Milton, Washington Car Accident Lawyer
While it may not be something you think about often, if ever, the truth is that car accidents are one of the leading causes of injuries and deaths in our state. Car accidents happen every day, and while many of these accidents are bothersome inconveniences but not real tragedies, there are crashes that occur that leave those involved with serious economic and noneconomic losses, ranging from psychological harm to physical disability and more. At the law offices of the Khan Injury Law PLLC, we know that a car accident can be traumatic. If you or a family member have been involved in a crash and have questions about what your options are for recovering damages or what to do if the insurance company isn’t handling your claim fairly, we can help. Please call our Milton, Washington car accident lawyer today for a free consultation and information about your rights.
How Car Accidents Happen
Most car accidents are entirely preventable. Indeed, despite the fact that there are more cars on the road and more roadways at this point in our history than ever before, car accidents are not inevitable. Instead, they occur due to preventable acts of negligence – the failure of an involved party to exercise the degree of care that is required for the given situation. There are three main categories of reasons why car accidents happen:
- Drivers’ errors. Drivers’ errors are the leading cause of car accidents. Errors that lead to crashes include things like driving while distracted or impaired, using a cellphone or handheld device while behind the wheel, attending to a pet or child while driving, speeding or driving aggressively, driving while fatigued, and more. These behaviors are unacceptable, and should never be engaged in. If more drivers paid more attention to the road and committed to acting with a greater degree of care, the number of car accidents that occur would be drastically reduced.
- Vehicle defects. The second-most-common cause of car accidents is that of vehicle defects. When a person buys a car, they don’t usually think about what might happen if a part of that car is defective; instead, there is a very reasonable expectation from the consumer that the car will function as intended. However, things like tire tread separation, brake failure, starter and ignition defects, and more do happen. When these types of defects are present, the consequences for the driver, passengers, or/and anyone else involved in the accident that results can be very serious.
- Road, signage, and weather conditions. Finally, things like road conditions (potholes or debris in roadway), improper or lacking signage (i.e. signage that incorrectly directs a driver to go a certain route in a construction zone), or weather conditions like rain or snow can all increase the risk of a crash. While no one can be held liable for the acts of mother nature (and drivers are expected to operate their vehicles responsibly in poor weather), an accident that’s caused by poor road or signage conditions could indeed lead to the liability of the party who was responsible for road/signage maintenance.
If you’re involved in a car accident, our lawyers will investigate the crash to determine who caused the accident and who should be held liable. This is an important part of making sure that you have the best chances possible of recovering the settlement that you deserve.
Why Fault Matters in a Milton, WA Car Accident Claim
In Washington, which is an at-fault state, fault matters a lot in a car accident claim. While fault may not matter in states that require drivers to carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage that pays for damages regardless of negligence after a crash, in Washington, the party who causes the accident will be liable for the costs that result. (As a note, under the law, PIP coverage must be offered to drivers at the time that they purchase their insurance policy, but drivers reserve the right to reject this coverage type.)
Not only will the party who caused the accident be responsible for paying for damages to the party who didn’t cause the accident, but the rule of comparative fault may also apply. The rule of comparative fault holds that the compensation award of the damages-seeking party (claimant/plaintiff) can be reduced in proportion of that party’s degree of fault. For example, while you can still recover compensation from the other party if you are found to be 15 percent at fault and the other party is found to be 85 percent at fault, your settlement will be reduced by 15 percent.
It’s important to have an attorney working on your side who understands this rule and who is committed to making sure that any allegations of fault made against you are disproved (should they be untrue). Pinning fault for an accident on the claimant’s shoulders is one tactic that insurance adjusters will use to reduce the value of the claim.
Top Signs You Need a Milton Car Accident Lawyer
Depending on the severity of your crash and the value of the damages that you suffer, you may not need a lawyer to help you navigate the claims process. However, you may need a lawyer if:
- You have suffered long-term or disabling injuries;
- Your injuries can be classified as “catastrophic”;
- You have incurred large medical bills as a result of your accident;
- Fault for your accident is disputed;
- Your insurance company or the insurance company of the other driver is denying your claim; or
- You feel like you have been offered less than you deserve.
Remember that not only do you have the right to legal representation when pursuing a settlement as part of a car accident claim, but you also have the right to reject a settlement offer made to you that you believe is unfair.
Call Our Milton, WA Car Accident Lawyer Today
At the Khan Injury Law PLLC, our Milton, Washington car accident lawyers are here to support you and improve your chances of recovering the settlement you deserve. To learn more, please call our law firm directly or send us a message requesting more information. We offer consultations free of charge.