Kirkland Personal Injury Lawyer
Kirkland is a suburb east of Seattle on the shore of Lake Washington. It has a population of approximately 89,000 people. This makes Kirkland the sixth largest city in King County and the twelfth largest city in Washington State. Bordered by Bellevue to the south and Lake Washington to the west, Kirkland was incorporated into Seattle in 1905 and has grown twelve times in size.
An annexation on June 1, 2011 added nearly seven square miles to the city. Lake Drive is a popular and heavily trafficked road that runs along Lake Washington and the city can be easily accessed from 405. Because of the prevalence of traffic and alternating speed limits, it is, unfortunately, a common occurrence for car accidents to frequently crop up on 405. Juanita Drive is another road that is very dangerous in terms of the number of accidents that occur there. It’s a winding road surrounded by trees, with blind curves.How a Kirkland Personal Injury Lawyer can Help You
After being harmed in a car accident or another form of personal injury caused by another person or a company’s negligence can be devastating and leave your world shaken. In most cases, the person or business you’re looking to in order to pay your medical bills and pain and suffering has insurance, which is a good thing and a bad thing. It’s good because there is somewhere that you can recover money from, but it can be a bad thing if the insurance company attempts to deny you payment for your injuries, which insurance companies are known to do. A skilled and experienced personal injury lawyer can help you when you need it most. We can help in the following ways:
- Knowledge of Washington State Laws. Having practiced in this state for so many years, we know the laws in this state very well and how best to win your case given the laws of this state.
- Knowledge of Damages in a Personal Injury Case. No matter how obvious the negligence may be of the other party that harmed you, you still have to be able to present your damages in a way that the court and Washington State law will recognize. We can do this for you better than anyone.
- Knowledge of How to Negotiate with Insurance Companies. Chances are you have not negotiated with insurance companies for a personal injury case before. We have done this for years, with hundreds of cases, and we have been successful doing so. Let our past experience and success work for you.
- Knowledge of How to Win at Trial. We have taken 20 cases to trial over the years and we know how to successfully prove your case to a judge and jury. Let our experience help you win big.
After you’ve been injured in a car accident, you are likely facing serious problems. In addition to your pain and suffering, you are also likely receiving a lot of bills in the mail from health insurance companies. You likely have a tow bill and you need to either get your car fixed or a new car if your car was totaled.
Legally, the law in Washington State allows you to recover a number of different categories of damages. Please note that in Washington State you are not allowed to recover what is known as “punitive damages,” which is common in some states and which is a form of damages that are meant to punish people for or corporations for their negligence. These are the categories you are allowed to recover:
- Medical bills. As long as your bills are related to your accident, you can recover these bills.
- Lost wages. If you missed time at work because of your accident, you are allowed to recover the money you missed out on.
- Pain and suffering. This is money for the pain and suffering and inconvenience you’ve gone through because of the accident.
- Out of pocket expenses. If you spent money on things like a wheelchair or a brace, you are allowed to receive money to compensate you for this too.
After being in a car accident in Kirkland, Washington, there are a number of ways they can happen unfortunately. The more common reasons we see are:
- Bar Overserving Alcohol Car Accidents
- Blind Spot Car Accident
- Distracted Driving Car Accidents
- Driving While High Car Accidents
- Drunk Driving Car Accidents
- Intersection Car Accidents
- Left Turn Car Accidents
- Overtaking Car Accidents
- Pile Up Car Accident
- Rear-End Car Accidents
- Reckless Driving Car Accidents
- Rollover SUV Accident
- Running Red Light and Stop Sign Car Accidents
- Speeding and Driving Too Fast for Conditions Car Accidents
If any of these car accidents sound familiar to you, then we can help you. We have negotiated with insurance companies or litigated hundreds of car accidents and seen every kind of accident there is on the road. While few are easy, we have the resources and know how-to successfully win your case. Call us for a free consultation to discuss your case.Common Injuries From Car Accidents
There are a number of common injuries people suffer in a car accident. They can vary from the mild to the severe. They are:
- Soft tissue injuries
- Neck strain
- Back strain
- Shoulder pain
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Fractures and broken bones
With the exception of soft tissue injuries, which will heal on their own but may need chiropractic and massage therapy to help them, these injuries will likely not just get better with time. Rather, they need professional and dedicated medical care to make them feel better. If you need advice on who you should see, seeing your primary medical or family doctor is probably the best route as they get examine you, make a diagnosis, and route you to the appropriate specialist if needed.
The important thing is making it very clear to the healthcare provider that your injuries are 100% related to the accident. It’s also important to get medical treatment as soon as possible after the accident.How to Help Your Personal Injury or Car Accident Case
If you have been in a car accident or suffered a personal injury case in Kirkland, there are some affirmative steps you can take to greatly help your case. We will use a car accident as an example, but the principles that apply here could be used with other kinds of cases as well. The first thing to do is immediately get the medical attention you need. Your health comes first.
The second thing you must do is report your accident to the police. Having a police report can really help your case. Sometimes the police do not immediately come to the scene of the accident and can even be difficult, but it is worth having the police issue a report that is favorable to you. You must also get the name, address, phone number, and insurance information for the driver who hit you. Getting their insurance policy number is really important.
The third thing to do is gather witness information of people who might have witnessed the accident. Get their names, numbers, addresses, and emails. It is very important to have this information.
The fourth thing to do is notify the at-fault driver’s insurance company of the accident, your car insurance company, and your health insurance company since your insurance companies may be paying the bills for your accident. The term to use is a “subrogation file” needs to be opened with them.
The fifth thing to do is stay away from social media. You are not going to help your case in the slightest by posting pictures or narrative descriptions about the accident or your injuries. Keep this information to yourself and do not share it on social media.
The sixth thing to do is keep track of your injuries by photographing them—the pictures should be stored on your phone and uploaded to the cloud, not social media—and keeping a running narrative of how you’re feeling. Since it may be months or even two years before your case settles, it may be important to recall how you were feeling at the time of your accident and in the months that followed, which you may not recall two years later.Dealing With the Insurance Company After a Car Accident
After your car accident, you may be receiving many calls from either the at-fault driver’s insurance company or calls from your own car or health insurance company, or possibly all three. Here is what you need to know.
Typically, if you are the driver of a car who has been hit by another car, then the at-fault driver’s insurance company will not pay your medical bills as they come in. Rather, at the end of your case, meaning when you are done receiving medical care and after you have submitted a demand asking for compensation, that’s when your bills will be paid. You might be wondering who will pay your bills in the interim since it may take several months or even several years for you to finish treating.
In the interim, your insurance will pay the bills. This may be your car insurance if you have what is called PIP, which stands for Personal Injury Protection. This is insurance that you have to decline when you get car insurance. If you did by chance decline this coverage, then your health insurance will pay the bills.
Whether PIP or your health insurance paid your bills, either way at the end of the case, assuming you receive a settlement, your insurance will receive repayment of just the medical bills portion of your case up to a certain reduction, which is legally called a Mahler reduction, which is a Washington State case that held that your insurance company must take a proportionate reduction in medical bills they paid.
Call us if you have questions about how best to deal with your case regarding insurance companies.Time Limits on Filing a Personal Injury Case
In Washington State, there are very strict requirements on how much time you have to file your case. While you can negotiate with the at-fault driver’s insurance company for as long as you want, you only have three years from the date of your injury to actually file your lawsuit. Here is an example: if you were in a car accident on January 1, 2019, you must file your lawsuit no later than January 1, 2022, since that is three years later.
No exceptions will be made unless two things are present: you are a minor, meaning you are under the age of 18, or you have a medical malpractice case, in which case the discovery rule could apply. For the discovery rule to apply, this means you have one year to file the lawsuit from when you discovered the problem. For minors, they have three years from the date they turned 18 to bring a lawsuit.
There are no exceptions beyond those. And filing a claim in court means actually filing the lawsuit and paying the filing fee in court. From the time the case is filed, then there you only have 90 days to serve the lawsuit on the other party. So even if you file your case within the window, if you do not serve within 90 days, assuming you filed on the last day before the statute of limitations ran, then your case will not be allowed to go forward and will likely be dismissed. Call us for a free consultation if you have questions.Kirkland Personal Injury FAQ’S
Question: How long will my case take to settle?
Answer: There is no definitive answer to this without knowing the particular facts of your case. However, most cases will settle within six to twelve months after you finish treating with a medical provider.
Question: How much is my case worth?
Answer: Without knowing the particular details of your case, this is hard to know. Knowing how much your medical bills are, the suffering you endured, and the amount of insurance available are three factors that will go a long way in determining how much you are likely to receive for your case.
Question: Will my case go to court?
Answer: While the vast majority of cases settle outside of court, on occasion cases will go to a jury. While we always try to settle cases out of court if we can, we stand ready to take your case to trial if we need to.
Question: Do I have a good personal injury case?
Answer: Without knowing the particulars of your case, it is hard to know this. We would need to know what the defendant did to harm you, what you did, if anything to cause the accident, the extent of your medical bills, and the amount of insurance available in your case.
Question: Do I need a lawyer for my case?
Answer: Chances are you do, yes. The chances that the insurance company for the driver who hit you is going to offer you a fair settlement is not very high. You need an attorney who can aggressively represent you.
Question: How can I afford a lawyer?
Answer: The Jackman Law Firm works on a contingency fee basis, meaning that we don’t take any money until we win, and when we do, we only take 1/3 of your recovery. Question: Do you offer free consultations?
Answer: Yes, the consultation is free.Other Personal Injury Cases We Handle in Kirkland
At The Jackman Law Firm, we handle many other kinds of cases other than just car accident cases. Call us immediately if you or your loved one was involved in one of the following accidents:
- Bicycle accident
- Motorcycle accident
- Slip and fall or trip and fall
- Pedestrian accident
- Truck accident
- Dog bite
- Nursing home abuse or neglect
If you are not certain whether your case is the kind that we take, please call us so we can discuss the details of your case. You can call us for a free consultation. We are at 206-245-6442.Call Our Kirkland Accident Lawyers Today
At The Jackman Law Firm, PLLC, we understand how overwhelming a car accident can be. You need to focus on recovering and get better while we fight against the insurance company to make sure you receive the money you deserve for your injury. Your first and only priority should be recovering.
We will call you every few weeks or as soon as updates become available on your case. To learn more about how we can help you, please call us at 206-245-6442. You can us also submit your information online and we will get back to you immediately.