Were You Injured Because Of Someone Else's Negligence? Browse Our FAQs

In addition to coping with a lot of stress and frustration, personal injury cases also come with a lot of questions. Here are some of the questions we hear the most at Max Meyers Law.

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  • What Is the Average Settlement for an ACL Injury from a Car Accident?

    Woman's Hand Holding Her KneeThe amount of compensation you can recover for an ACL injury from a car accident will depend on the facts of your case, including the extent of the damage and how well it healed. If you'd like to discuss specific settlement amounts, please contact our office to schedule a free consultation with a Kirkland car crash lawyer today.

    These knee injuries involve tears to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Although ACL tears happen frequently in sports activities, they can also result from car crashes. If you have a swollen knee that makes it too painful to stand, and it feels as if your knee will “give way,” you should get immediate medical attention.

    Possible Outcomes of an ACL Injury

    Some mild ACL injuries can heal with R.I.C.E., which is:

    • Rest: Keep your weight off of your knee.
    • Ice: Apply ice packs for 20 minutes every two hours or as your doctor directs.
    • Compression: Wrap your knee with an elastic bandage or compression wrap.
    • Elevation: Get your knee at a higher level by lying down and propping up your knee with pillows.

    After the R.I.C.E. self-care at home, your doctor might send you for physical therapy and rehabilitative care. You might have to wear a knee brace and walk with crutches for a few weeks.

    Your doctor might recommend surgery to repair the ACL damage if you are:

    • An athlete
    • Young and active
    • Your knee buckles with ordinary use
    • Your ACL injury is severe

    Severely damaged AC ligaments do not heal well, so your surgeon will reconstruct the ACL by removing the damaged ligament and replacing it with a tendon from another part of your knee or an organ donor. Rehabilitation can take eight to 12 months after knee reconstruction.

    Factors That Affect the Settlement Value of an ACL Tear from a Wreck

    We cannot state a dollar value for settlements of ACL injuries from car accidents because every case is different. These are a few of the many factors we will use to calculate how much your car accident case is worth:

    The Severity of Your ACL Injury

    ACL injuries include an overextended but intact (not torn) ligament, a partial tear of the tissue, and a complete tear.

    Treatments You Had to Undergo for Your ACL Injury

    If your ACL damage heals without surgical intervention, you will have lower medical expenses, which will tend to lead to a lower dollar value of your settlement. Higher medical costs usually go hand-in-hand with higher compensation.

    How Successful the Treatments Were in Treating Your ACL Injury

    Because the knee is a complex joint and load-bearing, some people do not experience a perfect recovery of function and subsidence of pain. Many people go on to have future injuries to the knee. Even with full recovery of function and returning to a pain-free state, you are at higher risk of osteoarthritis in the knee after an ACL tear.

    Complications From the Treatment of Your ACL Injury

    All surgeries come with risks, such as infection and damage to nearby tissue. The pain pills they give you can lead to opiate addiction. Costs that complications create can get added to your total settlement demand.

    Other Injuries You Sustained in the Wreck

    It takes a significant collision with a direct blow to the knee to cause an ACL tear. In this type of scenario, the patient usually suffers other injuries, such as fractures, in addition to the ACL damage. The type, severity, and locations of other injuries will be factors in the settlement value of your claim.

    Possible Compensation for an ACL Car Accident Injury

    Continuing Issues and Impacts on Your Life From the Injury

    If your knee does not heal well and you face a lifetime of mobility issues and pain, you should receive compensation for these losses.

    Lost Income Past and Future

    Your past lost income includes the time you missed from work because of the accident, medical treatments, and recuperation time. Lost future income is for when you cannot earn as much money as before as a result of the ACL injury.

    For example, a professional baseball player suffered a complete ACL tear in a car crash and after treatment was no longer able to perform at a “major league” level. He should get compensation for his lost future income.

    Non-economic Losses

    The value of your claim does not stop at the total of your economic losses. The law allows you to recover for non-economic harm as well, for things like your pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. Your spouse might have a claim for loss of consortium.

    How to Get Legal Help for Your Injury Claim

    The personal injury team at Max Meyers Law will investigate the many factors that can affect the value of your settlement. We will negotiate directly with the insurance company so that you do not have to. We will calculate a fair settlement value of your injury claim. Call us today at 425-399-7000, and we will set up your free consultation.

  • Who Is at Fault for a T-Bone Accident?

    T-Bone Car AccidentThe person whose negligence caused the crash is liable for a T-bone accident. The guilty party is not always the driver whose vehicle hits the side of the other car. Determining who is at fault in a T-bone car accident depends on who broke a traffic law that led to the wreck. Sometimes more than one person is negligent.

    At Max Meyers Law, our Kirkland, WA personal injury lawyers have experience helping clients who suffered injuries in T-bone accidents. If someone else caused your crash, you might be able to recover damages in a personal injury claim. Call us at 425-399-7000 for a free case evaluation. 

    How Can I Determine Who Caused My T-Bone Accident?

    Typically, one driver has the right of way, and the other driver does not. If a driver fails to yield the right of way, and this results in a T-bone accident, they are often at fault for the crash.

    If the other driver made one of these common driving mistakes, they could be liable for your damages:

    • They disobeyed a traffic light and proceeded into the road;
    • They failed to yield while entering the roadway from a side street or alley;
    • They did not reduce their speed or come to a full stop in the presence of a yield sign;
    • They did not follow the right-of-way rules for a four-way stop;
    • They did not react appropriately to an uncontrolled intersection;
    • They failed to yield while turning left at an intersection; or
    • They did not treat an intersection with non-functioning traffic signals as an all-way stop.

    How Do T-Bone Wrecks Happen?

    A T-bone accident, also called a side-impact collision, happens when one car smashes into the side of another vehicle. Many of these accidents involve drug or alcohol impairment or distracted driving. Some of the most common scenarios for T-bone crashes are:

    • Running a red light or stop sign;
    • Failing to yield the right of way at an intersection;
    • Pulling onto a street into the path of oncoming traffic; and
    • Backing out of a parking space without looking for other vehicles.

    Why Are T-Bone Crashes So Severe?

    T-bone accidents are so dangerous because they usually result in catastrophic or fatal injuries, depending on the point of impact on your vehicle in relation to the locations of the driver and passengers.

    Several factors can affect the severity of injuries. For example:

    • If the other vehicle hits the driver’s door, the driver will experience the worst of the impact;
    • If the other car strikes the opposite side of the vehicle, passenger injuries could be significant;
    • If the force of the collision crushes the vehicle or sends glass and shrapnel into the passenger compartment, significant cuts or lacerations, head trauma, and spinal cord injuries can result; and
    • If one vehicle is much larger than another, the occupants of the smaller vehicle could suffer serious injuries.

    What Injuries Can Vehicle Occupants Suffer in T-Bone Accidents?

    The driver and occupants of each vehicle can suffer significant injuries, including:

    • Blunt force trauma;
    • Head trauma;
    • Spinal cord injuries;
    • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI);
    • Damage to internal organs;
    • Fractures;
    • Lacerations; and
    • Contusions.

    If we can prove that another driver’s negligence caused your T-bone accident, we might be able to hold them liable for the cost to treat your injuries. You could also qualify for compensation for your other related expenses.

    What Is Negligence?

    Negligence has four legal components. If we can prove the following details were true, you could have a strong case for compensation.

    Duty of Care

    All drivers must obey the rules of the road, operate their vehicles in a reasonable and prudent manner, and follow all traffic signs and signals.

    Breach of Duty of Care

    If a driver fails to perform up to the standards of the duty of care, they are negligent.

    Causation

    If we can prove their negligence caused your accident, we can hold them responsible.

    Damages

    The at-fault party is liable for any damages you suffered as a result of their negligence.

    How Will a Lawyer Prove My T-Bone Accident Claim?

    We will build your claim by gathering the evidence related to the other party’s fault and your damages. This proof can include:

    • The police report to show who caused the accident;
    • Your medical records to establish the harm you suffered;
    • Your work records to back up your claim for lost wages;
    • Vocational experts to prove any long-term impact on your capacity to support yourself through employment; and
    • Any other relevant documents showing your damages.

    After we collect strong evidence for your case, we will file a claim with the at-fault driver's insurance company. If the insurer tries to deny your claim or is unwilling to offer you a fair settlement, we can file a lawsuit on your behalf.

    What Happens If Both Drivers Were at Fault for the T-Bone Accident?

    If you were partly at fault in the T-bone crash, Washington’s comparative negligence laws could allow you to recover money for some of your damages.

    For example, imagine a drunk driver blew through a red light at an intersection. You had a green light and were traveling at a prudent speed, but you looked away for just a moment to check a text message on your cell phone. Because of the distraction, you could not stop in time to avoid getting T-boned.

    Your damages total $100,000. If the judge assesses 10 percent of the negligence to you for distracted driving, you could still recover $90,000. This proportional reduction of damages represents your own degree of fault.

    How Can I Get Legal Help After a T-Bone Accident?

    At Max Meyers Law, we only handle claims and cases that are transportation-related. If you have suffered injuries in a T-bone or other traffic accident, call us at 425-399-7000 to arrange your complimentary consultation. We do not charge legal fees until you recover compensation.

  • Car Accidents in the Snow: Who Is Liable?

    Two Cars After Car Accident in SnowSomeone else could be responsible for your damages if you were in a car crash in snowy weather. Do not assume that you are stuck with your losses just because bad weather may have been a factor in the accident.

    At Max Meyers Law, our car accident team can help you determine who is liable for your weather-related crash. Kirkland car accident lawyer Max Meyers has experience helping victims of snow car accidents recover the compensation they deserve. Call today for a free evaluation.

    When Is Someone Else Liable for My Single-Car Accident in the Snow?

    Even if your car is the only one that wrecked, others can be at fault. Here are some examples where this might apply.

    Another Motorist Drove Too Fast for Conditions

    Imagine, for example, that you were driving your car with appropriate caution for the circumstances, but someone else was operating their vehicle too fast for the snowy road. If that driver lost control and caused your crash, they could be responsible for your damages.

    Snow Build-Up Obstructed Your Vision

    If snow build-up on a large car or truck comes loose and obstructs your vision, causing your wreck, the driver of the other vehicle could be liable.

    The Local Government Did Not Maintain the Roads Safely

    If snow or black ice caused your wreck, the local government entity in charge of maintaining the roadways could be at fault. If, for example, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) knew about a patch of black ice for several days—but did nothing to de-ice the roadway—and you were in a single-car crash, you could have a claim against the state.

    Who Is Liable in a Multi-Car Accident on Snowy Roads?

    If another driver operated their vehicle recklessly and this contributed to the accident, they will bear responsibility for at least some of the damages. Other drivers can also be at fault in snowy crashes even if they were driving in a manner one would consider prudent in clear weather with dry roads.

    Here are some examples of situations in which another driver could be liable for your multi-car accident in the snow.

    Another Driver Was Tailgating

    If the driver behind you was following too closely and could not stop in time to avoid hitting your car, they could be held responsible for their tailgating. State law defines tailgating as following too closely behind another vehicle after you factor in:

    • The speed at which the cars are traveling;
    • Traffic; and
    • Road conditions.

    If the driver was following too closely for ordinary conditions, they will be liable. They also can be guilty of tailgating if they did not lag back further than usually required because of the snowy road.

    Another Driver Was Speeding

    If another driver caused an accident while exceeding the speed limit, they could have to pay damages to the crash victims. They can also be guilty of speeding even if they were driving below the posted speed limit, but too fast for the weather and road conditions.

    A Motorist Ignored Maintenance or Upkeep on Their Vehicle

    If another driver failed to maintain their car in a safe condition, they could be liable for any accidents that occur as a result. For instance, if the at-fault driver’s car had bald tires or worn-out brake pads, which prevented them from stopping in time, they could be at fault for the wreck.

    A Local Business or Another Entity Created an Unsafe Condition

    If a roadside business drained a water tank over the road and created a patch of black ice, the owner or manager could be responsible for any collisions that occur at that location.

    How Can an Attorney Determine Who Caused the Collision?

    Whether it was a one-car or a multi-car crash, we will get the police report on the accident. The report should contain extra details about the inclement weather, road conditions, and how all the drivers handled themselves under the circumstances.

    Our car accident team will conduct an investigation of the wreck, visit the scene, and talk with witnesses. If we need to, we will work with experts in accident reconstruction to show what caused the crash. We pull all the evidence together to prove the other driver’s negligence.

    What Happens If No One Was at Fault?

    Sometimes, law enforcement officers decide that all the drivers were operating their vehicles in a reasonable and prudent manner for the circumstances, and they do not charge anyone with causing the wreck. When this result happens, each driver must look to their own insurance to cover damages.

    We realize, however, that officers are human and they can make mistakes. If we can find evidence that someone else was at fault for your snowy weather accident, we will seek damages from that person. With our years of experience handling accident claims, we know how to obtain evidence proving fault.

    What If More Than One Person Was Negligent?

    If more than one party caused your crash, they will both be responsible for your damages.

    For example, imagine a speeding driver hit a patch of black ice on the snowy road from a business that drained the water tank. You were in the path when the speeding driver went out of control. Although you reduced your speed for the weather and road conditions, there was no time to avoid getting struck by the speeder’s car. In this case, both the business and the speeding driver would be at fault for your wreck.

    What Happens If I Was Also at Fault?

    If you were also at fault, Washington’s comparative negligence laws allow the judge to reduce the amount of your compensation in proportion to your negligence.

    For example, in the above scenario, imagine that you did not have time to avoid the collision because you were paying attention to a driving distraction instead of the road. If the judge decides that your negligence was 10 percent responsible for the accident, they can lower how much money you receive for your losses. If your damages were $50,000, you would only receive $45,000.

    How Can I Talk to a Car Accident Lawyer About My Crash?

    The legal team at Max Meyers Law can help you determine who caused your snowy weather car accident. Call us at 425-399-7000 today for your complimentary consultation with no obligation.

  • Why Should I Always See My Doctor After a Car Accident?

    Doctor Examining PatientYou should always get a thorough medical evaluation after an auto accident to find out if you have any injuries that need treatment. An untreated injury can worsen and become a more significant problem down the road. Also, your medical records provide important evidence that the wreck caused your injuries. This can help you recover compensation when you file an insurance claim.

    What Should a Doctor Check for After a Car Accident?

    It is important that your doctor checks you for whiplash after a crash. Car accidents are a common cause of this type of injury. According to the Mayo Clinic, the prognosis is optimistic for whiplash victims who undergo a few months of treatment. This can include physical therapy, exercises, and pain medications.

    You might think that the stiffness and soreness you start to feel a day or two after a wreck is just a temporary inconvenience that will go away on its own, but without the correct medical interventions, whiplash can cause you to experience chronic neck pain and long-term complications. Prompt medical attention is essential when you are dealing with whiplash after a car accident.

    When Should You See Your Doctor for a Whiplash Evaluation After a Wreck?

    If any of these symptoms develop within a few days of a car accident, you should see your doctor as soon as possible for a whiplash evaluation:

    • Your neck is stiff and painful;
    • It hurts more when you move your neck;
    • You cannot move your neck as far in any direction as you could before the wreck;
    • You have a headache, usually centered on the base of your skull;
    • Your shoulders, upper back, or arms are numb, tingling, tender, or painful; or
    • You feel tired or dizzy.

    If you experience these symptoms, get medical attention right away.

    Can You Have a Herniated Disc With No Symptoms?

    Yes, you can. The Mayo Clinic says that herniated discs can appear on spinal images before people experience pain or other symptoms. Since a car crash can cause a herniated disc, you should have your doctor perform an evaluation even if you are not yet feeling any signs of a problem.

    If you are having symptoms, it can be helpful to know if what you are experiencing might be a herniated disc from a car accident. Get medical attention right away if you have any of the following symptoms.

    Pain in Your Arm or Leg

    Often the discomfort will shoot into your arm or leg if you move a certain way, or if you sneeze or cough.

    Weakness in Your Arms or Legs

    If you are having difficulty climbing stairs, you are stumbling, or you are finding it hard to pick up or carry things, you might have a damaged disc in your spine.

    Tingling or Numbness, Usually in Your Arms or Legs

    If the injured disc is in the lower area of your back, you may experience numbness or tingling sensations in your buttocks or legs. Problems with your shoulders or arms could indicate a rupture or herniation higher in the spine.

    How Long Can It Take for Head Injury Symptoms to Develop?

    You might think that something as significant as a head injury would be apparent immediately, but the U.S. National Library of Medicine says that it can take days or even weeks for the signs of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) to appear after the injury. Millions of Americans per year sustain brain injuries, and most of them need treatment at a hospital. Car accidents are a common cause of brain injuries in the United States.

    If you hit your head during a crash, you should see a doctor right away, regardless of whether you are feeling anything unusual. Bleeding in the brain and other complications of TBI can lead to permanent brain damage or death if you do not receive immediate treatment.

    You should get a neurological evaluation if you are experiencing:

    • Headaches;
    • Ringing in your ears;
    • Neck pain;
    • Nausea;
    • Dizziness; or
    • Fatigue.

    Get emergency medical treatment for:

    • A worsening or lingering headache;
    • Continuing nausea or vomiting;
    • Seizures or convulsions;
    • Numbness or weakness in your arms or legs;
    • Dilated eye pupils; or
    • Changes in your speech, such as slurring.

    How Can Seeing My Doctor After a Car Accident Protect My Right to Compensation?

    Your doctor does not have a financial interest in your injury claim, so your medical records are unbiased evidence of what happened to you. When you go to the doctor for an evaluation and treatment, the staff will note why you came into the office and what injuries or symptoms they observed.

    These notes in your medical records establish the link between your injuries and the wreck. Just make sure your doctor writes down that the car accident was the cause of your injuries. Without this evidence, the at-fault driver could claim that some other event caused your injuries.

    Talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer About Your Case.

    At Max Meyers Law, our personal injury team will be happy to evaluate your claim and tell you if you might be eligible for compensation. Call us at 425-399-7000 to get your free consultation.

  • Should I Take an Ambulance After a Car Accident?

    Ambulance Driving to HospitalAfter the shock of an auto accident, you may feel compelled to take an ambulance and seek immediate emergency medical care. While these actions are appropriate in some situations, you should not automatically ride in an ambulance to the hospital if you have been in a crash. Find out more below from the Kirkland auto accident lawyers at Max Meyers Law.

    When Should You Take an Ambulance After a Car Accident?

    If you need emergency medical care, call an ambulance to take you to the hospital. If you are in any doubt, call for an ambulance. As the Mayo Clinic explains, emergency rooms have staff whose primary function is to evaluate the level of care you need, including hospital admission, treatment in the emergency room, or getting discharged with instructions to see your primary care physician. It is in your best interest to allow these professionals to do their job and determine if you need emergency treatment.

    If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, it is a good idea to seek emergency care immediately:

    • Chest pain, palpitations, or shortness of breath;
    • Profuse bleeding;
    • Fractures;
    • Head or eye injuries;
    • Neck or spinal cord injuries;
    • Severe burns;
    • Seizures;
    • A severe headache or head or neck pain;
    • Loss of consciousness, dizziness, loss of balance, or confusion;
    • Sudden difficulty speaking or understanding what people are saying;
    • Severe pain, particularly in the abdomen or the lower half of the back; or
    • Another significant injury.

    As Scripps Health warns, knowing whether you should go to the emergency room or an urgent care center could save your life. The advantage of taking an ambulance over getting a ride to the emergency room is that the ambulance has paramedics who can begin providing treatment on the way to the emergency room. This treatment could make the difference in whether you survive your injuries or not.

    When Should You Not Take an Ambulance After a Car Accident?

    If you are not experiencing any of the above symptoms and you do not have a significant underlying medical condition, you might not need to take an ambulance to the emergency room. Instead, consider one of the following actions, depending on the specific facts in your situation:

    • Get a ride to the emergency room;
    • Go to an urgent care center; or
    • Make an appointment to see your primary care physician as soon as possible.

    If your doctor cannot see you within 24 hours, go to an urgent care center. If your condition worsens or new symptoms appear, go to the emergency room immediately.

    Why Is It Important to Get Medical Attention After a Car Accident?

    Some injuries do not reveal themselves immediately, but they can become life-threatening within a short period of time. Internal bleeding and head injuries are examples of this phenomenon. If you have any injuries or you just do not feel “quite right” after being in a car wreck, you should get a thorough evaluation from a health care professional. Some medical conditions can be treated easily right away, but if you delay treatment, you might need a more extensive or invasive procedure.

    Another reason to get medical attention as soon as possible is to document that the crash caused your injuries. If you try to tough it out without getting medical attention, only to discover that your injuries are worse than you thought and you need significant treatment, the insurance company of the at-fault driver could deny that you sustained your injuries in the crash.

    When you get medical treatment, make sure that the person taking your medical history notes that a car accident caused your injuries. Doing this will provide the necessary link between the crash and your damages.

    What Should You Do After a Car Accident?

    First, get whatever medical care you need right away. Follow your doctor’s instructions and complete the treatment. If you do not complete your treatment as your doctor ordered, the at-fault driver could claim that you did not do everything you could to get better.

    Next, you should talk to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer can keep you from settling for too little or offering a statement to an insurance adjuster that could hurt your claim. When you settle your accident injury case, you sign away the right to come back in the future to get more compensation.

    Finally, if the insurance company declares your car a total loss, do not let the company dispose of the vehicle without checking with your lawyer. Sometimes the car is valuable evidence, particularly if the vehicle had a design defect or faulty equipment. Always save personal property damaged in a car accident.

    Get Legal Help After a Car Accident.

    At Max Meyers Law, we focus our practice entirely on transportation-related claims. We can tell you if you might be eligible for compensation after suffering injuries in a car wreck. We do not receive any legal fees until you recover damages. Call 425-399-7000 for a free consultation.

  • Does Your Property Damage Affect Your Injury Claim?

    Woman on Phone at Scene of Car AccidentThe amount of your property damage should not affect your injury claim. Sometimes, a crash causes major damage to the car, but the vehicle’s occupants are able to walk away with only minor injuries. In those situations, the car will be a total loss, but that will have no impact on the amount of the injury claim.

    Can You Have a High Damages Claim From a Fender-Bender?

    If you sustain significant injuries, your claim could have a high value, even if your car suffered only minimal damage. Imagine a driver who has spinal degeneration from years of arthritis is rear-ended at a low speed, causing little damage to the car. Because of the medical condition, the impact is enough to severely injure the driver’s neck, causing significant complications with her existing spinal cord problems. The lifetime costs of treating a spinal cord injury will make the damages astronomical in this situation, even if the crash did not seriously damage the vehicle.

    What Determines the Value of an Injury Claim?

    The amount of your losses will determine the value of your injury claim. After an accident, you can recover compensation for a variety of losses.

    Medical Bills

    The higher your medical expenses are, the more compensation you are likely to receive—as long as the bills are reasonable and the treatments, procedures, and diagnostic tests relate to injuries sustained in the wreck. This category includes ambulance transport, emergency room stays, lab work, x-rays and other imaging, trauma doctor expenses, the cost of hiring medical specialists, bills for follow-up treatment from your primary care doctor, prescription drug costs, and bills from other treatments and therapies.

    Lost Wages

    When you have significant injuries, you may need time off from work to recuperate from surgery or other medical interventions. You can recover lost wages starting with the date of the accident until your doctor releases you from treatment.

    Ongoing Medical Care

    After you have gotten to the point when your doctor does not anticipate any additional improvement of your medical condition, you might still have to undergo continued medical treatments. For example, if you had internal injuries that damaged your kidneys, you might have to be on dialysis for life—or until you can get a kidney transplant. You should receive compensation for the cost, inconvenience, and discomfort of these treatments, as well as the impact the injuries have on other aspects of your life.

    Disability

    If you are no longer able to work because of your injuries, you are disabled. Having your livelihood ripped away from you is a compensable loss. We will work with vocational and rehabilitation experts to prove your disability.

    Lost Earning Potential

    Sometimes people are able to work again after a severe injury from an accident, but they cannot earn the same amount of money they would have before the crash. You might not be able to work the long hours you did before the wreck. If you suffered a head injury, you might have cognitive impairment that will put you on a different career path than you were on before. You might not be able to perform physically at the same level because of your injuries. We will use expert witnesses to help you recover compensation for this loss of earning potential.

    Disfigurement

    Having noticeable scarring compounds the trauma you have endured. Carrying a physical reminder of the crash can cause psychological harm, particularly if your scars are on your face, neck, chest, hands, or arms, where people can see them on a daily basis.

    Loss of Enjoyment of Life

    If your injuries changed your life, you might have to face depression, sadness, or loss of enjoyment of life. If you were an avid weekend athlete who enjoyed going outdoors and hiking or climbing, but you can no longer perform those activities because of your injuries, you have lost something important and special. You deserve compensation for such a loss.

    Pain and Suffering

    It is hard to put a price tag on the amount of physical and emotional pain you suffer when you experience injuries in an accident. The motor vehicle crash team at Max Meyers Law has the legal experience to determine a range of the reasonable compensation for your pain and suffering. We do this after you have completed all of your medical treatment and you know how your injuries will impact your life.

    Loss of Consortium

    Your significant other may also have lost something because of the wreck, even if he or she was not in the vehicle. When you suffer severe injuries, those close to you suffer as well. The impact of the injuries can affect your relationships.

    How Can I Get Help With My Injury Claim?

    At Max Meyers Law, we would like to sit down and talk with you about how we can help you navigate the claims process and get through this difficult time. Please call us at 425-399-7000, so we can set up your free consultation. There is no obligation.

  • How Much Is a Rollover Car Accident Settlement Worth?

    Rollover Car AccidentSince the details of every case are unique, we cannot estimate what your rollover car accident settlement is worth without investigating your case. We can, however, explain the factors that go into calculating the value of your claim.

    How Much Were Your Medical Bills?

    We will retrieve records to calculate your medical costs. Medical bills are among the largest economic losses in car accident settlements. Your medical expenses can include bills from:

    • Ambulance transportation
    • Emergency room visit
    • Primary care doctor
    • Specialists
    • Surgery
    • Hospitalization
    • Rehabilitation
    • Physical therapy
    • Medical equipment (wheelchairs, walkers, crutches)
    • Prescription medications

    We will gather the medical records and invoices to document your damages and calculate a fair value for your short-term and long-term medical costs. We may also consult a medical expert who can testify about the long-term care you may require.

    What Are Your Lost Wages & Earning Potential?

    If you suffered injuries in a rollover, you probably missed work while recovering. We will estimate your current lost wages based on records of your income and will also evaluate long-term effects of your injuries on your career and earning capacity. For example, some of the wage-related damages we will investigate include:

    • Future earning capacity
    • Loss of promotion
    • Loss of benefits
    • Loss of pension or retirement benefits

    We may speak with medical experts and other expert witnesses who can testify about your ability to work and earn a living after the accident.

    Are There Other Lasting Effects of the Rollover Crash?

    Rollover crashes are among the most severe accidents, so it is not surprising that your injuries could have a long-term, if not permanent, impact on your life. Those who survive these crashes may face:

    • Ongoing medical treatment
    • Chronic pain
    • Disability

    What Other Factors Determine the Amount of My Rollover Settlement?

    In addition to your economic losses, we will investigate the non-economic damages associated with your injuries.

    You may also qualify for compensation for your pain and suffering from a collision. If you will be unable to participate in hobbies you once enjoyed, we may seek compensation for your loss of enjoyment in life.

    Severe injuries can leave scars after they heal. You may feel significant emotional distress associated with disfigurement, particularly if your scars and injuries affect the face, throat, hands, or other highly visible areas of your body.

    Many people go through psychological trauma after being in a rollover. Some have insomnia, night terrors, fear of riding in a car, fear of going outside, and other post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. Depression, anger, and a sense of hopelessness may also follow a severe accident. If you are having psychological struggles, it can take a toll on your relationships. Your claim may also seek damages for loss of consortium.

    Were You Partially At Fault for the Rollover Crash?

    Washington’s comparative fault laws allow you to recover compensation for your damages even if you are partially at fault. Let’s say you had a green light when you collided with someone who ran the red light. But you were distracted when proceeding through the intersection, which the insurance company says makes you partially at fault because the insurer may claim you could have avoided the wreck if you were paying attention.

    You can still file a liability claim against the at-fault driver, but your partial fault could reduce your compensation. For example, if the insurance company says you are 10 percent at fault, it will reduce your settlement by 10 percent. So, if you had $40,000 in damages, you will recover $36,000 after the $4,000 (10 percent) deduction.

    This is why it is so important to build a strong, evidence-based case that proves the other party’s fault for your wreck. The team at Max Meyers Law is ready to help you with your rollover claim. We will evaluate your case at no cost. Call one of our Kirkland auto accident lawyers today at 425-399-7000 to set up your free consultation.

  • How Much Is the Settlement for a Shoulder Injury From a Car Accident?

    Man With Shoulder PainAll crash injuries are unique, which is why there is no fixed value of a settlement for a shoulder injury from a car accident. There are, however, five factors you can use to estimate the value of your claim. However, we recommend working with a lawyer to accurately estimate your case value. Call Max Meyers at 425-399-7000.

    1. The Severity of Your Shoulder Injury

    At the mild end, your shoulder could have bruises, lacerations, a strain, or a sprain. Severe shoulder injuries from motor vehicle accidents include fractures, separated or dislocated shoulders, and rotator cuff tears. Significant shoulder trauma will generate steep medical bills and a long recovery period during which you might be unable to work. High medical bills and lost wages can lead to more compensation.

    2. Permanent Impairment of the Shoulder or Arm

    Shoulder trauma may not heal completely. People may report that after a severe shoulder injury they may experience weaking of the arm or shoulder joint, as well as reduced range of motion. Nerve damage can lead to numbness, tingling, pain, and weakness. Sometimes people suffer what feels like electrical shocks off and on after their shoulder trauma has healed. The shoulder can be stiff and less functional than before the wreck. Your car accident settlement should account for the permanent and long-term effects of your shoulder injury.

    3. Chronic Pain

    The chronic pain you experience from a car crash shoulder injury can come from nerve impairment, but there are other sources as well. Scar tissue, contractures (in which some of your tissue shrinks and pulls on other tissue), adhesions, fractures, and soft tissue damage can also cause lingering pain. Some people suffer pain upon exertion. Others will have discomfort with cold, humidity, weather changes, rain. If arthritis develops in the shoulder, you can expect chronic pain. Your settlement should account for your long-term pain and all the consequences that come with it - pain and suffering, lost earning capacity, ongoing medical care, etc.

    4. Severity of Other Injuries

    Shoulder injuries seldom happen in isolation in car accidents. An impact violent enough to cause shoulder damage may also cause trauma to one or more of these body areas:

    • Head
    • Torso
    • Spine
    • Abdomen
    • Lower extremities

    Settlements for wrecks involving multiple injuries should account for the effects and financial cost of all injuries.

    5. Your Comparative Negligence

    If you were partly at fault in the collision, you could still get some compensation for your shoulder injury. Washington State uses the doctrine of pure comparative negligence to assess damages when more than one person is at fault.

    In comparative negligence states like ours, your percentage of fault for an accident proportionally reduces the value of your settlement. For example, if you were 10 percent at fault and had $20,000 in damages, the settlement would drop by $2,000 to account for your 10 percent negligence. You would receive $18,000 for your shoulder injury.

    “Pure” comparative negligence means that in our state, the law does not bar you from recovery even if you were mostly at fault in the collision. In some other states, if you were 50 or 51 percent or more to blame for the wreck, you would get no money at all, regardless of how devastating your injuries were. In Washington State, you can recover compensation even if you were more than 50 or 51 percent at fault.

    Call Max Meyers Law at 425-399-7000 to get your free claim evaluation. We will be happy to evaluate your car accident and shoulder injury case.

  • How Long Does It Take to Settle a Car Accident Claim?

    Man Upset After Car AccidentIt is impossible to say how long any individual claim will take to settle because there are so many variables involved. In an uncomplicated situation with clear liability and minor injuries, your case might settle with the insurance company relatively quickly. Accidents with multiple negligent parties and severe injuries may take longer to settle and may require filing a lawsuit in some cases.

    Do not settle your claim without speaking with a lawyer. Call Max Meyers Law at 425-399-7000 to review your case.

    Does a Car Accident with Severe Injuries Take Longer to Settle?

    Typically, yes, a claim that involves severe injuries may take longer to settle for two reasons:

    1. You may need surgeries or other significant medical treatments and a longer recuperation time before you know how well you will recover and if your injuries will leave you with any disability or impairment.
    2. Severe injuries usually also mean higher medical expenses and longer-lasting effects on one’s job and overall well-being, which will result in a higher settlement value. Insurance companies may delay paying out a large settlement amount.

    What is the Worst Time to Settle a Car Accident Claim?

    You are at your most vulnerable during the first few weeks or months after your accident. This is the worst time to settle your injury claim. The insurance company’s adjuster knows this and may dangle a check under your nose. They may deceive you about the value of your claim, hoping you will accept a small settlement. Adjusters are trying to resolve claims for as little money as possible, which puts people who were just injured and unsure of their long-term damages at a disadvantage.

    There are two important rules about settling your claim early:

    1. Never settle before you have completed your treatment, recuperated fully, and know how your injuries will impact your life. If you settle early and then later realize you are facing a future of disability and impairment, you cannot go back and get more money from the insurance company. You may end up with a mountain of medical bills you have no way to pay. 
    2. Never agree to anything or sign any papers without having a lawyer read over them for you. You can bet the insurance company had a team of lawyers prepare the documents, such as medical releases, it wants you to sign. Its lawyers wrote those papers for the insurance company’s benefit, not for yours. You may be signing away far more rights than you realize.

    What is the Best Time to Settle a Car Accident Claim?

    You should not settle your injury claim until:

    • Your doctor releases you from medical treatment; and
    • You have recovered completely; or
    • Achieved the treatment’s maximum benefit.

    Armed with all your medical bills as well as your employer records showing how much you lost in wages from your injuries, your lawyer can calculate a reasonable settlement demand.

    Car accident lawyer Max Meyers will read your medical records to see if you have any residual medical issues. You should tell your attorney if you are not 100 percent functional after you complete your medical treatment. Sometimes, even if the body heals, you may suffer depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), insomnia, or other non-physical consequences. Also, some lingering physical symptoms like chronic pain or headaches can affect the value of your claim.

    When Should You Get a Lawyer Involved in Your Car Accident Injury Claim?

    You should get a lawyer on board early if you suffered serious injuries in a car accident. You should have the help and guidance of a lawyer:

    • Before you give a written or recorded statement;
    • Before you sign any documents;
    • Before you agree to a settlement amount; and
    • Before you resolve your claim.

    Call Max Meyers Law at 425-399-7000 to get your free consultation and case evaluation.

  • Can a Passenger Be Liable for Causing a Car Accident?

    Passenger Distracting Driver With TabletMany people assume that the driver of a vehicle that caused the wreck is automatically at fault, and in most cases that is true. But if a passenger distracted the driver or interfered with the driver’s ability to operate the vehicle safely, the passenger can be liable. Depending on the facts of the situation, both the driver and passenger may be responsible for injuries.

    Does Talking With Passengers Distract Drivers?

    Yes. Having a conversation, especially one that is emotionally charged, can turn a driver’s attention away from the task of driving. Arguing with a driver can take her focus off driving, which can lead to an accident.

    Although we know the dangers of driving while using a cell phone, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that while 11.5 percent of distracted drivers were talking, dialing, or texting just before a crash,  more than 56 percent were talking with passengers.

    Can Other Passenger Activities Distract the Driver?

    Yes. Passengers who draw the driver’s attention away from the road cause seven percent of distracted driving accidents, reports the NHTSA. Some examples of things passengers can do that distract drivers include:

    • Taking photos or videos of the driver
    • Blocking the driver’s line of sight
    • Striking the driver
    • Showing the driver videos, emails, text messages, or social media postings
    • Playing with the stereo, navigational, or other electronic devices

    Is a Passenger Liable for Interfering with the Driver and Causing an Accident?

    Yes. If a passenger is responsible for causing the accident – such as by obstructing the driver’s view or grabbing the steering wheel or otherwise interfering with the safe operation of the vehicle – the passenger could be legally liable for the accident and resulting damages.

    Is the Driver Liable If a Passenger Causes an Accident?

    A driver has a responsibility to maintain focus on safely operating the vehicle. Drivers must ignore, to the extent possible, anything that could interfere with safe and attentive driving. In the cases in which the passengers grabbed the steering wheel, the driver should have pulled over when the passengers got out of control if the drivers could have done so safely and in time to prevent a crash. If the driver could have disregarded the actions of the passenger or otherwise avoided the wreck, both the driver and passenger can be legally liable.

    In other situations, however, it may not be possible to ignore the passenger’s actions or avoid a wreck. As liability in these cases can be complex, please contact Max Meyers Law at to set up a consultation to review your case.

    What Happens if Both the Driver and Passenger are At-Fault in a Wreck?

    In such cases, third-parties may pursue legal action against both the driver and passenger. As for the passenger and driver, each may be able to file a claim for their damages under Washington’s comparative negligence laws.

    Under this rule, the law will reduce the amount of your compensation proportionally to account for your negligence. In other words, if the passenger was 20 percent at fault, her damages claim be worth 20 percent less than if she were not negligent.

    Whose Insurance Pays for a Wreck Caused by a Passenger?

    Third-party victims of an accident caused by a negligent or unruly passenger may be able to pursue a claim with the insurance of the driver of the vehicle in which the negligent passenger was traveling. The driver of the vehicle in which the negligent passenger was an occupant may have first-party coverage available on their insurance policy, or may be able to file a lawsuit against the negligent passenger.

    Set up a consultation with Max Meyers Law to review liability for the accident and whose insurance covers damages. Cases in which a passenger is responsible for causing the accident add a layer of complexity to car accident cases. We will evaluate your case to see if you can make a claim for your car accident injuries. Call us today at 425-399-7000 for a free case evaluation.

  • What Happens If I Am Involved in a Car Accident with an Uninsured Driver?

    Uninsured Drivers SignIf you were involved in a car accident with an uninsured driver, you will likely have to turn to your own insurance ― even if the other driver was entirely at-fault. Below, we detail your options for recovering compensation if an uninsured driver caused your car accident. If you would like more information regarding your uninsured driver auto accident, please contact one of our Kirkland auto accident lawyers today for a free consultation. 

    What Options Do I Have If an Uninsured Driver Caused My Accident?

    Several types of insurance can help you with your losses if an uninsured driver caused your wreck. Some of these include:

    • Uninsured Motorist coverage on your auto insurance policy. Although the law does not require you to carry this coverage, uninsured motorist (UM) coverage protects people injured in accidents with uninsured drivers or drivers who flee the scene. It covers medical bills, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and other damages caused by the wreck.
    • Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. PIP will pay for your medical treatment, lost wages, loss of services, and funeral costs, up to the amount of your policy. It does not pay to repair or replace your car. Washington does not require drivers to carry PIP coverage, but your insurance company must offer it to you, and your rejection of the coverage has to be in writing.
    • Collision coverage on your auto policy. This coverage can pay to repair or replace your vehicle.
    • Gap insurance on your auto insurance policy. Gap insurance covers the difference between the depreciated value of your car and the amount that remains on your auto loan if your vehicle is a total loss.
    • Your health insurance through your employer, an individual policy, or another source. Although many health insurance policies expressly exclude coverage for motor vehicle accidents, some will provide coverage if the crash was not your fault. The language in your policy will control whether you are able to recover compensation. Your health insurance will only pay medical expenses, and not lost wages, property damage, or pain and suffering.

    Another option for help with your damages is the Washington Crime Victims Program. If the at-fault driver was committing a crime (e.g., driving while intoxicated) when the crash occurred, you might be able to file a claim for benefits with this fund.

    What Does Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Not Cover?

    Your PIP coverage will not compensate you for your injuries if the accident happened when you were committing a felony. PIP also does not cover your injuries if the at-fault driver was using:

    • A motorcycle or moped
    • A recreational or off-road vehicle

    Your medical treatment must take place within three years of the accident and must be reasonable, necessary, and related to the crash, or your insurance company can deny coverage.

    Does Washington State Require Motorists to Have Auto Insurance?

    Yes. Washington State requires auto insurance for all registered cars as follows:

    • $25,000 bodily injury or death per person
    • $50,000 bodily injury or death of two people in an accident
    • $10,000 property damage of others per accident

    You are, of course, allowed to have higher amounts of coverage. In fact, since the minimum coverage would be inadequate to pay the damages in most major crashes, getting higher policy limits is a smart financial decision.

    Can I Sue the Driver?

    Suing the uninsured driver is an option if he caused your accident. However, if the driver did not have insurance, he might not have many assets we can recover. Max Meyers can help you determine whether this is a viable option.

    Call Max Meyers Law, PLLC Today

    Being involved in an accident with an uninsured driver can leave you feeling hopeless. Remember you have options. The team at Max Meyers Law, PLLC wants to help in any way we can. Feel free to use our free Compensation Checklist after Being Hit by an Uninsured Driver to maximize your recovery.

    For advice, specific help understanding your policy, or help suing the other driver, call Max Meyers Law, PLLC. Call us today at 425-399-7000 to set up your free, no-obligation consultation.

  • Who is at fault in a head-on collision?

    Who is at fault in a head-on collision depends on who crossed the centerline or violated a traffic law. Below, the Kirkland car crash lawyers at Max Meyers Law will tell you more about who is at fault for head-on collissions in Washington State.

    Who is at fault in a head-on collision.

    Who can be liable for a head-on collision?

    Liability depends on the circumstances of the collision. There are quite a few things that can contribute to these accidents:

    • Drowsy driving
    • Distracted driving
    • Confused driving (new or elderly drivers)
    • Improperly turning or passing another vehicle
    • Ignoring traffic signals or signs
    • Driver loses control of vehicle
    • Roadway design – left-turn lanes, “suicide” lanes, reversible lanes, lack of center median

    Depending on the circumstances of the head-on crash, your liable party might be:

    The Driver

    In almost every case, the driver who crossed over into oncoming traffic, violated a traffic law, or misread a sign will be liable.

    Consider a few examples:

    Alan is driving while under the influence of alcohol on a two-lane rural road. He is weaving from side to side in his traffic lane. When he crests a hill, he enters the lane for oncoming traffic and crashes in a tractor trailer that was driving in that lane.

    Alan’s intoxication caused him to leave his lane of travel. He is liable for the head-on accident.

    Beth is driving home after pulling a double shift. She nods off to sleep, and her car drifts into the path of oncoming traffic. Beth’s fatigued driving makes her liable for the head-on crash.

    Carla is driving around her new city. Unfamiliar with the roads, she misses the “Wrong Way” sign and drives down a one-way road, where she crashes into another car.

    Edie is late for work, and gets stuck behind a slow truck on a two-lane rural road. She pulls out into the oncoming traffic lane to pass the truck. She misjudges the speed of an oncoming vehicle and crashes into it. Edie is at fault in the head-on collision.

    Third Parties

    In some cases, the driver of the car that drifted into oncoming traffic might not be liable. This might occur if any of the following caused the driver to lose control of his vehicle:

    Note: If the driver suddenly had a heart attack, for example, no one will be at fault, due to the sudden medical emergency defense.

    Other Drivers or Pedestrians

    If the driver lost control after swerving to avoid someone or something that unexpectedly entered his lane, whoever entered the lane will likely be at fault.

    These cases can be difficult to prove as the negligent party likely left the scene. A car accident lawyer from Max Meyers Law, PLLC will examine surveillance video and interview eyewitnesses to determine whether anyone saw the accident happen and/or saw the negligent party’s license plate number.

    A Government Entity

    Many head-on crashes result from poor roadway design or maintenance. Left-turn lanes and reversible lanes are frequently the sites of head-on crashes. The lack of a center median also causes a number of head-on collisions.

    The government entity responsible for the design and maintenance of the roadway may be responsible if you can prove unsafe design or maintenance caused the accident. For example, if the entity knew the paint on a turn lane was fading but did nothing to touch it up, it could be liable if a driver could not see the paint and was involved in a head-on collision in a turn lane.

    The government might also be liable if a lack of signs made the road’s direction unclear (e.g., no wrong-way signs at the beginning of a one-way road).

    A Manufacturer

    If the accident resulted from a tire blowout or a defective part or vehicle, the manufacturer might be liable. For example, if Fred was navigating a turn when his power steering went out, he could hold the manufacturer liable if the power steering failure was due to a defect.

    Get help from a Kirkland car accident lawyer.

    These cases are complicated and sometimes involve many different parties. If you were injured in a head-on accident, call the office of Max Meyers Law, PLLC today at 425-399-7000 for help navigating your accident claim.

  • How much will my car insurance increase after an accident in Washington?

    How much your car insurance will increase after an accident in Washington depends on whether you were at-fault, what company you have insurance with, where you live, and how severe the accident was. Below, our Kirkland car crash lawyers discuss when your insurance might increase, and why.

    Will my car insurance increase after an accident in Washington.

    Why would my insurance increase after a Washington car crash?

    The logic behind this is simple — an insurer views a driver as a greater risk if he or she causes an accident. Charging that driver more means an insurance company will lose less money if there is another crash, and it reminds the driver to remain safe behind the wheel.

    How much will my insurance increase if I am at-fault for an accident in Washington?

    How much the insurance rate will go up after a crash in the Seattle area depends on the insurer. A 2015 study from InsuranceQuotes.com found that policyholders who file just one claim pay, on average, 41 percent more for their insurance. However, according the Insurance Services Office, a private research firm, most increases are between 20 and 40 percent.

    The accident’s severity will also tie in to the increase. A larger increase is more likely to occur after a more severe accident.

    Unfortunately for the motorist, there is not much consistency to premium hikes. Each insurer will have its own “surcharge schedule” that outlines cost increases for each accident. In some cases, an insurance company will allow a one-time exception as sort of a free pass, but there is no requirement that they do so. We highly recommend that you ask about a surcharge schedule before agreeing to the terms of a policy.

    Like most states, Washington has an at-fault system for determining who caused the accident. If you are at fault, the other driver can pursue compensation by filing a claim with his or her own insurer or by pursuing a personal injury lawsuit.

    If the other driver files a claim against your insurer, your premiums are likely to increase. In fact, according to a NerdWallet.com analysis, Washington State drivers paid $322 more than the national average after an at-fault accident.

    What types of insurance will increase if I am at-fault for an accident?

    Obviously, your liability coverage will increase if you are at-fault for a collision because your insurer will need to cover the other driver’s injuries and property damage. However, if you need to use your other insurance to cover your own injuries and property damage, you could see an increase in your premiums.

    If you use your personal injury protection (PIP) policy to cover your medical bills and lost wages after an accident, you may see an increase but only if you were at-fault for the accident.

    This rule also applies to other types of insurance that might kick in after an accident, such as underinsured motorist and uninsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM). This protects a driver in the event of an accident caused by a motorist who has insufficient coverage or no insurance at all.

    Will my insurance increase if I am not at-fault for a Washington State accident?

    No. In many states, drivers will see a rate increase even if they were not at-fault for an accident, reports a nationwide study released in February 2017 by the Consumer Federation of America.

    However, Washington state law prevents insurers from raising premiums after an accident “unless the policyholder was determined to be at fault.”

    Call Max Meyers Law PLLC for help after an accident.

    The rules about different kinds of insurance compensation can be complicated. Since the aftermath of a car accident is already a stressful time, the help of an accident attorney with Max Meyers Law can ease the process. We can answer any questions you may have about insurance premiums and we will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. We can also help defend you against any accusations of fault to your insurer from raising your rates. Call 425-399-7000 to arrange a free consultation with Max and his team today.

  • Can I sue for a concussion from car accident?

    Yes, you can sue for a concussion from a car accident. However, this is often quite complicated. Because concussions are not always apparent for hours or even days after the collision, one of the most difficult things to do is prove that your concussion is related to the accident. Below, our Kirkland car accident lawyers will tell you more about concussions sustained from auto accidents.

    Can I sue for a concussion from car accident.

    How can I sue for a concussion from a car accident?

    To sue someone for your concussion, that person must have been at fault for the accident. For example, Don was stopped at a red light, waiting for the light to turn green. Amy, who was reaching for something in the back seat of her car, did not see traffic stopped and rear-ended Don. Don suffered a concussion from the accident. He can sue Amy for his injuries.

    If, on the other hand, the facts are the same, except Amy was the one who suffered the concussion instead of Don, Amy cannot sue Don for her concussion. Amy was the driver at fault, so Don does not have to pay for Amy’s injuries.

    You must also prove that your concussion was caused by the car accident. Your proof will likely be the police report and your medical records.

    What if I did not know I had a concussion at the scene of the accident?

    People often do not know the extent of their injuries at the scene of an accident. You may feel only a slight headache or soreness on your head at the point of impact, while you are still at the scene.

    However, all head injuries need medical attention. A concussion can have serious, long-lasting effects. You cannot see what is going on inside your skull. You may have a brain bleed or other serious condition that could be life-threatening if not treated professionally.

    If you did not think at the time that you were seriously hurt, the police report may say there were no injuries. You can bet the other driver will then deny liability for your concussion, and claim that you are faking your injuries.

    You can fight this accusation with medical records from an evaluation at a later date. If you received medical attention at a later date, proving the relation between the accident and the concussion can be difficult. A lawyer can help.

    What if I contributed to the accident?

    If you contributed to the accident or your injuries, the other party’s insurer might attempt to reduce your settlement. For example, if you were speeding at the time of collision, the other driver’s insurer might argue that this contributed to the accident (e.g., if you were driving slower, the accident might not have happened) or your injury (e.g., your speed amplified the impact). While contributing to the actual accident can lessen your settlement, certain contributions to your injuries will not.

    For example, if you were not wearing your seat belt when the accident occurred, the other driver will likely argue that your injuries were more severe than they would have been if you had been wearing a seat belt. However, Washington’s seat belt law disallows the reduction of an injury claim for not wearing a seat belt.

    Regardless of how you contributed to your injuries, you can recover some sort of compensation so long as you were less than 100 percent responsible for your accident. It is important to note that, per Washington’s comparative negligence laws, your percentage of fault will reduce your potential settlement amount.

    If you were injured in a car accident, our car accident team can help. Call Max Meyers Law today at 425-399-7000 to set up your free consultation.

  • Does it affect a car accident claim if both drivers have the same insurance?

    If you have been in a car accident where both drivers have the same insurance, you may have several questions:

    • Does having the same auto insurance as the other driver make my claim easier or quicker?
    • Does having the same insurance company make it more difficult or complicated?
    • Will I get less money for my claim if I have the same insurance company as the other driver?

    The short answer to all these questions is no. Having the same insurance company as the other driver does not tend to change anything. The claim will likely proceed as normal. The insurance company will follow the same process it uses for any other accident case. Find out more below from our Bothell car accident attorneys at Max Meyers Law.

    Two men exchanging insurance information after car accident.

    Does having the same auto insurance as the other driver make my claim easier and quicker?

    No. It might seem logical that the insurance company would assign one claims adjuster to handle the accident, and that adjuster would take statements from both drivers, make a decision, and wrap up the case. There would be no back and forth between companies or claims adjusters, which would make the process quicker and much simpler.

    However, because this can create a kind of conflict of interest, the insurer will assign two different adjusters to the claim to work with each driver separately. The adjusters will each make an independent assessment of who was at fault in the accident. If they are in agreement as to fault, the insurer can resolve the claim relatively quickly. If they disagree as to fault, however, they will each fight for their position.

    The difference is in how they resolve these disputes. When there is disagreement as to fault and the drivers have different insurance companies, it may result in litigation to determine fault. When the drivers have the same insurance, the claims adjusters have to work it out amongst themselves.

    Does having the same insurance company make it more difficult or complicated?

    Not likely. If anything, it can make it a little simpler. This is because the insurance company will not pursue litigation against itself to solve a disagreement over fault.

    Will I get less money for my claim if I have the same insurance company as the other driver?

    Maybe. A claims adjuster may be more hesitant to assess a high degree of fault when the adjuster knows the money will be coming out of his boss’ pocket. It is much easier to say the other driver is at fault when the money for the claim will be paid by a different insurance company.

    On the other hand, if your claim is not a high dollar amount, the insurance company might waive your deductible when the other driver has the same insurance company.

    Get help from a Kirkland car accident lawyer.

    Regardless of whether you are dealing with your own insurer or another driver’s insurer, chances are you will be fighting an uphill battle. Every insurer is looking out for its bottom line and, as such, will be looking to pay you as little as possible. In many cases, this means taking advantage of injured victims — even if they are the insurer’s own policyholders.

    We can help. A car accident lawyer at Max Meyers Law PLLC will evaluate your claim and handle the hassle for you, so you can focus on getting your life back.

    Call us today at 425-399-7000 to set up your free, no obligation consultation.

  • Why do insurance companies deny car accident claims?

    While some tricky car insurance companies will deny your claim for dishonest reasons, there are five main reasons why insurance companies deny valid car accident claims. Below are the main reasons why car accident claims are usually denied, from the Kirkland car accident attorneys at Max Meyers Law.

    Reasons why insurance companies deny claims.

    1) You waited too long to file a claim.

    Insurance companies like to be notified immediately when there has been an accident involving one of their insured drivers. Insurance companies write their own policies, which often includes how long a person has to file a claim. If you are filing a claim against the other driver, who has a different insurance company than you, you may not know that company’s internal deadline.

    Note: Even though, per R.C.W. § 4.16.080, Washington State’s statute of limitations is three years, that does not matter. If you do not file your claim by the insurer’s deadline, you cannot recover compensation. Call Max Meyers to explore your options: 425-399-7000.

    2) You did not call the police to the scene.

    Some insurers refuse to honor insurance claims that do not have a police report. If you did call the police to the scene, you might have a report that incorrectly designates you at-fault.

    If you did not get a police report or if the police report is incorrect, call Max Meyers Law PLLC. Our team can investigate what occurred and help clear up any inaccuracies with the report.

    3) You stated you were uninjured after the accident.

    Injuries are not always apparent at the scene of the accident. Some soft tissue injuries take time to develop. Internal bleeding and damages to internal organs may have no immediate symptoms. For these reasons, it is vital that you never say you are uninjured. Instead, go to the doctor to determine whether you have any invisible injuries. 

    You might also receive a denial if:

    • You do not have medical records that show an injury.
    • Your injury seems to be a preexisting condition.
    • Your injuries do not match the emergency room records or the police report.

    4) You agreed to a recorded statement.

    Insurance adjusters receive special training to lull injured victims into a false sense of security during which the victim might say something the adjuster can twist into an admission of fault. Even saying something as innocuous as “I’m sorry” or “I’m okay” can jeopardize your case.

    You should never give a recorded statement to an insurance company after a car accident without first talking with your lawyer.

    5) You admitted fault at the scene.

    You may have apologized to someone at the scene out of politeness and concern for their injuries, not intending this to be an admission on fault. That person or an insurance company may try to twist your words and use them as evidence of an admission of fault. This is one of the reasons why you should be extremely careful about what you say at the scene of an accident. Expect that someone may try to use your words out of context.

    Speak to law enforcement and medical personnel, but do not admit fault, even if you suspect you might have been at fault. Things are not always as they initially appear. You may find out later that the accident was actually the result of the other driver texting, running a red light, or being impaired by drugs or alcohol.

    Get help from a Kirkland car accident attorney today.

    Insurance companies say in their television commercials that they are there to help you when you have suffered an injury or a loss. In reality, that is not their purpose. Their purpose is to minimize the amount they pay out in claims. If insurance companies paid out every claim they receive, they would be out of business within a week. They have to weed out the false and frivolous claims; unfortunately, this means they also deny many valid claims.

    When an insurance company denies your claim, it must notify you of the denial and the reason. You can then appeal the decision. A car accident lawyer from Max Meyers Law PLLC can help.

    Our car accident team will deal directly with the insurance company for you. We know the reasons claims tend to get denied, and we know how to avoid many of these denials. We will fight hard to get you all the compensation you deserve.

    Call us today at 425-399-7000 for your free consultation. We never charge a fee unless you get a recovery.

  • Does insurance cover hit and run accidents?

    Whether insurance covers a hit and run depends on the policies you have. Find out more below about how insurance companies handle hit and run accidents, from the Kirkland, WA car crash lawyers at Max Meyers Law.

    Car damage from a hit and run accident.

    How can I recover compensation after an accident with a hit and run driver?

    The At-Fault Driver’s Insurance

    In some cases, police are able to locate the at-fault driver in a hit and run collision. In those instances, that driver’s insurance — if he has coverage — should provide you with compensation for property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages.

    While all drivers in Washington State are required to maintain a minimum of $25,000 in liability insurance, even if located, the at-fault driver may not have had insurance or may have insufficient insurance to cover your damages.

    Until or unless officers locate that driver, you will be left facing a mounting stack of bills and feeling overwhelmed. You do, however, have options to help you with your expenses, depending on what insurance you carry.

    Depending on your situation, you might be able to cover your accident expenses with the following:

    Uninsured Motorist Coverage

    Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage is an optional type of insurance coverage designed to protect drivers against collisions with uninsured motorists, and to cover any gaps between the at-fault driver’s coverage and your costs for medical bills and lost wages.

    In the event of a hit and run collision, this type of insurance will provide you coverage to:

    • Fix your vehicle
    • Cover the cost of medical expenses
    • Help with lost wages
    • Compensate you for other damage, from permanent disability to pain and suffering

    It is important to note that there are two different types of UM coverage — bodily injury and property damage. To have your injuries and your property damage covered, you must have both.

    Personal Injury Protection Coverage

    Personal injury protection (PIP) insurance is another type of optional insurance that covers the costs of medical bills, lost wages, and other damages that you and your passengers may face after a car accident, regardless of who is at fault. In Washington State, most policies have caps that range from $10,000 to $35,000 per incident.

    While the law in Washington State does not require motorists to carry PIP, insurance companies must offer this coverage to their policyholders, who can (but should not) opt out of this coverage in writing. PIP insurance helps you with many types of protection, including:

    • Help with the costs of medical bills
    • Coverage for lost wages
    • Coverage for injuries suffered by passengers in your vehicle, regardless of who was at fault for the accident

    Washington Crime Victims Program

    The Washington Crime Victims Program offers crime victims help with a range of expenses. If the state approves your claim, you may get help with medical benefits, lost wages, travel expenses for medical treatment, or death benefits. The state can deny your claim if you did not file a police report, if your application was incomplete, or if the accident occurred outside of Washington State.

    I have been involved in a hit and run accident. What should I do?

    If you have been involved in a hit and run accident, the shock and distress of a regular accident can be compounded by the sense of anger at the other driver fleeing the scene. It is important to remember that a driver who is fleeing the scene of an accident is likely doing so because they are concerned about facing charges for more serious issues — from driving under the influence to avoiding prosecution for another crime. Avoid the temptation to chase the driver, and instead call 911 and wait for police and medical personnel to arrive.

    Once you have addressed any pressing medical issues, you should take the following steps to help with later insurance claims or legal cases, should officers be able to locate the driver:

    • Take photos of the accident scene and surrounding areas, focusing on any shots that may show that the other driver did not have the right of way, for example.
    • Speak with any witnesses at the scene, and get their contact information if you need to get their statements later. Ask them to give their statements to police, if they are willing.
    • Get a medical examination from any emergency responders, and get a copy of the police report and responding officers’ cards or contact information.

    You can get a complete list of the steps that you should take following a hit and run accident here. Also be sure to read through our checklist of compensation options after an accident with an uninsured driver.

    Do not deal with a hit and run accident alone. The attorneys at Max Meyers Law can evaluate your case and help pursue the most effective options to help you get compensation for your losses. Call us at 425-399-7000 for a free case evaluation.

  • Out-of-State Car Accident: In which state do I file my claim after an accident in Washington?

    An out-of-state car accident can be incredibly confusing. Are you supposed to file in your home state or in the state where the accident occurred? When you are involved in an accident in Washington State, you file in Washington. This means you need to know and follow Washington State laws and procedures for filing a claim. Max Meyers of Max Meyers Law PLLC in Kirkland, Washington has handled countless accidents involving out-of-state drivers and can handle yours too.  

    Why should I have a Washington State car accident lawyer handle my case?

    You need a lawyer who knows state laws and procedures.

    Every state has its own state laws. While you might not think this will make a big difference, it can change your entire case. For example:

    • Do you know how long you have to file a claim in Washington? No matter how good your car accident claim is, if you do not file your claim in time under the procedural rules of the state of Washington, your case is over.
    • Do you know whether you can file a claim against the government in Washington or whether it has sovereign immunity?
    • Do you know the process for filing a claim in Washington State?
    • Did the other driver break a law? Because each state has its own state laws, something that is legal in your state might be illegal in Washington.

    All of these things differ from state to state. Only a Washington State car accident lawyer will know all the intricacies of an accident case.

    You need a lawyer who knows state insurance and fault laws.

    A Washington state car accident lawyer reviewing laws.

    Knowledge of Washington’s insurance laws is important in handling a car accident claim. Like every state, Washington has its own laws on auto insurance. There are required minimum amounts of insurance and optional amounts over the minimum amounts that are available. This will allow you determine how much you can recover.

    Each state also has its own procedure for handling accidents. Washington is a fault-state which means you can recover compensation without turning to your own policy first. If you hire a lawyer from a no-fault state such as Florida, s/he might not know the process for filing a claim.

    You also need an attorney who knows what fault laws the state follows. Washington State follows a pure comparative negligence law which means you can recover compensation even if you are 99 percent at fault. If your home state is a pure comparative fault state like Maryland or Virginia or a modified comparative fault state like Georgia, a lawyer might not realize that you are still entitled to compensation even if you were more than half at fault for the accident.

    Where can I get help for my car accident claim in Washington?

    If you have been injured in a car accident in the State of Washington, you need a Washington lawyer to handle your claim. At Max Meyers Law PLLC, we know the laws, procedural rules, and time limitations in Washington, and we have years of experience handling accident claims. We will sit down with you and evaluate your case for free. We are happy to work with out of state clients who have been injured in car accidents in Washington State.

    We provide a wealth of information on our website. You can read about every member of our legal team, and see our photos so that you can put a face with the name of the person you are dealing with at our firm. Read and see what our clients are saying about us. With today’s technology, the miles can melt away so you can feel completely comfortable working with us, even if you are in another part of the country.

    We will answer your questions and navigate you through the claims process in the State of Washington. We also do not charge a fee unless you get a recovery. Call us today at 425-399-7000 to schedule your free consultation.

  • When is a car considered totaled in Washington State?

    “Totaled” means a total loss. A car is considered totaled when damages from an accident are irreparable, or would cost more to fix than what the vehicle is worth. Find out more about who decides if a car is totaled below, from the Kirkland auto accident lawyers at Max Meyers Law.

    Who Decides if a Car is Totaled? 

    Car totaled in an accident.

    An insurer will assess the car’s pre-accident value against the likely cost of repairs. Washington is a fault state, meaning that whoever caused an accident is responsible for covering the damages that occur. If you are at fault in an accident, your insurance company will handle appraisal and compensation according to the coverage in your policy. (Note: Your insurer will only cover your damage if you have collision coverage.) If the other driver was at fault in the accident, you will be dealing with his or her insurer.

    The insurer will send an appraiser to determine both the vehicle’s pre-accident fair market value and the likely cost of repairs. Per WAC § 284-30-391, once the appraiser has determined a value for the vehicle, the insurer will either replace your vehicle or offer you a cash settlement based on the value of a comparable vehicle in the same area.

    How Does The Insurer Determine That Value?

    State law [WAC § 390-05-235] defines “fair market value” as the amount a well-informed buyer under no obligation to purchase a vehicle would reasonably pay a well-informed owner who is not required to sell. The insurer bases this largely on sales data for comparable cars in your area, meaning those that are of similar make, model year, body type, condition, and mileage.

    Washington State law requires insurers to calculate fair market value using at least one of the following methods:

    • Examining prices on comparable vehicles in the surrounding area. The insurer may use a third-party service to acquire this data.
    • Obtaining quotes on comparable vehicles from two or more licensed dealers within 150 miles of where your car is stored
    • Checking prices on comparable vehicles advertised in local media
    • Consulting computerized data on comparable nearby vehicles

    Car owners can then request a “total loss valuation report” from the insurer, which will contain the data used in calculating the fair market value. Washington State law requires insurers to use a “total loss formula,” where the cost of repairs plus its probable value as scrap must equal the vehicle’s value pre-accident value for it to be a total loss.

    How Do I Get My Settlement After a Washington Car Accident?

    If you agree with the assessed value of the car, the insurer will offer to replace your car with something similar in value that is available nearby or pay you a cash settlement, according to rules outlined in WAC 284-30-391. The settlement offer will include the following:

    • The vehicle’s fair market value immediately prior to the accident
    • Sales tax on the car’s fair market value
    • Any other fees you would have paid if you purchased the vehicle immediately prior to the accident

    What if I Do Not Agree with the Insurer About the Value of my Vehicle?

    If it is your own insurer, you can hire an outside appraiser if your collision policy allows it. If the other driver was at fault, and you believe his or her insurer is incorrectly valuing your car, you can file a claim with your own insurance company, which will pay your settlement. Then, if it so chooses, your insurer will seek compensation from the at-fault driver's insurance company.

    Can I Keep My Car Even if it is Totaled?

    Yes. If you keep your totaled car, the insurer will then subtract the salvage value from the settlement. You or your insurer must then notify and report the totaled vehicle to the Washington State Department of Licensing. (Failure to do so within 15 days is a misdemeanor.)

    Where can I get more help with this?

    Dealing with the insurance company can be a hassle. For help navigating the claims process or understanding your insurance settlement offer, contact a car accident attorney at Max Meyers Law, PLLC in Kirkland today: 425-399-7000.

     

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  • I was in a chain reaction multi-car accident in Washington. Who is liable?

    In every case, the person who causes a Washington car accident should be liable for the damages and injuries, but when there is a multi-car accident, sometimes more than one person is liable. This is because in multi-car accidents, multiple people can act negligently and cause or contribute to the accident.

    First, let us consider a typical, two-car accident. Alice stops her car at a red light. Bob, who is texting, does not see her car and slams into her. In this case, Bob is liable. Liability in this case is pretty cut and dry.

    What happens if more drivers or factors are involved?

    Let us add more parties. In this case, Bob rear-ends Alice who, due to the force of being rear-ended by Bob, rear-ends Camille. Bob will likely be liable for both accidents.

    What happens if we change our accident a bit? In this case, Alice rear-ends Camille (who is sitting at a red light) first. Bob, who is texting and does not see Alice stop, rear-ends Alice. In this case, we have two liable parties:

    • Alice will be liable for rear-ending Camille.
    • Bob will be liable for rear-ending Alice. However, Alice may be partially liable for Bob rear-ending her.
       

    Rear end multiple car crash on street.

    However, this situation can become more complicated if another party or factor (e.g., one of the parties had a burnt-out taillight) is involved. For example, if Camille’s brake lights were out, Camille could be liable for Alice rear-ending her (if Alice was following at a safe distance and following all traffic laws) and partially liable for Bob rear-ending Alice, even though Bob was texting.

    If another driver caused the entire collision, s/he may be liable. For example, if Doug swerved to avoid debris in the roadway and sideswiped Camille causing her to brake quickly and set off a chain reaction of accidents, he could be liable, at least partially, for any resulting accidents.

    Weather, construction, and other drivers (who are not involved in the accident) can also play a big role in multi-car chain reaction accidents.

    Where can I get help if I was in a multi-car accident?

    As you can see, chain reaction multi-car accidents are often complicated. A multi-car chain reaction accident can leave victims with catastrophic injuries; our car accident team can help you recover the compensation you and your family need and deserve.

    We will work with accident reconstruction experts to determine exactly how the accident happened, who originally caused it, and which additional parties are liable.

    Once we have determined the liable parties, we will manage communication with each party’s insurer. Dealing with one insurer is difficult enough; it becomes immensely more complicated when you add insurers to the mix. Fortunately, we have experience on both sides of the aisle when it comes to dealing with insurers. We know the tricks insurers might try to pull and we know how to defend against them.

    And we do all this with no-upfront costs from you. We know how difficult recovering from an accident is; we believe you should have the freedom to recover from your injuries without worrying about how you are going to pay for a lawyer. We will do all the legwork, keep you informed about how your case is going, and help you in whatever way we can.

    Note: All we ask of you is that you continue with your medical care. Follow all your doctor’s instructions to the T and do not overexert yourself. If you are worried about how you will pay for your medical bills before your case settles, read our post for your options.

    Call us today at 425-399-7000 to set up your free, no-obligation consultation with Kirkland car accident lawyer Max Meyers. To make sure you are doing what you can to protect your rights before our consultation, feel free to read through our free eBook Car Accident Secrets Unlocked. We look forward to speaking with you.