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Posts Tagged ‘car accident’

It Was a Minor Car Crash, Do I Need a Lawyer?

Posted on: March 29th, 2021 by Timothy Hendershot
An good car crash lawyer can help you after an car crash – even a minor one.

An good car crash lawyer can help you after an car crash – even a minor one.

Is a lawyer necessary? This is a question many people ask themselves after any type of collision. Individuals may consider a legal representative unnecessary when injuries and damages are minor. There are those who believe there is no reason for a lawyer, and others who may not know that after a car crash they are entitled to a lawyer. However, when any type of collision occurs it is important to contact a professional for assistance, such as the team at Cunnane Law.

Accidents are traumatic and unexpected, causing a situation that involves time, money and energy to deal with. To help ensure that a victim is compensated for the damages suffered in a collision, it is important to obtain an expert car crash lawyer who will be sure to accomplish all the processes correctly and in a timely manner.

Common Situations for Obtaining a Lawyer

  • Legal representation should be considered when there is a dispute about who is responsible, or liability is unclear. Discovering what chain of events led to the injury and clearing any dispute about liability may be assisted by organizing evidence.
  • If there is mostly vehicle damage, an examination by an inspector may be required.
  • If an individual has been served with documentation involving a lawsuit, immediately contact a lawyer to protect one’s legal rights and avoid forfeiting rights.
  • Because adjusters tend to offer less than expected for repairs to property, and for long-term injuries requiring extensive medical treatment, a lawyer should review these settlements to see if they are acceptable. If all the treatment and medical procedures are not covered by the payment, a renegotiation is usually necessary.
  • Countless insurance claims are denied. The reason for companies denying these claims could be technicalities which may be minor or inconsequential, but still cause pain and suffering due to stress. Denials can be contested by a lawyer so entitled compensation for those who have been injured is received.

Hiring a Car Crash Lawyer

No matter how minor injuries sustained in a traffic accident may be, the person should seek a lawyer who is knowledgeable about personal injury and liability to provide legal representation. The retained lawyer should have a working knowledge on different medical procedures that may be implicated, as well as on motor vehicle claims. The legal representative’s case history and reputation are important.

Cunnane Law in Edmonds are expert car crash attorneys. Contact us today, even if you think your accident was minor. You may be in danger of missing out on important and valuable compensation for your damage and any injuries. Don’t go it alone. Let Cunnane Law fight for you.

Note: This information was provided not for any specific claim and is written in broad and general terms and may not be the right path to follow for a particular claim or case. This information is not intended to create an attorney client relationship. It is always best to receive direct legal counsel for your legal issues. It is never too early to call the attorney, but it can be too late.

Hit and Run Accident Attorney Assistance

Posted on: March 18th, 2021 by Timothy Hendershot
Whiplash is a serious problem for car crash victims. Cunnane Law can help.

Whiplash is a serious problem for car crash victims. Cunnane Law can help.

It can be downright maddening when someone intentionally leaves the scene of an accident to avoid facing the consequences. However, all is not lost if you have been in a hit and run accident. Cunnane Law in Edmonds, WA can help you recover costs related to your property damage as well as your physical injuries.

Criminal Penalties for Hit and Run Accidents

The three levels of penalties in the State of Washington for hit and run accidents are misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor, and felony.

If the car was parked or unattended at the time of a hit and run accident, Washington law considers it to be a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a fine up to $1,000.

Gross demeanors are when a hit and run accident involves one car hitting another car. They are punishable by a $5,000 fine and up to 364 days in jail. However, if someone is injured in the accident it then becomes a Class C felony with a fine of up to $10,000 and 5 years prison time. A Class B felony is when someone is killed in the accident, punishable by $20,000 and up to 10 years in prison.

Washington State Civil Penalties for a Hit and Run Accident

In most cases, a driver is 100% at fault if they flee the scene of an accident. That means you and your attorney can seek compensation for injury damages if they are caught. Settlements can reach into millions of dollars, in cases of permanent impairment or disfigurement, provided the at-fault driver is actually found.

If the Police Don’t Find the Driver, What Happens?

All auto insurance companies doing business in the State of Washington are required by the state to offer every driver coverage for uninsured or under-insured motorists (UM/UIM). In a hit and run accident case where the driver could not be found, this coverage would be activated to cover an injured motorist’s damages. Without UM/UIM motorist coverage and a missing at-fault driver, there is nothing left that you could do and you, unfortunately, will have to foot the bill. This is one reason why you should make sure you have UM/UIM coverage and purchase adequate coverage amounts before it’s too late.

An Edmonds WA Hit and Run Attorney Can Help

Our attorneys at Cunnane Law in Edmonds WA have been successful in recovering damages for our clients worth millions of dollars. Whether it’s launching a priority investigation to locate the at-fault driver, suing that driver for negligence, or negotiating for the full value of your claim with the insurance company, we can help. Give us a call to set up a no-obligation consultation if you have been in a hit and run accident or any other car crash.

Note: This information was provided not for any specific claim and is written in broad and general terms and may not be the right path to follow for a particular claim or case. This information is not intended to create an attorney client relationship. It is always best to receive direct legal counsel for your legal issues. It is never too early to call the attorney, but it can be too late.

Whiplash is a Serious Injury 

Posted on: February 23rd, 2021 by Timothy Hendershot
Whiplash is a serious problem for car crash victims. Cunnane Law can help.

Whiplash is a serious problem for car crash victims. Cunnane Law can help.

Whiplash is a very common personal injury claim which is widely misunderstood, with some believing it is simply a hypochondriac exaggeration, or an excuse to “cash in.” Others consider whiplash to be a mild, short period of soreness that is not worth complaining about.

However, whiplash is, in actual fact, a genuine medical complication with differing degrees of severity. Suffering long-term effects of whiplash by car crash victims and other injured persons is not unusual.

You may be surprised by this, but the medical reality becomes easier to accept once you understand whiplash from an anatomical, neuromuscular perspective.

What is Whiplash?

Whiplash is described by the Mayo Clinic as a neck injury due to forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck, like the cracking of a whip.

It is important to realize that when a whiplash injury occurs, the soft tissue, the muscles, the tendons, the nerves in the neck, and sometimes the spine itself, can be affected.

The Most Common Causes of Whiplash

By far the most common cause of whiplash is auto accidents, with rear-end accidents being especially associated with whiplash. However, whiplash can occur in any accident where a person’s neck is rocked back and forth suddenly and forcefully.

Short-Term Whiplash Symptoms

Quite often the symptoms of short-term whiplash are not immediately noticeable. These symptoms will be experienced by some victims within minutes or a few hours after an injury, but they can take days or even weeks to develop in most cases.

In general, (though every patient is different), the more severely pronounced the symptoms are, the greater is the probability of long-term whiplash being experienced.

Long-Term Whiplash Effects

Although some whiplash victims recover within a few weeks or sometimes months, in other whiplash injury cases, the restriction and pain can last for a few years or even a lifetime.

Long-Term Whiplash Sufferers, Know Your Rights

Your day-to-day routine and your overall quality of life can be severely impacted as a result of whiplash. Requiring ongoing medical care and lost work time.

If someone else’s negligence caused your whiplash you are entitled to recover fair financial compensation and the cost of related medical bills from the negligent party, which in many cases will revert to an insurance company. Unfortunately, insurance companies have a reputation for attempting to pay out the smallest amount possible regardless of what their obligation might be. Fortunately, that can all be changed by an experienced car crash lawyer. We urge you to talk to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.

Keep in mind that strict time limits apply to most personal injury claims, so do not ignore your whiplash symptoms or delay submitting your claim.

At Cunnane Law, we realize that whiplash is very serious, and we are ready to take a firm, aggressive stand against insurance companies. We have years of experience and a great track record for getting our clients the compensation they deserve. So, give the compassionate car crash attorney in Edmonds, WA a call today!

Note: This information was provided not for any specific claim and is written in broad and general terms and may not be the right path to follow for a particular claim or case. This information is not intended to create an attorney client relationship. It is always best to receive direct legal counsel for your legal issues. It is never too early to call the attorney, but it can be too late.

Monetary Damages Can Help After Your Car Crash

Posted on: February 23rd, 2021 by Timothy Hendershot
Use an experienced car crash lawyer to fight for monetary damages.

Use an experienced car crash lawyer to fight for monetary damages.

After an auto accident you may find you have substantial losses and injuries, and in fact this accident could affect the rest of your life, though you may not immediately realize this. Even though the law can never compensate you fully for the losses and injuries you experience, the state of Washington does allow for certain monetary damages in a personal injury case. Contact an experienced car crash lawyer at Cunnane Law in Edmonds for a free, confidential consultation and case review.

After a car accident the potential damages available to you may include:

Medical expenses including prescriptions and medical equipment

  • Property damage
  • Loss of earnings
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Pain and suffering

You should also include in your lawsuit anything that reduces your quality of life.

How a Car Crash Lawyer Will Help to Claim the Money Damages Available

Reduce the stress and confusion of your personal injury case by have an attorney act as an advocate on your behalf to protect your interests throughout the whole process. Having an experienced car crash lawyer for your legal case, instead of you having to stress about it, gives you space to focus on getting well after your accident.

To learn more of what we can do for you, contact Cunnane Law, the car crash attorney experts in Edmonds, WA, to schedule a free case evaluation. We will explain more about your legal rights and options after a car accident during our no-obligation consultation.

Note: This information was provided not for any specific claim and is written in broad and general terms and may not be the right path to follow for a particular claim or case. This information is not intended to create an attorney client relationship. It is always best to receive direct legal counsel for your legal issues. It is never too early to call the attorney, but it can be too late.

Make A Successful Car Accident Claim

Posted on: February 3rd, 2021 by Timothy Hendershot
A successful claim starts the moment after a car accident. Here’s how it works.

A successful claim starts the moment after a car accident. Here’s how it works.

Nobody ever wants to be in a car accident. It’s scary, painful, and expensive. But filing a successful insurance claim starts the moment after the accident. Here are some tips to help you deal with the insurance and financial aftermath of a car accident. 

Call the Police

The first thing you need to do, if you have been in an auto accident, is call the police. The surest way to remember all the details of the accident is to have the police record all the information in an accident report. When it comes to the facts of the accident, this type of documentary evidence is the most acceptable by both the courts and the insurance companies.

Seek Medical Assistance

Seek medical help if you have been hurt, or even if you feel fine. Some injuries, such as injuries to the soft tissue of the neck and back, only become evident weeks after an impact. Allow paramedics at the scene to treat you and if you are told to get further treatment, be sure to follow through. These records will be essential to establish a claim for medical expenses or for personal injury.

Inform Your Insurance Company

As soon as you can, preferably within 24 hours, call your insurance company to notify them of your accident. Take as many photos of the scene, and the vehicles involved, as you can with your cellphone or other camera. Try to photograph of the scene and the cars from every angle as these may be the only photos of the scene. Make a note of the physical damage to your vehicle, any personal injuries, medical bills and lost time and wages from work. If you are not going to make use of the assistance of an attorney, then, at this point you need to file an accident claim with your insurance company. Carry out any instructions from your insurance company and regularly check the progress of the claim with your contact person at the insurance company.

The at fault party’s insurance company may attempt to settle your claim as soon as possible. First, you have no obligation to give the at fault party’s insurance company a recorded statement and in many cases what you say will be used against you. Importantly, be incredibly careful about accepting the first offer and signing your rights away by signing a release of claim. Once you accept the offer and sign the release you will no longer be able to go back and renegotiate. Examine the offer to settle very carefully, if possible, with the help of a personal injury attorney who is experienced and familiar with the settlement procedures used by insurers.

Should you have any questions, our personal injury attorneys are familiar with automobile insurance settlement and claim procedures and would be more than happy to assist you. Please give us a call at Cunnane Law in Edmonds WA.

Note: This information was provided not for any specific claim and is written in broad and general terms and may not be the right path to follow for a particular claim or case. This information is not intended to create an attorney client relationship. It is always best to receive direct legal counsel for your legal issues. It is never too early to call the attorney, but it can be too late. 

What Can I Do If I am Hit by an Uninsured Motorist in Washington State?

Posted on: November 9th, 2020 by Timothy Hendershot
A car crash with an uninsured motorist adds layers of complexity to an already big problem. Here’s what you can expect.

A car crash with an uninsured motorist adds layers of complexity to an already big problem. Here’s what you can expect.

Being badly injured in an a car crash could result in tens of thousands of dollars in medical care and lost wages. You need to seek compensation from the driver who caused the collision, rather than carry the financial loss yourself.

All motorists in Washington State are required by law to carry minimum liability insurance of at least $50,000 per accident, $25,000 in bodily injury liability and $10,000 in property damage. There are, unfortunately, too many people on the road without any insurance at all.

What are your options if the other driver is uninsured?

Option 1:   Your Personal Injury Protection Benefits

Various losses are covered by Personal Injury Protection, which is a no-fault insurance. This means you would be covered even if you were responsible for the accident. Some of these losses include:

  • Medical and hospital costs up to $10,000 (you can purchase more)
  • Lost wages at $200 a week up to $10,000 in total (you can purchase more)
  • Funeral expenses up to $2,000

Check if you have Personal Injury Protection benefits. Your insurer had to offer it to you, though you could decline. A relative in your household may have it and you could be covered under their policy.

Option 2:   Claim on Your Uninsured Motorist Policy

If the driver who caused the accident you were injured in, does not have any insurance then Uninsured Motorist insurance is specifically intended for this situation. Insurers must offer you Uninsured Motorist coverage under Washington law, which you could refuse in writing.  Hopefully you didn’t refuse the policy because you will be covered in this type of accident, and you will be able to make a claim for your medical care expenses and lost wages.

Keep in mind that Uninsured Motorist coverage only comes into effect if another motorist is the cause of the accident.

Option 3:   Pay for Medical Expenses with Your Health Insurance

If you have health insurance, either through a job, or a policy you bought, you should check whether your health insurance will pay for medical care if you are injured. Though health insurance cannot replace lost income, and you may have high copayments, it can at least reduce some of the health care costs of a live changing car crash.

Option 4:   Collision Coverage

Repairs to your collision-damaged vehicle can be claimed from Collision Coverage Insurance. Your lender may have required you to buy Collision Coverage if you took out a car loan.

Option 5:   Sue the Driver

The driver is legally liable for the damage caused by his or her negligence even if he does not have insurance. This means you can sue him and try to recover a jury verdict from his personal assets. There are, unfortunately, not many drivers who have sufficient assets to compensate you for your injuries. Frankly, they would most likely have bought liability insurance if they did.

Do not give up hope, even if you have been hit by an uninsured or underinsured motorist. There are options available for you. Cunnane Law serves clients all over the north Puget Sound area. We will identify the best way forward for our clients after a car crash which will allow them to recover as much as possible. Don’t delay, contact Cunnane Law today.

Three Tricky Tactics of Car Insurance Companies

Posted on: November 2nd, 2020 by Timothy Hendershot
Car insurance companies are looking after their interests. Who is looking after yours?

Car insurance companies are looking after their interests. Who is looking after yours?

If you have recently been in a car crash, it is likely that you were contacted by a car insurance company.  Typically, they are very friendly in the beginning when they reach out to claimants. However, as nice as they might be, you need to remember that, as with any company they are in business to make a profit, which means your best interests are not their priority. So, when an auto insurance company tries throughout your claim to use clever tactics to save their bottom line at your expense, you should not be surprised.

Lowball Settlement Offers

One of the most common car insurance company tactics is offering a “lowball settlement.” An offer that has been deliberately calculated lower than what a claimant needs or deserves after a crash is referred to as a lowball settlement. Often, they can be less than 50% of what the claim value is.

Lowball settlement offers are irreversible once accepted, which is the reason why insurance companies love to use them. Your claim is closed and is almost impossible to reopen once you sign a settlement offer, irrespective of the amount. Let your car crash attorney review any offer and advise you before you accept it. Insurance companies will say the offer is only good for a few days to rush you into signing, but the truth is that actual offers are valid until the claimant has responded.

Recorded Statements

Another tactic insurance companies like to use is to call a claimant soon after an accident to try and get you to provide a recorded statement then and there. To keep you from getting scared and hanging up, they’ll probably not be very aggressive on the phone. They will probably use professional or confusing language to keep you on the line and hopefully say something on the record.

The reason why they want your statement on record is so they can find something to misinterpret into an admission of guilt which will increase your liability or decrease the  nature and extent of your injuries, either way leaving you with a lower settlement value of your claim.  Your safest option is to tell the at fault party insurance company, you will not be giving them a recorded statement. First, call your car crash attorney to talk about it.

Delaying Tactics

There are deadlines and statutes of limitation that insurance companies must follow with every step of a car crash claim. For example, in Washington State, car insurance companies must acknowledge their receipt of the notice of a claim within 10 working days of its original filing. WAC 284-30-360. Every insurer must complete its investigation of a claim within thirty days after notification of claim unless the investigation cannot reasonably be completed within that time. WAC 284-30-370.

Some insurance companies want to make you feel discouraged and unsure about your claims validity by using every single minute of each deadline before doing anything. All this in the hope that you will either drop the claim or accept a lowball settlement offer. Sometimes they wait to see how desperate you are to accept a low offer.

Do not let delaying tactics get to you. Team up with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can monitor the progress of your claim and press the insurance company for missing required deadlines.

The bottom line is car insurance companies are looking after their own interests. When you’ve been in a car crash, you need an experienced, tenacious car crash attorney looking after your interests. Contact Cunnane Law today, and we can help you avoid every tactic the insurance companies use that might trick you and cause you not to get full value on your claim.  And remember, before you sign your name, call Joe Cunnane.

Note: This information was provided not for any specific claim and is written in board and general terms and may not be the right path to follow for a particular claim or case. This information is not intended to create an attorney client relationship. It is always best to receive direct legal counsel for your legal issues. It is never too early to call the attorney, but it can be too late.

Benefits of Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer for an Insurance Claim

Posted on: September 30th, 2020 by Timothy Hendershot
You need a personal injury lawyer fighting for you on your insurance claim.

You need a personal injury lawyer fighting for you on your insurance claim.

You’ve heard it before – you have to hire a personal injury attorney for your insurance claim! But why? Here are some of the benefits to having a personal injury lawyer handle your insurance claim.

Professional

Representing yourself in an injury claim will not be easy especially if you must go to court. Keeping your personal feelings and opinions regarding the case out of process will be difficult. The lawyer, however, will handle your case in a very professional and objective manner.

Negotiation

When it comes to negotiating your case, the lawyer will have experience and is trained in negotiation skills. In most cases, the insurance company will attempt to settle your case by offering you the least amount of money possible, will you know what is a fair settlement amount? By hiring a competent attorney, you can rest assured that you will get the money you deserve.

Medical

It is important for you to contact the lawyer as soon as possible after an injury so he or she can get the right medical team to help you recover medically. The lawyer can help you receive the quality treatment you need, and, if your case has to go to court, the doctors will be excellent supporting witnesses.

Expedite

A competent personal injury attorney will expedite your personal injury claim. Typically, it is never a good idea to wait until you have healed before trying to get compensation for your injuries. There are several reasons to hire an attorney to pursue your case for you. Your case will proceed forward, even as you’re concentrating on your recovery.

Litigation

When the at fault party rejects your claim for compensation, in most cases, your next action is to file a lawsuit. For you to stand a better chance of winning your case you are going to need a lawyer. The other party will almost certainly have a team of lawyers representing them.

Evidence

When your claim ends up in court, the other party will have a legal team to argue that they are not responsible for your injuries. You should examine their evidence carefully so that it can be countered with your fact-based evidence.

Deadlines

All legal claims have strict deadlines that must be met to successfully bring a personal injury claim. The best way to make sure you receive a fair settlement for your personal injury claim is to have a competent attorney handle all the procedures, making sure all the time limits are met.

Compensation

The bottom line is that hiring a lawyer increases your chances of receiving a fair and just settlement you deserve for your injuries. A competent personal injury attorney knows what a reasonable settlement amount is for your injuries, impairment and total losses.  A personal injury lawyer will be able to help with all these aspects of your case.

For all these reasons and more, it’s vital that you work with a qualified, experienced, and tenacious personal injury lawyer after any sort of car crash or personal injury. Cunnane Law is your partner here. We work with clients in Edmonds and throughout the greater Seattle area, we fight for you and make sure your case is handled successfully. Give us a call today.

Note: This information was provided not for any specific claim and is written in board and general terms and may not be the right path to follow for a particular claim or case. This information is not intended to create an attorney client relationship. It is always best to receive direct legal counsel for your legal issues. It is never too early to call the attorney, but it can be too late.

Car Accident Laws for Washington State

Posted on: September 23rd, 2020 by Timothy Hendershot
After a car accident, you need an expert personal injury attorney familiar with all the laws of Washington state.

After a car accident, you need an expert personal injury attorney familiar with all the laws of Washington state.

With our fast-paced society, it is inevitable for most car drivers in Washington state to be involved in a car accident. If you live in the Puget Sound area and have been injured in a car accident, you should know what the laws are for reporting your accident and how the process works to recover damages.  The following Washington state rules should be considered.

Your Legal Options

To recover damages for your injuries after a car accident, you have at least three options

  • You can file a personal injury claim with the driver-at-fault’s insurance company
  • You can file a claim with your own insurance company if you have Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM)
  • You can file a lawsuit for damages in a Washington civil court.

If your injuries and damages exceed the at fault car insurance companies’ policy limits, prior to settling your claim you should consult with a competent personal injury attorney to discuss the best legal option for you.

Car Insurance Requirements

Every person operating a car in Washington state is required to have bodily injury insurance.  Washington state requires the person who caused the car crash to pay for the damages. The at fault party is responsible to make you whole by paying money damages for your medical bills, wage loss, pain and suffering and loss of ability to enjoy life (this is not the entire list).

Every driver in Washington state is required to have the following amounts of minimum insurance cover.

  • $25,000 coverage for injuries or death of one person.
  • $50,000 for the total injuries or death to all people involved in an accident.
  • $10,000 for property damage to another person’s property.

Is There a Time Limit to File a Car Accident Report?

You should notify your insurance company as soon as possible after the car crash so they can open the claim.  You can also contact the other persons insurance to notify them of your personal injury and property damage claim.  Notably, you are not required to give a recorded statement to the at-fault party’s insurance company. It is recommended that you do not give the at-fault party a recorded statement until you have consulted with a competent personal injury attorney.

Importantly, Washington state has a three-year statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits.  These “statutes of limitation” vary depending on the law and type of case involved and are strictly enforced.  In most car crash claims in the state of Washington, a person has 3 years from the date of the injury.  If a lawsuit is not properly commenced within the applicable time limit, the claim will be forever barred.

At Cunnane Law, we are expert personal injury attorneys, and we are here to help you. Navigating all the Washington laws, rules, and regulations can be like walking blindfolded in a maze.  And each step of the way the insurance companies will attempt to decline, delay, and deny. You need a tough, trusted partner to help you each step of the way. Call Cunnane Law today and we will fight for you.

Note: This information was provided not for any specific claim and is written in broad and general terms and may not be the right path to follow for a particular claim or case. This information is not intended to create an attorney client relationship. It is always best to receive direct legal counsel for your legal issues. It is never to early to call the attorney, but it can be too late.

(425) 672-7100