Automobile accidents injure and kill tens of thousands of people in this country every year. Statistically, it is the biggest risk of injury for most of us. Injuries arising from auto accidents can range from the very minor to the very severe, including loss of life. Insurance issues can be and often are very complicated. Was the at-fault driver insured? If so, what are the liability coverage limits of that policy? Is there insurance on your car? If so, what types of coverage exist under the policy, and what are the various limits of coverage? Is there coverage for medical expenses under your policy? Is there coverage for loss of income under your policy? If so, what are the specific terms of that coverage? Are there other policies that might apply? What about private health insurance? When should it apply? The job of the attorney and his trained professional staff is to identify and confirm all of the available insurance policies and open claims with each one. If there are multiple vehicles involved, the search for coverage can become even more complicated.
If the at-fault driver is uninsured, what are your legal rights then? If your insurance policy provides coverage for Uninsured Motorist claims, your insurance company will provide the coverage for the claim. If the other driver had insurance but not enough to cover the value of your claim, your Underinsured Motorist coverage will provide the coverage.
What if you are a passenger in someone else's car and get into an accident? Many people do not realize that their own automobile insurance PIP and UM/UIM coverage will be available them if their coverage is necessary to achieve full and fair compensation. An experienced hand is necessary to guide the injured person through this process.
We have handled literally thousands of auto accident claims involving just about every kind of accident, and every kind of insurance coverage issue. We handle every aspect of our clients’ claims, from start to finish. We make sure that our clients remain informed from start to finish. By lifting the burden of trying to deal with professional claims adjusters off of our clients’ shoulders, they can focus on their recovery, secure in the knowledge that we are looking out for their best interests, and preventing abuse by the insurance companies involved.
Motorcycles are a common form of transportation for millions of Americans. Riders of all ages enjoy the sense of freedom and adventure unique to motorcycle riding. As motorcycles grow in popularity, the number of accidents involving them increases. Sadly, motorcyclists involved in accidents often suffer much more severe injuries because of the lack of a protective envelope that protects occupants of automobiles. Accidents often occur because motorcycles are “invisible” to many drivers. Accidents frequently occur when an automobile turns left in front of an approaching rider, or pulls out of a parking lot onto the street directly in front of the rider. “I didn’t’ see him” is a common explanation provided to investigators by drivers who fail to yield to motorcyclists.
Insurance companies look at motorcycle accidents differently than they look at auto accidents. They know that many believe that motorcycle riders really have little room to complain if they are seriously injured because, in their view, the rider assumed that risk, knowing full-well the potential for severe injuries, and they should not have the right to complain. Jury verdicts reflect this mind set among jurors. We here do not believe and refuse to accept the argument that motorcycle riders and their passengers are second-class citizens and have fewer rights than automobile drivers and their passengers.
We have aggressively handled hundreds of motorcycle accident claims. We will not accept a discount on value to avoid litigation. We have and will continue to protect the rights of motorcyclists and their passengers. If you or someone you know has been involved in a motorcycle accident, a call to our office should be made as soon as possible to schedule a free no-obligation meeting with Mr. Bufalini.
Commercial Truck Accidents
Accidents involving commercial vehicles often have devastating and life-long consequences for victims and their families. Massive commercial vehicles weighing 20 tons or more traveling at highway speeds have the potential to destroy smaller vehicles, and severely injure or kill those who occupy them. Like all vehicle traveling on public roads, commercial trucks are bound by the same Rules of the Road that automobile and motorcycle operators are. Commercial vehicles and their operators are also required to comply with numerous state and federal regulations that apply to their equipment, and to driver training and behavior. Knowledge of the state and federal rules and standards is critical to the successful handling of these cases.
We have handled many commercial vehicle accidents, many involving very severe injuries with devastating and life-long consequences for the victim and family. When death is the result of the collision, those left behind are often completely overwhelmed as they cope with tragedy and have no idea how to deal with the various insurance issues that typically arise. As with all of our cases, we deal with every claim issue, as we try to assist our clients to get through the severe permanent injury to or the death of a loved one.
Litigation is frequently required to achieve a fair and just result. Mr. Bufalini has been a trial attorney for more than 37 years. With years of courtroom trial experience in over 90 trials, he brings the experience and expertise to successfully litigate those cases that, for whatever reason, cannot be settled short of trial. While the goal in every case is to settle without going to trial, case preparation from the first day assumes that a trial will be necessary. Careful comprehensive preparation for trial provides the best opportunity for a fair settlement without the risks and costs of trial. Clients can take comfort in the knowledge that Mr. Bufalini’s years of trial experience will serve them well if justice requires a trial.
Like motorcyclists, bike riders are often invisible to automobile drivers, with devastating consequences for the unprotected rider. Insurance coverage issues arise in bicycle accidents that must be addressed immediately. Coverage for medical expenses can come from several different sources. Every policy that might provide coverage must be located and carefully reviewed. We make certain that available insurance benefits are identified, and used. Our clients can rest secure in the knowledge that we have identified all of the coverages, and are holding insurers to their responsibility to extend the benefits that are due to our clients.
Bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as operators of motorized vehicles. They must obey the Rules of the Road, and they have the right to assume vehicle drivers will do the same. But like motorcycle riders, many believe that bicyclists “assume the risk” of being more seriously injured than someone in a car. And as with motorcyclists, insurance companies understand and promote this bias, because the people they target for this misinformation are the same people that report for jury duty when summoned.
Because injuries from bicycle accidents are often very serious, great care and attention to detail is required to capture every element of the claim. for example, was it necessary to replace services around the home with hired help? If the injured party does all of the routine maintenance around the home, those services have value, measured by the cost to replace them. That is but one small example of the comprehensive analysis of damages done routinely by Mr. Bufalini and his experienced staff. We will deal directly with our clients’ health care providers to make certain the injuries are comprehensively identified and described. We help the doctors understand the legal concept of “injury causation.” If you or someone you know has been involved in a bicycle accident, a call to our office to schedule a free, no obligation meeting with Mr. Bufalini should be the first step in the claim process.
It is every driver's worst nightmare – striking a pedestrian with their car. As pedestrians, we understand the potential for severe injuries, or worse, if struck by a moving vehicle. Sadly, many pedestrian accidents involve younger children, every parent's worst nightmare.
We have handled hundreds of pedestrian accidents. Once again, resolving insurance coverage issues once liability has been determined is the first priority. If the at-fault vehicle has what is known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP), the pedestrian is entitled to that medical expense coverage. This is true regardless of whose fault the accident was. Even if it is determined that the accident was the fault of the pedestrian, the PIP coverage still applies. Perhaps even more surprising for many is the fact that the pedestrian’s own PIP coverage on their automobile insurance policy may also apply, providing additional coverage for treatment expenses.
Early investigation is critical. Witnesses must be interviewed, and statements secured. We have learned that simply relying on an investigating officer’s conclusions can be a big mistake. An independent investigation should be done in every case. We have proven on too many occasions that officers, despite their best efforts, sometimes get it wrong. There is no substitute for a thorough independent investigation if liability is being disputed. Let our experience work for you or your loved one. Schedule a free, no obligation appointment to meet with Mr. Bufalini and thoroughly review the facts and issues of the case.
Slip and fall
Slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere and can cause serious personal injury. Most slip and falls happen in commercial settings, including grocery stores, drug stores, office buildings, construction sites, and even gas stations and malls. These accidents may also happen on private property. Either way, there exist duties on the part of the property owners to maintain the property responsibly and avoid the existence of dangerous conditions.
Dangerous or defective conditions may be large or small, temporary or permanent. Therefore, early investigation of the claim is essential to a successful case. Temporary conditions such as water on the floor of a grocery store or snow and ice on the stairs of a restaurant need to be investigated quickly. If a claim is against a governmental entity, special rules apply. In a commercial setting, it is likely that surveillance video captured the event. An early request for surveillance video should be made in every case.
Unlike other types of accidents where fault is clear and insurers admit liability, cases involving injuries due to defective premises are almost, without exception, the subject of a liability dispute. Insurers will always blame the victim, while arguing that the people responsible for maintaining the premises in a safe condition did nothing wrong. It is likely that, if a claim is to be made, litigation will be necessary. Many law firms do not handle premises liability claims for that simple reason - they are not trial law firms. The Law Offices of David A. Bufalini is a trial law firm. If the facts support the claim, Mr. Bufalini will represent the victim.
Premises liability is a complex area of the law. Experienced counsel is critical if the best result is to be achieved. You will get complete familiarity with the law, and a willingness to go to trial, if you retain the Law Offices of David A. Bufalini. For more information, please contact David A. Bufalini, P.S
Construction labor makes up one of the three most dangerous occupations in the United States today, each year producing thousands of debilitating injuries and wrongful deaths. Factors that contribute to construction accidents include inattentive workers and supervisors, working on elevated platforms without fall protection or wearing defective safety harnesses and lanyards, violations of federal and state safety standards, and in general terms, speed over worker safety.
Construction site personal injury claims are not practiced nor understood by many personal injury attorneys. As a result, many personal injury construction claims are often subject to mediocre representation and minimal financial compensation due to legal counsel unfamiliar with the trades, and with construction safety standards and regulations. Injured construction workers should seek a personal injury attorney, such as David A. Bufalini, who is knowledgeable in a variety of construction site accident scenarios and who has successfully litigated construction site personal injury cases.
Getting an attorney involved as soon as possible is critical. The scene of the accident, because it is within an active construction project, will change. Preserving evidence from the scene, and carefully documenting relevant conditions that may have contributed to the accident and resulting injuries by photographs and video recordings is important. it is also important to identify the companies who may have created the condition that caused the injury in cases where there are multiple contractors involved, starting with the general contractor.
As with most matters involving serious personal injuries, and construction site accidents often involve very serious injuries, or worse, death, it is important to retain counsel with experience, and a record of success in the relevant practice area. David A. Bufalini has both.
There is no such things as "one free bite" when it comes to domestic pets. Pet owners are strictly liable under Washington law if their pet attacks. Most cases arise in the context of dog bites. Anyone who has been attacked by a dog knows the shear terror of the event itself. The growling, snarling, teeth-bared attack of dogs, regardless of size, are imply terrifying. The acute terror of the attack is followed by acute physical pain, bleeding, risk of infection, and often, the need for immediate medical care and attention. Absent proof that the attack was provoked by the claimant, the owner is strictly liable for the harm caused. It is not necessary to show, for example, that the dog had a history of dangerous behavior, or had bitten or attacked previously. Claimants are not required to show that the owner was "negligent."
The duty owed by the pet owner includes the duty to keep their dog secured on their property. Dogs often injure off of their owner's property, when the successfully escape their confines and roam free. At times, injuries occur because dogs threaten and claimants seek to escape. At times, the rogue dog attacks the claimant's properly leashed pet. Owners who attempt to intervene and are injured in the process have a right to pursue their claim against the owner. Cases have included injuries suffered by bicyclists and motorcyclists who are injured when they are knocked off of their cycle by a charging dog.
Like every type of injury claim, there must be insurance coverage that will cover the claim. if there is no insurance coverage, the claimant has the legal right to pursue the owner for their damages, but should have no realistic expectation of actually recovering their damages.
We have successfully handled many dog bite cases and continue to accept referrals in this practice area. While liability is generally accepted by insurers in these cases, maximum recovery is obtained by carefully helping the client document all of their physical and emotional injuries, and working closely with their healthcare providers to secure the necessary medical/legal opinions that create fair value
If you or someone you know has suffered the physical and emotional trauma of a dog attack, we would welcome the opportunity to discuss their claim with them, at no cost or obligation.
The State of Washington, its counties, and its cities, through their agencies and departments, are all subject to basic negligence law The same rules of liability apply at the Federal level. hington state, governmental agencies are not immune from liability if their actions, through their employees, cause harm. We encounter their presence in our daily lives. They drive governmental vehicles. they design, construct, and maintain our state highway system. They monitor the criminals in our communities. They provide child services through the Department of Social and Health Services. They operate our transit systems. They operate our utilities. They operate the Department of Corrections. The list goes on.
As with state claims, negligent federal employees, working within the scope of their employment, create federal government liability. If a federal governmental employee causes an injury by reason of their negligence in the course of their employment, the governmental entity that operates the at-fault agency is liable for the agency's, and the agency's employee's, negligence.
Whether the claim is against the State of Washington, or the United State of America, the claimant must file an administrative Claim for Damages before suit can be filed. This is a mandatory first-step that, if not complied with, may lead to the lost of your right to pursue the claim at all. State claimants must wait for sixty (60) days after delivering the administrative claim before suit can be filed. For federal claims, the waiting period is six (6) months.
State cases are filed in state Superior Court. Federal cases are filed in the U.S. District Court for the district where the incident occurred, in most cases. There is another difference - federal cases are brought under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) Under the FTCA, the claim process begins by delivering a Claim for Damages to the governmental agency responsible for the incident and resulting damages. The government is given six (6) months to review the claim and decide whether or not to accept or reject the claim. If the government does not respond to the claim, or denies the claim, suit can be filed. And unlike claims against state governmental entities or agencies, Federal Tort Claim cases are tried to the court, without a jury.
Whether the claim is against a state or local governmental agency, or the federal government, the same basic liability rules apply.
We have handled many cases against both state and federal agencies, and would be happy to discuss the particular facts of your claim to determine which agency is involved, and the appropriate venue for your claim. We are happy to schedule a free office consulation.