Seattle Single-Vehicle Accident Lawyers
If you were injured in a single-vehicle car crash, it’s important to turn to an experienced car accident attorney. Most drivers in a single-vehicle accident will blame themselves for the wreck, but, in fact, many of these accidents are caused by external factors, such as a road defect, debris, or another careless driver.
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee will investigate your accident to identify the at-fault party and help you recover the full compensation you need for your medical expenses, missed wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.
For more than ten years, The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee has advocated for injured victim’s rights to ensure they receive the maximum financial award available. It can be difficult moving forward after a traumatic accident occurs, but we’ll be by your side to help you navigate the legal process, answer all your questions, and even help you find the best doctors for your needs.
Our Seattle car accident lawyers are ready to fight for justice. Call us today at (206) 312-0954 to schedule your free consultation. We’re ready to get started, and we won’t charge you a thing unless we win compensation for you.
Follow the Steps Below to Recover Compensation After a Single-Car Accident
It’s important that you take immediate action after a car accident to ensure you’re able to pursue the compensation you need to treat your injuries. There are strict deadlines you must adhere to whether you file an insurance claim or lawsuit. Following are steps you can take right after your car accident to protect yourself and your rights:
Step 1: Call 911. When a car accident causes an injury, fatality, or at least $700 in property damage, you must report it to the Washington Department of Transportation. Wait for an officer to arrive at the scene. They can write a collision report and send it to the DOT, so you don’t have to.
Step 2: If it’s safe to get up and walk around, collect any evidence you find at the crash site. You can take photos of the damage to your car, debris on the road, and other relevant details you see. If the cause of your accident was a pothole or fallen road sign, you should also take pictures of that to prove another party was at fault.
Step 3: Speak to bystanders who saw the accident occur. Write down their names and phone numbers so they can confirm your version of events when you file an insurance claim or lawsuit.
Step 4: Seek medical treatment after leaving the accident scene. Even if you believe your injury is minor, you shouldn’t wait to see a doctor. Sometimes the initial shock shields people from pain and hides symptoms of an underlying issue. If the medical provider refers you for additional treatment, imaging tests, or an appointment with a specialty doctor, follow their instructions. You should also receive ongoing treatment until you make a full recovery.
Step 5: Take your vehicle to a repair shop for a damage estimate. Keep a copy of the report as evidence of an expense caused by the accident.
Step 6: Hire a Seattle single-vehicle accident attorney from The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee. We have experience managing cases like yours and will handle every step of the legal process for you.
Common Causes of Single-Vehicle Accidents
Various external factors could contribute to a single-car accident. Sometimes, it’s a defect, such as a damaged road sign; however, many times, another person is involved. Here are some of the most common causes of single-vehicle accidents:
Another driver: One of the most common causes of single-vehicle crashes is another driver or pedestrian. Driver error and inattention are common factors. Examples include:
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Impaired by drugs or alcohol
- Reckless driving
- Fatigued driving
If another motorist does something that requires you to brake suddenly or swerve out of the way, you could collide with a stationary object or end up in a ditch. Pedestrians who jaywalk or enter a crosswalk when they have a red light could also cause drivers to get hurt in an accident.
Malfunctioning traffic signals: When a stoplight or signal isn’t working correctly, it can disrupt the flow of traffic. Damage, defects, vandalism, and adverse weather conditions can all lead to a malfunctioning traffic signal.
Poor lighting: Street lights are necessary, so drivers see where they’re going, especially at night. They’re able to see if there are hazards in the road, read traffic signs, and notice when someone is trying to cross the street. Without adequate lighting, drivers are unable to detect situations ahead where they must proceed with caution.
Missing or damaged signs: Road signs are essential for motorists to know what to do when they reach an intersection, merge onto a highway, or enter a construction zone. Without them, it’s impossible to anticipate what another driver is going to do. Common scenarios that could lead to a single-vehicle accident include:
- Lack of signs at a sharp or blind curve
- Inadequate warning signs in a construction area
- A fallen sign from poor weather conditions
- Tree or another object partially or completely blocking a sign
- Illegible signs from damage or vandalism
- Missing stop sign at an intersection
Defective parts: If a vehicle contains defective parts, it can malfunction and cause the driver to lose control. Manufacturers are responsible for ensuring their products meet the design specifications and aren’t hazardous to consumers. If there’s a risk of harm, they must provide warning labels. Common car parts that are often defective include:
- Brake system
- Steering system
Poor road conditions: With thousands of vehicles traveling along roadways, issues can arise. Natural wear and tear and damage can occur that lead to a single-vehicle accident. If companies responsible for maintaining and repairing the roads fail to do so adequately, it could lead to severe injuries. Common examples of road defects include:
- Blind curves
- Faded line marking
- Missing guardrails
- Damaged, obstructed, or missing traffic signs and signals
- Inadequate lighting
- Cracked or uneven pavement
How to Determine Who’s Liable After a Single-Vehicle Accident
If you were the victim of a single-vehicle crash and determine another person or entity was to blame, you could file an insurance claim or lawsuit. Negligence is the failure of one party to provide another with a reasonable degree of care, leading to their injuries. Any situation where someone else didn’t do what they should have to prevent you from harm may result in their being liable for your resulting expenses.
Following are some of the parties that may be liable in a single-vehicle accident:
Another driver or pedestrian may be at fault if their actions or inaction directly led to your accident. Whether they were texting behind the wheel or weaving in and out of traffic, you could file an insurance claim with their auto insurance company. According to Washington’s fault system, a driver that causes a crash is automatically financially responsible for the victim’s losses.
Manufacturing companies must ensure the safety of their products, especially car parts. There are specifications they must follow when making the parts, and they also have to perform safety tests to check for issues. They could be liable for your injuries if one of the following defects resulted in your accident:
- Design defect: There’s something in the original design that causes the product to be inherently unsafe.
- Manufacturing defect: The product becomes damaged or defective in some way during the manufacturing process.
- Failure to warn: The company does not provide adequate warning of the potential risks for consumers using their product.
Government entities perform maintenance and repairs on all roadways within municipalities, cities, and states. If they don’t fix hazards promptly or fail to maintain roads for the safety of drivers, they could be held liable if an accident occurs.
Unfortunately, there are some limitations to filing lawsuits against the government in Washington. You must follow specific procedures and only seek compensation if an employee, officer, or volunteer exhibited tortious conduct. While tortious conduct is a broad category referring to a wide range of actions, one of the most common involves car accidents.
Third-parties, such as maintenance employees and construction workers, can create dangerous conditions for motorists. If their actions were the reason you got hurt, you could file a lawsuit against them or their employer. For example, if someone performs construction near a roadway and doesn’t place warning signs, traffic cones, and other safety measures, you could hold them liable if you end up in an accident.
You May Be Entitled to Damages From an Insurance Claim or Lawsuit
Whether you decide to file an insurance claim or lawsuit, you can seek compensation for your damages. Damages are the total losses associated with an accident. There are two main types: economic and non-economic. Economic damages refer to actual expenses, while non-economic damages are physical and emotional suffering endured due to an injury.
The damages available after a single-vehicle accident may include:
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Out of pocket costs
- Car repair or replacement
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Emotional distress
- Disability or disfigurement
- Loss of consortium
Your Seattle single-vehicle accident attorney will review all the elements of your case to determine a fair monetary value for your damages. Often, it’s difficult to calculate non-economic damages because something like emotional distress can be subjective. We’ll ensure you receive the maximum compensation you deserve to cover all the damages you suffered due to your injuries.
Speak to A Dedicated Seattle Single-Vehicle Accident Lawyer Today
At The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee, we’re proud of the reputation we’ve built in Seattle and throughout Washington for our hard work and dedication to seeking justice for our clients. Every year since 2003, we have won a prestigious award from The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers. We understand the importance of receiving quality legal representation after a traumatic experience.
If you sustained injuries in a single-vehicle crash and need assistance with your legal case, call The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee at (206) 312-0954. One of our Seattle single-vehicle accident attorneys will meet with you for a free consultation to determine your legal options, so you can move forward with your life.