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Gary Nicolas Gosanko
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Gary Gosanko’s Answers

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  • Car Accident...

    I was involved in a car accident about 2 and half weeks ago. It person was cited NOI failure to yield and without having his DL with him. I've contacted the insurance, been assigned a claim adjuster but it's been more than a week since I've hear...

    Gary’s Answer

    There is no exact answer to your question. However, I would not wait to make another call - and call every day - to the adjuster until are able to get through to him/her or get a call back. You need to be very careful in what you say to the adjuster, particularly about your injuries and treatment. Of course, this information will need to be revealed to the adjuster eventually, but anything that you say now could have a significant effect on how the adjuster evaluates your personal injury claim. You certainly should contact that adjuster, however, to get your car taken care of. The insurer should pay for the repairs and provide you with a rental car while yours is not able to be driven.
    In the meantime, you should continue to get treatment of your injuries and you should make sure that you tell your doctor(s) about all of your pain and limitations. Your failure to obtain necessary medical care will negatively affect the eventual value of your claim.
    You will likely have a number of other questions and it may be better for you to consult with an attorney who focuses on handling these types of cases.

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  • What are my rights if I was hit head on by a licensed and insured driver, but I am unlicensed and uninsured?

    The driver who hit me was coming down the wrong side of the street and I was hit head on.

    Gary’s Answer

    You have the same rights as any one else who may have been injured in a collision. From what you have indicated, it seems clear that the other driver was at fault. Thus, his/her insurance company will pay for all of your damages - eventually.

    You have two seperate claims: (1) property damage, and (2) personal injury. WHile they arise out of the same collision, they are handled seperately. Under the property damage claim, the other person's insurer should provide you with a rental car until your car is repaired or "totaled out." If it is deemed to be a total loss, you will need to negotiate with the insurer as to the fair market value. There are Washington Administrative Code (WAC) provision that address your specific rights concerning your property evaluation and should be able to find them on-line. Typically, you do not need an attorney to assist with the property loss portion of your claim, although you will likely find it helpful to have someone in your corner.

    As for your personal injury claim, there are a lot of other considerations and it would likely be helpful to you to retain an experienced attorney. Your personal injury (PI) claim is entirely different than the property loss claims and generally handled by a PI adjuster who is going to do his/her best to pay you as little as possible. Your claim generally consists of 4 parts: medical expenses, lost wages, out of pocket expenses, and pain and suffering. You are entitled by law to be compensated for each and all of these areas of damages.

    Be very dcareful dealing with the other insurance company's adjuster. Everything that you say will be taken in a way that is most helpful to the insurer. You have no legal obligation to give a recorded interview to the insurer and I generally advise against giving any recorded interview. You also have no legal obligation to sign any form that allows the insurer to get copies of your medical records or that allows them to talk to your doctors. Be very careful if you get these requests.

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  • Airbags and brakes did not go off when my daughter hit the mountain and then went off a cliff drop of 15ft

    My daughter was in a accident on SR12 she was coming back from Yakima Washington on July 12th 2011. She avoided a elk on the road and right up ahead there was a sharp turn if she hit the brakes she would have hit the elk and went off the cliff. So...

    Gary’s Answer

    Your email raises a few issues. The first involves what is called PIP (Personal Injury Protection) insurance. You need to review the insurance policy that covered the car your daughter was driving to see if you had this coverage. If so, then the PIP insurer will pay the medical bills and wage loss that your daughter has incurred/lost, up to the limits which are a minimum of $10,000 for each. This coverage will allow your daughter to get necessary medical care for her injuries.

    Next, you need to make sure that you watch for brain injury symptoms and get her in for treatment without delay. This could include sympotoms such as headaches, memory issues, lack of concentration or ability to focus, losing her train of thought, and emotional changes such as depression, irritability, moodiness, fatigue, lack of interest in things, and so forth.

    Third, you should have an expert take a look at the car's airbag system to determine whether their was a problem with the system. He or she should also look at the seat belt system as it should have prevented her from hitting her head against the windshield. Don't let your insurer destroy the car (assuming that they have taken it away to their tow yard). In fact, if you are planning on investigating and possibly pursuing a claim against the manufacturer of the car or the airbag system or the seatbelt system, you will need to keep the car safe for later inspection by their experts.
    If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact me.

    Gary

    Gary N. Gosanko
    THE GOSANKO LAW FIRM
    7513 SE 27th Street, Suite A
    Mercer Island, WA 98040
    T - 206-275-0700
    F - 206-275-2207
    www.gosankolaw.com

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  • Passanger in car accident. we settled the liability part,leaving the underinsured claim open.

    how soon after we settled the liability can we demand the underinsured money. mine is a hard injury, three wrist surgeries.I was also examined by SSI doctor stating that I am unable to work.Its been 2 1/2 yrs since accident.

    Gary’s Answer

    Your questions raise even more questions. When you say that "we settled the liability," do you mean to say that you settled your claims against the at-fault party for the full amount of the liability insurance policy limits? Or, did you settle for less than the limits? Did you sign a release of "all claims," which might include claims against your own UIM policy, or only a release of "all claims against the at-fault person"? Did you have PIP coverage under your own policy? If so, did you pay any money back to your PIP insurer, did the other insurer pay any money back to your PIP insurer, or did you get your PIP insurer to waive any subrogation lien so that you didn't have to pay any money back to the PIP insurer? DId you have health insurance and did you use it to pay for any of your medical treatment? If so, did you discuss with them whether they are entitled to be reimbursed or whether they will waive any subrogation claim? Did you give your UIM insurer an opportunity to buy out your claims against the other driver before you accepted the settlement?

    Assuming that you settled for the policy limits, you should not have had to pay any money from that settlement to your PIP insurer, and possibly not to your health insurer, depending on whether it is governed by federal law (ERISA) or state law.

    You should also be able to make a claim against your UIM coverage at any time. However, it is often best to wait until you know the total value of your claim before attempting to settle with your own insurer, unless your damages exceed the total UIM coverage. Keep in mind that there is a statute of limitations that applies to your UIM case and you need to read your contract of insurance very carefully to make sure that you make your demand on your UIM carrier within any limit that might be in that policy.

    We provide free initial consultations on cases just like this. So, if you have questions, you can give me a call on my direct line - 206-275-0700.

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  • Deframtion

    I have been having an ongoing problem with a few persons defaming my character, can you sue a person in small claims court for this? I wanted to but the lady at the desk said I was not able to do so because there is no proof of a damage to me. Yet...

    Gary’s Answer

    Defamation and libel cases are difficult. Here are a couple of quotes from some of our cases in this state:

    "Under our cases, a defamation plaintiff must show four essential elements: falsity, an unprivileged communication, fault, and damages. Sims, at 233, 580 P.2d 642; Restatement (Second) of Torts s 558 (1977)."

    Mark v. Seattle Times, 96 Wash. 2d 473, 486, 635 P.2d 1081, 1088 (1981).

    "First Amendment concerns at that time supported the special protection that we extended in Mark v. Seattle Times, supra.1 A basic cost of defamation law is its potential chilling effect on the press. Note, The Role of Summary Judgment in Political Libel Cases, 52 So.Cal.L.Rev. 1783, 1793 (1979). However, the balance between First Amendment concerns of free speech and the individual's interest in reputation tips differently when a private individual sues a private individual for a statement about private concerns. This court has recognized that the importance of a private individual's reputation interest can counter First Amendment concerns. Taskett v. KING Broadcasting Co., 86 Wash.2d 439, 444-47, 546 P.2d 81 (1976). Likewise, the United States Supreme Court has restricted First Amendment protection for statements about private affairs."

    Dunlap v. Wayne, 105 Wash. 2d 529, 534, 716 P.2d 842, 845-46 (1986).

    You need to do some research to make sure that you have proof for each element of this claim. Best of luck.

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  • What rights do I have when landlord intentionally covered up toxic mold and knowingly moved family into apt

    Moved into apartment not knowing anything about the mold that was infesting the building nor that we needed to sign a paper stating anything on mold. my youngest was diagnosed with chronic pulmonary disease when he was 5 months old, that was after...

    Gary’s Answer

    First, you should set up a meeting with your present attorney to discuss all of the concerns that you have. Take a list with you to make sure that you discuss all issues. If you are not 100% satisfied after that meeting that your attorney is the best one for you, then you should definitely look for another attorney immediately.
    Changing attorneys should not cost you or your family any more in the way of attorney fees, assuming that your present attorney is working on a contingent fee basis. When my firm takes over cases for other people who are not satisfied with the work their former attorney has done, we see to it that the former attorney is paid out of the contingent fee that we earn so that the client doesn't have to pay any more. I would think that many other attorneys would do the same
    You indicate that your son's health is deteriorating without proper treatment. I assume that you do not have health insurance. If not, your present attorney should be able to determine whether the insurance policy that covers the apartments has any "medical payments" coverage that might apply right away. Even if it does, however, there may be a limit to that coverage. (This is in addition to liability coverage that would be available to cover all of the damages eventually once you prove liability on the part of the apartment owners.) Otherwise, you should consider applying to the state for health benefits for your child. There are also a number of hospitals that provide treatment at either a reduced rate or for free, depending on your financial situation. You will need to ask around.
    Documentation is the key to any claim, including this one. Do what ever you can to cooperate with your present attorney by providing him/her everything that is needed. This should include photos of all areas of the apartment complex showing the mold problem - your apartment in particular, copies all leasing/rental documents, contact information for each of the other 20 tenants, copies of written complaints that you and others had made to the landlord about the condition, copies of medical records and reports, and so forth. It is imperative that you be able to prove that the landlord knew of the problem before he leased/rented the apartment to you and/or that you notified him immediately and he did nothing to rectify the problem after given a reasonable opportunity. Best of luck.

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  • I have been in a car wreck - other party at fault - what should I do next?

    Hi, I was in a car wreck yesterday. My car was totaled and Seattle police called the towing company to take car away. Now my body is in pain is several places. The impound is telling me that I have to pay $550 dollars to get my car in 3 days and i...

    Gary’s Answer

    Be assertive with MOE. Their insured was at fault and they will have to pay for your vehicle, including the towing and storage. Do not back down from that. MOE will also have to pay you for your loss of use of your vehicle. This will be either a rental car for each day, or paying you the cost that you would incur to get a rental car for each day that you are without the use of your vehicle. This obligation continues until they make you a "reasonable" offer on your vehicle and, if you accept their offer, its obligation to pay loss of use damages should extend until you get the check.

    You should also start doing your homework on fignuring out what the fair market value of your car is. Take a look at the Washington Administative Code (WAC) sections 284-30-320, -39, and -391 (you can Google them). They outline your rights and the obligations of the insurer (or you can call me).

    Typically, the property loss portion of a claim is the easiest. Therefore, if MOE is giving you a difficult time on this issue, you should definiitely consider talking to an attorney.

    The personal injury portion of your claim is typically more difficult and involves a lot of issues that may not seem apparent to you. First, you should look at your own policy to find out if you have PIP - Personal Injury Protection. If you do, your PIP policy will pay for your medical bills and lost wages as you are incurring them. It will not affect your premiums by using the PIIP coverage. One reason is that your PIP insurer will most likely (but not in all cases) get paid back at least a portion of what they pay.

    Keep in mind that you do not have to give a recorded interview to MOE and you do not have to sign any papers that give them access to your medical records. Be very careful if they request these.

    Finally, document everything - photos of the scene, of the cars, of injuries; go to the doctors and tell them about ALL of your symptoms - physical, mental and emotional. You may find that you will experience a lot of changes in the next few days and you need to let your doctors know about this so that they can help you and so that it is documented in your medical records for later use.

    Best of luck.

    Gary

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  • Lawyer already settled for 100,000 from liability, and 25,000 from other driver.

    was a passenger car accident.wastaken to er had surgery plate and 8 screws.pain persisted, and 7 months later another surgery to remove plate. developed neuroma, wrist pain. was placed on narcotics, nerve medication, cortizone shots.even had a sei...

    Gary’s Answer

    Assuming that you haven't already settled with the other driver's insurance, you should make sure that you get proof that the other driver did not have an "umbrella" policy that would apply over and above the liability limits. From your email, it is difficult to determine whether the other driver had limits of $25,000 or $100,000. Usually, one with $100,000 liabillity limits has some assets to protect - that is the reason they have such high limits. So, you should also obtain confirmation that the other driver doesn't have any assets and that the other driver wasn't on-the-job at the time of the collision as the employer could also have some liablity and additional insurance.
    If the other driver has only $25,000 in liablity insurance, it would be unlikely that he/she would have assets worth going after. However, you can try going to www.zillow.com and type in the other driver's address to see if he/she owns the house where he/she lives and what it might be worth. If they have a lot of equity in the house, you should consider doing more research into their assets before settling for their limits.
    I also hope that you had personal injury protection (PIP) under your policy that should be used to pay your medical bills and wage loss. Your attorney should be able to work with the PIP carrier to get them to pay the bills and not require any payment back.

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  • I was rear-ended, it was totally the other guys fault. I am going through my insurance because I wont deal w/ progressive..

    So, my car was 40 grand new. It's now totaled. I'ts 3 years old w/ 35,000 miles. KElley and NADA come out to about 26-28 grand. I owe 16 to the bank still. How exactly is the insurance company going to make me "whole" again? After more researching...

    Gary’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Take a look at the Washington Administrative Code, particularly WAC 284-30-320 and the following sections. Google it. They explain what insurance companies are supposed to do when your car is deemed a total loss.

    An attorney should be able to help you out. We provide free initial consultations if you have any questions, particularly on injury claims which are much more complicated than property damage claims.

    Gary N. Gosanko
    206-275-0700

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  • My son was hit by a car crossing the street at an intersection at Gonzaga University and was injured.

    How long do we have to file a suit against the driver and insurance company?

    Gary’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Typically, you have 3 years in Washington within which to file a lawsuit against the driver, if a settlement cannnot be reached with the insurer. Generally, you do not have the legal right to sue his insurance company. Typically, I advise against settling any injury claim until my clients have fully recovered from all injuries and are back to doing all of their normal activities without limitations.
    Pedestrian accidents present some different issues. First, you need to find out if the driver had two types of insurance; (1) liability insurance and (2) personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. If he had PIP, then that insurance company will be obligated to pay your son's medical bills that he incurs up to the limit (typically $10,000), provided they are incurred within 3 years. You will want to make sure that your son is careful when filling out any forms (such as medical authorization forms) for the PIP adjuster to make sure that any information that might be obtained through that authorization from is not given to the liability adjuster, who should be a totally different person who does not have access to anything in the PIP file. You may need an attorney to sert that out for you.
    The liability adjuster will also likely try to get information from your son - either a recorded interview or a signed statement. I generally do not permit my clients to give either of these, and certainly not unless I have first discussed with my clients the issues that will likely come up and how the questions should be answered.
    He or she will also try to get your son to give him/her authorization to get all the medical records. Be careful with this as these will give the liability adjuster more authority than you think. Keep in mind that the insurance company will do its best to avoid having to pay fair compensation to your son. That is how it makes profits.

    If you have any questions, you can give me a call for a free initial consultation.

    Gary N. Gosanko
    206-275-0700

    By the way, while I am located in the Seattle area, I handle personal injury claims across the state.

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