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Amid the rapid progression of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the disruptions it has caused, HIP Law Firm is committed to continue providing the essential legal services necessary to protect the interests of our clients and community and will remain open for business. Please note, however, some staff will be working from home from time to time. Accordingly, there may be slight delays completing some projects and in responding to your communications, but we promise to be as diligent as ever in meeting your legal needs. Urgent in person appointments are available, however, non-essential client meetings will be conducted over the phone or via video conferencing. Client payments can be made on our website at
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Because of the snow, our office will be closed Monday, February 4th. Stay warm and Safe.

King County Full Service Law Firm Blog

Family law: Protecting assets in the event of divorce

Most Washington couples in the process of dissolving their marriage, and people who have been through the divorce process, know that the division of assets often contributes to the stress felt at this time. It seems more and more married couples, particularly millennials, are choosing to keep their finances separate. However, according to divorce experts, married people who maintain separate accounts to avoid complications in the event of divorce are operating under a common misconception. A family law attorney can explain specific state laws, but essentially, people should never assume they will retain their own assets during divorce.

Couples who maintain separate bank accounts, perhaps along with a joint account for some expenses, may be making a solid practical decision, but the benefit of such a system is mostly psychological. From a legal standpoint, in a community property state, such as Washington, any asset -- with some exceptions -- acquired during the marriage is considered marital property, regardless of whose name is attached to it. However, those who have kept some separate resources may find it eases cash flow in the event of an acrimonious divorce, even if they do have to factor the funds into the settlement at some point.

Head-on collision in Auburn causes serious personal injury

Some Washington residents may live on a street where they often see speeding vehicles, and no doubt, witnessing such reckless behavior can be very frustrating. Drivers who tend to travel well above the speed limit may do so for various reasons, but whatever the case, they are putting themselves, their passengers and anyone else around them in a potentially dangerous situation. In fact, recently, two people suffered serious personal injury from a horrific 3-vehicle head-on crash in Auburn.

A spokesperson with the King County Sheriff's Office has said that the incident happened when a driver traveling at a high rate of speed attempted to pass another vehicle. In doing so, the driver collided with a third, oncoming vehicle. A passenger in the speeding vehicle was transported via helicopter to a hospital, and is said to be in critical condition. The driver of the third vehicle suffered serious injuries and was also taken by air to the same hospital.

Suspected DUI driver causes fatal personal injury to cyclist

With warmer spring weather and the approach of summer, many people in Washington and elsewhere are looking for ways to enjoy outdoor activities. Getting outside is especially important and appealing given current circumstances that have kept most people in their homes most of the time. Although walking and running are popular options, many people enjoy bicycling to keep them moving. However, as bicyclists often share the road with motor vehicles, they may encounter potentially dangerous situations more often than pedestrians or joggers. Unfortunately, a man riding his bike on a roadway in South Kitsap suffered fatal personal injury after a vehicle struck him.

The tragedy happened on a recent Saturday afternoon. According to the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office, the cyclist, a 56-year-old Tacoma resident, was killed by a car that struck him. Apparently, the vehicle hit him after it began drifting to the side of the road.

Pedestrian suffers fatal personal injury in hit-and-run crash

Likely, most Washington residents cannot understand why a person involved in a motor vehicle accident would immediately leave the scene. Certainly, most people would make the responsible decision to check the condition of others involved in the incident and wait for first responders to arrive. It's also the law. However, some people cause an accident and then, for whatever reason, flee the scene. In a recent example, a driver struck a pedestrian on a Seattle street, causing the man fatal personal injury.

Reportedly, the pedestrian was crossing the street at a crosswalk against the red light. He had crossed the southbound lanes safely, but had walked behind a stopped southbound vehicle to enter the northbound lanes. A northbound vehicle that a witness has said was traveling at least 50 mph struck the 70-year-old man, who did not survive injuries he suffered in the crash. Apparently, after hitting the pedestrian, the driver did not stop or even slow down.

Family law: Gray divorce comes with different challenges

Many Washington residents probably think of the typical divorcing couple as young to perhaps middle-aged, but these days, more older people are deciding to end their marriages. In fact, reportedly, the divorce rate of people over 50 is on the rise, even while the overall divorce rate has declined in recent decades. This demographic trend has even spawned a new term: gray divorce. Since older divorcing couples often face hurdles different from those of younger couples, they are wise to consult with a family law attorney to help them through the divorce process.

Older couples are seeking divorce at a higher rate than ever before, but why? For one, many couples realize over time that they have simply grown apart, and sometimes this realization comes only later in life, often once children have left the home. With less stigma attached to divorce these days, more older couples are now deciding splitting is the best option. As well, baby boomers can look forward to a potentially a much longer lifespan than previous generations, leading many older people to believe they still have plenty of time to find happiness elsewhere.

Fatal personal injury for 3 people after head-on crash

Many drivers, from time to time, find themselves behind a vehicle that is traveling more slowly than they would like. Often in such cases, a driver will attempt to pass the vehicle, but people who complete this type of maneuver must be extremely careful, especially if they are on a two-lane highway. Unfortunately, accidents can happen at such times, and sometimes tragedy results. This was the case on a Washington highway when a two-vehicle crash resulted in fatal personal injury for both drivers as well as a 5-year-old passenger.

The accident happened on a recent Friday afternoon on a rural highway in Clark County. According to a Washington State Patrol spokesperson, a 41-year-old woman traveling in the northbound lane attempted to pass traffic on the left. In doing so, she crashed head-on into a southbound minivan driven by a 31-year-old woman and carrying three passengers.

Man suffers fatal personal injury in suspected DUI crash

Likely, some Washington drivers have experienced a situation in which a vehicle in the opposite lane suddenly begins edging over the median. Such action can occur simply due to a moment of distraction. Although this type of event certainly causes all involved parties some anxiety, thankfully, most often, the driver quickly corrects his or her error. However, sometimes an impaired driver is involved, and these incidents often end tragically. This seems to have been what happened in a recent hit-and-run crash that resulted in fatal personal injury for a Prosser man.

The crash happened on a recent Friday evening. Washington State Police have said a 43-year-old driver was traveling south on State Route 221. Allegedly, the man crossed the center line and collided with a northbound vehicle, killing the 35-year-old driver of that car.

2 passengers suffer personal injury in suspected DUI crash

As Washington residents know, some car accidents are simply the result of one person choosing to behave irresponsibly. In many cases, drivers who make these choices are under the influence of alcohol or drugs when they get behind the wheel. Recently, two men suffered serious personal injury in a crash that appears to have been caused by a speeding driver authorities suspect was under the influence of alcohol.

According to police, in the early morning hours of a recent Sunday, an officer spotted a vehicle traveling at an excessively high speed on a Spokane roadway. He attempted to stop the vehicle but lost sight of it at some point before he was able to do so. A few minutes later, police responded to 911 calls that had come in about a nearby crash and people trapped in a burning car. Reportedly, when police arrived at the scene, they found a car had hit a pole. The fire was out, but two male passengers had to be extricated from the vehicle.

Defying family law ruling is prosecutable crime

Winter is nearly over, and with spring on the horizon, parents are thinking of all the fun things they can do with their young children when warmer weather returns. Spending time with one's children is certainly important, but a person needs to be aware that, in situations in which an order from a court of family law is in place, a parent cannot just make other arrangements. A Washington mother is now facing criminal charges for doing just that. 

The woman is believed to have taken her 3-year-old daughter with her somewhere. Unfortunately, a court order states that she is not the child's custodial parent and has therefore broken the law. An Amber Alert has been issued in Washington state as authorities try to locate the pair. 

Woman suffers fatal personal injury in head-on collision

Most Washington drivers have encountered an upcoming traffic jam that required them to reduce their speed. Such a situation often occurs on a highway, and some drivers may find the rapid speed adjustment difficult. In most cases, provided the driver has been paying careful attention, he or she can reduce speed safely and in a timely manner. Unfortunately, recently, the driver of a semi-truck lost control of his vehicle while attempting to slow for traffic and, in the process, crashed head-on into another vehicle, resulting in fatal personal injury to the driver of that vehicle.

According to police, the incident happened on a Monday morning on Pacific Highway South in Federal Way. The semi-truck was traveling north when the driver had to slow for traffic and, in the process, lost control of the vehicle, veering over the center line into southbound traffic and crashing head-on into another vehicle. Sadly, the 50-year-old woman driving the car that was hit was pronounced dead at the scene.