SHORELINE CAR ACCIDENT LAWYER
Washington State Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney Assisting Clients in Shoreline
Car accidents in Shoreline can be devastating. We rarely plan for a motor vehicle collision, yet they can happen anytime and almost anywhere. Indeed, car accidents can even happen in parking lots and in residential driveways. The aftermath of a traffic collision can be even more devastating when the victim and his family learn that the crash could have been avoided.
If another driver’s reckless or careless behavior caused a serious or deadly accident, you should seek advice from an aggressive Shoreline car accident lawyer as soon as possible. You may be able to file a car accident claim in order to seek compensation for your injuries.
Major Causes of Shoreline, Washington Auto Accidents
The Washington State Department of Transportation’s an annual collision report from 2015, the last year of complete statistics, identified statewide priorities for preventing serious car crashes. The following causes of car accidents accounted for at least 30 percent of all reported serious injuries and fatalities in the state:
- Impaired driving, including alcohol consumption and drug use;
- Driving at excessive speeds;
- Lane departures that resulted in wrong-way crashes, head-on collisions, and run-off-the-road accidents;
- Intersection-related collisions, often caused by running red lights and stop signs; and
- Inexperienced driver-related accidents involving motorists between the ages of 16-25.
There are many other causes for traffic collisions in Kirkland and throughout the state. The following represent facts associated with 10 percent to 30 percent of all reported serious and fatal auto accidents:
- Distracted driving and distracted walking;
- Failure to wear a seat belt;
- Unlicensed drivers behind the wheel;
- Opposite-direction collisions;
- Motorcyclist error;
- Pedestrian error; and
- Older driver-related accidents involving motorists aged 70 and up.
In addition to these causes of motor vehicle crashes, Washington State also lists drowsy driving and truck driver error as frequent reasons that accident occurred.
DAMAGES FOR PLAINTIFFS INJURED IN SHORELINE TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS
What are damages in a car accident lawsuit? This is the term that is used to refer to an award for a plaintiff, usually a monetary one. If you file a car accident lawsuit in Shoreline, Washington, what kinds of damages can you be eligible to receive? Washington State is one of only a few states in the country that does not permit punitive damages for car accident victims. As such, an injured plaintiff can be eligible to receive compensatory damages.
Compensatory damages do what they sound like: they provide compensation for a person’s losses. Under Washington State law, there are two different kinds of compensatory damages for which you may be eligible if you decide to file a car accident lawsuit:
- Economic damages, which are defined by law as “objectively verifiable monetary losses, including medical expenses, loss of earnings, burial costs, loss of use of property, cost of replacement or repair, cost of obtaining substitute domestic services, loss of employment, and loss of business or employment opportunities”; and
- Noneconomic damages, which are defined by law as “subjective, nonmonetary losses, including but not limited to pain, suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, disability or disfigurement incurred by the injured party, emotional distress, loss of society and companionship, loss of consortium, injury to reputation and humiliation, and destruction of the parent-child relationship.”
Understanding Contributory Fault in Washington State
It is important to remember that you should never admit fault after a car accident in Shoreline. While you should always be honest and provide factual information to any law enforcement officers at the scene of the crash, you should avoid making any statements concerning your opinion—including about whether you may have been partially to blame—until you have discussed your case with a Shoreline car accident attorney.
You may be asking yourself: what will happen if I do share some of the responsibility for the collision? Washington State law follows a theory of pure contributory fault, which is also known as pure comparative fault. What does this mean? In short, even if a plaintiff bears some liability for an accident, the law still allows her to recover damages from the defendant. However, her damage award will be reduced by the percentage of her negligence.
Comparative fault, or contributory fault, is a defense that is raised often in car accident lawsuits so that a defendant can avoid being responsible for the full amount of damages assessed by a jury. No matter what percentage of fault is assigned to the plaintiff—anywhere from 1 percent to 99 percent—the plaintiff’s fault is not a bar to her recovery. To better explain how this works, we will offer an example. Imagine Jane files a car accident lawsuit, and the jury awards $250,000 in damages. However, the jury also determines that Jane is 20 percent at fault for the accident. As such, that $250,000 award is reduced by 20 percent, or $50,000. As such, Jane will recover $200,000.
Filing a Shoreline Car Accident Lawsuit: How Much Time Do I Have?
The statute of limitations for a car accident claim in Shoreline is three years. The statute of limitations sets the time window for a plaintiff to file a lawsuit. If the plaintiff fails to file a claim before the statute of limitations “runs out,” so to speak, then she loses her opportunity to seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.
As such, any potential Shoreline car accident victim must ensure that she initiates her lawsuit within three years from the date on which she was initially injured. While you have three years to file a lawsuit, filing sooner is always better. By filing an auto accident lawsuit as soon as possible, you can ensure that memories of the accident are fresh in the minds of witnesses. In addition, evidence may be easier to obtain sooner rather than later after the motor vehicle crash.
FREE CASE EVALUATION
Best law firm in Seattle!! All the staff is very professional and warm. They were always informative and called us right back.