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WASHINGTON CAR
ACCIDENT LAWYER

A car accident can happen at any time. In many cases, car accidents result in serious, even deadly, injuries to the drivers and passengers involved. When this happens, an injured victim can seek compensation for his or her damages through a personal injury claim. If a victim dies as a result of injuries sustained in a car accident, his or her loved ones may file a wrongful death claim to recover compensation for the damages associated with his or her death.

If you are involved in a car accident, knowing what to do afterward can have a significant impact on your ability to recover from the injury physically and financially. Always put your health and safety first, then worry about recovering compensation later.

Ways you Can be Injured in a Car Accident

Injuries sustained in a car accident can be fairly minor or they can be severe, leading to life-altering complications or even death. A few examples of injuries that can be sustained in a car accident include:

  • Broken bones;
  • Burns;
  • Lacerations;
  • Traumatic brain injuries;
  • Scarring;
  • Bruising; and
  • Organ and tissue damage.

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OTHER PRACTICE AREAS

CAR ACCIDENTS

BICYCLE ACCIDENTS

BRAIN INJURIES

BUS ACCIDENTS

TRUCK ACCIDENTS

DRUNK DRIVING INJURIES

MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS

DOG BITES

WRONGFUL DEATH

WHAT TO DO AFTER AN ACCIDENT

Immediately after the collision, pull off the roadway to a safe spot if you are able to do so. If not, remain where you are. Call 911 to have an ambulance sent to the scene if anybody involved in the accident is in need of emergency medical care.

Then, have a local police officer sent to the scene to fill out an official police report. This report, along with photographs of the scene and eyewitness testimonies, is an important piece of evidence to support your personal injury claim.

Take as many photographs of the accident that you feel are necessary to convey how the accident occurred and which party was at fault. Do not leave the scene without exchanging contact and insurance information with all other parties involved in the accident. If there were witnesses, take down their contact information too. If the insurance provider contacts you for a statement, do not make one without first speaking with a lawyer about your case.

Then, seek appropriate medical attention as soon as possible. Documentation showing that you received medical care is also a critical piece of evidence to support a personal injury claim.

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Reduce your Chance of Being Injured in a Car Accident

Although you cannot completely eliminate your risk of being involved in a car accident, you can reduce your risk by taking certain precautions while driving. These include:

  • Never drink and drive. If you choose to drink alcohol, stay within your limit or find an alternate way to get home, such as a rideshare, public transportation, or a designated driver;
  • Put the phone away while you drive. If you need to talk on the phone while driving, use a hands-free headset. Keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road at all times;
  • Always drive well-rested. If you feel tired while driving, pull off to take a short break or enjoy a caffeinated beverage; and
  • Adjust your driving to your environment. When there is water or ice on the road, drive more slowly and take turns less sharply than you would on a sunny day. Be cognizant of the other drivers and the hazards in the roadway to anticipate and avoid issues before they arise.

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Seeking Compensation Through a Personal Injury Claim

In Washington, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim is three years from the date of the accident. Once three years pass, you cannot recover compensation for your damages through a personal injury claim. This is why you should be proactive and start working on your claim with an experienced lawyer as soon as you can after receiving medical care.
Through a personal injury claim, you can recover compensation for the following damages:

  • Your medical bills;
  • Your lost wages due to spending time out of work to recover; and
  • Pain and suffering, which refers to the damages that fall outside the categories above. Examples of pain and suffering damages include the cost of seeking mental health treatment after an accident and the cost of over-the-counter medical care, like bandages and painkillers.

In Washington, an injury victim must seek compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance provider, rather than his or her own. Injury victims may seek compensation regardless of their level of fault in the accident, but the total compensation amount they may recover is reduced according to their level of fault. For example, a victim who seeks $100,000 in compensation may only recover up to $80,000 if he or she is deemed to be 20 percent at fault for the accident. Unlike other states, Washington does not impose a limit on the level of fault a claimant may hold and still recover compensation – even if you are found to be 90 percent at fault for your accident, you can still recover some compensation for your damages.

In any personal injury claim, the claimant must prove the following:

  • Another party had the duty to prevent harm to others, even if this simply means following the rules of the road;
  • That party breached his or her duty. This is known as negligence;
  • Because of the party’s negligence, the victim suffered and injury; and

Because of the injury, the victim suffered specific monetary damages.

Work with an Experienced Washington Car Accident Lawyer

If you have been injured in a car accident, consider working with an experienced car accident lawyer to pursue a personal injury claim. But first, get the medical attention you need to ensure that you are on the right path toward recovering from your injury. Then, contact a member of our team of experienced personal injury lawyers at Khan Law Firm PLLC to schedule your free legal consultation with us. We can answer any questions you have and work with you to determine the most effective way to seek compensation for your damages.