Washington Personal Injury Attorney
click here to be instantly connected to a Personal Injury Lawyer click here to see our Personal Injury Blog

Recent Blog Posts in July 2010

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.

Continue reading "Children involved in a Car Accident and Minor Settlements" »

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.  

Continue reading "Should i see a doctor after being hit by another car?" »

July 20, 2010

Moving Violations can have long reaching effects

Posted By Park Chenaur

I once was in court attending a pretrial hearing with a client. As we waited our turn, a 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.

Continue reading "Moving Violations can have long reaching effects" »

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" »

Attorney Web Design The information on this Federal Way, Washington Personal Injury Attorneys / Law Firm website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this or associated pages, documents, comments, answers, emails, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information on this website is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

Address: 2505 S. 320th St., Ste 100 Federal Way, WA 98003    Phone: (253) 839-9440