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Car Insurance Tracking Your Driving?

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Is it worth giving your data to the insurance company for a discount on insurance? Maybe. It all depends on what they are doing with your data, which for the most part is unknown. Are they selling your data to ad companies or are they trying to use the data against you? Maybe they just want to make sure you are a safe driver and have altruistic reasons. Maybe not. They are a business with the number one goal being to make money, after all.

Car insurance companies have been offering discounts for years for allowing them to hack into your car and track your driving. Progressive Insurance company started doing this in 1998 with the snapshot insurance discount. Other insurance companies have followed suit and offer discounts for using the tracking device, Allstate uses drive wise.

Insurance companies will offer a discount if they deem your driving has been safe. Some companies require you to use the device for 90 days, 180 days, or all the time, in order to get the discount on insurance policies.

These devices are either plugged directly into your cars computer system or use a smartphone app to track your driving. The device can monitor your speed, location, braking, and more. Generally, the insurance company is looking to see if you are speeding regularly or braking hard, which may indicate you are not paying attention to the road. It can also see if you roll through stop signs as most of these companies hook the technology up to GPS systems to show mapping of traffic lights and stop signs.

Additionally, the GPS system can track your whereabouts and if you drive in “high risk areas” that are prone to break ins. It also tracks if you drive at night, which can be seen as a risk by insurance companies.

Insurance companies have wide discretion to determine whether or not someone has a driving record based on the information from the tracking device to warrant a discount in insurance. They can site whatever they want really and may not give you a discount.

What could be good about using these trackers is that they possibly could be used to determine who was at fault for a car accident or not. They could show position, speed, and braking to give more information to a he said she said argument. However, it is unknown how trustworthy these tracking devices actually are.

An insurance company could also just as easily use this device to say that you were at fault for a car accident and deny your insurance claim based solely on the data they can interpret and mold. This could cost you a lot of money in a personal injury case where you were severely injured in a car accident caused by a hit and run, only to have your insurance company deny your case because of their data on the car.

If you are injured in a car accident, whether it is a first party claim using your own insurance company because the other party did not have insurance or a third party insurance claim where they have insurance, you should hire a Seattle car accident injury lawyer. That way you are not bullied by insurance companies and their games. Get what you deserve, not what insurance companies want to pay you.

 

 

 

Andrew CherinCar Insurance Tracking Your Driving?
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Seattle Lane Sweeping Car Accidents

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Lane sweeping in Seattle is the cause of a lot of traffic downtown, especially for cars taking left turns. No I am not talking about sweeping with a broom to clean dirt off the ground. I am talking about a driving maneuver where one car passes over a lane illegally.

Lane sweeping is one of the most common illegal driving maneuvers that most people do not even know is illegal. Lane sweeping is where a car take a right hand turn and doesn’t turn into the lane closest to the curb but rather passes over this lane and into the next one.

Most people turn into the second lane because they perceive that their car cannot turn that tightly to get into the lane closest to the curb. However, all cars except for certain semi trucks and buses are capable of turning into the lane closest to the curb.

Unfortunately, this type of behavior can cause traffic jams when oncoming cars are prevented from turning left because the car in front of them decides to take a wide right turn into the second hand lane. The car turning left the opposite way of the car actually has the right to that lane, however, most people will cede that lane to other cars in order to avoid a car accident or because they do not know the actual law.

One particular trouble spot where I continuously run into this problem is the intersection of Yesler Way and 1st Ave in downtown Seattle trying to turn left from eastbound on Yesler onto 1st AVE. Cars going west on Yesler constantly lane sweep during their right hand turn onto 1st AVE not allowing cars turning left to make a turn until there are basically no cars going west on Yesler.

Washington State law states that cars taking a right turn must turn into the lane closest to the curb. Cars that turn into the next lane over are actually committing a crime of illegal lane change, which is subject to a fine and is a moving violation that could make your insurance rates go up.

If you have been injured in a car accident by someone turning into your lane or doing a lane sweeping maneuver, call a Seattle personal injury lawyer today for your car accident. You could be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, medical bills, and lost wages.

 

Andrew CherinSeattle Lane Sweeping Car Accidents
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Can you park within 30 feet of curved stop sign?

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In Seattle, there are many places where you can’t quite figure out if you can legally park there or not. One instance of such a quandary is parking within 30 feet of a stop sign where the stop sign is jutted out into the street.
You cannot park within 30 feet of stop signs because if you do you will get a ticket but also because it blocks the view of other drivers who was to see if there is traffic coming in your direction or not. Parking close to a stop sign can block people’s view of traffic, causing a car accident.
Is a jutted out stop sign considered a normal stop sign for the purposes of determining if you can park within 30 feet or not? It seems that the jutted out stop signs purpose is to allow more parking, while at the same time creating no vision problems for drivers.
There is no clear answer from what I have found. However, both the Seattle Municipal Code and the Revised Code of Washington possibly leave the door open for this unique situation where they say “any stop sign located at the side of a roadway”. The curved out stop sign may represent an exception from this law as it could be argued that the stop sign is not located on the side of the roadway at this point, as the stop sign is jutted out into the street.
Here is what the law says:
11.72.370 – Stop sign approach.
No person shall stand or park a vehicle within thirty (30) feet upon approaching any stop sign located at the side of a roadway. (RCW 46.61.570(1)(b)(iv))
RCW 46.61.570 (1)(b) (iv) Within thirty feet upon the approach to any flashing signal, stop sign, yield sign, or traffic control signal located at the side of a roadway;
Andrew CherinCan you park within 30 feet of curved stop sign?
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When do you have to have your headlights on in Seattle?

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Driving without your headlights on can be very dangerous to those around you and yourself. Driving without your headlights on can make you invisible at night and possibly cause a car accident that injures you and others. If someone cannot see you coming straight for them, they may turn in front of you causing a “t-bone” or head on collision. For this reason, Seattle makes it mandatory to have your headlights on at certain times of the day and during certain conditions.

In Seattle, you have to have your headlights on half an hour after sunset until half an hour before sunrise. Sunset is determined by what the official time of sunset is in Seattle. For example, sunset in Seattle for May 29, 2018 is 8:56 pm. This means that you must have your headlights on at the latest by 9:26pm. If you have your headlights off after that time, you may be subject to a ticket and a fine.

Additionally, you have to have your headlights on where there is insufficient light on the road due to dark clouds, heavy rain, snow, etc. where objects are not discernible at a distance of 1,000 feet in the distance. It is important to have your headlights on during poor weather conditions so that others can see your car on the free way and on regular streets. If someone can’t see you, they may accidentally rear end your car or turn in front of you.

Luckily, today many cars have automatic lights that either run all the time or turn on when wether conditions or outside conditions get too dark. This makes it so you never have to remember to turn on your headlights at night or during heavy rain or snow. The sensors on your car will turn your lights on when they do not get enough light into them.

Here is the law-

RCW 46.37.020

Every vehicle upon a highway within this state at any time from a half hour after sunset to a half hour before sunrise and at any other time when, due to insufficient light or unfavorable atmospheric conditions, persons and vehicles on the highway are not clearly discernible at a distance of one thousand feet ahead shall display lighted headlights, other lights, and illuminating devices as hereinafter respectively required for different classes of vehicles, subject to exceptions with respect to parked vehicles, and such stop lights, turn signals, and other signaling devices shall be lighted as prescribed for the use of such devices.

Andrew CherinWhen do you have to have your headlights on in Seattle?
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Ticket For Not Properly Restraining Child

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The leading cause of deaths among children under 12 is car accident related injuries. Seattle has some of the worst traffic in the US and there are a lot of people driving in the city that are not familiar with all of the streets, hills, and rules of the road. Couple this with driving around with a young child and you want to do everything you can to keep your child safe.

Washington State has one of the strictest laws on child car safety. The law was created in response toa Walla Walla parent, Autumn Alexander Skeen who lost her four-year-old son, Anton Skeen in a rollover collision. Anton was using a seat belt in accordance with state law at the time.  Yet,  because seat belts are built for adult bodies, he slid out of his seat belt and was thrown from the vehicle and crushed in the collision.

If you do not follow the law correctly, you could receive a ticket for not properly restraining your child for $112 for each child. Children are far more likely to be injured in a car accident when they are not properly seated in the car with the right safety restraint devices for their size and age.

However, if you get a ticket, know this. The state created a clause in the law that will actually allow you to not have to pay the fine so long as you can prove that you went out and purchased a child booster seat or car seat. They figure that the fine would be better spent on keeping the child safe.

Here are the basics of the law: (These are not manufacturer recommendations though so check those to make sure you are in compliance)

  • Children under age 8, unless they are 4’9″ tall (whichever comes first), must be restrained in an appropriate child restraint system (car seat or booster seat).
  • Children 8 years old or at least 4’9″ tall who wear a seat belt MUST use it correctly (never under the arm or behind the back) or continue to use a child restraint.
  • Children less than 13 years old must ride in the back seat of cars, unless there is no back seat.
  • Child restraint system must be used correctly according to the car seat AND vehicle manufacturer’s instructions. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines for both the child restraint and the vehicle.

You can read the full law here at RCW 46.61.687 

The law is very vague and provides that you must follow the proper instructions by the manufacturer. Different car seats have different weight limits and different sizes requiring different positions.

Rear Facing Car Seats – 2 Years or Younger and weight limit- Generally, a child must be in a rear facing car seat until they are two years old or have outgrown their seat according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. Rear facing car seats in the back seat are the safest position for your child and should be left in this position as long as possible, until they meet the guidelines for change. The middle back seat is the safest to protect from side impacts.

Infant car seats are generally only made for rear facing children and are not made for forward facing positioning once they have outgrown rear facing. Infant car seats are generally lighter and have carrying handles. These generally have lower weight limits and don’t last as long as convertible car seats.

Convertible car seats are much bulkier and do not have handles on them. These are made to both be positioned rear facing and then forward facing once your child is big enough. These are made so that your child can stay rear facing longer than infant car seats. Most convertible seats have weight limits for rear facing up to 40 pounds.

Forward Facing Car Seat – Generally, forward facing car seats have guidelines that state that a child must be in the car seat from until they are 65 pounds and less than 4’1″ tall. Some children will get too tall for their car seat and require a booster seat and an earlier age than others.

Booster Seat – Booster seats are made for children who have outgrown their forward facing car seat. Generally, booster seats are for children until they are 4’9″ tall. Booster seats are generally only for children who are at least 40 pounds and have outgrown their car seat.

Seat Belted in Back Seat – In Washington State, a child may not be only restrained by a seat belt until they are at least 4’9″. Children must ride in the back seat until they are 13 years old, under Washington State law.

Note: Just because a child is 8 years old does not mean that they can safely be seated in a safety belt alone. Children should continue to follow manufacturer’s guidelines and use a car seat or booster seat until they recommend not to. 

 

Andrew CherinTicket For Not Properly Restraining Child
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5 Tips for Keeping Children Safe Around Cars

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I was reminded of the need to keep our children safe around our houses and at school from cars the other day when a young child was struck and nearly killed by a car. The child was playing just outside their house when he dashed into the street for a ball and was struck by a car. There are so many things we need to do to keep our children safe. Car accidents injuries to children are the worst. Here are some tips to keep your child safe around streets.

Teach your child about the dangers of streets and cars

Children should learn to fear streets. This is not an overreaction or an overstatement. This is the truth and one of the only ways to keep them out of the street. Young children like to play near streets but you should teach them that they should not. Teaching them about the dangers of cars and what it can do to people who are hit by cars is a hard subject but it has to be taught to them as early as they can comprehend speech.

Never allow your child to enter the street without you or an adult holding their hand

One of the ways to do this is to teach them that they are never allowed to cross or enter the street without you or an adult holding their hand. Tell them that this is very important to you and your family. Tell them that they will be in big trouble if they are caught doing this and will lose all outdoor privileges if they do. Regularly walking around and holding your child’s hand can reinforce the need to always hold your hand while walking across streets. They realize it is a privilege to walk across the street and dangerous so they need you to reinforce this by always holding their hand when crossing streets.

Do not allow children to play near streets

Children playing near streets creates an unnecessary opportunity for the child to be in danger with cars. Whether it is a ball rolling out into the street or the ice cream truck, you should not allow the opportunity for a child to run into the street. Only allow children at your house to play inside or in the back yard, assuming your yard is fenced in and away from a street. Allowing them to play near a street should be avoided at all costs.

Teach children to wait for you at the playground and not on the side of the street

Children who wait for parents near the street to be picked up after school are putting themselves in another unnecessary risk situation. It may take more effort on your part to park the car and walk to the child on the playground or after school spot, but it is well worth keeping them safe.

Children that are young may run to you or a family member’s car when they see you because they are excited to see you so do not let them take this risk. Arrange with your child for a meeting place where you will get out of your car and come to them. That way they can walk hand in hand to your car across a street if necessary.

Meeting them on the playground can add extra play time and fresh air – perfect for children and adults as well. It can be a chance for you to wind down from work and relax or get some exercise.

If your child is playing outside or near a gate to get outside, always monitor them

Children like to find ways to push the boundaries of parents. It may be difficult but you should monitor your children regularly when they are playing outside or near areas where they could get outside to a street with cars. Even if your spouse is outside and they want to go find them, someone should always have an eye on the child so they do not get into the street or behind your spouse’s car when they are back up.

Andrew Cherin5 Tips for Keeping Children Safe Around Cars
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Red Right Turn Arrows in Seattle Confuse Everyone

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The city of Seattle is notoriously bad at all things related to traffic. There is so much poor planning on the part of the department of transportation in Seattle and Washington that it is no surprise that we are one of the worst cities for traffic in the US, number 6 in the US according to US News in 2015.

What adds to the traffic is poor street sign design and implementation. Most people see red turn arrows and think that they cannot turn in the direction of the arrow when it is red. I was just sitting behind someone in traffic today that had a red turn arrow and mistakenly believed that they could not turn right on red. I let her know that she could turn right by honking my horn a couple of times, the polite thing to do, right?

Contrary to common belief, you can turn right on a red turn arrow. A red turn arrow is treated like a normal red light stop light. You must stop at the light and then proceed to make your turn if traffic is clear.

The only time where you are not allowed to turn right on a red turn arrow is when there is another sign that states no turn on red.

Here is the law in Washington State on red turn arrows:

Washington State RCW 46.61.055(3)(c)​ Vehicle operators facing a steady red arrow indication may not enter the intersection control area to make the movement indicated by such arrow, and unless entering the intersection control area to make such other movement as is permitted by other indications shown at the same time, shall stop at a clearly marked stop line, but if none, before entering a crosswalk on the near side of the intersection control area, or if none, then before entering the intersection control area and shall remain standing until an indication to make the movement indicated by such arrow is shown.However, the vehicle operators facing a steady red arrow indication may, after stopping proceed to make a right turn from a one-way or two-way street into a two-way street or into a one-way street carrying traffic in the direction of the right turn; or a left turn from a one-way street or two-way street into a one-way street carrying traffic in the direction of the left turn; unless a sign posted by competent authority prohibits such movement. Vehicle operators planning to make such turns shall remain stopped to allow other vehicles lawfully within or approaching the intersection control area to complete their movements. Vehicle operators planning to make such turns shall also remain stopped for pedestrians who are lawfully within the intersection control area as required by RCW 46.61.235(1).

Why then put a red turn signal stop sign if it acts exactly like another red light? To confuse people? I think the reasoning behind placing in the red turn arrow was to let people know you can only turn right in this lane. However, this just confuses people more and causes traffic to bottle neck up.

If you are injured in a car accident by someone turning into your car, you need a Seattle personal injury lawyer. Call today for a free consultation to see how a car accident injury lawyer can help you out. (206) 850-6716

Andrew CherinRed Right Turn Arrows in Seattle Confuse Everyone
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Seattle Passenger in a car accident, whose fault?

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If you are injured in a Seattle car accident while riding as a passenger, you have many options for recovery but probably have many questions.

Who is at fault for the car accident and whose insurance can I go after?

Determining who is at fault for the car accident is the first step to determining who will pay for your injuries. If your driver is at fault for the car accident, you can go after their insurance policy to pay for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering – even if they are related to you.

This is a good benefit that some people do not take advantage of because of fear that the family member or friend will have to pay this amount. This could not be further from the truth. The insurance company may pay you $10,000 or more and the family member or friend will not have to pay a penny of this amount. The worst that could happen is if their insurance premiums go up a few dollars per month, in most situations.

If another car is at fault, passengers injured in a car accident can go after the person that hit their driver’s car directly. Passengers are entitled to pain and suffering, medical bill compensation, and lost wages, among other possible damages. People that are responsible for your injuries will not pay for your medical bills up front, unless you are going after the driver of your car and they have PIP insurance. However, it is a good idea to not settle your case until you are fully healed. This means that you must find another way to pay for your medical bills right now until you are healed.

Who will pay for the passenger’s medical bills now though?

Personal injury protection (PIP) is an auto insurance policy that pays for medical bills and lost wages while you are awaiting a settlement from the responsible party. PIP is available to passengers under the driver of the car’s auto policy if the driver has paid for PIP insurance. Additionally, you can use your own auto insurance policy PIP to cover your injuries if there is no other PIP available to you or you have exhausted it all from the other policy.

Another option to cover your medical bills right now is your own medical insurance. Medical insurance will deny the claim at first unless they know no other medical coverage is available to pay for your bills. Medical insurance generally doesn’t cover massage bills and usually has limited chiropractic allowance.

A third option is to pay on a lien to medical providers. Most physical therapists, chiropractors, and massage therapists will allow you to pay them back out of the settlement. However, most if not all of these places will require you to have a personal injury lawyer representing you to accept this arrangement so that they can guarantee through the car accident injury lawyer that they are paid.

How long will it take to get a good settlement?

Contrary to some thinking, hiring a personal injury lawyer does not mean filing a lawsuit in most cases. In fact, most cases can be settled within 2-3 months of an injured person being discharged from treatment and feeling 100% again.

Additionally, hiring a Seattle personal injury lawyer is not super costly and in most instances gets you more money than you could on your own even after a lawyer’s fee is taken account of. Seattle car accident injury lawyers are paid out of the settlement so you never have to pay them out of pocket. Call today for a free consultation.

Andrew CherinSeattle Passenger in a car accident, whose fault?
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Seattle School Zone Times and Safety

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There is not greater cause than to keep our children safe as they learn to integrate into our society and learn the dangers of society. School zone safety mechanisms are such causes.

We make 20 mph speed limits in school zones so people can safely stop when an unexpected child runs out into the middle of the street because they were chasing a ball, running to their parents, or playing tag. Children in grade school, especially, are learning basic life skills and may not be aware of the true dangers of walking or running around busy school streets.

Seattle has so many school zones that you may miss them if you are driving in an area that you are not familiar with. This could lead to a $234 ticket by camera or by police officer, if you are driving over 20mph while the flashing lights are on or children are present.

For the 2017-2018 school year, Seattle school districts changed some of the usual hours for schools. Instead of grade schools starting at 9am and going until 3pm, most grade schools are now starting at 7:55am and going until 2:25pm. However, on Wednesdays, schools have early releases at 1:10. This means that the school zones will go on earlier and you may be caught unaware if you are not careful.

Most Seattle middle schools and high schools changed from 7:45am starts and going until 2:15pm to 8:55-3:45 and getting out at 2:30 on early dismissal Wednesdays. For a complete list of school schedules, check out the Seattle school districts site here.

The reason for the change in times was because of studies showing that younger children are wide awake early in the morning while teenagers and other young adults need more sleep in the morning.

According to the Seattle school districts website, School zone cameras and flashing warning signals generally start 40 minutes before a school starts and lasts until about 10 minutes after school is to start. Additionally, the school zone cameras and warning signals start 10 minutes before school gets out and ends 30 minutes after school ends.

No one wants to see their child or anyone else’s child hit by a car. There is no more of a horrific scene than to see your young, innocent loved one struck by a car. Car accidents are devastating events that are easily preventable with care and attention for those around you. Drive safely and anticipate others. Drive slow in school zones for your children and other children’s safety and well being.

Andrew CherinSeattle School Zone Times and Safety
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Seattle Car Accident Injury Case with Pemco

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If you are injured in a car accident with someone who has Pemco insurance, here are some things you should know before settling your case.

Pemco is in the business of making money.

They are not in the business of handing out money they don’t have to. If you are injured in a car accident and representing yourself, you are going to be fighting an uphill battle. They have the money and you have not experience negotiating about how much an injury case is worth. Therefore, they are only going to offer and pay you what they want to pay you, not what you deserve.

Pemco is only going to pay for your medical bills once you settle with them.

This can be problematic for people that do not have a lawyer and do not have PIP insurance. PIP insurance is an auto policy that you can purchase that will pay for your medical bills while you wait to settle your case with Pemco.

What can you do if Pemco is not paying for your medical bills?

Pemco will generally only offer to pay for your bills right now if you qualify for their PIP insurance under the defendant’s policy. Generally, the only way you can qualify for their PIP insurance is if you were hit by their insured while riding a bike, walking across a street, or as a passenger of their insured. You can use your PIP insurance, medical insurance, or pay back your medical providers on a lien out of the settlement.

Do not settle your car accident injury case with Pemco until you are fully healed or the extent of your injuries are known.

Pemco will pressure you into settling your case early by telling you that they will not pay anything more so you better take the money they are offering now even though you are not done with your medical treatment. Tell them you do not want to talk to them until you are fully healed. In Washington State, you have three (3) years to settle your case so there is generally a lot of time to heal after a car accident and not feel pressured to settle by Pemco.

How much is your case worth against Pemco in a car accident in Seattle?

Generally, you are entitled to pain and suffering, medical bill compensation, and lost wages, among other things. The best way to maximize the value of your case against Pemco is to hire a Seattle car accident injury lawyer. Hiring a lawyer does not mean that you will have to file a lawsuit, contrary to many beliefs. It does mean maximizing your case value by have an lawyer who only negotiates car accident injury settlements, negotiate your settlement and lower your medical bills.

Hiring a Seattle personal injury lawyer is easy and costs you nothing.

Personal injury lawyers are paid out of the settlement and studies show that people that hire a car accident injury lawyer for their case put twice as much money in their pocket as those who do not hire a lawyer and try to settle on their own, even after lawyers fees are taken out.

Andrew CherinSeattle Car Accident Injury Case with Pemco
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