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August 2022

Why is My Car Accident Settlement Taking So Long?

Why is My Car Accident Settlement Taking So Long?

By | Car Accidents, Seattle | No Comments

The negotiation process is different for each car accident. Some cases settle faster than others. There is no way of knowing ahead of time how long it will take to reach a settlement—or if reaching a settlement is even possible.

Nevertheless, at Khan Law Firm we see some common roadblocks which delay settlement. We fully understand why victims are frustrated at the delay when they badly need compensation. Below, our car accident lawyer takes a closer look at the most common issues which frustrate a swift resolution to your case.

There is a Dispute About Fault

A person isn’t legally required to pay compensation to accident victims unless they are at least partially responsible for an accident. This responsibility is called “fault.”

In many accidents, the fault is obvious. For example, a person might run a red light and T-bone you. Your dashcam shows what happened, as do nearby security cameras. In an accident like this, the driver’s insurance company should quickly admit fault.

But the fault isn’t clear in all accidents:

  • Rear-end collisions. The car behind could be at fault for following too closely or not paying attention. However, the lead car could also be at fault if the driver braked suddenly.
  • Sideswipes. Two cars might collide while driving side by side, such as when a car tries to merge on the freeway. Either driver could be at fault, depending on the circumstances.
  • Head-on collisions. There might be a dispute over which car drifted over the center line. If each side points the finger at the other, then negotiations can slow to a crawl.

In Washington, fault can also be shared. Even someone badly injured could be at fault for the crash, and they might receive less as a result. Until the parties reach an agreement on fault, they will never agree to the compensation. For this reason, your settlement could get delayed as they argue back and forth.

Each Side Disagrees on the Severity of Injuries

In addition to agreeing to the fault, each side in negotiations must agree to the value of a person’s injuries. Some people have pre-existing injuries from a prior accident or workplace incident. An insurer might claim this pre-existing injury is the real source of your pain, so they don’t need to compensate you.

There might also be a dispute about whether you received unnecessary care. Insurers might refuse to cover the cost of massage, acupuncture, or certain mental health counseling if they don’t think it was necessary.

Disputes Over Value of Pain and Suffering

You should also qualify for compensation for pain and suffering, as well as other losses like emotional distress. These are hard to put an accurate price tag on. You might think the chronic pain in your hip, depression, and lethargy are worth at least $50,000. The insurer might only offer $5,000.

Disputes over pain and suffering are hard to resolve, but not impossible. As seasoned lawyers, we understand how much a jury is likely to award, and we will negotiate from a position of strength.

Contact Khan Law Firm today. We are skilled negotiators who will strive to obtain fair compensation following your crash.

How an Attorney Can Help if You Were Injured by a Defective Product in Seattle

How an Attorney Can Help if You Were Injured by a Defective Product in Seattle

By | Personal Injury | No Comments

Defective products injure thousands of people each year. In fact, many common household items could be dangerous, including furniture, appliances, toys, clothing, and food. Many people suffer serious injuries when these products malfunction and could suffer permanent disfigurement or disabilities.

At Khan Law Firm, our thriving product liability practice represents those hurt by defective products. Below, we highlight some of the important ways we help our clients bring successful claims for compensation. Contact us to learn more.

We Can Establish the Product Was Defective

The fact that you were injured by a product doesn’t necessarily mean it was defective. You might have used it the wrong way or ignored prominent safety warnings. If so, then you are probably responsible for your own injuries.

Instead, we usually need to show that the product was unreasonably dangerous based on design or manufacture. We can rely on all sorts of information. For example, our attorneys might work with experts to identify the flaws in the design or the materials used. We can also research whether other people were injured in similar incidents by the same product.

Legally, a consumer product is defective if it doesn’t work as a consumer would normally expect or if the risk of harm was too great. These are usually factual determinations, and we can gather the necessary facts to convince a judge or jury.

We Can Identify All Defendants

When a product is defective, you might sue:

  • The manufacturer for defective design or manufacture, or for inadequate warnings
  • A product seller, like a retailer, if they were negligent or breached a warranty
  • A distributor or wholesaler for negligence

Suing the manufacturer is usually the easiest. However, adding defendants has certain advantages, such as increasing the likelihood you will receive full and fair compensation for your injuries. We can investigate just what these other parties knew and whether they used sufficient care when handling the product or selling it.

We Can File a Lawsuit in a Timely Manner

You might hope to settle your claim outside of court—and most product liability cases do settle. But filing a lawsuit is always a possibility, especially when negotiations falter. Washington state gives victims a short amount of time to get a lawsuit properly filed—three years. One reason to hire our product liability lawyers is that we can protect your rights.

We Can Connect Your Injuries to the Defective Product

You can only sue if you can draw a link between the product defect and your injuries. For example, watching a defective car explode from the safety of your home is terrifying, but it doesn’t give you a right to sue unless you were injured.

Sometimes defendants claim your injuries were caused by something else—such as a pre-existing injury. We work to create a link between your current injuries and the defective product.

Contact Our Seattle Products Liability Attorney

Khan Law Firm realizes that accident victims feel betrayed when dangerous products hurt them. Let us help you hold the manufacturer or other parties accountable. Call us to schedule a free consultation.

How Does a Hit and Run Injury Claim Work in the State of Washington?

How Does a Hit and Run Injury Claim Work in the State of Washington?

By | Car Accidents | No Comments

Hit-and-run accidents occur more frequently than many people expect in Washington State and across the country. According to a study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, there are an average of 682,000 hit-and-run collisions in the U.S. every year, and hit-and-run fatalities have been on the rise for several years. When a person is injured in a hit-and-run accident in Washington State, how should they expect the claims process to work? Our Washington State personal injury lawyers have information to help you.

Determine Whether the Police Can Identify the Hit-and-Run Driver

In terms of the claims process and seeking full compensation for your losses, it will be important to determine whether the police will be able to identify the hit-and-run driver. If the hit-and-run driver is caught, that person can face serious criminal consequences under Washington State law. The law states:

“A driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in the injury to or death of any person or involving striking the body of a deceased person shall immediately stop such vehicle at the scene of such accident or as close thereto as possible but shall then forthwith return to, and in every event, remain at, the scene of such accident . . .”

If the hit-and-run driver can be apprehended and identified, you may be able to file an auto insurance claim through the driver’s insurance and/or a lawsuit against that driver—we will explain more about that below. If the driver cannot be identified, you will need to determine if you have the right kind of auto insurance coverage to pay for your losses.

File an Auto Insurance Claim 

Washington State is a tort state for purposes of auto insurance requirements and coverage, but it also allows motorists to purchase optional personal injury protection coverage (PIP coverage), uninsured motorist coverage (commonly known as UM coverage), and MedPay coverage.

If the hit-and-run driver can be identified, you can likely file a third-party auto insurance claim through that driver’s liability insurance, and it will not necessarily matter if you have purchased these additional forms of coverage. If the driver cannot be located, you will need to determine if you have any of the types of coverage identified above and whether they may provide compensation after a hit-and-run crash. A car accident lawyer in Washington can help with this.

File a Lawsuit Against the Hit-and-Run Driver

Finally, if the police are able to identify the hit-and-run driver—regardless of whether that person is ultimately convicted of any criminal charges—you may be eligible to file a car accident lawsuit against that driver for any losses that are not covered by your insurance claim. This lawsuit will be a civil claim, which means it will not result in criminal consequences for the hit-and-run motorist, but rather will allow you to seek financial compensation from them. You should be sure to have a lawyer on your side when you are filing a car accident claim.

Contact a Washington State Hit-and-Run Accident Attorney

If you or someone you love got hurt in a hit-and-run accident, you should seek advice from a Washington State car accident attorney as soon as possible. Contact Khan Law Firm for assistance.