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Tag Archives: Attorneys

Local Injury Attorneys Warn that Motorcycle Collisions are on the Rise!

Motorcycle liability insurance is not required in the State of Washington; however, Althauser Rayan Abbarno injury attorneys recommend coverage for yourself and others.  That is why Althauser Rayan Abbarno offers FREE Injury Consultations in Olympia and Centralia to victims of motorcycle collisions.

Olympia and Centralia injury attorneys (360) 736-1301

This year, the Washington State Department of Transportation reported 162 crashes involving motorcycles with 11 resulting in fatalities. In Lewis County, there have been 3 motorcycle fatalities and (3) motorcycle fatalities in Thurston County in the first four (4) months this year.

The injury attorneys with Althauser Rayan Abbarno remind all drivers and riders to stay alert and sober.  Crashes can be accidents, but choosing to be financially responsible is not.

Although it is not mandatory, motorcycle riders should consider doing of to the following:

Motorcyclist can be protected by the State insurance minimums of

  • $25,000 for bodily injury/death of one person per accident;
  • $50,000 for bodily injury of two people per accident;
  • $10,000 for injury or property or person per accident
Car and Motorcycle Injury Attorneys in Olympia and Centralia!

The injury attorneys with Althauser Rayan Abbarno represent individuals injured in automobile, motorcycle, bicycle, and pedestrian collisions. To meet with our experienced attorneys in Olympia or Centralia, call (360) 736-1301 or visit CentraliaLaw.com

Protecting Your Family in Case of a Workplace Injury

A workplace injury can be devasting to families. A work injury can lead to financial ruin, strained relationships and even homelessness.

If you’ve suffered a work injury, and you don’t know what to do, you have four choices: do nothing; depend on the advice of your employer; struggle on your own; or seek the advice of a law firm that will fight for the rights and benefits of you and your family.

The choice is obvious, isn’t it? Your decision, says Peter Abbarno, partner at Althauser Rayan Abbarno, LLP in Centralia, can affect not just an immediate claim, but future benefits for the injured worker and their families. Abbarno recognizes the financial strain an injury can cause on a family so he offers free consultations for every injured worker.

A recent article in the Chronicle highlighted the services of Althauser Rayan Abbarno.

Continue reading Protecting Your Family in Case of a Workplace Injury

Centralia Law Firm Building Relationships For Over 70 Years!

Look no further than the law firm of Althauser Rayan Abbarno when you think about local businesses with deep community roots and a history of involvement and public service. Since 1946, Althauser Rayan Abbarno, LLP has served our community and provided exceptional legal services.

Based in the heart of downtown Centralia, Althauser Rayan Abbarno is a full service law firm that seeks long-term relationships with its clients. While partners Todd Rayan and Peter Abbarno focus their practices on personal injury, wrongful death and workers compensation, their team of six attorneys and nine staff help the community in many areas of law, such as estate planning and probate, family law, criminal defense, real estate and property law, and corporate and business formation.

Here are four ways that Althauser Rayan Abbarno builds relationships that help their clients:

1. Commitment to Excellence

“Althauser Rayan Abbarno is proud to have a history of attorneys that were not only great lawyers, but cared about our community,” says Todd Rayan, partner since 2006. “Two recent partners, Ralph Olson and Chuck Althauser, were a credit to the legal profession and our community through their involvement with groups like Rotary, Centralia Dollars for Scholars, and the Providence Centralia Community Foundation.” Recent Althauser Rayan Abbarno partners have also donned the black robe with James Lawler serving as a Superior Court Judge and Wade Samuelson serving as a District Court Judge.

2. Dedication to Centralia
A partner in the firm since 2010, Peter Abbarno is dedicated to the people of Lewis County and was elected to the Centralia City Council in 2015. “I love coming to work every day knowing that I am giving my clients a voice in the judicial system and equal access to justice,” says Peter Abbarno, partner since 2013. “I feel that same commitment to my community as I do my clients. As a Centralia City council member, I focus each day on moving the ball forward and creating a better community and better life for my children, my neighbors, and the region as a whole.”

Abbarno is also vice-chairman of the Centralia College Foundation, a board member of the Boys and Girls Club of Chehalis, and hosts the weekday morning talk show “Let’s Talk About It” on KELA.

3. Deep Community Roots
Todd was born, raised, and educated in the area and has been building relationships in Centralia-Chehalis since he joined Althauser Rayan Abbarno in 2004. “We’ve got to give something back because we’re able to,” he says. “It’s not an obligation, it’s an honor.”
The firm’s deep community roots and experience in personal injury cases regularly aid clients. In personal injury cases involving vehicle collisions, Rayan often uses local and regional Forensic Mechanical Engineers to gather information and data from a vehicle and/or scene and then recreate it to try and find out what happened. “Not every attorney has these relationships or personal injury experience to successful represent injured clients,” says Rayan. “We have the personal injury experience and the relationships with the right experts.”

4. Culture of Public Service
A credit to their efforts, Althauser Rayan Abbarno was nominated the Best Place To Work in Lewis County award, Peter Abbarno was nominated the Best Elected Official in Lewis County award and Associate Jake McGhie was nominated the Best Young Professional in Lewis County award for the last two years.

“Althauser Rayan Abbarno believes in taking care of its staff, clients and community,” says Abbarno. That means encouraging staff to contribute their time to public service.”
Attorney Jake McGhie serves as president of the Lewis County Bar Association, Attorney Emily Laz is president of the Lewis County Bar’s Legal Aid, and Attorney Allyson Felt is a board member for Lewis County Seniors as well as the Historic Fox Theatre Restoration non-profit as is Todd Rayan. The firm also organizes a back-to-school supply drive each year for the Centralia School District, and does so much more.

For more information about Althauser Rayan Abbarno’s legal services, their attorneys, or their service in the community, visit them on Facebook, online at CentraliaLaw.com or call their Centralia or Olympia offices at (360)736-1301. To read more, visit Chronline.com

Law Firm Building Local Relationships For More Than 70 Years!

Look no further than the law firm of Althauser Rayan Abbarno when you think about local businesses with deep community roots and a history of involvement and public service. Since 1946, Althauser Rayan Abbarno, LLP has served our community and provided exceptional legal services.

With offices in Olympia and in the heart of downtown Centralia, Althauser Rayan Abbarno is a full service law firm that seeks long-term relationships with its clients. While partners Todd Rayan and Peter Abbarno focus their practices on personal injury, wrongful death and workers compensation, their team of six attorneys and nine staff help the community in many areas of law, such as estate planning and probate, family law, criminal defense, real estate and property law, and corporate and business formation.

Here are four ways that Althauser Rayan Abbarno builds relationships that help their clients:

1. Commitment to Excellence
“Althauser Rayan Abbarno is proud to have a history of attorneys that were not only great lawyers, but cared about our community,” says Todd Rayan, partner since 2006. “Two recent partners, Ralph Olson and Chuck Althauser, were a credit to the legal profession and our community through their involvement with groups like Rotary, Centralia Dollars for Scholars, and the Providence Centralia Community Foundation.” Recent Althauser Rayan Abbarno partners have also donned the black robe with James Lawler serving as a Superior Court Judge and Wade Samuelson serving as a District Court Judge.

2. Dedication to Centralia
A partner in the firm since 2010, Peter Abbarno is dedicated to the people of Lewis County and was elected to the Centralia City Council in 2015.

“I love coming to work every day knowing that I am giving my clients a voice in the judicial system and equal access to justice,” says Peter Abbarno, partner since 2013. “I feel that same commitment to my community as I do my clients. As a Centralia City council member, I focus each day on moving the ball forward and creating a better community and better life for my children, my neighbors, and the region as a whole.”

Abbarno is also vice-chairman of the Centralia College Foundation, a board member of the Boys and Girls Club of Chehalis, and hosts the weekday morning talk show “Let’s Talk About It” on KELA.

Read more in the Chronicle Article featuring Althauser Rayan Abbarno.

Allyson Felt: Newest Associate with Althauser Rayan Abbarno

Newest Associate Allyson Felt handles all your Estate Planning needs.

Althauser Rayan Abbarno recently added Allyson Felt to their all-star team as their law firm continues to grow. Allyson’s practice will focus on estate planning, probate, contract and property disputes, and civil litigation.  Allyson is bringing a lot of experience to our community and Althauser Rayan Abbarno’s estate planning practice.

Allyson concurrently earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in Broadcast Journalism and News Editorial from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2010. From there, she relocated to the State of Oklahoma where she attended the University of Oklahoma College of Law. Prior to joining Althauser Rayan Abbarno, Allyson worked as an associate in-house counsel at a title insurance company located in Omaha, Nebraska.

Why You Need to Plan:

No one wants to think about death, but it’s as sure as taxes. So taking care of your loved ones and not leaving them serious financial burdens is important. It is your responsibility to make known how you would like your estate distributed.

“It’s hard for some people to go through this process because maybe they aren’t at that point in their life yet where they want to think about that,” Allyson says. “But it really is financially responsible, especially if you have a family or loved ones that you specifically want things to go to, or you have wishes regarding what happens after your death. These things are really helpful regardless of age.”

Althauser Rayan Abbarno has an easy process to get your affairs in order quickly. “Come in, meet with an attorney and we will set up the documentation you need, and that way you can be sure that in the worst-case scenario, if you are no longer there for you family, you have still provided for them,” Allyson explains.

Althauser Rayan Abbarno’s basic will package includes a will, durable and medical powers of attorney, health care directive and community property agreements, if advisable, together with a whole host of other planning tools to best fit individual needs. The attorneys will tailor a package based on your assets and needs. “Attorneys who don’t practice in this area too often sell their client’s unneeded trusts or unnecessarily complicated plans,” says Allyson. “We don’t subscribe to making things complicated for complication’s sake. Our goal is to provide a plan that is as simple and cost effective as possible to provide you the protection you need.”

“Althauser Rayan Abbarno offers the benefits of a full- service firm,” noted Allyson. “We want to build a relationship with our clients. Often our discussions lead to other areas of need such as personal injury, worker’s compensation, criminal defense, family law, contract and property disputes, and corporate and business law. Our six attorneys handle them all.”

Read more at LewisTalk.com

For more information about estate planning or the law firm, visit Althauser Rayan Abbarno’s website or call their offices at 360-736-1301 (Centralia) and 360-352-1134 (Olympia).

Seattle Seahawks Injury Report: Battle of the Birds!

Battle of the Birds: Seahawks v. Eagles!

Your local Injury Attorneys with Althauser Rayan Abbarno are proud sponsors of the live Seattle Seahawks game broadcast on KELA KELA / KMNT Radio 104.3 in Centralia – Chehalis and the weekly injury report.

With more than 70 years of combined injury experience, Althauser Rayan Abbarno, LLP offers free personal injury or workers compensation consultations in Centralia, call us at (360) 736-1301 or visit www.CentraliaLaw.com

Seattle Seahawks Week 8 Injury Report!

Will Russell Wilson Play?

The Injury Attorneys with Althauser Rayan Abbarno are proud sponsors of the live Seattle Seahawks game broadcast on KELA/KMNT 104.3 in Centralia – Chehalis and the weekly injury report.

For a free personal injury or workers compensation consultation in Olympia or Centralia, call us at (360) 736-1301 or visit www. CentraliaLaw.com

12th Flag

How your health insurance plan can hurt your personal injury case!

When a person is a victim of another person’s negligence, they expect to be compensated for their medical bills and out of pocket expenses, loss of income and for their pain and suffering.

Insurance plays a vital role in securing recovery for these losses. But what happens if the medical expenses exceed the amount of insurance coverage available to compensate the injured party?

Though no two injury cases are the same, some similarities exist in coverages which can be used to illustrate a typical coverage scenario.

Scenario One: Suppose Dorothy is driving and Sam fails to stop at a stop sign and T-boned her vehicle. Dorothy is injured and is taken to the hospital. She has car insurance, including PIP (personal injury protection) in the amount of $10,000, as well as health insurance. The hospital bills skyrocket because she needs surgery and the $10,000 PIP coverage is quickly exhausted. Her health insurance begins to pay for her care.

After Dorothy is fully recovered and ready to make a claim to recover for her losses her medical bills total $100,000, $10,000 paid by PIP and $90,000 paid by her health insurance. These policies paid for injuries that arose out of someone else’s negligence so the insurance companies are entitled to be paid back, this is called subrogation. Dorothy was out of work for two months and has lost income of $7,000.

Scenario Two: Suppose the at fault driver had insurance coverage in the amount of $250,000 and Dorothy had UIM (Underinsured Motorist) coverage in the amount of $250,000. After negotiations the case settles for $360,000, $250,00 from the at fault driver and $110,00 from Dorothy’s UIM. The PIP is entitled to be paid back as is the Health Insurer’s subrogation lien, and Dorothy would receive the rest, $260,000, to pay the expenses and to compensate her for her pain and suffering and future medical expenses.

Now, let us suppose the same scenario exists but the at fault driver only has $25,000 in coverage and Dorothy only has $50,000 in UIM coverage. There is not enough to pay back the PIP and the Health Insurer and there is certainly not enough to make Dorothy “whole”, so the law in the state of Washington would apply which states that an injured party must be fully compensated before any other party is entitled to receive anything. Clearly Dorothy will not be made whole so she will get the entire $75,000 and the PIP and Health Insurer will get nothing. The at fault driver has no assets to collect.

These principals are fairly static. However, there is one factor that can impact this analysis with sometimes devastating consequences. If a person’s health insurance is an ERISA plan, the injured party is not entitled to be made whole which, under the above analysis, would leave Dorothy with nothing.

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) covers certain insurance plans that are established or maintained by an employer or by an employee organization. The act does not apply to public health insurance programs or by plans provided by the government as an employer. When a plan does fall under the scope of ERISA they are in most cases exempt from state regulation as federal law preempts state law under the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution. ERISA plans that have language requiring reimbursement to the plan for costs expended for services to the insured due to the fault of another must be repaid if any recovery is made from the at fault party, without regard to whether or not the insured is made whole.

As one can imagine, this can create significant obstacles to recovery, especially where there are very high medical expenses.

ERISA Scenario: John and Susan were driving along a two lane highway when an oncoming vehicle entered their lane and struck them head on. Both passengers had to be taken by ambulance to the hospital and both suffered life altering injuries. The medical expenses after multiple surgeries exceeded $700,000. John and Susan had policy limits of $100,000 each and the at fault driver had $100,000 in limits for a total amount available for recovery of $400,000. John and Susan had PIP in the amount of $10,000 each, leaving the rest for their health insurance to pay, which they did. Because their health insurance was an ERISA plan, the Insurer was entitled to receive the entire $400,000 and John and Susan are left with nothing but their injuries.

Had it not been an ERISA plan the entire $400,000 would have been available to John and Susan as state law requires them to be made whole before any subrogated interests need be satisfied.

What can someone do to avoid this unjust result?

You have a choice of insurance plans through an employer, research them and get copies of the plan documents so you can review them to make sure you select a plan not administered under ERISA. If you do not have a choice, as in many cases where employers simply provide health insurance, get a copy of the plan documents and review them. If it is not an ERISA plan you will not be subject to the injustice John and Susan suffered. If it is an ERISA plan, increase your insurance limits and if possible, obtain an umbrella policy to limit the risk of being injured and having no means for recovery. If your employer changes your plan from one year to the next, make sure you check each time you have a new plan and proceed accordingly.

You cannot rely on other drivers to be adequately insured as the minimum amount required by law is only $25,000, and many times people simply do not insure themselves. Also, you should consider increasing your PIP coverage to the highest amount you can afford. Most people only maintain $10,000 in PIP. That can get exhausted almost immediately if an ambulance or ER visit is required, so increase those benefits!

Most of our clients who are put in one of these unfortunate situations have never considered the topics covered here. Take a few moments and protect yourself by asking a few simple questions and making sure you have an avenue for recovery if you are the victim of another’s negligence.

If you have any questions regarding these issues feel free to contact Todd S. Rayan or Peter J. Abbarno with Althauser Rayan Abbarno, LLP at 360-736-1301 or www.centralialaw.com. We offer free injury consultations and evaluation in our Centralia and Olympia offices.