Slip and Fall

by California Injury Attorney Patrick Hogan

Slip and Fall LawyerIf you were injured in a slip and fall accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, medical expenses and damages associated with your injuries.

A slip and fall case comes about when a property owner or someone responsible for the  property is negligent in the maintenance, repair or general upkeep of the property. When you’ve been injured on someone else’s property in a slip and fall accident, it can be unclear who is responsible for your injuries and who should pay the medical expenses you’ve incurred.

While slip and fall accidents can appear to be harmless, in many cases they can be very injurious. In fact, slip and falls are one of the leading causes of unintentional injury. Falls injure over one million people in the United States every year. A simple slip and fall accident can lead to expensive medical bills, time away from work and sometimes even death in the most severe cases.

Slip and Falls and the Law

If you or someone you care about has been injured in a slip and fall accident, it’s important to seek the assistance of an experienced slip and fall attorney. It takes skill and knowledge to know how to successfully prove the owner of the property was negligent. In order to build a strong case, your attorney must prove the following:

  • That the condition of the property where the accident happened was dangerous

  • The property owner knew or should have known about the condition of the property

  • That the owner of the property had a reasonable amount of time to repair the condition of the property

Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents

Wet floors come to mind when most people think of slip and fall accidents. While wet floors are a leading cause of slip and fall accidents, other things can cause these types of accidents including:

  • Abrupt changes in flooring characteristics

  • Hidden hazards such a hole in the ground

  • Uneven sidewalks

  • Ice-covered sidewalks

  • Poor lighting

  • Narrow stairways

  • Obstructions on flooring

It’s important for a victim of a slip and fall accident to contact a slip and fall accident attorney right away. The cause of the accident must be documented before the property owner has time to correct the hazard that resulted in the accident. Proof of the hazard and the victim’s resulting injuries are essential to winning a slip and fall lawsuit.

Types of Injuries That can Result from Slip and Falls

Victims of slip and fall accidents can suffer severe physical injuries which may include:

  • Broken and dislocated bones

  • Lacerations, contusions and abrasions

  • Amputations

  • Cosmetic disfigurement

  • Neck and spinal injuries

  • Traumatic head injuries and even,

  • Death

Hogan Injury specializes in slip and fall accidents. We have the experience and expertise needed to gather information necessary for building a strong case. A slip and fall accident can leave you without work, mounting medical expenses and an uncertain future. We work hard to help our slip and fall clients get the compensation they both need and deserve and we can do the same for you. We offer a No Fee Consultation service which means you don’t pay us a thing unless you win your case.

What Happens in a Tacoma Slip and Fall Case

Slip and Fall Attorney
A hypothetical client named “John” recently came into our office a couple weeks after suffering a slip and fall snow and ice injury. Poor John tore the anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee when he fell. His medical bills stacked up quickly. On top of his medical bills, he couldn’t exercise, he couldn’t work around the house, and he couldn’t go to work. He risked losing everything. When we were done, the insurance company paid his bills, paid his lost wages, and paid for his pain and suffering.

Who was Responsible for John’s Slip and Fall Injuries?

John slipped on ice while walking from his car to go shopping. He slipped on an icy sidewalk that the business owner knew was dangerous. In Washington State, business owners are frequently liable for unsafe icy conditions on their properties. The basic rule is that a property owner is liable for any dangerous conditions that they new about, or should have known about.

In John’s case, the business knew, or should have known, about the icy conditions that caused John to fall. The business could have easily gotten rid of the ice, or at least warned John that the ice existed, but it did nothing. The business was responsible for John’s damages.

Damages include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and loss of consortium. It can also include property damage such as, in this case, torn clothing.

John Documented Everything 

You need to collect and preserve proof of everything that happened to you. Insurance companies, adjusters, lawyers, judges, and juries want proof. The best way to get that proof is to collect copies of everything related to your accident. John went one step further and kept a Pain Journal.

John, like most people, couldn’t remember what he had for breakfast two days earlier, so he was careful to keep copies of all documents, and take careful notes about his injuries and daily pain. Use the old “who, what, where, when and why” in your journal. Each of your notes should answer who is the person or entity involved, what did they say or do or not do, where did the action occur, when did the action occur, and why did the action occur.

John kept a great pain journal. He recorded a few notes each day about how he felt, and how the pain was effecting him. That made a big difference. A sample entry in John’s journal indicated “lower right side back pain, 8/10 on February 1, 2017.” He also wrote notes about when he couldn’t clean, or couldn’t do the things he usually did. He was very good at indicating who, what, where, when and why.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

John’s wife was careful to take a LOT of pictures of the area where John fell. Those pictures really helped later, and were probably worth thousands of dollars in additional settlement money.

If you’re getting pictures of an accident scene, get as many different angles as possible. You should get pictures at the same time of day, with the same weather and traffic conditions that existed when you were injured. The sooner after the event, the better. If you do the pictures well, this is money in your pocket later. Take more pictures that you think necessary. Let your lawyer get rid of bad pictures. John and his wife did a great job of collecting great pictures of the icy sidewalk just hours after his slip and fall.

Medical Records are Necessary

You must prove your injuries. See a doctor as soon as possible, and do everything that they tell you to do. When you talk to your doctor, make sure that you clearly describe everything that you are feeling. Ask them to include those details in your medical records. This can be the difference between a good settlement and getting nothing.

An Experienced Tacoma Slip and Fall Lawyer Can Make a Big Difference

Durflinger Oliver founding partner James “Jim” Oliver has nearly two decades of experience handling personal injury cases just like yours. Jim worked for insurance companies, served as an Assistant Attorney General and devotes much of his professional life to helping those injured in slip and fall cases.

Durflinger Oliver & Associates works on a contingent fee basis, which means that you don’t pay any money up front. Call today before you lose your right to recover money for your damages, (253) 683-4180.

Dog Bite Liability

Strict Liability

Dog BiteDog owners are generally strictly liable when their dog bites someone. Under Washington law

“[t]he owner of any dog which shall bite any person while such person is in or on a public place or lawfully in or on a private place including the property of the owner of such dog, shall be liable for such damages as may be suffered by the person bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of such dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.”

RCW 16.08.040. That means that a dog owner is almost always liable for his pet’s attacks on law abiding people. If the dog attack causes damages, the dog owner is responsible for compensating the victim.

Dog Bite Damages

Dog attack damages include pain and suffering, emotional and psychological trauma, treatment bills, and property damage. Bite wounds affect different people different ways. For some victims, a dog attack is merely painful. For others, the bite inflicts emotional trauma, too. Treatment frequently causes people to miss work, and interferes with family and personal time. The attacking dog’s owner can be responsible for all bite related damages.

Invitee, Licensee or Trespasser

Liability for damages turns on the victim’s status as an invitee or licensee or trespasser.

An “invitee” is someone who comes onto another’s property, premises or business establishment upon invitation. An open business impliedly invites people in to look around and shop. Customers are, therefore, invitees. Dog owners are generally liable to invitees for dog bites.

A “licensee” is a person who enters land with permission of the owner, but without the purpose of conveying some economic benefit to the property owner. You are a licensee when you visit a friend’s home, for instance. Dog owners are generally liable to licensees for dog bites.

The statute doesn’t apply, however, in trespass cases. Trespass involves knowingly entering or remaining on another person’s property without permission. Dog owners are generally not responsible for attacks on trespassers.

The law also does not apply to law enforcement animals. Police abuse with a K9 is illegal, and those victims have legal rights under other statutes.

What to Do After a Dog Bite

If a dog bit you, you should seek prompt medical attention at an emergency room, or other treatment provider. You should also report the incident to your local humane society. The Humane Society can verify immunizations and rabies inoculations with the dog’s owner. Keep an eye on the wound site. Increased pain, swelling, or redness can indicate an infection. Do not hesitate to return to the doctor’s office if you have any concerns about pain or infection.

Schedule an appointment with a lawyer at your earliest convenience. You have rights. You must, however, act quickly to protect those rights. Call our experienced dog bite attorneys today for a free consultation, 253-683-4180. We take dog bite cases on a contingent fee basis, which means we don’t get paid until you do, so call today.

Injury Attorney

January 2015

What To Do After A Car Crash

Personal Injury Attorney

Call an Experienced Injury Attorney when you can.

A motor vehicle accident (car crash) can be terrifying and confusing, leaving drivers and passengers in a state of shock and not knowing what to do next. The first priority always has to be safety and avoiding more damage. But what happens when immediate medical care isn’t required?

Here are the basic steps of what to do following an accident condensed to fit in a blog:

Make a police report, or accident report to protect yourself later. Get witness names and statements. This can be extremely important later.

Get pictures of all vehicle involved. Also take pictures of signage, traffic lights, the roadway and intersections, if relevant. Also take pictures of skid marks, injuries and anything else that might help later.

Check out nearby businesses that might have video. You have to move quickly because most video systems tape over themselves within a few days. If there is helpful video, ask the business owner to preserve it. Even better, contact an attorney to help you save the video.

Get a statement for the person who caused the accident. Ask the at fault driver if you can audio or video record a statement with your cell phone.

See a Medical Doctor ASAP. Make sure you detail all of the injuries you suffered in the accident. Start keeping a calendar describing symptoms on a pain scale of 10 with 10 being really painful.

Contact your insurance company. Do this even if the accident wasn’t your fault. Don’t talk to the other party’s insurance company.

Contact an experienced personal injury attorney to help you navigate the car crash and insurance system. Almost all accident attorneys will speak with you for free, and many will come to your home if you are unable to make it to their office. Best of all, accident attorneys generally don’t get paid until you do.

If you have questions about an accident, you can trust the experienced injury attorneys at Durflinger Oliver to fight to get you the best settlement possible. Call today for a free consultation. If you can’t make it to us, we’ll send one of our attorneys to your home, or hospital room. 

~ Jim Oliver, Partner

Car Crash Checklist

What To Do Right After a Car Crash –

This Car Crash Checklist will give you a convenient resource for some of what you might want to do immediately after being in a car crash, or motor vehicle accident. The most important thing to consider is that you need to be safe, and keep your passengers safe before taking any action. You will likely have questions about what else you should be doing to get the best personal injury settlement, so you should call the skilled injury attorneys at Durflinger Oliver & Associates, (253)683-4180, as soon as you are able. If you are unable to travel to our convenient Downtown Tacoma office, we can meet you at your home, or hospital room, for your free appointment.


Date                  To Do                                                                         Name and # of Person

Can You Get Car Safely Off Road? If so, do so. Safety first. Do not put yourself in danger if it can be avoided.
Call 911 to report the car crash if you or Your Passengers need medical help.
Have your license and insurance information available, and exchange it with the other driver(s) in the collision.
Identify Witnesses, get their contact info, and indicate where they were located at the time of the collision.
Contact Law Enforcement to prepare collision report.
Photograph vehicles and area ONLY IF SAFE TO DO SO. Photograph interior of vehicles if airbags deployed, or items in car were displaced by collision.
Call for towing if your vehicle cannot be safely moved.
Go to Emergency Room if you are injured. Be careful to explain to physician, or Nurse, exactly where you hurt and whether the pain is related to the car crash.
Call your insurance agent. Ask whether you have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) that covers your collision/crash. If so, ask for paperwork to open a PIP Claim.
Create a log of every person you speak with about your car crash (witnesses, insurance, doctors, healthcare experts, car repair shop).
Keep a Pain Log. Use the scale of ten to indicate how you are feeling with Ten being really bad pain, and Zero being no pain. If you have moderately bad right upper back pain on March 12, 2016, you might make a note in your log that reads: “3/12/16, Right Upper Back Pain, 6/10”. Give yourself bonus points for putting in what type of pain, such as “sharp, dull, aching, or burning”. Make sure you indicate whether the pain is related to your car crash.
Follow-up doctor appointments if necessary following your accident or car crash.
Do your home treatment as prescribed. If your doctor gives you exercises, or tells you what to do, or not do, follow his recommendations to the letter.

What To Do After An Accident

What to do after an accident.You might be wondering what to do after an accident. According to Wikipedia, “in 2010, there were an estimated 5,419,000 crashes (30,296 fatal crashes), killing 32,999 and injuring 2,239,000.” If you’re reading this, it is likely that you or someone you care about has recently been in a car crash and is wondering what to do next. This article will cover what to do at the accident scene, and after you leave.

Accident Scene.

Safety First. Get to a safe spot as safely as possible. Safety is the key. If you can safely move your car off the roadway to a safe spot immediately off the road, you should do so. Do not drive more than 10-15 seconds or you could be charged with failure to remain at the scene of an accident (hit and run), even if you didn’t cause the collision.

Medical Needs. How are you feeling? How are your passengers? Were any pedestrians injured? If anyone was hurt, call 911. If a person is unconscious or has suffered neck or back injuries, do not move them, and try to keep them as still and stable as possible. Moving someone with back or neck injuries can cause significant additional injuries.

Contact Law Enforcement. Call 911 and be ready to identify yourself, your location, the number of people and cars involved, and whether anyone is injured. Make the call even if there isn’t a lot of damage to your vehicle, or people aren’t seriously injured. You should know that many law enforcement agencies will not send an officer if the accident happened on private property, or if there is less than $2,000 in car damage.

Something else to consider is that law enforcement officers will often cite the driver who caused the accident. This can be helpful later. If officers do not show up at the accident, then you may need to create your own collision report online, or the local law enforcement offices.

Exchange Information. In Washington State, in fact in most states, you are required to exchange information with the other driver or drivers. Be prepared to provide your insurance and contact information. Make sure you get the other drivers’ info as well as the contact information for all passengers, too. This is an emotionally difficult period, so try to stay calm and polite. The one thing you definitely don’t want to do is apologize for anything. If someone apologizes, or admits to anything, take careful notes about what was said, who said it, and when it was said.

Witness Statements. Talk to as many witnesses as possible and find out what they saw, and where they were when they saw it. You’ll need their contact information, so get it. You should also advise them that you might have more questions later, and ask if you can call them.

Take Pictures. Can you safely get pictures of the cars at the accident, and of the accident scene? If so, do it. This may be your only chance to document the damage to the other vehicles.

After the Accident.

Notify your insurer. Call your insurance company and advise them that you’ve been in an accident. If you feel any discomfort at all, tell your insurance person. Your insurance adjuster will have questions, and you need to answer them completely and truthfully. You do not have an obligation to answer any questions from the other insurance company.

Medical Treatment. If you are in any pain or discomfort, you need to go to the hospital and get checked out. It is very important that you see a medical doctor, and not a chiropractor for the initial diagnosis. Make sure that you are very clear about what happened, and how you are feeling. Take notes about where you went, and who you saw for treatment. If they give you exercises, do the exercises. It is important to follow the treatment recommendations as closely as possible.

You should also keep a journal with notes about how you feel on given days. If your back hurts, note where it hurts, and how badly it hurts on a scale of 10, with 1 being almost no pain, and 10 being horrible pain. For instance, if your back hurts on the back left by your shoulder, you might indicate that your “back on upper left back side hurt 5/10”. If you can’t do normal things, write that down, too. If you can’t pick up your child, or if you have to put on shirts differently than before the accident, write it down.

Document Everything. Photographs and documents are your best friend in your case. Take pictures of your vehicle and any other property damage. It will be important in establishing damages later. Damages are the value of everything that was damaged in the accident. If you take your car in for a repair estimate, keep records of that. Likewise, if your car was towed, keep those records, too.

Repair Estimate. Your insurance company will either send an adjuster to examine your vehicle, or it will have you take your car to one of their adjuster for a repair estimate. You are also encouraged to seek out your own repair estimates. You are not required to go to a repair facility recommended by your insurance company, so feel free to shop around.

Avoid Quick Settlement. The insurance company of the person who caused the accident will likely call you and try to make you go away by offering you a quick settlement. Do not discuss the accident with that insurance company. If they make you an offer, speak with a personal injury attorney before taking any action. The other person’s insurance company is banking on the fact that you don’t know as much about negotiating an accident claim as they do, and they’ll take advantage of you. Their goal is to pay you as little as possible, and they don’t care whether you get what you deserve.

Hire an Attorney. The insurance companies have huge teams of very experienced attorneys and adjusters whose primary job is to ensure that the company pays out as little money as possible. They are experts at negotiating settlements and they get raises, promotions, and special recognition for making sure that people like you don’t get paid. The only way you are going to even the odds is by hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer. Almost every personal injury lawyer in the country will take your case on a contingent fee basis, which means that your lawyer won’t get paid until you do. Put another way, you won’t have to pay money out of pocket to hire a lawyer to fight for you.

Medical Special Damages

Medical Specials

Medical Special Damages

Medical special damages are a key component of almost every personal injury claim. “Specials” as they are commonly called refers to the total expenses of diagnosis and medical treatment. Injury attorneys, judges, juries, arbitrators and insurance adjusters use medical specials to help determine total damages. The formula used by insurance companies depends on many factors, such as the type of medical treatment received, as well as who provided the medical care.

Different Types of Treatment

Insurance adjusters give less value to diagnoses and treatment provided by non-M.D.s. Adjusters also look at the duration and type of treatment.

Diagnosis and Treatment. We recently had a motorcycle accident client who had several MRI and CT Scans, which are very, very expensive. After these diagnostic tests, our client went through relatively minor treatment. He had massive specials because of the MRIs and Scans, but a small amount of treatment. To the insurance adjuster, this combination suggested minor pain and suffering. His pain was therefore worth less than many clients who have modest diagnostic costs and significant treatment expenses and duration. Longer treatment duration, as long as it’s reasonable, suggests greater pain and suffering, and greater damages. This means that the claim’s settlement value is greater than the first client’s.

Physicians and Doctors, Hospitals and Clinics

The insurance industry specifically favors Medical Doctors and mainstream medicine provided in hospitals and medical clinics. This means that chiropractic, physical therapy, and other “alternative” treatments, are viewed as less valuable by insurance adjusters. Medical expenses from treatment by physicians is more valuable at time of settlement that expenses for treatment provided by alternative health professionals.

Treatment Duration

Generally speaking, the more treatment a person requires following an accident, and the longer an injury takes to heal, the greater the pain and suffering value of a claim. Adjusters will view a reasonable amount of treatment over a long period of time as evidence of greater damages.

That being said, most insurance adjusters think that treatments provided by chiropractors or physical therapists are of little actual value to both the patient and the claim. They believe that chripractors and physical therapists are good for little more than taking their patients’ money, which is why extensive treatment history is not viewed as evidence of the injury’s seriousness.

Call Us 253-683-4180

Durflinger Oliver & Associates PS

711 St. Helens Ave.
Suite 209

Tacoma, WA 98402

Fax: 253-683-4184


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Personal Injury Attorney

Martha A. McLaughlin worked as a deputy prosecuting attorney before dedicating herself to helping victims of the negligence of others. Some of the more common causes of action she litigates include slip and fall, car and truck accidents, bicycle accidents and dog bites. Martha completed her legal studies at Seattle University School of Law where she graduated with honors in 2007. Martha is well known, and well respected in the offices of every major insurance company and insurance defense firm in Western Washington.

What Is My Claim Worth

Injury claimIf you haven’t met with an accident attorney, you may be wondering how much your case is worth. The value of your Personal Injury case generally depends on the following factors:

Total Medical Bills

Lost Wages

General Damages

By adding these four factors together, you should arrive at a figure close to the value of your case.

Your Total Medical Bills includes the reasonable and necessary expenses of bills you incurred to treat for injuries related to your claim.  The terms reasonable, necessary and related mean that the bills only apply to injuries sustained in the current accident. This means that the insurance company isn’t obligated to pay for treatment for any injuries unrelated to the current accident.

Medical bills also include future medical bills that are related to the current collision.

Lost Wages is the amount of money that you did not earn because of your injuries following the collision. As with your medical bills, you are entitled to claim loss of earnings in the future if you can prove you will not be able to work, or if your earning capacity is reduced.

General Damages is usually called “pain and suffering.” It is more difficult to estimate as there is no objective way to measure your pain.  Factors to keep in mind for your general damages include inconvenience, emotional distress, pain, suffering, lowered quality of life, grief, anxiety and humiliation.  These losses can also include future damages.

There are methods to demonstrate to the insurance company the extent of your pain and suffering to estimate the value. Generally, people tend to multiply the total medical bills times 3 to estimate a value for pain and suffering. This isn’t how skilled injury attorneys calculate damages, but it’s easy for the lay person to understand.

One of the things we advise people to do after a collision is to keep a calendar or a journal and each day write down where they hurt, and how bad. For instance, a really sore neck might be recorded as “right, rear neck pain close to shoulder, 8/10.” The numeric is a scale of ten with 1 being no pain, and 10 being severe pain. Keeping this calendar will help your attorney get you more money later.

When adding up your total damages you should arrive at a number that represents a fair amount to settle your case.  However, there may be other factors that affect your settlement, so do not be surprised when the insurance company does not give you what you think is fair.

If you have questions about why the insurance company is not paying you the fair value for your claim, you can trust the personal injury attorneys at Durflinger Oliver & Associates to give you all the information you need to make informed decisions. Your consultation is free and private, and we can meet you at your house, or hospital room. Call today.

Call Us 253-683-4180

Durflinger Oliver & Associates PS

711 St. Helens Ave.
Suite 209

Tacoma, WA 98402

Fax: 253-683-4184


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Injury Attorney

January 2015








What To Do After A Dog Bite

Dog Bite

An experienced dog bite attorney can help your family heal and recover.

Even celebrities sometimes run into dog trouble. Recently, Jennifer Lopez was dog sitting a Boxer that belongs to Casper Smart, her ex. Apparently, the dog got out of the house and bit a neighbor who was merely walking down the street. The bite was actually bad enough to break bones in the neighbor’s hand. There’s no word yet on the post dog bite prognosis.

If Jo-Lo’s neighbor had come to me right after the attack, I would have advised her to immediately do the following:

  • Call 911– The injury may not seem significant, but you shouldn’t take chances. Our experienced dog bit attorneys have seen “minor” dog bites become infected and lead to lengthy hospital stays and even surgery. Even if you think that the wound is just a scratch, you should have a doctor evaluate the wound. Dog mouths and claws can host a variety of dangerous bacteria.
  • Track Down The Owner – Notify the owner, so that the animal is secured or quarantined. This is very important if you live in an area where cases of rabies have been reported.
  • Is There Insurance? Although, your own homeowner’s Insurance may cover the injuries, also try to determine if the dog owner’s insurance offers coverage.
  • Contact Your Local Humane Society– Report the bite to your local Humane Society, so that they can document the attack and tell you whether it’s happened before. If the dog has rabies, or other diseases, they may quarantine the animal.
  • Preserve of Evidence–  Take as many pictures of the wounds and where the attack occurred as possible. You also want to contact potential witnesses as soon as possible and ask them to write a brief statement about what they saw. Save any blood stained, or bite damaged clothing, as you may use this to negotiate the case, or in trial. Finally, you should take daily pictures of the wounds to show the progresss of healing, and keep notes detailing your recovery.

You can trust the experienced injury attorneys at Durflinger Oliver & Associates to do everything possible to help your family after a dog bite injury. Call us today for more information on your rights and options.

Call Us 253-683-4180

Durflinger Oliver & Associates PS

711 St. Helens Ave.
Suite 209

Tacoma, WA 98402

Fax: 253-683-4184


Map and Directions


Injury Attorney

January 2015 







My Car Is Totaled

stripped carWhat is a “Total Loss” in a motor vehicle accident?
If you were involved in an accident, your car might be so damaged that it cannot be repaired for a reasonable cost. It might also be so damaged that it cannot be made safe for use again. If the insurance company thinks that repairs would be either too expensive, or the car would be too unsafe, they will write off your car and “total” it instead of fix it

What Does Insurance Have To Pay For?
Having your car, truck, or motorcycle totaled is a kick in the gut, but if your policy covers the loss, the insurance carrier will pay the actual cash value of the vehicle (and fees and taxes) minus your deductible. The insurance carrier then generally takes ownership of your vehicle, however, it may allow you to keep your vehicle in exchange for the salvage value.

How Much Is My Vehicle Worth?
The insurance carrier is only obligated to pay the fair market value of your car. It doesn’t matter if it was your grandma’s ’55 Chevy, or the best Harley you’ve ever seen, they only have to pay you what the market says it’s worth. The fair market value is the value of your car based on a comparison of sale prices of similar vehicles in your local area. The adjuster will look at Kelly Blue Book, Craigslist, newspaper ads, etc. The Carrier is generally fair in paying for your vehicle, but they are also in the business of paying as little as possible so make sure they compare apples to apples.

totaled car

Insurance loss? Talk to an experienced attorney today.

But I Don’t Want To Lose My Car.
If you want to keep your totaled car, you can. The insurance company will give you the option of accepting a little less money (salvage value) for the value of the car in exchange for keeping the car.

Do I Get All The Money?
Who gets the money depends on whether you own, lease or finance the vehicle. If you own the vehicle, you will be the person paid. On the other hand, if you lease, the leasing company gets the money. And on yet another hand, if you are still paying off the vehicle, then the financing company gets paid. If the vehicle is worth more than you owe, you will get the excess money. But if you owe more than it’s worth, you will owe that difference.

My Car’s Totaled, How Do I Get Around?
If you have rental coverage in your policy, then ask your insurance company to pay for a rental vehicle after your accident. Although, they are not obligated to rent you an identical vehicle, there are exceptions, so always ask. Unfortunately, you cannot rent forever, so ask your insurance adjuster for as much time as possible after your car is paid off, so you can get a new car.

You can trust Durflinger Oliver & Associates to provide quality representation to injured victims in Pierce County. It is our belief that accident victims deserve the best possible representation so that they have the best chance of obtaining fair compensation. To a person who has been damaged, fair compensation can be the difference between recovering fully or not. Call today for a free consultation at our office, your home, or your hospital room.

Call Us 253-683-4180

Durflinger Oliver & Associates PS

711 St. Helens Ave.
Suite 209

Tacoma, WA 98402

Fax: 253-683-4184


Map and Directions

James E. Oliver, Esq.

James E. Oliver, Esq.


James Edmund Oliver, Jr. is a litigation attorney with over 15 years of experience representing the severely injured. Some of the more common causes of action include slip and fall, car and truck accidents, bicycle accidents and dog bites. James completed his legal studies at Seattle University School of Law where he graduated in 1998 with a Juris Doctor degree. Jim has established himself as respected and zealous advocate.

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