Car Accident Injury Attorney in Seattle
What Are Common Types of Car Accident Injuries?
In the wake of a car crash, anyone involved can suffer a wide variety of injuries that can lead to costly medical procedures, inability to work, and various costs in addition to emotional and mental hardship. While crashes happen in Seattle throughout Washington every day, the results are never predictable.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a crash that someone else caused, you will need legal insight and dependable instruction in order to get what you need to recover. Through a no-cost consultation with a Seattle car accident injury lawyer at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., available by calling (888) 228-3860, you can have the knowledge you need to protect your future wellbeing.
What Should You Do Following a Car Accident?
The moments immediately following an accident are extremely stressful, and it can be difficult to know exactly what to do. While there are many things that need to be done afterwards, these three are the most important and will help everything else fall into place.
- Get medical treatment. In some cases injuries may be obvious and getting to a doctor might be the one and only thing on your mind. However, there have been many cases where the injured party felt fine after the accident and so did not seek medical treatment. Days or weeks afterwards, they start experiencing symptoms from whiplash or head injuries that are a result of the accident, but it is now more difficult to prove because medical treatment was not sought sooner.
- Call the police. This is one of the most important documents of any car accident. In Washington, it’s state law that the chief of police in the jurisdiction is notified when the accident results in injuries or damages above a certain threshold amount. Even if you’re unsure if the damages are more than this amount, it’s a good idea to call the police anyway. Police officers can be a great help after any accident, helping to organize the scene, prevent further injury, and file police reports that will be needed later in the case.
- Call a Seattle car accident attorney. Of course you’ll want to seek compensation for any damages or injuries you sustained during the accident; but that’s likely not what you’ll be thinking about right after a car crash. Even if you don’t think your case will go to court, it’s important to call a personal injury lawyer that can help you with your case. There will be a lot to deal with after the accident including medical costs, speaking to insurance companies, and filing and obtaining a copy of the police report. A qualified attorney will be able to help you with all of this, as well as advise you on what the next best steps are.
What Documentation Should You Obtain After a Car Accident?
There is a lot of information to exchange and document after a car accident. And this is often done before the police arrive and before any insurance companies are called, making it even more difficult to know what’s important to record and what’s not. The information that’s most important to collect at the scene right after an accident is:
- Any and all contact information of other drivers. You need to make sure you get the name, address, email, and all phone numbers of any other driver that was involved in the accident. Also make sure that you supply yours.
- Vehicle information. This should be taken for all vehicles involved in the accident, including yours. Be sure to include the make, model, year, and license plate number of the vehicle.
- Witness testimony. The details of the accident will be most memorable to the witnesses in the moments following an accident, so it’s important to record them at this time. Be sure to include the testimony of any passengers in your car as part of the witness testimony.
- Insurance information. Insurance is a very big component of any car accident, so you want to make sure you have all the information you’ll need later on. Be sure to document the insurance company, policy number, and the expiration date of the policy; and be sure to also provide yours.
How Might You Be Injured?
Even minor collisions can lead to injuries for vehicle occupants, pedestrians, and anyone else involved. However, high speed accidents have an even higher likelihood of resulting in severe accidents. Common injuries that can occur in any type of accident include:
- Head Trauma - Collisions can cause vehicle occupants to whip back and forth within a vehicle. This can easily lead to a person's head being slammed against the dashboard, side door, steering wheel, or head rest at high speeds. Additionally, flying debris and other hazards can hit a person's head. In either case, serious brain damage can result.
- Bone Fractures - Because of the intense and a sudden stress put on the body during a crash, broken bones can easily result. Any bone may be broken in a crash, especially in collisions that involve the vehicle being severely damaged and contorted. Leg and hip injuries are especially common, preventing victims from walking for months.
- Whiplash - Even occupants wearing seatbelts can easily sustain whiplash in a crash. In these incidents, the force of a collision forces a person's head to move quickly and violently back and forth or side to side. This can severely strain the muscles and ligaments within the neck, leading to debilitating injuries that need medical care.
- Sprains - Because of the intense force placed upon the body in a crash, a person's joints, muscles, and ligaments can be exposed to more strain than they are able to withstand. This can lead to sprains and strains that limit a victim's physical capabilities until he or she is completely healed. While not the worst possible injuries, they can have a widespread effect, including lost wages while being unable to work.
- Severe Incidents - There are some types of crashes that are even more likely to cause major trauma. Car fires, rollovers, vehicle ejections, and head-on crashes are some of the worst accidents that can happen on the road. Often, those involved will suffer severe injuries that lead to long-term disabilities.
Any and all of these injuries can be suffered in mere moments. Only through medical evaluations, procedures, and rehabilitation can a survivor properly recover, but these expenses can be exorbitant and may require compensation from those at fault.
How Do I Recover From Losses in Washington?
The recovery process is a vital step for car crash victims, but it is not a cheap one.
Often, medical bills will costs thousands upon thousands of dollars. Even high quality health insurance may not be able to fully compensate all of these needed costs. Those who require expensive medical procedures should not have to bear the financial weight of a crash that they did not cause.
However, those who caused the crash - such as a reckless driver or a government agency who created a hazardous road - can be held responsible. Through proving that they were at fault for the crash, you can make them pay for your losses. Collecting evidence like eye witness testimony, police records, photos of the crash, and medical evaluations will show who caused the crash. Additionally, these will prove that the injuries you claim actually came from the collision and will show how much you must be paid in order to pay for past losses and cope with any future ones.
Can You Still Get Compensation if You Were Partly to Blame for the Accident?
Yes! Because of the pure comparative negligence policy on car accidents in Washington, individuals can still receive compensation for any damages or injuries they sustained, even if they were partly at fault for the accident. This means that when a car accident occurs and more than one party is at fault, the courts will assign blame to each party; and they’ll also assign a certain percentage of blame to each party. If compensation is awarded, it will be based on that percentage of fault.
So for instance, if two people are in a car accident and one person is found to be 20 percent to blame while the other person was responsible for 80 percent, the judge will award damages to the individual with the lowest percentage. They will be entitled to receive 80 percent of the damages claimed in compensation, and will be expected to make up the 20 percent balance themselves.
Should You Accept an Insurance Settlement?
When another party is at fault for the accident, their insurance company may phone you to offer you a settlement. They do this so that you will accept that lower amount without going to court, while also protecting them from paying the full amount that’s rightfully owed to you. Because of this, you should never accept a settlement from the other party’s insurance company. Instead, phone a Seattle personal injury lawyer that will help you get the full amount of compensation that you’re entitled to.
What if the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Enough Insurance, or Doesn’t Have Any Insurance?
When it’s found that the at-fault driver doesn’t have enough insurance, or doesn’t have any insurance to cover the damages for injuries incurred, the injured party may still be able to get compensation for those injuries.
This is because often underinsured motorist coverage is included in many insurance plans. When the injured parties have this type of insurance included in their coverage, their own insurance company will cover the cost of damages incurred. Filing these claims is difficult, and it can be even more difficult when the victim doesn’t have this type of coverage. For this reason, it’s important that after an accident, it’s important you speak to an attorney right away.
An experienced attorney will know that even though it’s not required by law for motorists to carry underinsured motorist coverage, insurance companies are required to offer it. By going back into the policy and checking what was offered at the time the policy was created, an attorney may be able to show that underinsured coverage was never offered, which could cause the victim to be entitled to it.
Finding Success in Your Seattle Injury Case
At Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., our Washington auto accident attorneys have helped countless injured victims recover from their losses over the decades. No matter how severe your losses may be, our legal team can help you find fair and full compensation and recover from your losses free from financial constraints. Begin your recovery with a free consultation by calling (888) 228-3860.
Auto Accident Injury Recoveries
- $595,000 recovery for a woman who received neck and back injuries in Auburn.
- $450,000 recovery for a man who injured his low back in Kent.
- $390,000 recovery for a woman who fractured her leg and ankle in Skykomish.