Car accidents are a very serious public safety problem in Washington. According to data collected and published by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), one person is injured in a motor vehicle collision in the state every eleven minutes.
Motor vehicles accident happen in every community, no matter how quaint. In 2014, there were 70 accidents reported in the city Newcastle alone. Collectively, these accidents resulted in at least 30 injuries, including several severe injuries. Auto accident victims deserve full and fair compensation for their damages. Unfortunately, in far too many cases, recovering that compensation can prove to be challenging.
At Khan Law Firm, PLLC, our top-rated Newcastle car accident attorneys have the skills and experience needed to hold the big insurance companies accountable. We help Washington car accident victims get fair compensation for their losses. If you were injured in a crash in Newcastle, please do not hesitate to contact our legal team for immediate assistance with your claim.
What You Need to Do After a Car Accident
1. Get Professional Medical Assistance
If you were injured in a Newcastle, WA car accident, it is imperative that you get yourself to a doctor for a comprehensive medical evaluation. Certainly, if you need emergency attention, you should accept an ambulance ride from the scene of the crash to the nearest hospital. Though, even if you believe that your injuries are only minor or moderate, you still need to get yourself examined. Many common car crash injuries come with a delayed onset. Further, you will not be able to bring a claim unless you have seen a doctor for an examination.
2. Exchange Information and Report the Accident
Auto accidents should be reported to the authorities. Under Washington state law you have an obligation to report the crash to state or local law enforcement officials. It is in your best interest for an officer to come to the scene of the crash. Additionally, you should also exchange information with all other drivers involved in the accident and ensure that the crash is reported to their insurance company and to your insurance company.
3. Secure Relevant Evidence
Ultimately, all successful car accident claims are built on a strong foundation of supporting evidence. To best protect your legal rights and financial interests, you should attempt to gather and secure all available evidence that is related to your crash. Of course, this can be difficult to do in the commotion immediately following a collision. You may need to backtrack. Still, you should secure any evidence that you can get your hands on. Relevant evidence can come in many different forms. Some of the most common examples include:
- Pictures of the crash;
- Pictures of your injuries;
- The accident report; and
- Witness statements.
4. Contact a Car Accident Attorney
Finally, if you were seriously injured in a motor vehicle crash, you should not go up against the insurance company all on your own. The best thing you can do to protect yourself and your rights is to contact an experienced Newcastle car accident lawyer. The sooner you get a lawyer by your side, the better off you will be. Your lawyer will be able to help you take the appropriate action to bring a claim for damages.
How to Establish Liability for an Auto Accident in Washington
Washington is a comparative fault auto accident state (Chapter 4.22 of the Revised Code of Washington). To hold another driver liable for your car wreck, you will need to be able to prove that they were at fault for your collision. In the state, fault in based on negligence. Essentially, this means that you will need to be able to establish that the other party did something unsafe, and that those unsafe actions (or inactions) contributed to the accident. For the most part, car accidents are caused by negligent drivers. Though, manufacturers can potentially be held liable as well. For drivers, negligence comes in many different forms. Some of the most common examples include:
- Running a red light;
- The failure to yield;
- Unsafe lane changes
- Failure to maintain lane integrity;
- Following too closely;
- Failure to watch for pedestrians;
- Distracted driving;
- Drunk driving; and
- Drugged driving.
It should be noted that the state of Washington is a comparative fault jurisdiction. This means that liability for a car accident will be distributed proportionally. In some cases, this is simple: If a driver is at fault for 100 percent of the crash, they are responsible for 100 percent of the damages. However, in other cases, two or more parties can split liability for the same accident. In fact, in some cases, a victim could even be held partially at fault for their own crash. Unfortunately, the big insurance companies sometimes try to push some blame for the crash onto innocent victims in order to reduce their own liability.
Compensation Available to Car Accident Victims
Newcastle car accident victims deserve full and fair compensation for their losses. Yet, the large insurers can make fair compensation incredibly difficult to obtain. Insurance companies are most concerned with their own bottom line; they invest a tremendous amount of time and energy into limiting the total value of payouts. Car accident victims need to fight for what is rightfully owed to them. At the Khan Law Firm, PLLC, our Newcastle car accident attorneys can help victims seek financial recovery for:
- The damage to their automobile;
- Ambulance and emergency room fees;
- Hospital and medical bills;
- Costs associated with physical rehabilitation;
- Short term and long term disability;
- Lost wages;
- Diminished earning capacity;
- Pain and suffering;
- Mental distress;
- Loss of life enjoyment; and
- The wrongful death of a family member.
Contact Our Car Accident Lawyers in Newcastle Today
If you were injured in a crash in Newcastle, Washington, we are here for you. At Khan Law Firm, PLLC, our Newcastle car accident attorneys have helped many injured victims recover full and fair compensation for their damages. To find out more about what we can do for you and your family, please contact us today to schedule your free consultation.