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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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How pre-existing injuries can help a low impact case?

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Pre-existing injuries can actually help your Seattle personal injury case if you have a “low impact case”. The reason for this is because pre-existing injuries actually make it so someone may be more likely to be injured in a car accident where there is little or no damage where other people would not have been injured.

The key in using pre-existing injuries in a Seattle car accident injury case is determined by your Seattle personal injury lawyer but it often comes down to these things: type of injury and active treatment.

They type of injury suffered in the low impact case must be similar to the pre-existing injury that you suffered before this Seattle car accident injury case. This means that if you had neck surgery, you must now have another neck injury that is similar to the previous type of injury. In this scenario a pre-existing neck injury could not work for a now right knee or low back injury suffered in the low impact case.

In low impact cases with pre-existing injuries, the treatment for the pre-existing injury should have been completed or very minimal at the time of impact in the car accident for it to be effective. If someone has completed treatment for their neck surgery and now suffer similar type pain after the car accident that they were not experiencing right before the car accident, insurance companies will accept the low impact case as causing the injury suffered. However, if treatment was still the same following the car accident as it was before, it will be tougher to show an exacerbation of a previous pre-existing injury and link it to this car accident.

If you have been injured in a car accident call Andrew Cherin today at 2068506716 or email me at andrew@lawcherin.com.

Andrew CherinHow pre-existing injuries can help a low impact case?
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Lyft Car Accident In Seattle: What to do?

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If you are injured in a car accident with a Lyft driver or while riding in a Lyft car in Seattle, there are a lot of possible insurance companies at fault for your injury case. You could have the benefit of many possible insurance companies to recover money from to pay for your injury treatment and pain and suffering.

If you are hit by a Lyft driver, you have three avenues to recover: Lyft insurance, the at fault driver’s insurance, or your own insurance. If the Lyft driver is actively looking for a passenger to money or has a Lyft passenger, Lyft’s insurance coverage will cover the car accident.

If you are hit by a lyft driver who is not actively searching for a Lyft customer or has a Lyft customer, the Lyft driver’s personal insurance coverage will be responsible for your car accident injury case.

If you are hit by a Lyft driver that doesn’t have insurance for whatever reason and Lyft’s insurance doesn’t apply because there was no passenger or active search for a passenger, your own insurance will cover your car accident injury case if you have UIM insurance (uninsured motorist insurance). This insurance coverage will step in and pay for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering as if they were representing the defendant. You need a lawyer for this case.

If you are a passenger in a Lyft car accident, you have possible avenues to recover from such as Lyft or the other driver that hit your Lyft driver. If you have your own insurance coverage for UIM and PIP, it will step in and cover your medical bills and personal injuries that Lyft did not have enough coverage to compensate you for.

If you have any questions, call Andrew Cherin today at 2068506716 or email me at andrew@lawcherin.com.

Andrew CherinLyft Car Accident In Seattle: What to do?
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Do I need a Seattle personal injury lawyer for a clear liability case with insurance?

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Yes, these are actually the best times to get a Seattle personal injury lawyer for your case because of the benefits that you can receive. A Seattle personal injury lawyer will maximize the case value of your case, make sure you get the full treatment that you need, find ways to reduce the medical bills owed back at the end, and settle your case when you are ready and not on the insurance company’s time.

This is one of the biggest roles for a Seattle personal injury lawyer is to maximize case value and healing time for our injured clients. Without a lawyer some studies show that a person on their own only receives half the compensation they would have received had they hired a lawyer.

Not only does a Seattle personal injury lawyer maximize insurance coverage and case value, but can make sure you get the treatment you need to get back to normal. This is probably the biggest benefit because instead of having insurance companies hounding you to settle and pressuring you to stop treatment now, the insurance company will have to go through your lawyer and that is a brick wall – their pressure will stop there and not get through to you the client.

If you are injured in a Seattle car accident, call Andrew Cherin today at 2068506716 or email at andrew@lawcherin.com.

Andrew CherinDo I need a Seattle personal injury lawyer for a clear liability case with insurance?
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