Seattle Car Accident Lawyers
Being injured in an auto accident is often a traumatic experience during and after the actual crash. It is important to remember that no matter how difficult the situation, there may be a way to set things right. Accident survivors are given ways to cope physically, emotionally, and financially by filing an injury claim or pursuing a lawsuit to hold the negligent parties responsible. While not every car crash calls for legal action, it helps to know your rights and options to make the best decision for your specific situation.
With over two decades of experience seeking justice for Seattle car accident victims, Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., will work diligently on your behalf. We understand that no amount of money can undo what has happened; however, we want to help your family through legal hardships so you can focus on healing and rebuilding your life. Fill out a contact form today for a free consultation if you or your child has been hurt in a car accident.
Travel any stretch of road in Seattle, and you're bound to run into some kind of road construction. From bridge repairs to pothole filling, the Washington State Department of Transportation keeps busy year round maintaining and repairing damage to the state’s roads. Throughout these many work zones, you'll find a posted speed limit that brings traffic to a crawl to keep workers safe. Drivers who speed through roadside construction sites aren't only breaking the law; they are putting lives, including their own, in danger. Should an accident happen, people who are injured have the right to take action against the at-fault party.
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your injury, you could be looking at a considerable financial award for damages. Were you part of a roadway construction crew? Were you another driver making your way through the construction zone? Were you a pedestrian using a nearby crosswalk? Even people injured in a hit-and-run in Washington have the legal right to get paid for their injuries.
Roadways undergoing construction are marked with bright orange signs for a reason. Not only are there more people on the highway, the area itself is dangerous, full of giant holes and heavy equipment that can cause terrible damage in an accident. Sadly, despite the signs and potential danger, many drivers choose to ignore the warnings. Some of the common ways people get hurt in construction zone accidents include:
- Texting instead of paying attention to what is ahead.
- Speeding through the zone, hoping to avoid a red light, sign-man, or any other warning that may slow them down.
- Passing slower traffic along sections of the road that have been roped or coned off.
- Not paying attention and failing to recognize the warning signs in time.
While the Washington freeway system allows drivers to get from point A to point B in a short amount of time, it also creates a serious risk of injuries when thousands of drivers travel at high speeds. It only takes a moment of carelessness to lead to major vehicle pileups, catastrophic injuries, and untimely deaths.
More often than not, freeway crashes can be explained by human error. The most common mistakes that drivers make on Seattle's freeways include speeding, unsafe lane changes, DUI, stopping vehicles on the shoulder, fatigued driving, tailgating, distracted driving, and having defective auto parts.
A defective road can cause serious accidents, as well. These dangers include poor lighting, lack of signs, negligent highway maintenance, improperly marked construction zones, and defective highway design.
Freeway Accident Recoveries
- $1,925,000 recovery in a wrongful death claim for a Federal Way family that was traveling when they were cut off on the freeway, causing their car to rollover
- $1,625,000 recovery for a wrongful death claim for the family of a man killed as the result of a highway design defect.
- $390,000 recovery for a 39-year-old woman who injured her back when she was sideswiped by another car on I-90.
- $275,000 recovery for Kent highway accident.
If another person's negligence was the cause of your accident, you may be compensated for the following:
- Medical Expenses: Keep a record of all medical expenses related to your vehicle accident. These injuries could include include bruises, broken bones, trauma, and damage to soft tissue. Your medical expenses include more than just the initial visit to a doctor or hospital. Any medication, procedures, therapy, or rehabilitation should also be included.
- Loss of Wages: Inability to return to work after a car accident is common, especially if your injuries are severe or therapy and rehabilitation are required. Compensation can also be sought if you are unable to attend classes, which causes you to forfeit tuition that you have already paid.
- Property Loss: Whether your car is totaled or dented, you may be compensated for the cost of repairing any damage. This can include repairs to your vehicle, cost of a rental vehicle, or the purchase of a replacement vehicle if your vehicle was considered to be beyond repair.
- Emotional Distress: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can result from a vehicle collision, especially if a loved one is injured.
- Long-Term Care: If a serious injury prevents you from working, long-term care and loss of potential earnings should also be factored into your compensation.
- Loss of Enjoyment: It is common for individuals to experience fear of driving after an auto accident. This can lead to loss of enjoyment due to dread of driving, anxiety from oncoming traffic, and not wanting to leave your house.
Washington State is a "pure comparative fault" state, which means that injured victims may recover damages even if the victim bears 99% of the blame for the crash. However, the recovery amount will depend on the victim's degree of fault.
As the victim of a crash caused by someone else, you have the right to pursue monetary compensation that pays for your losses. However, you will need to prove that you are a victim. You will only be able to find success by collecting evidence, which includes:
- Witness Testimony – Occupants of the vehicles involved and anyone nearby who may have witnessed the collision. Obtain their contact information and statements detailing what happened and events that might have led up to the accident.
- Photos – Photograph the scene of the accident to show the damage and the positions of the vehicles after the collision. Also, take photos of your injuries for documentation immediately after the accident. These photos, along with future medical records, will illustrate the extent of your injuries caused by the auto accident.
- Police Reports – Call the police immediately to report the accident. When officers arrive on scene, explain your perception of the accident, who was involved, and how it was caused. This will all become part of the official police report and statements regarding the accident.
- Insurance Company Reports – You will need to open a claim with your insurance company. Your insurance company may tell you to contact the other driver’s insurance company. In some cases, you will only work through your insurance company, but in others you will be asked to work with the other driver’s insurance company as well.
- Medical Records – Even if you do not believe that you have been injured, it is always wise to see a doctor for a full examination. If you have injuries as a result of the accident, be sure to obtain copies of all medical records to verify your condition.
- Video Evidence – There may be cameras near the scene of the accident. This includes red light intersection cameras, which may have video evidence showing the collision.
After gathering these pieces of evidence, your lawyers will be able to present them in a manner which proves responsibility for the accident. In addition, your legal team can use the documentation to help to determine the amount of compensation that you will be seeking from the responsible party.
For more than 40 years, the car accident attorneys at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., have been helping victims recover damages as a result of auto accidents. Call (425) 228-3860 or toll-free at (888) 228-3860 today for your free consultation.
If a single-vehicle accident occurred through no fault of your own, you might think you don’t have any options for securing the money you need to put your life back together. The authorities and even your insurance provider are likely to assume that the crash was your fault, but at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., we understand that there are numerous reasons you could have ended up in an accident. We have a wide network of resources to draw on to get to the bottom of what caused the crash, such as:
- Dangerous Roads - The poor conditions of the pavement, lack of lighting, broken traffic signs and signals, or faulty road designs can cause even the most experienced driver to crash.
- Negligent Drivers - Careless or aggressive motorists can force others off the road by swerving, sideswiping, or other erratic maneuvers.
- Defective Auto Parts - Faulty tires, defective brakes, or damaged fuel lines can make driving any vehicle dangerous.
Through intensive investigation, specialist reviews, and accident reconstruction, we can build a solid foundation for your claim. There are numerous factors that may have led to your single-vehicle collision, and you are still entitled to financial compensation.
Most accident victims believe that their own insurance company will be their greatest ally after an accident, but that is not always the case. Insurance companies are in business to make money, and that can sometimes conflict with your best interests—delaying payment, or offering a lowball settlement. Insurance companies may also deny a valid claim, so you must be ready with the appropriate evidence and materials to prevent this from happening or combat it. The lawyers at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., will not only represent you against the other drivers, but also work on your behalf with your own insurance company to ensure that you are fairly and fully compensated for your injuries and losses.
As one of the most respected law firms in Seattle, we have the experience to get you the settlement you deserve. We understand the legal system and what is required to prove that a driver has acted negligently. Our history of working with police officers and investigators allows us to compile the clear and convincing evidence required to secure your compensation.
Don’t try to handle something as complicated as a car accident on your own. Contact Seattle car accident attorney Joseph Pendergast at (888) 228-3860 or online for a free, comprehensive case evaluation. We want to help you and your family recover from the trauma of an auto accident.
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