Should You Tell Your Attorney Everything?

 
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Should You Tell Your Attorney Everything?
Written By: Josh Lowell ~ 7/15/2019

Short answer – absolutely. Your attorney has a duty to represent you to the best of their ability. The only way your attorney can provide effective representation is if they have all the information, and the only way your attorney can get the necessary information is if you divulge all the relevant facts. Failure to disclose important information to your attorney can have serious and long-lasting ramifications for your case.

Each case is different. While in some cases, some seemingly insignificant fact might truly be insignificant, in other cases that small details might make a world of different. Instead of trying to make these types of decisions on your own, the safe bet is just to tell your attorney everything and let them make the ultimate decision. By erring on the side of caution and giving your attorney what you might perceive as too much information, the attorney can use their best judgment to pick out the relevant facts that help your case. This will allow the attorney to make the appropriate strategic decisions for you.

Lawsuits are complicated, personal and raw. Whether you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle collision or dealing with the emotional strain of a divorce the facts of your case might be private and even messy. We are not here to judge you or your actions. In fact, it’s very likely that we’ve heard similar facts before. And, remember, with very few exceptions, everything you tell your lawyer is protected by attorney-client privilege. Let that be the shield that protects your confidences, and please tell us everything.

If you really don’t want to divorce, tell us. We can work cooperatively with your spouse and see if reconciliation is plausible. If you have a prenuptial agreement or another complicating factor, your attorney needs to know. Withholding this type of relevant information only puts your case further behind. If you or your spouse sent a drunken midnight text promising to give away all the community assets, your first phone call the next morning should be to your attorney. While Washington is a no-fault divorce state, all information is important for purposes of negotiation and resolution.

The less your attorney knows about you, your family, your claim, and your life, the more likely it is your attorney won’t be sufficiently prepared for the opposition’s arguments. On the other hand, the more details you provide, the more likely you are to receive effective representation and reach positive and amicable outcomes.

If you have questions about your lawsuit or your divorce, please feel free to call our qualified attorney at Magnuson Lowell, PS. We are dedicated to learning everything about your case so that we can properly represent your best interests.

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Summer Fun: Tips for a Safe Drive
Written By: Josh Lowell ~ 7/8/2019

Winter may be over, and the snow has all now melted. Spring may have passed, the rains have (mostly) subsided. Summer fun is finally here. While the dangerous ice and rain hibernate for the next few months, new dangers have emerged. Unless your careful, your summer might be clouded by a car wreck.

To ensure you and your loved ones have a safe and happy summer, here are a few tips:

Get Your Car Checked Out

The warmth weather motivates us to leaves the nestled cocoon of our homes. Use that newfound enthusiasm to get your car a tune-up. A good old-fashioned oil change and a quick trip to the mechanic is all you need to get your car summer ready. This is especially important if you have plans for a summer getaway. Long trips can be difficult on your engine. Put yourself in the best position for success by refilling and changing your fluids and make sure your ride is in tip top shape for the driving to come.

Be on the Lookout for Kids

Whether you’re in the big city or the town center, with summer here, there are inevitably going to be many children roaming the streets. Particularly near parks and areas for summer recreation driving carefully might save a life and a significant auto claim. Be on your toes in neighborhoods, too. Look out for small children in their front yards because – at any moment – the proverbial red ball might make its way in front of your vehicle.

Caution for Teen Drivers

Small children might be unpredictable from a pedestrian perspective, but teenagers may be just as unpredictable on the road. School is out for the summer and recently licensed drivers are taking to the roads in droves. A driving class and an exam might qualify a teenager to sit behind the wheel, a lack of driving experience necessitates extra caution from others sharing the road. You might not be able to predict a teen’s driving pattern, but you certainly can provide extra space to fellow motorists.

Prepare for the Sunshine Slowdown

Driving eastbound in the morning and westbound in the evening has special issues that every driver needs to expect: the sunshine slowdown. The already difficult rush-hour traffic situation is worsened by blinding sunlight radiating through windshields. Packing a good pair of sunglasses is only half the battle. Drive with extra caution while in direct sunlight. Even in slow traffic, a momentary lapse in vision is all it takes to cause a literal and figurative headache for yourself and other drivers.

Update Your Insurance

As of 2019, Washington drivers must carry a minimum of $25,000 in personal auto liability insurance. In addition, Personal Injury Protection insurance is statutorily mandated unless waived in writing. With the summer upon us, it’s a good time to speak with your auto insurance agent to make sure your family is completely protected. With the price of cars and medical treatment at an all-time high, the minimum limits are typically insufficient. Protect yourself and other drivers by ensuring your insurance is up to date.

Speak with an Attorney to Learn Your Rights

Washington car insurance claims can be confusing, and the auto insurance adjusters have only one thing on their minds – saving their employer money. The adjusters’ cheery attitude and helpful demeanor is mostly a façade, and they will do whatever it takes to limit your recovery. As Personal Injury Attorneys, the law office of Magnuson Lowell PS is dedicated to providing excellent representation to their clients. This includes free consultations just to ensure potential clients have all the necessary information to prevent the adjusters from taking advantage of the significant power imbalance. If you have any questions about summer driving and insurance claims, call Magnuson Lowell PS to get the Personal Injury advice you deserve.

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Isaac Newton, Whiplash, and the Forces of a Car Accident
Written By: Josh Lowell ~ 7/1/2019

Isaac Newton’s First Law of Motion – an object at rest stays at rest, and an object is motion stays in motion with the same speed unless it is interrupted by another force. Motor vehicles are the epitome of Newton’s physics lessons. Let’s take the typical rear end motor vehicle collision. Driver A is at a stop at a red light. Driver B is texting while driving, fails to notice Driver A stopped at the red light, and collides with the rear of Driver A’s vehicle at 35 MPH. The force of Driver B’s vehicle is transferred into Driver A’s car. Since Driver A’s torso is belted to the vehicle, it tends to move forward with the car. However, Driver A’s upper back and neck are not as constrained and tend to stay at rest. This is the whiplash effect. As your lower body moves forward with the vehicle, your head and neck appear to whip backwards until the headrest moves forward to impart a new force on the head.

These whiplash forces are exactly why – even in a low speed motor vehicle collision – a driver’s neck can experience pain symptoms. The ligaments, tendons, and muscles of the neck are not built to endure these types of forces. They stretch and tear (or even rupture) depending on the speeds and rates of acceleration involved in the auto accident. And, unfortunately, the body can mend these internal wounds, but current medicine cannot fully heal these types of injuries.

These dynamics apply equally to other types of collisions, as well. Imagine a T-bone collision scenario, instead of a rear-ender. Driver A heads straight through the intersection as Driver B runs a red light colliding with the passenger side panel of Driver A’s car. Driver A’s vehicle will continue straight as the impact from Driver B pushes the car sideways. Driver A’s head and neck will stay at rest as the car is pushed. When the structure of the neck runs out of range of motion, it will whip back towards the window likely causing strain or sprain but also blunt force trauma against the window.

It’s important to understand these dynamics when thinking about motor vehicle collisions. Whiplash injuries have a bad rap in the world of personal injury and insurance claims. Insurance adjusters (and their highly paid “expert” witnesses) believe that no matter the forces involved in the collision, whiplash injuries should be minimal and resolve in a short amount of time.

Knowing the mechanics of auto collisions can go a long way to helping you resolve your injury claim. There is a massive imbalance of power and knowledge in these situations. The adjusters have been trained and have literal scripts that can be used to leverage all types of information to favor minimal or no settlements. With this information, drivers can hold insurance companies accountable and prevent them from minimizing the effects of motor vehicle collisions.

If you’ve been involved in an auto accident, a quick call to a qualified personal injury attorney can provide the information you need to maintain a favorable insurance claim. At Magnuson Lowell PS, our experienced car accident and insurance attorneys have dedicated their practice to helping injured parties work with at-fault insurance companies to ensure fair and reasonable settlements. With Isaac Newton’s rules in their bags of tricks, our attorneys will ensure that insurance adjusters play by the rules (of physics!).

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