Tips

Don’t change your child’s car seat around too early.

No comments

Children are the most vulnerable to injury in a Seattle car accident injury case. In order to protect them, many manufacturers are creating the optimal technology to keep our children safe in a car accident. That is why today’s car seats are made deeper, stronger to hold babies that are bigger than normal babies, and safer. Rear facing car seats are the best for children in head on collisions.This is because of the law of physics and motion where your body will tend to go where the impact comes from. Rear end collisions are not as likely to be as fatal as head on collisions, for this reason, car seats are safest for babies when they are facing backwards.

The optimal position to keep children away from harm in a car accident is reversed in a car seat in the middle position. This is because the reverse facing car seat will protect children in case of a front end head on collision. A head on collision with a rear facing car seat will have the car seat actually cradle the body and head of the baby versus the baby’s head, arms, and feet flailing with a forward facing car seat.

A 2007 study in the journal Injury Prevention that found that children under age 2 are 75% less likely to die or be severely injured in a crash when in a rear-facing car seat.

Riding rear facing is recommended until a child reaches age 2 or the highest weight — typically at least 35 pounds (about 16 kilograms) — or height allowed by the car seat manufacturer.

Convertible car seats are good places to start and invest because you can go from rear facing to forward facing when your baby grows out of rear facing car seats. Car seats are expensive but are vital to your child’s safety and well being.

When your child reaches age 2 or the rear-facing weight or height limit of the convertible seat, you can face the seat forward. When you make the switch:

  • Install the car seat in the back seat according to the manufacturer’s instructions, using either the seat belt or Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) system.
  • Use the tether strap — a strap that hooks to the top of the seat and attaches to an anchor in the vehicle — for extra stability.
  • Adjust the harness straps so that they’re at or above your child’s shoulders and fit snugly.

If you know of anyone injured in a Seattle car accident, contact a Seattle personal injury lawyer for a free consultation today.

 

Andrew CherinDon’t change your child’s car seat around too early.
Read more

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

No comments

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?
Read more

Where is the optimal place for car seats?

No comments
In case of a car accident, you want to give your child the best chance of survival and the best chance for not being injured. Car accidents are a part of life it seems these days, especially in Seattle where traffic is congested, people are highly caffeinated, and the roads are slick. Your baby does not need to be a casualty of a car accident if you take proper precautions. Where is the safest place to put your baby’s car seat to protect them?

The safest place for your child’s car seat is the back seat and away from air bags. The reason why car seats are never supposed to be in the front seat and away from air bags is because the air bag could hit the back of a rear-facing car seat, right where your child’s head is, and cause a serious or fatal injury. A child who rides in a forward-facing car seat could also be harmed by an air bag.

The best place to install a car seat is the back seat. Additionally, even better is the center seat in the back row. This is because there is less risk of glass being shattered into the baby’s face and eyes in case of a “T-Bone” car accident. There is also less chance that the baby or child’s arms or legs will hit the car door or any other objects in the even of a car accident.

The US National Library or Medicine posted a study in 2008 that showed that children sitting in the center seat in their car seat are 43% safer than those that are positioned on one side or the other. Additionally, they posted another study in 2008 that showed that people that are in fatal crashes have a 13% increase in survival if they sit in the center seat versus one of the side seats. A lot of this has to do with cars impacting someone who is seated on the side seats versus the center. The center is relatively protected compared to all other seats from being actually touched by a car, telephone pole, or any other outside force in a car accident.

Installing the car seat in the middle of the back seat is very strenuous on some people and some people may not want to have to reach all the way into the center of the car to put their baby. However, a little extra effort can be the difference between making sure your baby is as safe as possible from car accident injuries and not.

Additionally, car seats are big and can take up a lot of room in your back seat forcing you and your passengers in the front seat to move their seats up to an unsafe position in smaller cars. If a car seat is situated in the center back seat, you and your passenger can put your seats back so your legs are not cramped. If they are on one of the sides, you may have a cramped passenger.

The next safest spot is the passenger side rear seat. This is more due to having to take your child out with cars passing you if you park on a busy street if you had him or her seated behind the driver. Car seats are big and can stick out pretty far. You don’t want to be on the busy street side of your car as long as you have to so you don’t get hit by a car or drop your baby on the street.

NEVER put a rearward-facing baby seat in the front if there is an active passenger airbag. It is illegal and dangerous to do so, because if the airbag goes off, it will hit the baby seat and fling it forward with considerable force.Some people are not fortunate to own multiple cars and can’t easily afford to by a new one, whereby their only means of transportation is front row only pickup truck. If it’s necessary for a child to travel in a vehicle such as a pickup truck that has only one row of seats, deactivate the front air bags.

Andrew CherinWhere is the optimal place for car seats?
Read more

What you post on Facebook can be used against you?

No comments

If you are injured in a Seattle car accident, chances are high that the insurance adjuster as searched your Facebook, Twitter, and instagram pages to see your activity level. If you have just been injured in a car accident and all of a sudden you are posting pictures of you on a skateboard doing tricks, the insurance company is going to be skeptical and use that against you even if those pictures posted after the car accident were actually pictures taken before the car accident.

Insurance companies can look at your Facebook and other social media if you have your privacy settings set to public. The pictures you post on social media could be from a long time ago but they insurance company may believe that they are of you today and a jury will think the same. Your Seattle personal injury lawyer can prove that these were pictures from a long time ago before the car accident but it makes it much more difficult.

You social media may be discoverable at trial so your privacy levels may not even matter. Courts are somewhat up in the air about whether your social media accounts are discoverable by insurance companies in car accident injury cases. However, it would be a good idea to keep your social media private so they are not easily witnessed by insurance adjusters who then will not offer anything for your case and make it much more difficult to settle your case outside of trial.

You generally cannot fake injuries in car accident injury cases and the truth will come out one way or another. There are too many barriers for someone to fake the insurance industry and the insurance industry has too many resources to be faked. Your doctors will not treat you if they think you are faking an injury because they could lose their license. A lawyer will not take your case if they believe you are faking because they could lose their license. The truth will come out one way or another in the end. Insurance fraud is no joke and could come with monetary fines as well as jail time.

Andrew CherinWhat you post on Facebook can be used against you?
Read more

Debunking Seattle car accident injury calculators for case value?

No comments

If you are injured in a Seattle car accident injury case, you have probably searched for your case value and came across personal injury calculators. You have probably looked into personal injury calculators to figure out how much your case is actually worth. Many of these websites will say that your case is worth 3 times the medical bills and lost wages, however, this is highly misleading and inaccurate. However, this is still not how much you will see in your pocket. This is generally what the personal injury lawyer says your case is worth before you have to pay back medical bills and your personal injury lawyer. Additionally, lost wages are generally not included in the multiplier, only added in after the multiplier.

Your Seattle personal injury case could be worth far more 3 times the medical bills or your personal injury case could be worth less than 3 times the medical bills. What determines whether a case is worth more or less is the type of treatment you receive, the permanency of your injuries, and the other factors. Every case is different so it is hard to pinpoint exactly what a case is worth but these are the general factors that are considered when determining a case value. You should set up a free consultation with a Seattle personal injury lawyer to learn more about your case value.

Most importantly, no one can accurately determine your case value or give you an estimation on your case value until your injuries are fully healed and you have completed 100% of your medical treatment or gotten as close to 100% as possible. There are too many factors that go into determining car accident injury case value that cannot be predicted without fully being healed, medical bill totals, lost wage totals, and permanency of injuries calculated.

What makes a case worth more than 3 times the medical bills and lost wages? These are car accident injury cases that have permanent, life changing injuries. Typically, these cases involve a surgery, lengthy hospital stay, and permanent impairment of some ability you used to have but no longer have because of the car accident. Additionally, these cases could have giant loss of income ability and lost wages that make the case value worth more than 3 times the medical bills calculation.

What makes a case worth less than 3 times the medical bills and lost wages? These are car accident injury cases that generally only have diagnostic costs such as MRI, x-rays, or CT scans that are expensive with little or not medical treatment. This is typically where the diagnostic tests are more expensive than the actual recovery medical treatment that is given like physical therapy, chiropractic treatment, etc. These cases are worth some money but generally not worth as much as cases where someone has gone through long treatment and has permanent or temporary debilitating injuries. Additionally, cases where massage therapy is the only form of medical treatment is generally not worth as much as other treatment.

Andrew CherinDebunking Seattle car accident injury calculators for case value?
Read more

Waiting too long to hire a personal injury lawyer may wreck your car accident injury case?

No comments

Waiting too long to hire a Seattle personal injury lawyer can wreck your personal injury case and make it much less valuable than it could have been if you hired one from the get go.

If you wait too long you could lose out on great advice and rights you could have been entitled to but waited too long. A Seattle personal injury lawyer will let you know from the outset of your case how to pay for the medical treatment that you need right now. Your car accident injury lawyer will be able to find insurance coverage to pay for the medical treatment that you need or possibly find you a doctor that will give you the medical treatment that you need and wait to be paid out of the settlement via a lien that your attorney signs as do you.

By delaying getting the treatment that you need at the outset of the case, you are giving the insurance adjuster the ability to argue that you were not injured by the car accident and this must be from some other act. Additionally, if you don’t get treatment early, the jury will think that you are not that injured otherwise you would have got treatment immediately or soon after the car accident.

Additionally, if you wait too long to hire a Seattle personal injury lawyer you could lose out on your case. In Washington State you have three years from the date of your car accident to either settle or file a lawsuit. If you do not settle or file a lawsuit within this time period, you no longer have any avenues to seek recovery against the defendant.

If you wait too long to hire a Seattle car accident injury lawyer, you may lose out on potential defenses that you may have had to mitigate defense insurance arguments limiting the value of your case. Some times a person in a car accident could have potential holes in their case such as partial liability or fault. A personal injury lawyer can mitigate this by going to the car accident scene, taking pictures, getting witness statements before they disappear, or more. Additionally, hiring an accident reconstructionist early can avoid potential pitfalls by insurance adjusters hanging their hat and withholding money because of their view that there is partial liability.

It is best to find a Seattle personal injury lawyer at the outset of your case so you know your rights and they can limit the arguments that the insurance company can use against you to make for a less contentious settlement.

Andrew CherinWaiting too long to hire a personal injury lawyer may wreck your car accident injury case?
Read more

Why you shouldn’t give a recorded statement to defendant’s insurance?

No comments

A potential pitfall for Seattle car accident injury victims is when it comes to talking to the other insurance company and giving them too much information. While the truth will always come out, it is a good idea to not give them the opportunity to spin your words into something that is untrue or misleading.

At the outset of a Seattle personal injury case, the other insurance company will ask for you to give a recorded statement. This may seem harmless but it is ripe with danger. The insurance adjuster is trained in asking questions that may be misleading or lead to inaccurate information.

Some of these questions can include talking about your medical history and your current symptoms. The insurance adjuster loves talking about prior injuries and trying to relate those injuries to the current car accident injury case. If you had prior injuries, they will ask if the injuries seem like the same injuries you suffered in this car accident and if they were present before this car accident. This could lead you into a hole that may be hard to get out of.

Additionally, insurance adjusters will try to ask you about your current injuries. They may try to downplay your injuries on the phone and ask you how you know you are that hurt. They may ask you how you are feeling right now and you may say fine. However, they will not ask you about how you felt last night or when you were driving in your car. Moreover, many injuries manifest themselves over a period of days after the car accident. The sooner they talk to you and get a recorded statement, the harder it is for you to say all of a sudden you are injured and need all this care.

They will and can use the recorded statement in court as a prior inconsistent statement or to show that you were not hurt. If all of a sudden you are hurt but during the recorded interview you said you were fine, the jury may look down on you as untrustworthy or lying about your injuries and the severity of them.

Additionally, the recorded statement may have to do with how the car accident happened. If the car accident happened because of anything but a rear end car accident, they may try to put words in your mouth like you ran the red light or you ran the stop sign. They could say that you saw my client right? So why did you continue if you saw them. They didn’t see you. Even if you didn’t see them or you had no time to stop. They can easily put words into your mouth on how the car accident happened and potentially make it your fault if there are no independent witnesses to say otherwise.

If you have been injured in a car accident, you need a Seattle car accident injury lawyer to represent you before you talk to the insurance company. You don’t need to make a statement to the defendant’s insurance company but you may need to give one to your insurance company. Make sure you have a lawyer representing you before you give any statements to anyone.

 

Andrew CherinWhy you shouldn’t give a recorded statement to defendant’s insurance?
Read more

Failing to Attend Medical Treatment or Having Gaps in Treatment Will Hurt Your Case

No comments

If you fail to attend your medical treatment or are having gaps in your treatment, you are hurting your Seattle car accident injury case. Your case will be worth far less if you have large gaps in treatment or miss your medical appointments.

Insurance companies and juries will believe that you are fully healed if you stop going to your medical treatment, miss appointments, and have large gaps in treatment. It is hard to make three chiropractic sessions a week, massage therapy, and physical therapy appointments with a full work schedule, parenting duties, and everything else. However, if you want to get better and help your case, you need to make all your appointments that your doctors believe that you need. If you don’t, you are sending the message that you are fully healed or not injured.

Not being able to pay for your medical treatment out of pocket is not a good excuse that will work with the insurance company. A Seattle personal injury lawyer can find you coverage or ways to get the treatment that you need. A Seattle personal injury lawyer can never personally pay for your medical treatment, as this is illegal. However, they can sign letters of guarantees or liens with medical personnel such as doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists, massage therapists, etc. so that you can get the treatment that you need without a gap in treatment and then pay them back out of the settlement. Most medical providers will not allow you to do this without a Seattle car accident injury lawyer representing you and guaranteeing payment back to them.

Additionally, if you have exhausted your PIP, you may have other coverage that can pay for your medical treatment such as medical insurance, other PIP coverage or something else. A Seattle personal injury lawyer can find this coverage if it is available to you. Medical insurance may initially deny paying for your treatment but a Seattle personal injury lawyer can make them start covering your treatment if you have the coverage. This can include paying for surgery, doctors bills, etc. It may not cover chiropractic or massage, however, as most medical insurance policies do not cover these types of treatment.

 

 

Andrew CherinFailing to Attend Medical Treatment or Having Gaps in Treatment Will Hurt Your Case
Read more

Mistakes That Can Wreck a Seattle Car Accident Injury Case: Statements made to doctors and massage therapists

No comments

As a Seattle personal injury lawyer, I have seen many things that can help or hurt a car accident injury case. Here are some of the top mistakes or misconceptions that clients have that I have seen that hurt Seattle car accident injury cases. A misconception is that doctors, chiropractors, massage therapists, and others will only write in your records what helps

What you say to your doctor, massage therapist, chiropractor, or any medical personnel will be put in your medical records and potentially used against you. You may think that because your doctor has treated many people injured in car accidents before that they know what will hurt your case and what will help your car accident injury case. However, most doctors and other medical personnel have no clue about what will help your case and what will hurt your case. They are simply a recording device and focused on you getting better.

Doctors, massage therapists, and other medical personnel want to see you get better. In fact, it is their number one goal to get you better from the injuries you suffered in the car accident. Their goal is to get you better as fast as possible. When they see that you state that you are feeling good, they write it down. When you say you are no longer feeling pain in a certain area, they write it down. They often will not differentiate between how you are feeling right now and how you felt last night after work or how you felt as you drove home from work yesterday. However, the good ones will.

It’s important to understand that you are not lying and they are not lying when they put down this information, only that it is not the complete truth. A lot of time doctors will ask how you feel right now, which is fine but you need to be honest with them and tell them how you felt last night, how you felt driving here in the car, and how you feel when you do something that causes you pain too. This will allow them to put this into their notes as well.

It’s not a lie to tell them you are feeling ok right now because you are just sitting here. Additionally, a lot of people are anticipating feeling good because of past experiences and comfortability with your doctor, massage therapist, chiropractor, etc. who have made you feel good in the past. This can dull the senses in some ways and make you think of the future instead of the past.

What can you do to make sure that you are not hurting your case when you talk to your doctor, massage therapist, physical therapists, or chiropractor? When the doctor asks you how you are feeling right now, always think of they are asking how you have been doing since they last saw you. Think of the time you had a lot of pain with your car accident injuries since you last saw this doctor. It’s important to report both the good and the bad.

A lot of times doctors will focus on the good because they want to see you improving so they feel satisfaction with their being a part of your healing, which is great but give them the whole story.

 

Andrew CherinMistakes That Can Wreck a Seattle Car Accident Injury Case: Statements made to doctors and massage therapists
Read more

What do I tell the insurance company after a car accident?

No comments

After our clients have been injured in a Seattle car accident, two of the first questions they ask us are: “What should I say to the insurance company both mine and the defendant’s? What should I not say to the insurance company?”

The most important thing to keep in mind when speaking with an insurance company is to be very cautious and guarded, even if it is your own insurance company, because their mission is to find out whatever information benefits them.

You may think that they have your best interests at heart, but they are a business and thus they want to save money by paying as little as possible to you for your car accident injuries. This means that they will either try to minimize your claim or deny it altogether, depending on the information they obtain from you. This is why it is best if you say as little as possible. Anything you say can be twisted to be used against you and in favor of the other party.

ONLY GIVE OBJECTIVE INFORMATION WHEN REQUESTED

 

When dealing with the other driver’s insurance company, it is best if you only give objective information that is requested, such as the date of the Seattle car accident, your insurance policy information, and your contact information, and that you would like to talk to your personal injury lawyer if more information is requested. You only want to give them information when they request it and nothing more.

Most people will down play their injuries initially because they don’t want to be looked at as weak or meager. Additionally, people don’t want to say they are injured and how bad because they are uncomfortable talking about their pain and vulnerability after a car accident. For this reason, many men do not file a personal injury case against the insurance company and will rather tough out injuries and not seek treatment unless they need surgery.

In terms of your own insurance company, you have an obligation under your insurance contract to speak with them, but you still want to be very cautious about anything you sign or about giving a recorded statement. In your recorded statement it is ok to consult with your attorney before talking. Additionally, you can say that you do not know the extent of your injuries and you are currently seeking medical treatment for the injuries you suffered in the car accident.

If you have been injured in a Seattle car accident, you should think about talking to a Seattle personal injury lawyer first to determine your rights and what you are entitled to. You could be entitled to $10,000 or more for your car accident injury case. Best of all, consultations are free and Seattle personal injury lawyers are only paid out of the settlement and do not charge anything if we cannot recover anything for you. Anyone can afford a personal injury lawyer but you can’t afford not to have one against the insurance company.

 

 

Andrew CherinWhat do I tell the insurance company after a car accident?
Read more