Seattle Car Accident Lawyer
Car accidents are often the unfortunate consequence of other drivers’ careless behavior. If another driver’s negligence has caused your injuries, contact a Seattle car crash lawyer.
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 understand 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 lawyer from Craig Swapp & Associates can help you.
How Were You Hurt?
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 injury.
Below, we have outlined a few injury types that are common to Seattle car accidents:
- Whiplash – When another driver slams into the rear of your vehicle, your head can quickly jerk backward and then forward. This sudden motion can cause whiplash, a painful neck injury that can require months of treatment and recovery.
- Brain Injury – A head-on collision or T-bone accident that causes your head to hit the steering wheel, windshield, dashboard, or window of your car can cause a brain injury—even in relatively low-speed collisions. Traumatic brain injuries can permanently disable victims, leaving them unable to support themselves.
- Spine Injury – Severe car accidents, including those that throw victims from their vehicles, often cause spine injuries. Among the worst spine injuries is paralysis, which can prevent you from walking or completing other motions necessary to carry out daily activities.
- Bone Breaks and Fractures – Almost any type of car crash can result in broken wrists, arms, legs, and other bones. These injuries take weeks, months, or sometimes years to heal and can keep you from enjoying many daily activities and put you in a lot of pain.
From Cause to Fault
The success of your Seattle car accident claim is going to hinge on whether you can identify the party who is truly at fault for your crash. Name the wrong party, and you risk losing your ability to recover compensation altogether.
But when so many factors could cause car accidents in Seattle, how do you identify the at-fault party? As our experienced 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, as well as the parties they could implicate:
- Drunk Driving – This shouldn’t still be a problem on Seattle roads, but it is. When drivers make the irresponsible choice to get behind the wheel when they’re under the influence, they’re responsible for any accidents and injuries they cause.
- Drowsy Driving – It often comes as a surprise to drivers, but drowsy driving can be nearly as dangerous as drunk driving in some cases. Fatigue can slow drivers’ reaction times and make them less likely to see road hazards and oncoming vehicles. Drowsy drivers may also cause accidents when they fall asleep at the wheel.
- Distracted Driving – This is a growing problem that is concerning health and safety officials across the state of Washington. The list of possible driving distractions seems to grow every day. From cell phones to GPS systems, distractions in the car drastically increase the chance of accidents. If a driver was distracted when he or she caused your accident, he or she can be held responsible.
- Reckless Driving – It’s hard to call accidents caused by reckless drivers “accidents.” Speeding, running red lights, and rapidly shifting lanes without signaling are almost always intentional behaviors, and they’re very likely to cause collisions in Seattle. Reckless drivers can and should be held accountable for the damage they cause.
- Road Hazards – Seattle’s public roads are the responsibility of government agencies. When hazards like sharp curves, narrow shoulders, and uneven lanes cause crashes, these agencies may be liable for the resulting injuries.
- Vehicle Problems – When brakes fail, airbags spontaneously deploy, and steering wheels stop functioning, injuries can happen. If those vehicle defects were the result of poor or careless manufacturing practices, the manufacturer of your vehicle could be held financially accountable for your damages.
Contributory Fault and Your Compensation
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.
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.
Contributory fault can make a big dent in your compensation, but the most important determining factors are going to be your damages. With a lawyer’s help, you might be able to recover compensation for the following damages after your car accident in Seattle:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Vehicle damage
- Pain and suffering
- Reduced quality of life
- Loss of consortium
- Wrongful death
Seattle Car Accident FAQ
You will find the answers to some common questions about Seattle car accidents below.
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.
Team Up with a Seattle Car Accident 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.