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Car accidents are some of the most common type of personal injury cases. A significant number of people will suffer injuries in a car accident each year, and it is important to be aware of your rights if you become involved in this type of a case.
Contact an experienced Kent car accident lawyer after experiencing injuries in an auto accident. Caffee Accident & Injury Lawyers are here to help. Reach out for a free consultation at (206) 312-0954 or by fill out our online contact form.
Kent Car Accident Legal Resources:
- How Dangerous Are Car Accidents?
- What Are Common Types of Car Accidents?
- What Is Negligence?
- What Are the Benefits of Hiring a Car Accident Injury Attorney?
- What Can I Expect During My First Meeting?
- How Long Does The Case Take if There Is a Settlement?
- What Kind of Damages Can You Recover After a Car Accident in Kent, WA?
- What Are the Risks of Not Hiring an Accident Lawyer?
- Contact Us
How Dangerous Are Car Accidents?
The sad reality is that car accidents are incredibly dangerous and are a leading cause of personal injuries in Washington. In the United States, more than 37,000 people die in car crashes every year, and this number does not even take into account the thousands of people who suffer debilitating injuries.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that approximately two-thirds of all traffic fatalities occur in wrecks where the vehicle was traveling at speeds greater than 40 miles per hour. Another factor that makes car accidents so deadly is their propensity to cause T-bone collisions. These types of crashes occur when one vehicle crashes into the side of another, and they often result in serious injuries.
What Are Common Types of Car Accidents?
There are many different types of car accidents, and each one can lead to unique legal issues. Some of the most common types of car accidents include:
- Rear-End Collisions: These occur when one vehicle crashes into the back end of another
- Head-On Collisions: These occur when two vehicles collide while traveling in opposite directions
- Side Impact or T-Bone Collisions: As discussed above, these occur when one vehicle crashes into the side of another
- Single Vehicle Accidents: These occur when a driver loses control of their own car and collide with an object such as a tree or a pole.
What Is Negligence?
One of the most important concepts in personal injury law is negligence. To establish a case for negligence, you must show that the defendant failed to meet a duty of care that they owed to you.
In the context of car accidents, this usually means showing that the defendant was driving negligently at the time of the crash.
Some common examples of negligent driving behaviors include:
- Driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol
- Texting or talking on the phone while driving
- Speeding or reckless driving
- Running a red light or stop sign
What Are the Benefits of Hiring a Car Accident Injury Attorney?
The most significant benefit to hiring an attorney is that they will be able to answer your questions and handle the negotiation process. Another advantage of working with a Kent personal injury attorney is that they can offer you access to medical experts that can assess your injuries, which may help strengthen any legal claims you are seeking to make against the defendant(s).
The insurance company has lawyers, and you should too. The insurance companies will try whatever it takes to pay out the least amount of money possible. Without a personal injury lawyer, you run the risk of being taken advantage of by insurance companies and not receiving what you really deserve.
In addition, the team at Caffee Law firm has a team of Kent truck accident lawyers that specialize in helping those affected by a devastating truck accident.
Common Tactics Insurance Companies Use to Deny or Undervalue Claims
We like to think the insurance policies we pay for and the policies of others on the road are there to protect us, but for the insurance company, the motive is profits. Their profit margins depend on paying out less in claims than they take in from premiums. The insurance adjusters they hire have the task of finding ways to lowball a claim or deny it altogether. Even if an insurance representative sounds compassionate on the phone, it’s important to remember that they are not on your side. Some common tactics insurance representatives from an insurance company use to avoid paying claims include:
- Quickly calling with a low settlement offer before you could know the extent of your injuries and related expenses
- Denying claims on the supposed basis that forms weren’t filled out correctly or your injuries or treatment weren’t covered under their policy
- Delaying claims until you give up
- Claiming you were partly to blame for the accident in order to minimize your payout through Washington’s comparative fault system
- Claiming that the minimal property damage to your vehicle means you couldn’t have such extensive injuries
- Asking for medical authorization to look at your injury information and then combing through your medical history so they can claim your pain is from a pre-existing condition
- Recording phone calls to use your statements and casual remarks against you
These and other tactics help the insurance company to maximize their profits at your expense. A skilled pedestrian accident attorney in Kent knows how to help you stand firm against these methods to maximize your compensation.
What to Do After a Car Accident in Washington
The pain and shock of an accident make it difficult to keep a clear head during the aftermath; however, by taking certain steps you can protect yourself physically and financially during your recovery period. If you are too injured to move, you can only rely on others to get you the help you need, but if you’re able to move around safely helps to take the following steps:
- Move to the shoulder of the road or a safe location out of traffic but nearby (never leave the scene of an accident)
- Call 911 to report the accident
- Give reasonable aid and comfort to any other injury victims
- Take photos with your phone of all involved vehicles, including their license tags and damage
- Photograph the accident scene and any relevant factors like traffic signs or signals
- Collect the contact information of other involved drivers and eyewitnesses
- Accept EMD transport to a hospital or go to an ER as soon as possible and have a thorough evaluation, telling the doctor about every injury and symptom
- Ask the doctor to take detailed notes of your injuries, recommended treatment, and prognosis and keep a copy of the medical records and medical bills
- Obtain a copy of the police report
- Call an attorney for a free consultation and evaluation of your case
These steps can help prove liability and the impacts of the accident on you physically and financially to maximize your settlement or court award so you can focus on moving forward toward recovery.
What Can I Expect During My First Meeting with a Car Accident Lawyer?
When you meet with our Kent car accident attorneys for the first time, it helps if you come prepared with important information about the case. This includes information including:
- Your contact information (name, home address, phone number)
- Information about where you work
- The names of people involved in your car crash
- Your auto insurance policy name/number
- Other drivers’ insurance policy name/number
- Pictures of your car accident scene
In addition, you should be prepared to discuss the following with your Kent car accident lawyer:
- What type of injuries you have suffered
- How the crash occurred
- The damage done to your vehicle
- Your medical bills and any lost wages as a result of the crash
- Any other damages you are seeking.
How Long Does The Case Take if There Is a Settlement?
The length of the settlement process can vary depending on the facts and circumstances of your case. Some cases are resolved within a few months, while others may take several years to reach a resolution. However, most personal injury attorneys will work on a contingency fee basis, which means they will not get paid unless you win or settle your case. This helps ensure that the attorney has an incentive to work diligently on your behalf.
Will I Have to Go to Court?
In the vast majority of cases, an insurance company will settle your car accident claim out of court so you’ll never have to appear in front of a judge. Just having an attorney on your side to present the evidence in a diligently crafted demand letter is often enough to inspire a good settlement offer. If your case does go to court, your Kent car accident attorney will fight aggressively for your right to full compensation for your injuries.
What Kind of Damages Can Victims Recover After a Car Accident in Kent, WA?
There are a variety of damages that you may be able to recover after your car accident, including the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium (companionship)
When meeting with an personal injury attorney in Kent, it is important to understand all the potential types of damages for which you could be compensated. This will help ensure that you receive the best possible outcome from your case.
Understanding Washington’s Comparative Negligence Laws for Car Accidents
In Washington, plaintiffs are still able to gain compensation even if they are partly at fault in an accident. The state’s comparative negligence laws put defendants in the position of trying to prove you are partly responsible for the accident so they can reduce the amount of the payout on your claim by the percentage you’re found at fault. For example, if you’re found to be 50% at fault, a court or insurance representative will reduce an accident claim of $50,000 to $25,000 in direct correlation with your percentage of fault.
What Are the Risks of Not Hiring an Accident Lawyer?
The main risk of not hiring car accident attorneys is that you may get less money than if you had hired one. Insurance companies are looking to pay as little as possible for your injuries, and without the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer, their claims adjusters will attempt to convince you to settle for less than what your case is actually worth.
The legal system can be incredibly complicated, and if you fail to take the appropriate steps, you could miss the deadline in which to file a case and recover the compensation you deserve.
Contact Our Kent Car Accident Attorneys | No Win No Fee
Car accident cases are serious and often involve extensive injuries. If you or a loved one suffered injuries as a result of a car accident, our team of experienced Kent car accident lawyers from Caffee Accident & Injury Lawyers can help you get justice and obtain the monetary damages that you deserve. Contact Caffee Accident & Injury Lawyers today for a free consultation by calling (206) 312-0954 or by filling out our online contact form.