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Pedestrians, PIP and Uninsured Motorist Protection

Posted by Craig F. Schauermann | Dec 22, 2014 | 0 Comments

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Pedestrians are often the victims in car accidents, and PIP insurance coverage is very important for protection.

If you read the newspapers or watch TV news you must have seen the rash of fatalities and injuries to pedestrians recently in Clark County.  We certainly have.  People on sidewalks or in crosswalks – people coming to the assistance of victims of hit and run drivers – etc.  Tragedies like these and others in the past have led a number of the families of those injured or killed to ask us for help.  We don't have a magic wand to fix their children and loved ones but it is always our objective to assist them with making as meaningful of a recovery as is possible given the limits of insurance coverage and benefits that may be applicable.

Pedestrians have rights and remedies that insurance companies often fail to tell them about or give them any assistance with.

Clients in the past have on occasion expressed surprise when we explained to them that the driver of a vehicle covered by auto insurance with Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage that hits them when they are walking or jogging (or for that matter, on a bicycle) has to provide PIP benefits to help defer the costs of the injured victim's medical care, AND that our client's own auto policy PIP coverage may also be available to pay some of the medical expenses – all in addition to whatever liability coverage the automobile driver may have.

  • Several of our clients have been surprised to learn that their own Underinsured Motorist Protection benefits (UIM) will supplement the liability insurance of the person that hurt them – even though they were on foot or on a bicycle at the time the car hit them.
  • Some of our clients have been shocked to learn that their own insurer didn't tell them about these coverages when they called.
  • Some of our clients have expressed frustration when they learned that their insurance company wouldn't help them deal with the insurance company of the person that hit them.

Many of our clients were dismayed when they first received health insurer subrogation/reimbursement letters stating that their health insurer wanted to recover from their personal injury case settlement the money that it paid out (typically after PIP benefits were used up) on accident-related medical care – and some have been equally frustrated to find out that when they obtain money from a personal injury settlement, their child or loved one may lose governmental benefits that they desperately need.

Pedestrians have rights and remedies that insurance companies often fail to tell them about or give them any assistance with.

In short, there can be a number of potential complications in handling claims arising from pedestrian auto accidents.  Because cars and trucks are so massive relative to the human body, injuries in such cases, unfortunately, are often severe.  Most, if not all people who have been in pedestrian versus auto accidents will benefit from having an experienced lawyer guide them through the insurance and legal issues that arise in the difficult times that follow a tragedy.  Schauermann Thayer Jacobs Staples & Edwards are proud of the work that its attorneys have done for victims of pedestrian and bicycle crashes.   We are experienced and recognize the need to identify and recover for our clients all of the insurance benefits that might be applicable.  We are experienced as well at seeking reduction or elimination, whenever possible, of the health care insurance “subrogation” liens that are created by the injury.    We speak “insurance”.  We know what to do and when to do it.

About the Author

Craig F. Schauermann

Member.  Effective July 1, 2015, Craig Schauermann has transitioned from managing partner of the firm to an “Of Counsel” role with the firm. As a founding partner, along with William “Bill” Thayer, Craig's name will remain with the firm. Craig will continue his long history of mentorship to the firm's attorneys and contribute to the firm's active cases. You may contact him via this page, but he is not taking on new cases directly in his new role with the firm. Location: Vancouver, Washington Phone: 360-558-3766 Fax:               360-696-0583 Contact Craig Schuermann Emphasis: Before going of counsel July 1, 2015, Craig advised and advocated for his clients in personal injury and wrongful death cases for nearly 40 years. He continues to work part time with the attorneys in our office on matters relating to serious personal injuries and wrongful death. Professional Qualifications & Education: Bachelor of Arts, 1973 Washington State University; Juris Doctor degree, 1976 University of Puget Sound; Licensed to practice before all courts in the State of Washington, the Western and Eastern District Federal Courts of the State of Washington, and the Ninth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court. Professional Experience: Craig started work in Seattle as an associate with a small personal injury firm and moved to Clark County in January of 1979. He practiced exclusively after that in the State of Washington, primarily in Clark County. He was instrumental in obtaining for his clients a number of large verdicts, arbitration awards, and settlements. Professional Affiliation: Member of the Board of Governors for the Washington State Trial Lawyers Association from 1996-2001. Political Action Committee for WSAJ from 2004-2015.  Past WSTLA Eagle member for over 25 years. Past President of the Clark County Bar Association. Former Chairman of the Washington State Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education Committee. Craig has been a speaker at numerous legal education seminars. Personal: Craig and his wife are the proud parents of three children and six grandchildren. He enjoys golf, playing bridge, and traveling with his family. Areas of Practice Personal Injuries Wrongful Death Litigation Percentage 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation Bar Admissions Washington, 1977 U.S. District Court Eastern District of Washington, 1993 U.S. District Court Western District of Washington, 1977 U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 1994 U.S. Supreme Court, 1994 Education University of Puget Sound School of Law, Tacoma, WashingtonJ.D. – 1976Washington State UniversityB.A. – 1973 Professional Associations and Memberships Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, Member, Board of Governors, 1996 – 2001 Washington Trial Attorneys Public Forum Clark County Bar Association, Past President Washington State Bar Association, Former Chairman, Continuing Legal Education Committee

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