business owes to a person who has an express or implied invitation to come upon the premises in connection with that business a duty to exercise ordinary care for his/her safety.  This includes the exercise of ordinary care to maintain in a reasonably safe condition those portions or the premises that such person has expressly or impliedly invited to use or might reasonably be expected to use. Thus, the business owner’s duty is essentially the same as the owner of non-business property with respect to invitees who come onto the property. Under Washington law a business owner owes an additional duty to invitees to protect them from criminal conduct on the premises that the business owner or operator knows, or should know, is occurring or about to occur. Regarding specific conditions on property, a property owner (or occupier) owes following duty of care to invitees: An owner or occupier is liable for any injuries to its invitees caused by a condition on the premises if the owner or occupier: (a) Knows of the condition or fails to exercise ordinary care to discover the condition, and should realize that it involves an unreasonable risk of harm to such invitee; (b) Should expect that they will not discover or realize the danger, or will fail to protect themselves against it; and (c) Fails to exercise ordinary care to protect them from the danger. Contact a Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer today to determine your rights with a free consultation today.

I was at a pay to swim pool and was injured by another patron who was engaged with horseplay with another, who is liable?

Maybe. As discussed above, you would probably be designated as an invitee and are entitled to certain protections. If the pool is too shallow or inadequately supervised by a life guard. An owner or occupier is liable for any injuries to its invitees caused by a condition on the premises if the owner or occupier: (a) Knows of the condition or fails to exercise ordinary care to discover the condition, and should realize that it involves an unreasonable risk of harm to such invitee; (b) Should expect that they will not discover or realize the danger, or will fail to protect themselves against it; and (c) Fails to exercise ordinary care to protect them from the danger. This seems to imply that the lifeguards should have discovered a person that was engaged in horseplay and stopped such action that could foreseeably injure another patron and present an unreasonable risk of harm to others. Contact a Seattle Personal Injury Attorney today to determine your rights with a free consultation today. 

What is joint and several liability?

This occurs when the injured person is considered fault-free. In this situation, if there are multiple negligent parties who have caused injury to a person then each negligent party will be joint and severally liable to the victim. This means that each negligent party is also individually responsible for 100% of the damages and not just limited to his or her respective share of fault. This means that if two people are responsible for the injuries suffered by you, say you were injured at a pool by another patron but the pool was also liable, the court would allow you to collect the whole amount from the pool if the person that was horse-playing had no money. Some people question whether the law of joint and several liability is fair or just. Sometimes a negligent party who shares a very small percentage of fault could be legally required to pay a much higher percentage of the injured person’s damages. For example, if Party A was only found to be 1% at fault and Party B 99% at fault, Party A could still be made to pay much more than its share of damages. Let’s say Party B is uninsured and has no money to pay a settlement or verdict. Then Party A could be liable for the full $100,000. Is this fair? Well, the rationale behind joint and several liability is that it is more just to fully compensate an innocent victim than to allow a negligent party to limit his or her share of damages to that actor’s proportionate share of fault. Joint and several liability benefits society by effectively placing the economic burden on those who can afford it most (e.g., corporations, governmental entities, insurance companies, etc.) while at the same time protecting the innocent victim who has been harmed. Contact a Seattle Personal Injury Attorney today to determine your rights with a free consultation today.


Medical Mal Practice Questions

What is a medical mal practice case?

Medical mal practice is a practice of personal injury law whereby a medical staff, facility, doctor, or other physician does something negligent in their responsibility to a patient that is not in norm of professional standards and injures the patient. This type of injury can occur in many different ways from a surgery gone wrong and the staff leaving a foreign object sutured into the patient, staff infection or other infection following surgery and contracted at the hospital because of improper procedures or cleaning mechanisms, a doctor or staff over stretching or doing something that causes injury to a patient, a bad hip implant, among other things. Contact a Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer today to learn more with a free consultation.

I caught an infection at the hospital, who is at fault?

The possible parties that could be liable to you include the hospital or facility you were in, the staff, the doctors, and others that had control of the area or your care where the infection was contracted. Contact a Seattle Personal Injury Attorney to learn more today with a free consultation.

My injuries got worse during treatment, who is at fault?

This is very difficult to tell, but you may have been injured by your treatment provider. Contact a Seattle Personal Injury Attorney today to learn more about your rights.

I underwent a surgery but the surgery didn't fix my problem, what to do?

The surgery may have been improper or not adequately done. Contact a Seattle Personal Injury Attorney today to learn more about your rights.

Are these complicated cases?

Medical Mal Practice cases are very complicated and require expert testimony that can be very costly. This is because there are standards of care that are not known to every day people and the doctors or staffs must follow protocal that may only be known by a professional who will bill for their time at a very high rate. This is the reason that these cases are so complicated and costly. Contact a Seattle Personal Injury Attorney today to learn more about your rights.


Product Liability Questions

What is a product liability case?

Product liability cases occur where someone is injured by an object that was intended for a particular purpose and fails to conform to that purpose. An example of these type of cases could be a bike which has a weak frame and the frame breaks and throws the rider off the bike. Another example of a product liability case is a chair that breaks when you sit on it or a computer or electronic device that short circuits and shocks the user. There are a litany of possible devices that cause injury to a person--a car that has a faulty mechanism that causes a fire or causes the brakes to lock up and cause a car crash. Drinking a soda that has some hazardous substance in it is also an example of a product liability case. If you have been injured by an object that should not have hurt you, contact a Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer today for a free consultation and determine your rights. 

Who is at fault for an item injuring me?

When a product hurts someone, there are usually a multitude of different parties that could be responsible for the defective product and your injuries. For example, if the frame of your bike broke while you were riding it and this caused you to be dislodged from the bike, you could probably sue the manufacturer of the device for a flaw in the manufacturing process, the designer for a design flaw in creating the bike, the company that owns the brand name for marketing the bike as their own, or the store for selling the bike in a defective state or warranting the use of the bike for a particular purpose or fitness which the bike failed to live up to, among others. Contact a Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer today to determine if you have suffered from a product liability negligent tort and learn what your remedies are with a free consultation today. 

How can I obtain compensation for these injuries that I sustained?

You can obtain compensation for these injuries by suing one of the many parties that may be responsible for your injuries caused by the defective product. This may take some time as there are many possible parties that could be at fault for your personal injuries and they will most likely all deny your initial claims. However, over time, as more information comes out about the causation of the damages, the picture will become clear on who is at fault. Often these cases require a lawsuit to be filed, most likely in the federal court, as most of these defendants will be out of state or the law will be covered by the federal product liability case. Contact a Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer today to determine if you have a product liability claim with a free consultation.

Are these complicated cases?

These cases are complicated, as there is often a lot of experts who have to testify to specialized knowledge of how the product was supposed to be used and what went wrong. For mechanical devices, this could mean that you need an engineer to testify to the mechanical components and what went wrong. It often seems simple on how to explain what went wrong--the device broke and I got hurt--;however, there is intricate detail that must be explained to juries and or judges in order to show which party was responsible for the defective product. In the end, if you are injured by a product, most likely someone is going to be at fault and eventually you will be compensated for your injuries. However, how much you are compensated and when is another story all together that each individual case will determine on a case by case basis. In order to determine if you have a products liability case, contact a Seattle Personal Injury Attorney today for a free consultation and determine your rights.  


Sports or Other Waivers of Liability Questions

What is a waiver of liability?

A waiver of liability is used when you participate in a sporting event, a hazardous event, work some place, or when you sign up for a gym membership. Basically, the waiver is these facilities attempts to state that you are participating in something that has some degree of probability of leaving you injured. More so this is an attempt by the facility or organization to scare you away from suing these places. Often times you are injured in a way that the liability waiver cannot protect. An example of such an event is where something on the field, like a sprinkler, is protruding from the ground in a way that is not safe or some other object is on the field that should not be there that the organization or facility had control over. An example in a gym may be a slip on a basketball court due to a liquid or liquid on the gym floor by weights; a weight lifting machine that is defective and breaks; a weight that is not properly secured and falls off and hits someone in the foot or head; a plate floor that has a sharp object protruding from such; or a bumper car that has a malfunction that electrocutes the rider or causes them to be thrown from the car. There are many things that are not covered by a waiver. If you signed a waiver of liability and were injured, contact a Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer today to determine your rights with a free consultation.

I was playing sports when injured but signed a waiver, am I out of luck?

Maybe not. There are many things in the waiver that cannot be covered for state law purposes. It all depends on how you were injured. The waiver is a way to scare people away from making a claim against them and thinking they are out of luck. Contact a Seattle Personal Injury Attorney today to determine your rights with a free consultation.

I signed a waiver of liability when I was at an event, am I out of luck?

Again, maybe not. See the answer above.

I was at a gym when injured but signed a waiver, am I out of luck?

Maybe not. See above.

What is the statute of limitations for a breach of contract claim?

The statute of limitations in order to bring a breach of a written contract claim in Washington State is six (6) years. This means that you must bring a lawsuit against the person that breached the contract six years from the date of the breach of contract or lose the right to sue forever. The state of Washington limits a lawsuit to three (3) years from the time of a breach of an oral contract in order to be brought or lose the right. This is why it is very vital to contact a Seattle Contract attorney immediately after you suspect a breach of contract claim in order to preserve your rights and not miss this vital deadline.  



Google