Washington State Car Accident Attorneys
Auto accidents can be incredibly traumatic, and they can have severe consequences on your finances, employment, health, and quality of life. Even minor collisions can have a serious impact on your life if you don’t have the means to cover medical treatment and out-of-pocket expenses.
Do not leave your health and financial well-being in the hands of an insurance company. While an insurance company may offer to settle your claim, they will not tell you what you are actually entitled to under the law. Once the claim is settled, you can’t go back and request more money if your injuries end up being more severe than what was originally thought.
As car accident attorneys, we are advocates who have your best interest in mind. We can accurately evaluate your medical bills, pain, and suffering to ensure that you are getting maximum compensation. Washington’s laws allow you to recover damages even if you are partially at fault. Damages can include both economic and emotional losses, such as:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Any degree of permanent disability that you suffer as a result of the accident
What to Do After an Auto Accident
Right after an accident, your heart is probably beating a mile a minute. However, it is vital that you stay calm. Safety needs to be your immediate priority.
The first thing you must do is make sure that you and anyone in the car with you is safe. Move your car out of traffic and to the shoulder if you can do so safely, and put out flares if you have them. If you can’t move your car, and remaining inside the vehicle poses a danger, safely exit your car and get to the side of the road. Never drive away from the scene of an accident, even if it’s just a minor collision.
Once you and your loved ones are safe, do the following:
- Call the police. Unless the damage is minimal, you may need a police report to file a claim with your insurance company. You should do this even if the claim is for damage to your vehicle. The police report is documented evidence of the events that took place, and will help your claim later on.
- When speaking with an officer. To the best of your ability, tell the officer who arrives at the scene exactly what happened. Do not embellish or make speculations. If the officer asks if you are injured, say that you are not sure. Do not say no, because injuries often are not apparent until hours after the accident.
- Trade relevant information. Get contact information from other persons involved in the accident, including:
- Phone numbers
- Insurance companies
- License plate
- Make and model of the vehicle(s)
- Document the scene. If you can safely do so, take photos of anything that was damaged in the collision. Get the contact information of any witnesses to the accident. Also, write everything down that you can remember about the auto accident, including when and where it happened and any potential hazardous conditions.
- Contact your insurance company. Some insurance policies require that you immediately report the collision. Reporting the accident as soon as possible will help get the claims process started.
- Get medical attention. Many injuries are not immediately apparent. Unless you are 100% certain that you are fine, you should go to the hospital or visit your doctor, just in case. Even a minor collision can lead to lingering or serious injuries. If you were dazed after the accident or temporarily lost consciousness, you may have suffered a concussion or closed head injury. Left untreated, these can cause cognitive or behavioral changes.
File an accident report. If there is more than $1,000 in damages to any one vehicle or person involved in the accident, you need to file a collision report if a police officer has not done so already.