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J.J. Thompson

J.J. Thompson’s Answers

18 total


  • My old car insurance is suing me for money they paid out on a car accident to another insurance company.

    They told me they accidentally paid twice to them. Can they do this?

    J.J.’s Answer

    It certainly doesn't sound right. I would be interested in seeing the Complaint that explains the basis for the insurance company's cause of action against you for it "accidentally" paying the other person twice. You should consult with a lawyer in person on this to discuss defenses to the lawsuit, as well as potential counterclaims you have against the insurance company based on Washington's Insurance Fair Conduct Act, Consumer Protection Act, and common law bad faith.

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  • Can anybody put a lien on my car accident claim?

    I owe money to numerous individuals (including attorneys). Can anyone put a lien on my car accident claim? The other party is 100 percent at fault. Also I owe the state and am behind with child support.

    J.J.’s Answer

    Yes, the State can lien your personal injury claim for unpaid child support.

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  • Do I have to pay PIP back?

    For the car accident (that was not my fault), I had almost 2 years of chiropractic, physical therapy & osteopathic treatment that my PIP paid almost $30,000 for yet no lawyers would take my case because of a closed L&I not long before the accident...

    J.J.’s Answer

    Good news is that an insurance company paid your medical bills!!! Some people do not have insurance to even cover the bills, so end up getting sent to collections for unpaid ER bills. Bad news (sort of) the typical auto insurance policy requires reimbursement of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits paid. In Washington, you are not required to "reimburse" your insurance company for PIP benefits paid unless you are "fully compensated" for all of your damages proximately caused by the collision. What constitutes "full compensation" requires a jury determination or arbitrator's determination; however, if you settle for for less than the policy limits available through the at fault driver, that settlement can be used by the insurance company to support a determination of full compensation. The insurance company usually provides for a "subrogation" interest in the policy contract, which effectively means it can bring a claim against the at fault driver (in your place) to recover the money it has paid out. Good news is that you own the entire claim and have the right to seek recovery of ALL medical bills that are related to the collision. So, you do not have to compete with your own insurance company in recovering from the at fault driver; in this context and assuming you make a recovery of the medical bills, your insurance company's claim for reimbursement must account for a proportionate share of attorneys' fees and costs incurred in procuring the funds from which the reimbursement is to be paid. The other issue you should be aware of is that the PIP insurer is only entitled to recover reimbursement for bills related to the collision. If your insurer paid $2k for chiropractic treatments that a jury ultimately finds were not related, then you do not have to reimburse your insurance company for those benefits paid. Lots of legal rules with this type of a claim... Based solely on what you have described, I am shocked that you have had difficulty finding an attorney willing to represent you, which raises lots of questions. Are you still treating? How much of the $30k is for chiro, how much for PT, how much for osteopathic??? Have you been referred to a physiatrist? Do you have any other or preexisting health issues, etc... I hope this helps. Ultimately, I would recommend that you continue to try to find a lawyer that will represent you as $30k in treatment is not indicative of a "small" claim that would otherwise justify handling on your own.

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  • I was in a bad car accident last month on 8/13/2013, wondering how much I should settle for pain and suffering?

    Both cars were totaled, the car I was driving had over 12,000 dollars worth of damage to it.(I was not at fault for the accident) I have a bad cervical strain, I have lower back compressions, neck compressions, and my left shoulder is extremely me...

    J.J.’s Answer

    I have a 2 1/2 year old son myself and can only imagine how hard this has been! To answer your questions, what to expect in the sense of getting towards a resolution of your accident claim. Every case is different; however, you generally have two aspects of an auto liability claim - the injury claim and the property damage claim (assuming it was your car). It sounds as though you have done the most important thing first, that is, focus on treating with appropriate medical providers for your injuries. This is extremely important to not only help with your physical recovery, but to document the nature and extent of your injuries - including how the injuries progress or worsen over time - so you or your lawyer can use this information to negotiate (or institute legal action to recover for) a fair and just amount of money for your harms and losses. Despite that fact that some insurance companies are quick to offer a few bucks to go away, you should not be in a hurry to resolve the bodily injury claim until you know the future implications. It would be awful to settle for "X" thinking the pain will go away, then find out a month later you need a surgery. You cannot go back to the at fault driver's insurance after you settle. Depending on the nature of your insurance coverage, you will be responsible for the medical bills incurred - which I personally think sucks. You didn't cause the accident but now you have to pay out of pocket or use your own insurance to pay for treatment. There are different ins and outs related to this that I would recommend you discuss with an attorney, depending on your current ability to pay, whether you have PIP insurance, whether you have private health insurance, etc. There are things attorneys can do to help limit the impact that has on your personal finances.

    If you are also seeking resolution of the property damage claim (total loss vehicle), you will need to do your homework on what the fair market value of the vehicle was at the time of the collision. You should expect to negotiate this value with the at fault driver's insurance company - but can always turn to your own insurance company if you have collision coverage, subject to your deductible.

    Ultimately, I would encourage you to take advantage of a free consultation with a local auto accident lawyer. Most of us offer free consultations and I know I am always happy to give free advice during the consultation, regardless of whether the prospective client ultimately chose to retain me. Through a consultation you will get a better understanding of what to expect because there are a lot more questions to ask. Research perspective auto accident lawyers on AVVO, Google, attorney websites, etc., then give one you like a call to arrange a free consultation....

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  • Can a motorist ask for medical compensation, after the fact with no police report filed???

    I rear-ended another automobile, the other motorist when we got out to exchange info, told me she was uninsured and didn't want to get the police involved. I gave her my info, just in case...She is now contacting me claiming injury. There is no ...

    J.J.’s Answer

    Assuming there is no justifiable excuse for you rear-ending her, you are legally responsible for all of the injuries and damages proximately caused by the crash. Unless you intend to lie and everyone you ever told about the collision is willing to lie for you, proving the collision happened should be extremely easy. The best thing you can do is report this accident to your insurance company and let your insurance company handle the claim going forward. If there is problems with her ability to prove the injuries were caused by the crash, the insurance company will deal with it.

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  • Is it useful to have a lawyer assist you when no major injuries are apparently involved but there's substantial property damage?

    My daughter was rear-ended by a drunk driver (who did not stop) as she was turning right into her apartment complex. Here is a link to a news report: http://m.columbian.com/news/2013/mar/04/suspected-drunk-driver-crashes-vehicle-tree/ She was ev...

    J.J.’s Answer

    The seriousness of a concussion should not be overlooked and it is certainly too soon to tell what the ramifications of the concussion will be as your daughter continues to recover. Concussions are brain injuries that are linked to a neurodegenerative disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). The cumulative effects of concussions can be devastating - not just for NFL players. I encourage you to pay close attention to your daughters recovery. Although many post concussive symptoms will seemingly resolve in the weeks/months following the initial injury, there is a small percentage that do not resolve. Early treatment and prevention of secondary impacts is extremely important. Hopefully your daughter will bounce back from her concussion without any issues. To answer your question directly, your daughter should consult with an attorney that is experieced representing individuals with mild traumatic brain injuries (concussions) and car accidents. As your daughter continues to recover from her soft tissue injuries and concussion, a lawyer maybe able to work out a resolution of her property damage claim. More importantly, a lawyer can also assist in making sure your daughter has acces to proper treatment for her injuries.

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  • I was in a crash with a semi and my air bags did not deploy, do we have a case?

    I was driving and the weather was clear, but cold, no warning signs were there, and there was black ice. I tried to stop for a car parked in my lain of travel, I fishtailed, hit the median, and came to a stop. Then a semi lost control, jackknifed,...

    J.J.’s Answer

    The short and quick answer is "maybe." I strongly recommend that you consult with a lawyer to address your issues as soon as you can so that any evidence to support the potential claims can be properly preserved. There are too many questions that need to be answered to say yes or no to your question. There needs to be an investigation and research regarding the particular mechanics of the collision (e.g., was your vehicle impacted in a location that should have triggered the sensor?), the particular airbags/sensors used in your vehicle (has there been other sensor failures around the country?), and much, much more (e.g., would it have made a difference in the injuries you and your husband suffered if the airbags would have deployed?).

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  • When to get vehical fixed after rear-end accident where a personal injury is involved

    I am currently being treated for a MTBI (concussion) and post concussion issue from an rear-end accident that occured late September of this year. The driver was working (delivary courier) and told the police he was on his phone. Anyway, I am tr...

    J.J.’s Answer

    The personal injury lawyer you retain should be able to advise you on how to proceed with fixing your vehicle. Generally speaking, the at fault driver's insurance company will agree to resolve the vehicle property damage claim separate from the personal injury claim. Also, if your vehicle is covered by an insurance policy that provides collision coverage, then you can choose to pay your deductible and have the vehicle repairs paid for under your own insurance policy. Most of the big insurance companies have contracts with certain repair facilities and will encourage you to use these repair facilities. You have the option to select your own repair facility. As a practical matter and to avoid disputes with the insurance company, be sure to let the repair facility of your choice know the damages will all need to be paid for by the insurance company so the repair facility can get preapproval of repairs – avoiding later disputes. There are other considerations to account for that an attorney can discuss with you to avoid having repairs done that will not covered by insurance.

    You are correct to recognize the need to document any relevant evidence pertaining to the damages caused by the collision. Certainly, the damage to the vehicle is not always a good indicator of the injuries that can be caused from a collision, but the evidence should be properly gathered and preserved if possible.

    As a side note, regarding your mTBI, if you are continuing to experience symptoms from the brain injury, I encourage to take advantage of the resources available through the Brain Injury Association of Washington. http://www.braininjurywa.org/

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  • Can I sue a hit and run driver?

    I was walking in the parking lot on my way from work and got hit and run by a car, going on a fast speed. I was unconscious for several minutes when police found me On floor bleeding, And called an ambulance. I sustained really bad head injury and...

    J.J.’s Answer

    You are a survivor! I can only imagine the adversity that you have been faced with from the near death experience, effects of your injury, medical bills, and now pursuing a claim.
    To quickly answer your question, YES, you can sue a hit and run driver. However, there are other considerations, such as statutes of limitations (depending on how long ago this occurred), that may impact the viability of a lawsuit. I recommend that you contact a lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case and hopefully pursue the case with you. Given the fact that this was a hit and run, there is a lot of evidence to be gathered and you will want a lawyer to start working on that task as soon as possible. There are several issues that will need to be addressed regarding exactly how the incident occurred and liability, not to mention making sure that you are getting the proper treatment for your injuries. Also, given that you suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury, you will want to consult with an attorney that is experienced in handling TBI cases.
    There are a lot of different issues that I could raise, but I think you would be best served contacting a personal injury lawyer who handles TBI cases to discuss in person. AVVO offers a search category for brain injury lawyers. If you are continuing to suffer the effects of the TBI, you should know that you are not alone. There are thousands of other people in your position and there are a lot of great resources available. Many TBI survivors find local support groups to be an excellent tool in their recovery. If you prefer the internet, check out www.tbisn.org. Best of luck to you!

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  • I got in an accident where the other didn't reply to there insurance & this forced me to use my PIP.

    Is there someone that would take this claim on a contengncy of the remainder balance owed?

    J.J.’s Answer

    A contingency fee is usually only offered where there is an expectation that the attorney can make a recovery for you. In the case of a car accident, you have the issue of being able to prove the other driver negligently caused your harms and losses. Additional information will be needed to address these issues. I recommend that you contact a personal injury lawyer that handles car accident claims for a free consultation. Many personal injury lawyers offer free initial consultations. You can locate these lawyers via AVVO, searching for personal injury or car accident lawyers.

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