Seattle Car Accident Lawyer
Vehicle collisions are often the unfortunate consequence of other drivers’ careless behavior. If another driver’s negligence has caused your injuries, contact a Seattle vehicle crash lawyer as soon as possible.
You might not have even seen it coming, but it probably didn’t take long for you to understand you had been in a car accident. And in the days and weeks after that moment, it probably didn’t take much time for you to realize that your crash had the potential to cost you a lot of money.
The costs of a hospital stay, time away from work, a new car, and many other damages add up at lightning speed and immediately threaten your financial stability. That’s bad enough on its own, but the stress and suffering multiply when you face all these challenges with the knowledge that the car accident that is plaguing you wasn’t your fault.
If another party was at fault, he or she should have to help you deal with the financial fallout of your accident. Fortunately, Washington law makes provisions for victims in your situation.
You have the option to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver or other party to recover the compensation you need in order to handle your car accident. It may be your only option, and it isn’t likely to be easy. But a Seattle car accident attorney from Craig Swapp & Associates can help you obtain the compensation you’re entitled to.
How Did You Injury Happen?
Central to filing a successful Seattle car accident claim is understanding the nature and severity of your injuries. Start with injury type. Then, consult with your doctors to gain an understanding of how your injuries will affect your life, how much recovery time you’ll require, how much pain you will feel, and other aspects of your injuries.
Below, we have listed a few injury types that are common to Seattle car accidents:
- Brain injuries
- Spine injuries
- Bone breaks and fractures
- Severe burns
From Cause to Fault
When so many factors could cause car accidents in Seattle, how do you identify the at-fault party? As our experienced Seattle auto collision attorneys know, you have to start with identifying the cause of the crash. Each cause is going to implicate a unique set of potentially at-fault parties. The following are some common causes of car accidents in Seattle:
- Drunk driving
- Drowsy driving
- Distracted driving
- Reckless driving
- Road hazards
- Vehicle problems
Your attorney will conduct a thorough investigation to determine who should be named as the defendant in your case. By gathering photographic evidence, expert testimony, police reports, video footage, medical documentation, vehicle safety reports, witness statements, and other evidence, your attorney will be able to build a powerful case in your favor.
Washington State Statute of Limitations
It is of utmost importance that your claim be filed before the statute of limitations runs out in your case. The clock starts ticking in one of two situations. The countdown can begin from the date that you were involved in the accident, or it can begin from the date that you are diagnosed with a condition that stems from the collision.
Failure to file your claim before the statute of limitations expires has unfortunate consequences: You will no longer be eligible to sue the at-fault party for your damages, and you’ll be stuck covering all of the costs you incurred.
What You Need to Know about the Auto Insurance Company
Many claimants are under the impression that the insurance company is your friend. Sure, they’ll be the ones to settle your claim, but the truth of the matter is that the insurer has their best interests in mind, not yours.
Every time an insurance company pays out on a claim, they lose money. For these reasons, they have a habit of doing anything possible to reduce the amount they’ll be expected to repay you.
Some of these unscrupulous strategies include manipulating the statements given to them by claimants who just want to do the right thing and making low-ball settlement offers in the hopes of tempting claimants with some quick cash. Despite the fact that the insurer has made you an offer, they are more than likely making you an offer that’s well below what you’re actually entitled to.
Contributory Fault and How It May Impact Your Case
Calculating the compensation you should receive for your Seattle car crash is a big undertaking. You have to account for all your present and future damages, and then you have to account for any degree of fault you may hold.
That’s because Washington follows a doctrine called contributory fault. Under this rule, you can still receive compensation if you hold some of the blame for your crash, as long as another party holds the remainder of the fault. This is more commonly referred to as modified comparative negligence.
For instance, if you’re awarded $100,000 for your crash, but you hold 30 percent of the blame, your compensation will decrease by a corresponding 30 percent—to $70,000.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that modified comparative negligence in WA has a 50 percent threshold. This means that you can only pursue the recovery of your damages from the other involved party if your own culpability does not exceed 49 percent.
Secure Full Compensation for Your Suffering
The entire purpose in filing a car accident claim is to recover compensation for your losses. Some of the different types of damages that can be considered include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Vehicle damage
- Pain and suffering
- Reduced quality of life
- Loss of consortium
- Wrongful death
- Loss of household services
- Mental anguish
- The effects of disfigurement or scarring
It will be up to your attorney to quantify your losses in a way that ensures that not a single loss goes unaccounted for when calculating the value of your claim. How much you are awarded will vary significantly on a case-by-case basis, but you can expect that how impactful your injuries have been and your level of fault will be contributing factors in the final award.
Being injured in an auto wreck would be difficult for anyone to go through, as it isn’t exactly a scenario you can plan for. Below, you will find the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions our clients have had in regards to their upcoming car crash claim.
How does auto insurance work in Washington?
Auto insurance may play a large role in your accident. Washington is a fault state. That means the insurer of the at-fault driver should cover your accident-related expenses.
Can I be compensated for a single-car accident?
Yes, under the right circumstances. If your crash was the result of a product defect or unsafe roads, you might be able to pursue compensation from the car manufacturer or government agency responsible for maintaining road safety.
What if I can’t afford a Seattle car crash attorney?
The attorneys at Craig Swapp & Associates work on a contingency fee basis. That means you don’t pay a fee unless we recover compensation for you, and your legal fees can come out of the compensation you recover so that you don’t have to worry about another bill being added to your plate.
Team Up with a Seattle Car Crash Attorney
As you pursue compensation for your car accident, you’re likely to come across several major obstacles. Chief among those will be the insurance company, which will do everything in its power to avoid compensating you.