Insurance

Seattle Car Accident Injury Case with Pemco

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If you are injured in a car accident with someone who has Pemco insurance, here are some things you should know before settling your case.

Pemco is in the business of making money.

They are not in the business of handing out money they don’t have to. If you are injured in a car accident and representing yourself, you are going to be fighting an uphill battle. They have the money and you have not experience negotiating about how much an injury case is worth. Therefore, they are only going to offer and pay you what they want to pay you, not what you deserve.

Pemco is only going to pay for your medical bills once you settle with them.

This can be problematic for people that do not have a lawyer and do not have PIP insurance. PIP insurance is an auto policy that you can purchase that will pay for your medical bills while you wait to settle your case with Pemco.

What can you do if Pemco is not paying for your medical bills?

Pemco will generally only offer to pay for your bills right now if you qualify for their PIP insurance under the defendant’s policy. Generally, the only way you can qualify for their PIP insurance is if you were hit by their insured while riding a bike, walking across a street, or as a passenger of their insured. You can use your PIP insurance, medical insurance, or pay back your medical providers on a lien out of the settlement.

Do not settle your car accident injury case with Pemco until you are fully healed or the extent of your injuries are known.

Pemco will pressure you into settling your case early by telling you that they will not pay anything more so you better take the money they are offering now even though you are not done with your medical treatment. Tell them you do not want to talk to them until you are fully healed. In Washington State, you have three (3) years to settle your case so there is generally a lot of time to heal after a car accident and not feel pressured to settle by Pemco.

How much is your case worth against Pemco in a car accident in Seattle?

Generally, you are entitled to pain and suffering, medical bill compensation, and lost wages, among other things. The best way to maximize the value of your case against Pemco is to hire a Seattle car accident injury lawyer. Hiring a lawyer does not mean that you will have to file a lawsuit, contrary to many beliefs. It does mean maximizing your case value by have an lawyer who only negotiates car accident injury settlements, negotiate your settlement and lower your medical bills.

Hiring a Seattle personal injury lawyer is easy and costs you nothing.

Personal injury lawyers are paid out of the settlement and studies show that people that hire a car accident injury lawyer for their case put twice as much money in their pocket as those who do not hire a lawyer and try to settle on their own, even after lawyers fees are taken out.

Andrew CherinSeattle Car Accident Injury Case with Pemco
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What to do after being injured in a car accident?

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If you have been injured in a Seattle area car accident, you can quickly become overwhelmed with paper work from your insurance company and the defendants insurance company. You may have a lot of questions such as: Who should repair your car? Who should pay for your medical bills? Whose claim number should you use to give to your chiropractor or physical therapist?

Who should repair your car?

Generally, you can go with the defendant’s insurance company to repair your car and you will generally be treated fairly. However, there are a couple conditions for this statement. If your car has minimal damage, you may want to consider having your own insurance company cover the damages to your car.

The reason for this is because you do not want the other company to get the advantage of seeing your car when you can’t see their car’s damage, which may show much more than the damage to your car. Bumpers are solid and made to absorb impact but front ends of car are generally not as well protected, so your car may show little to no damage while their car shows a lot, which can be misleading showing a low impact. Low impact cases will limit the value of your case without a lawyer.

Another reason, is if your car is fairly new with very little mileage on it. If your car has very little mileage and is less than one year old, you are entitled to a diminished value claim which can be worth a few thousand dollars. You will want to have an attorney representing you for this portion of your case if you have a new car.

What claim number should you give your medical providers?

You should never give the defendant’s claim number to your chiropractor, physical therapists, etc. This gives the defendant insurance company and early view of your case and may increase phone calls pressuring you to settle your case. Only give your PIP claim number or medical insurance information to your medical providers.

Who should pay for your medical bills?

The defendant’s insurance company will pay for your medical bills, eventually. However, they will not pay for your medical bills up front unless you are hit by a car as a pedestrian, bicyclist, or were riding passenger in a car that was at fault for a collision. You must wait until you are fully healed and then the defendant’s insurance will settle with you for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering in one lump sum. They will never pay for you medical bills as you go and your bills will be sent to collections.

Who pays your medical bills right now then?

You have a couple of options to pay for your medical bills including your auto insurance policy persona injury protection plan, medical insurance, or pay them back on a lien basis out of the settlement.

Personal injury protection is an auto insurance policy that you can elect to have or not. Generally, it is $10,000 but some people elect to pay a little more for higher limits. Personal injury protection will cover your medical bills and lost wages. You do not need to have a referral from a medical doctor to see a physical therapist, chiropractor, etc., when using PIP, although it may help with your overall case.

Chiropractors can refer you to physical therapists, take x-rays, refer out for MRI’s, and refer you out to specialists. This is why starting with a chiropractor can be an excellent first stop to start your healing process after a car accident.

Medical insurance can be used for your car accident injury case to pay for medical bills right now while you are waiting to settle your case. Medical insurance often covers large hospital bills and other doctors’ appointments. However, medical insurance is not taken by some chiropractors. Additionally, most insurance plans do not include massage therapy or acupuncture, two types of therapy that really help people injured in car accidents heal faster.

Medical liens are a good option for those who do not have personal injury protection on their auto policy nor have medical insurance that is accepted by chiropractors, physical therapists, massage therapists, etc. Most medical providers will allow you to obtain medical treatment on a lien basis as long as you have an attorney representing you for your car accident injury case. The medical providers will want you and your attorney to sign a lien that guarantees payment out of the settlement.

If you have any questions about your car accident injury case, please do not hesitate to reach out to me for a free consultation (206) 850-6716 or andrew@lawcherin.com. Hiring a personal injury lawyer does not mean filing a lawsuit but does mean maximizing the value of your case. Most cases do not need to go to trial but can be settled outside of court and usually within a couple months of you completing your treatment.

Andrew CherinWhat to do after being injured in a car accident?
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Drunk Driving Car Accidents

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Being injured in a Seattle car accident with a drunk driver can have life altering consequences. In the flash of an eye, the drunk driver can seriously alter the course of someone’s life and their family’s lives as well.

Drunk driving is a serious issue even today with all of the potential ways to get home besides driving themselves, like Uber, Lyft, Lightrail, the bus, etc. There are too many options to make the excuse that someone had to drive home from the bar or club when they were drunk. This excuse is inexcusable.

How to recover against a drunk driver?

If you are injured in a car accident with a drunk driver, you can make a claim against their insurance company. The minimum limits on insurance coverage in Seattle is $25,000, hardly enough to even cover one hospital bill.

With some statistics showing nearly 50% of people driving around with bare minimum or no insurance coverage, everyone should get uninsured or underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage added to your policy today. UIM insurance stands in and covers the additional damages that you suffered that were not covered by the policy of the drunk driver. This can cover lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, etc. Depending on how much coverage you buy, this could significantly help you if you are hit by a drunk driver.

What if the defendant and your UIM insurance is not enough?

Drunk driving car accidents cause drastic injuries that can have $500,000 in medical bills alone. If you or the defendant don’t have combined car insurance policies of $1,000,000 or more, you probably are not getting completely compensated for your injuries.

In the likely event that there is not enough insurance coverage to go around, you may have to look for other avenues to obtain compensation for your injuries. If other cars were involved, you may have another avenue to pursue that car’s insurance coverage.

Bars and restaurants can be liable for their drunk drivers

However, a more likely source of recovery is the bar or bars that the defendant who was drunk driving got hammered at. Bars are liable for over serving alcohol to people that are obviously intoxicated. The reason is that bars are making money off of selling lots and lots of alcohol, often taking advantage of people who are too drunk to understand when they have had too much to drink.

The state of Washington, like many other states, believes that bar owners and serves should prevent people from getting too drunk to drive. In Washington state, the legal blood alcohol limit is .08, which can be as little as two alcoholic drinks. Many people drink far more than two alcoholic drinks when they frequent a bar.

To make bar owners and servers more responsible so they don’t take advantage of drunk people and to keep drunk drivers off the road, the state of Washington created a statute which holds bars responsible for their patrons who get too drunk and hit someone while drunk driving. This is called the dram shop statute.

What is the dram shop statute?

The dram shop statute states that bars must refuse to serve people that are obviously intoxicated or they will be responsible for injuries that are caused by the drunk driver. The state requires training for bar tenders to detect over intoxicated patrons.

Bars are jointly and severely liable for the injuries caused by drunk drivers that got drunk at their bar. This means that the bar can be responsible for 100% of the damages that are caused despite the other person’s fault in driving drunk.

Bars in Seattle are generally required to have a minimum of $1,000,000 in liability insurance for these very reasons.

Dram shop cases are very tough and require a lot of investigation to determine that someone was over served while at a certain bar. However, most people go to bars or clubs with friends. There will be witnesses to see how drunk someone was at the bar or club and someone saw them continue to be able to buy drinks besides obvious signs of intoxication.

Witnesses are hard to find and their testimony may become vague or clouded over time. For these reasons, it is important to hire a Seattle personal injury lawyer as soon as possible in order to collect and preserve vital evidence to your injury case. Call today for a free consultation (206) 850-6716 or email andrew@lawcherin.com

Andrew CherinDrunk Driving Car Accidents
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Motorcycle cut off and crashes, who is at fault?

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If you are injured in a motorcycle accident in Seattle, you should hire a Seattle personal injury lawyer to look into the facts of your case. Most insurance companies are biased against motorcycle riders and feel like they are unsafe people in general. However, this is not the case. Motorcyclists are just like every other person who enjoys the freedom of driving with the wind in their hair/helmet.

Motorcycle riders are susceptible to greater injuries than car drivers in car accidents

Motorcyclists are also far more vulnerable to being severely injured in a car accident. Motorcyclists are more prone to being injured in a car accident because they do not have the safety equipment like a seat, head rest, insulation of a big car, safety belt, and windows from protecting them. Motorcyclists are prone to being thrown from their bike if they are in a car accident, which is the equivalent of being thrown through a windshield in a car accident.

Motorcyclists are susceptible to aggressive drivers – who are at fault for car accidents

Motorcyclists are just like all other drivers on the road, plus a little more maneuverability. However, when someone cuts off a motorcyclist, they cannot merely slam on their brakes and be ok. When a motorcycle slams on its brakes, it severely increases the ability of the driver to be thrown over the handle bars or the bike from sliding out. This means if a car drives in front of a car at the last second and the rider ditches their bike or falls off, the car that cut off the biker is at fault for any resulting injuries to the motorcyclist.

 Motorcycles are hard to see but it is not their fault

Some people claim that motorcycles are hard to see so they cannot be at fault for cutting off a motorcycle, illegally changing lanes in front of them, or coming into contact with them on a lane chance. Not heading the right of way to a motorcycle driver while going down the street is not a good excuse for car drivers who cause a motorcycle driver to fall off their bike and crash. The car driver will be at fault 100% of the time.

Motorcycle riders need help collecting evidence

Being injured in a motorcycle accident can leave the driver of the bike unconscious, whereby they cannot defend themselves if the other driver says the motorcycle driver was driving too fast, speeding, etc. that caused them not to see the motorcycle. There is a bias against motorcycles that are street bikes because people believe these people are racing at all times. This could not be further from the truth. However, this is why it is important for motorcycle riders to have mounted cameras on their bikes to act as an independent witness in case no one sees the motorcycle accident.

If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, contact a Seattle motorcycle accident injury lawyer today for a free consultation. We are paid out of the settlement so there are never any out of pocket fee costs to you. Call today (206) 850-6716.

Andrew CherinMotorcycle cut off and crashes, who is at fault?
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Why you should use your insurance in a car accident?

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I have heard it a thousand times, people believe that it is not good to use their own insurance in a car accident injury case. They want to go through the other party’s insurance to repair their car. This is not a good idea, especially if you are injured in the car accident.

You have car insurance for this very reason, yet many people want to not get their insurance involved because they believe that their insurance premiums will go up to a point where they cannot afford.

New flash: your insurance company will get wind of your car accident one way or another. Insurance companies like to talk and chances are the defendant’s insurance will report that you were in a car accident. Your insurance will get wind of it one way or another.

If your insurance company wants to raise your rates because you were injured in a car accident caused by someone else, that is a problem with the company and not you. You should find another company if this is the case. How dare you use your insurance for something that you pay a premium to them every month for! Trust me, there are many insurance companies out there that want your premium every month and they will charge you less than what your insurance company charges.

Here are the three reasons you want to use your insurance for a car accident injury case:

  1. Your insurance company has an obligation to treat you fair: This means that they cannot play games with evaluating you and your injuries. The other insurance company has no obligation to you and will try to convince you to drop your claim against them or diminish it as much as possible.
  2. The other insurance company will get an unfair look at your car damage and not give you the same courtesy: Often times in a car accident, the car that rear ends another car often has much more damage then the car that they hit. This is because rear car bumpers are generally much sturdier than the front bumper, which also house the hood and lights. If they have your damages and your car didn’t suffer much, they may try to claim a low impact case without revealing their insured’s major damages, which can pigeon hole your case and make you settle for much less than you deserve.
  3. You pay a lot of money in premiums to cover your car repair and medical damages with PIP premiums, why not use it? You should go through your own insurance company to pay for your medical bills because the other insurance company will not pay for your medical bills until you settle your case with them. This means that your hospital bill will go to collections and you may not be able to use your medical insurance to cover physical therapy, chiropractor, and massage therapy that you need. However, PIP covers all of these expenses immediately so that your bills do not go to collections and you can get the treatment you need now.
  4. PIP puts money in your pocket: If you use your PIP to pay for your medical bills and hire a Seattle personal injury lawyer to represent you in your car accident injury case, you will get more money in your pocket. This is because your car accident injury lawyer will be able to lower the amount you owe back in medical bills to insurance companies if you use your own PIP, which you wouldn’t get if you didn’t have a lawyer. The other insurance company would just pay back the other insurance company directly for the bills.

If you have been injured in a car accident, you can give Chern Law Firm a call today for a free consultation. Cherin Law Firm charges on a contingency fee, which means that we do not get paid unless you recover money. We do not charge you out of your own pocket. We are paid out of the settlement that the insurance company pays.

Andrew CherinWhy you should use your insurance in a car accident?
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When to use your insurance and when to use the defendant’s?

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There seems to be a lot of misguided information and confusion around the topic of whose insurance you should use following a car accident injury case to pay for your medical bills. Mistakenly, many people don’t want their insurance rates to go up so they try to avoid using their car insurance policy as much as possible since the other person was at fault. This is bad and here is why.

The defendant’s insurance will not pay for your medical bills, pain and suffering and lost wages, until you settle with them.

This means that the defendant’s insurance company will not pay for your medical bills until you come to a settlement with them, which should only be when you are fully healed and have completed all your medical treatment. There is one exception, this doesn’t apply to people who are injured while using a bike or as a pedestrian, which are entitled to the defendant’s PIP (personal injury protection) policy, which acts like medical insurance and pays for your medical bills. If you are injured in a car accident, you can only use your own PIP if you are the driver. If you were the passenger, you get to use the driver’s PIP as well as your own, if you have a separate policy.

In the mean time, who is paying for your medical bills?

Since the defendant’s insurance company will not pay for your medical bills suffered in the car accident, who is going to pay for your medical bills and stop them from going to collections? If you have a PIP plan with your car insurance, you should absolutely use it.

PIP pays for any and all medical treatment such as hospital bills, ambulance rides, emergency room bills, chiropractor visits, physical therapy, massage therapy, doctors visits, and more. Most people have $10,000 in PIP benefits but some have $35,000 or more. Check out your insurance policy or call your insurance adjuster to find out how much you have.

If you run out of PIP, you can use your medical insurance to continue paying for medical treatment so long as the treatment is covered according to your policy and the treatment provider is ok with using it.

Additionally, some medical facilities will allow you to pay them back out of the settlement and continue to get treatment after your PIP has been exhausted. However, most medical facilities will require you to have a personal injury lawyer represent you and have them sign an agreement that says they are entitled to be repaid out of the settlement for their treatment of you.

What claim numbers do you give to your medical providers?

It is important that you give your PIP claim number to all of your medical providers especially hospitals and ambulances who will send you to collections very quickly if they are not paid within a couple months of service. You should not give the defendant’s insurance claim numbers to your medical providers, as they cannot bill them and the claim will be rejected, which may make the medical facility send you to collections.

Give your PIP claim number to all of your medical providers at the outset of your appointments so that all billing goes through your PIP.

They were responsible, shouldn’t they pay?

Yes, and they will. The defendant’s insurance company will repay all medical bills that have been paid by your PIP policy, medical insurance, and those you paid out of pocket or are waiting to pay back on a lien. This will come out of the settlement in addition to compensating you for your lost wages and pain and suffering.

Using PIP puts more money in your pocket

All medical bills are subject to being paid back by the defendant’s insurance company and to whoever paid them. However, if you hire a car accident injury lawyer to represent you for your injuries, your lawyer will be able to reduce the amount of PIP benefits that you have to pay back by at least 1/3, putting that money in your pocket, instead of your insurance company’s pocket. This is because you hired a lawyer to represent you and attorney’s fee are usually 1/3 of the settlement. State courts have found it unfair for the PIP insurance company to benefit from your hiring of a lawyer, who obtains money for their repayment out of the settlement.

Scared of racking up too many bills?

If you are scared of racking up too many bills because you believe you may not be able to get them paid for out of a car accident settlement, you should contact a car accident injury lawyer today. The Cherin Law Firm offers free consultations and will answer all your questions about your case, case value, PIP benefits, etc. Additionally, the Cherin Law Firm is paid out of the settlement and charges 1/3 of the settlement, which never comes out of the client’s pocket. Therefore, anyone can afford our services but you cannot afford not to have a lawyer representing you against the insurance company who are professional negotiators.

Andrew CherinWhen to use your insurance and when to use the defendant’s?
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How to Preserve Your Case Value

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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
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Saving Money in Car Insurance and Protecting You

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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
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How long will it take to settle my case?

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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?
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Is it safe to buy a used car seat or rent one?

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You should always buy a new car seat, if possible. It is one of the few things that you should go out and buy new for your baby as it can keep him or her safe in a car accident. However, there are some times where you may want to borrow a car seat from a rental car agency because you are on vacation or you simply cannot afford a brand new car seat. All car seats that have been in a car accident need to be replaced, even if not visually damaged – this is something that you can get compensation for through your own insurance if you have comprehensive coverage or through the person that caused the car accident when negotiating the property damage portion of your car accident injury case.

If you are going to borrow or buy a used car seat, you should verify that the car seat has not been in a car accident, is not over 6 years old, has not been recalled by the manufacturer, comes with the original manufacturer number and instructions, and has no visible damage or missing parts.

Verify The Age of The Car Seat

Do not buy a used car seat unless you can verify the age of the seat. Most car seats have a manufacturer’s label on the back or bottom of the car seat that gives the manufacture date or a specific expiration date. Harnessed car seats generally last 6 years from the date of manufacture, unless there is a different expiration date marked on the seat.

Verify Expiration Date By Calling Manufacturer

If you’re not sure about the expiration date, call the manufacturer. The date of manufacture and manufacturer contact information must be on one of the seat labels by law. If the labels are missing from the car seat, it’s best not to use it, as the labels would also give you important model information that would alert you to potential recalls.

Check to See if There Has Been a Recall

Check to see that your car seat has not been recalled for some reason. You cannot use a car seat that has been recalled. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have a website that shows all of the recent recalls for car seats.

A Car Seat In a Car Accident Needs to Be Replaced

NHTSA and manufacturers encourage replacement of car seats if there was a car accident in moderate to severe car accidents. They used to encourage getting a new car seat in every car accident but they lowered their standards recently because some people were unable to buy a new car seat and newer car seats are much stronger than car seats used to be.

The NHTSA has recently lowered their standard for determining whether a car seat needs to be replaced in a minor car accident. The NHTSA dictates that a crash is considered minor if it meets all five of the following criteria:

• There is no visible damage to the car seat that might have been caused by the crash.

• The vehicle was capable of being driven from the crash site.

• The car door nearest to the child restraint was undamaged.

• No one in the vehicle was injured in the crash.

• The air bags did not deploy.

However, you probably won’t be able to get all this information from someone that is selling you a used car seat because they may be untruthful or may not have any information about the car accident. It is hard to determine whether a car seat was involved in a serious car accident or not just by looking at it because it may show no visible signs of being damaged.

Original Parts All Intact

You must also determine whether used car seats still have all of the original parts needed for safety. Some parts can be lost over time. One illustration of this is a harness on a combination seat that is removed when the child outgrows it, and is later replaced without a seemingly small piece that affects the function of the harness in a crash.

Insurance Will Pay For a New Car Seat in a Seattle Car Accident

If you have been injured in a Seattle car accident, you should make sure your car seat is replaced and covered in the car accident by the insurance company. Call a Seattle personal injury lawyer today to make sure you get a new car accident included in your car accident injury case.

 

 

 

Andrew CherinIs it safe to buy a used car seat or rent one?
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