- Deportation & Removal
- Lawful Permanent Residence
- Removal of Condition (I-751)
- Consular Processing
ACCIDENTS AND INJURY
In our legal system, each person is responsible for their torts. A tort is an action or omission that subjects the wrongdoer to legal liability. Usually, to successfully recover against the wrongdoer, the victim must prove that the wrongdoer’s action is prohibited by some law, but the victim’s injuries or losses result proximately from such action or omission. The body of laws that make actions or omissions actionable or a legal basis for claims include, federal and statutes, municipal codes and ordinances, county codes, common law (court made rules or law), contracts or breach of other generally accepted standards of care. We have handled hundreds of claims involving damages resulting from motor-vehicle, motor-cycle, pedestrian, fire, boat injuries, premises liability and dangerous products. We have recovered millions of dollars for our clients through settlement and jury verdicts. We take injury cases on contingency fee basis, which means if we do not win money for you, we don’t get paid.
- Motor-vehicle, Motorcycle, Bicycle, or Pedestrian Accidents. We represent victims who have sustained injury as a result of motor-vehicle, motorcycle, bicycle or pedestrian accidents. Under Washington law, as in almost all states in the United States, there are rules of the road mandated by the law. Any person fails to follow the rules of the road in causing a collision is at “fault”. Fault means acts or omissions that in negligent or reckless disregard towards the person or property of actor or others…. RCW 4.22.015. Rules of the road in Washington State are found in Title 46, chapter 46.1 of the Revised Code of Washington Annotated. This Chapter prohibits actions such as speeding, following too closely, failure to yield right-of-way, etc. Every user of the road owes a duty of care to other road users. For instance, a following driver has a duty to keep a safe and prudent distance between his or her vehicle and the vehicle ahead to prevent a rear-end collision. A driver must yield right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing on a marked or unmarked crosswalk. In most cases, the cause of an accident collision is clear and undisputed. In some cases, however, both the alleged wrongdoer (tortfeasor) and the victim (claimant) might have contributed to the accident or injury. In the cases where the facts are not clear or are disputed, a smart, experienced attorney can recover money for you, even when you do not think it is possible. An experienced attorney can make a big difference in your recovery, even if the collision is completely the fault of the other party, the insurance company will try to reduce your recovery by denying liability, or alleging contributory negligence on the victim’s part and/or failure to mitigate damages. Insurance companies and their lawyers will assert the most frivolous defenses just to avoid paying or to reduce your recovery.
What to Do if Involved in an Injury-Accident
To avoid the pitfall of the insurance adjuster or their defense lawyer reducing or wiping out your potential recovery we suggest you follow the following rules.
- Do not leave the accident scene without the police making a report of the incident;
- Do not admit liability, even if you think you may be liable;
- Get the names and phone numbers of any witnesses present at the accident scene;
- Go to the hospital immediately if the collision is serious because if you don’t and go later, the insurance company will use that against you( they call that “failure to mitigate damages” or “gap in treatment” meaning that you stopped or did not go for treatment because you must have been okay until you hired a lawyer);
- If you have medical insurance use it to receive treatment and after your case your insurance company will be reimbursed in the of equitable subrogation;
- If you are in pain and don’t have medical insurance, go to emergency room and follow-up on all after care treatment. In the case of soft tissue injuries, make sure any muscle spasms you experience is noted by the doctor;
- If your doctor releases you from work, make sure he or she gives you a written note;
- Notify your insurance company of the incident and inquire whether your insurance coverage includes personal injury protection (PIP which is $10,000 for most coverage). PIP coverage will allow your own insurance carrier to pay your medical bills up to the amount insured. However, if you recover money from the accident claim, you have reimburse your own insurance carrier a portion of the amount they expended on your medical bills under Mahler v. State Farm;
- Consult an experienced attorney in your area, and be sure that the attorney is experienced in handling your type of case;
- Write down everything relating to your accident and take pictures of the damage to your vehicle;
- Make sure you follow your treatment provider’s orders, such as any limits on weight or activity. In serious injury cases insurance investigators have been known to place injured victim under surveillance to obtain video recording of the victim performing an activity such a victim is supposed to be unable to perform.
- Wrongful and Accidental Death Claims. Death of a loved one as a result of another party’s fault or negligence is the ultimate loss any family can suffer. If a loved one dies accidentally or under circumstances where you suspect that the death was caused by factors other than natural causes, it is wise or prudent to consult an experienced attorney. Unlike other tort claims, Wrongful Death Actions in Washington is governed by RCW 4.20.010. A wrongful death action is maintained against the person causing the wrongful death only by the “personal representative” of the decedent’s estate. Likewise, RCW 4.20.020 allows for survival of actions to the benefit of the “wife, husband, child or children” where the death of another has been caused. Personal representatives are appointed by the court on the petition of the representative. Any person, over the age of 18 years old can serve. The court prefers to appoint the spouse of the decedent. Where the decedent is not survived by a spouse, the court prefers the adult children of the decedent. In some cases, where is there is no suitable representative, the court may appoint a representative from its own register (usually a lawyer). The lawsuit must be brought in the name of the personal representative who serves as a nominal defendant only, for sole purpose of conducting the litigation. Wrongful death claims by their nature, tend to involved substantial amounts of money. The estate of the decedent (survivors) can claim for loss of earnings over their expected work life, loss of consortium, pain and suffering, burial expenses, etc. Therefore, insurance companies or defendants rarely resolve or settle them without litigation. Defense attorneys generally assert all defenses available to them, including but not limited to contributory negligence, assumption of risk or any other affirmative defense allowed by statute such as RCW 5.40.060 which for instance bars recovery for a driver who was driving under the influence of alcohol and the jury finds that he was more than 50% at fault. Similarly, a passenger may be found to be more than 50% at fault for voluntarily riding in a car with a driver who he knows or reasonably should know, is intoxicated. Geschwind v. Flannigan, 121 Wn.2d 833, 838, 854 P.2d 1061 (1993). by the We can help to ensure that you do not lose your rights to file a claim. We have represented families who have this most unfortunate experience of losing loved ones. We are unable to bring back your loved one, but our task is to concentrate on obtaining monetary justice for your loss. Therefore, if you believe that our loved one may have died as a result another person’s action or omission, please contact us right away.
- Fishing Vessel and Boat Injuries. The old common law axiom was that the seaman was a ward of the court. The origin of this axiom is that a seaman who was injured in the middle of the ocean. Any fisherman or seaman who is injured aboard a boat or vessel in the territorial waters of the United States is protected under the Jones Act. The Jones Act protects the seaman and fisherman as a ward of the court. This protection exists because work aboard a fishing boat or cargo vessel is dangerous. If you have suffered an injury aboard a vessel while in the territorial waters of the U.S., we can recover money for you. You are also entitled to maintenance payment during you recovery and treatment. The statute of limitation for your claim is 3 years, so do not sleep on your right. We can help you.
- Premises Liability. The general rule is that owners of premises in Washington are subject to certain duties to avoid injuries to those who come upon their premises. Most of the duties of care in premises liability cases are imposed by common law, and in some instances the legislature have imposed statutory duties. The important thing to remember is that if you suffer an injury in the premises of another person, whether a business or private property or home, it is important for you to consult an attorney. Whether you recover damages depends on the followings:
(a) The person’s status while on the premises. Although all landowners must exercise reasonable care in his or her own activities to avoid injuring invitees and social guest, the actual status of the victim determines the level of care owed to the victim. Under the law, a person on another person’s property may be classified as an “invitee”, or “licensee”, or “trespasser”. An invitee is a person that enters the premises of the landowner for propose of patronizing or enhancing the landowner’s business. The landowner is required to use reasonable care, which includes an affirmative duty to discover dangerous condition. Therefore, if you enter premises for business purposes the landowner or business is required to discover dangerous conditions and remedy them. A licensee or social guest is a person who enters premises with the landowner’s permission, for the licensee’s own purpose, instead of the landowner’s benefit. A licensee enters the landowner’s premises as he or she finds, which means that licensees should not expect the landowner will take any precautions for his or her safety in any manner beyond the precaution of that the landowner takes for his or her own safety, or that of his or her family. The landowner only has a duty of making the condition safe or warning the licensee or social guest of its existence. See, Younce v. Ferguson, 106 Wash.2d 658, 724 P.2d 991 (1986). A landowner owns no duty to a trespasser who enters the premises of another without invitation or permission, express or implied, but enters for his own purpose.
(b) Circumstances where duty exists. (1) Duty of business operators to customer. As discussed above, a business proprietor has a duty care to the safety of member of public who are invited as a customer. This includes duty to warn and inspect for dangerous conditions and take reasonable care to maintain the premises. In order for the business operator to be liable to the customer for injuries resulting from temporary unsafe condition, it must be shown that the operators’ employees must have caused the condition or the owner has actual or constructive knowledge of the safe condition.
(2) Duty of landlord to tenant. A landlord of residential premises has a duty to use ordinary care to keep the premises fit for human habitation during the tenancy. Washington Residential Landlord-Tenant Act (RCW 59.18 et seq) also imposes a duty to keep the premises substantially in compliance with all the provisions of the act so as not to substantially endanger health or safety of the tenant.
(3) Duty of the City, County, and State for sidewalks, streets and roads. A municipality has a duty to exercise ordinary care in the construction, design, maintenance, and repair of public roads, streets, and sidewalks. This duty includes keeping them in a condition that is reasonably safe for ordinary use. However, persons using sidewalks, streets, and public roads have a duty to use reasonable care for their own safety.