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Saving Money in Car Insurance and Protecting You

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I was in the gym the other day and overheard a guy telling another that you shouldn’t be paying $110 a month in car insurance. He told him that you should only have liability insurance because the rest is just fluff. This is the type of thinking that can leave you without a way to recover money for your injuries suffered in a car accident. I told him what insurance he should have in why. This is a breakdown of what insurance you should have and what you could skip on.

What insurance should you absolutely have?

You should have UIM coverage at the very least with liability coverage. As a Seattle personal injury lawyer, I have been heartbroken to see the times where a person is severely injured and comes into my office with no insurance and no insurance on the other guy. If there is no insurance on either side, you have no realistic chance to recover any money in the case. This is because the person who caused the car accident without insurance probably doesn’t have any money to pay for your injuries. Additionally, it’s not likely that a Seattle personal injury lawyer will take your case because there is no realistic hope of ever recovering any money without insurance.

Some studies have show that nearly 30% of drivers are driving without insurance on the road and another 25% have the bare minimum of insurance coverage $25,000. This is why everyone should have UIM insurance. UIM insurance steps in and covers your personal injury damages if you are hit by someone that doesn’t have car insurance or doesn’t have enough car insurance to cover your injuries suffered in a car accident injury case.

PIP insurance is often skipped by people because they believe their medical insurance will cover their medical costs in a car accident. Most medical insurance does not cover chiropractic care and most people have high deductibles that make it so insurance pays very little for their car accident injury treatment. PIP covers all medical costs no questions asked up to your policy amount. Most people choose the $10,000 option but I recommend the higher amount of $20,000. This is because a hospital visit could take up almost all of your $10,000 in PIP leaving you with not much to cover any other treatment you will need like chiropractic, massage, physical therapy, and other doctors appointments.

What insurance could you skip on?

If your car is not worth much, the one insurance policy you could skip is collision coverage. Collision coverage covers the repair and replacement value of your car if you cause a car accident. This is one of the most expensive insurance policies on your policy and may not make sense to have if you have an older car that the cost to repair would be less than your deductible or not much more than it. If your cars value is less than $5,000, it may not make sense to pay extra for collision coverage.

The same goes with comprehensive collision coverage. This covers you in case your car is damages by road debris, rocks, or anything else not caused by a car accident or collision. This is expensive and can usually be avoided. Check your policy on the price.

If you have been injured in a Seattle car accident injury case, you need a Seattle personal injury lawyer. Contact us today for a free consultation on your car accident injury case today.

Andrew CherinSaving Money in Car Insurance and Protecting You
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How long will it take to settle my case?

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People injured in car accidents in Seattle may think twice before hiring a Seattle personal injury because they believe it will take too long to settle their case if they hire a lawyer. This could not be further from the truth.

Seattle car accident injury lawyers will not try to settle your case until you are fully healed or until they approach the statute of limitations if you have not fully healed by then. The reason for this is because you do not want to try to settle your case until your injuries are fully healed in order to fully know the amount of cost of your treatment.

People will some times try to settle their own case without a Seattle personal injury lawyer before their injuries are fully healed because they are pressured by the insurance company to settle their car accident injury case early. They will also do so because they believe that they are a good negotiator and know how much money they want in their pocket. However, if you settle before you get all your treatment, you may be surprised on how much the treatment you need to get you better is going to cost you out of pocket. This could leave you with nothing in your pocket after you pay for everything out of the settlement if you try to settle your case before your injuries are fully healed.

A Seattle personal injury lawyer will be able to make sure all of your treatment is paid for before trying to settle your case or at least know how much your out of pocket costs are going to be so they can include this in the settlement. Not knowing how much your treatment is going to cost or has costed you so far can leave you with nothing in your pocket once you are fully healed.

Seattle personal injury lawyers will try to settle your case after you are fully healed. Most personal injury lawyers can settle a car accident injury case without filing a lawsuit if they are trained at negotiating. This means that your case can be completely settled within two to three months of being completely healed and resuming normal activities at 100%.

Filing a lawsuit is necessary where insurance companies are not offering fair compensation for your injuries and leaving you with little or no money in your pocket. Most insurance companies are good faith negotiators that will try to make a fair deal.

Andrew CherinHow long will it take to settle my case?
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Road Rage in Seattle Peaks at This Time?

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There is nothing more dangerous than someone with road rage against another driver with road rage in Seattle. Road rage on road rage creates an atmosphere conducive to a high probability of a car accident in Seattle with substantial injuries.

Road rage is generally caused when someone is already agitated because they are under a lot of stress in one way or another. Something that creates a lot of stress is driving in traffic on your way home after a long day at work with a lot of stress. This means that the peak time that someone will experience road rage is generally from 4-6pm when people are commuting home from work in Seattle.

An online study by Auto Insurance Center found that over 65,000 Instagram posts with the hashtag #RoadRage. They found that use of the tag peaks at 6:00 pm, presumably around the hour when commuters are stuck in traffic or just getting home. Washington state is 10th in the nation for drivers using that hashtag; Seattle is the 12th most prolific city when it comes to complaining about road rage, ranking above more famously angry drivers in Washington DC, Boston, Miami, Beverly Hills, and Hoboken.

Road rage usually starts where one person feels slighted by another person’s driving act. It could be as simple as someone not using their turn signal when merging into the lane in front of you, cutting you off, driving fast, or more. When someone is already agitated and under a lot of stress, they may react by trying to get back at the other driver by driving fast to pass them. Once they pass them, they usually do the same thing that the other driver did to them and that they believe was done on purpose.

Things get really dangerous when the second person gets road rage back. This creates a battle of who has the bigger ego and who is the better driver, in a sense. The person that originally created the original slight may feel slighted and then proceed to drive fast to cut off the other person only to hit their brakes, or brake check them.

This behavior is extremely dangerous and causes a high likelihood of a car accident injury case to those around them and themselves. Usually when two drivers get road rage at each other, everyone else around them and those in their car are not even their in the road rage person’s eyes, only the other road rage driver. Road rage drivers will try to get back at the other driver until they have the last say and are vindicated for their actions, in a way.

I have personally seen road rage drivers swerve across four lanes of traffic to block or chase the other driver, with both drivers swerving across traffic without regard to anyone else on the road. Often times these drivers are driving at a high speed, which means one false move and there will be a big injury car accident.

Just four days ago near Seattle, a 60 year old man driving a car and a woman driving a motorcycle engaged in road rage with each other. This ended with the woman shooting the man and killing him. It is not just men engaging in road rage, it is woman too. Cars are dangerous killing machines capable of inflicting major damages to those injured in car accidents, yet we don’t always think of them that way because of the routine driving we do.

If you have been injured in a car accident, call a Seattle car accident injury lawyer today for a free consultation. A Seattle personal injury lawyer will be able to walk you through your case and figure out what you are entitled to.

Andrew CherinRoad Rage in Seattle Peaks at This Time?
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Forgot your car seat on vacation?

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Many people take their car seat and strollers on vacation. Did you know car seats and strollers are free to check on the plane? Some people don’t know this but you can bring this stuff to be checked for free on most airlines. However, if you forget your car seat on vacation or a trip, you have options.

Many rental car companies offer car seats and booster seats of all shapes and sizes. You can rent these car seats usually for an extra fee with your car rental. You may even be able to get them thrown in for free if you negotiate well.

When renting a car seat from a rental car company make sure to inspect the car seat before leaving the rental car company. You should look for visible damage, ask if the car seat has been in a car accident, and do a quick recall look up on your phone to make sure the car seat hasn’t been recalled by the manufacturer.

Keeping your child safe is your number one priority. If you forget your child’s car seat, never allow them to sit on your lap or hold them while driving. While you think they are safe for normal driving, you will not have a firm grasp on them if you are involved in a car accident. Pay the extra money to rent a car seat for them.

Additionally, you should not let your child sit in a car on their own without a car seat or booster seat when they are not ready to be without one. Seat belts were made for full sized adults and not for children. Children are safest when they are in a car seat or booster seat. While you may think the chances of you getting in a car accident are low and you can risk it for a second, don’t. You never know when a car accident will happen and you want to have all safety precautions in place to keep you and your child as safe as possible in case of a car accident.

Many car accidents happen in places where people are most comfortable driving and driving on auto pilot. This is because their senses are dulled by being familiar with the area and driving route so they may be careless or less careful when driving. This is why a lot of car accidents happen within one mile of someone’s house. A cab driver or taxi driver may be comfortable driving the route do always bring a car seat eve for tax or cab rides. They usually don’t have a car seat for children.

If you have been involved in a car accident and were injured, contact a Seattle personal injury lawyer for a free consultation.

Andrew CherinForgot your car seat on vacation?
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Seattle pedestrian hit by car jaywalking, can they recover damages?

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Seattle injury car accident with pedestrian

Who is at fault in a situations where someone is hit while they are walking across an area of a street that does not have a cross walk or and is not an unmarked crosswalk? There are plenty of areas in Seattle where pedestrians decide to cross the street between cross walks, whether it is to cross to their car, get to a movie theatre, get to a sho, etc. 

If someone is hit as a pedestrian by a car at a non crosswalk area, they can still recover damages from the driver of the other car. Washington State is a comparative fault state so the jury would weigh what percentage of fault each person had for the pedestrian being hit. The pedestrian could be at fault for jumping in front of the car and the car could be at fault for speeding or not paying attention to the road ahead of them. Additionally, the pedestrian would then recover for the personal injury damages they suffered due to the car accident, offset by the percentage they were at fault and the damages they caused to the driver of the car.

In Seattle, pedestrians are required by law to cross the street in a cross walk or at an unmarked cross walk. They are generally not allowed to cross the street in between blocks. This is for the safety of pedestrians and drivers because cars are more likely to see pedestrians at cross walks and at the end of a block.

In addition to being required to cross the street at crosswalks, pedestrians are also not allowed to jump out into the street. They are to wait at the cross walk until a car stops for them before entering the street. This again is for the safety of pedestrians and cars to prevent car accidents. While the pedestrian has the right of way and cars are to yield the right of way to pedestrians, pedestrians cannot jump blindly out into the street and possibly cause a car accident by being hit by the car or causing the car to slam on their brakes and then be rear ended in another car accident.

(1) The operator of an approaching vehicle shall stop and remain stopped to allow a pedestrian or bicycle to cross the roadway within an unmarked or marked crosswalk when the pedestrian or bicycle is upon or within one lane of the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling or onto which it is turning. For purposes of this section “half of the roadway” means all traffic lanes carrying traffic in one direction of travel, and includes the entire width of a one-way roadway.
(2) No pedestrian or bicycle shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk, run, or otherwise move into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to stop.

RCW 46.61.240 Crossing at other than crosswalks.

(1) Every pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.
Andrew CherinSeattle pedestrian hit by car jaywalking, can they recover damages?
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Right of way at uncontrolled T-Intersection turning right?

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If two cars reach an intersection at the same time but the car on the right wants to turn right, who has the right of way? Who would be at fault if there was a car accident in this scenario?

There is no law about “T-intersections” in Washington State. Therefore, in order to determine who has the right of way, we must look at other laws. The right of way law at an uncontrolled intersection is governed by RCW 46.61.185. It states that the car on the right is the favored driver if both cars enter an intersection at approximately the same time. This means that the car on the right at an uncontrolled T-intersection would have the right of way. This assumes that there are no stop signs or yield signs governing the intersection, which there most likely would be.

If the car accident happened at a “T-Intersection” in a parking lot, Washington state law in general would apply and the car on the right would have the right of way, assuming they reached the intersection at the same time.

The right of way is not absolute, however, and there are some exceptions. The exceptions include to act reasonably under the circumstances. If you clearly see that the car on the left is not going to stop, you have an obligation to act reasonably and avoid the car accident. You cannot blindly continue straight if you can avoid a car accident. You may be at fault even though you were the favored driver in under the circumstances. This is detailed in the Washington Pattern Jury Instruction 70.02.

WPI 70.02 Right of Way—Uncontrolled Intersection

The favored driver is entitled to rely on the disfavored driver’s yielding the right of way at an uncontrolled intersection until the favored driver reaches that point at which a reasonable person exercising reasonable care would realize that the disfavored driver is not going to yield. Whitchurch v. McBride, 63 Wn.App. 272, 818 P.2d 622 (1991); Maxwell v. Piper, 92 Wn.App. 471, 963 P.2d 941 (1998).

SMC 11.55.010Right-of-way of vehicles approaching an intersection.
RCW 46.61.185
Vehicle turning left.The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left within an intersection or into an alley, private road, or driveway shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction which is within the intersection or so close thereto as to constitute an immediate hazard.
Andrew CherinRight of way at uncontrolled T-Intersection turning right?
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Are SUV’s or trucks safer than sedans for car accidents?

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If you are car buying, chances are you have looked at weighing the pros and cons of an SUV (sport utility vehicle) or truck versus a sedan. One of the biggest factors is safety and another may be ease of access and gas mileage.

The law of physics dictates that SUVs are safer because of the higher center of gravity due to the larger size and weight creating more force and less likely to be moved by a smaller sedan. This is the same reason that buses do not have seat belts on them. Buses do not have seat belts because manufacturers of the buses believe that the high center of gravity makes them extremely unlikely to be impacted strong enough by other cars to make much of an impact on the passengers inside them.

Consumer reports posted a study in 2013 and the study found that the odds of death were 7.6 times higher for the car driver than the SUV driver. In crashes where the car had a better front crash-test rating than the SUV did, the car’s driver fared a bit better but was still four and a half times more likely to die than the SUV driver. (Watch crash-test videos.)

However, Consumer reports also states that high center of gravity vehicles are more prone to rollover accidents that are deadly. However, SUV made in 2012 and after are now required to have Electronic stability control (ESC), which prevents rollover car accidents. However, most people that died in rollover car accidents were not wearing their seat belts.

Head on collisions are not the only thing you want to think of, though. Most car accidents are not SUV versus cars in head on collisions. Most car accidents are actually rear end car accidents and side swipe car accidents, even though the most deadly are “T-Bone” and head on car accidents. There are many other safety concerns you want to think of like cars that are up to date with the latest technology including as antilock brakes, traction control, back up cameras, blind spot warning indicators, curtain air bags, stability control, and other accident avoidance features.

Check out consumer reports or other car reviewing companies to figure out the right, safe car or SUV for you and your family. USA Today posted the 2018 IIHS safety picks in December 2017.

Andrew CherinAre SUV’s or trucks safer than sedans for car accidents?
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Don’t change your child’s car seat around too early.

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Children are the most vulnerable to injury in a Seattle car accident injury case. In order to protect them, many manufacturers are creating the optimal technology to keep our children safe in a car accident. That is why today’s car seats are made deeper, stronger to hold babies that are bigger than normal babies, and safer. Rear facing car seats are the best for children in head on collisions.This is because of the law of physics and motion where your body will tend to go where the impact comes from. Rear end collisions are not as likely to be as fatal as head on collisions, for this reason, car seats are safest for babies when they are facing backwards.

The optimal position to keep children away from harm in a car accident is reversed in a car seat in the middle position. This is because the reverse facing car seat will protect children in case of a front end head on collision. A head on collision with a rear facing car seat will have the car seat actually cradle the body and head of the baby versus the baby’s head, arms, and feet flailing with a forward facing car seat.

A 2007 study in the journal Injury Prevention that found that children under age 2 are 75% less likely to die or be severely injured in a crash when in a rear-facing car seat.

Riding rear facing is recommended until a child reaches age 2 or the highest weight — typically at least 35 pounds (about 16 kilograms) — or height allowed by the car seat manufacturer.

Convertible car seats are good places to start and invest because you can go from rear facing to forward facing when your baby grows out of rear facing car seats. Car seats are expensive but are vital to your child’s safety and well being.

When your child reaches age 2 or the rear-facing weight or height limit of the convertible seat, you can face the seat forward. When you make the switch:

  • Install the car seat in the back seat according to the manufacturer’s instructions, using either the seat belt or Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) system.
  • Use the tether strap — a strap that hooks to the top of the seat and attaches to an anchor in the vehicle — for extra stability.
  • Adjust the harness straps so that they’re at or above your child’s shoulders and fit snugly.

If you know of anyone injured in a Seattle car accident, contact a Seattle personal injury lawyer for a free consultation today.

 

Andrew CherinDon’t change your child’s car seat around too early.
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Is it safe to buy a used car seat or rent one?

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You should always buy a new car seat, if possible. It is one of the few things that you should go out and buy new for your baby as it can keep him or her safe in a car accident. However, there are some times where you may want to borrow a car seat from a rental car agency because you are on vacation or you simply cannot afford a brand new car seat. All car seats that have been in a car accident need to be replaced, even if not visually damaged – this is something that you can get compensation for through your own insurance if you have comprehensive coverage or through the person that caused the car accident when negotiating the property damage portion of your car accident injury case.

If you are going to borrow or buy a used car seat, you should verify that the car seat has not been in a car accident, is not over 6 years old, has not been recalled by the manufacturer, comes with the original manufacturer number and instructions, and has no visible damage or missing parts.

Verify The Age of The Car Seat

Do not buy a used car seat unless you can verify the age of the seat. Most car seats have a manufacturer’s label on the back or bottom of the car seat that gives the manufacture date or a specific expiration date. Harnessed car seats generally last 6 years from the date of manufacture, unless there is a different expiration date marked on the seat.

Verify Expiration Date By Calling Manufacturer

If you’re not sure about the expiration date, call the manufacturer. The date of manufacture and manufacturer contact information must be on one of the seat labels by law. If the labels are missing from the car seat, it’s best not to use it, as the labels would also give you important model information that would alert you to potential recalls.

Check to See if There Has Been a Recall

Check to see that your car seat has not been recalled for some reason. You cannot use a car seat that has been recalled. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have a website that shows all of the recent recalls for car seats.

A Car Seat In a Car Accident Needs to Be Replaced

NHTSA and manufacturers encourage replacement of car seats if there was a car accident in moderate to severe car accidents. They used to encourage getting a new car seat in every car accident but they lowered their standards recently because some people were unable to buy a new car seat and newer car seats are much stronger than car seats used to be.

The NHTSA has recently lowered their standard for determining whether a car seat needs to be replaced in a minor car accident. The NHTSA dictates that a crash is considered minor if it meets all five of the following criteria:

• There is no visible damage to the car seat that might have been caused by the crash.

• The vehicle was capable of being driven from the crash site.

• The car door nearest to the child restraint was undamaged.

• No one in the vehicle was injured in the crash.

• The air bags did not deploy.

However, you probably won’t be able to get all this information from someone that is selling you a used car seat because they may be untruthful or may not have any information about the car accident. It is hard to determine whether a car seat was involved in a serious car accident or not just by looking at it because it may show no visible signs of being damaged.

Original Parts All Intact

You must also determine whether used car seats still have all of the original parts needed for safety. Some parts can be lost over time. One illustration of this is a harness on a combination seat that is removed when the child outgrows it, and is later replaced without a seemingly small piece that affects the function of the harness in a crash.

Insurance Will Pay For a New Car Seat in a Seattle Car Accident

If you have been injured in a Seattle car accident, you should make sure your car seat is replaced and covered in the car accident by the insurance company. Call a Seattle personal injury lawyer today to make sure you get a new car accident included in your car accident injury case.

 

 

 

Andrew CherinIs it safe to buy a used car seat or rent one?
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Where is the optimal place for car seats?

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In case of a car accident, you want to give your child the best chance of survival and the best chance for not being injured. Car accidents are a part of life it seems these days, especially in Seattle where traffic is congested, people are highly caffeinated, and the roads are slick. Your baby does not need to be a casualty of a car accident if you take proper precautions. Where is the safest place to put your baby’s car seat to protect them?

The safest place for your child’s car seat is the back seat and away from air bags. The reason why car seats are never supposed to be in the front seat and away from air bags is because the air bag could hit the back of a rear-facing car seat, right where your child’s head is, and cause a serious or fatal injury. A child who rides in a forward-facing car seat could also be harmed by an air bag.

The best place to install a car seat is the back seat. Additionally, even better is the center seat in the back row. This is because there is less risk of glass being shattered into the baby’s face and eyes in case of a “T-Bone” car accident. There is also less chance that the baby or child’s arms or legs will hit the car door or any other objects in the even of a car accident.

The US National Library or Medicine posted a study in 2008 that showed that children sitting in the center seat in their car seat are 43% safer than those that are positioned on one side or the other. Additionally, they posted another study in 2008 that showed that people that are in fatal crashes have a 13% increase in survival if they sit in the center seat versus one of the side seats. A lot of this has to do with cars impacting someone who is seated on the side seats versus the center. The center is relatively protected compared to all other seats from being actually touched by a car, telephone pole, or any other outside force in a car accident.

Installing the car seat in the middle of the back seat is very strenuous on some people and some people may not want to have to reach all the way into the center of the car to put their baby. However, a little extra effort can be the difference between making sure your baby is as safe as possible from car accident injuries and not.

Additionally, car seats are big and can take up a lot of room in your back seat forcing you and your passengers in the front seat to move their seats up to an unsafe position in smaller cars. If a car seat is situated in the center back seat, you and your passenger can put your seats back so your legs are not cramped. If they are on one of the sides, you may have a cramped passenger.

The next safest spot is the passenger side rear seat. This is more due to having to take your child out with cars passing you if you park on a busy street if you had him or her seated behind the driver. Car seats are big and can stick out pretty far. You don’t want to be on the busy street side of your car as long as you have to so you don’t get hit by a car or drop your baby on the street.

NEVER put a rearward-facing baby seat in the front if there is an active passenger airbag. It is illegal and dangerous to do so, because if the airbag goes off, it will hit the baby seat and fling it forward with considerable force.Some people are not fortunate to own multiple cars and can’t easily afford to by a new one, whereby their only means of transportation is front row only pickup truck. If it’s necessary for a child to travel in a vehicle such as a pickup truck that has only one row of seats, deactivate the front air bags.

Andrew CherinWhere is the optimal place for car seats?
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