Will the Jury Hearing My Case Know About the Insurance Company?

Posted by Scott A. Staples | Jan 10, 2022 | 0 Comments

I can’t count how many times I’ve had to tell a dumbfounded personal injury client that not only is our lawsuit not going to be against the negligent party’s insurance company, but we can’t even mention the fact that they have insurance in court. Their confusion is understandable - to most people it seems intuitive that the insurer, the one that hires the defense attorneys and ends up paying the money, is “responsible” and should be talked about.

Money Will Not Take Away Your Injury

Posted by Benjamin P. Melnick | Sep 17, 2021 | 0 Comments

When The Money Is Not Enough It is an all-too-common scenario. A client is injured in a collision. The injuries are severe, even crippling in some ways. The client seeks treatment, and it is helpful. But the injuries are permanent. The pain just will not go away, and it affects virtually every a...

Trucking Accidents In Washington & Oregon: Proving Owner/Operators Lost Income And Loss Of Use

Posted by Benjamin P. Melnick | Sep 17, 2021 | 0 Comments

There are generally two types of trucking accidents. Many people think only of those where the semi causes catastrophic injury or death. A fully loaded tractor-trailer can be dangerous.  Those instances certainly exist, and they are worthy of special time and attention in their own right. But what about when another driver hits a trucker? That happens, too. And those cases present some unique challenges.

If My Injuries Are Permanent, What Does That Mean For My Case?

Posted by Bradley Thayer | Sep 15, 2021 | 0 Comments

If you can prove that the injuries that you suffered as a result of an incident are permanent, then you are able to seek a much higher number in terms of compensation in your potential personal injury case.  Essentially, if you are facing dealing with your injuries and symptoms for the rest of your life, the compensation you can seek in your personal injury claim is much greater (and that's only fair for the reasons discussed below).

How Do I Prove My Injuries Are Permanent?

Posted by Bradley Thayer | Sep 13, 2021 | 0 Comments

But, ultimately the most effective method to affirmatively prove permanent injury is through the testimony of a medical provider or doctor.  Where a doctor testifies to the jury and explains that, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, the injured person more probably than not suffered permanent injury. In some instances, an injured person might believe, personally, that they are permanently injured but their doctor is unable to testify that this is true from a medical perspective.  There may, then, be problems of proof in that case.  That injured person may not succeed in collecting damages for a permanent injury.

School Is Back In Session In Washington & Oregon - Please, Slow Down

Posted by Scott Edwards | Sep 03, 2021 | 0 Comments

We need to slow down. Obey the speed limit, especially in school zones and residential areas. Pay attention and drive defensively. We need to protect our kids.  Dr. Steven Cliff, the Acting Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has appropriately stated that “loss of life is unacceptable on any of our nation’s roadways and everyone has a role to play in ensuring that they are safe.” We owe that responsibility to our children. 

Going Of Counsel

Posted by William K. Thayer | Aug 25, 2021 | 0 Comments

After over 40 years in this wonderful career I am stepping back from the full time practice of law, effective July 1, 2021.  I will remain of counsel with the Schauermann Thayer firm, assisting and offering input on issues and cases as needed. I have really enjoyed being able to work for and wit...

Clark County Washington Courts Update Pandemic Guidelines and Practices

Posted by Bradley Thayer | Aug 23, 2021 | 0 Comments

On July 16, 2021, the Clark County Bar Association circulated court updates for Clark County's Superior and District Courts which went into effect on July 19, 2021 and effectively opened up the courthouse to a greater degree than it has been during the pandemic. The Superior Court has updated the COVID-19 Mitigation Order for the Courthouses (GO 21-03) as well as the Emergency Order (GO 21-04).

What If My Crash Was Really Traumatic But I Wasn’t Really Injured?

Posted by Bradley Thayer | Aug 20, 2021 | 0 Comments

Sometimes the fact that the crash was so traumatic can lead to mental health impacts not only from the event itself but also from either having avoided death and having survived (often called “survivor's guilt”), depending on the circumstances.  This can cause people some significant crash-related symptoms beyond physical injury.  It might even arise to a level where mental health counseling or therapy is both needed and obtained.

Schauermann Thayer’s 2021 Rising Stars

Posted by Scott A. Staples | Aug 18, 2021 | 0 Comments

Partners Brad Thayer and Ben Melnick have been selected by their peers as two of Washington's Plaintiff's Personal Injury Rising Stars in the 2021 Super Lawyers Magazine. Mr. Thayer is a repeat winner, and this is Mr. Melnick's first selection. 

Seat Belt Use In Washington & Oregon

Posted by Benjamin P. Melnick | Aug 16, 2021 | 0 Comments

“Seat Belts Save Lives” is not just a public service announcement; it is reality. A recent publication by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) found a clear correlation between seat belt usage and lower rates of death in automobile collisions.  The study looked at overall ...

Getting A New Auto Policy In Oregon? You Must Be Aware Of This!

Posted by Scott Edwards | Aug 13, 2021 | 0 Comments

The insurance company offered only $25,000 to settle our client's claim. $25,000! The insurance company explained that the policy had a clause in it, called a “step-down” or “drop back” clause that provided that if anyone other than the named insured or the named insured's family members was driving the vehicle at the time of the collision, then the policy limit paid for by the insured—in this case, $100,000—would be reduced to the minimum limits required by the state—in this case, a Washington case, $25,000. 

2020 Saw Surge In Traffic Deaths In The United States

Posted by Benjamin P. Melnick | Aug 11, 2021 | 0 Comments

NHTSA estimates that approximately 38,680 people died on the road last year. That is a 7.2% increase over 2019 and the largest total since 2007. The fatality rate also increased per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, too.   This may seem strange since there were fewer people on the roads, and people drove less. That is probably due, in part, to reduced travel, reduced commuting, fewer businesses being open, and overall life is a little more isolated in 2020. 

Personal Injury Case: How Can I Stop Them From Doing It Again?

Posted by William K. Thayer | Aug 09, 2021 | 0 Comments

Ordinarily, in the personal injury cases we get called upon to handle, the client's emphasis is on trying to obtain a remedy for the damage they suffered. Just compensation for the harm that was caused to them.  But not always. Some clients just want to deter the person or entity that harmed them or their loved one from being careless again and hurting someone else, or worse yet, from killing someone.  Both concerns are important – civil deterrence and civil redress. But this is a blog about civil deterrence. 

The Rescue Doctrine in Washington & Oregon

Posted by William K. Thayer | Aug 04, 2021 | 0 Comments

Welcome to a basic primer on “the Rescue Doctrine”. If a careless person puts himself or another at risk of injury, and a third person is trying to help gets hurt, can they be held responsible for the attempted rescuer's damages? The answer in Washington State as well as in Oregon is definitely, “Yes”. 

Why Are Insurance Companies So Cheap?

Posted by William K. Thayer | Aug 02, 2021 | 0 Comments

Why are Insurance Companies so Cheap?By Bill ThayerMarch 19, 2021 I am often asked the question set out above in the title of this blog, or some variation of it.  Many times by unrepresented people calling our office regarding the offer an insurance company has made to them, or by my own clients...

Crosswalk Safety in Washington & Oregon 

Posted by Scott A. Staples | Jul 28, 2021 | 0 Comments

CROSSWALKS This summer and fall, with nicer weather and folks emerging in public from COVID-induced hibernation, pedestrian/crosswalk safety is vitally important.  A good summary of many areas of the law can be found in the pattern jury instructions that we lawyers use when in trial. These are ...

Evaluation Of Tobin vs Department Of Labor Industries

Posted by Scott A. Staples | Jul 26, 2021 | 0 Comments

When resolving a personal injury claim by settlement against a third party, in the situation where Washington worker's compensation (Dept. of Labor and Industries/”LNI” or a self-insured employer/”SIE”) has paid the bills, under the Tobin case you must allocate the settlement between economic damages (medical bills, wage loss) and general damages (“pain and suffering”).

Dogs & Homeowners Insurance In Washington & Oregon

Posted by Scott A. Staples | Jul 23, 2021 | 0 Comments

DOGS AND HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE In February my family welcomed a new puppy, a first for us. Just now, halfway through the year, I got around to calling my insurance agent to ask if my homeowners insurance needed to be updated to take this pooch into account. As we've written about before, dog owne...

¿Tengo que usar parte de mi liquidación o veredicto para devolver los beneficios recibidos de PIP?

Posted by Benjamin P. Melnick | Jul 17, 2021 | 0 Comments

En ocasiones, cuando un caso está por terminar, ya sea por medio de una liquidación o por el veredicto de un jurado, los clientes piensan que el caso se ha acabado. Para muchos clientes es triste darse cuenta que una parte enorme de su caso de lesiones personales es analizar la manera de dividir el dinero de la liquidación o del veredicto. Uno de los lugares más comunes a los que va una buena porción de los fondos es a la propia compañía de seguros de nuestro cliente. Sin embargo, el reembolso de PIP no siempre es obligatorio, en cuyo caso nuestros clientes reciben una suma mayor de la liquidación o veredicto.

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