Seattle Car Accident Compensation You Can Expect
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If you were in a Seattle car accident, the limbo period can be a difficult one. If you don’t know what kind of reimbursement you’re going to see from the insurance claim, how can you plan ahead? We’ll look at the statistics in the Emerald City, standard Seattle car accident compensation, and why hiring a Seattle car accident lawyer could make a difference.
In 2021, there were nearly 3,000 crashes, 540 of which were fatal and 2,411 of which resulted in serious crashes. Despite the ever-evolving safety features in vehicles today, the nation has seen an increase in traffic deaths from 2020 to 2021. While part of that is certainly due to changes brought on by the pandemic, law enforcement also attributed it to more reckless behavior.
The stats above are particularly concerning for a city like Seattle, which unfortunately isn’t known for its safe streets. In the past few years, AllState has ranked Seattle toward the bottom of its America’s Best Drivers Report. On the plus side, the city has improved since the mid-2010s.
Traffic accidents are often a mashup of multiple events, and not all of them are so easily explained to an insurance company. To make matters worse, the insurance company doesn’t really care that much about the details. Their goal is to close the case as quickly as possible while paying as little as possible. A Washington car accident attorney can support you through this arduous process while ensuring all of the details are correct.
Hiring a Washington car accident attorney doesn’t just help you understand your rights, which is certainly important in and of itself, it ensures that your personal story is told. In addition, Washington accident attorneys are available to work through the many points of your claim. This can include talking to witnesses, calculating ancillary expenses (e.g., the babysitter you needed to hire after the accident), and building a case that will lead to victory.
Compensation can be tricky in the event of a car crash. Some drivers don’t have insurance, others have insurance that will cover the bare minimum of expenses.
Some insurance carriers will lowball every claim, which can pull down the averages if claimants choose to take the package without argument. A Washington car accident lawyer not only helps you determine who exactly to sue and when, but what to ask for when you do.
In theory, though, the package could include both economic and non-economic damages in Seattle. For instance, if you were out of work for a week while recovering from the accident, you could file for lost wages in addition to your medical costs and property repair costs. This would all fall under a standard economic package.
You can also file for pain and suffering. These are intangible costs that can be categorized as mental anguish, loss of consortium, or damages to a parent-child relationship. These are often only granted in the event of an extreme accident. For instance, if a spouse files for divorce due to an extreme brain injury as a direct result of the accident.
Washington state caps noneconomic damages based on your average annual wage and your life expectancy. A Washington car accident lawyer can help you work out the maximum amount you may receive based on the facts of your claim. While you may not receive the maximum, the number can at least help you anchor your request.
There’s a common myth that you can’t receive any compensation if the accident was your fault, but in Seattle, this is not true. Washington divides fault based on the facts of the case and then reduces the amount of compensation based on the portion of fault you share.
For instance, if you were speeding at the time of the accident, but the accident only occurred because another driver cut you off. In this case, you might be 30% at fault, while the other driver was 70% at fault. Even if victims were 99% at fault, you can still receive compensation for your injuries and property damage with the amount adjusted to account for the circumstances.
In addition to saying little after an accident (e.g., not admitting fault, etc.), it’s important not to make assumptions about anything. Even if you hit another driver, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the accident was your fault. Just remember, an insurance carrier will be less interested in spending hours trying to figure out who did what, which is why you can’t always rely on their employees to come to the correct conclusion. While it’s easier to take the first offer, it’s not always the best decision.
If you’re looking for Washington car accident attorneys that know how to use the laws of the city to your advantage, Craig Swapp & Associates has you covered. Whether you’re just gathering information or you’re ready to file, contact us today for more information about who we help and how we can improve your compensation package.