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Questions Accident Victims Ask Injury Lawyers, Volume 1

Updated on: 3/9/2020

Every month our office receives hundreds of messages from people just like you who were injured in a car accident and are not sure what to do next.  They are often confused about the insurance claims process and don't understand their legal rights.  Many don't know if they actually need an attorney.  

Real Messages Sent To Our Law Firm

Below are just a few examples of the kinds of messages we receive and the kinds of questions that worry injury victims. There are questions about distracted driving, independent medical exams, determining who is at fault, medical records authorizations, insurance and more.  

We have added links to helpful, relevant information.  Notice: Any identifying details about the victim or the accident have been removed in order to protect privacy.  

How Should I Handle A Semi Truck Accident?

"My daughter & I were traveling SB in the I-5 Express lanes MP:165 just before merges back onto I-5.  I was driving daughter's car.  Traffic slowed & finally stopped.  In rear view mirror I could see semi truck barreling down on us.  I began pumping my brakes hoping to alert the driver.  Finally, I moved left near the wall to take evasive action.  The semi slammed into our right rear catapulting us some 40+ feet forward past the next two cars in front of us.  My daughter has had headaches, sore back, etc...she has seen a medical doctor as well as continuing chiropractic visits.  I have continuing visits to a chiropractor.  Initial x-rays indicate alignment trauma.  We opened a claim with the semi's driver's insurance company.  WSP indicated at the accident scene the semi was at fault.  My daughter's car was totaled.  I am really nervous about trying to deal with injuries, vehicle repairs, and the semi truck's insurance company.  I think we need an attorney.  Is this a case you can help us with?"

At-Fault Driver Was "On The Phone And Not Paying Attention."

"We were in a head-on collision from a negligent driver swerving three lanes into our lane. Our truck was totaled, airbag deployed, guy drove off down the road with the airbag in his face.  My husband and I had a significant amount of pain and are *mostly* recovered now. The accident happened less than one month before our wedding. It was traumatic and painful. It was painful to wear my wedding dress since my ribs were so bruised. We both have anxiety driving now and back pain if we have to sit for more than two hours. Gieco is going to make a settlement offer soon- their insured driver admitted fault and said he was "on the phone and not paying attention."  Should we settle the case on our own or hire an attorney?  How will we know if Geico's offer is fair?"

Statute Of Limitations Is Almost Up

"Looking for an attorney to represent my daughter or take her case. She was hit by yellow cab almost 3 years ago and we are still dealing with the insurance company. She now needs legal representation. We thought we can settle sooner but it was taking too long. They are now paying for her medical bills billed under her medical insurance. She is still getting physical therapy. She goes to college out of state. We would like to have someone help us ASAP before the 3 year statute is up.  Can you help us?  Did we wait too long?"

INFO: How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Washington State?

Determining Who Is At Fault For An Accident

It wasn't my fault!  What Can I Do?

"I was involved in a car accident due to the other driver failing to yield at a red light.  I was traveling thru the intersection on a green light and the other driver made a right turn on the red light.  We collided and I lost control of my vehicle and crashed through a fence, down 30 ft and rolled my vehicle.  The other driver's insurance company is denying any responsibility for their clients actions based on a witness who was driving through the same intersection in the opposite direction from myself.  He claims I was speeding so they have made a determination that I was traveling 70 mph.  This is NOT TRUE.  I live 1 block from the accident and have lived on this road for 25 years.  I have never driven that fast through a school zone (which is where my car landed, in a school play yard) or even 1 block from my house.  I was taken by ambulance to Swedish for possible head injury.  I have incurred medical expenses, personal damages/months of pain, damage to school property and emotional damages.  How can I fight these false claims against me?  How can I get my medical bills paid?"

FAQs: How Do Car Insurance Companies Investigate Accident Claims?

At-Fault Driver Is Not Telling The Truth

"Hi, I was rear ended on the free way. The person who hit me is now telling his insurance that someone else hit him and he was pushed into me.  This is not true.  What should I do about the at-fault driver telling lies?"

INFO: How Photo And Video Evidence Can Help Your Car Accident Case

Who Is Responsible For A Police Chase Accident?

"I was involved in an accident where the Renton Police were pursuing a stolen vehicle without any lights or sirens, no warning or anything.  I was hit by the pursued vehicle.  Who is at fault for this accident?  The driver that hit me or the Renton Police?"  

FAQs: Police Chase Accidents in Washington State

Insurance Questions

No Insurance. Who Is Legally Responsible?

"I was hit on my driver's side--T boned as I was passing an intersection in a residential area, which gave me a neck strain. I did not have insurance at the time of the accident because I just purchased the car a few days before. The other drivers insurance company is claiming me responsible, and I truly believe I am not responsible.  What should I do?"

FAQs: Who Is At Fault For An Accident At An Uncontrolled Intersection?

Other Driver Does Not Have Liability Insurance

"I've recently been involved in an auto accident where the other driver rear ended my vehicle.  The other driver does not have liability insurance.  The accident took place in Washington state.  Estimated property damage to my vehicle is $8000. Body injury to my neck as well. What do you believe my case is worth?

INFO: Common Insurance Issues In Car Accident Cases: No Liability Insurance At All

Should I Follow Insurance Adjuster Instructions?

Do I Have To Submit To A "Independent Medical Examiner"?

"I was a passenger in a car accident.  We were at a stop behind an SUV. A guy in a van hit us.  He said he was distracted and didn't notice we weren't moving.  I did a double whip lash kind of thing as after he hit us or car hit SUV in front of us.  I was taken to hospital.  I have previous traumatic brain injury and had just gotten to the point where I could do sone things I enjoy again without a ton of pain in my neck, back, etc.  This car accident caused new injuries and made old ones worse.  They are doing what they can for me in physical therapy but say it will take quite a while.  But I have trouble sleeping due to pain and can not do things I was able to do again like turning neck to drive, jog, etc. Neck and low back pain are worse. I have a concussion.  The insurance company says it shouldn't be taking this long for me to get better and want me to submit to their "independent medical examiner" within 14 days.  Do I need to see the insurance company's doctor?  Do I have to see their doctor in order to get a settlement?"  

FAQs: What Should I Do If The Insurance Company Demands An 'Independent Medical Exam'?

Should "Authorization To Disclose Health Information" Be Signed?

"Was in an auto accident.  The other vehicle's insurance took full liability. Other driver issued ticket for failure to yield. My car was totaled. I have been paid for the vehicle. I had concussion (time away from work, two chipped teeth). My husband had whiplash (trip to urgent care and six massage therapy sessions). Our case is not huge but important to me. The other insurance (Liberty Mutual) wants us to sign an "authorization to disclose health information". I don't want to give them access to our complete medical history. I don't believe they need it for this. My husband does have pre-existing neck and back issues. Neck surgery 10 yrs ago. I would like to settle without giving them our complete medical history. They really want our complete medical history. Do we have to give them access to medical records from 10 years ago?"

FAQs: Should I sign the insurance company's medical authorization?

Passengers Injured In Accidents

Passenger Involved In Accident Can't Find An Insurance Company To Pay

"I was travelling as a passenger in a car, in stand-still traffic on I-5 when we were rear ended by another vehicle. The party causing accident admitted speed and fault as stated in police report. I have since had extreme neck pain and problems with arms, loss of strength, stamina and inability to perform certain tasks. I thought I could 'shake it off' as it seemed a cliche to call an accident attorney but every insurance provider that I call (the driver, the driver at fault, my own) seems to tell me that it isn't their responsibility. Even via my personal health insurance, doctors have told me that because it is motor vehicle I need a claim, etc. I have been put into a tail spin.  I need help paying medical bills.  What should I do?"  

Passenger Involved In Accident Doesn't Know Who Should Pay

"I was a passenger in a car involved in a head on collision.  I was taken to Harborview Medical Center and listed in serious condition.  I was in the hospital for a day and a half.  My L5 vertebrae is broken into multiple pieces, concussion, damage to right leg.  Will be seeing an ortho doc soon.  I have a physical job so I will be out of work for some time as at work I am required to lift, handle and carry packages of varying size up to 70lbs.  I can't work and am going to have huge medical bills.  I don't know what to do.  Should I file a claim with the insurance of the car I was in or the at-fault driver's insurance?  Please help!"

FAQs: Legal Rights of a Passenger Injured in a Car Accident

Other Common Injury Accident Questions

Daughter Rear-Ended, Do I Need A Lawyer?

"My 17 year old daughter was rear ended on her way to school on Monday.  The other party has admitted fault and his insurance agrees.  My daughter is feeling soreness after the accident but has not yet been to the doctor.  Should I look for someone like you to protect our best interest?"

What About Small Injury Cases?

"My friend and I were involved in an accident. The driver made a left turn in front of me and I couldn't avoid the crash. We both ended up seeking medical within a day or so due to some injuries which are still an issue. Do you only work on major injury accidents?  Do you handle small cases like mine?  Can I handle my case myself?"

INFO: What Do I Need To Know About Insurance Settlement Tactics During Negotiations

Six Weeks After Accident Pain Is Getting Worse

"I was rear-ended in August and shortly there after I started to get some headaches so I went to my regular chiropractor and he put me on a six week treatment plan and that did ok until I came off the treatment plan and now things have gotten worse--more and worse headaches loss of short term memory.  I am going to a neurologist tomorrow.  But I am just not sure what to do or who to turn to next.  Should I hire a lawyer?"

FREE REPORT: The Importance of Medical Evidence in Personal Injury Claims 

What Is Reasonable Pain & Suffering Settlement?

"On Friday at lunchtime I was walking in crosswalk. I was walking with the signal (numbers countdown began) when a car turned left into me. I got knocked into air off my feet on fell down onto tailbone. Ambulance ride to ER.  Police case report filed. I have a fractured tailbone.  Can I submit my ER/medical bills to the driver's insurance company?  What is a reasonable amount for pain/discomfort compensation for this kind of thing?"

FAQs: How much money for car accident accident injuries?


Chris Davis
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Chris Davis is the founder of Davis Law Group, P.S. in Seattle, WA.
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