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 from Caffee Law 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 alone. The Seattle personal injury lawyers at Caffee Law 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) 312-0954 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
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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 skills. 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 likely 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.
If you suffer injuries in a car crash, you should not wait to take legal action against the at-fault driver. It’s important that you try to take a few crucial steps to protect your rights and ensure you recover the maximum financial compensation available.
Call 911. State law requires that you report an accident to the Washington Department of Transportation if there’s an injury, fatality, or more than $700 in property damage. If an officer shows up at the scene to investigate, they will write and submit the report for you.
Gather evidence. First, be sure it is safe to get out of your car and walk around. If necessary, move your vehicle to the side of the road, so it’s not in the way of traffic. Look for anything relevant in or near the crash site that could help prove what happened. Take photos of the scene, debris, broken car parts, and vehicle damage.
Obtain insurance. Ask all the other drivers involved for their names, phone numbers, license numbers, and auto insurance information. If one of them caused the crash, you might be able to file a claim with their insurance company.
Talk to witnesses. Innocent bystanders might have seen everything that happened. Write down their names and contact information. They could provide a witness statement and confirm your version of events.
Seek medical attention. See a doctor about your injuries and follow their orders for additional treatment. It’s essential that you continue attending appointments until all of your medical providers release you from their care. Any gaps in treatment could impact the outcome of your case.
Hire a lawyer. Contact Caffee Law for one of our Seattle car accident attorneys to represent you.
When you hire Caffee Law, we will take care of each step of your case from start to finish. One of the most crucial parts of a legal case is the investigation. We will have to locate evidence that sufficiently proves another person was liable for the accident, and your injuries resulted from their actions. Examples of evidence we will work to obtain include:
If necessary, we can visit the location of the accident and attempt to recreate what happened. Although law enforcement investigates an accident scene, its findings are often disputed by the insurance company. We might also disagree with who they believe was at fault for the crash. If we can offer a new perspective, we might convince an insurance company of our theory.
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.
Caffee Law 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.
Caffee Law 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.
More severe injuries can also impact a person’s ability to work. Some of the most common kinds of car accident injuries that Caffee Law handles include but are not limited to:
When a person dies in a car accident, the deceased’s family members of the deceased can file a wrongful death action against the negligent parties.
Caffee Law takes all car accident cases on contingency. You won’t have to worry about paying upfront fees or costs to receive legal representation. We don’t expect payment of our legal fees until we recover financial compensation. If we lose your case, you won’t have to pay us.
Whether you decide to file an injury claim or lawsuit, there are strict deadlines you must comply with, or you could give up your rights to compensation. Insurance policies typically list the timeframe they require accident victims to file a claim. Some state that you only have 30 days from the crash date to begin the claims process; others give you a more substantial timeframe.
You have a bit more time if you want to sue the at-fault driver. There’s a three-year statute of limitations in Washington. That means you have three years from the accident date to file a lawsuit, or you could lose your right to sue. You might think that’s plenty of time, but the injury claim negotiations, which typically precede a lawsuit, can be a lengthy process. That’s why it’s critical that you start working on your case immediately.
Serving Accident Victims in Seattle and the Surrounding Areas
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 Caffee Law 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:
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.
When you file a lawsuit, you must base your case on a specific legal theory. Negligence is a common theory used in car accident cases. It’s because of a driver’s negligent actions that you sustained injuries. There are five elements you must prove to base your case on negligence:
You also have the option of seeking punitive damages when you file a lawsuit. Unlike other damages, such as medical bills and mental anguish, punitive damages are intended to punish the liable party, rather than compensating you for the injured victim’s losses. A jury will only award this to you if you can provide clear and convincing evidence that the at-fault driver exhibited acts of intentional, malicious, or reckless conduct.
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:
These liability limits allow for compensation for the injured party’s damages. Damages refer to the expenses and losses an accident victim incurs. They may cover:
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 more extensive 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:
The car accident attorneys at Caffee Law have extensive knowledge about Washington car insurance law and are well-equipped to handle your claim to achieve the best outcome.
Our Seattle Car Accident Attorneys Are Here to Help
An accident can happen in any location at any time of the day for any reason. Typically, driver error or inattention leads to crashes and traumatic injuries. The most common causes of car accidents include:
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.
Caffee Law represents residents and visitors involved in car accidents in communities all over the Greater Seattle area. Call (206) 312-0954 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and evaluation of your case.