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Why is My Car Accident Settlement Taking So Long?

Why is My Car Accident Settlement Taking So Long?

By | Car Accidents, Seattle | No Comments

The negotiation process is different for each car accident. Some cases settle faster than others. There is no way of knowing ahead of time how long it will take to reach a settlement—or if reaching a settlement is even possible.

Nevertheless, at Khan Law Firm we see some common roadblocks which delay settlement. We fully understand why victims are frustrated at the delay when they badly need compensation. Below, our car accident lawyer takes a closer look at the most common issues which frustrate a swift resolution to your case.

There is a Dispute About Fault

A person isn’t legally required to pay compensation to accident victims unless they are at least partially responsible for an accident. This responsibility is called “fault.”

In many accidents, the fault is obvious. For example, a person might run a red light and T-bone you. Your dashcam shows what happened, as do nearby security cameras. In an accident like this, the driver’s insurance company should quickly admit fault.

But the fault isn’t clear in all accidents:

  • Rear-end collisions. The car behind could be at fault for following too closely or not paying attention. However, the lead car could also be at fault if the driver braked suddenly.
  • Sideswipes. Two cars might collide while driving side by side, such as when a car tries to merge on the freeway. Either driver could be at fault, depending on the circumstances.
  • Head-on collisions. There might be a dispute over which car drifted over the center line. If each side points the finger at the other, then negotiations can slow to a crawl.

In Washington, fault can also be shared. Even someone badly injured could be at fault for the crash, and they might receive less as a result. Until the parties reach an agreement on fault, they will never agree to the compensation. For this reason, your settlement could get delayed as they argue back and forth.

Each Side Disagrees on the Severity of Injuries

In addition to agreeing to the fault, each side in negotiations must agree to the value of a person’s injuries. Some people have pre-existing injuries from a prior accident or workplace incident. An insurer might claim this pre-existing injury is the real source of your pain, so they don’t need to compensate you.

There might also be a dispute about whether you received unnecessary care. Insurers might refuse to cover the cost of massage, acupuncture, or certain mental health counseling if they don’t think it was necessary.

Disputes Over Value of Pain and Suffering

You should also qualify for compensation for pain and suffering, as well as other losses like emotional distress. These are hard to put an accurate price tag on. You might think the chronic pain in your hip, depression, and lethargy are worth at least $50,000. The insurer might only offer $5,000.

Disputes over pain and suffering are hard to resolve, but not impossible. As seasoned lawyers, we understand how much a jury is likely to award, and we will negotiate from a position of strength.

Contact Khan Law Firm today. We are skilled negotiators who will strive to obtain fair compensation following your crash.

How Does a Hit and Run Injury Claim Work in the State of Washington?

How Does a Hit and Run Injury Claim Work in the State of Washington?

By | Car Accidents | No Comments

Hit-and-run accidents occur more frequently than many people expect in Washington State and across the country. According to a study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, there are an average of 682,000 hit-and-run collisions in the U.S. every year, and hit-and-run fatalities have been on the rise for several years. When a person is injured in a hit-and-run accident in Washington State, how should they expect the claims process to work? Our Washington State personal injury lawyers have information to help you.

Determine Whether the Police Can Identify the Hit-and-Run Driver

In terms of the claims process and seeking full compensation for your losses, it will be important to determine whether the police will be able to identify the hit-and-run driver. If the hit-and-run driver is caught, that person can face serious criminal consequences under Washington State law. The law states:

“A driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in the injury to or death of any person or involving striking the body of a deceased person shall immediately stop such vehicle at the scene of such accident or as close thereto as possible but shall then forthwith return to, and in every event, remain at, the scene of such accident . . .”

If the hit-and-run driver can be apprehended and identified, you may be able to file an auto insurance claim through the driver’s insurance and/or a lawsuit against that driver—we will explain more about that below. If the driver cannot be identified, you will need to determine if you have the right kind of auto insurance coverage to pay for your losses.

File an Auto Insurance Claim 

Washington State is a tort state for purposes of auto insurance requirements and coverage, but it also allows motorists to purchase optional personal injury protection coverage (PIP coverage), uninsured motorist coverage (commonly known as UM coverage), and MedPay coverage.

If the hit-and-run driver can be identified, you can likely file a third-party auto insurance claim through that driver’s liability insurance, and it will not necessarily matter if you have purchased these additional forms of coverage. If the driver cannot be located, you will need to determine if you have any of the types of coverage identified above and whether they may provide compensation after a hit-and-run crash. A car accident lawyer in Washington can help with this.

File a Lawsuit Against the Hit-and-Run Driver

Finally, if the police are able to identify the hit-and-run driver—regardless of whether that person is ultimately convicted of any criminal charges—you may be eligible to file a car accident lawsuit against that driver for any losses that are not covered by your insurance claim. This lawsuit will be a civil claim, which means it will not result in criminal consequences for the hit-and-run motorist, but rather will allow you to seek financial compensation from them. You should be sure to have a lawyer on your side when you are filing a car accident claim.

Contact a Washington State Hit-and-Run Accident Attorney

If you or someone you love got hurt in a hit-and-run accident, you should seek advice from a Washington State car accident attorney as soon as possible. Contact Khan Law Firm for assistance.

what to do if you are in a bus accident in Seattle

What to Do if You Are in a Bus Accident in Seattle

By | Car Accidents, Personal Injury, Seattle | No Comments

Whether you are visiting Seattle and injured in a bus accident or you live in the Seattle area and suffer a bus accident injury while commuting, it is important to know what to do in order to preserve your right to compensation. Bus accidents involving King County Metro Transit buses can be devastating, resulting in serious and deadly injuries to bus passengers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and motor vehicle occupants in Seattle. What steps should you take if you are injured in a bus accident in Seattle? Consider the following recommendations from our Seattle bus accident lawyers.

1. Document the Scene of the Bus Accident

Do your best to document the scene where the bus accident occurred. If you are physically able to take photographs (depending on the severity of your injuries), you should document the wider scene of the crash as well as close-up images of property damages and physical harm. Be sure to obtain from the bus driver, his name, bus number, and incident number. Note the day and time of the accident as well.

2. Ask for Witness Contact Information

If anyone witnessed the bus accident, be sure to obtain witness contact information. Your bus accident attorney will likely want to speak with witnesses to the crash who may be able to support your case. When you fail to obtain witness contact information at the scene, it can be difficult to track down people who might have witnessed the crash at a later date.

3. See a Doctor ASAP to Have Your Bus Accident Injuries Assessed

You need to see a doctor as soon as possible for a medical assessment. Not only can some injuries take hours or days to produce obvious signs and symptoms, but waiting to get medical attention can allow those injuries to worsen. 

4. Determine Liability for the Bus Accident

Liability for Seattle bus accidents can be complicated since various parties may be at fault for the crash. Commonly responsible parties include but are not limited to:

  • King County Metro Transit;
  • Bus driver;
  • Mechanic who worked on the bus;
  • Driver of another motor vehicle; or
  • Designer or manufacturer of a defective bus part that caused the crash.

5. File Your Bus Accident Lawsuit Before the Statute of Limitations Runs Out

The statute of limitations in your case may depend upon whether you are filing a claim against King County Metro Transit or a private party, such as a negligent car or truck driver. Under the Washington State personal injury statute of limitations, most bus accident lawsuits will need to be filed within three years from the date of the collision. If you fail to file your lawsuit within that time window, you will have a time-barred claim and will be ineligible to receive damages in a civil lawsuit. 

When you are filing a public or government claim, Washington State law clarifies that, although the claims process is different from an ordinary civil lawsuit, the claim shall be presented to the government agent within the applicable period of limitations within which an action must be commenced.

Contact Our Seattle Bus Accident Attorney Today

Were you injured in a bus crash in the Seattle area? One of our experienced Seattle busing accident attorneys can evaluate your case for you today and discuss your options with you for seeking financial compensation. Contact Khan Law Firm PLLC to learn more about the personal injury services we provide to clients in Washington State.

compensation for pain and suffering after a car accident

What is Pain and Suffering in a Car Accident?

By | Car Accidents | No Comments

“Pain and suffering” is a legal term used to describe non-economic damages many people suffer in car accidents. Unlike economic damages, which you can measure using a bill or receipt, non-economic damages are subjective. This means that no two people will value pain and suffering the same way.

Below, our Seattle car accident lawyers take another look at what types of losses are included in pain and suffering and offer tips for maximizing the amount of compensation you receive.

Physical Pain

Bodily injuries first and foremost cause pain. Fractures, burns, strains, and organ damage can cause intense, sometimes blinding pain. The same is true of whiplash, compressed nerves, and concussions. Even on good days, a chronic dull ache can make a person feel sluggish and uncomfortable.

Physical pain like this is part of the category “pain and suffering”—even if you are taking painkillers to blunt the agony. Related conditions, such as sleeplessness caused by pain, are also included in pain and suffering.

Mental Anguish

Many people experience emotional distress or anguish following a car accident. There are usually two causes:

  • Physical injuries. Having a serious bodily injury causes emotional distress. For example, being paralyzed is a particularly severe limitation, and it is natural to experience negative emotions as a result.
  • Emotional trauma. For example, you might have seen your child suffer serious injuries in a car crash. This experience causes post-traumatic stress disorder and other negative emotions. Other accident victims have “flashbacks,” particularly at night, where they re-live the accident.

You might start going to therapy or take antidepressants or other prescription drugs to treat your emotional distress. Accident victims can receive compensation for their emotional pain. The question is how much money “makes up” for the distress you feel after an accident.

Disfigurement or Disability

These are also subjective losses that many accident victims experience. For example, if your car catches on fire, you could receive disfiguring burns on your face or hands. Some accidents also cause amputation or crush injuries which permanently disable a person.

We include disfigurement and disability in “pain and suffering.” As with physical pain and emotional distress, the value of your loss is subjective.

How to Increase Your Pain & Suffering Compensation

Because these losses are subjective, some juries might disbelieve you are really feeling pain or distress. For this reason, we work closely with our clients to fully document the pain and suffering they experience. Although keeping painkiller bottles helps, we might need to interview your family and friends to better understand how the accident has affected you.

You can also offer graphic testimony of the pain or depression you have experienced. Indeed, we often recommend victims keep a pain journal where they record daily how they feel.

Contact Khan Law Firm, PLLC

Pain and suffering damages represent a large portion of most settlements. We will always keep your suffering in mind when negotiating a fair settlement following a car accident. To get started, or to learn more, please contact our firm to schedule a free consultation.

how much compensation can you get for a whiplash injury claim

How Much Compensation Can I Get for a Whiplash Injury After a Car Accident?

By | Car Accidents | No Comments

Whiplash is one of the most painful injuries car accident victims suffer. Symptoms include neck stiffness, intense headaches, dizziness, and nausea. Someone suffering from whiplash might also have blurred vision or ringing in their ears, and it can be difficult to return to normal sleeping or living patterns.

Fortunately, Khan Law Firm, PLLC can step in and seek compensation for your whiplash injury. Below, our car accident lawyers look at the key factors which will determine how much compensation you might take home.

You Should Receive Money for Medical Care

Whiplash stretches muscles, ligaments, and tendons in the neck and upper shoulders—sometimes to the point where this soft tissue tears in two. These injuries cause intense pain. In severe whiplash, you might even fracture the vertebrae in your neck.

The main focus of whiplash treatment is to manage pain so you are comfortable while your body heals itself. Most pain management consists of painkillers and ice or heat. Over time, you will probably participate in physical therapy to reintroduce movement into your neck. In only the most extreme cases do you need surgery.

Add up all medical bills to treat your injury. Unless you were partially responsible for the accident, you should receive 100% of your medical care in compensation.

You Should Request Compensation for Lost Wages

It’s hard to work with whiplash. Most people need to move their heads in practically any job. Instead of working, you might rest and go to physical therapy for weeks or months. Headaches or dizziness can prevent you from standing for extended periods of time, so you might not even be able to work part-time.

You should receive compensation for your lost income. To calculate, multiply the numbers of weeks you missed by your weekly wage. If you missed 4 weeks and make $500 a week, you should receive $2,000.

You Can Receive Compensation for Pain and Suffering

Whiplash is painful and debilitating. Many people struggle to sleep at night, and they can fall into a funk because they can’t participate in their favorite hobbies. These types of harms also deserve compensation. In Washington, pain and suffering damages make up for the physical pain and emotional distress our clients feel.

How much can you receive? This will depend on several factors. First, the longer you feel pain, the more compensation you should receive. Second, the more disabling the whiplash, the more pain, and suffering. Unless your whiplash was truly minor, you should receive some funds to compensate for the pain.

Reduce Your Compensation by Your Fault

Under Washington law, your compensation is reduced by your degree of fault for the crash. If you were 0% at fault, you should receive full compensation for all losses—medical care, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, if you were 20% at fault, your compensation is cut by 20%.

We can analyze whether you bear any fault for the crash. For example, you might have pulled directly in front of someone. Even though they were speeding, you are partially to blame as well. We always minimize our client’s responsibility as best we can to increase a settlement.

Call Us

Our Seattle car accident lawyers have helped many whiplash victims get what they are entitled to. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.

hit by a car in Seattle

What to Do When You Get Hit by a Car in Seattle

By | Car Accidents | No Comments

Car accidents are a common sight in Seattle. Whether you are traveling on Interstate 5 or driving through a side street, it is not unusual to see two or more vehicles smashed up on the side of the road waiting for a tow. According to state statistics, Seattle saw over 7,800 crashes in 2021—with more than 200 resulting in a serious injury.

If you were struck by a car in Seattle, you must take certain steps to comply with the law and protect your ability to receive compensation. As always, contact one of our pedestrian accident lawyers if you have questions.

Stop Immediately

Washington requires that anyone involved in an accident resulting in bodily injury or property damage stop immediately. If you don’t, you could face charges for fleeing the scene of an accident, which is a misdemeanor or felony.

Of course, you might end up blocking traffic if you stop immediately, in which case you can pull over to the shoulder to free up traffic. But always remember to stop as soon as possible.

Check if Anyone Needs an Ambulance

Some accidents cause life-threatening injuries, and victims need to get to the emergency room ASAP. Always check with anyone involved in the wreck if they need an ambulance and call one if they do.

If you’re too hurt, then ask a bystander or passenger in your car to call for you. Put safety first.

Call the Police

You also need to inform the police of the accident. You can do this by calling at the scene. A responding officer should make a crash report. If there was only minor property damage, the police might not send anyone out—but you still should call.

Swap Personal Information with the Other Driver

You want to get:

  • License number
  • Insurance information
  • Registration number
  • Name and address
  • Contact information, such as a phone or email

Share your personal information with all drivers involved in the crash.

Avoid Admitting Fault

For example, if you admit, “I wasn’t even looking both ways!” then the other driver can use that statement to show you were admitting fault. Washington recognized contributory fault, and admissions like these could prove costly.

Take Pictures of All Vehicles & Anything Else Relevant

Photographs help document the collision. If possible, get some pictures of the cars immediately following the crash. After you pull to the side of the road, you can also take pictures of the sides of each vehicle, zooming in to focus on dents and dings.

Also, get a picture of anything else that seems relevant. If you lost control because you struck a giant pothole, then take a picture of it.

Receive Medical Treatment

Even if you feel “alright” following a crash, go to the hospital. You might be surprised that you have suffered a brain injury or something serious of that sort. Always follow your doctor’s orders so you can show you have taken your injuries seriously.

Contact Khan Law

This is the final step—but also the most important. Hire an experienced Seattle car accident lawyer to represent you in negotiations. Call us today to learn more.

car accident in Kent, WA

How Long After a Car Accident in Kent Can You Claim Injury?

By | Car Accidents | No Comments

Car accidents can completely turn someone’s life upside down. Out of the blue, a motorist can find themselves lying in a ditch or in a hospital bed in excruciating pain. Many victims need surgery and months of rehabilitation as they struggle to overcome debilitating injuries.

During this hectic time, it is very easy to forget that you need to seek compensation from the at-fault driver, either by submitting a demand letter or filing a lawsuit. Without the right legal assistance, accident victims could wait too long—and permanently lose their right to compensation. Please contact Khan Law Firm today to protect your rights.

You Have Three Years to File a Lawsuit

This is the statute of limitations found at RCW 4.16.080. It states that you must start a lawsuit within three years for any injury to your person or your personal property. This deadline covers both a claim for property damage as well as for bodily injury.

The Clock Starts with the Accident

The clock begins on the day you were hit. So if you were involved in an accident on July 1, 2021, the statute of limitations says you have until June 30, 2024. One day before the accident.

Delay Can Be Costly

What happens if you take too long? The answer might scare you.

If you don’t meet the statute of limitations, the defendant can ask the judge to toss your lawsuit out of court. And judges will do so since they will lack the power to hear the case because you took too long to file it.

This will mean you won’t get any compensation for your Kent car accident. Instead, you will be fully responsible for all your medical bills and will have to suffer the loss of income and property damage.

Don’t Expect an Insurer to Give More Time

Technically, you can file a claim with an insurance company and not file a lawsuit. However, you shouldn’t expect an insurer to give you any extra time to file an insurance claim. They negotiate settlements with an eye toward what will happen if negotiations break down and the parties end up in court.

If three years pass before you file an insurance claim, an insurer has little incentive to offer a settlement. They know a judge will dismiss any lawsuit.

Wrongful Death Claims Have a Three-Year Window

If a loved one died, then certain family members can bring a wrongful death lawsuit. This type of claim also has a three-year statute of limitations, but it begins on the date of the accident (which might not be the day of the death).

Call Our Kent Car Accident Lawyer Today

If you were involved in a car crash, our car accident attorneys will jump in and seek compensation for your injuries. We know how to file a complaint in the correct court, so you can be sure we will protect your rights. Once a lawsuit is filed, you can still negotiate a settlement with an insurer.

Please call us today to schedule a consultation at a convenient time.

What are My Options if I’m Hit by an Uninsured Motorist in Washington State?

By | Car Accidents | No Comments

Washington law requires that all motorists carry minimum liability insurance—at least $25,000 in bodily injury liability, up to $50,000 per accident, and $10,000 in property damage. Unfortunately, far too many people on the road do not have any insurance at all. In fact, a recent study put the uninsured rate in Washington at an astounding 16%. This rate gives Washington the tenth highest uninsured rate in the United States.

If you were badly injured in an accident, you might have incurred tens of thousands of dollars in medical care and lost wages. Rather than shoulder that financial loss yourself, you should seek compensation from the driver who caused the collision. If he or she is uninsured, however, you need to consider your options.

Option #1: Tap Your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Benefits

PIP is no-fault insurance that will cover various losses, including:

  • Medical and hospital costs (up to $10,000, though you can purchase more)
  • Lost wages ($200 a week up to $10,000 in total, though you can buy more)
  • Lost services, if you need to hire someone to do household chores ($200 a week, up to $5,000, though you can buy more)
  • Funeral expenses (up to $2,000)

PIP insurance has the added benefit of being no-fault, which means you could have been responsible for the accident and you would still be covered.

Check to see if you have PIP benefits. Your insurer had to offer it to you, though you had the option to decline it. Also check whether a relative in your household had it, since you might be covered under their policy.

Option #2: Make a Claim on Your Uninsured Motorist (UM) Policy

UM insurance is designed for precisely this situation—you are injured in an accident but the driver who caused the collision does not have any insurance. Under Washington law, insurers must offer you UM coverage, though you could decline it in writing. Hopefully, you did not decline this policy since it will cover you in this type of accident.

Unlike PIP benefits, UM coverage only applies if another driver is responsible for the accident. If so, you can make a claim for your economic losses, such as medical care and lost wages.

Option #3: Use Your Health Insurance to Pay for Medical Expenses

You might have health insurance through a job, or you could have bought a policy on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges. If you are injured, you should check whether you can use your health insurance to pay for medical care.

This isn’t an ideal situation, since you will be responsible for your deductible, which could be huge. You might also have high copays. Furthermore, health insurance cannot replace lost income, which you might need badly if you cannot work. Nevertheless, health insurance can at least reduce some of the costs of trying to deal with a devastating accident.

Option #4: Use Collision Coverage to Repair Your Vehicle

Collision coverage insurance pays to repair your vehicle when it is damaged from a collision with another object, such as another vehicle. If you took out a car loan, your lender might have required that you buy collision coverage.

Option #5: Sue the Driver

Even if a driver does not have insurance, he remains legally liable for all accidents he causes. This means you can sue him and try to get at his personal assets to pay out a jury verdict. In Washington, you might be able to foreclose on property, which means putting a lien on the property and asking the sheriff to sell it. You then receive some of the proceeds from the sale, which go toward fulfilling the court judgment against the defendant.

Unfortunately, not many drivers have sufficient assets to pay for your injuries. If they did, then they would probably have bought liability insurance, as is required by the state. Also, many people do not have the time to track down a defendant’s personal property so they can put a lien on it.

Talk with a Leading WA Car Accident Attorney

Khan Law Firm has been representing injured motorists for years, and we have built our reputation taking complicated cases, including cases where a client was struck and injured by an uninsured motorist.

Don’t despair if the other driver lacks insurance. You do have options. At our firm, we take great pride at identifying the best path forward for our clients so that they can recover as much as possible after a terrifying accident.

For more information about our services, you can talk to one of our attorneys by calling 206-430-6096. Please schedule a consultation, which is free and confidential. We will listen to you describe the accident and analyze the legal issues for you.

Seattle Hit and Run Accident Attorney

By | Car Accidents | No Comments

Traffic accidents are bad enough, but when someone leaves the scene of a traffic accident intentionally so that they don’t have to face the consequences, it can be downright maddening. Please know that if you have been in a hit and run accident, all is not lost. You might not have to absorb all the costs related to both your property damage and your physical injuries. The attorneys at the Khan Law Firm, PLLC can help you recover damages.

Criminal Penalties for Hit and Run Accidents in the State of Washington

The State of Washington divides penalties for hit-and-run accidents into three levels: misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor, and felony.

Hit-and-run accidents in which the car was parked or otherwise unattended are considered simple misdemeanors under Washington law. They are punishable by a fine of up to $1000 and up to 90 days in jail.

Hit-and-run accidents which involve one car hitting another driver are considered gross misdemeanors and are punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a $5000 fine. If someone is injured, however, in the accident, the penalty escalates to a Class C felony. If someone is killed in the accident, it escalates to a Class B felony. Class C felonies are punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Class B felonies are punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

Civil Penalties for a Hit and Run Accident in the State of Washington

Generally speaking, when a driver flees the scene of an accident, they are 100% at-fault for the accident. That means that, if they are caught, you and your attorney can seek compensatory injury damages. Plaintiffs in hit-and-run accidents can be compensated for any of the following from the at-fault driver directly or their insurance company:

  • Medical expenses,
  • Other expenses related to the accident,
  • Lost wages,
  • Pain and suffering,
  • Loss of enjoyment,
  • Property damage and more.

In cases where there is permanent physical impairment or disfigurement, settlements can reach into the millions of dollars. In addition, punitive damages can be awarded in hit-and-run cases. But this depends on actually finding the at-fault driver.

Impediments to Collecting Damages in Hit-and-Run Accidents

There are some barriers to collecting damages in hit-and-run accidents. Most obvious is the fact that the driver needs to be caught (more on that later). Secondly, if the driver is caught, what happens if they don’t have auto insurance?

It’s true that many drivers do leave the scene of an accident specifically because they do not carry auto insurance. Other times they may be drunk and he does not want the police to know about it. The two major stumbling blocks to collecting damages are finding the driver and hoping they have an insurance policy or—failing that—enough assets to compensate you for your property damage and injuries.

Finding the Driver

While police will be looking for the driver themselves, you also might consider hiring a personal injury attorney to launch an investigation of your own. The police will talk to any witnesses they can find at the scene, and may put information up on social media in case there is anyone out there who witnessed the accident. In addition, they will access any surveillance footage they can find.

By hiring an attorney, you don’t necessarily guarantee that the driver will be found. However, you do get a guarantee that they will prioritize the investigation higher than the police might. Police are busy people and a hit-and-run accident may or may not top their list of investigations that day.

How Can I Help After a Hit-and-Run Accident?

The first thing you need to worry about is being seen to by a medical doctor. If you are able, photograph the scene of the accident as much as you can and call police. Debris left behind at the scene may provide evidence to find the driver.

What Happens if the Police Don’t Find the Driver?

The State of Washington requires all auto insurance companies doing business in the state to offer every driver uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM). In the case of a hit-and-run accident where the driver could not be found, an injured motorist’s uninsured motorist coverage would be activated to cover the damages. If you were among those who elected not to pay for UM/UIM motorist coverage and the at-fault driver cannot be found, you have exhausted your options. You will foot the bill and take the economic hit on injuries, property damage, and lost wages. There is nothing left that you can do.

Making a Claim on a UM/UIM Policy

Despite what you may have been led to believe, you are not “in good hands” and your insurance company is not like “a good neighbor”. Neither of these accurately describe the relationship between you and the insurance company. The insurance company investigates every claim to the full extent that it can and while they cannot deny a claim in bad faith, they won’t offer you full compensation for your damages either.

When it comes to UM/UIM policies, you and the insurance company are adversaries, even though you pay them to protect you in certain situations, they have a vested financial interest in denying or reducing the value of your claim. This means that they will launch an investigation of their own to determine the extent of your injuries, the nature of the accident, and they will generally offer you a lowball figure for compensation that represents only a fraction of the value of your claim.

A Hit and Run Accident Attorney in Seattle Can Help

Whether it’s negotiating with the insurance company to honor the full value of your claim, launching a priority investigation to determine who the at-fault driver is, or suing that driver for their criminal negligence, the Seattle attorneys at the Khan Law Firm, PLLC have successfully recovered millions of dollars in damages for our clients. If you’ve been in a hit-and-run accident, give us a call to set up a no-obligation consultation.

Hit by a Car in Seattle

By | Car Accidents, Seattle | No Comments

Sometimes, car accidents involve pedestrians and bicyclists. In a collision and the moments afterward, it can feel like time is standing still – or it can feel like time is rushing past you faster than you can blink. In these moments, it can be difficult to know what to do. Although you can never plan to be hit by a car, you can prepare yourself for this scenario by learning what to do in the moments immediately following the impact.

A collision with a car can cause severe, often permanent, injuries. What you do in the moments, days, and weeks after you are hit by a car can determine how you recover from your injury and whether you can recover compensation for the expenses you face related to it through a personal injury claim. If you are hit by a car, take the following actions:

Do Not Leave the Scene

The only exception to this is if you suffer an injury that requires emergency medical attention. If this is the case, call 911 to have an ambulance sent to the scene. Your health and safety should always be your top priority.

If you are not in critical condition, remain at the scene of the collision and call local law enforcement to have an officer sent to the scene. If the driver who hit you does not stay at the scene, take a photograph of his or her vehicle or try to write down everything you noticed about the car, such as its license plate number, its color, and its make and model. If the collision occurred because the driver was somehow negligent, he or she is liable for your damages. For a driver, negligence can mean texting while driving, driving drunk, or disregarding the posted speed limit and other traffic rules.

Gather All the Evidence you Can

Take out your phone and snap as many pictures of the scene as you can. Get a photo of your injury as well as any images that accurately show how the collision occurred. Document the location of the accident and whether the driver also hit another victim, another vehicle, or a stationary object.

Take down the driver’s name and insurance information. If you do not feel comfortable doing this, wait until the police officer arrives and have him or her facilitate the exchange. You need to have the driver’s insurance information because this is the company with which you will file your personal injury claim. If any witnesses saw the collision occur, take down their contact information as well.

Do not leave the scene without the following:

  • A copy of the official accident report;
  • The driver’s insurance information;
  • Sufficient photographs to show what happened; and
  • Contact information for any witnesses who watched the collision happen.

Receive Medical Attention for your Injury

Even if you do not feel like you are injured, go to the doctor to have yourself examined within a few days of the accident. You could possibly have suffered an “invisible injury” like a traumatic brain injury. These injuries often have no physical symptoms and can go unnoticed when the victim does not receive appropriate medical care. It is also possible for an injury that seems minor initially to become much more severe if it is left untreated.

There is another important reason why you should seek medical attention as soon as you can: the strength of your personal injury claim. If you choose to file a personal injury claim, you will need to support it with sufficient evidence that shows how your injury occurred and the losses you experienced because of the injury. Documentation that shows you received medical attention shortly after the accident, testimony from your doctor regarding your injury and treatment, and copies of your medical bills are all important pieces of evidence to include with your personal injury claim.

Determine your Personal Injury Claim Plan

After you have received a diagnosis and appropriate treatment for your injury, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss your grounds for filing a personal injury claim. You can recover compensation even if you were partially at fault for your accident, so do not shy away from contacting a lawyer to discuss your rights even if you were negligent in some way. Your lawyer will review all the evidence you have and determine if you have grounds for a personal injury claim. If so, he or she can work with you to gather and use additional evidence to support your claim, such as documentation of your lost wages and evidence to show the value of your pain and suffering damages.

Working with a lawyer will make the personal injury claim process easier for you. Your lawyer can ensure that your claim does not violate state laws or violate deadlines like the three-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims.

Your lawyer can also negotiate with the driver’s insurance provider on your behalf. In Washington, negligent drivers are liable for all the damages related to the injuries they inflict. After you file a personal injury claim with the driver’s insurance provider, an insurance company representative will make a settlement offer. Your lawyer can determine whether this offer is sufficient to cover your expenses and if it is not, negotiate with the company to reach a more appropriate settlement amount. Your lawyer can also determine whether filing a personal injury lawsuit would be a productive course of action for your case.

Work with an Experienced Seattle Pedestrian Injury Attorney

Being hit by a car can drastically change your life. Among all the changes that come with your injury, a crippling financial burden should not be one. Contact our team of experienced car accident attorney in Seattle at Khan Law Firm PLLC today to set up your free case review in our office. During your case review, we can determine whether you have grounds for a personal injury claim and if so, start working with you to develop yours.