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Hiring a Seattle personal injury lawyer for your car accident injury case could not be any easier. You only need to meet me once and then focus on healing while I work on negotiating with the insurance company. The only other time you usually will need to come in is to pick up your settlement check.

What to expect when you meet a personal injury lawyer and questions that you have should be answered in my videos but you can always ask for more information regarding your Seattle car accident injury case.

Questions you may have include how much does a personal injury lawyer for your car accident injury case cost? We do not charge hourly fees only contingency fees meaning we are not paid unless we receive monetary compensation for you in your settlement. Most personal injury lawyers charge between 33.333% of the case and 40% but we only charge 33.3333%.

Will your case have to go to trial? Most cases settle without filing a lawsuit and usually settle within 2-3 months of you completing your medical treatment and being released from care. This is much different from the horror stories that most people hear about personal injury cases taking years to settle and receive anything.

Additionally, if you do not have a way to pay for medical treatment right now, we can find you a chiropractor or physical therapist to treat you without up front payments – a huge benefit. If you have insurance to pay for the treatment you need, we will find it.

Consultations are free and I am paid out of the settlement so what are you waiting for!? Contact us today for your Seattle car accident injury case at 206-850-6716

Andrew CherinSignup is easy and hassle free
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Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer Car Accident Injury Handbook – FREE!

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Here is a great book for anyone that has been injured in a car accident in Seattle or Washington State. It is regularly $16.99 on Amazon but you can get yours free when you sign up for my newsletter here http://cherinlawfirm.com/e-book/.

This book will show you:

  • how to navigate the insurance company
  • what you are entitled to
  • how to pay for your medical bills now and who will pay
  • figure out if you have a good case
  • how much your case is worth
  • determine if you need a lawyer
  • and more

I also offer free consultations and am paid out of the settlement so what are you waiting for! Download my book or contact me today. 206-850-6716

Andrew CherinSeattle Personal Injury Lawyer Car Accident Injury Handbook – FREE!
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Is your child riding in your car properly? Could you face a fine?

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Safety is the name of the game and preventing injuries in car accidents is the purpose. Many people know that their child should be in a car seat when they are young but do you know how long they are required to be in a car seat? How about how long they are supposed to be in a rear facing car seat? Did you know that you could be facing a $124 fine if you fail to have your child properly restrained? Did you know that this fine follows you the parent, until the child is 16 years old?

The reason behind using a car seat or booster seat and when to graduate your child is to keep our children safe in car accidents. A normal seat belt will not protect a child that is too small to actually realize the safety benefit of the seat belt, like full grown adults can. The reason is that seat belts are positioned with restraints for an adult and are not adjustable for a small child. The child could fall through the straps if there is a car accident and be severely injured.

Washington’s Child Passenger Restraint Law (RCW 46.61.687) requires:

  • Children under age 8, unless they are 4’9″ tall, 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 are to be transported in the back seat, where it is practical to do so.
  • 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.

Violation of this section could be subject to a $124 fine. However, this is a “fix it ticket.” Meaning, if your child should have been in a car seat but was not, you can have your ticket dismissed if you show proof of purchase of a car seat within 7 days of the notice of the ticket.

Car Seat, Booster Seat, or Back Seat?

There are four kinds of graduated seating that you should think of: Rear facing children seats, forward facing car seat with restraining straps, a booster seat, and a seat belt. Do you know when your child should start using each?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following car and booster seat guidelines:

1.Under two years old or reach max height or weight by manufacturer – Keep infants and toddlers in rear-facing car seats.

2. Children age 2 or older who have outgrown rear facing seat – should use a forward-facing car seat with a harness for as long as possible, up to the highest weight or height allowed by the manufacturer of the car seat

3. All children who have outgrown the forward-facing car seat – should use a belt-positioning booster seat until the vehicle’s lap-and-should seat belt fits properly, typically when they reach 4’9″ tall and are between 8 and 12 years of age.

4. All children younger than 13 years should be restrained in the rear seats of vehicles for optimal protection. When children are old enough and large enough to use the vehicle seat belt alone, they should always use lap-and shoulder seat belts for optimal protection.

Be careful not to graduate your child to the next seat too soon. Keep your child in the current seat for as long as possible (according to the seat manufacturer’s height and weight requirements), to maximize safety.

Andrew CherinIs your child riding in your car properly? Could you face a fine?
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Should you replace your child’s car seat following a car accident?

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Yes, you should replace your child’s car seat following a car accident because the stability of the car seat could be compromised. Your insurance company or the other driver’s insurance will pay for the replacement of your child’s car seat in a car accident.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has changed their stance that car seats should be replaced in every car accident and now only recommends replacing a car seat where there is a high impact car accident and not to for minor car accidents. The NHTSA states that their position is due to parent’s unable to buy or receive a replacement quickly from the insurance company and don’t use a car seat in the mean time.

This seems risky to me, to put your child’s life in the hands to an estimate whether the car seat is damaged and safety compromised. While this makes sense on the outside, a more practical approach may be to require insurance companies to pay for a replacement ASAP instead of parent’s just thinking the car seat is fine and continuing to allow the child to ride in a ticking time bomb.

NHTSA cited several international studies which showed that after minor vehicle crash tests, even when there is visible stress to the child restraint, the restraint still performed well in subsequent crash tests. The NHTSA defined a minor car crash as the following:

  • The vehicle was able to be driven away from the crash site;
  • The vehicle door nearest the safety seat was undamaged;
  • There were no injuries to any of the vehicle occupants;
  • The air bags (if present) did not deploy; AND
  • There is no visible damage to the safety seat

If you have a car seat that was damaged or you no longer use it, you can recycle your car seat in Seattle. Local recycling center Total Reclaim is partnering with Old Car Seat, New Life to offer ongoing booster and car seat recycling services.

Puget Sound area parents and caregivers can bring car seats and boosters to the Total Reclaim recycling facility at 2200 6th Ave. S. between 8 am to 4:30 pm daily. Car seats with covers, straps and foam removed cost $5 to recycle, or $7 as is. Details are at recycleyourcarseat.org.

Andrew CherinShould you replace your child’s car seat following a car accident?
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Uber and Lyft Required to Have PIP

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What if you are in an Uber or Lyft car that is hit by another car? Many people have wondered who is going to pay for their car accident injuries immediately following the car accident. Can you go to the emergency room and not have to pay out of pocket? Can you go see a chiropractor and not pay out of pocket?

Who is going to pay for your medical bills right now? The defendant’s insurance, if you are hit by another car while riding in a Lyft or Uber, will not pay for your medical bills immediately. This is because they will only make one settlement payment to you that will encompass compensation in full for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, among others. In order to maximize your recovery, you should wait until you no longer require any further medical treatment to settle your case with the defendant’s car insurance. They will not pay your right away for medical bills so don’t expect them to, even though they will in the end (there is an exception if you are a passenger of an at fault vehicle, a pedestrian, or a bicyclist hit by a car).

What to do to pay for your medical bills after a Lyft or Uber accident? Contact Uber or Lyft and get your claim number and PIP application from them. Washington State now requires Uber and Lyft to carry PIP insurance for their passengers.

Senate Bill 5550 in 2015 was passed and now amends the law on required automobile insurance to apply to ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft. Now Uber and Lyft must provide at a minimum $10,000 in PIP benefits to their passengers if there is a car accident involving their drivers no matter if it was their driver’s fault or not.

If you have been injured in a car accident while riding in an Uber or a Lyft car, you are entitled to PIP from Uber or Lyft today! Don’t let them fool you into thinking they are not required to cover your medical bills and the other driver at fault is required to pay for your medical bills. If you have been injured in a Seattle Uber or Lyft car accident, contact me today for a free consultation. 

Andrew CherinUber and Lyft Required to Have PIP
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Do you have to yield to buses signaling they are merging in Seattle?

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Everyone has seen a bus signaling that they are re-entering traffic but what are the rules? Do they have special rights that other cars do not because they are a bus? Some bus drivers will force their way into traffic making close calls with drivers making it seem like they believe they have the right of way over cars behind them. Do they?
Actually, buses do have more rights than other cars. When a bus signals it is re-entering the flow of traffic from a stop, the drivers behind the bus going the same direction must yield to the bus re-entering traffic. This does not mean that a bus has the right of way to move over into your lane of travel and move wherever they want. This code applies to re-entering the flow of traffic not moving around the flow of traffic.
Why give buses the right of way? The law was written to allow buses to move around faster. It is hard for a bus to stop and then re-enter traffic if traffic is congested and no one is letting them merge back in. Buses are large and carry a large amount of people so they may not be able to see every car around them. Also, they are seen as 20-40 people on the bus that would represent 20-40 cars had they not taken the bus so that saves travel time for others in cars and alleve traffic congestion.
Who is at fault if a bus merges quickly with no warning or time for other drivers to yield? Buses may not force themselves into traffic if another car could not avoid them. The bus would be at fault for merging into a car if the car could not have yielded to the bus. This could be the case where a bus signals and merges at the same time without giving time for others to recognize the bus is signaling and causes a car accident. The bus driver and city of Seattle would be liable for any resulting injuries due to the bus driver’s negligence.
What is the penalty for failing to let a bus in? Seattle traffic tickets are issued at $124 for drivers who fail to yield the right of way to a bus re-entering the flow of traffic from a stop. Additionally, the driver of the car would be at fault if they caused a car accident if they failed to yield the right of way to a bus re-entering traffic. However, the bus may be seen at fault if the bus driver did not give enough warning to the driver, causing the car accident injury case.
The Law:

A. The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a transit vehicle traveling in the same direction that has signalled and is re-entering the traffic flow.

B. This section shall not operate to relieve the driver of a transit vehicle from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons using the street or alley.

C. For purposes of this section, “transit vehicle” means a motor vehicle, street car, train, or trolley which is owned or operated by a city, county, county transportation authority, a public benefit area, or the state, and which is used to carry passengers on a regular schedule. (RCW 46.04.355; 69.50.435(5), (6)).

Andrew CherinDo you have to yield to buses signaling they are merging in Seattle?
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Does your insurance cover a driver not named on the policy?

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Here is a common question that many people have asked me: Does your insurance cover a driver not named on the policy? For example, if you let your brother drive your car because you are tired or he needs to run to the store for you, will your insurance cover him if he causes a car accident?

Generally, yes. Your insurance will cover a car accident caused by someone who drove your car by your permission. This means that if your sister drives your car to the store to get you bread, your brother drives your car because you loan it to him for the night to go to a concert, or your teenage son drives your car, your insurance will cover all of these situations in the case of a car accident.

What if your teenage son doesn’t have his license yet and wasn’t supposed to be driving your car? Your insurance most likely will step in and cover the car accident that your son caused even though they were not named on the insurance policy nor had a license to drive. The reason is that most insurance policies follow the car and to direct family members under the owner that are minors. Permission is assumed in these cases.

What if someone steals your car? If someone takes your car without your permission, even if they are related to you, your insurance will not cover them. Generally, insurance policies are written to cover anyone who drives your car with permission. It is somewhat unclear if your insurance will cover a relative if they take your car without your knowledge unless you would generally allow them to take your car but people that steal your car are not covered. This means that if a thief steals your car and hits someone else, you and your insurance are not responsible for the car accident that they caused.

Who covers the damage to your car if your car is stolen by a thief? If your car is stolen and they get in a wreck, they are responsible for the damages. If they have no insurance, you will have to hope that you have collision coverage or comprehensive coverage to cover you if your car is stolen to cover the repairs in a car accident.

If you know of anyone who has been injured in a car accident in Seattle, contact a Seattle personal injury lawyer like Andrew Cherin today. Consultations are free and clients pay out of the settlement. Therefore, everyone can afford a lawyer but you can’t afford not to hire one.

 

Andrew CherinDoes your insurance cover a driver not named on the policy?
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Do you have to stop at private parking lot stop signs?

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Have you ever wondered if those stop signs in Westwood Village in West Seattle or the mall at Northgate or Bellevue are enforceable? What would happen if you drove right through one? Well, those stops signs within the mall grounds are not technically enforceable. That means that a police officer cannot stop you and give you a ticket for running a stop sign.

What if you run a stop sign and cause a car accident in a mall or private parking lot? If you get into an accident by running a stop sign in a mall, it is grounds for liability. This means if you ran a stop sign in the mall, another person would reasonably believe that you were going to stop. If they had the right of way, you are at fault for running the stop sign.

What if you are driving fast on the private parking lot? Police officers may stop and ticket a driver if there is suspicion of DUI, the vehicle is being driven recklessly, or other criminal acts are being committed law. Traffic tickets in general are not enforced but these acts are.

What if you run the stop sign leaving the mall? While the stop sign may not be enforceable, RCW 46.61.365 states that you shall stop prior to driving onto the sidewalk area leaving the private road and yield the right of way to other vehicles. This would be a traffic offense at this point.

RCW 46.61.365

The driver of a vehicle within a business or residence district emerging from an alley, driveway or building shall stop such vehicle immediately prior to driving onto a sidewalk or onto the sidewalk area extending across any alleyway or driveway, and shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian as may be necessary to avoid collision, and upon entering the roadway shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles approaching on said roadway.
Andrew CherinDo you have to stop at private parking lot stop signs?
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Failure to Signal is Asking for a Car Accident?

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I have a pet peeve, people that don’t signal. It is so frustrating to be driving in my lane when all of a sudden someone changes into the lane in front of me without signaling or while sitting behind someone at a stop light, they decide they are turning while I want to go straight leaving me waiting for them to turn when I would have been in the other lane had I known they were going to turn.

Failure to signal is a big danger to those around you and yourself. When someone fails to signal, they are basically saying F*** you to everyone around them and that you don’t matter. People who do not signal are endangering themselves and those around them by not allowing others to know what you are about to do. If you are going through an intersection and then all of a sudden slam on your brakes to make a turn without signaling, you are increasing the chances that someone behind you is going to slam into your back and cause a car accident.

People are not mind readers. When someone doesn’t signal, those around them only can assume one thing: you are going to continue straight and within your lane. Any deviation from your lane without signaling is against the law and can make you at fault for a rear end car accident if someone hits you.

Did you know that almost 10% of car accidents across the country are caused by failure to signal or lane changing accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that approximately 533,000, or 9% of all motor vehicle accidents, are lane changing and merging accidents. Additionally, 200 of these accidents result in fatalities.

The most common causes of merging or lane changing car accidents are:

  • Improper look out
  • Distracted driving including cell phone use, eating, and reading
  • Driver fatigue
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Driving drowsy
  • Low visibility due to weather including fog, rain, heavy rain and snow

How far in front of your turn must you signal? You must signal 100 feet at a minimum before your turn. The reason behind giving a signal is to let other know your intention so that they can make proper steps to slow down or move into another lane. It is to protect you and others. 100 feet traveled in a car

What’s the fine? $124 fine.

RCW 46.61.305

(1) No person shall turn a vehicle or move right or left upon a roadway unless and until such movement can be made with reasonable safety nor without giving an appropriate signal in the manner hereinafter provided.
(2) A signal of intention to turn or move right or left when required shall be given continuously during not less than the last one hundred feet traveled by the vehicle before turning.
(3) No person shall stop or suddenly decrease the speed of a vehicle without first giving an appropriate signal in the manner provided herein to the driver of any vehicle immediately to the rear when there is opportunity to give such signal.
(4) The signals provided for in RCW 46.61.310 subsection (2), shall not be flashed on one side only on a disabled vehicle, flashed as a courtesy or “do pass” signal to operators of other vehicles approaching from the rear, nor be flashed on one side only of a parked vehicle except as may be necessary for compliance with this section.
(Emphasis added)
If you have been injured in a Seattle car accident, give Andrew Cherin, attorney at law a call today for a free consultation. Seattle personal injury lawyers give free consultations. Seattle personal injury lawyers are paid out of the settlement so everyone can afford to hire one but you cannot afford not to.
Andrew CherinFailure to Signal is Asking for a Car Accident?
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Does your car insurance apply to your rental car?

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Have you ever wondered if you really need to get the insurance coverage the rental car sales person is pushing on you for your vacation? Of course you have. The rental person says it only costs this amount per day as well and is really convincing that this will save you the hassle just in case you are in a car accident. However, you have heard that your car insurance might cover your rental car.

Does your car insurance cover your rental car?

Generally, yes, your car insurance policy will step in and cover the rental car you are driving. Your collision coverage will cover you if you run into something, your liability coverage will cover you if you damage someone else’s car, and your comprehensive coverage will cover any other damage caused by a rock, thievery, etc. In addition, your personal injury protection coverage will step in to pay for your medical costs and your uninsured or under insured motorist coverage will protect you in case the person that hit you doesn’t have insurance or only has a minimum policy limits coverage.

Reasons to buy the rental car coverage? Therefore, why would you want to buy the rental car coverage that this rental car salesman is trying to sell you? You really wouldn’t want to buy this coverage because it is duplicate coverage. If you don’t have insurance, your insurance has specific language preventing short term usage cars like a rental, or you want extra coverage because you don’t have comprehensive coverage or collision coverage on your insurance. These are some of the reasons you may want to buy the rental car insurance, which is generally for people that don’t have their own insurance to cover everything.

Next time you are on vacation, you may be able to saver $100’s because of not purchasing duplicate coverage if you choose not to buy the rental car insurance. Make sure you check your policy to see if your insurance coverage covers short term usage vehicles and doesn’t preclude your insurance following you to this car.

If you are injured by someone in a car accident and they were driving a rental car, their own insurance coverage will stand in and cover the car accident in most cases. If they said they didn’t buy the extra insurance, you can tell them their own insurance will cover their car accident. Call today for a free consultation if you need a Seattle personal injury lawyer.

Andrew CherinDoes your car insurance apply to your rental car?
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