Articles Posted in Questions and Answers

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer just posted a story about a stand-up comic who was assaulted while on stage. The comedian, Dylan Avila, suffered a skull fracture when Jamal Harrington, another comic, jumped on the stage and struck him with a baseball bat.

Avila was performing at a Renton bar when he was struck twice in the head. He was lucky not to suffer brain damage but will spend a few days in the hospital.

The suspect is being held in jail with no bail.

While we can’t speak to the specifics of this case from a newspaper report, you might be wondering, “Can a person sue someone who assaults them?”

“Assault is a crime but can also be the grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit.”

Filing an Assault Lawsuit
Victims of assault can file a personal injury lawsuit on the person who attacked them if the following elements are present:

  • The person intentionally attacked you and meant to cause you harm.
  • You were injured or feared injury from the defendant.

In Avila’s case, he might be able to file a civil suit since it appears the assailant intentionally harmed him and Avila was clearly injured. A lawsuit in civil court may be filed regardless of the criminal charges that the perpetrator might face.

Damages in an Assault Personal Injury Case

In cases where an assault resulted in physical injuries, psychological damages or both, a person may be entitled to recover economic, non-economic damages and maybe even punitive damages.

Economic damages include expenses and costs that a person incurred as a result of the assault including medical costs and loss of wages. If the assault left the victim disabled, the loss of future wages, rehabilitation costs and costs of care may also be included.

Non-economic damages include compensation for pain and suffering.

Punitive damages for assault can be provided if the defendant maliciously and intentionally meant to cause harm. Punitive damages are both meant to punish and to set a public example.

Is my Lawsuit Viable?

Every case is unique. Even with witnesses to an assault and serious injuries, if the perpetrator has no significant assets, there may be no money to get from the perpetrator. In some cases, a victim may be able to file suit against a property owner if they are liable for negligence. For example, if a bar over served a patron who was obviously intoxicated and belligerent, there may be a valid a claim against the property owner.

To discuss the particular details of your case, you are advised to speak to a personal injury attorney. The Farber Law Group has more than 40 years experience representing persons with serious personal injuries. Contact us today for a free and confidential case evaluation.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.
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You are standing at a rental car counter and the rental agent asks you if you want to purchase car insurance on the vehicle you are renting. Should you purchase the insurance? Does the insurance you purchase for your personal automobile cover a rental car?

The car rental company will likely tell you that buying additional insurance will give you “peace of mind” or that the insurance you purchase through them has “no deductible” which can save you in the case of a car accident.

It is a good idea to check with your insurance company about your own policy because policies can vary from state-to-state and you want to make sure you are adequately insured. Sometimes even your credit card company will reimburse you for your deductible if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident in a rental car.

Non-Owned Car Coverage

When checking with your insurance agent, be sure to ask the question, “Do I have Non-Owned Car Coverage.”

We were reading a court decision, Chandler v. Geico Indem. Co, 2011 WL 5864808 (Fla. Nov. 23, 2011) in which the case decided the question, “Does Geico’s Non-Owned Car Coverage cover motor vehicle accident injuries caused by the negligent use of a rental car even though the driver of the rental car was not an authorized driver under the rental car contract?”

In this case, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that the rental car was a “temporary substitute auto” under the insured’s automobile insurance policy and therefore Geico was liable for injuries.

The case arose when Kutasha Shazier rented a car from Avis because her auto was in the repair shop. The rental car contract stated that Shazier was not authorized to allow additional drivers of the rental car unless Avis provided prior written approval.

Shazier’s personal car insurance with Geico provided “Non-Owned Car Coverage” to cover a temporary substitute auto not owned by Shazier but temporarily used with the permission of the owner.

Shazier lent the rental car to Tercina Jordan who was involved in a single-car accident in which one passenger was killed and several others were injured. The injured passengers and the deceased passenger’s estate filed a lawsuit against Shazier and Jordan. Geico, Shazier’s insurer argued that they did not have to cover damages because the rental car was not a temporary substitute because Jordan did not have Avis’ permission to drive the vehicle.

The court ruled that the rental car qualified for insurance under Geico’s “temporary substitute auto” policy and even though it was not owned by the insured person it could be considered an “owned auto” and the insurer must cover the insured and any person using the vehicle that Shazier had given permission to.

How a Personal Injury Attorney can Help You in a Car Accident

Even though you may large insurance premiums, your insurance company may not one to pay a legitimate claim or they might want to lessen your award. A Seattle personal Injury attorney can help you fight insurance companies after your accident. You will likely receive a greater award if you hire a qualified and experienced lawyer to represent you. And, in a complex case like the one we described above, hiring a personal injury attorney is absolutely essential.

This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We are a personal injury law firm representing clients with car accident injury claims throughout the greater Seattle-Bellevue-Tacoma metropolitan area and throughout the Pacific Northwest. We provide FREE and CONFIDENTIAL case evaluations so contact us today.

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Automobile Accident Questions
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We get this question a lot. You lend your car to a friend or your roommate borrowed your car without permission and they crashed your vehicle and perhaps even injured another person in the process. “Who is liable for damages when someone else was driving my car?”

If someone else is driving your car and is involved in a motor vehicle accident, your car insurance will pay for the damages. Car insurance is generally with the car and not the driver. Regardless of who was driving your vehicle, your car insurance policy is considered the primary policy.

Of course there are exceptions to this and scenarios that involve claims that exceed the coverage amount.

One case that recently settled was Roberts V. Deane in California. (Citation: Roberts v. Deane, No. 2:10-cv-06354 (C.D. Cal. July 8, 2011).) In this case, Nicole Deane was driving a car owned by her friend Sandy Robert’s father and Sandy was a passenger in the vehicle. While driving, Deane attempted to pass a slower moving vehicle in a no-passing zone and she ended up in a head-on collision with a pickup truck. Tragically, Sandy Roberts was killed in the car accident and a couple of passengers in the pickup truck suffered serious injuries.

Manuel Mosqueda, 55, a pickup truck passenger, suffered multiple blunt-force trauma injuries, a head injury, fractures to his ribs and back injuries. His medical expenses were over 100,000 and he has future medical expenses which may run up to 100,000. He also experienced loss of present and future earnings of around 250,000
Another passenger in the pickup truck, Karla Reyes, 30, suffered a “hangman’s fracture” which is a hyperextension injury that can occur when the face or chin strike an object. This is a common injury when a person who is involved in a motor vehicle accident strikes the windshield or the dashboard. Reyes suffered blunt force injuries to her abdomen, spine, chest and thorax and now lives with severe neck pain. Her breast was also disfigured in the accident. Her medical expenses were calculated at 64,200 with future medical expenses estimated at $150,000.

After the accident Reyes and Mosqueda filed a negligence lawsuit asking for compensation for their damages.

Robert’s parents filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of themselves and their son’s estate. A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed on behalf of a deceased loved one when another person’s or entities negligence caused the death of a loved one.

All parties to the lawsuit settled before it went to trial. In this case, Deane had a $2.6 million insurance policy limit and her insurance paid $2.2 million to the Roberts plaintiffs and $400,000 to Reyes and Mosqueda. The Roberts also recovered $600,000 from their own underinsured motorist policy. Additional proceeds from the Roberts policy included a payment of $100,000 to the Roberts, $100,000 between Mosqueda and Reyes, and $100,000 to three occupants of the pickup truck who did not file claims.

This case is an example of when you should hire an attorney because of the complexities of the claim, the multiple claimants and two auto insurance policies.

This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents caused by the negligence of another. With our help, you may recover compensation for your damages.

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