Seattle Personal Injury Attorney | Russell & Hill, PLLC Seattle Law Firm
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Being a responsible driver is not a guarantee that you will not get into a car accident. Unfortunately, for every conscientious driver on the roadways, there is another driver out there who thinks their time—and their lives—are more valuable than everyone else’s. These negligent drivers can cause major accidents resulting in severe injuries and property damage. However, these people may be held accountable for the destruction caused by their negligence. Accident victims have the right to pursue compensation for damages in the civil courts after being injured in a car crash.

What to do after a car accident

Being injured in a car crash is a frightening ordeal, and it is not always easy to know what to do first after the accident. Here are the steps you should follow after a car crash:

  • If possible, take photographs of the property damage to all vehicles involved and get contact information for all those involved or who witnessed the accident.
  • Seek medical care immediately. Even if you think your injuries are not critical, you should allow a healthcare professional to evaluate your injuries. Some injuries, such as whiplash, may not be immediately noticeable, but can become debilitatingly painful as time goes on.
  • Document your injuries. Have photos taken of the injuries themselves and retain copies of medical evaluations, medical bills, and any other expenses stemming from the accident or related to your injuries.
  • Contact an auto accident attorney. A car accident attorney can evaluate your case and help you learn more about how to proceed with legal action against the liable driver .

Establishing liability in car accident cases

When a driver gets into a car crash because of some act of negligence on their part, they can be considered liable—or responsible—for any injuries and property damage resulting from the accident. Negligence can wear many faces, and could include texting while driving, speeding, failure to stop at a red light or stop sign, and any form of distracted driving. Sadly, a negligent driver’s behavior often causes major injuries and even fatalities due to a car crash.

We represent car crash injury victims

Car accidents happen all too often, and it is common for a car crash to result in injuries. In many cases, the driver who is at fault for the accident can also be held legally liable for any damages to person or property resulting from their negligence. If you were hurt in a road crash and want to discuss your legal options with a car accident attorney in Seattle, the car crash attorneys at Russell & Hill, PLLC, can help inform you about your rights and options as an accident victim. We provide legal services to victims on a fee-contingent basis, which means you pay zero in attorney’s fees until we have won or settled your case. We have a track record of recovering damages for our clients, and we are confident that we can help you too. Call today for a free case assessment.

What are the Washington vehicle accident statistics?

When we look at the latest year of data available, we see that there was a total of 115,999 accidents in Washington. Out of those, there were:

  • 494 fatal crashes
  • 1,936 suspected serious injury crashes
  • 7,766 suspected minor injury crashes
  • 25,012 possible injury crashes

Many Seattle car accidents result in only property damage or minor injuries, but that does not mean they are expense-free. All car accidents need to be reported and properly dealt. For serious injuries, expenses can reach well beyond insurance minimums.

Can I depend on the other driver’s insurance to cover all of my expenses?

Washington is considered an at-fault state when it comes to car accidents. This means that the person who caused the accident is responsible for damage and injury expenses. If you are injured or have property damage due to someone else’s negligence, there are a few routes you could take:

  1. File a claim with your insurance company who will, in turn, pursue a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier.
  2. File a claim directly with the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier.
  3. File a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver in civil court.

Why is it difficult to get complete coverage for severe injuries?

When we look at Washington’s mandatory vehicle insurance requirements, we can see how it could be difficult to get complete coverage in some situations:

  • $25,000 for injuries or death to one person in an accident you cause
  • $50,000 for total injuries or death to all people in an accident you cause
  • $10,000 for damage to another person’s property in an accident you cause

Alternatively, drivers in Washington could also have a liability bond of $60,000, which most drivers obtain by purchasing liability coverage.

Looking at those limits, it is easy to see how they may not cover total expenses in a car accident. Consider the following common car crash injuries:

  • Broken and dislocated bones
  • Severe lacerations
  • Internal organ damage
  • Internal bleeding
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Whiplash injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Concussions

Many of those injuries can easily lead to more than $25,000 in medical expenses. Please understand that there are many other costs related to car accidents:

  • Lost income if you cannot work
  • Home and vehicle modifications
  • Rehabilitation or physical therapy
  • Emotional and psychological damages

What if I am hit by an uninsured driver in Washington?

Uninsured motorist protection is not mandatory in Washington, though it can help you if the at-fault driver has no insurance or if you are struck by a hit-and-run driver. If you do not have uninsured motorist coverage, you can rely on other insurance you purchase, such as personal injury protection or collision coverage. If you do not have these coverages, you are going to be on the line for all damages and medical expenses related to the crash.

If you are confused about what to do now, Russell & Hill, PLLC to walk you through the steps. When you need a Seattle car accident attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling 800-529-0842.

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