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Stigmatism around suing ill founded?

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When people are injured in car accidents, they ask themselves should they “sue” the person that caused the car accident. When people think “suing” someone, they think going to trial. When people think going to trial, they think having to testify. When they think about testifying, they think, “will people actually believe me or think of me as greedy.”

Why do people believe that if a car accident injury case for personal injury damages goes to trial the person who filed the lawsuit was not really hurt?

Why has America gotten this crazy idea that everyone who makes a case against the insurance company or hires a lawyer has to file a lawsuit to get a settlement and associates this with “suing” someone? This line of thinking is propagated throughout American culture where people don’t want to be that person that “sues” someone over a car accident injury. They don’t want to be thought of in the same clout the McDonald’s coffee case – which has been extremely unfairly characterized by the media and modern society.

Who controls most of the television airwaves with billions of dollars spent on commercials every year? The insurance companies.

Who benefits from this line of thinking where people don’t want to use their insurance to pay for a car accident – even though everyone in the US who drives a car pays $1,000’s of dollars each year on for this very situation – because they believe their insurance rates will go up if they make a claim? Who benefits from someone not making a claim against the other person’s insurance company because they don’t want to cause problems for that person or be looked at as greedy? The insurance company is the answer.

We need to change this line of thinking if we are ever going to truly compensate everyone who deserves to be compensated for devastating injuries to those who have suffered minor injuries. Everyone needs to be compensated for something they have suffered even if it is only worth compensating them $1,000 plus paying for their chiropractic or physical therapy treatment to stop their constant neck or back pain while driving or working. Doesn’t everyone deserve a good night’s sleep or the ability to function without pain like they did before the car accident injuries?

Who actually pays when you sue someone?

The insurance company is the one that hires the lawyers to defend the person that caused the car accident injuries. The insurance company is the one who will pay if there is an award at trial by the judge or jury to compensate the person injury in the car accident. The insurance company is the one who pays if you settle a case. There is almost no chance the person that causes a car accident will have to pay out of pocket because everyone has insurance and is required to have insurance. Everyone thinks why would you do that to this person or that person when a lawsuit is filed against someone but is COMPLETELY ILL FOUNDED. The insurance company is the one who is going to write the check and the other person may have to pay $100 more a year. Would you save someone $100 and the insurance company $100,000 because someone says you shouldn’t sue the person that caused the car accident or go after their insurance?

Everyone can afford to hire a lawyer but you cannot afford not to hire one – most cases don’t go to trial.

Hiring a Seattle personal injury lawyer to represent you for a car accident injury case does not mean that we are going to have to “sue” someone. To the contrary, most cases are settled with insurance companies outside of court for fair compensation without having to file a lawsuit/sue someone. Most people do not know this because of society’s view on hiring a lawyer and associating that with filing a lawsuit every time. Everyone needs a lawyer for their personal injury car accident case to negotiate a fair settlement but not everyone hires one because of this stigmatism.

Andrew CherinStigmatism around suing ill founded?
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Top 5 Tips to Negotiate Your Car Accident Injury Case

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If you are injured in a car accident, I highly recommend hiring a Seattle personal injury lawyer to represent you for your car accident injury case. If you decide to try to negotiate the car accident injury case on your own with a trained negotiator like the insurance adjuster on the other side, which I highly discourage, here are 5 tips to negotiate your case.

1. Wait until you are fully healed to start negotiating your settlement

Too many people get notices from insurance companies in the mail at the outset of their case and throughout their case saying they need to take this offer now or lose the offer. This is an insurance trick to try to get you to settle early before all your injuries are healed leaving you with more time at the chiropractor with more bills that need to be paid from your settlement, or leaving you in pain with no treatment. Ignore the insurance company until you are healed and given the ok to stop treatment by your doctor, chiropractor, or physical therapist.

Once you are healed, you have an idea of what your medical bills are, how long it took you to heal, what your injuries were, and how much you lost because you missed work due to your injuries or had to use vacation or sick pay (which are compensable).

2. Calculate all your expenses and include copies of them all to the insurance

You are entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, future lost wages, lost earning capacity, future medical treatment, and pain and suffering. Collect all your medical bills from all of your providers and add them all up. Collect all your pay stubs and notes from doctors and employers showing days missed and excused work. If you have suffered a permanent partial disability as a result of the car accident, take your current salary and discount it by your disability and multiply that by your expected working life, which give you your lost earning capacity or future lost wages. Include all of these bills in your negotiation with the insurance company.

3. Get all your medical bills paid by your medical insurance or your auto insurance

If you get your medical bills paid up front, sometimes you can negotiate with insurance companies how much they are owed back from the settlement. Most importantly, however, is that you will be able to get the treatment that you need for your car accident injuries. If you are unlucky to not have these great insurance plans to pay for your treatment, you may not be able to afford the treatment out of pocket, which you will not be able to pay for until after you have settled the case giving a lot more weight to the insurance company adjuster’s pressure for you to settle now to pay for your medical bills. They will not pay for your medical bills until you settle with them, unless your are a passenger, pedestrian, or bicyclists who qualify for PIP from the defendant’s insurance company separate from the settlement.

4. Collect all your medical records and get a letter from your doctor linking injury to car accident

When you are negotiating with the insurance company’s adjuster, you need to come prepared with medical jargon knowledge. You need to know what your injuries were and what the treatment for them consisted of. If you don’t know the language and what injuries are severe and what are minor, you will not have any leverage on the insurance company. They have all the money but you have some power if you know what your case is actually worth and what your injuries suffered are.

5. Search on line for your case value and start off negotiations much higher than where you want to end up

Every case is different so there is no bright line rule on how much your case is worth. You will find some people getting different values for same injuries because of a number of factors that no two people truly share. Two cases with the same injuries can be worth far different amounts because of how much treatment each person actually does, the cost of their treatment, the duration of their treatment and pain, and the amount of lost wages each has. If two people have identical treatment and injuries but one person makes $100 an hour and the other makes $10 an hour and they both missed 10 hours of work, the first person gets an additional $1,000 while the second person only gets $100, a difference of $900.

Because there are so many factors that go into determining how much a case is worth and how much more knowledge insurance adjuster’s have of case worth and pressure they put on you to settle from the outset, I highly recommend you hire a Seattle personal injury lawyer for your car accident injury case. Consultations are free and we are paid out of the settlement so everyone can afford to hire one but you cannot afford to not hire one as a result of what you could be missing out on.

Andrew CherinTop 5 Tips to Negotiate Your Car Accident Injury Case
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Is your truck restricted from the HOV lane and the far left lane? Can Semi Trucks Drive in the Left Lane?

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Semi trucks and large trucks can cause devastating car accidents with severe injuries to any cars that come in contact with them. For this reason, we would like most semi trucks and large trucks to refrain from driving in the far left lane, the fast lane, and driving fast. But what does the law say about these trucks driving in the fast lane and the HOV lane?

Have you ever wondered what lane a semi truck can drive in? It seems like it should be illegal for semi trucks, trucks hauling trailers, and box trucks for delivery to be driving in the far left hand lane or the HOV lane doesn’t it? Apparently in most parts of the state, semi trucks and trucks over 10,000 pounds are not allowed in the far left lane on three lane roads in each direction except for a few exceptions.

The exceptions are fairly large, however, which covers Highway 2 and Interstate 5 interchange in Everett all the way down to I-5 near South Center in Tukwila, WA. However, southbound I-5 has an exception that allows trucks to drive in the left hand lane all the way down toto exit 151 and then again from exit 135 to I-5 exit 130 near the Tacoma Mall in Tacoma, WA so long as the left lane is used to facilitate passing slow traffic. There are other areas in Washington that allow for semi trucks and other trucks that weigh over 10,000 pounds to drive in the far left lane including I-90 eastbound and westbound in the Seattle area, areas around Vancouver, WA, and areas around Tri-Cities. The full code is below in WAC468-510-020.

This means that the box truck or semi truck that is driving next to you in Seattle can probably drive in this lane. Not a lot of semi trucks actually use this small exception because for all intended purposes it is generally forbidden in all areas of the state and other states. This also means that if your truck weighs over 10,000 pounds, it too cannot drive in the far left lane of a road with three lanes going in each direction except for in the areas outlined in the code.

Semi trucks are not allowed in HOV lanes. HOV lanes restrict cars or trucks that weigh over 10,000 pounds no matter the number of passengers unless it is a bus with 16 or more capacity or municipal transport vehicle. This means that if your truck is over 10,000 pounds, you cannot drive in the HOV lane unless you are considered a recreational vehicle.

Can you drive your 10,000 pound truck in the far left lane or the HOV lane? Many trucks weigh over 10,000 pounds but you may not even think about it. However, there is an exception to the 10,000 pound limit so long as it is a recreational truck. A recreational vehicle is defined as a vehicle used exclusively for noncommercial purposes which are designed for recreational, camping, or travel use; towing a horse trailer; or rental truck with no more than two axels used strictly and exclusively to transport personal possession. Most personal usage trucks would qualify under this exception.

This means that commercial trucks cannot drive in the HOV lane but may be able to drive in the far left lane under certain circumstances and places. However, this also means that if your truck weighs over 10,000 pounds, it too cannot drive in the far left lane of a road with three lanes going in each direction except for in the areas outlined in the code but you may drive in the HOV lane in all areas? Weird. This is because the 10,000 pound limit does not have the recreational vehicle exception in the code for far left lane usage but does in the HOV lane law.

 


WAC 468-510-020

Left lane restrictions.

(1) RCW 46.61.100(3) mandates that no vehicle towing a trailer or no vehicle or combination over 10,000 lb. may use the left lane of limited access roadways having three or more lanes in one direction, and that a high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane is not considered the left hand lane of a roadway. Within this section, 10,000 lb. means 10,000 lb. gross vehicle weight (G.V.W.).
(2) RCW 46.61.100(3) further mandates that the department, in consultation with the Washington state patrol, shall adopt rules specifying those circumstances where it is permissible for other vehicles to use the left lane in case of emergency or to facilitate the orderly flow of traffic, and those segments of limited access highways exempt from the subsection due to the operational characteristics of the roadway.
(a) For the types of vehicles specified, and under the circumstances enumerated in (a)(i) through (vii) of this subsection, the left lane prohibition described in subsection (1) of this section does not apply to:
(i) Motorcycles towing trailers.
(ii) Class B motor homes, commonly called conversion vans, without a motor vehicle or trailer in tow.
(iii) Tow trucks weighing over 10,000 lb. G.V.W. when en route to an emergency on a specific roadway or roadside.
(iv) Fire trucks or emergency care vehicles weighing over 10,000 lb. G.V.W. when en route to an emergency.
(v) Any vehicle towing a trailer or vehicle or combination weighing over 10,000 lb. G.V.W. when one or more of the lanes are blocked because of an accident, other incident, or highway maintenance or construction activities.
(vi) Any vehicle authorized to use a HOV lane that would otherwise be prohibited from the left lane within two miles approaching the beginning of a HOV lane or following the terminus of a HOV lane.
(vii) Any department of transportation vehicle towing a trailer or weighing over 10,000 lb. G.V.W. when conducting official business within the left lane.
(b) On the roadway portions enumerated in (b)(i) through (viii) of this subsection, the left lane prohibition described in subsection (1) of this section does not apply:
(i) On northbound and southbound Interstate 5 in the Vancouver vicinity, from the Washington/Oregon state line to exit 3 at Main Street.
(ii) On northbound Interstate 5 in the Vancouver vicinity, from the confluence of Interstate 205 to exit 9 at 179th Street.
(iii) On southbound Interstate 5 in the Vancouver vicinity, from exit 9 at 179th Street to exit 7 at Interstate 205.
(iv) On northbound Interstate 5 in the Seattle/Everett vicinity, from exit 154A at I-405 to exit 194 at SR 529.
(v) On southbound Interstate 5 in the Seattle/Everett vicinity, from exit 189 at SR 526 to exit 154A at I-405.
(vi) On eastbound and westbound Interstate 90 in the Seattle vicinity, from exit 2A and 2B respectively at Interstate 5 to exit 10A at Interstate 405.
(vii) On eastbound and westbound Interstate 182 in the Tri-cities vicinity, from exit 4 to exit 12A.
(viii) On northbound and southbound Interstate 205 in the Vancouver vicinity, from the Washington/Oregon state line to the termini of the three lane sections about one-half mile south of exit 32.
(c) On the roadway portions enumerated in (c)(i) and (ii) of this subsection, the left lane prohibition described in subsection (1) of this section does not apply to any vehicle, except trucks over 10,000 lb. G.V.W., when using the left lane for passing to facilitate the orderly flow of traffic:
(i) On southbound Interstate 5 in the Southcenter vicinity, from exit 154A at I-405 to exit 151 at South 200th Street.
(ii) On southbound Interstate 5 in the Tacoma vicinity, from exit 135 at SR 167 to exit 130 at South 56th Street.

WAC 468-510-010

High occupancy vehicles (HOVs).

Pursuant to RCW 46.61.165 and 47.52.025, the department has reserved portions of interstate highways, state highways, and ramps, as HOV lanes for the exclusive use of public transportation vehicles or private motor vehicles with the number of occupants specified on signs. Motor vehicles authorized to use HOV lanes are:
(1) Rubber tired municipal transit vehicles conforming to RCW 46.04.355.
(2) Buses with a carrying capacity of sixteen or more persons, including the operator.
(3) Motorcycles conforming to RCW 46.04.330.
(4) Recreational vehicles with the number of occupants specified on signs.
(5) Official marked law enforcement and fire department vehicles equipped with emergency lights and siren, operated by an on-duty state patrol, local, or county law enforcement personnel, or on-duty local, county, or special district fire department personnel.
(6) All other vehicles with the number of occupants specified on signs, except that trucks in excess of 10,000 lb. G.V.W. are prohibited from the use of HOV lanes regardless of the number of occupants. Tow trucks that would be otherwise prohibited because of weight or number of occupants may use HOV lanes when en route to an emergency on a specific roadway or roadside.

WAC 308-100-210

Recreational vehicle—Definition.

For the purposes of RCW 46.25.050 (1)(c), the term “recreational vehicle” shall include vehicles used exclusively for noncommercial purposes which are:
(1) Primarily designed for recreational, camping, or travel use;
(2) Towing a horse trailer; or
(3) Rental trucks having no more than two axles (one steering and one drive axle) used strictly and exclusively to transport personal possessions.
Andrew CherinIs your truck restricted from the HOV lane and the far left lane? Can Semi Trucks Drive in the Left Lane?
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Left lane for passing only law crackdown

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We have all seen all over the news recently about Seattle and Washington State’s crackdown of left lane drivers/campers by Washington State Patrol. The Washington State Patrol will be doing a focused effort June 20-22 to crack down on left lane campers. We all like that police are cracking down on drivers in the left lane driving too slow, but what does the law actually say?

Many news media are reporting that the left lane is only to be driven in when passing someone or for emergency lane use only. Is this right, or is it to only stop people that are driving slow in the left lane and what is slow? Does slow mean driving under the speed limit? Is the left lane only for people driving over the speed limit then? Let’s examine the law to figure out what it actually says and means.

The Washington State Patrol released a statement that has been interpreted by news media far differently but here is what it actually says:

RCW 46.61.100 requires all vehicles to keep right except when passing on multiple lane roadways. Left lane “campers” are drivers who remain in the passing lane (left lane) for long periods of time without passing.

The WSP targets left lane violators to educate them on the consequences of “camping” in the left lane. Left lane camping can lead to road rage, aggressive driving, traffic congestion, and collisions. If you’re caught camping in the left lane it could result in a $136 ticket.

RCW 46.61.100 – Keep Right Except When Passing, etc.
(2) Upon all roadways having two or more lanes for traffic moving in the same direction, all vehicles shall be driven in the right-hand lane then available for traffic, except (a) when overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction, (b) when traveling at a speed greater than the traffic flow, (c) when moving left to allow traffic to merge, or (d) when preparing for a left turn at an intersection, exit, or into a private road or driveway when such left turn is legally permitted. On any such roadway, a vehicle or combination over ten thousand pounds shall be driven only in the right-hand lane except under the conditions enumerated in (a) through (d) of this subsection.
(4) It is a traffic infraction to drive continuously in the left lane of a multilane roadway when it impedes the flow of other traffic.

What does it mean? These are the two relevant passages of the law that figure into when someone can drive in the left hand lane and when they must not drive in the left lane. Basically, the law is saying that you must drive in the right hand lane when it is open. Does this mean the far right lane or does this include the center lane?

If this is taken from the context of what is written it appears to be saying on a three lane road that all traffic is to drive in the far right lane. Then if someone is driving faster than a person in the far lane, they may drive in the center lane. If someone is driving faster than traffic in the center lane, they may drive in the far left lane. However, once each person has overtaken the other driver, they must move to the right lane again unless someone is driving slower than them in this lane.

When do people get in trouble then by the police? RCW 46.61.100(4), however, states that it is only a traffic infraction when someone is driving in the left lane when it impedes traffic behind them. Therefore, you can only get a ticket when you are blocking people behind you, it appears. Therefore, you can drive in the left lane or center lane when you are driving faster than the car on your right but you may get a ticket if there is someone behind you that wants to drive faster than you in the far left lane. You need to move over if someone is driving faster than you no matter if they are going over the speed limit.

Tricky Scenario? Basically the police have a decision to make at this point, do they want to target the speeder who is going over the speed limit in the far left lane or do they want to go after the person driving the speed limit who is technically passing someone in the middle lane who is going slower than them? The speeder could technically be right on the person in the far left lanes butt and then continue to go far over the speed limit but the police officer could pull over the person who is driving the speed limit and passing someone on the right because the law says they are impeding the flow of traffic behind them.

The left lane is the lane that people drive the fastest in and is the lane of traffic in which the most severe car accident happen in. This is because speed is the biggest contributor to determining how severe a car accident will be. However, most car accidents occur in the far right lane but those are less severe and are generally due to merging traffic going on and off the freeway. Seattle personal injury lawyers have seen these car accident scenarios far too often.

If you have been injured in a Seattle or Washington State car accident, please contact me ASAP before you lose your rights or give away your case for far less than you deserve.

 

Andrew CherinLeft lane for passing only law crackdown
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Does your car insurance follow you or the car?

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I have run into this question a number of times and no one knows the answer. Would you find it interesting to know that this answer really depends on the language of your contract with your insurance company? I didn’t think so. However, this is exactly how it is. I can tell you generally that insurance can follow your car and you. Here are a couple examples to show the situations where your car insurance can benefit you from a couple case examples I have come across as a Seattle personal injury lawyer for car accident victims.

Will my insurance cover me if I am hit by another car while I am a pedestrian or riding my bike to pay for my medical bills up front?

Yes, in fact your car insurance personal injury protection coverage will cover your medical bills if you are struck by another car. However, did you know if they have PIP insurance as well, you will get whatever coverage plan they have in addition to your car insurance. Their insurance PIP plan will actually be primary if you are a pedestrian or bicyclist. Most people don’t know that the defendant’s insurance will not cover your medical bills until you settle your case leaving you with either no treatment or large collection bills that negatively affect your credit.

Will my insurance cover my son if he drives my car but he is not named on the policy?

Yes, in fact your car insurance will generally cover anyone that drives your car with your permission and anyone inside your car. They will have the benefit of both your liability insurance as well as your PIP insurance to cover your medical bills.

Will my insurance cover me if I am a passenger in another person’s car?

Yes, your PIP insurance would be secondary to the driver or owner of the car.

Will my insurance cover me if I am driving another person’s car?

Generally, your insurance is for your car but there are some situations where your insurance could cover you in the car you are driving. This is why people generally use their own insurance when they use a rental car. It covers not only your car but also rental cars as well in certain circumstances. This is because it is meant to be a temporary vehicle.

Will my insurance cover a car that I just bought but haven’t registered with my insurance?

Generally, your insurance will only cover that new car for a short duration before you need to apply for coverage on it or add it to an existing plan. It will cover your new car even if it is a used car. Each policy is different but generally I believe it is about one month’s time. You should always add your new car immediately though.

It is really nice to know that your car insurance can actually be used in a number of situations where most people would not really think of their insurance coming into play and protecting them. If you have been injured in a car accident, you need a Seattle personal injury lawyer to represent you right now before you lose your rights. Contact me today for a free consultation.

 

Andrew CherinDoes your car insurance follow you or the car?
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Can the owner of a car be held responsible for another driver of the car?

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People often wonder whose insurance covers a car accident where someone other than the owner of the car is driving the vehicle. The answer is that there are multiple insurance companies that could be responsible for the car accident depending on a number of factors.

If someone drivers your car and gets into a car accident, the victim of the car accident can possibly go after your car insurance if the driver of your car was a permissive driver. This means that the driver had permission to drive your car when they got in an accident. Permissive drivers can be assumed where the driver of the car was a family member in some situations. Common situations where it could be assumed is a child that is under 18 years old and lives with you or your spouse.

Your insurance will not have to cover the car accident injury of the other person if the person you gave permission to drive your car has their own car insurance. Since the other person caused the car accident, their insurance will be primary and your insurance would be secondary on the car accident, in general.

If the driver did not have your permission to drive your car, the person injured in the car accident probably cannot go after you for your insurance. These situations usually come into play where your car was stolen. Stealing of a car can be a situation where you did not give permission for the driver to drive your car.

The person that is injured in the car accident will also have their own car insurance that will cover injuries they sustain should there not be any insurance coverage on the car at the time of the collision.

If there was a passenger injured in the car accident, they can get coverage from their own insurance as well as the driver of the car they were in. Additionally, pedestrians have similar rights and options if they were hit by a car while crossing the street or somewhere else.

These situations may vary where your car accident injury insurance dictates other language. You should look at your policy to determine what your insurance coverage states you may be responsible for. If you are injured in a car accident, you need a Seattle personal injury lawyer to represent you in your case. If you have been in a car accident, call me immediately so you don’t lose your right to be compensated for your injuries sustained in the car accident.

 

Andrew CherinCan the owner of a car be held responsible for another driver of the car?
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What is the safest lane to drive in?

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There are statistics for just about everything you can think of so I looked into what is the statistically safest lane to drive in based on number of car accidents and severity of car accidents. As a Seattle personal injury lawyer, I thought this knowledge would be useful to anyone that is driving to figure out how to avoid car accidents, as much as possible.

The study I found came from statistics from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration. The safest lane to drive in based on number of car accidents is the far left lane, the fast lane.

The lane with the most accidents was the far right lane with 40% of the car accidents, second was the middle with about 38%, and third was the far left lane with 22% of car accidents. Driving in the far left lane you were nearly twice as unlikely to be in a car accident versus the far right lane.

The reasoning behind the statistics is that the far right lane has merging traffic, both people trying to exit the Freeway and enter the Freeway. Additionally, many semi trucks drive in the far right lane that can block view of aggressive drivers and take up a lot of space leaving less room for merging traffic.

However, the statistics also showed that people were much more likely to be involved in serious collisions in the far left lane than any other lane of traffic. The reasoning behind this is that in general traffic in the far left lane travels at a much higher speed than other lanes. High speed is attributable to greater injury cases versus lower speeds.

The general consensus based on this information is that there is generally no safe lane to drive in. In an essence you are left to pick your poison – do you want to drive in a lane that you are much more likely to be involved in a car accident or would you rather drive in a lane you are much more likely to be severely injured in?

Defensive driving is one of the best ways to prevent a car accident. Here are a few driving tips:

  1. Don’t drive late at night on the weekends if you can avoid it – there are lots of drunk drivers on the road at this time.
  2. Drive at a slow and safe speed – at the speed limit or just below.
  3. Pay attention to drivers around you – if they are swerving, driving fast, or driving erratic, stay away from them as much as possible and do not engage with them.
  4. Pay attention to the road and your mirrors as much as possible – don’t get distracted by mobile devices or loud passengers, just focus on the road.
  5. Don’t change lanes a lot to get ahead of traffic – many drivers swerve in and out of lane in order to be first in line or get to places faster but merging lanes cause more car accidents by not seeing other cars.
Andrew CherinWhat is the safest lane to drive in?
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Now Entering The Most Dangerous 100 Days for Driving

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Contrary to popular belief and thought, Summer is actually the time when most people get into car accidents. In the summer time there are far more drivers on the road driving away for the weekend to lakes, mountains, and rivers to get away from the heat. In Seattle, many people drive east of the mountains in search of warmer weather, hiking, fishing, and camping.

Many people would think that winter is where most of the most dangerous car accidents occur because of the treacherous weather. However, summer months create more drivers on the road, more people drinking and driving, and faster speeds on the road due to clear conditions and people in a hurry to get out of traffic jams or across the mountains.

CNN wrote a news article about the 100 most dangerous days of driving for teen drivers. Their study found that in the years 2010 through 2014, over 5,000 people died in crashes involving teen drivers in the 100-day period following Memorial Day.

The article goes on to say that there are a number of reasons that teenagers are getting into more accidents during the summer months that include more passengers in their car and driving on roads that are unfamiliar to them.

Driving with other passengers increases during the summer months as teens often like to ride with friends to the lake, malls, or other locations in order to have fun during the massive amount of free time they now have on their hands with school out for the summer. Driving with passengers can be distracting for new drivers that aren’t familiar with all the street signs and aggressive driving of more experienced drivers. Teenagers in a car together can be loud or want loud music, cause distracting behaviors by telling the driver to look at their phone, and more.

Driving on unfamiliar roads increases in the summer months where teenagers were once used to driving to and from school and now are driving to the lake, mall, over the mountains, or to neighboring cities that they normally don’t travel to during the school months. Driving on unfamiliar roads can be a hazard to some teenagers that are impulsive fast drivers that want to get somewhere fast but don’t know about sharp turns or blind corners causing increase risks of car accidents.

Make sure your teenage drivers are driving responsibly and taking extra precautions to know the roads they are driving on and to keep passengers calm without getting distracted on the roads. Summer months are about having fun and hopefully not dealing with tragic car accident injury cases. If you are injured by a teenager driver in a car accident, give me a call for a free consultation on your personal injury case.

Andrew CherinNow Entering The Most Dangerous 100 Days for Driving
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Washington State Cell Phone Law Update

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I have talked about this before and finally the Washington State legislature has finally done something about it. Starting July 23, 2017, it will be illegal to use any handheld device except for a couple narrow situations. Distracted driving is increasingly becoming the leading cause of death from car accidents around the United States. Lax driving laws and enforcement has been one of the main problems for the proliferation of distracted driving and cell phone usage.

What’s the law right now and why was it not strict enough?

Right now it is already illegal to text while driving but that is narrowly limited to texting while driving and not using Facebook, searching the internet, or inputting GPS while the phone is in your hand. Also it doesn’t restrict usage while stopped at a traffic light or stop sign.

What will be banned?

The new bill forbids handheld uses, including composing or reading any kind of message, picture or data. Photography while driving is illegal. Drivers also cannot use handheld devices while at a stop sign or red-light signal.

What is still legal?

Drivers may still use a cellphone mounted in a dashboard cradle, for instance to use a navigation app, but not to watch video. The new law permits “minimal use of a finger” to activate an app or device. Built-in electronic systems, such as hands-free calling and maps, remain legal.

Calls to 911 or other emergency services are legal, as are urgent calls between transit employees and dispatchers. Amateur radio equipment and citizens-band radio, remain legal.

Handheld devices may be used if the driver has pulled off the roadway or traffic lanes, where the vehicle “can safely remain stationary.”

What are the penalties?

The first offense will carry a $136 and would nearly double to $235 on the second distracted-driving citation. A police officer can pull someone over just for using a handheld device, which is a primary offense and not secondary to speeding or another violation.

Will a ticket raise my insurance rates?

The offense is considered a moving offense that insurance companies will penalize you for.

 

What about other kinds of distraction?

Miscellaneous distractions such as grooming or eating will be a secondary offense, meaning a ticket may be issued if a law-enforcement officer pulls you over for some other offense, such as speeding or a dangerous lane change. The penalty will be an extra $30.

 

Andrew CherinWashington State Cell Phone Law Update
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How a Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer can help with reducing bills? Subrogation

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Seattle personal injury lawyers can help a personal injury car accident victim in many ways including reducing the medical bills owed back in the settlement and repaying insurance companies for medical bills they covered and are owed back, subrogation.

Subrogation is the process whereby your own insurance company has paid for your medical bills and is owed back for what they have paid in the settlement by the other insurance company. If you don’t have a Seattle personal injury lawyer your insurance company will put a lien on your case and get paid directly from the at fault insurance company out of your settlement. This takes a lot of money out of injury victim’s pockets out of the settlement recovery.

If you have a Seattle personal injury lawyer representing you, one of the biggest benefits is having them negotiate your hospital bills, medical imaging bills, medical insurance subrogation, and auto medical insurance (PIP) bills owed back to much lower. The lower these bills are, the more money you receive in your pocket out of the settlement. This can often put at least an extra $1,000 in your pocket if not much more, a great benefit.

If you have been in a Seattle car accident, call today for a free consultation 2068506716 or email andrew@lawcherin.com.

Andrew CherinHow a Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer can help with reducing bills? Subrogation
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