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Recent Blog Posts in 2010

24 posts found. Viewing page 1 of 1. September 16, 2010

Can you get compensation for your child car seat after an accident?

Posted By Angel Chenaur

We have represented numerous people injured in car accidents over the years.  Often, the car accident involves a child that is in the vehicle riding in a car seat.  Our injury attorneys and staff always ensure that the car seat is replaced for our clients.  The cost of replacing the car seat is borne by insurance and is covered personal property damaged as a result of the car accident.  For the first time in recent memory we were forced to actually argue with insurance with respect to the issue of replacing a car seat involved in a motor vehicle collision.  The insurance adjuster asserted that insurance had no duty to replace the car seat absent affirmative evidence that the car seat actually suffered damage.  Aside from the obvious that any risk associated with a child is unacceptable, especially when easily (and inexpensively at that) avoided, there are other authorities that demand replacing the seat.  Washington law mandates that every child restraint system (car seat) must comply with standards of the United States Department of Transportation as well as manufacturer guidelines.  RCW 46.61.687.   The NHTSA official position recommends that child safety seats always be replaced following a moderate to severe motor vehicle collision / accident.  In minor accidents NHTSA states that the child safety seats do not automatically have to be replaced.  A list of replacement criteria is provided as a guideline to help assess if the accident was indeed minor.  Even if deemed minor, NHTSA ultimately recommends having the seat inspected by a certified safety technician.  The primary goal of the legislature is “to maximize the protection of children in vehicles.”  This should be everyone’s goal, insurance included.  In reviewing manufacturer guidelines, every major manufacturer of car seats not surprisingly recommends replacement following a car collision / accident.  Bottom line, in the above case, insurance paid for the replacement car seat.  If unsure how to proceed, a victim of a car accident can also take the seat to a local child safety seat inspection station.

Continue reading "Can you get compensation for your child car seat after an accident? " »

August 25, 2010

Medical Errors on the Rise?

Posted By Park Chenaur

It is always a good idea to stay alert and informed concerning the medical care we receive.  Restricted resources can make obtaining safe and competent health care even more of a challenge.   A recently published article appearing in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Tribune addressed a shocking new survey of acute care nurses.  Over 230,000 hospital employees were involved in the survey.  Nurses disclosed the fact that they believe that problems and medical errors are prevalent in the hospitals where they work.  Nearly half of the nurses surveyed reported feeling unhappy, disengaged and disempowered in their jobs.  These attitudes affected the standard of care patients receive and many reported that they could not recommend their hospital as a care center.  The medical errors the nurses reporting seeing with the most frequency were medication errors, pressure sores, allergic reactions, missed dressing changes.  The general consensus was that hospital administrators either are unaware or choose to ignore this growing problem.  Cutting financial corners in an effort to increase profits was cited as a main source of the turmoil brewing between employees of the hospitals and those that run it.

Continue reading "Medical Errors on the Rise?" »

August 25, 2010

Deposition Preparation

Posted By Park Chenaur

All clients experience anxiety in anticipation of being deposed by defense counsel.  Preparation for the deposition is very important in large part to minimize nerves.  Anxiety can be diminished by knowing what to expect and eliminating worry about even the simplest of things -- where to park, what to bring, how long it will take, what you should wear, whether you can request a restroom break, etc.  Be prepared that the initial questions will seem unnecessary, redundant and intrusive.  Stay calm and just answer to the best of your ability.

The first advice we always give to a client is to tell the truth.  If you are being deposed, you should always listen carefully to the question, pause, and think before you answer.  Be positive and precise, answering only the question answered.  Do not volunteer unrelated information and do not think out loud.  Do not exaggerate and do not go off on a tangent.  Remember to focus and pay attention.  Be courteous, even though you may not feel like it, and be polite.  Never use inappropriate language to answer a question.  Do not speculate, guess or assume.  If you do not know the answer, say that you do not know, or you do not remember.  Remember that depositions are always disconcerting for the one being examined.  The importance of preparation with your attorney cannot be overstated and will go a long way in calming your nerves.

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August 11, 2010

"I'd like you to perform some voluntary Field Sobriety Tests…"

Posted By Dan Gerl

"I just want to make sure you're ok to drive."

That's what the officer tells you after he's asked you to step out of your car, but that's not all he wants. By this point, he's all but "decided" that you're impaired. While he may, in fact, decide after the Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs), that you're ok to drive, that's not why he wants you to do them. He's already building his case against you - which is that you've been driving drunk.

Most people don't know - or realize, until its too late - that you can refuse to perform FSTs in Washington State. When I meet with a potential client, one of the first things I ask is whether they performed the tests, whether the officer told them advised they were voluntary, and whether they believed they had the right to refuse. What they usually tell me is that they did perform them, the officer did say they were voluntary, and yet they did not really think they could refuse.

Police officers almost always tell the driver that the tests are voluntary. While this is not required by law, they must show that the driver consented to the tests, and the best policy is to use the word "voluntary" when asking the driver to consent to the tests. What they almost never tell the driver is that they have the right to refuse them, but that their refusal may be used against them. (This differs from the Implied Consent Warnings given prior to the breath test but that's another topic.)

If the driver refuses to do the FSTs it may be used against them later, if shown to be relevant to the charge. But it may not. It all depends on the circumstances. If it can be demonstrated that the officer by his conduct tried to "coerce" the driver into performing the tests, for instance, the court will likely suppress the refusal or even the test results themselves, if the person agreed performed them. This would be the case even if the officer did use the word "voluntary" - if the court finds coercion, then the word itself in that context is meaningless.

Also, if the driver (respectfully, of course) declines to answer any questions ("how much have you had to drink?") or perform any tests without first speaking to an attorney, his attorney may later argue that he did so on advice of counsel, and not because he believed it would provide evidence of his guilt. The prosecutor bears the burden to show that the driver's refusal is relevant; the odds are strong, however, that a judge will find that one's exercising their prerogative to refuse FSTs "on advice of counsel" is not relevant, and that the judge will exclude the refusal as evidence.

Drivers should always be polite and courteous to police officers. But that doesn't mean they should make the case against themselves easier. Respectfully exercising your privilege to refuse FSTs, particularly on advice of counsel, will very likely result in that evidence not being used against you. Even if a judge finds that your refusal is relevant (an attorney experienced with DUI issues is your best bet here), a refusal to perform FSTs is almost always better presented to a jury than potentially damaging test results (which are specifically designed to make you fail). In my experience as a prosecutor, I can tell you that juries often disregard the fact that the accused refused to perform FSTs, often commenting "if they had the right to refuse, and they exercise that right, why should that be held against them?" I have to admit that I thought hard about it at the time; I don't have to think about it now. Because I know it shouldn't.

A skilled and experienced DUI attorney will know how to best assess the facts of your particular situation and look for legal issues to ensure that you are provided the best defense. The DUI attorneys at Park Chenaur & Associates are skilled and experienced to do just that. Give us a call at 253-839-9440 to schedule a free consultation today.

Continue reading " "I'd like you to perform some voluntary Field Sobriety Tests…"" »

August 04, 2010

Are Alcohol-Detecting Steering Wheels the Answer?

Posted By Park Chenaur

In recent news:  

Schumer: Steering Wheels Could Stop Drunk Driving

Elmira, NY.  July 23 — In the future, cars may be able to detect — through a driver’s skin — whether he or she is drunk, and prevent the engine from starting.

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., was in Elmira on Friday to promote a bill that would fund research of alcohol detection devices that could make such a scenario possible.   Called the ROADS SAFE Act of 2010, or Senate bill 3039, the act would direct the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration to spend $60 million over five years to figure out whether it’s possible to make an alcohol-detecting ignition lock that is both reliable and affordable.

"There’s a real chance for a tremendous breakthrough that doesn’t prosecute drunk driving after the act, but prevents it," Schumer said during a news conference with area officials at the Hazlett Building

Schumer said sensors that can detect blood alcohol content could be placed on steering wheels and driver’s seats. He said that technology is already in use in an alcohol-sensing bracelet, such as one worn by actress Lindsay Lohan.

"It detects through sweat that is always coming out of your pores, even when you can’t feel it, the legal limit of alcohol," Schumer said. "And when she was over it, it would go beep beep, and law enforcement would come get her."…  

A prominent DUI attorney from California , Lawrence Taylor (no, not that LT) has observed “[c]lever, except….uh, what about gloves?” Well, I know from experience when I’m on the treadmill at my gym, those heart rate sensors won’t work if I’m wearing workout gloves. So I imagine it’s wouldn’t be too difficult to design steering wheels to detect for whether or not the driver is actually gripping the wheel with her bare hands. Nor does it seem that one could get around this by having someone else hold the wheel while starting, as the wheel could certainly be designed to continuously detect while the vehicle is in operation.

The question remains, however – would this prevent a vehicle from starting when detecting any alcohol at all? Or would it be sensitive to levels (ie, .08)? Its not illegal to drink and drive, after all – but only when one’s ability to drive is impaired by alcohol (or drugs), or one’s blood alcohol level is at or above .08. Is this a “real chance for a tremendous breakthrough,” as Sen. Schumer suggests?  Or is it, as Mr. Taylor asserts, “ a perfect example of the idiocy of MADD’s holy crusade?”

Continue reading "Are Alcohol-Detecting Steering Wheels the Answer?" »

August 02, 2010

Independent Medical Exam (IME) and PIP in Washington State

Posted By Park Chenaur

In Washington, although PIP is not required, an insured must sign a waiver rejecting said coverage.  If your insurance company cannot produce your signed waiver, they must provide PIP coverage.  Under a PIP policy, your insurance company must pay for those medical bills that are reasonable, necessary and related to the accident.  They cannot deny coverage on a blanket statement saying the bills were not related, they must provide some form of proof.  Insurance companies typically call for an Independent Medical Exam or IME to gather evidence sufficient to deny further coverage.  If you choose not to attend, they can terminate PIP benefits.  You and your attorney should do a cost benefit analysis on whether or not you should submit to an IME.  If your IME results are unfavorable, the third party insurance carrier is entitled to a copy of the report if your case proceeds to litigation.  If you choose to not attend, however, you may need to pay your medical bills from your own pocket.  If you do decide to attend, you should have your attorney or another representative record the IME.  Recording helps with an accurate account of the examination as well as keeping the medical doctor honest.

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July 26, 2010

Children involved in a Car Accident and Minor Settlements

Posted By Park Chenaur

If your child or another child under the age of 18 was injured in a car accident, handling the minor settlement can be difficult.  First, you need to work out a settlement amount with the insurance company that fairly compensates your child.  After a fair monetary figure has been agreed upon, a petition for approval of settlement needs to be filed with the court.  The court, depending on jurisdiction, will appoint a Settlement Guardian Ad Litem (SGAL) to oversee your child's case.  The SGAL, after an investigation into the facts of the accident and the type of injury and treatment, will make a recommendation to the judge.  If the judge approves your the settlement amount, usually the funds will be placed in a blocked account until your child reaches the age of 18.  In Washington, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until your child reaches 18 years of age.  At that time, your child will have 3 years to resolve his claim.

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July 22, 2010

Should i see a doctor after being hit by another car?

Posted By Park Chenaur

When you are injured in a car accident it is important to get evaluated by a medical professional immediately.  Even if you are initially experiencing minimal pain symptoms, a full evaluation will help ensure that there is no permanent damage to your health.  Often times, your symptoms will progressively worsen over the days following the car accident.  Do not attempt to suffer through the pain in hopes that it will simply get better on its own.  If you are injured, you need treatment early on to increase the chances of a full recovery and also lessen the length of treatment overall.  Insurance companies will use any delays in seeking treatment as evidence to minimize you injuries, or assert you were not injured at all.  Once you begin treatment, it is important to follow all of the instructions and advice from your treating practitioner(s).  This includes informing your treatment providers of all the symptoms that you are experiencing on a given day.  It is a good idea to maintain a journal throughout your recovery to document symptoms and progress.  Be present and punctual for all appointments as any missed appointments will be documented.  Avoid any significant “gaps in treatment,” meaning periods of time where there is no treatment at all.  Again, the insurance company will take this as evidence that your injuries were nonexistent or so minor that you did not need treatment and the effect will be to devalue your case.  We all have life emergencies or periods of time where attending a doctor’s appointment will be impossible; for example, a death in the family or serious illness.  If this is the case, document your reasons for being unable to make the treatment session(s) and inform your doctor/provider why you are unavailable.  It is important to resume and maintain a consistent treatment plan on your road to recovery.  

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July 20, 2010

Moving Violations can have long reaching effects

Posted By Park Chenaur

I once w as in court attending a pretrial hearing with a client. As we waited our turn, another person was before the court for sentencing on an alcohol-related driving offense. Although the sentencing recommendation between his attorney and the prosecutor was agreed to, the judge declined to follow it and sentenced the defendant to even more jail time. The reason? This individual had picked up two speeding tickets while his alcohol related charge was pending; both infractions were found committed because, rather than requesting a contesting hearing, he mailed in the citations with payment in full -- thus accepting responsibility for each infraction without holding the government to its burden in either case(or at least continuing the infractions until after the criminal matter was resolved). This person no doubt thought he was "doing the right thing" by admitting he committed the infractions, but the judge clearly saw things differently, "rewarding" him with extra jail time.

Most people are aware that moving violations can have long lasting negative affects on their driving records, causing insurance rates to skyrocket. Most aren't aware that these violations can have far more detrimental affects as well, as this unfortunate individual discovered. There are even times where a prosecutor will take into consideration non-criminal traffic offenses, such as speeding, when negotiating an pending criminal matter like DUI, Reckless Driving or Negligent Driving (First Degree). For instance, a person charged with DUI, Reckless Driving or Negligent Driving with several moving violations on her record may find it more difficult to negotiate a favorable plea resolution than someone without them.

If you are cited for a moving violation, before simply sending the citation in and paying the fine in full -- and accepting full responsibility-- you should consider the far-reaching effects your decision might have. At Park Chenaur, our traffic infractions attorneys will speak with you free of charge concerning your infraction and your own particular situation, in order to help you make the most informed decision possible.

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July 20, 2010

Rear-End Accidents

Posted By Park Chenaur

The Following Car Doctrine has been established by a long line of cases in Washington , including Ryan v.Westgard, 12 Wn. App. 500.  

The doctrine states “when two cars are traveling in the same direction, the primary duty of avoiding a collision rests with the following driver.  In the absence of an emergency or unusual condition, he is negligent if he runs into the car ahead.” 

The reasoning is simple: the following car is in the best position to avoid the accident.  If you are a following driver, you should have your eyes positioned ahead where you see the car in front of you.   You must give yourself enough room to stop if necessary.  Obviously, the faster you are driving, the more room you should give yourself between you and the vehicle ahead. 

An emergency situation or unusual condition is an exception to the general rule, but very difficult to show.  For example, driving in the snow and poor visibility conditions did not constitute sufficient facts to be considered an emergency situation where the snow and poor visibility had existed for some time.

For practical purposes, rear-end collisions are usually not contested and the following driver’s insurance company typically accepts liability for the accident.  

Continue reading "Rear-End Accidents" »

July 09, 2010

I was rear-ended, do I get a rental car when my car is being fixed?

Posted By Park Chenaur

Yes.  A vehicle owner may get the value of the loss of use for his vehicle for a reasonable time.  WPI 30.16 states that "such sum as will reasonably compensate for any loss of use of any damaged property during the time reasonably required for its repair".

Sometimes there is a dispute about the type of replacement car offered.  For example, when a client has a Mercedes but the insurance company offers her a Ford, the client will not be happy, especially if the repair time is longer than one week.  In these cases, negotiation and reasoning with the insurance company is usually the best option as litigation is costly.  Another alternative is the recover the difference in value of having the economy car instead of the luxury car at the end of the case.

Continue reading "I was rear-ended, do I get a rental car when my car is being fixed?" »

July 06, 2010

Ignition Interlock Device (IID) License Application Requirement

Posted By Park Chenaur

I recently had a case where a client was sentenced for DUI (as a result of the agreement another DUI charge against him was dismissed). As part of the sentence the judge ordered him to "apply for the IID (Ignition Interlock Device) License within 30 days." This struck me as odd, since IID requirements have always been the domain of the DOL. After researching the issue more thoroughly, I came upon some rather curious findings. At sentencing for DUI the judge is in fact required by law to order the client to apply for the IID license within 30 days (he who knowlingly violates sentencing conditions risks additional jail time). To apply, a person must include a non-refundable $100 application fee. In order to qualify for an IID license, one must have proof of SR-22 insurance, must have the IID itself installed, and must have proof of both at the time he applies (within 30 days of sentencing). If he does not he loses his $100. He can certainly apply again down the line, but he'll have to pay another $100.

There is an "exception" to this requirement. In the event that the defendant does not qualify (for instance, he no longer has a car) the judge can waive the application requirement but must then order the defendant to submit to alcohol monitoring at his own expense. It would, of course, make more financial sense for that person to simply pay the $100 fee and be done with it; after all, he would have then met everything required of him at sentencing since there is no requirement that he actually obtain the IID. But what's fair about that?

Consider the following. At sentencing for DUI a judge is not required to impose a condition of alcohol abstinence; in fact a first time DUI offender often faces no such condition. Yet the DOL requires that same judge to order that same person to either apply for the IID license, or (if waived) to undergo alcohol monitoring for the period he would have been required to have the IID license. So a defendant who is not prohibited from consuming alcohol is forced to pay for alcohol monitoring? How ridiculous is this?

This arbitrary and pointless requirement by the DOL that a person apply for an IID license within 30 days of sentencing (with a $100 non-refundable fee), regardless of whether or not they are eligible, serves no purpose but to line the pockets of the DOL. Simply take away this requirement and all else remains the same -  a defendant still cannot drive without a license, still must obtain the IID license if he wants to drive while suspended, and if he does drive without a license (and IID if required) he can still be charged with a crime. These safeguards reasonably ensure that someone convicted a DUI, and whose license is suspended as a result, not drive any vehicle without an IID installed. If one can't afford high risk insurance or no longer has a car, one cannot qualify for the license. What if they simply choose not to drive? Why does the DOL require that one apply for something that he has no hope of obtaining? Why does our Legislature allow them to? How long will we allow them to?

Continue reading "Ignition Interlock Device (IID) License Application Requirement" »

June 30, 2010

I was in a car accident and have been unable to sleep due to nightmares. What is wrong with me?

Posted By Park Chenaur

A car accident can be a significant trauma that results in anxiety and emotional upset for many people, in addition to the physical pain and discomfort.  Often times, victims of a collision are afraid to drive, afraid to get into a car, or cannot sleep due to nightmares.  If a child or loved one was also in the car, this can add to the anxiety, anger, fear and frustration.  Lack of sleep and physical pain only aggravates the situation and further impairs the accident victim’s ability to cope.  Anxiety disorders can result following exposure to any event that causes psychological trauma – a car accident would certainly qualify as such an event.  If the symptoms only last several days, but begin to dissipate on their own it is referred to as an acute stress response.  Should the symptoms continue and perhaps worsen over time, it is possible the victim is exhibiting symptoms of a much more serious condition known as post traumatic stress disorder.  If this sounds like you or someone you care about, we at Park Chenaur can help you find a counselor or psychologist to help work through the effects of the trauma and assist with insurance coverage issues.  Healing from the emotional aspects of a car accident can be a critical component of comprehensive treatment and is just as important as treating the physical injuries. 

Continue reading "I was in a car accident and have been unable to sleep due to nightmares. What is wrong with me?" »

June 30, 2010

What if I am injured in a car accident, that is not my fault, but I have no insurance coverage. Can I still get treatment?

Posted By Park Chenaur

Absolutely. Many doctors will agree to treat you and delay payment until your claim is settled.  The treatment provider(s) will have what we call a lien on your file, assuring them of reimbursement out of the final settlement proceeds.  Typically, the treatment provider(s) will require that you be represented by an attorney, that liability is not an issue (i.e., that the other party acknowledges fault), and that the at-fault party has insurance to cover the medical reimbursement.  At Park Chenaur, our injury and accident attorneys can assist you in obtaining treatment in this situation so that your doctor can feel confident about getting pain and you can receive the treatment and care that you need to heal.

Continue reading " What if I am injured in a car accident, that is not my fault, but I have no insurance coverage. Can I still get treatment?" »

June 28, 2010

Can I recover lost wages if i was injured in a Car Accident?

Posted By Park Chenaur

Yes.  Not only can you recover your lost wages at the time of settlement, if you have Personal Injury Protection, you are entitled to recover wage loss much sooner, subject to some restrictions.  In order to recover your lost wages, proper documentation is absolutely necessary.  Below is a list of items you should have:

1.Dates missed from employment
2.Number of hours missed.
3.Rate of pay.
4.Employer/supervisor signature affirming wage loss.
5.Doctor's disability note or wage loss certification.
Continue reading "Can I recover lost wages if i was injured in a Car Accident?" »

June 22, 2010

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) in Washington

Posted By Park Chenaur

If you have ever been in a car accident in Washington State , you probably have heard of PIP insurance coverage.  Having PIP coverage means your own insurance company will pay for your medical expenses and loss of income, regardless of fault.  Most policies are $10,000.00 which is the minimum in Washington State .  Pursuant to RCW 48.22.085, PIP is required on all policies unless you sign a waiver to exclude that coverage.  If you or a loved one has recently been in a car accident, remember to use your PIP coverage to pay for your medical bills and loss of income.

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June 01, 2010

Is settlement money taxable income?

Posted By Park Chenaur

When you receive your settlement funds from the insurance company in compensation for your injuries from, for example a car accident, is that money taxable income?  The IRS begins everything with the premise that all income is taxable, from whatever source derived, unless exempted by another section of the code.  IRC Section 61.  Logically it seems that money received to compensate for injury and pain and suffering in an effort to make the victim whole should not be taxable because the victim has not realized any form of a gain, but is simply obtaining recovery for a loss.  IRC Section 104(a)(2) supports this rationale: All amounts received on account of physical injuries are excluded from gross income.  This includes damages awarded for emotional distress attributable to physical injury.  The determining factor is whether the award is directly linked to physical injury and/or physical sickness.  Punitive damages that aim to punish and deter the defendant, for example, are not excluded by this section.  Even if you are pretty certain that a settlement award would qualify for exclusion, it is always a good idea to discuss at length the specific issues and the allocation of any particular award with a tax expert/consultant. 

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April 28, 2010

Medical Malpractice Procedures RCW 7.70

Posted By Park Chenaur

In Washington, and around the country, medical malpractice claims have been on the rise.  The new RCW 7.70 and related statutes attempt to minimize the cost of medical malpractice claims in Washington by requiring a pre-suit notice.  An injured party, or her attorney, must give the health care provider a 90 day notice prior to filing suit.  Presumably this will facilitate negotiations and potentially resolve the case before a costly litigation ensues.  If notice is not given, per statute, you may be precluded entirely from pursuing your claim.  Thus, legal counsel is imperative if your claim is worth a substantial sum of money or if you are nearing your three year statute of limitations.

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April 27, 2010

Vehicle Property Damage

Posted By Park Chenaur

Generally you can handle property damage without the help of an attorney.  Insurance companies typically get an appraisal of the vehicle damage and payout within a reasonable time.  Sometimes, however, the estimate for vehicle repair does not fairly compensate the vehicle owner.  For example, if a person just purchased a new Mercedes Benz, was subsequently hit by another vehicle, and the estimated repair exceeded $20,000.00, the vehicle owner would not be happy about accepting a check for just the estimated repair.  In this case, the value of the vehicle would be significantly less even if fully repaired.  Thus, they would want both the amount for the repair AND the loss in value due to the accident.  No one wants to purchase a vehicle that has been in a previous accident.  As an owner, you are required to disclose this fact if asked.  Insurance companies will not hand you over the "loss in value" without the help of an attorney.  

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April 26, 2010

How do you value your case?

Posted By Park Chenaur

No amount of money can put you back in the position you were prior to the accident.  The law, however, attempts to make the injured person whole by monetary damages.  The injured person is entitled to two kinds of damages:

1.  Special Damages
a.  medical bills
b.  wage loss
c.  future medical bills and wage loss
d.  household services
e.  mileage

2.  General Damages
a.  pain and suffering
b.  loss of enjoyment of life
c.  mental anguish
d.  emotional distress
e.  loss of consortium

While special damages are fairly easy to calculate, how do we value your pain and suffering?  How can we accurately put a figure on the loss of your enjoyment of life?  Historically, attorneys, insurance adjusters, and arbitrators have used a basic general formula of taking the medical specials and multiplying them by 3 or 5 depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding a case.  Now, most insurance adjusters will deny use of any formula, but arbitration awards seem to suggest it is a fair and somewhat sensible approach in valuing general damages.

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April 25, 2010

How much should i get for pain and suffering?

Posted By Park Chenaur

The value for pain and suffering is a question of fact.  This means a jury and not a judge decides the value of your pain and suffering.  Every case is different.  There are factors, however, that strongly influence how much your pain and suffering is worth.  The most important factor in my opinion is medical specials that are reasonable and necessary.  Your general damages (which include pain and suffering) are typically several times more than your medical bills.  Most insurance companies will value your general damages at typically less than the medical specials.

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April 21, 2010

Future Medical Expenses

Posted By Park Chenaur

Damages are awardable for medical expenses that are reasonably certain to be necessary in the future.  Leak v. U.S. Rubber Co., 9 Wn. App. 98, 103 (1973).

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April 11, 2010


Posted By Rick Park

Subrogation is an important concept to understand in a personal injury claim.  Subrogation literally means the substitution of one person for another in reference to a lawful claim.  An example in a personal injury claim would be as follows:  You are injured in a car accident.  You get medical treatment from a chiropractor and massage therapist.  Your car insurance pays your medical bills weekly while you are being treated, even though you were not at fault for the accident.  At the end of your case, when your attorney recovers your medical bills and other damages from the insurance company of the negligent party, your insurance company requests repayment of those monies used to pay your bills.  They are asserting a subrogation interest.
Washington case law, such as Mahler v. Szucs, is our state's leading case on the issue.  The question is, who should get the windfall - you or the insurance company?  Essentially, the case allows attorney's fees to be collected proportionate to the amount you had to pay in order to recover.

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April 05, 2010

Welcome to Our Personal Injury Blog

Posted By Personal Injury Attorney

Our Attorneys are pleased to announce the launch of our Personal Injury blog with an RSS feed available at  http://www.federalwayinjuryattorney.com/Blog/Recent-Blog-Posts/RSS.xml

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