Have you been injured in a vehicle accident in the state of Washington? Nobody anticipates being involved in an accident, and it’s a stressful situation. Whether or not if you were responsible for the accident and are now seeking compensation, this article will walk you through the process of resolving an auto accident in Washington State.
We’ll guide you confidently through this tough circumstance, from the rules governing auto accidents in Washington State to the compensation you can expect.
The Fundamentals Of Washington State Automobile Accident Law
Washington is a state with a high rate of comparative carelessness. This means that whomever is at fault in an automobile accident is financially liable for the resulting damages. If many parties share responsibility, the damages obtained will be proportionately reduced.
Consider the following scenario: you are involved in an automobile accident and are determined to be jointly liable with the other driver. You and your vehicle are unharmed, but the other motorist has incurred a $20,000 monetary loss. They may sue you for $20,000, but they will only be awarded $10,000 due to your joint responsibility.
Additionally, Washington State law requires drivers to carry insurance to protect anyone who may be hurt in a car collision for which you are judged at fault.
The Financial Losses Involved In A Car Accident Case
In Washington State, the majority of traffic accidents are resolved through insurance settlement agreements rather than through a formal court proceeding. This is a less formal process that begins with filing a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance carrier, demonstrating the extent of the harm.
The insurer will then conduct an inquiry of the claim and the supporting documentation. They will issue a compensation offer if they determine that their insurance policyholder is at fault. If you accept the offer, you will sign a contract agreeing not to pursue the issue further.
It is always prudent to check with a lawyer prior to accepting any settlement offer to ensure that you are receiving the best possible bargain.
Which Errors Should I Avoid Following A Car Accident?
Numerous divers make several critical errors following an automobile catastrophe. The following are the top ones to avoid.
1. Leaving the Accident Scene
It is illegal to flee the scene of an accident in which you were involved if there has been an injury or damage to another person’s car. You are required to pull over and exchange insurance and contact information in order to file a claim later.
If someone is hurt, it is also considered common politeness to ensure they receive proper medical treatment prior to leaving the site.
2. Acknowledgement of Fault
Never mention anything that could be regarded as admitting fault if you were not the cause of the accident. For instance, refrain from apologizing to the other motorist if you were not at blame or are unsure who was at fault.
Additionally, you should exercise extreme caution while communicating with insurance providers. Though you concede fault to an insurance provider, you risk invalidating any subsequent claims, even if you are technically entitled to reimbursement.
3. Failure to Compile Evidence
Being involved in a vehicle accident is stressful, even more so if it is severe. However, it is critical to photograph the scene for subsequent use as evidence. You should attempt to acquire photographs or video from as many angles as possible prior to moving any cars.
Additionally, photograph or record any stop signs, lights, or barriers that obstruct your view of the road. Additionally, take a photo of the license plate of the opposing vehicle to confirm you have the correct information.
4. Failure to Consult a Physician
If you are injured in an automobile accident, get medical attention immediately. This is especially crucial if you have had a significant injury, such as whiplash.
Even if you do not believe this is essential, you should still see a doctor for an assessment. The physician’s report will provide more evidence in support of your argument. This is one of the first documents that insurance companies will want if you file a personal injury claim.
Acceptance of the Initial Insurance Offer
Insurance companies’ initial settlement offers are virtually usually less than what they are ready to pay. However, the majority of people immediately accept this and go on. You may be entitled to substantially more than they are offering, which is why it is prudent to have an attorney analyze the settlement and advise you.
6. Refusing to Hire an Attorney
Many consumers feel that they do not require the services of an attorney in order to file an insurance claim. However, as we have seen, insurance companies frequently underpay claimants, and you may receive less than you deserve. Additionally, interacting with an insurance company can be unpleasant, particularly if you are healing from an injury.
What Happens If There Is An Accident In Washington State And I Am Uninsured?
Driving a vehicle without insurance is banned in Washington State. If you are involved in an accident without insurance, the Department of Licensing (DOL) will suspend your license if someone is harmed or a minimum of $1000 in damages is sustained.
Within 180 days after the accident, you will receive a suspension notification informing you how to prevent or appeal the suspension.
Your license may be suspended for up to three years and you may be required to pay a $75 reinstatement fee, depending on the severity of the collision.
Of course, if you’re impaired by alcohol or proven guilty of careless driving and cause an accident, you face legal consequences and a possible prison sentence.
How Much Money Do Car Accidents Typically Recover?
There is no way to determine the average settlement amount in Washington State because each accident is unique. A minor collision with minor damage may result in a maximum of $1000 in damages. On the other hand, a serious accident resulting in catastrophic injury or death may result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages and harm.
Several subjective elements that have a substantial impact on the settlement amount include the following:
- The severity of the damage
- Earnings loss (if a someone is unable to work owing to an injury)
- Accident cause (whether reckless driving or alcohol was involved)
- Suffering and anguish (for example, if lifelong injuries have been sustained that cause mental and emotional suffering)
At Caron, Colven, Robison & Shafton, we handle accident cases on a daily basis and has the strategies and relationships necessary to obtain the compensation you deserve.
Do You Require an Attorney to Represent You in a Car Accident Case?
Being involved in a vehicle accident is a very stressful and frequently traumatic experience. If you’ve been involved in an accident and sustained injuries, CCRS can assist you in obtaining fair compensation. Whether you’ve incurred physical injuries, lost wages, vehicle damage, or emotional distress, you deserve compensation.
Caron, Colven, Robison & Shafton specializes in auto accident claims. If you have sustained a personal injury in a car accident, contact them immediately and allow them to handle your case. They’ll ensure that you receive the most favorable settlement possible.