Car accidents remain one of the biggest public safety problems in our communities. The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) reports that there were 107,634 motor vehicle collisions in the year 2014 alone. In total, these crashes resulted in at least 46,036 injuries and 462 fatalities. To make matters even more concerning, car accident injuries appear to be on the rise in Washington.
For car accidents victims, a crash can leave them with immense pain and suffering along with a pile of unpaid medical bills. Injured victims may even be forced to miss an extended amount of time at work in order to recover from their accident. While victims are entitled to compensation from the at-fault party, a fair recovery can be difficult to obtain.
This is where our legal team can help. At Khan Law Firm, PLLC, our dedicated Vashon Island car accident attorneys have helped many injured victims recover full and fair compensation for their car accident-related losses. If you or a family member was hurt in a car accident on Vashon Island, please do not hesitate to contact our team for immediate legal assistance.
What to Do After an Auto Accident in Washington
1. Seek Professional Medical Attention
Car accident injuries always require professional medical attention. No matter how minor you feel your injuries might be, you should get yourself checked out by a qualified medical professional. Many common auto accident injuries, including whiplash, back injuries, and brain injuries, come with a delayed onset. It is possible you are far more injured than you even realize. Your body is loaded up with adrenaline after a crash. The pain may be temporarily disguised. Further, if you are planning on pursuing a personal injury claim at any point in the future, you will need supporting medical documentation to be eligible to recover compensation.
2. Report the Crash to the Authorities and the Insurance Company
Under Washington state law, any motor vehicle accident that resulted in injuries should be reported to law enforcement officials. Please be sure to report your crash. Additionally, drivers are required to exchange certain personal information with the other parties involved in the wreck. This includes up-to-date insurance information. Beyond law enforcement officials, your crash should also be reported to your insurance company and any implicated opposing insurance companies.
3. Gather and Secure Any Relevant Evidence
You should try to obtain as much evidence as possible that is related to your crash. Relevant car accident evidence comes in many different forms; it could include pictures of the crash, pictures of your injuries, the crash report, and contact information for any witnesses. You can never gather too much evidence. While not everything will end up being useful, you also cannot know which specific piece of evidence will be necessary to make an effective claim.
4. Contact a Vashon Island Car Accident Lawyer
If you were injured in a Vashon Island auto accident, you should not go through the complex claims process on your own. A top-rated car accident attorney can help you hold the insurance company accountable, so that you can recover the full compensation that you deserve. The insurance company is represented by highly trained professionals. You need to keep the playing field level. Work with a top-rated lawyer.
How to Prove Liability for a Car Accident in Washington
Vashon Island car accident claims are governed by Chapter 4.22 of the Revised Code of Washington. This is the state’s negligence standard. Simply put, you can hold another party liable for your car accident if you can prove that their negligence, in some manner, contributed to the accident.
While many different parties can potentially be held liable for a car accident, including vehicle manufacturers, most car accidents are caused by negligent drivers. Indeed, according to data included in the National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey, at least 93 percent of all motor vehicle accidents are caused by driver error. Other estimates put the figure even higher. Driver errors come in many different forms, with some of the most common examples being the following:
- Running a red light;
- Running a stop sign;
- Failure to yield;
- Following too closely (tailgating);
- Unsafe lane changes;
- Reckless driving;
- Distracted driving; and
- Intoxicated driving, including drunk driving and drugged driving.
Notably, Washington is a comparative fault jurisdiction. As such, more than two different defendants can potentially split liability for the same accident. In cases of shared responsibility, the accident liability will be divided proportionally. For example, if a driver was deemed to be at fault for 70 percent of an accident, they would also be liable for 70 percent of the total accident damages. If you are held partially liable for your own crash, then your compensation will be reduced accordingly. Do not let the insurance company unfairly pin the blame on you.
Car Accident Victims Deserve Fair Compensation
Under Washington law, injured auto accident victims are entitled to seek financial compensation for the full value of their losses. To get fair compensation, victims must be able to ‘prove’ their damages. Proving damaging requires presenting comprehensive, carefully assembled documentation. Unfortunately, the big insurance companies are always looking for reasons that they can use to deny or underpay insurance claims. At the Khan Law Firm, PLLC, our Washington car accident lawyers help victims fight for every dollar that they are owed. This could include compensation for:
- Damage to your vehicle;
- Hospital bills;
- All other medical expenses;
- Long-term disability;
- Lost current and future wages;
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress;
- Disfigurement or loss of limb;
- Loss of lifestyle enjoyment; and
- The wrongful death of a loved one.
Contact Our Car Accident Lawyers in Vashon Island Today
At the Khan Law Firm, PLLC, our law firm is dedicated to protecting the legal rights and financial interests of injured victims. If you or a loved one was hurt in a car crash on Vashon Island, we can help. Please do not hesitate to contact our top-rated Washington auto accident lawyers to set up your free, fully confidential initial consultation.