Experienced Seattle Car Accident Lawyers
In 2015, there were 117,053 car accidents in Washington, according to the state-mandated Annual Collision Summary. Seattle accounted for 14,508 of these accidents, which included 22 fatalities and 4,771 injuries. An accident occurs in the state approximately every 4.5 seconds. Due to the frequency of these accidents, it is important that Seattle residents know what to do after a car accident. You should also know when to contact experienced Seattle car accident lawyers.
What to Do after a Seattle Car Accident
If you are involved in a Seattle car accident, follow these steps:
- Stop – You are required to stop at a car accident scene. If the accident is minor, move the vehicles to a safe place out of the flow of traffic. If the vehicle is inoperable, place traffic cones or flares near the accident site so that other vehicles do not collide with the parked vehicles. Turn off your vehicle and turn on your hazard lights.
- Check for injuries – Check if you or your passengers have any injuries. Check if anyone else was injured. Call for an ambulance if anyone is injured.
- Report the accident – Contact your local law enforcement agency to report the accident. An officer will be sent to the scene to assist injured passengers and will make an accident report. The report may contain useful information that will help you with your claim, including the other driver’s information and whether the other driver was cited for a traffic violation.
- Exchange information – Exchange information with the other driver, including your names, addresses, phone numbers, insurance information, driver’s license number and make, model, and license plate number of the vehicles.
- Take pictures – If you are able, take pictures of the accident scene. Include pictures of the vehicles and the point of impact. Also, take pictures of any nearby traffic signs or signals that could have played a part in the accident. Take pictures from different angles.
- Do not admit fault – Do not apologize at the accident scene, even if you think you were responsible for the accident. You may not know what caused the accident, and any apology can be used as evidence against you to blame you for the accident.
- File an insurance claim – If the other driver caused the accident, you can file an insurance claim against the driver’s policy. Stick to the facts and avoid guessing about anything. Do not give a recorded statement. Our experienced Seattle car accident lawyers can help you through this process if you would like.
After the accident, seek medical attention if you think you are injured. Follow all of your doctor’s orders to minimize the impact of your injuries. Take pictures of your injuries as they progress over time.
Common Causes of Accidents in Washington
According to the Annual Collision Summary, the following reasons were contributing factors in many auto accidents in Washington:
- Inattention or driver distraction – 46,348 accidents involved driver inattention or distraction. This included drivers using a handheld phone, reading, writing, eating, drinking, adjusting dials, as well as distractions inside the vehicle and distractions outside the vehicle.
- Speeding – Speeding was involved in 19,662 accidents, resulting in 150 traffic fatalities.
- Failure to yield the right-of-way – Failing to yield the right-of-way was cited in 18,876 accidents.
- Following too closely – 18,765 accidents involved following closely.
- Drug or alcohol impairment – 6,033 accidents in Washington involved drug or alcohol impairment.
Statute of Limitations for Seattle Car Accident Claims
Washington law limits the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit for a car accident. You have three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. If the accident resulted in the death of your loved one, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim. Only a spouse, state-registered domestic partner, child, stepchild, or a parent or sibling who was financially dependent on the victim can file a wrongful death claim in Washington. The statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim is also three years. However, you should not delay in seeking legal assistance from our experienced Seattle car accident attorneys, because it will take time to develop your claim or prepare a lawsuit.
Damages Available in Seattle Car Accident Cases
If you were injured in a Seattle car accident case, you may be able to recover compensation for the following damages:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Payment for lost wages
- Compensation for lost earning capacity
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
An experienced Seattle car accident attorney can review the circumstances surrounding your case and assess the potential value of your claim.
How Our Seattle Car Accident Lawyers Can Help
A Seattle car accident attorney can assist with car accident claims in a number of ways. A qualified personal injury lawyer will have ample experience with car accident claims and will know the steps to take to preserve your rights. He or she can investigate your claim, determine the contributing factors, and identify all of the parties who may be responsible for your damages. If you hire a Seattle car accident lawyer, this attorney will handle all communication with the insurance company so that you can focus on your recovery. He or she will try to negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf to compensate you for the full extent of your damages. If the insurance company does not offer a reasonable settlement, your lawyer can discuss the possibility of proceeding with a trial.
At Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner PLLC, we are committed to helping our clients in every way possible. We are experienced litigators who are not afraid to take your case to court, if necessary. However, we will first demand a settlement to save you from the time and stress of a trial. Our Seattle personal injury lawyers have successfully secured more than $100 million in compensation for thousands of clients; learn more about our impressive case results here. We will help develop your claim to maximize your chances of winning a generous settlement or verdict.
If you were injured in a car accident, call our experienced Seattle car accident lawyers, or complete an online contact form to schedule a free consultation at our Seattle office.