Washington Auto Accidents
If a driver suffers injuries from an accident that occurred due to the negligence of another driver, the injured driver may be able to receive compensation for damages and losses. Personal injury and auto accident laws were enacted to help return and restore injured accident victims to their pre-crash states of health, finances, and overall wellbeing.
As such, these laws afford several types of damages and recoveries to victims, such as:
- Emotional distress damages stemming from the collision
- Past, present and future medical bill reimbursement; damages for permanent disability and disfigurement
- Costs for assistance with household chores that can no longer be performed by an injured family member
- Lost wages for missed time from work, including time spent attending court hearings, physical therapy, and doctors' appointments, plus injury and recovery time
- Lost future earning potential
- Vehicle repair or replacement damages
- Other out-of-pocket costs reimbursement, such as storage and towing fees for a wrecked or totaled vehicle
Of course, this list is only illustrative and is not intended to be a comprehensive listing of all of the damages and remedies available.
How Do You Know How Long You Have to File an Accident Injury Claim?
Like all states, Washington has enacted deadlines for victims seeking to file personal injury claims within the state's legal system. The applicable deadline is called a statute of limitations. In essence, it is a deadline set by legislative statute germane to a particular type of legal claim.
In Washington, injured accident victims have three years from the date of a crash to file a legal claim against the driver at fault for causing the collision. That may seem like a long time, but once there are delays for medical treatment, insurance company negotiations, and retaining and gearing up with legal counsel, the time quickly slips away. It is prudent not to allow lengthy delays to prejudice one's claims, interests, and rights. In fact, most experienced personal injury and automobile accident attorneys advise that prospective clients consult with them immediately after they have obtained the necessary medical treatment.
What Role Does Auto Insurance Play in Protecting Victims and Aiding Recovery?
Car collision lawyers practicing in Washington readily highlight the critical importance of automobile insurance in providing both protection and recovery compensation to accident victims. Incidentally, this recovery applies to drivers and passengers in the vehicles involved in a wreck. Auto insurance is a useful tool to restore the parties to their status quos before the accident, in terms of facilitating the purchase of or reimbursement for their medical care expenses for injuries and auto repairs for property damage to the wrecked vehicle. This holds true for annoying fender bender taps in traffic, as well as severe crashes with catastrophic or fatal injuries and multiple car pile-ups.
Auto insurance also plays a key role in protecting parties from uninsured drivers and underinsured drivers, who seem to be multiplying on today's roads in the down-turned economy with increasing insurance, fuel, and cost of living expenses. Auto insurance protects those drivers dubbed "at-fault" from being held financially responsible for the causing of a collision. The insurance tool even protects other family members who use a driver's vehicle with that driver's permission. For this reason, auto insurance is said to "follow the vehicle."
Auto insurance is such an important asset for drivers that auto accident attorneys make these suggestions about how to best manage this tool:
- Keep updated auto insurance records or copies of these records in the glove box, so they are quickly accessible in the event of an accident or police traffic stop.
- Review auto insurance deductibles, premiums, coverage limits, and policies annually or at least periodically each year or so with your local broker or agent to ensure that your and your family's insurance needs are being met and covered adequately. Do not wait for an emergency to conduct this review.
- Keep the phone number, email address, and fax number of your local insurance agent or broker and auto insurance company handy in your purse, wallet, glove box, and/or cell phone.
Locate a Local Washington Auto Accident Attorney Today
A Washington auto accident attorney can represent you in court proceedings, ranging from motions hearings and trial to even an appeal. He or she can examine and evaluate your case to assess your potential bases for recovery and probable damages stemming from the car collision at issue. Your lawyer can also highlight the strengths and weaknesses of your unique case and outline the likely timeline for negotiating or litigating your car accident personal injury or property damage claim(s) with applicable insurers. A Washington State-based car collision lawyer can assist you in navigating the state's court system and best position your claim for optimal, maximum recovery. Call now to speak with a car accident lawyer in Washington at 877-913-7222.