FAQs

Do I have personal injury protection (PIP) under my car insurance plan?

You should not leave yourself without protection to cover your medical bills incurred if you are injured in a motor vehicle collision. In the state of Washington, insurers are required to offer Personal Injury Protection, also known as PIP. Your insurance company must clearly explain PIP coverage to you, and must provide it unless you decline in writing. Your PIP coverage will pay your medical bills even if you are at fault for your injuries. It may also cover lost wages and help with household services.

If you are injured in a motor vehicle collision and your insurance company is claiming you do not have PIP coverage, you should consult an attorney to make sure your insurance company is following the law.

When should I sign the Claim Release Form given to me by my insurance company?

Generally, an insurance company will not pay you money without first obtaining your signature on a release. A release is a binding contract that allows the insurance company to be free from the obligation to pay anything more on your claim. It also prevents you from suing the negligent driver who caused your injuries. Before you sign a release, read it carefully. A good Seattle personal injury lawyer will be able to counsel you regarding the advisability and risks of signing a Claim Release Form.

After an accident, should I provide a statement to the other driver's insurance company?

You've just been involved in an auto accident, and the other driver's insurance company wants to take your statement. The insurance adjuster may want to record your statement over the telephone, or may want to meet with you in person to do a simple interview.

The recorded statement is crucial in your personal injury claim, as the insurance company may use it in deciding who is at fault for the collision. The insurance adjuster may also try to pin you down as to your injuries in a statement taken within days of the collision before you have returned to all of your daily activities or even had a chance to see your doctor.

If you have concerns about meeting with an insurance adjuster to give a statement, you should call an experienced Seattle personal injury attorney who can advise you regarding your rights and obligations. If you retain the attorney to represent you, he or she can be present during the statement to make sure you do not say anything that might hinder or impair your claim.

Should I sign a medical release form? Who should have access to my medical records?

When you are injured in a motor vehicle collision, your insurance company and the other driver's insurance adjuster will probably ask you to sign medical releases immediately. They will probably seek broad authority to view all of your medical records, including prior records unrelated to the accident. Your obligations vary as to what authorizations you have to sign for each insurance company. The timing requirements may also be different for different types of releases. If you are concerned about signing a medical release form, or if there are sensitive matters in your records that you do not want to reveal, you should speak with a local Seattle personal injury attorney before you sign the document. A knowledgeable attorney will be able to advise you regarding the intersection between your privacy rights and your obligation to disclose information in connection with an accident.

For More Information

To speak with a knowledgeable and experienced Seattle personal injury attorney about these or other issues, contact Dean Standish Perkins & Associates today.