Negotiating Can Be Tricky

Have you ever regretted saying something, even though you didn’t intend to offend? In personal injury claims, it seems that barbs are traded on an all-too-regular basis. Even though it’s usually by the insurance defense, since adjusters and attorneys for insurance company don’t seem to have much to lose, unlike my clients who have often had their lives turned upside down, I have to admit I’ve occasionally fallen into the fray. This is my account of one of those (very tame) times.

Minimum Insurance Coverage

One of the most tragic issues we face at Anderson Law is seeking recovery for serious injury or death of an individual who was either uninsured or didn’t have enough insurance coverage. Often, this is the case with people who don’t drive. Sometimes these people are injured as passengers in a relative’s car. In other recent cases in Kennewick, they have been injured as pedestrians.

New Study Shows Higher Attorney Involvement to Receive Insurance Benefits

A new study from the Insurance Research Council shows more people are hiring attorneys to receive first party insurance benefits (in Washington State, this primarily includes Personal Injury Protection and Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage). The conclusion of the study, funded by the insurance industry, is that attorneys are delaying claims settlement and that the insured is ending up with less money than if they hadn’t hired an attorney.

Nonsense. Crazy. Ridiculousness.

The Good and Bad of Mandatory Arbitration

If you have been injured in a car accident and the insurance company is not giving you a reasonable settlement offer, you may be able to make a claim in mandatory arbitration instead of in a jury trial. Arbitration is mandatory for monetary claims less than $50,000 in most of Washington State, including Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland (Benton and Franklin counties). Compared to trial by jury, arbitration has several benefits: the cost is lower (around $1,000 instead of $10,000 or more); the hearing is sooner (3-6 months instead of a year or more); and the hearing is shorter (several hours instead of several days).

Tips for Safe Driving

 Since we are enjoying warm weather and entering the most dangerous time of the year for driving (yes, summer, not winter), I thought I would share my own practical advice on safe driving. In other words, how to avoid crashing your car. Or better yet, how to prevent bad drivers from crashing into you.

My Clients Are Not Statistics

Frequently, I’ll have a conversation with an adjuster that goes like this:

Adjuster: We’re offering to settle for medical expenses plus $1,000 in general damages.
Me: My client can’t accept $1,000 in general damages as full compensation. She is still in pain more than a year after the car collision. What are you basing your offer on?
Adjuster: The offer is based on verdicts and awards for people in Kennewick, Washington, with similar injuries, similar car accidents, and similar medical expenses.
Me: So, you are basing it on averages? My client is not the average client

 

Safe Clearwater FYI for Kennewick Drivers

As a personal injury attorney, I drive a little differently than the average person. Especially around town. I know the hot spots for car accidents because I have recurring clients at those locations. Well, I'm not the only one who has taken notice. The City of Kennewick has embarked on a multi-year project to improve safety along Clearwater, and since our office is along Clearwater, they send us frequent notices. Here's an update on the project:

Financial Advice for Personal Injury Settlements

Usually, as an attorney, I give my clients no advice whatsoever regarding their personal injury settlements except “Don’t spend it all in one place” and “Consult a financial adviser”. But, since this is a blog and I can say anything I want, except for political speech, I will spill my guts and tell you what I wish I could tell each of my clients when we settle a claim.

Hot Coffee Burns, Tapwater Doesn’t

I drink water. Whether I am running, eating out at a restaurant, or enjoying dinner at home, I drink water. Usually from the tap. It’s not that I don’t occasionally enjoy a smoothie, or a sports drink, or sometimes even a carbonated beverage, I just really like water. But I have some friends who do what they can to avoid drinking water. One drinks two liters of Coke a day. Another drinks eight glasses of milk. Yet another drinks four cups of coffee. Scalding, burning hot coffee.