Insurance

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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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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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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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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What is a low impact case and how to avoid the designation?

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A low impact designation from an insurance company can hurt your Seattle personal injury car accident in the view point of the insurance company and bottleneck settlement negotiations. A low impact designation is where there is little or no damage to your car both visibly and repair wise by the car accident. If there is underlying frame damage to your car, you may avoid the designation by the increase in the repair cost and transfer of energy showing a bigger impact. You can avoid this designation a lot of the time by going through your own insurance company.

Bumpers are not made equal but generally they have a mph threshold whereby they will dent or crush. When there is little or no damage to the bumper, insurance companies like to argue that the impact of both vehicles in the collision was minimal or the mph each car was traveling was minimal. They believe that juries will not believe that anyone could be hurt in an impact that was so little that the bumper was not damaged.

Often times people want to avoid using their own insurance company to repair their car because they mistakenly believe that their insurance rates won’t go up if they don’t go through their own insurance company. This could not be further from the truth as your own insurance company will find out that you were involved in a car accident no matter if you report it to them or not. The reason for this is because the other insurance company will report you as involved in the car accident and a record will follow you.

Here’s is possibly a bigger problem by using the defendant’s insurance company to repair your car. If you have little or not visible damage to your car without frame damage from the car accident, the defendant’s insurance company is going to designate your case as a low impact case. When you go through your own insurance company, the defendant’s insurance company is for the most part unaware of the damage to your car. In this instance, they will only have the damage estimate and pictures of their own insured’s vehicle from the car accident.

If the defendant’s insurance company has your car repair estimate and pictures of your car from the Seattle car accident but your Seattle personal injury lawyer doesn’t have pictures of the defendant’s car damage, you are at a disadvantage because the insurance company can say that there was no damage to their insured’s car and your car has little or no damage so how could you have been hurt. At this point, it is hard to get pictures of the other car unless a lawsuit is filed putting your case value lower in most cases without more evidence.

There are situations where a low impact can cause major injuries but these are where there were already pre-existing injuries that made someone predisposed to being injured in a car accident with little impact. This can be proven with prior medical records and medical records from the most recent car accident injury case that show similar injuries or injuries that would lead to exacerbation of previous injuries.

In any of these situations, it makes most sense to go through your own insurance company if you can. There are situations where you can’t go through your own insurance company because you don’t have the required insurance policy coverage to have your own insurance repair your car. You will need collision coverage in order to get your car repaired by your own insurance company in a Seattle personal injury car accident case. This is one of the more expensive coverages in an insurance policy so not everyone buys this type of insurance.

Seattle personal injury lawyers offer free consultations for Seattle car accident injury victims and we are paid out of the settlement. If you have been injured in a car accident, there are strict deadlines that could pass without intervention so you need to act quick.

Andrew CherinWhat is a low impact case and how to avoid the designation?
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What if you are hit by someone without insurance?

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If you are hit by someone that doesn’t have insurance, you may be thinking to yourself that you need to hire a lawyer to sue the person to collect any type of money from this person with no insurance. However, you have other avenues to recover besides going after a dead beat and dead end. People that don’t have insurance generally don’t have any assets going after. Meaning, even if you get a big judgment at trial, you may never see a dime of it. This doesn’t mean that the dead beat non insured gets off for free, to the contrary, the judge will most likely move all of your medical bills into their name or your insurance will put a lien on them.

UIM insurance is your best best to receive compensation. UIM or Uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance is an automobile insurance policy that steps into the shoes of the defendant and compensates you for pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, and more. The policy is very inexpensive but provides a world of relief when you are hit by someone with little or no insurance. Without this insurance, you would probably not see a dime out of your case that has turned your world upside down. These cases need lawyers though. These are tough cases even though you have insurance.

Some statistics show that around 25% of people on the road today have no insurance and another 25% or more of people on the road have the bare minimum insurance of $25,000. This means that the likelihood of being hit by someone with little or no insurance is probably around 50/50 so why not have UIM insurance which usually costs less than $10 per month for $250,000 worth of insurance – a great deal considering that collision coverage generally costs more than triple that to pay for the damage you cause to your own car. Isn’t your health and well being worth more than the repair value of your car? 

If you do not have UIM insurance, you should get some now. However, if you were in a car accident already it is too late for that car accident but will protect you in the future. If you don’t have UIM insurance you can use Washington State’s Crime Victim’s assistance program to help recover and pay for medical bills that could be over $100,000 or more right now. It won’t get you pain and suffering money in your pocket, but it will help alleviate your financial burden.

Moreover, it is imperative to know that just because you have the UIM policy in place, you will want a Seattle car accident injury lawyer representing you in the case because the insurance company can and will use anything the defendant could have used as an argument against you for paying out any premiums. While you have the policy, the insurance company will fight hard to keep their money and offer you very little if they can to save money. They are a business and not your friend. 

Andrew CherinWhat if you are hit by someone without insurance?
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Three Ways to Get PIP for Free in a Car Accident Injury Case

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PIP is also known as personal injury protection and is an car insurance policy that covers your medical expenses, lost wages, and lost services when you are injured in a car accident, no matter whose fault the car accident was.

PIP insurance coverage is a very valuable insurance coverage to have in your policy because contrary to popular belief, the defendant’s insurance company will not pay for your medical treatment while you are healing. The defendant’s insurance company will only pay one settlement for all your injuries, lost wages, and medical bills and will not pay for your medical treatment as you go. You cannot bill the defendant’s insurance company. 

PIP insurance comes in coverage amounts of $10,000, $20,000, $35,000, $50,000, and $100,000, depending on how much you want to pay each month. Most people choose to get the $10,000 coverage. $10,000 will generally be enough to cover chiropractic, massage, or physical therapy bills. However, if you go to the hospital, the hospital and ambulance ride alone will most likely exhaust these benefits with one visit. Most people would more likely benefit from a higher amount than $10,000, for this reason. 

Here are three instances where you will receive PIP coverage by default, i.e. you don’t have to pay for it:

1. No signature:

PIP insurance must be offered by your insurance company for any new policy and must be rejected by you in writing, as mandated by Washington State law RCW 48.22.085. If the insurance company is unable to produce the written mandatory rejection of the policy by you, the insurance company must then give you the benefits of the lowest PIP policy or $10,000 to be used for your medical costs, medications, lost wages, and others. 99% of the time they are able to provide a signature of your rejection of the policy, but sometimes they can’t. 

2. Pedestrian:

Additionally, if you are a pedestrian struck by a car, you will be offered PIP coverage by the defendant’s insurance company. This is a rare exception where the defendant’s insurance company will cover your medical expenses and lost wages as you accrue these costs. RCW 48.22.005(5)(b) states that if you are a pedestrian struck by a defendant, the defendant’s insurance company must offer you PIP coverage for no cost. 

3. Passenger or Permissive driver of friend’s car:

If you are driving another person’s car (or are a passenger) with their permission and you get into a car accident, whether your fault or not, you are afforded PIP from the insurance company of the person who owns the car. This is another instance where you are afforded PIP insurance coverage where you otherwise have not paid for it. In effect, you receive the PIP coverage by default. RCW 48.22.005(5)(b) also authorizes this type of default coverage like the pedestrian scenario above. 

If you have been injured in a car accident, you need a Seattle personal injury lawyer today. Call today for a free consultation. I charge my clients on a contingency fee basis, meaning I don’t get paid until and unless you recover a settlement from the third party insurance company. The amount of money that you will gain by hiring a Seattle personal injury lawyer will more than outweigh the cost of hiring a lawyer and then some. Most personal injury victims can stand to gain at least double what they could have obtained on their own, when they hire a Seattle personal injury lawyer including all lawyer fees  and medical bills that are paid. Make a claim today, the only people you are saving money are insurance companies and not the driver who hit you. Get healed and relieve stress now!

If you have any traffic or car accident questions, please leave me a message bellow in the form or on my Facebook page. Be sure to sign up for our monthly newsletter where you will receive a brief highlight of our three best blog posts from the previous month. Thank you!

Andrew CherinThree Ways to Get PIP for Free in a Car Accident Injury Case
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Common Misconceptions About People Who Hire Personal Injury Lawyers

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Many people are confused about hiring a personal injury lawyer and for good reason. Many people worry about the cost, trial, insurance coverage, making life harder for the defendant, how much their case is worth, and when to settle their case. This video is designed to answer some of these questions very generally.

Lawyers are generally very expensive and most people cannot afford to hire one. Therefore, people wrongly believe that they cannot afford a Seattle personal injury lawyer to represent them for their car accident injury case. Seattle personal injury lawyers are very affordable and end up making you way more money in the end by maximizing your case value. Generally, the cost of hiring a Seattle personal injury lawyer will be offset by the gain in value that maximizes a personal injury victim’s case value in terms of the amount they receive in the settlement and their ability to get all the necessary medical treatment they need. 

Trial is something that everyone worries about and many people looking to hire a Seattle personal injury lawyer do not want to go to trial. Many wrongly believe that the only reason to hire a Seattle personal injury lawyer is to go to trial. However, there are many more benefits to hiring a Seattle personal injury lawyer besides going to trial and most cases settle outside of trial for much more money than an injured car accident victim could obtain on their own. Trial is only a last option and it is ultimately the client’s decision whether to accept the highest offer that the Seattle personal injury lawyer obtains for the client from the insurance company or to file a lawsuit. 

Many people wrongly believe that all their medical treatment will be paid by the insurance company as they treat. This could not be further from then truth. The defendant’s insurance company about a month after you are in the car accident, will start pushing you to settle your case, often times downplaying your injuries and the value of your case. Additionally, the insurance company will not offer to pay for any future treatment and only pay for treatment you have already undergone. However, a Seattle personal injury lawyer can stop the insurance company from hounding you to be done with treatment to allow you to get all the medical treatment that you need and on your own time.

Who is going to pay for the treatment? A Seattle personal injury lawyer can walk you through all your options to find money to pay for your treatment while you are waiting for your injuries to heal and ultimately get a good settlement for the maximum value of your case. Your options range from personal injury insurance from your auto insurance, med pay insurance from your auto insurance, medical insurance, paying cash, and treating on a lien with the doctors and chiropractors. 

The person that caused the car accident is often not a bad person and many people do not want to make this person’s life harder. However, this should not prevent you from getting what you are entitled to. Moreover, the person that caused the car accident will often have car insurance that they pay a premium for each month to cover this very situation and cover all your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Therefore, the only person you are saving money for is the insurance company and not the defendant. Do you want to save the insurance company more money than they already get every month and that you rightfully are entitled too?

Your case value is determined by your lost wages, your medical bills, permanent injuries, temporary debilitating injuries, mental anguish, and your pain and suffering. Because there are so many different variables, every case is different and it is very hard to predict the value of your case until you are fully healed and back to normal. For this reason, your Seattle personal injury lawyer will often not even try to guess on the value of your case until you are fully done with medical treatment.

If you have been injured in a car accident, you need a Seattle personal injury lawyer today. Call today for a free consultation. I charge my clients on a contingency fee basis, meaning I don’t get paid until and unless you recover a settlement. The amount of money that you will gain by hiring a Seattle personal injury lawyer will more than outweigh the cost of hiring a lawyer and then some. Most personal injury victims can stand to gain at least double what they could have obtained on their own, when they hire a Seattle personal injury lawyer including all lawyer fees and medical bills being paid. Make a claim today, the only people you are saving money are insurance companies and not the driver who hit you. Get healed and relieve stress now!

If you have any traffic or car accident questions, please leave me a message bellow in the form or on my Facebook page. Be sure to sign up for our monthly newsletter where you will receive a brief highlight of our three best blog posts from the previous month.

Andrew CherinCommon Misconceptions About People Who Hire Personal Injury Lawyers
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Are you saving the person money or the insurance company money?

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When you get in a car accident and someone else is at fault, you may have a lot of questions about why you should not make a claim for personal injury damages. However, the answer to most of those questions and assumptions about who is actually going to pay for your bills is surprising to many. Who is actually saving money by not going through the other person’s insurance after a car accident or not making a claim for personal injury damages? Hint, it is a billion dollar industry and not an average person. 

Why do so many people believe that it is better to not make a claim or to just accept cash from a person that causes a car accident to pay for only the repair damages? It may be due to cleaver advertising and news reporting by insurance companies and their agendas. Insurance is great, don’t get me wrong. However, the reason why many people are not making claims is based upon wrong assumptions.

Many people use the following excuses as why they don’t want to hire a Seattle personal injury lawyer to represent them in their car accident injury case or why they don’t even make a claim against the insurance company:

1. They don’t want to cost the person that caused the car accident more money. This could not be further from reality. When making a claim for personal injury or car repair following a car accident, the person that caused the car accident will not pay a dime because they have insurance. If there rates go up, it is rightfully because they are a bad driver and they will only go up a couple hundred dollars a year compared to the thousands of dollars the insurance company probably owes you. 

2. They are not that injured and don’t want to be greedy. This mostly stems from the false idea that the other person will have to pay more money or the idea that they don’t want to be like the McDonald’s lady who sued for a million dollars because of spilt coffee. However, not many people know that the person that sued for a million dollars had severe burns that required her to get a skin graph of her nether region. That was not something anyone would want to go through but some how the media and the insurance companies have made everyone think this was just warm coffee that caused irritation? Moreover, your health is really all you have in this life so to say it is not worth anything is ridiculous. Would you rather go to the chiropractor now to get your spine in alignment and get compensated for your injuries or rather have arthritis and require back surgery because of uncorrected spine alignment in the future without getting it paid for or any compensation?

3. They don’t know what their case is worth. Many people don’t make a claim because they don’t know their case is worth medical bills being paid, lost wages compensated for, and pain and suffering. Your car accident injury case could be worth $10,000 or more.

Andrew CherinAre you saving the person money or the insurance company money?
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