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.
Seattle Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
A car crash is bad enough. Unfortunately, drunk driving accidents can be especially devastating. When someone else chooses to drink and drive, it could be you who suffers the dangerous effects.
You deserve more than justice for this—you deserve compensation for the suffering, financial or otherwise, you’ve experienced. That’s why you need to call a Seattle drunk driving accident lawyer.
If you’re not sure where to begin after a drunk driver hits you, contact Craig Swapp & Associates. We’ll fight for you until you receive the compensation you deserve.
Criminal vs. Civil Cases for Drunk Driving
The drunk driver in question may already be in court or be scheduled to appear in court because of the accident he or she caused. Keep in mind that the results of this criminal trial will not translate to compensation for the injuries and damages you’ve suffered.
While most car accident cases are typically claims settled between people, driving under the influence is a dangerous criminal offense, so the person in question may go to court twice—once for the criminal case and another time for your civil lawsuit seeking compensation.
However, a criminal case can help you. If the other driver is convicted of drunk driving, that makes proving your case that much easier. While you’ll still need to fight for your case, a drunk driving accident lawyer in Seattle will know how to use the results of the criminal trial to your advantage.
Compensation After a Drunk Driver Hurts You
When you’re ready and able to file for your compensation, you’ll need to consider exactly what your claim is worth. While some parts may be obvious, this process can get complicated when dealing with the intangible costs of a drunk driving accident in Seattle.
For example, calculating your medical expenses is mainly a matter of collecting the bills you’ve received, but pain and suffering damages will mostly depend on the severity of your injuries and how much your life has been or will be affected.
An experienced lawyer can help you decide what your claim is worth. You’ll just need to calculate what you’ve suffered and how much. Below are a few examples of damages you may list in your claim:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Mental trauma
- Property damage
Seattle Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer
Distracted driving has quickly become a leading cause of vehicle collisions. As if the weather in Seattle didn’t make car accidents common enough, reckless drivers must add to the risks by engaging in dangerous driving behaviors. Some experts consider distracted driving to be as risky as drunk driving.
If you suspect that your car crash and related injuries were caused by a distracted driver, contact Craig Swapp & Associates right away.
A Seattle distracted driving accident lawyer from our firm will work to prove that your wreck was caused by someone else’s negligence. Then, we will fight to see that you are compensated for that person’s disregard for the safety of others.
Driver Distractions That Cause Accidents
Driver distractions claimed the lives of over 3,400 people in the United States in 2016. Any behavior that takes your eyes and mind off the task of driving is considered distracted driving. Some people believe that multitasking is just a part of driving, but that’s not true.
There are ways to prevent driver distraction, which can also prevent injuries and death due to auto wrecks. To gain you an understanding of all the ways Seattle drivers can be distracted on the road, see the following list:
- Talking, texting, scrolling, or using a cell phone in any way
- Eating and drinking
- Changing the radio station
- Talking and engaging with others in the vehicle
- Putting on makeup
Distracted driving is unacceptable, and if your injuries were caused by a driver who was engaging in this behavior, you can hold that person accountable by filing an auto crash claim. Holding that person accountable for the injuries he or she caused may prevent future injuries to other drivers.
Proving the Other Driver Was Driving Distracted
When you’ve been injured in a wreck, you may decide to file an injury claim to recover your losses. You could be dealing with financial losses, such as medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and physical and mental health treatment costs.
You could also be dealing with non-economic losses like pain, suffering, and the way your life has changed due to your injuries
To prove the other driver caused the crash, your distracted driving attorney in Seattle will need to investigate your case. This could involve interviewing witnesses, hiring crash scene experts, obtaining phone records, collecting video evidence, and more.
Seattle Auto Insurance Lawyer
Are you having trouble dealing with the insurance company after you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident? If so, get help from a highly trained auto insurance lawyer in Seattle as soon as possible so that you can obtain the compensation you’re entitled to.
Washington is a fault state for auto insurance purposes. What this means is that the driver who is liable for your damages, and their insurance policy, should be responsible for covering your losses when you are involved in an auto collision. However, just because the insurance company is required to pay doesn’t mean they’re going to make it easy on you.
Insurance companies are notorious for taking advantage of claimants who need access to their money now. At Craig Swapp & Associates, your Seattle auto insurance lawyer understands how difficult this time in your life is. For this reason, we will stop at nothing when negotiating with the insurance company to ensure that you get the most out of your claim.
Washington State Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements
Every driver in the state of Washington is required to carry auto insurance on their vehicle. The minimum amount required on every policy is $10,000 in property damage liability and $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability.
It is also recommended that vehicles retain a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection, $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident in underinsured or uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage, and $10,000 in uninsured or underinsured motorist property damage coverage.
However, these additional recommendations are not required under law, despite the fact that they should protect you in the event that you are injured in a car accident with an underinsured or uninsured motorist.
Let Your Attorney Handle Insurer Negotiations
No insurance company is going to be willing to just hand over the settlement you’re entitled to without a fight. It may come as a surprise to learn that the insurer is actually not on your side.
Whether you’re dealing with your own insurance company or that of the at-fault driver, you should expect them to do whatever they can to make you appear more liable for the cause of the crash than you actually might be. Due to comparative negligence laws in WA, if you are partially to blame, your award can be reduced based upon the percentage of culpability you carry.
The insurance adjuster may try to capitalize on this opportunity by asking you to make a statement and then twisting your words to make it seem as though you’ve admitted guilt or taken responsibility for causing the crash in some way. Your attorney is prepared to handle these unscrupulous strategies and will negotiate with the insurance adjuster for you so the chances of getting less than you deserve are negligible.
If we can’t get the insurer to meet your needs, we’ll be ready to bring them to court, where an impartial judge can review your case. Your lawyer won’t allow a money-hungry insurance company to get away with exploiting you.
Seattle Auto Injury Lawyer
Auto wrecks are a leading cause of injury and death. If your Seattle vehicle collision was caused by another party’s negligence, you can recover fair compensation by hiring an aggressive car crash attorney at Craig Swapp & Associates.
Vehicle wrecks are common all over the country, but they’re particularly common in Seattle due to our weather conditions. We can’t blame all crashes on the rain, though—sometimes, people need to be held accountable for their mistakes.
If you believe your auto crash was the result of another driver’s careless actions, call a Seattle auto injury lawyer from our firm. Especially in the rain, drivers need to drive with caution, and failure to pay attention or drive at the appropriate speed for the weather conditions can lead to vehicle collisions.
When someone has injured you in a car wreck, you can sue that person in civil court to recover your losses. Vehicle collisions could leave you with medical expenses, missed work wages, pain and suffering, and, in some cases, permanent disability.
You shouldn’t have to deal with all that on your own. Filing a personal injury claim with a lawyer’s help can make sure you don’t have to.
Common Causes of Auto Injuries in Seattle
Auto accidents occur for a number of reasons, and the vast majority of those reasons have to do with human error. If drivers and others responsible for car wrecks were just a little more careful, we could probably prevent a great number of collisions in Seattle each year.
The driver who injured you can’t always blame the weather for your injuries. If he or she was speeding and collided with your vehicle after hydroplaning, your attorney can argue that the driver wouldn’t have hydroplaned had he or she not been speeding.
Here’s a look at some of the major causes of motor vehicle crash injuries in Seattle:
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Dangerous road conditions
- Reckless driving
- Mechanical failure
- Manufacturing defects
Injuries Often Tied to Seattle Automobile Crashes
Auto collisions can cause very serious injuries. Your injuries could put you out of work for weeks or months as you undergo medical treatment and possible surgeries. Following hospital care, you may need physical therapy to get back on your feet. Some auto injuries have permanent effects.
These are some common injuries associated with vehicle collisions in Seattle, Washington:
Seattle Airbag Injury Lawyer
Airbag injuries aren’t something you have to put up with. When a defective airbag has seriously injured you, a Seattle faulty airbag attorney is here to help you recover your losses.
Vehicles today have a lifesaving safety feature called airbags. We are pretty familiar with how they function, even if we’ve never been in a car crash in which an airbag has deployed. That safety feature is one of the reasons we purchase a vehicle, and it gives us great peace of mind to know that the airbags are there to protect us during a collision.
But what if they don’t work?
More and more, we’re hearing about vehicle wrecks in which airbags don’t deploy as they were meant to, and that’s not right. The manufacturer of your automobile is selling you a product, and you expect it to work when you need it.
If you were in an auto wreck and your airbag didn’t work properly, injuring you, you may be able to recover compensation. Your losses could include medical expenses, missed wages, your pain and suffering, and more.
You have a right to seek compensation when someone else’s negligence causes your injury. Contact a Seattle airbag injury lawyer with Craig Swapp & Associates today.
How Can Your Airbag Injure You in a Seattle Vehicle Wreck?
There are many ways your airbag could malfunction in a car crash and seriously injure you. Most of these ways have to do with improper design and manufacturing. When a manufacturer produces an unsafe product, you can sue the manufacturer for damages.
Sometimes, an airbag will actually function properly, but it will still hurt you. The force of a serious collision can lead to injury no matter how many safety measures are in place. In that case, you may be able to sue the driver responsible for your collision to recover your losses.
Here are some common ways airbags have been known to malfunction during collisions:
- Airbag deploys with too much force
- Airbag explodes
- Airbag explodes and releases shrapnel
- Airbag fails to inflate at all
- Airbag fails to fully inflate
- Airbag deploys at the wrong angle
- Airbag deploys too early or too late
Seattle Airbag Malfunction Injuries
Some common injuries associated with airbag defects in Seattle auto wrecks are listed below:
- Facial fractures
- Severe burns
- Puncture wounds
- Head injuries
- Broken bones
- Chest injuries
- Head, neck, and back injuries
- Spinal injuries
- Serious cuts and lacerations
Seattle Seat Belt Injury Lawyer
Seat belts are supposed to keep you safe. If poor design has led to your seat belt injury, you should be compensated. Contact a Seattle seat belt malfunction attorney at our firm.
One of the major safety features designed into practically every vehicle is the seat belt. We’ve all heard about how seat belts save lives—in fact, it’s against the law not to wear your safety belt—so what do you do when your seat belt harms you?
Here’s the short answer: You should contact a Seattle seat belt injury lawyer who can help you pursue compensation from those responsible.
How Can a Seat Belt Harm You?
There are two main ways your seat belt can cause you injury, rather than preventing it. The first is if the seat belt was poorly designed and malfunctioned during your collision. The second is when a crash impact was so substantial that you suffered injuries as a result of the seat belt holding you in place.
A seat belt that has failed to operate correctly can leave you with serious injuries. Injuries often associated with failed safety belts in Seattle auto collisions include the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Facial trauma
- Spinal, neck, and back injuries
- Chest and rib cage injuries
What Could Have Caused Your Seat Belt to Malfunction?
The main reasons a seat belt will fail to operate properly are poor design and shoddy manufacturing. When manufacturers fail to test seat belts correctly and meet all safety requirements, they can be held liable for the injuries they’ve caused you.
The most common design and manufacturing defects that lead to serious seat belt injuries in Seattle are as follows:
- Retractor failure
- Ripped, torn, or otherwise defective seat belt webbing
- Excessive spooling
- Poor design or manufacturing
- Vehicle system failure
Other Ways Your Seat Belt Could Injure You
In addition to your seat belt malfunctioning, you can also be injured by your safety belt itself. In especially serious car accidents, the force of the collision can cause you grave injury because your seat belt held you in the car as it was designed to do.
Your body will strain against the seat belt with such force that it will cause trauma to your abdomen and chest. When that happens, you can sue the party responsible for the crash.
How to Write a Demand Letter for a Car Accident
Dealing with a car accident is never easy. Even getting the proper settlement you need from your insurance company might be difficult. You might have already received a low settlement offer, or maybe you’re contacting the other person’s insurance company for your settlement.
In either case, you’ll need to know how to write a demand letter for a car accident. A car accident lawyer from Craig Swapp & Associates can be a useful guide for your demand letter, but you can get started by including the following sections in your letter.
Include Your Injuries and Suffering
First, you’ll need to detail what injuries and suffering you experienced. The insurance company will need clear details on the types of injuries you suffered so they know what to expect from your accident claim. The physical injuries should be clearly detailed, as well as your path to recovery. List what you experienced and how you found out about your injuries.
Detailing how it affected your life should also be included. If it affected your personal life, prevented you from working, or otherwise caused you suffering, you should also include details of these losses. These details will help them determine how much you’re owed.
Describe Your Auto Accident
While this section of your demand letter should be brief, pointing out why and how the other driver was liable for the accident can help your claim. For example, you might describe how you were lawfully driving through an intersection with a green light when the responsible party ran the red light and hit you.
Here, be sure that you detail how the other driver was responsible without putting the blame on yourself. If you take part of the blame, you could see a reduction in your settlement because of your fault in the accident.
Detail Your Expenses Related to the Wreck
Once you’ve described what happened and the suffering you experienced, it also helps to detail all the expenses you’ve suffered from your accident. This might include any of the following:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Property damage
If you have copies of the bills or receipts for these expenses, you should include these in the letter. While you might include details about any of these losses, be sure that you list the damages so that the insurer reviewing your demand letter can easily find and calculate the expenses you’ve accrued.
How to Get an Accident Report in Seattle
Being involved in an auto collision is a confusing, overwhelming experience. It can be difficult to figure out which steps you need to take, especially if the police are involved. But taking the right steps is crucial, especially if you plan to file a claim to collect compensation from the person responsible for your crash.
One of the first things you will need to do is learn how to get an accident report in Seattle. This document will be a critical piece of evidence to support your personal injury claim. But if you’ve never had to do this before, you might not be sure of where to begin.
Our team at Craig Swapp & Associates wants to help streamline steps like this as much as possible. Below, we’ve outlined the process of obtaining your Seattle collision report.
Getting an Accident Report in Seattle
Getting your hands on the accident report is of vital importance if you wish to take legal action and file a claim against the liable party. That’s because the report often contains crucial information that pinpoints who exactly is responsible for the crash and how that party caused it.
Luckily, obtaining a copy of an accident reiport in Seattle is relatively easy. After the collision, the police officer will give you documentation with the collision report number. After a few business days, all you have to do is go to the Washington State Patrol website.
There, you can enter information like your first and last name and the date of the collision or the collision report number. This should bring up your Seattle accident report and prompt you with information on how to obtain a copy.
How to Calculate a Car Accident Settlement in Seattle
You’re expected to know plenty of things after a car crash, such as when to contact your insurance company, where to file a collision report, and how to calculate a car accident settlement. With all this on your plate, you might feel overwhelmed.
With the help of an attorney at Craig Swapp & Associates, this process won’t be so difficult. Our team can guide you and get you the compensation you need after your auto wreck.
Calculating Your Financial Damages
Damages typically come in two forms: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are those that likely come to mind when you think of a car accident—monetary expenses that you’re paying because of the accident.
These are relatively easy to calculate. After all, you’ll have a hospital bill and a list of car repairs. Our lawyers can help you add up these expenses and estimate the total monetary cost of your crash.
However, this should also include future expenses. For example, if you’re going to need physical therapy after a paralyzing spinal injury, you need to include an estimate of these expenses. You’ll also need to consider the value of any income you’ll lose from being unable to work temporarily or permanently.
Determining the Value of Non-Economic Damages
Non-economic damages are a little more complicated because they tend to be subjective. For example, while a broken leg may not be psychologically debilitating to someone with an office job, a professional athlete would likely be emotionally devastated.
Non-economic damages are intangible hardships you might have suffered because of the accident, including the following:
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
While calculating the value of such difficulties can be complicated, our attorneys have the tools to do so accurately and fairly so you can get the compensation you truly deserve.
How Much Is My Seattle Car Accident Claim Worth?
One of the first things you’re likely thinking after a car accident is whether everyone’s okay. Once you’ve sought medical attention and you’re sure everyone is safe, the next thing on your mind is probably the expenses that come with an auto crash.
We hear one question often: “How much is my Seattle car accident claim worth?” The answer can vary, depending on your crash and accident-related injuries, but it’s a crucial step to ensure that you receive the maximum compensation you need for recovery.
When you’re not sure how much that is, nor how to fight for that full value, reach out to an attorney from Craig Swapp & Associates for help.
Calculating Economic Damages
First, you’ll need to consider the financial costs of your claim. When you’re involved in a car accident, many things can be damaged all at once, and these expenses can add up. For example, your car will almost certainly be damaged, if not totaled. You’re hurt. You’re missing work. You might have even had expensive belongings in your car at the time of the accident.
Even with your auto insurance, your damages might have exceeded the limits of your policy. Plus, if you weren’t the driver responsible for the collision, you shouldn’t be left to pay for your damages anyway. You have a right to bring an injury claim against the at-fault driver to be compensated for your financial losses.
These damages should be simple to calculate, as you’ll just need to total the amounts that were billed to you. These damages will include several of the following:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Loss of earning capacity
- Loss of value of property
What Are Non-Economic Damages?
Unfortunately, not all damages are so easy to calculate. You’ll also need to determine the value of your non-economic damages, which are the non-financial losses you’ve suffered from the accident. Any lingering mental or emotional suffering should be included in this part of your claim.
For example, after the accident, you might suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Although your economic damages should cover any treatment and therapy, you’re still suffering from the effects of PTSD. Your quality of life might be reduced; you might feel fearful and anxious; and you might be unable to drive because of that fear and anxiety.
Your non-economic damages should cover any of these losses based on the impact they had on your life. For example, severe PTSD can make it difficult to even leave your home, while milder trauma can cause nightmares and flashbacks of the accident. Speak to your lawyer about non-economic damages, such as the following:
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of security
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
Seattle Lyft Accident Lawyer
Services like Lyft come with an unintended side effect: the possibility of crashes. If such an accident injured you, get in touch with a Seattle Lyft crash lawyer.
At this point, most people have probably used a rideshare service like Lyft at least once. But if you’ve been involved in a crash with one of these vehicles, you might be wondering how you should move forward and avoid further physical and financial hardships.
The answer? Filing a personal injury claim against the liable party. However, you should know that this area of the law is complex, which is why many victims like you enlist the help of a Seattle Lyft accident lawyer from our firm, Craig Swapp & Associates.
When Is Lyft Financially Responsible for Your Damages?
Accidents that involve rideshare vehicles differ from other accidents when it comes to the claim process. In a collision with another civilian driver, it’s relatively easy to figure out who will be responsible for paying for your damages; in almost all cases, it’s the other driver’s insurance company.
However, when it comes to Lyft accidents, your Lyft crash lawyer in Seattle will first need to determine who is technically the liable party before you can file a claim. This can sometimes be difficult.
When a Lyft driver is transporting a passenger or on the way to pick one up, he or she is under the protection of the company’s insurance plan. When the time comes to seek damages, it’s actually Lyft who will be held financially responsible.
However, it isn’t always easy to prove whether the driver was actually working at the time of the crash. Your lawyer will have to go over the unique details of your case to determine the liable party and help you file a successful claim.
Why Call a Seattle Lyft Crash Lawyer?
Filing an insurance claim after a crash may seem like a simple enough task. But whenever you take legal action, it’s helpful to have a qualified legal representative. This is especially true when it comes to dealing with big corporations like Lyft.
The insurers representing this company will be powerful and aggressive, and if you don’t know what you’re doing, they might be able to pressure you into accepting a settlement that is far less than what you deserve. In the worst-case scenario, they may even deny your claim completely.
With a Seattle Lyft crash attorney on your side, you won’t have to worry about this. Our lawyers have experience handling cases like this, and we will know how to negotiate with the insurers and handle all communications so you walk away with nothing less than what you’re owed.
Seattle Uber Accident Lawyer
The benefits of services like Uber completely vanish the moment you’re hurt by a rideshare driver. Fortunately, a Seattle Uber accident attorney can help you recover the compensation you’re owed for your damages.
These days, it seems you can’t go anywhere without seeing a rideshare vehicle—especially in Seattle.
But what most people don’t know is that these companies are often involved in car accidents that leave victims with serious damages. If you were involved in a crash like this, you might be wondering what your options are.
In these cases, get in touch with our team at Craig Swapp & Associates. A Seattle Uber accident lawyer at our firm can get you the compensation you deserve from the person or company responsible for your injuries.
When Is Uber Financially Responsible?
Many people believe that, because Uber drivers drive their personal vehicles, filing a claim should be essentially the same as filing a regular claim in any other type of accident. You simply file against the other driver and wait for the insurance company to cover the costs.
However, this process isn’t the same when dealing with a rideshare company. These drivers are protected by Uber’s insurance company whenever they are on the clock and transporting or picking up passengers. As a result, the company will likely become responsible for the damages you sustained.
This may seem relatively straightforward, but handling this type of claim can get tricky. Uber drivers have the ability to set their own schedule, which can make it difficult to prove whether they were actually on the clock at the time of their accident. Details may become convoluted in cases where the driver was either on the way to pick up a passenger or just coming from a ride.
Luckily, your Seattle Uber crash lawyer will know how to dissect the details of your case to determine who the liable party is, enabling you to file a successful claim for compensation.
Common Causes of Uber Accidents in Seattle
It’s important to first note that Uber accidents do happen due to normal driving mistakes, such as improper merging, failing to yield the right-of-way, and more. However, these types of accidents also happen for unique reasons.
For example, Uber drivers tend to speed more than regular drivers. This may occur for a few reasons. They may drive quickly in an attempt to get their passengers to their locations faster and, as a result, get a higher rating and a better tip. They may also do this to try to get more passengers in within a single day.
Uber drivers also have a tendency to get behind the wheel while they’re exhausted. This may occur if they feel they haven’t made enough money that day. They may push themselves past the point of safety. Your Uber accident lawyer in Seattle can help you dissect your crash to prove who was at fault.
Seattle Hit-and-Run Lawyer
Have you been injured by a driver who hit you and abandoned the scene? Call a Seattle hit-and-run attorney today for help getting the compensation you need and deserve.
After an accident that causes injuries or property damage, you’re required by law to stay at the scene, but some people believe they can get away with fleeing. Unfortunately, you might have fallen victim to one of these reckless drivers—someone who hit your car or you before taking off.
Seeking compensation may seem like a lost cause. After all, if the runaway driver didn’t leave his or her information, how are you supposed to hold him or her financially accountable for your damages? This is where a Seattle hit-and-run lawyer can step in and help with your case.
At Craig Swapp & Associates, we’re intent on finding the driver and obtaining the compensation you’re owed. We know how hard it can be to find the driver, file your claim, and get the most out of your case, but we’re here to help you do just that.
Finding the Hit-and-Run Driver
Many people assume that they’ll never find the hit-and-run driver. If they didn’t see the license plate number or catch the make and model of the car, they might think there’s no way to catch the person responsible.
Fortunately, your hit-and-run attorney in Seattle will have resources to find the person in question. After all, the police take hit-and-run cases very seriously, and you can expect help getting answers through them.
And your attorney may be able to find evidence elsewhere. There are plenty of methods to spot the perpetrator leaving the scene, such as the following:
- Video surveillance cameras, especially in parking lots
- Information about the car, such a partial license plate number or vehicle description
Filing an Uninsured Motorist Claim After a Seattle Hit-and-Run Crash
Unfortunately, you may still be unable to find the person responsible for your hit-and-run accident in Seattle. The good news is you’re still not out of options.
In Washington state, you’re able to file an uninsured motorist claim if you have insurance that covers you against these drivers. Your uninsured motorist insurance coverage can make a difference, especially in cases like this, where you may be unable to act otherwise. We can help you file a claim with your own insurance company and maximize the compensation you receive.
If you’re struggling with a hit-and-run case in Seattle, reach out to an attorney at our firm for help.
Seattle Fatal Car Accident Lawyer
Losing a family member to a deadly auto accident is a painful, traumatic experience, and you deserve justice. Let a Seattle fatal car crash lawyer guide you through the claim process and win the compensation you need for the loss.
A death in the family is always a time full of grief and mourning, but when that death is the fault of another person, you deserve compensation to make up for your losses. While your loved one can’t benefit from that compensation, your family deserves the security it can provide.
A Seattle fatal car accident lawyer can guide you through the process to get yourself and your family back on track. At Craig Swapp & Associates, you can expect empathetic help getting the peace of mind you need, despite the overwhelming circumstances. To get help with your case, all it takes is one call, that’s all.
Who Can File After a Fatal Car Accident?
The first problem with a fatal crash in Seattle is the person filing the claim. After all, the injured party is deceased, so who has the right to file?
Typically, the right to file goes to the immediate family, which might include the following people:
- State-registered domestic partner
These will typically be the first people with the option to file a claim against the other driver, but these people may not be available if the person never married. In this case, the parents or siblings will be the next people who may be able to file.
Compensation for a Fatal Auto Accident in Seattle
Once you and your family have determined who will be able to file the claim, you’ll need to consider the compensation available to your family. While the deceased cannot benefit from this compensation, it can protect you and your family from expenses associated with the loss of your loved one.
For example, a wrongful death case can provide compensation for the deceased’s medical expenses and lost wages. If your loved one had an income that helped support you, you could be compensated for that loss, as well.
The costs associated with the death should also be accounted for. Burial expenses should be included, and when a death causes an especially large amount of stress and loss for the family, you may be eligible to receive pain and suffering damages. For example, losing a father as a young child can be especially traumatic, and this could be considered in the proceedings.
Who Pays for a Rental Car After an Accident?
After a car crash, you’ll likely have severe damage to your car. If it can be repaired, it can take time and plenty of money to get your vehicle back on the road. Unfortunately, that might mean another expense on your plate: transportation.
When you need reliable transportation to your doctor appointments and meetings with a lawyer, you need to know who pays for a rental car after an accident. It wasn’t your fault that you were hit by a reckless driver, so the expense of a rental car shouldn’t be yours to worry about.
Fortunately, at Craig Swapp & Associates, we’re pleased to help our injured clients get the compensation they deserve, which may include the cost of a rental car. We want to help you relax and focus on your recovery while we fight for the compensation you deserve.
Your Insurance Company Can Help
To get a rental car covered after a crash, you may need to speak to your insurance company about it. Many insurance companies may include these expenses in your settlement or as part of your auto insurance policy.
Ask your insurer if it’ll cover your rental car. Otherwise, you might need to ask the other driver’s insurer to cover the cost of your rental vehicle.
Including Transportation in Your Damages
While you may have had to pay for your rental car out of pocket, you may be able to seek compensation for it in your insurance or personal injury claim. If you take your claim to court, the responsible party should cover all the damages you’ve suffered.
This could include your rental car expenses. You wouldn’t have rented the car if the other driver hadn’t broken the rules of the road, so the other driver should cover that expense.
Who Is at Fault for My Seattle Car Accident?
When an auto accident happens, you’ll need medical treatment and a call to your auto insurer as soon as possible. Dealing with a crash can be expensive, though, so you’ll need to determine the person responsible for your accident to hold them accountable for your accident-related expenses.
You’ll need to ask, “Who is at fault for my Seattle car accident?” Unfortunately, the answer isn’t always clear, so you might need help determining who will pay for your claim.
A lawyer from Craig Swapp & Associates can help. Our attorneys understand how difficult it can be to determine the responsible party, but we’ll analyze your claim, uncover key evidence, and work to prove the at-fault party was liable.
When the Other Driver Is Responsible
In many cases, determining fault is a matter of determining which driver in a crash was responsible. In a two-person crash, this means you’ll need to prove the other driver caused the collision to seek compensation. Because Washington is a fault state for auto insurance purposes, proving that the other driver was at fault will be vital to the success of your injury claim.
Your lawyer will help by reviewing the accident and gathering evidence for your claim. For example, if another car crossed into your lane and struck you, your lawyer will focus on proving they were the ones in the wrong lane. This might come from video evidence from the scene, for example, and witness testimony.
Other Parties May Be Liable
The other driver is not, however, the only person who could be responsible for your crash. You might need to seek out a third party that might either be responsible for the other driver or responsible for the accident indirectly.
For example, if the other driver was at work while on the road, their employer might be responsible for the wreck. Employers are liable for all damage their employees cause within the scope of their positions, so if they were on the clock, their boss could be the financially responsible party.
What if you were the only car involved in the crash? In some cases, an accident can be caused by outside forces. For example, a vehicle malfunction could have been the fault of a careless manufacturer. If you were endangered because you had faulty car parts installed, then you shouldn’t have to cover your wreck-related expenses.
In other cases, your injuries could be the fault of a road hazard that should have been repaired by the Seattle Department of Transportation. This agency is responsible for the upkeep of the roadways and for any design defects that can make the roads dangerous. An experienced car wreck attorney can help you determine fault when preparing an auto accident claim.
Who Is at Fault in a T-Bone Accident?
When you’re injured in a car accident, it can nearly always be a traumatic experience. You might have been passing through an intersection, following the traffic laws, when another car rammed into your side. You’ve been T-boned and now you’re badly injured.
You deserve funds to aid your recovery, but the first step to that recovery is determining liability: Who is at fault in a T-bone accident?
When you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle collision, you need a lawyer from Craig Swapp & Associates to help you find the person or persons responsible. We’ll work diligently to uncover key evidence and ensure a positive outcome for your claim.
Who’s at Fault?
How do you determine fault in a T-bone accident? Typically, that will depend on which vehicle was breaking the law. T-bone accidents usually occur when one car runs a red light or stop sign. When the other driver tries to pass lawfully through the intersection, they’re struck by the driver breaking the law.
As such, the driver unlawfully in the intersection should be financially responsible for the accident. The exception to this rule are those drivers who are at work while on the road. These drivers might be acting within the confines of their employment, and in this case, they’re the responsibility of their employer. In these cases, you’ll need to file a claim against the employer.
Finding Evidence of Fault
You might know the other driver was at fault, but how do you prove it? Because Washington is a fault state, you’ll need evidence showing the other driver’s actions are what caused your injuries. Fortunately, a Seattle lawyer can help you gather evidence.
An attorney will have access to several resources, such as eyewitness reports, expert witnesses, and video surveillance. These reports can help show that the person responsible for the accident crossed the intersection unlawfully, resulting in the T-bone collision.
You could also seek out evidence from the scene, though you’ll need to act fast to preserve this evidence. You’ll have three years to file your claim, but the sooner you act, the more useful your evidence will be.
Seattle Whiplash Lawyer
Many victims of whiplash find themselves in serious financial trouble. For help seeing a way forward, call a Seattle whiplash attorney.
Whiplash may seem like a relatively minor injury. But sustaining this neck injury in a car accident can cause serious upheaval in your life, making it difficult to live comfortably or take care of your financial responsibilities.
To minimize these problems, you have the right to file a personal injury claim against the liable party to seek compensation for the damages he or she caused you. However, if you want to be successful, you may need help from a Seattle whiplash lawyer. The good news is that our team at Craig Swapp & Associates is here and ready to help.
The Statute of Limitations and Your Neck Injury
Some injuries, like a broken bone or lost limb, are immediately noticeable after a car crash. Other injuries, like whiplash, take a bit longer to make themselves known. Symptoms tend to develop over time, making it a bit more difficult to obtain an instant diagnosis.
However, it’s crucial that you see a healthcare provider as soon as you do begin to notice your symptoms. Doing so will help ensure that you are able to file a claim against the liable party and secure compensation.
Every state has strict regulations regarding how long a victim has to file a personal injury claim. This rule is referred to as the statute of limitations, and filing outside these time constraints could lead to a claim denial.
In the state of Washington, you have three years from the date of your accident to file your claim. Your Seattle whiplash claim lawyer will ensure your claim is filed correctly the first time around and gather all the appropriate evidence as quickly as possible so you don’t have to worry about the process taking any longer than necessary.
Damages You Can Recover for Whiplash in Seattle
Suffering a neck injury after a car accident can have a serious impact on your life, from your inability to work to your need for extensive medical care. However, your whiplash lawyer in Seattle will do everything he or she can to ensure these effects don’t become your burden to bear.
We will seek maximum compensation in your claim so you can focus on your recovery. Some damages for which you can pursue compensation include the following:
- Compensation for all medical care costs, including doctor appointments, hospital bills, ambulance fees, and more
- Loss of earning capacity
- Reimbursement for any wages lost while you were in recovery
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
Seattle Uninsured Accident Lawyer
You take precautions to protect yourself and other drivers by purchasing insurance, but not everyone on the road is so considerate. If you’ve been hit by an uninsured driver, call a Seattle uninsured crash lawyer for help getting the compensation you deserve.
Accidents are frustrating but common, and insurance should help with much of the financial damage. Unfortunately, some drivers are underinsured or have no insurance at all. This puts you in a tight spot if you need compensation for your damages.
Fortunately, you don’t have to solve this issue alone. A Seattle uninsured accident lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve. With Craig Swapp & Associates by your side, you can expect results to help you get back on your feet after the crash.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Washington
Many Washington insurance companies offer coverage beyond what’s standard, and it’s meant to protect you from a situation like this. Uninsured motorist coverage protects you from both underinsured drivers and hit-and-runs. In either situation, getting compensation from the insurance companies may be difficult or impossible, so you can benefit from legal help.
If you’ve purchased this insurance already, you should be covered. You’ll need to speak to your insurance company and file your claim. From there, your uninsured accident lawyer in Seattle can help you fight back against any attempts by your insurer to avoid compensating you.
In many cases, your uninsured motorist insurance should help you cover your damages. Be sure to speak to your insurer and a lawyer about your options and what your policy can help with.
Fighting for Your Compensation
Unfortunately, not everyone has the right insurance coverage when they’re hit by an uninsured or underinsured motorist. If your insurance company is unable to help you, you may be left to pay for the damages and injuries yourself.
However, you do have the option to fight for the damages you’re owed. Washington is a fault state, which means that the person at fault for your damages is responsible for covering said damages.
If you pursue compensation directly from the uninsured driver who injured you, your case may go to court. When insurance or the at-fault party can’t or won’t cover your expenses, you need help. After all, that uninsured driver could have left you with major expenses and damages, such as the following:
- Medical bills
- Car repairs
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Mental anguish
If you’ve been badly injured by a driver who doesn’t have sufficient insurance to cover these and other damages, get in touch with a Seattle uninsured accident claim lawyer.
How Is Fair Market Value Determined After a Car Accident?
Once you’ve ensured that everyone is safe after a car accident, the next step is often to assess the damage your car has suffered. After all, you’ll need to make sure the insurance companies give you enough to pay for all the damage.
Unfortunately, determining fair market value of a vehicle after a car accident can be confusing, and the insurance company certainly isn’t going to give you more than you ask for. This could leave you with a much lower settlement than you actually deserve.
To avoid this, reach out to the Seattle car accident lawyers at Craig Swapp & Associates. We’ll fight to make sure you get the compensation you truly deserve.
What Is Fair Market Value?
Fair market value may be confusing, but the concept basically answers this question: “What would your car be worth if you sold it on the market?”
This takes in a few assumptions—first, that the buyer and seller are both informed about any issues with the car so this hypothetical purchase is as fair as possible.
When the insurance adjuster arrives, he or she won’t just be looking at the current state of the car. The type of car and what it’s worth, based on the amount you would normally pay for that car, will be major factors.
Calculating the Diminished Value
The adjuster will typically look at the things that have diminished the value of the vehicle. This will factor into the amount you’ll receive for your vehicle, depending on several factors the adjuster will need to consider, such as the following:
- Car history
- Car make and model
- Additions to the vehicle
- Cost of replacing the auto
- Price of comparable vehicles
Seattle Car Accident FAQ
Being involved in a car accident can be overwhelming. With so much going on, it’s normal to feel confused about how to move forward. But being informed is crucial in this situation, especially if you want to file a personal injury claim down the line.
Our team at Craig Swapp & Associates wants to make sure the process of dealing with your motor vehicle collision is as smooth and simple as possible. To help, we’ve compiled the answers to some common questions about Seattle car accident claims.
What is my claim worth?
Most crash victims are eager to find out what their injury claim is worth so they can stop worrying about the financial burdens they’re facing. Although every case is different, your claim’s value can be evaluated based on damages like medical care, loss of earning capacity, and pain and suffering.
Should I talk to the insurance company?
You likely know that you’ll have to involve the insurance company to some extent if you want to recover compensation for your damages. However, a qualified lawyer will recommend limiting communication to simply informing the insurer that you were involved in an accident. A lawyer can handle everything else so you don’t accidentally compromise your case.
What is the statute of limitations for car accident claims in Washington?
Every state has strict deadlines regarding how long you have to file a claim after an accident. This is known as a statute of limitations. In the state of Washington, the personal injury statute of limitations is three years from the date of the accident.
What evidence will I need?
Evidence plays a key role in proving your case. It helps to prove the negligence of the other driver. Depending on the circumstances of your case, relevant evidence may include the police report, eyewitness statements, medical records, and footage or photos from nearby cameras.
Should I see a doctor?
Even if you don’t think you were hurt in your car accident, you should still seek medical attention as soon as possible after your crash. Some injuries may take a while to develop, and getting a medical evaluation will provide documented evidence of your injuries later on.
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.