There are many different types of car accidents: fender-benders, minor traffic mishaps, car-totalling collisions, serious crashes, and heart-breaking fatal accidents. No matter what the specific circumstances of your accident are, it may have caused you injuries.
Car accident victims and their families often have questions about their legal rights, the insurance claims process, and how to make sure that they receive fair and reasonable compensation for injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.
If you're visiting our website because you're a car accident victim, or a family member of someone who was injured in a crash, we hope we can answer your some of your questions as you research your legal options and begin your journey to recovery.
Legal Rights of Car Accident Victims in Washington State
A motor vehicle victim injured by the negligence of another motorist has legal rights in Washington State. Accident victims can generally make a claim for damages against a negligent person or company to recover financial compensation for medical treatment, medical bills, lost wages, other economic damages and non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, loss of consortium, etc. In many, but not all, cases, litigation may necessary and thus victims must file a lawsuit against the responsible parties. Based upon the cause of the collision or accident and the specific nature of the injuries, the settlements and jury verdicts in these types of cases are often significant.
Dealing With A Car Accident Claims Adjuster
Insurance companies are in business to make money—they want to minimize how much money they must pay out in accident claims so they can increase company profits. Insurance adjusters are trained to reduce the amount of a settlement that you are paid. The claims adjuster doesn’t work for you, they work for the insurance company. No matter how nice they may be they get performance bonuses based on their ability to deny or devalue claims. The insurance adjuster is not your friend.
Settlement Value of a Car Accident
Every car accident and every individual injured in an auto accident is unique. But insurance adjusters want you to believe that handling auto accident claims is a simple matter and that they know what a fair settlement is based on an average of similar cases or applying a formula to your case. Many insurance companies use a program called Colossus to calculate the value of a claim. How can a computer possibly get to know you and understand all the ways that your accident and injuries have changed your life? It can’t.
The only way to make sure that you get a fair settlement or award for your injuries is to work with an experienced accident attorney who understands how to navigate the insurance claims process, has a great deal of case evaluation experience, isn’t afraid to take the case to court if necessary, and of course, will do everything possible to fight for your legal rights.
Studies by the Insurance Research Council have shown on average, automobile accident injury claimants who hired a car accident lawyer received a settlement that was three and a half times better than they would have if they had tried to negotiate on their own. Source: 2004 Insurance Research Council study.
Car Accident Litigation / Lawsuits
Not every car accident victim needs the assistance of a lawyer. Hiring a lawyer does not automatically mean that a lawsuit is necessary. More often than not attorneys are able to negotiate settlements for their clients without ever litigating the case.
But, when they are necessary, lawsuits not only serve the purpose of compensating the car accident victims, but also holds others accountable for the negligent acts. Lawsuits can help change the law. These changes can prevent others from suffering similar accidents and injuries in the future.
Free Consultation With A Car Accident Attorney
If you or a family member has suffered as the result of a car accident in Washington State, we can help you. We are committed to helping car accident victims recover the just and fair compensation they are entitled to receive under the law.
Our legal team of attorneys, paralegals and support staff handle each car accident case that we accept from beginning to end, lifting as many burdens from our clients we can. We make sure your legal rights are protected. We want our clients to receive fair and reasonable compensation for their injuries.
Call 206-727-4000 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.
Car Accidents in Washington State
Typical Causes of Car Collisions
Among all vehicle drivers in Washington State collisions, 46% of the drivers had one contributing circumstance, 10% had two, and 1% had three. No contributing circumstances were reported for 43% of drivers. The following is a list of circumstances that can contribute to an automobile accident. These are ranked in order based on how often they are found to contribute to accidents in our state.
- Excessive speed
- Failure to yield right-of-way to another vehicle
- Distracted Driving: Inattention / driver distractions such as texting or talking on a mobile phone
- Following too closely
- Impaired Driving: Drunk Driving or Drugged Driving
- Crossing the center line
- Driving The Wrong Way On A Highway or One-Way Street
- Improper turn
- Illegal U-turns
- Uncontrolled Intersection
- Running A Stoplight or Stop sign
- Merging / Exiting at Freeway On-Ramp / Off-Ramps
- Defective equipment
- Fatigue / Drowsy Driving / Asleep-at-the-wheel
- Diagonal Pedestrian Crossing
- Improper backing
- Confusion at Traffic Circles, 3-Way Stops, 4-Way Stops & Five-Point Intersections
- Failure to yield right-of way to a pedestrian or bicyclist
- Improper passing
- Inexperienced Drivers: Teen Driving Accidents
- Failure to yield at a yield sign
- Improper parking
- Failing to signal a lane change or turn
- Headlight violation
- Improper use of turn signal
- Disregarded flagger or officer
Washington State Car Accident Statistics
According to the World Health Organization, about 3000 people die in car accidents each day worldwide. There were approximately 10.8 million car accidents in the US in 2010, resulting in millions of car accident injury cases and more than 31,000 car accident deaths. An average of 115 people die each day in car accidents in the United States -- that equates to approximately one every 13 minutes.
Each year there are almost 100,000 motor vehicle accidents in Washington State. One-third of those collisions result in injuries. Victims of the most serious accidents may die or face lasting injuries.
In 2012, Washington State had:
- 99,560 motor vehicle accidents
- 403 fatal car crashes
- 18,871 serious injury collisions
- 59,585 drivers, 28,500 occupants, 2,038 pedestrians and 1,269 bicyclists were involved in collisions
- 428 deaths
- 2,200 serious injury victims
Typical Motor Vehicle Accident Legal Questions
If you have been injured in a car accident you probably have a lot of questions, such as:
- What is my automobile accident case worth?
- How do I know if the settlement offer from the insurance company is fair?
- What should I tell my insurance adjuster?
- What if the responsible party does not have any automobile insurance?
- Do I need to contact an automobile accident attorney after an accident?
- Do I really need a lawyer or can I handle my automobile accident case on my own?
- When should I hire a automobile accident attorney?
Common Car Accident Injuries
Part of providing excellent legal services for victims of motor vehicle collisions is understanding their injuries (such as whiplash, back injuries, neck pain, shoulder injuries, etc.) and medical treatments (chiropractic, injections, physical therapy, massage, etc.). Mr. Davis will often consult with medical experts from all over the country. These physicians may review medical records, examine clients, assess any relevant pre-accident medical history, or act as expert witnesses during trial. A complete understanding of the medical situation helps us to maximize client’s financial compensation for medical bills, injuries, etc.
Law Firm Representing Victims of Motor Vehicle Accidents in Seattle & Across Washington State
The cost of legal services is always a major concern for people who have been injured in a car accident and may have financial challenges or be unable to work. Many people believe that they cannot afford excellent legal representation.
We operate on a contingency fee basis, which takes away the financial worry of affording an experienced lawyer. If our lawyers don't collect money damages for you, you don’t owe an attorney fee. We don't get paid unless you get paid.
Call Seattle traffic accident attorney Chris Davis at Davis Law Group to schedule a FREE legal consultation. Call 206-727-4000.