Insurance

Signup is easy and hassle free

No comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

Andrew CherinSignup is easy and hassle free
Read more

Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer Car Accident Injury Handbook – FREE!

No comments

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

This book will show you:

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

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

Andrew CherinSeattle Personal Injury Lawyer Car Accident Injury Handbook – FREE!
Read more

Uber and Lyft Required to Have PIP

No comments

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

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

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

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

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

Andrew CherinUber and Lyft Required to Have PIP
Read more

Does your insurance cover a driver not named on the policy?

No comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Andrew CherinDoes your insurance cover a driver not named on the policy?
Read more

Does your car insurance apply to your rental car?

No comments

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

Does your car insurance cover your rental car?

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

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

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

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

Andrew CherinDoes your car insurance apply to your rental car?
Read more

LimeBikes Littering Streets and No Helmets?

No comments

You have seen them every where in Seattle, lately. They are littering the streets, literally. Lime Bikes is a company that has been granted a permit by the city of Seattle to offer up bikes for temporary usage around the city with purchase by your smart phone. This is another effort by the city of Seattle to create a more green and pedestrian friendly downtown free of cars.

Lime Bikes are different from other bike sharing companies as these bikes are free standing and do not require a docking station to lock up the bikes. The bikes merely can be left on the sidewalk, which is unappealing to many and an eye sore. Lime Bikes have a locking mechanism and a kick stand to keep the bike up right. But the bikes are literally littering the city. LimeBike requests customers to find a spot to park the bike that doesn’t interfere with pedestrians and cars but leaving them on grass cutouts near parked cars makes the appearance of junk sitting out.

Legality of LimeBikes not coming with helmets is another concern. LimeBikes do not come with helmets, which is a law in King County. LimeBike has a disclaimer and informs users that it is against the law to ride a bike without a helmet but who carries a helmet around with them? Most riders I have seen have been taking the bikes for spins without helmets, which the bikes do not prevent you from riding if you don’t have a helmet.

What could LimeBike do to combat the helmet issue? Have helmets attached to the bikes! How is this so hard in today’s world. Yes, there are many different size heads but there are adjustable helmets. People will steal the helmets? Why would they want to steal a helmet and there are methods to prevent the helmet from leaving the bike. What about sanitary helmets? Helmets can include sanitary hair nets to make sure lice and other hair bacteria isn’t transmitted.

To not have a helmet attached to the bike or a nearby helmet dispensary is negligence on the part of LimeBike and could expose them to lawsuits by people who are injured in bike on car accidents or any other accident where the rider hits their head. Studies have shown that people who do not wear a helmet on a bike are much more likely to suffer a traumatic brain injury or death as a result.

LimeBike seems like a cool idea but there are some big kinks to be worked out like biker safety and zones to leave bikes. Yes, it is nice to have a bike readily available but at what cost? It doesn’t have to litter the streets like junk at the expense of the community and being an eye sore. Docking stations are much cleaner and preferred. We don’t need bikes lining the streets and sidewalks like abandoned property, we already have a large homeless problem that liters the streets, sadly.

If you have been injured on a LimeBike, you may have some recourse. Give me a call for a free consultation. Why should this company profit off of just throwing bikes out into the street with little or no responsibility hiding behind a waiver that will not stand up in court? It won’t and can’t.

 

Andrew CherinLimeBikes Littering Streets and No Helmets?
Read more

Why you should not use the defendant’s claim number?

No comments

This is one of the areas where a lot of people get confused. Many people mistakenly believe that the defendant’s insurance will cover their medical bills as they go so they should give the defendant’s claim number to their medical providers. This could not be further from the truth in a typical car accident and can lead to collection actions, not getting the treatment necessary, and early settlements. By giving a hospital, doctor, chiropractor, massage therapist, physical therapist, etc. the defendant’s claim number, the defendant insurance company only will pay these medical providers once you settle, which could be months or a year or two from the date of the car accident.

If you give the defendant’s claim number to the hospital, ER, ambulance, doctor, chiropractor, massage therapist, or physical therapist, these medical providers will be notified that they will not be paid immediately, which these providers will most likely open up a collections action against you because they have not been paid within 30 days. This is because the defendant’s insurance company will not pay anyone until you settle with them and will not pay bills that you haven’t accrued yet. This means if you need more treatment but want the defendant’s insurance to pay right now, you will not be able to get your future medical treatment covered by the defendant’s insurance.

The defendant’s insurance company will use this to their advantage in some situations and try to force you to settle early before you get the full medical treatment that you need. With mounting bills and the insurance company holding all the money saying you don’t need more treatment with a take it or leave it approach, it is very tempting to settle early without getting all the medical treatment that you need following a car accident injury case.

The exception to the rule: If you are a passenger, bicyclist, or pedestrian hit by a another car, you can use their PIP insurance to cover your medical costs and they will be paid shortly thereafter. In a typical car accident where you are in a car hit by another driver, the other driver’s insurance will not give you PIP coverage, rather you must use your own or the driver of the car you were in and their PIP coverage.

How do I pay for my medical bills then? What you should do is use your own personal injury protection plan under your car insurance policy or use your medical insurance to cover the medical bills. These will be primary over the defendant’s insurance which will then pay back your car insurance PIP plan or medical insurance.

 

What if you don’t have medical insurance or a PIP policy under your car insurance? The good news is that your personal injury lawyer can work out with your medical providers an agreement to get paid out of the settlement and delay collection actions. Not all medical providers will agree to wait to be paid out of the settlement and may demand payment immediately, however, most are willing to work with you and your attorney on either a payment plan or complete deferment until the case is settled. If these facilities are not willing to do this, there are many medical providers that are willing to upon a signed lien with your attorney.

Does the defendant’s insurance get off for free then? No, the defendant’s insurance company will compensate you for all medical bills that have been paid by your medical insurance and your attorney will then pay your insurance back in a process called subrogation. In most situations, your attorney will even be able to negotiate down how much is owed back to your insurance company for covering your medical bills giving you more money in your pocket.

If you have any questions about your car accident injury case and this process, please contact us today for a free consultation. We are paid out of the settlement and do not charge hourly so anyone can afford to hire a Seattle personal injury lawyer but no one can afford not to hire one.

 

Andrew CherinWhy you should not use the defendant’s claim number?
Read more

Duty to Seek Treatment ASAP?

No comments

Many people who are injured in car accidents, especially men, try to tough out their injuries. The reason can be anything from not having enough time to go to a chiropractor, massage therapist, physical therapist, etc. to not wanting to “cause problems” for the other person. However, insurance companies are increasingly trying to crack down on people that wait three to five months start chiropractic or physical therapy following a car accident and denying their relatedness of such. While there are some good arguments to stop insurance companies from making these arguments, why not get the treatment needed immediately so not to create this possible complication.

If you wait too long to get treatment, the insurance company may have a good argument for denying the treatment – to a certain degree. This is because there is law in Washington State that requires a victim of a car accident injury case to get treatment within a reasonable amount of time as a reasonable person would so as to not make their injuries worse. However, this does not mean that the insurance company is completely off the hook for covering these medical bills but it does mean that it may be reduced to a certain degree.

Example: Let’s suppose the following: If someone who is injured in a car accident would have gone to a chiropractor right after the car accident, they would have been able to be healed within 6 months with massage and physical therapy. The insurance company will be responsible for 100% of the treatment because the person injury in the car accident mitigated their damages.

Now let’s say that if they wait to start chiropractic, PT, and massage three months after the car accident, their injuries will have gotten so bad to the point where they need an extra three months or nine months to heal. In this second scenario, the insurance company will have a good case that those extra three months of treatment are not coverable because the person injured in the car accident waited too long to get healed without a valid excuse. However, the question will come down to would a reasonable person have sought medical treatment when the person did in this case – within three months of the car accident.

This rule not only applies to medical treatment, but also to lost wages. Would a reasonable person have sought jobs they could have applied for given their injuries and situation. Would they have gotten a job so not to lose their house. A victim of a car accident has a duty to mitigate their damages as much as reasonably possible.

Washington State Pattern Jury Instruction 33.01 lays out the argument that the insurance company can make. However, they must also prove that a reasonable person would have sought medical treatment and thus the delay in getting medical treatment was the proximate cause of the now more complicated treatment and not the car accident. Proximate cause means sufficiently related to a legally recognizable injury to be held to be the cause of that injury.

If the court finds a duty to mitigate was not followed, the court may apportion what percentage of the medical damages the car accident injury victim was partially at fault for based on comparative fault rules in Washington State, which does not bar recovery if someone was partially at fault but merely just takes off their percentage from 100%. This means if someone was found to have been 10% at fault for worsening their symptoms and treatment for not getting treatment within a reasonable time, they would only recover 90% of their total personal injury award instead of 100%.

Conclusion: Get the therapy you need as soon as possible in order to avoid complications and delays in getting your personal injury car accident case settled as soon as you are 100% back to normal or as close as possible.

Andrew CherinDuty to Seek Treatment ASAP?
Read more

Why you should have your insurance repair your car?

No comments

Many people want the other person’s insurance company to pay for the repairs to their car during a car accident, but here is why you should go through your insurance to get your car repaired. Your insurance will go after the defendant’s insurance for repayment so they don’t get off for free by using your insurance.

  1. Choose your own shop
  2. Get it repaired on your time
  3. Don’t give them an excuse
  4. Your rates won’t go up and they will find out
  5. Your insurance can help determine liability 100% in your favor

1. The first reason to go through your own insurance company to repair your car in a car accident injury case is that you will be able to choose where it is repaired. Your insurance company will generally give you more flexibility to get your car repaired where you want it to be than the defendant’s insurance. The defendant’s insurance company wants to use their guys because they have contracts with them and they know their guy will tell them what they want to hear.

2. The defendant’s insurance company will want to look at your car first before they have the repairs done. This could take a while for them to approve your repairs with their inspector. Using your insurance will allow you to quickly get your car repaired for and paid for.

3. The defendant’s insurance company has a big investment in seeing your car repaired with them so they can take it apart and look at everything in order to estimate the speed of the crash and write a story line that fits their interest. You generally don’t get to see their insured’s vehicle and the repair quote so why should they be able to see yours. Often times the car that causes the car accident has the most damage to their car while the car getting hit won’t have as much depending on the type of car. Rear bumpers are generally more reinforced than front bumpers and may hold up to a hit stronger than the front due to the trunk and the frame reinforcing it versus the engine on the front end and tons of components that are easily damaged.

4. Generally, your insurance company will not have your insurance rates go up for a non fault car accident. However, there are some car insurance companies who will raise your rates no matter on fault. You should shop around if this is the case and they raise your rates. Your insurance company knows there are hundreds of car insurance companies out there that want your business so a little push back from you can go a long way in keeping your rates low. If you decide to go through the defendant’s insurance to repair your car, they will put your name in a database that all insurance companies will be able to see, including your own. Therefore, even though you are trying to hide your car accident from your insurance company they will most likely find out one way or another.

5. If you use your own insurance to repair your car, your insurance company will fight for your to determine liability in your favor quick. Insurance companies will determine who is 100% liable for the car accident in many situations where it is he said she said outside of court quickly. They will then seek reimbursement for the repair costs from the defendant’s insurance company and make them pay. This will lead to a lot less hassle and create more of a focus for you and your attorney to focus on compensation instead of determining fault. Insurance companies like to point the finger for shared responsibility if it means them saving money.

If you have been injured in a car accident, you have a lot of options about going about your case. A trained Seattle personal injury lawyer will give you all the options at your disposal and help guide you to making the right decisions. Consultations are free and attorneys are paid out of the settlement. Everyone can afford an attorney but no one can afford not to hire one.

Andrew CherinWhy you should have your insurance repair your car?
Read more

Top 5 Things Insurance Companies Don’t Want You To Know About Your Car Accident Case

No comments

As a Seattle personal injury lawyer representing people who are injured in car accidents in Seattle, there are many things I have picked up about insurance companies that they don’t want you to know. Here are a few:

You don’t need to take their offer right now: Insurance companies like to pressure people injured in car accidents to settle now. They will say things like you need to take this offer now or it is going away. This could not be further from the truth. They want to settle your case now and may appear desperate if they pressure you to settle before your injuries have healed. They want you to settle now so you don’t collect more medical bills that they will have to compensate you for. Get the treatment that you need now and ignore their phone calls after you tell them that you will wait until you are healed to start negotiating the settlement of your car accident injury case. However, you have three years to settle or file a lawsuit on your car accident injury case in Washington State or you lose the right to make a claim. This is a long time but not forever.

Insurance companies base their value on your case by the amount of your medical bills, diagnosis, lost wages, and the time it takes you to heal: This may sound controversial but two people injured in a car accident will not have the same case value if one person seeks treatment for their injuries and the other does not by toughing it out. The insurance company seeks proof that you are injured and this is proven by medical records, medical bills, and diagnosis by medical professionals. Going to the chiropractor, physical therapist, or massage therapist is necessary when you are injured and your body and your doctor tells you to. If you don’t go, it will hurt your case and your body by not getting the treatment that you need. This is not milking it but it is foolish to tough it out without the treatment.

You will get more money in your pocket if you hire an attorney: Insurance companies will tell you that you will not get an increase in your offer by hiring an attorney to represent you for your car accident injury case. An attorney will often bring forward a much more sound and thorough description of your injuries and your case, making your case worth much more money. Additionally, a personal injury lawyer can find things you may have over looked like lost wages, vacation time used, sick leave used for your car accident injuries that you are entitled to compensation for. Moreover, your personal injury lawyer will often be able to negotiate down the amount owed back for medical bills paid by your medical insurance or personal injury protection plan.

Use your own insurance to repair your car and don’t accept the defendant insurance’s version of the case to accept 20% fault: Often times insurance companies will try to say that their insured is only 80% at fault because of some bogus reason that somewhat makes sense but doesn’t. This is their way of bullying and throwing their weight around at you. The best thing to do in these situations if you don’t have an attorney is to get your car repaired through your insurance so your insurance can argue the other insurance company is 100% at fault, through inter insurance company arbitration hearings if they are truly set on 80% liability designation. Not a lot of people know this and not a people like to use their own insurance to repair their car because they think it won’t go on their record if they use the other company, which is false. Insurance companies know of every car accident whether you use your insurance or theirs to repair your car. Get your car repaired with your insurance. It will save you the hassle of dealing with situations like this and they will even collect your deductible back for you.

Pre-existing injuries cannot be used against you in a car accident: Pre-existing injuries cannot be used against you in a car accident injury case where you were not actively treating them and they were not giving you pain. The insurance company loves to point out pre-existing injuries in medical records and prior treatment right before a car accident. However, they are not valid arguments unless you were actively treating right before the car accident and continued to treat at the same rate after the car accident. An old injury that flares up or is worsened by a car accident that didn’t require treatment before but does now is a new injury in the eyes of the court. Had it not been for the car accident, you would not have been in so much pain or had to seek the treatment you are seeking now. This is 100% compensable but you may need a lawyer to argue this for you.

I hope you have found these tips useful and enlightening. If you have been injured in a car accident, I would encourage you to hire a personal injury lawyer whether it be myself or someone else. If you know of someone who is going through this right now, please pass along my contact information and this article.

Andrew CherinTop 5 Things Insurance Companies Don’t Want You To Know About Your Car Accident Case
Read more