What to do following a bicycle accident in WA State

Federal Way bike accident lawyerA survey conducted by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention recorded that nearly half of a million people visited emergency rooms in the US for bicycle accident injuries in one year.

While bicyclists make 1% of the riders in the US, they are the most prone to accidents and crashes, usually resulting in extreme injuries and death. This is due to the nature of the vehicle they are driving. In case of accidents, where the fault usually lies at the end of bigger vehicles, the bicyclist is entitled to claim for recovery. And to help you get the right amount, an experienced Federal Way bicycle accident attorney will be the best choice after your medical recovery.

Call the authorities

First things first; as soon as you are involved in the accident, call the police. Do not leave the scene or visit the police station to file a complaint. Wait for the authorities to come at the scene and report about your injuries. Meanwhile, collect pictures, videos, and information on any witness present at the time of the accident. This will make your case stronger.

Do not make any statements

The driver will make an attempt to apologize, if they are at fault. Do not negotiate or give statements before the arrival of the police and your attorney. Instead, document everything with the police. The police may also issue a ticket against the driver, which can further help you get claims from your insurance company.

Visit a doctor

Seek immediate medical aid. Your injuries might not be painful at first, but the damage may be too deep to realize. Furthermore, the fact that you took immediate medical assistance will prove that your injuries were present. Ask your doctor or physician to keep a book for your entries every time you visit the hospital to show as proof in your case.

How can a personal injury attorney help?

When a bicycle is involved in an accident with another vehicle (usually bigger), the case gets extremely complex to judge. If you have no attorney and are a victim of such a case, then the bigger vehicle may just navigate you off. For this reason, it is best to seek an attorney specializing in personal injury cases, in particular bicycle accident claims. Communicate every detail of your case with the attorney, so that:

  • The attorney advises you on what to do next
  • Negotiate the case with your insurance provider
  • Act as your representative in the case

More so, do not communicate everything with your insurance company. Provide them with initial basic facts of the case and wait for your attorney to do the job. Insurance companies may not pay for your claims if any information or statement given by you is not in your favor.
So, get help from a personal injury attorney with specialization in the case to assist you with the case proceedings. If you are still wondering what to do with your case, get it reviewed/evaluated for free with a leading law firm in town!

How is liability determined in slip and fall injuries?

Federal Way slip and fall lawyerCertain accidents are beyond our control, such as a slip and fall. Many people are injured every year through slips and falls and to an extent that injuries are extensive, at times even permanent. In such cases, determining ‘who is at fault?’ is often a difficult judgment to make.
Although, in most cases, the owner of the property is liable for such injuries. However, availing claims for injuries caused due to slip and fall accidents is often a complex and stressful process for the victims.

If you or a loved one has been victim to slip and fall injuries, you need to take into account some facts to hold the property owner liable. These are as follows:

The owner or the people should have taken into consideration the potential hazardous place created at the location that could have been prevented. For instance, leaking water from the pipes can cause slips for people walking on the path. If such scenarios would have been recognized by a reasonable person then action can be taken against the owner.

The owner can cause the dangerous condition on purpose. For example, purposely leaving the pot hole open that can cause the walkers to fall or slip.

Case of negligence

The case of negligence will occur if the property owner failed to act reasonable. This can be evaluated by taking the following questions into consideration:

1. Could the hazardous condition be avoided by the property owner? Did he take into account the foreseeable event?

2. Was the property owner careful enough to keep daily, routine checks around? If yes, where is the information recorded? What evidence is available to prove that the property owner was careful?

3. Could the situation be avoided or be less dangerous? Did the owner place any warning signs for people to be aware of?

Besides this, you will also have to prove that you did not cause the accident yourself. This situation could arise when the property owner argues with the victim, trying to prove them as guilty of placing the accident. The questions that may go against you are as follows:

1. Did you have the rightful permission to enter the vicinity of the property owner at the time the accident took place? Were you expected for a visit by the owner/employees?

2. Was there a barrier that did not allow entrance to the location?

3. Were you involved in any such activities that could have caused your slip and fall accident? For example, jumping, playing, running, carelessness, etc.

So, make sure to have prepared answers for such questions when presenting your case in court. If you need expert advice, it would be best to get your case reviewed for free from a Federal Way slip and fall lawyer today. With an experienced attorney’s legal advice, your case will be covered by the best! Contact us today for a free consultation by filling out our online contact form, or by calling us today at (253) 244-9870.

Dog bites: The Legal Aftermath

Federal Way dog bite lawyer

According to a survey conducted in the US, at least 1000 people require emergency care treatment due to dog bites injury, everyday.

Dog bites usually occur due to negligence of dog owners. They can occur with any one, at any time. If you are a dog lover, a dog owner, or jut someone taking a stroll in the park or streets, chances are that you might be one of the victims of a dog bite.

When bitten by a dog, people often find themselves in a state of shock. This makes it very difficult for them to remember what happened, or how it occurred. In order to help you claim recovery for injuries, we have prepared a step-by-step guide that can help you in dealing with the legal aftermath of a dog bite.

1. Dog owner

This is one of the most crucial steps to take. Post bite; make sure to track down the owner of the dog who has the legal custody. Getting hold of the owner, or his address will greatly help you in making a strong case.

2. Witnesses

If there were people around you at the time of the incident, make sure to collect their information, such as: name, phone number, and address. People who witnessed the attack will be of great help once you take the matter to the court and ask for a relief.

3. Take pictures/videos

Get hold of your mobile phone and take picture/videos of the situation. Record the dog, the marks, people, and the vicinity to gather evidence and proof.

4. Medical assistance

As per the severity of the bite, call the emergency department for aid, or ask someone to take you to the nearby medical clinic.

5. File your case

After the medical treatment has been availed, file your case with the local or city authorities. Report the case formally to take matters further towards the claim.  However, when filing your complaint, you must include the following information:

  • Cause of the action
  • Statement regarding what the victim is seeking (medical expenses, bills, etc)
  • Request for recovery/relief

6. Get acquainted with a local dog bite lawyer

A case such as dog bite injury should be discussed with an experienced lawyer, who has in-depth knowledge related to this specific case. The attorney should be familiar with such cases in order to take yours further. This is because such a case is easy to navigate by the suspect (rightful owner of the dog), so it is best to have an experienced attorney on board.

If you or your loved ones have been bitten by a dog, and as a result have been injured, missed work, suffered permanent damages, or paid for expensive medical bills, then its time you get in touch with a Federal Way dog bite lawyer. You can get your case evaluated for free by the Ye Law Firm, who can help you relax and recover the cost of the expenses!

The Dos and Don’ts in a Car Crash Accident

It is estimated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that about 6 million people in the US are victims of car crash accidents. Road trips are increasingly common during the summer and spring season and with them car crash accidents. With that said, every driver should be prepared for handling situations in case of a car accident.

To assist you in the panic-stricken situation, we have developed a few do’s and don’ts to follow after a car crash accident. They are as follows:

  • DO stay calm— if there are any passengers with you, check for their injuries and safety first.
  • DO contact the police—Call at your local emergency number even if the injury is minor. The accident should be documented as per the law.
  • DO gather all the evidence and information—Document the car crash, take pictures and videos for evidence of the cars, vicinity, and people. If there are any witnesses available, gather their information such as: name, address, contact numbers, etc.
  • DO report at your insurance company—As soon as you experience a car crash accident, you should inform your insurance company and provide them with the basic facts.
  • DO hire an attorney—a personal injury lawyer will guide you with the proceedings in case the accident is taken to court. It is estimated that accident victims get thrice the amount more in recovery/relief than what one would have claimed without an attorney.

The Don’ts:

  • DON’T make unnecessary statements—do not make statements that can go against you in the future. Wait for your lawyer or the police before you give out any information.
  • DON’T assume about your injuries—do not wait on starting your medical treatment. This might go against your case. If you prolong the treatment, your case for a medical relief will weaken.
  • DON’T let the other vehicle vanish—the other car involved in the accident may give you false information about their whereabouts and vanish. This will leave you nowhere nor help you with settlements in the case. Hold the other party involved in the scene, until the police arrives.
  • DON’T settle for anything unless recommended by lawyer—some drivers may want to settle the case outside the court. For this, they might offer a good sum or pay for your injuries. However, do not make hasty decisions, and let the attorney do the talking. Only after consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney, should you make a final decision.
  • DON’T go all ‘social’ about the accident—today, everything is posted on social media. But, very few realize that the platform can work against them in case of a legal issue. Therefore, as suggested by most attorneys, do not post anything on social media sites that is related to the accident, as it can haunt you back at some point.

Hiring a personal injury attorney should be the first thing on your list. Because, the longer you wait and think, the weaker your case gets. If you want your or a loved one’s case to be evaluated, you can contact The Ye Law Firm for free and know where you stand!

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists Insurance in Washington State

Uninsured motorist coverage in WA StateMost Washingtonians are not fully aware of UM (Uninsured Motorist) or UIM (Underinsured Motorists) Insurance coverage, and how each could come into play if involved in a Washington State auto accident.

As the name itself suggests, it is your financial defense right when you are injured by a motorist who does not have the ability to pay for your injuries.

If facts are to be considered, it is reported that around 12.6% of American  drivers are uninsured. Currently, 20 States (as well as Washington D.C.) require that drivers carry UM/UIM coverage. This blog focuses on the essentials of UM/UIM coverage, and how each one differs.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM) In Washington State

Under this type of coverage, you will be covered for your economic losses. The UM kicks in for your protection in Washington State when the accident involves any one of the following cases:

  • Hit & run case — unidentified
  • Uninsured motorist

It does not cover accidents that involve a stolen vehicle in Washington State.

A hit and run case does not give you the opportunity to obtain the driver’s insurance information. Similarly, in case of the uninsured motorist, it is very unlikely to get back at the uninsured motorist who did not have any insurance in the first place to collect his/her insurance details.

Your coverage for UM also depends upon the amount limit you purchased it at. In Washington State, minimum UM coverage is $25,000/$50,000 per person/per occurrence.

In most states, under UM, your coverage will include:

  • Medical care expenses/bills
  • Services for replacements such as baby-sitter, or cleaners as your injuries do not allow you to continue normal daily life chores 
  • Lost wages

Underinsured Motor Coverage

This type of coverage is applicable when you are injured by a motorist who does not have enough bodily injury coverage on his/her own policy. In such a scenario, you will be able to make claim for your injuries by filing a UIM claim with your own auto insurance company.

UM/UIM Coverage—are these expensive?

The answer to this can be tricky. At first, and for many, an insurance coverage is an economic strain. However, if you give it a second thought, the cost that you will incur out of your pocket will be ten times more than an investment in the insurance deal.

Many companies in the USA offer auto insurance, which in return makes the rates very competitive. A usual range is between 5-10% on the auto premium policy, which is only around $50 annually.

Which one is most suitable?

This is dependent on a number of different variables, but it’s worth nothing that UM/UIM coverage have minimum requirements in most states. The minimum amount of UM/UIM that can be purchased in Washington State is $25,000.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a Washington State automobile accident, and would like more information, feel free to contact our Washington State personal injury law firm today for a free consultation by calling our office at (253) 946-0577.

Determining compensation amounts following an auto accident

If you have been injured in an auto accident, one of the first questions that you may have is how you will be compensated for injuries, vehicle damage or lost income.  If you are lucky then insurance might cover all of your expenses and damages, but even then filing a claim and being paid the full amount is difficult, and may require multiple claims and delayed payment.

Your other option is a lawsuit, where you sue the party that caused the accident, and attempt to force them to pay compensation.  Your compensation will be determined by a judge or jury, unless your attorney can arrive at a settlement amount with the other party.

Types of Losses and Damages That May Be Compensated

There are several categories of compensation in auto accidents, and each may be considered separately depending on the facts of your case.

  • Medical Care For You and Passengers:  Actual costs of hospitalization, surgery, rehabilitation and ongoing nursing care.
  • Vehicle Damage and Replacement:  The cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle, if you did not have adequate auto collision coverage.
  • Lost Income or Wages:  If your injuries prevent you from working or running your business, then you may be compensated for lost income during recovery.
  • Punitive Damages For Pain and Suffering:  For some types of injuries, you may be awarded punitive damages to compensate for pain and suffering.  There are no limits or caps on these types of damages, and will the amount will depend on the circumstances and severity of your injuries.

The Effect of Comparative Negligence on Compensation

Even if you are eligible for compensation, there is another factor that will affect the eventual amount.  Washington State uses a rule called comparative negligence to determine how much compensation you deserve, if you were injured by another driver.

Comparative negligence means that your compensation will be reduced if you were somehow also at fault in the accident.  If your actions were 20% of the cause of the accident, then you will be compensated for only 80% of your damages.  This rule applies to all damage types, whether medical bills, lost income or pain and suffering.

The comparative negligence law could also be used by an insurance adjuster to lower the amount of your insurance payment.  However, the degree of your negligence is really only conclusive if it results from a court ruling on your case, but insurance companies may try to use their own estimate of fault to reduce your claim amount.

How Do I Begin The Process of Being Compensated?

It is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible after an accident.  Do not speak to insurance companies or the attorneys of other parties involved, who may attempt to elicit statements from you about the accident or your injuries.  Even if you are unsure of your right to recovering damages, your attorney is the best one to assess your case.  At that point, there may be settlement offers or other negotiations that he can handle for you, as well as filing a lawsuit if necessary.

Will Your Injuries From a Car Accident Be Covered By Insurance?

In an auto accident, will insurance cover it?

Anyone injured in a car accident will be facing significant medical bills, which may not be completely covered by health insurance. Some health policies have large deductibles or limits on care, so it is helpful to know your options for paying medical bills. Even if you have injury coverage as part of your auto insurance, insurance companies are well known for denying even valid claims, and it may be necessary to have an attorney who can make an aggressive case on your behalf for payment.

Will My Own Car Insurance Cover My Medical Expenses?

If you were injured in an auto accident, your insurance company will only pay for your medical expenses if you have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) as part of your coverage. PIP coverage is automatically included in auto insurance, unless you specifically reject it in writing. The minimum PIP coverage amount for medical expenses is $10,000 for any bills incurred within three years from the date of the accident, and valid expenses are 100% covered with no deductible.

The problem for many injured motorists with PIP coverage is that their insurer may challenge whether the expenses are reasonable and necessary. If they deny your claim you will have to take additional action, or rely on the other driver’s insurance coverage if they were the cause of the accident.

If Another Driver Caused the Accident, Will Their Insurer Be Responsible?

If another driver was at fault in your accident, their liability insurance coverage should cover your medical expenses. However, the minimum legal coverage is $25,000 per person / $50,000 per accident, which may not be enough to pay your actual medical bills if you were seriously injured. Further, their insurance company can always deny the amount or necessity of your claim in an effort to escape their payment obligation.

If the other driver was uninsured, then your only option is your own uninsured motorist coverage, which is a claim subject to your policy limits and willingness or your insurer to pay the claim. However, insurance is not the only way to be compensated for your injuries.

If Insurance Wont Pay Any of My Medical Bills, What Are My Legal Options?

While it can be demoralizing to realize that your medical expenses may not be covered by any insurance, there are still legal options available to you. Even if a driver at fault did not have insurance, you can file a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages of all types, including medical care and lost income from work.

A lawsuit can also be an effective way to force the insurers of negligent drivers to pay rightful claims, since they are now exposed to the risk of a court judgment. An attorney can help you negotiate settlement amounts with insurers, and will demonstrate your seriousness in seeking recovery for your injuries. You don’t need to allow a negligent driver to escape responsibility for your injuries, and if you have questions about how to pursue compensation please contact us for a consultation.