There are 5,293,568 licensed drivers in the state of Washington, a number only outmatched by 12 other states. Because of the number of drivers on the road, it is critical that Washington drivers take extra precautions when operating a motor vehicle, as there is a much greater chance of causing a car accident than in a state with fewer drivers, such as Kentucky, Rhode Island, or Wyoming. Unfortunately, Washington’s car accident statistics reveal numbers comparable with the amount of drivers in the state. For instance, there were 420,275 speeding citations filed with Washington state courts in 2014, 31,128 DUI cases, and 97,763 individuals involved in car accident fatalities and injuries.
With those numbers to contend with, state officials are working hard to pinpoint the leading causes of car accidents in Washington so that they may work towards eradicating the problems for good.
Leading Causes of Car Accidents in Washington
According to the Washington State Department of Transportation’s 2014 Annual Collision Summary, a speeding driver was involved in a car accident every 28 minutes; an inattentive/distracted driver was involved in a car accident every 12 minutes; and an impaired driver killed a person every one and a half days. The highest number of crashes occurred between 5:00 and 5:59 pm on Fridays. The majority of those accidents were due to human error—namely inattention and distraction.
At the Khan Law Firm, PLLC, our Seattle car accident lawyers help clients deal with injuries sustained from a variety of accidents. However, the leading causes of car accidents in Washington are those for which we see the most personal injury claims, and are as follows:
- Drunk Driving: According to the Washington State Department of Transportation, drunk driving is the leading cause of car accident fatalities throughout the state. As well as criminal penalties for drinking and driving, offenders may face civil lawsuits brought against them by a victim’s family members, or even the victim themselves.
- Speeding: Speeding is another leading cause of car accidents in Washington, and accounts for nearly two and half collisions per hour of every day.
- Distracted Driving: From texting and driving to putting on makeup, the most frequent contributing circumstance among all collisions in Washington is distracted or inattentive driving. While the numbers are unclear as to just what extent distracted driving is responsible for the increasing car accident fatality rates in the United States, it is estimated that the number of deaths is more than half a million. Washington is one of many states to take proactive measures against texting and driving and talking on the phone while driving, but distractions can range in nature, and can include eating, playing with the radio, or even talking to others in the vehicle.
Unfortunately, when even one driver is careless on the road, it can lead to negative consequences for several other individuals. At Khan Law Firm, PLLC, our Washington personal injury attorneys advocate for the victims of car accidents in the event that they sustain life-altering injuries that resulted in high medical bills, lost wages, and an overall decrease in quality of life.
What To Do After a Car Accident in Washington
If you have recently been involved in a car accident in Washington, you deserve to be compensated for any injuries sustained during the accident, as well as for emotional pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical expenses. However, in order to file a car accident claim, it is important that you understand car accident laws in Washington. A Washington car accident attorney can lend legal knowledge and skill to your case so that you may settle sooner and achieve a more desirable outcome.
Whether you choose to work with a car accident attorney or not, here are some tips that every victim of a Washington car accident should know:
- The statute of limitations on car accident injury claims in Washington is three years, starting from the day of the crash. However, the three-year limit does not apply if you are filing a claim with your insurance company or with the other driver’s insurance company, as private insurance companies are likely to have their own set of time limitations.
- Washington is a “pure comparative fault” state, meaning that the victim can share a part of the blame for the accident and their injuries. If the judge rules that the victim is partially responsible, they will reduce your settlement accordingly.
- Washington requires drivers to carry no less than $85,000 in insurance coverage. If a driver fails to meet Washington’s insurance requirements, they may be unable to file an insurance claim for damages sustained in a car accident.
If you are involved in a car accident in Washington, do the following to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver:
- Assess your injuries;
- Take photographs of the accident, including the scene of the accident, the road debris, the vehicles, and your injuries;
- File a police report;
- Obtain the names and contact information of eyewitnesses;
- Hire a Washington car accident attorney; and
Report your losses to your insurance company.
- Do not give a statement to your own or the other driver’s insurance company without first speaking with your Washington personal injury attorney;
- Do not sign anything without thoroughly reading it first, and without first letting your car accident attorney read through it with you; and
- Do not try to settle your own personal injury claim.
Individuals who try to settle their own insurance claim are less likely to achieve a beneficial outcome to their case.
Consult a Washington Car Accident Attorney
At the Khan Law Firm, PLLC, our car accident lawyers are working hand-in-hand with the state to reduce the number of car accidents that Washington sees each year. However, we understand that car accidents happen, and that at the very least, we can be there to help victims of car accidents receive adequate compensation for their injuries and to move on with their lives. If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident that resulted in serious damages and/or injuries, do not hesitate, and contact our personal injury firm at 206.455.6220 to consult with one of our knowledgeable car accident lawyers today.