Seattle, Washington Car Accident Lawyers

A car accident can change your life in an instant. One minute your life is moving along normally, and the next you’re wondering if things will ever be the same. When you’ve been injured in an accident, the physical, emotional, and financial toll can be overwhelming. Contact the Seattle car accident attorneys of The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee to schedule a free consultation.

Car accidents occur frequently in cities all over the Seattle area, and some collisions may result in minor damage, while others cause far more severe injuries and complications. Often, accident victims are confused about what steps they should take after being involved in any kind of motor vehicle crash. A lawyer can help you understand your rights and legal options and fight for the justice you deserve.

If you suffered serious injuries or your loved one was killed in a car accident in the Seattle area, do not think that you have to handle your injury claim on your own. The personal injury law firm The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee can make sure the negligent driver involved in your accident is held fully accountable.

Jeffrey R. Caffee has been honored as one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers by the National Trial Lawyers every year since 2013. He or one of our Seattle auto accident lawyers can provide a complete evaluation of your case when you call (206) 899-5415 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

Do I Need a Seattle Car Accident Lawyer?

If an accident clearly appears to be the fault of another driver, you may be tempted to believe that you have an easy case that does not require an attorney’s expertise. But payments in these cases are not automatic; insurance companies will always seek to find any way to minimize their losses, so victims need to have someone looking out for their interests.

One of the ways insurers accomplish this is simply by asking you to provide a recorded statement, during which an agent will ask questions that are specifically designed to get you to unknowingly admit to negligence. In other cases, an insurance company may offer a person a lump-sum settlement. It is likely that whatever you are being offered is a lowball offer that will not cover your future expenses.

You will want a lawyer simply to deal with the insurance companies on your behalf. A Seattle, WA auto accident attorney will be able to conduct an independent investigation to determine the cause of your accident, collect evidence, and identify all liable parties before seeking a fair and full settlement.

Why Choose the The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee to Handle My Case?

Jeffrey R. Caffee was honored by The International Academy of Trial Lawyers in 2009 with an Award for Advocacy for distinguished achievement in the art and science of advocacy. He is a member of the King County Bar Association, the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association, and the Washington State Bar Association.

Mr. Caffee received his Bachelor of Science from Saint Leo University before earning his Juris doctor at the University of Notre Dame Law School. He has been admitted to state courts in Washington since 2009.

The The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee also provides legal representation on a contingency fee basis. This means that you will not have to pay us anything unless you receive a financial award.

Our firm will negotiate for a settlement that covers all of your past, present, and future needs. When an insurance company does not provide an adequate settlement, we will file a lawsuit.

Types of Car Accident Cases We Handle

The The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee has successfully represented many Seattle car accident victims, and though every car crash is different, many share common causes. Some of the most common factors we see regularly include but are not limited to:

Fortunate individuals aren’t hurt; others will suffer significant injuries that often require lengthy initial hospitalizations and several rounds of follow-up care.

The 5 Most Dangerous Car Accidents

More severe injuries can also impact a person’s ability to work. Some of the most common kinds of car accident injuries that The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee handles include but are not limited to:

When a person dies in a car accident, the family members of the deceased can file a wrongful death action against the negligent parties.

What to Expect in a Washington Car Accident Claim Process

Car accidents are always an unsettling experience. Filing an insurance claim may be unfamiliar to you, and it can feel overwhelming to handle on your own. Having a Washington car accident injury lawyer from The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee on your side gives you someone to rely on who knows how to deal with insurance companies and has your best interest in mind. We can manage the process and advise you on every step, so you are not alone in the ordeal.

Here is what to expect during the process and how we can help:

  • We’ll provide a consultation at no cost: During a free consultation, we will be able to answer all of your questions and evaluate your case. There is no obligation to hire us, and we don’t charge you any fees unless we win your case.
  • We’ll procure proper medical documentation: If you haven’t already sought medical care, you will need to right away, even if you don’t think your injuries are substantial. Sometimes serious injuries do not materialize until significant time has passed. Once we have your medical records, we can use them to prove your injuries and structure your case.
  • We’ll investigate your case: Insurance companies do their own investigations to evaluate what they think your claim is worth, but we certainly don’t take their word for it. We thoroughly explore what happened at the scene of the collision, how injured you are, and what the true costs will be for you now and in the future.
  • We’ll calculate your costs: We figure out how much the insurance company should pay you by calculating all the costs that come along with your car accident. This amount is referred to as “damages.” We make sure that no costs are overlooked, so you may be able to receive the true amount you deserve.
  • We’ll negotiate assertively with the insurance company: Insurers know what they want to offer as a settlement, but our experienced attorneys handle the negotiations for you to make sure you aren’t short-changed.
  • We’ll reach a fair settlement: Many car accident claims are successfully handled without going to court. The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee works to achieve the largest settlement possible to cover your medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages.

With all the assistance we offer during the claim process, there is no reason you should try to navigate it on your own. You can leave the paperwork and negotiation to us and receive a larger settlement than the insurance company would offer you without representation.

Seattle Car Accident Statistics

According to the 2015 Annual Collision Data Summary from the Washington State Department of Transportation, there were 14,508 total collisions in Seattle in 2015. These crashes included 22 fatal collisions, 167 serious injury collisions, 4,604 minor injury collisions, 9,568 property damage only collisions, and 147 unknown injury collisions.

This report also showed that:

  • A crash occurred every 4.5 minutes in Washington
  • A person died in a crash every 16 hours
  • A person was injured in a crash every 11 minutes
  • A speeding driver was involved in a crash every 27 minutes
  • An inattentive or distracted driver was involved in a crash every 12 minutes
  • A person was killed by an impaired driver every 1 1/2 days

There were 117,053 total collisions in Washington, which included:

  • 499 fatal collisions
  • 36,531 injury collisions
  • 77,358 property damage collisions
  • 2,665 unknown injury collisions

Inattention or driver distraction was the most common cause of all accidents. A driver under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs was the leading cause of fatal collisions.

How Car Accident Insurance Works in Washington

When it comes to auto insurance, states fall under the category of either at-fault or no-fault. The vast majority of states are at-fault states, including Washington. This means the party who is at fault for an accident is also responsible for vehicle damage, injuries, lost income, etc. It also means that the victim in an accident has the right to sue.

Most people do not have their own funds to cover the costs for a collision they cause, so having an auto insurance policy with liability coverage is mandatory in Washington. Once a car accident happens, the insurance carrier steps in to absorb these losses on behalf of the driver, and they can pay up to the maximum policy limits. These are the minimum amounts of liability insurance that drivers are required to carry:

  • $25,000 for injuries or death to one other person
  • $50,000 for injuries or death to all other people
  • $10,000 for damage to another person’s property

If the cost of damages goes beyond the policy limits, the insurance company is not required to pay more, but the at-fault driver can be held personally responsible.

Washington drivers have a larger range of options after a car accident than drivers in no-fault states. In those states, accident victims must use their own personal injury protection coverage for medical bills and other out-of-pocket expenses, even if the other driver caused the collision.

When accidents happen in Washington, people who suffer injuries or damage can take action in one of these three ways:

  • File a claim with their own insurance company, if the loss is covered under their policy. The insurance company will then pursue what is called a subrogation claim against the insurance carrier of the at-fault driver.
  • File a third-party claim directly with the insurance company that covers the at-fault driver.
  • File a personal injury lawsuit in civil court against the at-fault driver.

The car accident attorneys at The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee have extensive knowledge about Washington car insurance law and are well-equipped to handle your claim to achieve the best outcome.

Contact a Seattle Car Accident Attorney Today

Did you sustain catastrophic injuries, or was your loved one killed in a car crash in Seattle? It will be critical for you to retain legal counsel quickly to give yourself the best chance of recovering as much compensation as possible. Though no amount of money can take away your pain or bring your loved one back, we can help you get the justice you deserve.

The The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee represents residents and visitors involved in car accidents in communities all over the Greater Seattle area. Call (206) 899-5415 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and evaluation of your case.

FAQs

Frequently
Asked
Questions

When you have been involved in any kind of car crash, you should immediately seek medical care even if you do not believe you were hurt. Not all injuries involve immediate symptoms. When possible, take as many pictures as you can of your crash scene before the evidence disappears. Get photographs of the vehicles, people, and any other items you believe may help your case from different angles and distances. Also, be sure to get the contact information for any witnesses to the accident. If you cannot take these steps yourself, ask someone you know to do it for you. Avoid discussing your crash with anybody until you have an attorney, and do not post anything about your accident on social media. Lastly, refuse to provide any recorded statement to an insurance company until you have legal representation.

The Revised Code of Washington § 4.16.080 establishes that a person must begin an action for injury to their person within three years of the date of a car accident. If the crash results in death, then a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within three years of the date of the person’s death (which could be later than the date of their accident).

The Revised Code of Washington § 4.16.190 does allow for the statute of limitations to be tolled (or delayed) when a victim is 1) under the 18 years of age, 2) is “incompetent or disabled to such a degree that he or she cannot understand the nature of the proceedings,” or 3) is imprisoned on a criminal charge prior to sentencing. Such victims will have three years from the date that they turn 18, become mentally competent, or are released from prison. The code also allows for the statute of limitations to be tolled when a defendant is out of the state or concealed within, and their period of absence will generally not be counted as being part of the limitations period.

Yes, you will. Washington is one of a dozen states that uses a pure comparative fault system for apportioning damages between negligent parties in civil cases. Under the pure comparative fault system, a victim can recover damages even when they were primarily at fault for their accident. The one catch to pure comparative fault is that a person’s damages can be reduced by their degree of fault for their accident. In other words, a person who is awarded $100,000 in a car accident case but it found to have been 60 percent at fault will have their damages reduced by $60,000 and ultimately receive $40,000.

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The The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee has years of experience handling all manner of injury cases. Our Seattle Injury attorneys care about you and want to help you through the overwhelming challenges that you face as a victim of another person's negligence. Our firm is available at (206) 899-5415.