Blog

Uber Driverless Car Kills Pedestrian

No comments

Driverless technology is not quite here as evidenced by a fatal car accident on Sunday night. An Uber self-driving car struck and killed a pedestrian in Arizona in the first known fatality involving an autonomous vehicle. Uber temporarily pulled its self-driving cars off the roads in all four cities across the US as a result of the car accident.  The killed woman was walking her bicycle outside of a crosswalk across the street when the car hit her.

Driverless Cars Break the Law Speeding?

Car Accident Related Deaths Increase by 6% in 2016

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 94% of crashes involve human error. The number of lives lost on U.S. roads surged nearly 6% to 37,461 in 2016, according to the USDOT. It is unclear whether the increase in car accident related deaths is in relation to growing interurban communities and more traffic on the road or speed increases around the nation.

Pedestrians and Others Poise Special Risks for Driverless Cars

While robot cars are being created to follow traffic rules, interactions with humans continue to present hurdles. Pedestrians, in particular, can confuse systems because they are unpredictable. Even human drivers struggle to deal with pedestrians. About 50% of pedestrian fatalities involve people running into the road, failing to yield the right of way or otherwise crossing improperly, according to research by Duke’s Ms. Cummings. The Governors Highway Safety Association estimates nearly 6,000 pedestrians were killed in car accident in the U.S. last year, representing about 16% of all motor-vehicle deaths.

Driverless Tesla Accident in 2016

Tesla became the first auto maker to come under significant government scrutiny for a semiautonomous driving system when a man driving one of its Model S electric cars operating with the company’s Autopilot system died in a May 2016 collision with a truck on a Florida highway. In that car accident, apparently the technology could not see the

Some research suggests that the driverless technology has a hard time determining what is a car, what is not a car, and determining and adjusting for objects that suddenly dart in front of the car. The 2016 Tesla crash involved the Model S hitting a truck that was crossing the road. The company said its car’s system couldn’t see the truck’s white trailer against a bright sky. It isn’t clear if Uber’s laser sensors failed to detect the pedestrian.

Driverless Cars in Seattle

Late in 2017, Governor Inslee signed an Executive Order allowing driverless cars to be driven within the state of Washington. However, it is unclear how many driverless cars are currently driving around Seattle and Washington State as a result. Uber was doing an experiment with driverless cars in San Francisco, Phoenix, Toronto, and Pittsburgh before this car accident. While Lyft has driverless cars providing service in Boston currently.

Andrew CherinUber Driverless Car Kills Pedestrian
Read more

Seattle Decreasing Speed Limits while USA Increasing

No comments

An article in the Wall Street Journal over the weekend stated that speed limits on highways around the nation are increasing instead of decreasing. Most studies show that car accident injuries become more severe when speed is increased so a move around the country to increase speeds is contrary to popular knowledge of safety mechanisms to decrease severe car accident injuries.

Traffic Fatalities Fall But Could Be Less

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimates that there were nearly 27,000 car accident fatalities from 2000 to 2013 because of higher speed limits. In their study the IHS compared the effects of all states increase in speed limits from 1992-2013 when deciding what would have happened had speed limits stayed at federal limits of 55mph.

How Is the Speed Limit Set

Surprisingly, traditional speed limits are set within 5mph of the speed at which 85% of vehicles travel along a roadway in free-flowing traffic. This guideline is endorsed by the Federal Highway Administration but the National Transportation Safety Board recommends using crash statistics and other factors to set speed limits. Texas increased it’s speed limit 5 mph a year from 70 in 2011 to 85 three years later.

History of the Speed Limit

In 1973 the National speed limit was set at 55mph down from 65 to 75 mph in most rural areas. The decrease in speed limit the next year led to 9,100 fewer car accident related deaths the following year, according to the National Research Council. However, the National limit was repealed in 1995 due everyone’s need to go fast to save time. However, a driver going 80mph compared to someone traveling 75mph will only save two and a half minutes in a 50 mile stretch.

Higher Speed Equals Increase Likelihood of Severe Injuries

In 2015 in Seattle, 44 pedestrians, 23 bicyclists and 119 people in vehicles were killed or severely injured in car accidents. In an effort to combat car accident related deaths, Seattle has decreased speed limits around the city in order to make it safer for drivers and pedestrians alike.

Seattle Lowers Speed Limit to Combat Car Accident Deaths and Injuries

In 2016, Seattle decreased speed limits city wide by 5mph on all major intercity streets. The former 30-mph limit falls to 25 mph for downtown and connecting central-city arterials, which are generally the streets with more than two lanes, or two-lane streets divided by yellow striping.The residential speed limit of 25 mph falls to 20 mph throughout the city, including hundreds of unmarked roadways — in many cases, too narrow for drivers to safely exceed 20 anyway.

Andrew CherinSeattle Decreasing Speed Limits while USA Increasing
Read more

Seattle Rollover Car Accidents

No comments

Car crashes are one of the most common causes of injury in Seattle. However, of the most common car accidents, rollover car accidents in Seattle are some of the most deadly car accidents. Rollover car accidents are so severe because of the vulnerability of passengers inside the car and car manufacturer’s inability to create protection for people experiencing a rollover crash. Car manufacturers now how to prevent rollovers and do a good job for most cars, but they do not plan to protect people that are in a rollover because of the rarity of these type of car accidents.

Who Has a Car With Rollover Car Accidents?

The attorneys at Cherin Law Firm, PLLC, are experienced Seattle rollover car accident attorneys who know how devastating being in a rollover car accident can be. When you hire our law firm, we will open a thorough investigation into your case to determine precisely why your accident happened, the extent of damages you have suffered, and your best options for recovering your maximum settlement amount.

Passengers of Rollover Car Accidents

If you are injured in a single vehicle rollover car accident, you have a case against the driver of the car if no other car was at fault. It may seem hard to go after a loved one or friend who caused the car accident but this is why they have insurance. The insurance for the driver of the car will compensate you for your medical bills, lost wages, lost future earning potential, and pain and suffering. You should not feel bad going after someone’s insurance policy, you deserve this compensation and if they have insurance they will not have to pay out of pocket for your damages.

Rollover Car Accidents Caused by Others/Hit and Run

If the rollover car accident was caused by another driver who hit your car, you can go directly after their insurance. They are responsible for your medical bills, lost wages, lost earning potential, and pain and suffering among other damages. If it was a hit and run or the driver swerved at you, you can use your own uninsured motorist coverage to step in and cover your medical bills, lost wages, lost future earning potential, and pain and suffering.

The Deadly Nature of Rollover Car Accidents

According to SaferCar.gov, rollover car accident are dangerous and have a higher fatality rate than any other kind of car accident. Of the nearly 9.1 million passenger cars, SUVs, pickups and van crashes in 2010, only 2.1% involved a rollover. However, rollover car accidents accounted for nearly 35% of all deaths from car accidents. In 2010 alone, more than 7,600 people died in rollover crashes. The majority of them (69%) were not wearing safety belts.

Rollover car accidents are so dangers because of the possibility of being thrown out of the car or having a limb sticking outside of the car that gets crushed. It gets even higher when people are not wearing their seat belts of course. The jostling around inside the car can cause significant injury to the passengers inside the car and driver, as they can hit body parts inside the car or SUV than can cause severe injuries and brain damage.

Causes of Rollover Car Accidents

As you would assume, SUV’s and trucks are at a higher risk for a rollover collision than any other type of vehicle. Also, unsurprising is other factors involved in a rollover including vehicle speed and going around corners.  The Department of Transportation did a study to determine what factors were the biggest indicator of whether a car would be involved in a rollover car accident. They found out the the determining factors included the size of the vehicle, the type of road that a car was on, high speed or speed faster than conditions warrant, and alcohol usage was at play.

Alcohol Plays Major Roll In Rollover Accidents

People who are drinking alcohol are more likely to speed and drive erratic. Additionally, their reaction times are limited because of the alcohol usage so they may turn too late going at high speed and cause a rollover crash injuring all people involved in the collision.

 

 

Andrew CherinSeattle Rollover Car Accidents
Read more

If you hire a lawyer, does that mean court?

No comments

Hiring a Seattle personal injury lawyer to represent you for your car accident injury should not be a last resort for people. Hiring a personal injury lawyer means going to trial is common misconception that is scaring people from hiring a Seattle personal injury lawyer to represent them for their car accident injury case.

Hiring a Seattle personal injury lawyer does not mean always filing a lawsuit, however, there are situations that do require filing a lawsuit in order to get adequate and just compensation for the injuries you have suffered.

5 Benefits of Hiring a Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer

  1. Maximizing Case Value – A Seattle car accident injury lawyer will not settle your case or file a lawsuit until you are fully healed or your injuries are fully known. This helps maximize your case value by making sure you get back to 100% before you try to settle your case.
  2. Making Sure You Get The Treatment You Need – Your lawyer will help create options to pay for your medical treatment and point you in the right direction when you are lost. There are many ways to pay for medical treatment including using your Personal Injury Protection through your car insurance, medical insurance, and paying out of the settlement. Some medical providers are willing to get paid out of the settlement instead of getting paid immediately if you have a lawyer representing you, which is a huge benefit to people not wanting to pay out of pocket.
  3. Expert Negotiator – Your lawyer has negotiated hundreds or thousands of car accident injury settlements and so has the insurance adjuster on the other side. This is why you need someone that is familiar with similar injury cases like yours to level the playing field. Your lawyer is familiar with similar injuries and knows what a good settlement offer looks like.
  4. Expert Guidance – Your lawyer is familiar with injuries like yours and knows medical professionals in the field that may be able to help diagnose and treat your injuries, when your doctor isn’t helping and only prescribing medication to an injury that needs hands on treatment. Additionally, your lawyer will let you know in settlement negotiations whether the insurance company has made a good offer or if the offer is too low and filing a lawsuit might be the best option to obtain compensation that you deserve.
  5. Negotiating Lower Medical Bills –  Your lawyer can also negotiate down your medical bills that you owe your medical insurance company or your car insurance company. If you do not have a lawyer representing you do not get the discount available to people that are represented by lawyers, of 1/3 or more reduction to the repayment of personal injury protection medical bills or medical insurance bills. If you don’t have a lawyer, you will have to pay 100% of these bills back to them, this is called subrogation.
Andrew CherinIf you hire a lawyer, does that mean court?
Read more

How to determine when you need new tires

No comments

Driving in Seattle is tough with all the water on the roads and the many hills. You want to make sure you are safe on the road and avoid car accidents. One way to avoid car accidents is to make sure your car is being properly maintained and having good tires goes a long ways to keeping you safe from a car accident situation.

If you have bad tires, your car is more prone to lose traction on wet pavement when making turns and maneuvering around the road. There is nothing worse than spinning out or hydroplaning on the road and causing a car accident. This is also your fault for the car accident and injuries that you cause to someone else if your tires cause you to hydroplane or slip because there is no tread on the tires. If you are injured in a car accident that is your fault, a Seattle personal injury lawyer cannot represent you for your car accident.

Additionally, if you do not have good tires, your tires are more prone to getting punctured and becoming flat or blowing out on the road. When tires become run down and bald, they are much more prone to flats and blowouts because of the protective surface being eroded.

Kelly Bluebook states that there are three main ways to determine whether you need new tires or not – manufacturer’s recommendation or by inspection. The manufacturer of your tires has a ballpark expiration date for your tires usually somewhere between 25,000 and 50,000 miles. However, these are just estimated guesses based on how long they will warrant your tires to last for under normal wear and tear. They cannot predict for using your tires off road or on road that is very coarse that wears down your tires. There are some tires that will not last 20,000 miles and some that will last 45,000, it just depends how rough you drive your car and what kind of terrain your are driving on.

You should regularly inspect your tires to make sure that they have sufficient tread on them. One way is to look at the tread wear bars, which are little rubber bridges in the grooves between the ridges. If these bars are level with the tread pattern, then the tire has only 1/16th of an inch of tread remaining and must be replaced.

A second way to test the tread is done by inserting a penny or quarter into the center of the tread between two ridges with the image of Lincoln’s or Washington’s head facing toward you. If you can see the very top of the head, or worse, the space above the head, then the tire needs replacing immediately. If only some hair is visible, then it is time to consider purchasing new tires, though the need is not so urgent. If some of the forehead is concealed, there is still adequate tread.

The third option for measuring tread is to buy a depth gauge for your car. This can be bought on Amazon for as little as $15. As these are cheap, easily available at auto parts shops, and simple to use. They are often a worthwhile investment and have the advantage of providing a more accurate measurement than the other methods.

When buying a new tire Cars.com states that “you don’t have to spend lavishly on tires, but don’t automatically buy the cheapest ones either. Tires are the only part of your vehicle that are supposed to touch the ground, so make sure they’re up to the task. Choose tires that have high tread wear and traction ratings, and bear in mind that performance tires with higher speed ratings may not last long. For most cars, a balanced combination of wet traction, ride comfort, low noise levels and a high tread wear rating will probably be your best bet.”

Andrew CherinHow to determine when you need new tires
Read more

How to Preserve Your Case Value

No comments

If you are injured in a Seattle personal injury car accident, you need to find a good Seattle personal injury lawyer to represent you and preserve your case value as soon as possible.

Here are the things to do to preserve your case value in a car accident:

  1. Contact both insurance companies. Immediately after a car accident, you need to contact your insurance company and the other company’s insurance company to set up your case.  However, don’t give a statement to the defendant’s insurance company, only your own. Contacting your car insurance is important to preserve your auto insurance benefits like personal injury protection and uninsured motorist policies. Uninsured motorist policies require you to give them notice of a hit and run or an uninsured driver within a 24-48 hours in some instances so you should absolutely contact your insurance company immediately.
  2. Go to your medical doctor immediately. As soon as you can after the car accident, get looked at by your medical doctor to determine the extent of your injuries. Your medical doctor can refer you out to physical therapy, chiropractors, or specialists if you need more treatment. If you go to the hospital right after the car accident, follow up with your medical doctor when you can to start getting the treatment you need. Do not wait too long to start treatment that you need. Get on it now.
  3. Get the treatment that you need and don’t miss appointments. Nothing will hurt the value of your case more than missing appointments with your medical team like physical therapy, chiropractors, etc. Your case value is based upon your injuries, the extent of your injuries, and the time it takes for you to get better. If you miss appointments or have gaps in treatment like a month without going, the insurance company will use that to their advantage and state you aren’t that injured if you stop going to treatment for a month or regularly miss appointments.
  4. Don’t settle your case until you are 100% healed. In Washington State you have three years to settle your car accident injury case. This means that you have three years to get the medical treatment. You should not feel pressured to settle your case. You need to get the medical treatment you need to get back to normal but this does not mean that you can wait a year or two to start getting treatment. You must get treatment from the get go and continue to seek treatment that doctors say you need or you will hurt your case.
  5. Hire a Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer. There is no better way to preserve the value of your case than by hiring a Seattle car accident injury lawyer for your car accident injury case. Personal injury lawyers are paid out of the settlement and most charge 1/3 of the settlement. Therefore, they are not paid hourly and there is no risk of having to pay out of pocket for your personal injury lawyer. Additionally, you will get money in your pocket even after your personal injury lawyer is paid. Contact one today for a free consultation.
Andrew CherinHow to Preserve Your Case Value
Read more

Settlement Value: Estimating Surgery Costs

No comments

If you have been injured in a Seattle car accident and decide to hire a Seattle personal injury lawyer, your lawyer will try to make sure you get all the treatment you need to make a 100% recovery. However, sometimes a person can’t get all the treatment that they need because they can’t afford the treatment and don’t have insurance.

If a person can’t afford a medical surgery because their insurance will not cover the full cost or they can’t afford to pay for the remaining balance, a Seattle personal injury lawyer can estimate the costs and get it included in the settlement in most cases. One way to estimate the costs of the surgery is use an online tool like Healthcare Bluebook that estimates the costs of surgeries, MRI, and other medical procedures. The estimates include low, high, and fair costs so you know what to expect if you get the surgery after settlement.

Your settlement will be made up of medical bill costs, future medical costs (for major injury cases only, lost wages, and pain and suffering. It’s important to get future medical included in the settlement if you need a surgery because then you will know how much you have to pay for that necessary surgery.

Healthcare Bluebook is also good to see if you are paying for a fair price for your surgery and other costs in a medical world that is largely mysterious in their costs and expenses when billing you. It’s good to get see a second opinion on costs to see if you are paying too much.

Andrew CherinSettlement Value: Estimating Surgery Costs
Read more

Saving Money in Car Insurance and Protecting You

No comments

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
Read more

How long will it take to settle my case?

No comments

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?
Read more

Road Rage in Seattle Peaks at This Time?

No comments

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?
Read more