Skip to main content
Steven L Shaw
Avvo
Pro

Steven Shaw’s Answers

233 total


  • How likely to get compensation for damages from car accident? Punitive?

    At a dead stop to make a left turn for over 2 min. Teenager who was texting while driving slammed into my car at full speed (50 mph). I had seen she wasn't slowing down and slammed my horn but she rear ended me hard. My 7 mo old baby was in the ca...

    Steven’s Answer

    Unfortunately in Washington, making someone accountable for your injury and damages doesn't include why they did what they did (cell phone use), in spite of the fact that it makes us all upset when we hear someone causing a crash because they used a cell phone. I recently asked perspective jurors if they would be more outraged if someone caused a crash because they used a cell phone, than they would if someone was just following too close. Without exception, they held the cell phone using driver more accountable for the damage done.

    In Washington, the compensation you demand from the at-fault person or entity is only about compensating you for your losses. It is not meant to punish the at-fault driver. So, the way you hold that driver responsible for their stupid choice, is to make sure you collect for every injury you received in the crash. A good lawyer, as the others have said, is the best route to that kind of justice.

    See question 
  • Do I need to hire a lawyer?

    I fell at the grocery store by slipping on a puddle of soda and ice. Fell directly onto my tailbone and head simultaneously. Injured my back pretty bad. Haven't been to DR. due to lack of time from work - their rep already called me to tell me th...

    Steven’s Answer

    Hiring a lawyer to represent you for a personal injury claim is easier than you might think. Almost all personal injury lawyers will speak with you without charge, to determine whether you have a claim worth pursuing. Slip and falls are tough cases because liability will almost always be fought.

    My advice to you is to start calling a few in your area. Be ready to describe your claim to them, and be ready for some to say they are not interested. For those that are interested, be a good consumer and make sure they are a good fit for you and your case.

    Best of luck.

    See question 
  • How should I approach an offer to settle a car accident claim?

    I was rear ended in a car accident 11 months ago. I was injured and received chiropractic care 2 to 3 days a week for 6 months, resulting in about $5000 in medical bills. My insurance company paid my medical bills and damage to my vehicle. I didn'...

    Steven’s Answer

    Let me just add a little to Mr. Nivison's response, which is very good.

    There are so many variables when determining whether the offer you are being given is adequate. Since there is no guideline - no formula for determining what a claim is worth, you must take a look at how your injuries affected your life. Maybe your life was only changed in ways which $3000 compensates - maybe more would be necessary to offset your losses. It's tough to tell without sitting down with you to discuss it, and comparing your claim with similar ones which have been recently presented to a jury.

    See question 
  • A long shard of glass pierced the sole of my son's shoe and stuck in his foot while we were shopping. What happens now?

    My son was shopping with me at Hobby Lobby. A long shard of glass went through the bottom of his flip-flop and punctured the sole of his right foot. I found a sales associate, who paged a manager. He finally arrived with an old first aid kit, no ...

    Steven’s Answer

    The two main questions an attorney will consider when you make contact, is how strong is the liability, and how great are the damages.

    With premises cases, it's not always clear who did what wrong. Did the store have notice that glass was on the floor? Is there a way to tell when it happened? If so, when did it happen, and did the store have reasonable notice that it had happened? Did the store follow its own policies when it comes to visually inspecting the floors, and are those policies reasonable ones? There are so many questions to ask and get answers to before knowing how to proceed against them.

    The next question, how great are the damages, is a tough one to answer. How much medical treatment did your son need? How much more will he need? Did it affect his day to day activities? Is he temporarily disabled? How long will his symptoms last? In the end, how much money will compensate him for his loss?

    Be prepared to address those questions when you make contact with an attorney, as those will be key to whether the attorney wants to represent your son in this matter. Best of luck.

    See question 
  • Can my primary doctor deny medical treatment due to Auto Accident?

    I was involved in auto accident in March 2015, recently had MRI shows annular tear, disc protrusion, nerve impingement. I've been trying to get back to see my PCP to follow up and get other refferals, but was denied seeing him, because he's not co...

    Steven’s Answer

    Some doctors stay away from treating injuries that result from motor vehicle collisions. This is because that treatment often becomes the key issue in your claim for compensation against the at-fault driver. That means the doctor could be asked to write reports, testify in a deposition or trial, or other things doctors are loathe to do. It could also be a billing issue, because they often have to bill auto medical coverage (PIP) before billing health insurance, and they are not set up for that.

    I find it odd that a different doctor wouldn't be willing to treat you. Consider asking to see a physiatrist (sports medicine or rehabilitation doctor), as these doctors are well suited to treat your kinds of injuries.

    Consider meeting with an attorney soon, so that you can get answers to questions like these.

    See question 
  • Do I need a personal injury attorney

    Went through taco bell drive thru ordered my daughter nachos and u can guess it she started screaming I quickly wiped the spilled nacho cheese of her thigh and saw blister went directly to an urgent care she received second degree burns and refuse...

    Steven’s Answer

    I am so sorry your daughter has been injured, and your reaction to what happened is to be expected. We all assume that restaurants, especially national chains, have designed food packaging to ensure safe consumption. That is not always the case. Further, sometimes the restaurant keeps a food item at an unreasonable temperature.

    National chains, however, are well funded, and fight even the small claims. They want to ensure that the "little guy" does not inspire others who have been injured to expect any consideration.

    You will likely need to contact more than a few lawyers, as these cases are difficult, expensive, and take more time to fight than you might imagine. Don't give up. Start with those that do food borne illness claims, as they would have the expertise necessary to be successful.

    Good luck.

    See question 
  • I have been hit in two auto accidents in the past 18 months. I was injured in both; the other drivers' ins. accepted liability.

    My injuries from the first accident had not recovered before the second accident occurred. I have exceeded my PIP ($35,000, mostly for diagnostic imaging and therapy) from the first claim and have about $4,000 in outstanding medical bills. I am ...

    Steven’s Answer

    "Should I have a lawyer or can I effectively handle the settlements with the two insurance companies?"

    You should probably consider hiring a lawyer. This assumes you were not at fault for the collision, and at least one of the parties involved (you and/or the other driver) carries adequate insurance. The process for presenting a claim is not rocket science - but it is full of traps for the unwary. And the reason people with lawyers can usually negotiate for a higher settlement figure than those without lawyers is that we know what the insurers are looking for, and we have the capacity to file a lawsuit if they don't offer enough in settlement. There are more reasons why it makes sense to hire a lawyer to help you, but those are probably the key reasons.

    Does the other drivers' insurance companies cover my legal fees?

    There are some special situations where that takes place, but it's rare, and it's unlikely in a situation like what you've described. Almost all lawyers that take on personal injury cases do so on a contingency, meaning they retain a percentage of what they recover for you. Most charge 1/3 if the case resolves before trial, and will likely charge a little more if your case must be tried to a judge or jury.

    Hope we've answered your questions. Use the find a lawyer tool on the AVVO webpage to find a few lawyers in your area. Call at least two, and discuss your case with them. Go with the lawyer that strikes you as the best choice.

    Good luck.

    See question 
  • Can I file a malpractice Lawsuit?

    After visiting a Family Care doctor, i had a large bump on my groin inspected by a nurse. He diagnosed me with HPV without doing a biopsy, and I was prescribed Aldara for 16 weeks. The prescription was issued by a doctor that did not see me. I hav...

    Steven’s Answer

    Suing a doctor for malpractice is very challenging. It takes a tremendous amount of time, money, and endurance. Juries, for the most part, trust doctors; they are more willing to overlook their mistakes, than they are to hold them accountable. This makes lawyers very wary of taking on a malpractice claim.

    Use AVVO's find a lawyer tool, to find someone in your area to look over your case. Be prepared to speak to more than one, and be prepared to present all of the facts of what happened to you - dates, times, places, names, etc. Best of luck.

    See question 
  • Question about Settlement(Disbursement)) for auto accident & attorney fees & medical expanse

    Gross offer from insurance company : $7,899,89 Less Attorneys fees: 33% : $2,633,30 Less Attorney discount : $571.61 Subtotal : $2,061,69 ------------------------>$5,838.20 Less surrogated Medicals: $5,5546,30 XX insnare paid ...

    Steven’s Answer

    This is always a challenge to explain to clients, but it is your attorney's job to explain how those numbers work.

    If your insurance company (PIP, health insurance, etc.) pays for your claim related medical treatment, it does so conditionally. The condition is, if you collect money from the party responsible for your injuries and it is considered "full compensation," then your insurance company gets reimbursed from the money that is collected from the at-fault insurer, less a discount for attorney's fees and costs.

    This also happens if your insurance company pays for the repairs to your car. Your company pays initially, but since the other driver caused the damage, the other driver's insurance company pays yours back. The only difference with bodily injury settlements, is that a discount is applied due to attorney's fees and costs.

    I would suggest you speak with your attorney, and have the attorney go over the numbers again.

    See question 
  • If I accept a settlement from an insurance company what happens if I later need medical treatment?

    I was in an accident with an uninsured motorist (His fault). My insurance company has said they won't pay for any further treatment and want to settle. If I settle and need further treatment can I use my regular health insurance for treatment?

    Steven’s Answer

    It is possible that your personal health plan will cover your collision-related treatment. Given that you have UIM coverage, I suspect you also have PIP (Personal Injury Protection) coverage. PIP covers your collision-related medical treatment for three years after a collision has happened, up through your coverage limit (probably $10,000).

    Not knowing when your collision took place makes it difficult to fully answer your question. I suggest contacting an attorney with experience handling auto collision claims to advise you further. Best of luck.

    See question