Our Bellingham Personal Injury Attorneys Are Here to Help When Accidents Occur
When you’ve suffered from a serious accident in Bellingham, you and your family may be at a loss for what to do next. Luckily, our trusted Bellingham personal injury attorneys – Paula, Dave, Matt, Scott and Dean – have served the Bellingham community and its victims for many years. We are here for you and your family in your time of hardship. As you move toward recovery, here is a compilation of resources and helpful information to review while you begin the physical, mental, and financial healing process.
The First Responders of Bellingham Help You – and Help Reduce the Damage
As you would expect, the aim of first responders is always to respond quickly and efficiently to decrease the seriousness of an accident in any way they can. Our own Bellingham Police Department will report to the scene of the accident, if it occurs within city limits, and document everything via a traffic collision report.
For all accidents that happen outside of Bellingham city limits but inside county lines, the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Department responds to the accident with the same care and attention as Bellingham police. If you are involved in an accident while traveling on Washington’s interstates, you’ll likely be aided by the Washington State Patrol (WSP). Should you need a copy of any traffic collision reports, it’s best to consult the WSP database, which holds all traffic records statewide.
Bellingham’s Healthcare Providers Take Over Your Treatment after an Accident
Immediately following an accident, it is likely that one of your first experiences includes treatment at a hospital. Physically, this is the first step. If you’re receiving medical care in Bellingham, you’re probably being supported by the PeaceHealth St. Joseph Hospital.
Often, the second step in the recovery process is addressing your emotional support needs – particularly if you lost a loved one in an accident. When someone you love has passed away in a motor-vehicle accident, it can be essential for the grieving family to work with a grief support organization or therapist who can provide guidance. To learn more about possible grief support options available to you in Bellingham, click here.
Bellingham and Whatcom County Court Systems Handle the Criminal and Legal Sides of Your Accident
Concerning minor criminal matters, civil suits (involving small amounts), and traffic tickets, you’ll likely work with the Bellingham Municipal Court. When felony or larger civil cases are on the table, they will be handled by the Whatcom County Superior Court. Our established and highly skilled Bellingham personal injury attorneys are very familiar with these court systems.
Depending on Your Situation, There May Be No Avoiding the Insurance Company
Even though the specifics of your case will vary, nearly everyone has to deal with an insurance claim after an accident occurs. Fortunately, the Washington State Insurance Commissioner protects insurance consumers and provides information on how insurance policies generally work. While minor accidents can often be handled directly with an insurance adjuster, major accidents usually require more time and attention.
Calling All Bicyclists and Motorcyclists of Bellingham
Sometimes, there can be nothing better than riding your motorcycle or bicycle here in our lovely city. But unfortunately, bicyclists and motorcyclists face an especially heightened level of risk when traveling on the roadways. Luckily, these risks don’t stop our fellow Washingtonians from still taking to the roads on less than four wheels. To learn more about biking and motorcycling in our area, check out Washington Bikes and the Washington State Department of Licensing Motorcycle Safety Program.
The Washington State Department of Transportation: Your Source for Everything Bellingham
Well, maybe not everything about Bellingham, but the Washington State Department of Transportation (DOT) can certainly be consulted for travel and weather conditions, traffic, and general road information. Also, the Washington State 511 phone system can provide drivers with up-to-date information regarding travel, weather, road-construction projects, mountain pass conditions, and other important information.
Drunk Driving Accidents in Bellingham: An Ongoing Problem
Everyday, we as attorneys hear about tragic accidents taking place in our community. We understand just how prevalent – and unjust – drunk driving and drugged driving accidents are.
In an effort to decrease these accidents, one organization called Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is doing much toward prevention and reduction. If you’re interested in learning more about their organization and how you can help fight the battle against drunk driving, here’s a link to the MADD site.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Your Bellingham Injury or Accident
What Are 'Pain and Suffering' Damages?
Pain and suffering damages compensate you for the pain and suffering that result from a physical injury. For this reason, some medical conditions can command higher pain and suffering damages than others, regardless of how expensive they are to treat. In many cases, pain and suffering damages add up to over 50 percent of the entire amount of damages awarded.
What Is 'Maximum Medical Improvement' and Why Is It Important?
A patient is said to reach maximum medical improvement (MMI) when medical treatment has helped that individual recover as much as it is ever going to. That being said, you may still suffer from long-term disability and/or chronic pain. Since MMI is often extremely important for calculating damages, it may be difficult to resolve your claim until you reach MMI. Contact our Bellingham personal injury attorneys to find out more about MMI.
Can I Sue the Owner of a Dog That Bit Me?
Yes, you can. And according to the Washington dog bite statute, even if the owner was not at-fault and the dog has never before exhibited aggressive tendencies, you may still be able to win your case. Homeowners’ insurance can typically make payouts for dog bite claims. However, certain defenses (such as trespassing or provoking the animal) may apply and could hinder your dog bite claim.
What Happens If I Miss the Statute of Limitations Deadline?
The statute of limitations is the deadline by which you must file a lawsuit in order to keep your claim alive. The Washington State statute of limitations is three years after the accident for a personal injury claim or three years after the victim’s death in a wrongful death claim. If you have any questions about the relevance of the statute of limitations for your case, please contact us right away. Hiring proven and knowledgeable Bellingham personal injury attorneys is a vital decision that can mean the difference between winning or losing your case.
The Other Driver's Insurance Company Wants Me to Sign Something or Issue a Statement. Should I Do It?
No, not unless your injury lawyers approve it first. When you have a claim against the insurance company, that company is considered an opposing party; as such, they can and will try to find any excuse to deny or minimize your claim. If you are claiming against your own insurance company, you may be required to give a statement at some point. But, always remember to consult with your personal injury lawyer before signing or issuing anything.
Contact Our Bellingham Personal Injury Lawyers
Following your car accident, does the physical pain and emotional stress of the situation have you worried? Are you concerned about handling your insurance claim by yourself? Luckily, our Bellingham personal injury attorneys Paula, Dave, Matt, Scott and Dean are here to offer you support and advice. Contact our Bellingham Office today and tell us about your case.