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Who Can Be Held Liable for Truck Accidents?

Posted on Thursday, December 1st, 2022 at 5:17 pm    

When you’ve been injured in an accident with a commercial truck, you likely find yourself in pain and shock. It’s even worse if the accident wasn’t your fault. Because so many people and companies are involved in getting a commercial truck onto the road, there are many potentially liable parties.

In a truck accident, multiple parties may be held liable, including the truck driver, the trucking company, and the company responsible for maintaining the truck. If a defect in the truck or its parts played a role in the accident, the manufacturer of the defective equipment might also be held liable. Additionally, if a third party, such as another driver, contributed to the accident, they may also be held liable. Ultimately, the specific circumstances of the accident will determine who can be held liable.

Identifying All Liable Parties

Most people don’t have a lot of experience with the legal system or even with the insurance claims process. After you’ve been injured in a crash with a truck, it can be confusing to try to figure out what to do first.

Your best bet is to hire an experienced truck accident attorney. Your attorney will know how to identify the parties responsible for your accident and how to pursue compensation from those parties. Liability is not as simple as, “the truck driver was driving, it’s their fault.” A number of other factors must be evaluated to determine liability.

Employer Liability for Truck Accidents

Usually, truck drivers are in the employ of a company. When they are involved in an accident while working, their employer may be liable if the truck driver’s negligence caused a crash. The driver may have exceeded their allowed Hours of Service. Whether the driver drove more hours than required because they wanted to make more money or because their employer pushed them to do so to get more deliveries made in less time, the employer could be responsible.

The employer could also be responsible if they hired inexperienced or unqualified drivers or if they failed to check references that might have turned up poor driving records. Employers are meant to provide adequate training for drivers on the specific trucks they use, as required. If the driver was negligent while working for the employer, they were acting as an agent of the employer, and the trucking company could be found liable for the injured party’s accident-related losses.

Maintenance Company Liability

Trucking companies are required to frequently and adequately see to the maintenance of their fleet. Sometimes, trucking companies take care of this routine maintenance in-house, but many companies contract this work to maintenance companies. If a truck accident was caused by a recent repair or by a part or system that should have received maintenance attention but was overlooked, the maintenance company could be liable for the injuries and losses from the accident.

Truck Manufacturers’ Liability for Accidents

When a manufacturer produces a truck, and a trucking company buys it, the company expects the truck to operate as intended. Truck manufacturers have various layers of quality control, but sometimes a defective part falls through the cracks. If a faulty part or system on the truck causes an accident, the manufacturer of the specific part or of the truck could be held liable.

Third-Party Liability

If another driver caused the crash that involved the truck and the injured party’s vehicle, that person could be held liable for the resulting costs. Whether the person pulled out in front of the truck and caused a pile-up or jackknife that impacted other vehicles or they took some other action that caused a crash, they could be liable.

Government Entities’ Failure to Maintain the Roads

Government agencies and municipalities have a duty to properly maintain streets and intersections. If, for example, the city failed to post signs at a dangerous turn or clean up debris that would result in a pile-up, the municipality could be liable for accidents that result. Other failures may involve:

  • Unmarked detours
  • Train track barriers
  • Fallen electrical lines
  • Broken streetlights

Contact Truck Accident Lawyers to Hold All Parties Liable

Thus, everyone from manufacturers to municipalities could be at fault for truck accidents. Your lawyer would conduct a thorough investigation, aided by police reports, witness testimony, and other evidence, to determine which parties were ultimately responsible.

If you were injured in a truck accident that wasn’t your fault, get help untangling the web of at-fault parties and their respective insurers. For decades, the Lakewood truck accident attorneys of The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs have done just that, recovering multi-million-dollar verdicts and settlements for injured victims throughout Washington. Call (253) 588-6696 today for a free case evaluation.


What Are Truck Driver Training Requirements?

Posted on Tuesday, November 1st, 2022 at 6:06 pm    

Not just anyone can get behind the wheel of a big-rig truck. Truck drivers are professionals, meaning they must adhere to specific state and federal training requirements. Maneuvering an 80,000-pound, fully loaded vehicle is both challenging and stressful. State and federal requirements are in place to ensure that professional drivers have the training and resources they need to handle the job.

Truck accidents are devastating events that can cost you your health and livelihood. At The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs, we believe you deserve to know what truck driver training requirements are in place. Knowing what a truck driver must go through to become qualified puts you in a better position to understand whether a careless or inexperienced driver caused a significant accident.

Washington State CDL License Requirements

One of the first things a driver must do to be able to operate a semi-truck is earn their Commercial Driver’s License. In Washington, those over 18 years of age with a valid Washington state driver’s license can apply for a CDL license. However, to operate a commercial vehicle, drivers in Washington must be at least 21.

The minimum requirements for obtaining a CDL include:

  • 18 years of age
  • Valid Washington state driver’s license
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent residence
  • Pass the knowledge examination
  • Earn a Commercial License Permit or CLP
  • Submit all training documentation for approval
  • Pass a skills test

There are also physical requirements for earning a Washington CDL. Drivers must submit required medical documentation proving they meet all necessary physical requirements:

  • Vision in both eyes must be 20/40
  • Ability to distinguish colors
  • Ability to perceive a forced whisper at a distance of at least five feet
  • Maximum blood pressure of 160/100
  • If diabetic, the condition must be controlled through diet or medication. Diabetics who manage the condition with insulin injections are prohibited
  • Blood sugar no higher than 200
  • No use of any Schedule I substance or narcotics

Washington Minimum Training Hours

Depending on the CDL license a driver is seeking, the state also requires a set of minimum training requirements.

To apply for a CDL Class A license, you must have 160 total hours of training, including:

  • 40 hours of classroom instruction
  • 18 hours of street driving training
  • 16 hours of backing maneuvers
  • 16 hours of proficiency development
  • 70 hours of combined lab and range training, plus observation

For a Class B license, the minimum training requirements are 80 hours total of at least:

  • 40 hours of classroom instruction
  • 14 hours of street driving training
  • 8 hours of backing maneuvers
  • 8 hours of proficiency development
  • 10 hours of combined lab and range training, plus observation

To secure a Class C license, an individual needs 80 total hours of instruction:

  • 40 hours of classroom instruction
  • 14 hours of street driving training
  • 8 hours of backing maneuvers
  • 8 hours of proficiency development
  • 10 hours of combined lab and range training, plus observation

Federal Truck Driver Training Requirements

Different states have different regulations, meaning the U.S. has traditionally taken a hodge-podge approach to truck driver education and training. This approach poses a significant problem since many commercial truck drivers must cross state lines. However, as of February 7, 2022, the federal government stepped in to establish a more consistent baseline education for entry-level truck drivers.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration established new rules outlining a more cohesive training strategy for truck drivers. The rules set a baseline for those seeking to apply for:

  • A Class A or Class B CDL for the first time
  • Upgrading an existing Class B CDL to a Class A
  • Obtaining a school bus, passenger, or hazardous materials endorsement for the first time

Entry-level drivers must now complete mandatory FMCSA training programs. The agency also established a registry containing the records of CDL applicants who have met all the new training and certification guidelines. While the rules are not retroactive, the federal agency hopes the new regulations will provide more consistent training to new truck drivers and those looking to upgrade their licenses.

The Washington State Department of Licensing provides a comprehensive list of locations offering CDL training schools for those who want to earn their CDL license.

Contact an Experienced Lakewood Truck Accident Attorney

Truck driver training requirements have become more rigorous thanks to the efforts of the FMCSA. However, that doesn’t mean that all drivers have the skills necessary to avoid a potentially significant collision. If a careless truck driver has injured you or a family member, talk to an experienced Lakewood truck accident attorney today.

At The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs, we have the resources to thoroughly investigate truck accidents and seek meaningful compensation from those at fault. Let our team pursue the compensation you deserve. Call our office at (253) 588-6696 to set up a free legal consultation.

What Documents Do I Need for My Personal Injury Case?

Posted on Saturday, October 1st, 2022 at 7:58 pm    

A solid personal injury case has robust supporting documentation. Precisely what information and records a plaintiff will need depends on their individual case, though the documents will fall into the same general categories. The proper documentation will allow the settlement to move forward in a timely matter. This post will explain what your personal injury case must prove. We’ll also explore what documentation your lawyer might use as a part of your case. You can also contact us for more detailed information.

Elements of a Washington State Personal Injury Case

documents for caseDuring a personal injury trial, your lawyer will argue that a defendant’s negligent acts led to your injuries and losses, making them liable to compensate you.

Negligence has four legal characteristics, called “elements.” For the best chances of a successful case, you must prove each element of negligence. They include:

  • Defendant had a duty of care – The defendant was obligated to protect you from harm. For example, a driver on public roads has a duty of care to other motorists around them. They must do everything possible to avoid causing an accident, such as following traffic laws and sharing the road properly.
  • Defendant violated their duty of care – The defendant violated their duty of care to you. In a personal injury trial, a judge will instruct jurors to follow a “reasonable person” doctrine. An act is “negligent” if someone who faithfully follows their duty of care would not commit it.
  • Defendant’s negligent behavior led to injuries – The defendant, by their careless acts, caused your injuries. Even if the defendant did not directly hurt you, their carelessness could spark other events that led to the injury. Let’s say a restaurant customer slips in a puddle of spilled milk and falls. The restaurant might be liable if they neglected to promptly mop up the spill.
  • You have losses from the accident – You should have documents ready to prove the extent of your injuries and losses.

Keep in mind that many personal injury lawsuits never proceed to a trial. If your legal team clearly shows that the defendant is liable, your side could have more leverage in the settlement negotiation process.

Medical Records

Your medical team’s reports are an essential piece of your case. They help to answer questions such as:

  • What injuries did you sustain, and how severe are they?
  • What do medical images, such as MRI scans or X-rays, indicate about your injuries?
  • What treatments did you receive?
  • How do your injuries impact your ability to perform daily tasks?
  • How do your injuries affect your ability to work?

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) allows patients to request private health information within a “designated record set” from their doctor or hospital. This includes medical records, test results, images, and case files. Notes from psychotherapy sessions are not included.

Mental Health and Lifestyle Documents

A severe accident often leaves someone with depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder. If you are visiting a mental health counselor to treat any of these conditions, you should request documentation of your diagnosis and what treatment steps you are taking.

We also recommend keeping a journal where you can personally record:

  • Changes in your mood
  • Anxiety or panic attacks
  • Mental “flashbacks” to the accident
  • Physical pain
  • Changes to your routine and activities

Financial Documents

Financial documents help prove the economic damages you claim. They include:

  • Pay stubs from your employer – Your lawyer will use pay stubs to estimate your total lost wages.
  • Medical bills – Your lawyer and medical experts will estimate the total cost of your medical treatment.
  • Repair receipts – If your vehicle or property needed repairs or replacement after the accident, you should keep all relevant receipts and invoices.

Documents About the Accident

legal documentsThe final category of documents you need will give an account of the accident itself. They include:

  • Official reports from law enforcement
  • Security camera footage
  • Photos and videos from witnesses
  • “Black box” data about a car accident
  • Transcripts of 911 calls
  • Transcripts from depositions (sworn testimony outside the courtroom)

Your attorney can gather some of these documents before filing a lawsuit. However, they can only obtain other information, such as phone records or deposition transcripts, once a suit is filed and discovery begins.

Contact a Lakewood Personal Injury Attorney

If a negligent party injured you in the South Sound, The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs is ready to evaluate your case. Since 1952, our Lakewood firm has offered honest, high-quality representation to clients in Tacoma, Olympia, and the surrounding area. Speak with one of our Washington personal injury attorneys and learn more about your legal options by calling (253) 588-6696 today.

How Are Truck Accidents Different from Other Auto Accidents?

Posted on Thursday, September 1st, 2022 at 6:18 pm    

vehicles at traffic stopGetting injured in a road accident is always a shock, and it can change your life in an instant. However, some accidents are more inherently dangerous than others. Being in a collision with a commercial truck is significantly more dangerous than being in a crash with any other type of motor vehicle, whether they’re SUVs, motorcycles, or cars.

If you have been injured in an accident with a large commercial vehicle and it was not your fault, you may be eligible to claim compensation for your losses. Knowing the differences between truck accidents and other auto accidents can help you understand the factors that will affect your claim.

Enhanced Dangers of Truck Accidents

Trucks can cause much more severe damage and far more serious injuries than collisions involving only passenger vehicles. One of the main reasons for this difference is that a fully loaded commercial truck can weigh up to 40 tons, while the average car weighs just over two tons. Regardless of its speed, the momentum of a truck will create the potential for devastating results if a crash occurs. Damage to the smaller vehicle can be irreparable in many cases, and the injuries for occupants of the passenger car can often be life-threatening.

Understanding the Causes of the Collision

In addition to the increased danger, another thing that distinguishes truck accidents from other auto accidents is that there tend to be different factors that contribute to the collision. Most car accidents occur because of human error or negligence, whether that be a distraction, speeding, or intoxication. Truck accidents may also occur for these reasons, with the added difficulty of the size or the weight of the trucks, which can make them difficult to stop or maneuver when a road hazard appears.

Truck collisions can often occur due to equipment failure as well. Trucking companies and their drivers have a duty to inspect and maintain their vehicles regularly. If they neglect to perform these duties, the vehicle might malfunction. The trucking company could be held liable if the malfunction leads to an accident. Similarly, if a malfunction occurs due to a manufacturer’s defect, the manufacturer would be considered the at-fault party in your claim.

A seasoned truck accident attorney will investigate the accident in order to determine its cause. This generally involves inspecting the scene of the crash as well as documents such as:

Your attorney’s experience will allow them to notice whether anything is amiss in these documents that could help strengthen your claim.

Challenges of Fighting a Trucking Company

large truckWhen it comes to filing your accident claim after a truck collision, one of the great challenges is the need to deal with trucking companies. When you seek compensation for losses you have suffered in a truck accident, you are not just filing a claim against an individual driver. You will have to enter negotiations with the powerful lawyers and insurance companies of the company that owns or manages the vehicle.

Trucking companies are generally adept at surrounding themselves with other professionals who will work aggressively to protect their profits and do everything in their power to avoid paying out large settlements.

Knowing this, working with an experienced truck accident lawyer is vital when you’re filing a claim for your injuries. A skilled and knowledgeable attorney will know how to protect your interests against these trucking companies, insurance adjusters, and lawyers.

Contact a Lakewood Truck Accident Attorney

While all accident claims have their challenges, truck crash claims can be particularly tricky. This is because these cases often involved multiple parties, more serious damage, and more significant injuries. Assessing the cost of your losses can be a complex matter. While the at-fault party’s insurance company may attempt to get you to quickly accept a “lowball” offer that will not cover the extent of your losses, an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you fight for what you are truly owed.

If you have suffered injuries in a truck accident in Lakewood that wasn’t your fault, contact the skilled and knowledgeable Lakewood truck accident attorneys of The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs today for a free consultation about your case. Our lawyers will give you and your case the individual attention you deserve, and we will aggressively protect your best interests every step of the way. Call us now at (253) 588-6696 or contact us using our online form for a free consultation about your situation.

What You Need to Know About Your Car Accident Claim

Posted on Monday, August 1st, 2022 at 6:17 pm    

car accident claimBeing involved in a car accident is shocking and often traumatic. If you suffer injuries in the crash, your life can turn upside down in an instant. Your injuries may force you to take time off work or even prevent you from returning to work at all. At the same time, you will have to deal with the costs of not only the damage that your vehicle sustained but also an endless stream of medical bills. This mix of circumstances often leads many accident victims to believe that they are headed toward financial ruin.

However, if you were not at fault for the collision, you may be entitled to file a claim for compensation for the losses you suffered as a result of your accident. Here’s what you need to know about filing a car accident claim in Washington.

How Much Time Do I Have?

In the state of Washington, there is a three-year statutory period for filing a car accident claim. This means that you must file your claim within three years of the accident. However, in some circumstances, when a victim might not have had a way of knowing that they had been injured right away, the clock starts ticking from the moment you discover your injury instead.

Similarly, if your injury was the result of a car part that only later proves to have been defective, you may have more time to file your claim.

How Do Car Accident Injury Claims Work?

If you decide to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party, you will submit your case to their insurance company. They will investigate the accident so that they can determine what occurred, who should be held responsible, and the extent of your injuries. As part of this investigation, they will want to review your medical records and bills so that they can be sure that your injuries are as bad as you are claiming that they are and that the medical expenses you’ve submitted for compensation are appropriate.

This is one of the main reasons it is important to seek medical attention as soon as you possibly can after an accident. By doing so, you not only improve your chances of recovering more quickly, but your medical records will also demonstrate that you took your injuries seriously from the very beginning.

While the insurance company may choose to make a settlement offer at any point in this process, it is not advisable to speak with them directly. Unfortunately, many insurance adjusters do not operate in good faith. They may try to tempt you with a lowball offer that does not cover the full extent of your expenses. They may even claim that this is their final offer, which may be untrue.

You should consult with a personal injury attorney so that you can get an accurate assessment of what you are owed for your losses. If you let your lawyer handle the negotiations with the insurance company, you are much more likely to achieve a fair settlement.

What if I Can’t Reach a Fair Settlement?

looking at car damageSometimes, even after lots of negotiation, an insurance company will decide not to make the offer that your attorney knows you deserve. In such situations, a good lawyer will take the at-fault party to court so that they can be held publicly accountable for the harm they have caused you. In many cases, taking the initial steps of a lawsuit is enough to get the insurance company to finally offer a fair settlement. If not, you will have the opportunity to make your case before a judge and, perhaps, a jury of your peers.

Contact an Experienced Washington State Car Accident Attorney

Filing a car accident claim is almost never straightforward. With an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side, you will have someone who knows how to handle the paperwork, the insurance agents, and the courtroom if necessary. The Lakewood car accident lawyers of The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs have the skill and knowledge necessary to build the strongest claim possible. For over 60 years, our lawyers have been helping people injured by the wrongdoing of others recover the compensation they deserve. We are ready to do the same for you today.

Don’t let someone else’s negligence ruin your future. Call us today at (253) 588-6696 or contact us online to see how we can help you seek the justice and compensation you deserve.

How Does Fatigue Affect Truck Accidents?

Posted on Wednesday, June 1st, 2022 at 9:52 pm    

An accident with a commercial truck can have deadly consequences. According to the Large Truck Crash Causation Study, 13 percent of commercial truck drivers were fatigued at the time of their crash. This involved 18,000 trucks and raised the relative risk of a crash to eight percent.

Driver fatigue can also contribute to other factors in a motor vehicle accident, including making illegal maneuvers, reduced attention on the road, and following too closely behind another vehicle. The report found these factors also contributed to commercial truck accidents to a significant degree, with a combined relative risk increase of 66.1 percent. If you have pressing questions about your case, don’t hesitate to contact us today.

tired truck driver

Causes of Trucker Fatigue

Truck drivers may regularly work long shifts, have an inadequate amount of sleep, and may be more likely to drive when they’re tired. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, truck drivers are mandated to take time off and take breaks during their workdays.

The limits are different for truck drivers carrying property versus those carrying passengers. Truck drivers carrying property must limit the maximum number of hours they drive to 11 hours after having ten consecutive hours off duty. They are required to take a 30-minute break after driving eight continuous hours.

Commercial truckers driving passengers can drive a maximum of ten hours after having eight consecutive hours off duty. A lack of sleep is common among truck drivers. According to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, truck drivers average 5.18 hours in bed per day and 4.78 hours of verified sleep each day over a 5-day study. If you have pressing questions about your case, don’t hesitate to reach out to our legal team today.

A lack of sleep is an obvious reason for truck drivers to become fatigued. However, other elements that can affect a driver’s drowsiness include:

  • Illness
  • Medication
  • Inebriation
  • Boredom
  • Working unusual hours
  • Poor oxygen supply in the truck
  • Untreated sleep disorder
  • Early Parkinson’s Disease
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Driving during naturally “drowsy” hours

According to a survey reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, four percent of adults reported they had fallen asleep behind the wheel at least once in the last 30 days. The sheer number of drivers falling asleep behind the wheel is staggering. Contact us today.

Fatigue Has a Significant Impact on Driver Ability

Falling asleep is an obvious concern for truckers who are driving fatigued. However, there are other ways in which sleep deprivation and fatigue can impact a driver. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you cannot anticipate when sleep will overcome your body.

Although this is dangerous, being sleepy creates other risks. Drivers are less likely to pay attention to the road and will miss early signs of danger ahead. Being drowsy also slows your reaction time and affects your ability to make good decisions.

Studies have demonstrated how going without sleep impairs your ability in the same way as driving and drinking too much alcohol. Being awake for 18 hours creates the same poor reactions as someone with a blood alcohol content of 0.05 percent.

Once you’re awake for 24 hours, your reactions are like someone who has a blood alcohol content of 0.10 percent. In all states, the legal limit for driving is a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent. Additionally, when you’re drowsy, even low amounts of alcohol can dramatically increase the effect on your coordination, judgment, and reaction time even further.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are three factors that are associated with drowsy driving crashes. More frequently, they happen between midnight and 6:00 a.m., when most people are in bed and asleep. They also often involve a single driver running off the road and frequently occur on rural roads and highways.

This means fatigued commercial truck drivers will have a difficult time focusing on the task at hand, which may cause them to drift into another lane or fail to notice changing traffic signals. Poor judgment calls can ultimately place another person’s life in danger. Contact us today.

asleep at the wheel

Contact The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs Today

If you were injured in an accident with a commercial truck that was not your fault, you want an experienced and compassionate Lakewood truck accident attorney at your side. Traffic accidents with a commercial truck are not as straightforward as those with another passenger vehicle.

Often, there is more than one insurance company involved, and there may be more than one entity at fault. Although the truck driver may have been drowsy, which triggered the accident, a shifting cargo load, poor maintenance on the truck, or poor training of the truck driver may all increase the risk of a dangerous or deadly accident.

The legal team at The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs wants you to know that you are not alone. You do not have to take on large trucking companies and negotiate with insurance companies by yourself.

We believe you should spend your time recovering after an accident and leave the negotiation and litigation to us. Call our office today at (253) 588-6696, or contact us online to speak with an experienced truck driving accident attorney who can review the details of your case and answer your questions.

When Can I Expect to Get My Settlement?

Posted on Sunday, May 1st, 2022 at 5:17 pm    

After you’ve been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, when medical bills are mounting, and you’ve lost time at work, it’s a common question to ask – how long will it be before I get my settlement? The reality is that it can take a varying amount of time depending on several factors. After a personal injury case has settled, it can take several weeks or several months to get your final check.

If you have pressing questions about your case, don’t hesitate to contact us immediately.

The Steps Involved in Receiving Your Settlement

You may be entitled to compensation after a variety of different types of personal injury cases. This can include car accidents, product liability, premises liability, medical malpractice, or slip and fall accidents.

When you’re injured and have tangible expenses related to the accident, such as medical care, lost wages, or lost earning capacity, you may recover compensation through negotiating with the at-fault party’s insurance company or through a civil personal injury lawsuit.

Once the settlement has been agreed upon, the defendant’s insurance company will ask you to sign a release form. This promises them that no further legal action will be taken on this particular incident. The insurance company must then process the document before it issues a settlement check.

In most cases, the check is sent directly to your attorney and made payable in both your names. The personal injury attorney will have a special trust or escrow account. The check is deposited into this account, and once it’s cleared, the money can be distributed.

In some cases, your attorney may be legally obligated to put a portion of that money toward paying outstanding debts or liens. Since most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, their fee is also deducted from the settlement check.

The settlement money may also be used to pay any subcontractors used to gather evidence in support of your case, such as expert witnesses or private investigators. Contact us today.

settlement check

What Factors Can Delay My Settlement Check?

There are several steps in the process that can delay the date when you receive your settlement check. Usually, you can expect payment within roughly six weeks after a settlement has been negotiated or the court has awarded you compensation.

This can be delayed if the victim is a minor or if the claim is for wrongful death. The insurance company can also delay the payment for a variety of reasons, including the company’s internal processes. For example, they may only write settlement checks on certain days of the week or process payments a few times a month.

Although your claim is processed in one state, the insurance company may be sending the check from another state. A bank holiday or the financial institution’s internal policies can also add a couple of days’ delay to receiving a check.

If it is a large payment, the bank will have internal policies that require an extensive review to ensure that the check is legitimate. This means that if the check arrives late on Friday, it may not be possible to deposit the funds until Monday.

Is Money Deducted from the Check?

Once the check has been paid and cleared in the attorney’s account, the attorney must pay off any liens and reimburse other payments before your settlement check can be sent to you. For example, there may be an outstanding medical lien, court costs, and other legal costs.

A medical lien is the third-party medical provider’s legal right to the proceeds from the injury case to pay for medical costs. A third party can file a request for a lien, which a judge can decide to approve or deny. However, once a lien is approved by a judge, there is nothing that can be done to reverse the decision.

This is another example of how an experienced personal injury attorney can protect your rights and help prevent another party from wrongly taking part of your settlement. Other costs that may be deducted from your settlement or award can include court reporting costs, expert witness fees, and legal fees for your personal injury attorney. It is crucial that you understand the fee structure for your case before engaging your attorney.

person in wheelchair

Call The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs Today for Help with Your Case

If you were injured in an accident that was not your fault, contact the Washington personal injury lawyers of The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs today for help. Our attorneys understand that compensation cannot make up for the physical injury or property loss you may have incurred during the accident.

However, compensation can help pay your medical bills and make up for lost wages if you were not able to return to work. Our attorneys are aggressive negotiators and skilled litigators. This means that our professionals can fight to protect your rights and your future, whether negotiating with the insurance company or arguing your case in court.

Call our office today at (253) 588-6696, or contact us online to schedule a confidential consultation and case evaluation. An experienced attorney will review the details of your case and advise you on your next best steps.

4 Ways to Prevent Car Accidents

Posted on Sunday, March 27th, 2022 at 3:43 am    

When you hit the road, the unsettling thought of being the victim of a car accident is probably not what you want to keep at the front of your mind. Unfortunately, data from the Washington State Department of Transportation estimates that in a recent year, a car accident occurred every 4.5 minutes.

The consequences of a car accident can be catastrophic. While we never want to think the worst can happen, being prepared can save your life. At The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs, we have compiled four ways you can help prevent car accidents. Take these tips to heart, and help keep yourself safe on Washington’s often wet, but always busy streets.

If you have any further questions or have recently been in a car accident, don’t hesitate to contact The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs today.

Avoid Distractions

distracted driver

The number one cause of car accidents is driver error, with distracted driving being the prime culprit. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that distracted driving tragically claimed 3,142 lives on U.S. roadways in a recent year.

Distracted driving is any behavior that diverts your eyes or attention span away from the road. Making phone calls, texting, and eating behind the wheel are common distracted driving culprits. However, grooming, loud music, and using a GPS can also divert a person’s attention and lead to significant accidents.

Keep yourself and others safe by avoiding distractions and focusing on the safe operation of your vehicle. Keep your cell phone in the backseat or put it in airplane mode. You can also download apps that will automatically send out a message to people informing them that you are driving if they try to contact you. Always keep your hands on the wheel and avoid grooming, eating, drinking, and daydreaming while driving. If you feel your attention drifting away, pull over and take a short break.

Slow Down

According to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, 6,616 speeding citations were issued in a single year. Speeding is dangerous and can cause significant and life-altering accidents. Life moves at a fast pace for all of us. There are places we all need to be every day, but according to studies, speeding doesn’t actually get you where you are going much faster. On average, going 10 miles over the speed limit only saves six minutes during a typical trip. Far more noteworthy is that speeding can endanger your life and the lives of those around you.

In a rush? Set an alarm, and leave a few minutes early. Also, try to avoid the temptation of speeding to avoid traffic congestion or other obstacles. Slow down and take your time. People would much rather see you show up late than never show up at all.

Plan Ahead

plan ahead

One way you can help avoid an accident is to plan in advance. If you are traveling, review your route ahead of time so you know what to expect. The Washington State Department of Transportation offers travelers real-time alerts that include construction zones, incident reports, and inclement weather advisories.  

Let someone know about your plans and when they can expect you to arrive. Be sure to also give them the details of your planned route. If the worst happens and you do not arrive as expected, someone will know to contact help.

Planning also means making sure your vehicle is in good condition before you hit the road. Check your tires and fluid levels. Also, keep up-to-date on the latest recalls or product defects that may impact your automobile.

Be Confident, Don’t Be Aggressive

It is one thing to drive assertively. It is another to drive aggressively. Operating a vehicle in a way that may endanger people or property is generally categorized as aggressive driving. Examples of aggressive driving include:

  • Excessive speeding
  • Tailgating
  • Unsafe lane changes
  • Failing to yield
  • Failing to signal
  • Passing in no-passing zones

While being confident behind the wheel can help prevent accidents, aggressive driving can cause accidents. One study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety indicates that as many as 54 percent of all fatal car accidents are the result of aggressive driving. Even in stressful situations, try to remain calm and don’t let road rage get the best of you, as the risks are never worth it.

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Today

Everyone has the duty to be responsible and safe while driving. While you may follow the rules of the road, not every driver is as courteous as you. Hold negligent drivers responsible for their actions and seek the compensation you deserve after an accident by calling the experienced car accident team at The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs.

Since 1952, our knowledgeable attorneys have been helping clients just like you seek justice and pursue the financial compensation they need to recover from their injuries. For a free consultation to review your car accident claim, contact our office online, or at (253) 588-6696. 

What Not to Say to an Insurance Adjuster

Posted on Saturday, January 1st, 2022 at 9:45 pm    

Many people file an insurance claim after an accident. If someone’s negligence caused your injuries, you likely want to seek the compensation you’re entitled to so you can cover your medical bills and other expenses. You might think you can handle the claims process yourself, but many factors could prevent you from securing the money you’re owed.

Insurance adjusters often seem caring, friendly, and willing to help claimants. However, insurance companies want to avoid paying large settlements whenever possible. The adjuster you work with could find a valid reason to deny your claim or intimidate you into accepting a low offer. If you don’t know the maximum available coverage and your rights, you might feel tempted to take any amount of money you can get.

The things you say could negatively impact your insurance claim. It’s critical to communicate with the insurance adjuster carefully. Saying the wrong thing could result in much less compensation than you deserve.

Below are the phrases you should avoid when talking to an insurance adjuster. If you need to know more, don’t hesitate to contact us today.

man calling his insurance company

“I Think…”

It’s a good idea to be respectful of the insurance adjuster. You should be polite and accommodating while they’re working on your claim. However, avoid making speculations about the accident. Unless you’re 100 percent sure of what happened, refrain from providing information the adjuster requests.

Speculating about the events leading up to the accident could backfire in the future. If you offer your opinion of the circumstances and change your story later, the adjuster will likely assume you’re lying. They might think you’re providing made-up information to secure a higher settlement.

“I’m Also Responsible”

Never admit partial fault for an accident. Even if you believe your actions somehow contributed to your injury, the insurance adjuster doesn’t need to know that. Your words could come back to haunt you later, especially if the insurance adjuster finds evidence of shared fault. They could deny any liability on their policyholder’s part and reject your demand for a settlement.

When you talk to the insurance adjuster about your claim, your statements become evidence. The adjuster can use whatever you say against you if it works in their favor. Admitting even one percent of the responsibility for the accident is enough reason for the adjuster to determine you’re not entitled to the full insurance coverage amount.

“I’m Not that Hurt”

Not all accidents result in severe or life-threatening injuries. Sometimes, there’s a minor injury that might not require much medical attention. However, you shouldn’t tell the insurance adjuster you didn’t get hurt or don’t feel injured even if you don’t have serious symptoms.

It could take days before the adverse effects of the accident arise. You might think you suffered a mild concussion or sprained your ankle but find out later from your doctor that the accident caused something more severe. The adjuster will likely assume you’re exaggerating your condition or pretending you’re hurt if you make conflicting statements about your injury.

“I Will Provide a Recorded Statement”

It’s common for the at-fault party’s insurance adjuster to reach out to the accident victim to discuss the case. They could ask you for a recorded statement so they can ask you questions about the incident and record your responses. They might tell you it’s the law or try to convince you it would be in your best interest to comply with their request.

However, you don’t have to provide a recorded statement to someone else’s insurance company. You are not in a contract with them, so you’re not obligated to discuss anything regarding the accident with them. You should politely decline and avoid discussing the matter further.

“I Accept Your Offer”

If the insurance company offers a settlement, you shouldn’t accept it until you consult a personal injury lawyer. It might not be the maximum amount available. Many times, adjusters will start settlement negotiations with a low offer and hope the injured party will accept. If you don’t know whether you’re entitled to more money, you might feel tempted to resolve your claim so you can pay for your incurred costs.

Most people don’t realize they can negotiate an insurance settlement. You don’t have to accept the first offer presented to you. It’s usually not the highest number. You might feel pressure from the insurance company to take whatever they say they’re willing to give. However, it would be beneficial to discuss all options with your lawyer first. Contact us today if you have pressing questions about your case.

car crushed by tree

Contact Us

The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs has represented accident victims like you since 1952. We know how to handle personal injury cases and recover the maximum possible compensation for our clients in Washington.

You won’t be alone during the complicated process of seeking compensation for your injuries and losses. We can take over your insurance claim and communicate with the insurance adjuster on your behalf. Our legal team will be here to fight for your rights and the justice you deserve.

If you suffered injuries in an accident someone else caused, do not hesitate to call The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs at (253) 588-6696 for your free consultation.