Were You Injured Because Of Someone Else's Negligence? Browse Our FAQs
In addition to coping with a lot of stress and frustration, personal injury cases also come with a lot of questions. Here are some of the questions we hear the most at Max Meyers Law.
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What Is Accident Reconstruction for a Car Accident?
When people disagree on what caused an accident or on details like the speed at which the vehicles traveled before impact, lawyers sometimes use accident reconstruction experts. These professionals perform scientific analysis of the vehicles, people, equipment, and the scene of the accident.
An accident reconstruction expert’s report can help us in settlement negotiations and, if need be, in the trial. Call Max Meyers Law at 425-399-7000 today, to schedule a free consultation and case review.
Evidence Used by Experts for an Accident Reconstruction for a Car Accident
Accident reconstruction experts can evaluate what actually happened by exploring the evidence and applying accepted scientific principles and formulas. For example:
- Photographs of the vehicles and the scene of the accident: show the points of impact, the location of the collision, where each vehicle came to rest after the crash, and other local details.
- Videos: when security video or other recordings are available, the expert can calculate precise details. They can also measure distances, speeds, and time and determine the sequence of events.
- Measurements: the experts can go to the scene and make their own measurements, which can support or challenge the police report. Let’s say that the police report accuses you of causing an accident. Through taking her own measurements of the accident scene, an accident reconstruction expert might be able to prove that the police report was inaccurate and that the other driver caused the wreck.
- Physical evidence: can establish what happened before, during, and after the crash. The vehicles are physical evidence. When the expert examines the points of impact and extent of the damage to the vehicles, he might be able to prove that one of the parties is lying about who was at fault or the speed at which the vehicles traveled. The expert can also obtain valuable information from pieces that broke off of the cars.
- Related documents: if someone is claiming that brake failure or some other equipment malfunction caused the collision, an engineer may be able to review the specifications, engineering reports, and other manufacturing documents to evaluate the equipment in question.
Methods used for accident reconstruction for a car accident, include:
- Accident simulation
- Video analysis
- Impact testing
- Computational analysis
- Other methods
Accident reconstruction experts analyze cases involving:
- Large vehicles like trains, tractor-trailer trucks, buses, and construction equipment
- Medium vehicles like passenger cars and trucks, SUVs, and limousines
- Smaller vehicles like motorcycles, bicycles, mopeds, and ATVs
How We Can Use Accident Reconstruction to Help Prove Your Case
Judges and juries like to see scientific evidence. In motor vehicle accident cases, one category of scientific evidence is accident reconstruction (AR).
AR experts can show the judge and jury calculations, computer simulations, and other scholarly evidence to build our case on issues like these:
- Whether the occupant of a vehicle was wearing a seat belt
- If a seat malfunctioned
- A vehicle’s speed
- How long before impact a driver hit the brakes
- What happened after the driver braked
- The sequence of events that led to the crash, who hit who first, and what happened throughout the entire event
- Environmental factors
- What caused the event
- Additional contributory factors
An Accident Reconstruction Example
An SUV struck a bicyclist in an intersection. The SUV driver accused the bicyclist of drifting to the left side of the street, hitting the SUV head-on. The bicyclist sustained head injuries and had no memory of the event.
The AR experts proved that the SUV driver was lying and that the SUV driver was at fault. The driver turned right at the intersection, hitting the bike, that was going through the intersection in the bike path. The SUV driver failed to yield right of way to through traffic. The crash could not have happened the way that the SUV driver claimed that it did.
The AR expert proved these vital factors by:
- Analyzing the police report and photographs
- Visiting the scene of the accident and taking precise measurements
- Looking at the damage to the SUV and the bike
- Evaluating the bike rider’s injuries
Getting Help for Your Motor Vehicle Accident
There is a statute of limitations in Washington state for car accidents, so it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible after a car accident. We can help you through every step of the process, including settlement or trial discussions, collecting evidence, working with accident reconstruction experts, and more.
Call us today at 425-399-7000, to arrange your free consultation. We will not charge you to evaluate your case.
What is the Settlement for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome from a Car Accident?
Every thoracic outlet syndrome case from a car accident is different, so we cannot give a dollar amount that would be appropriate to settle your case. We can, however, discuss your case and investigate your accident, injuries, and damages to estimate a fair settlement value, and then fight for the compensation you deserve.
Several factors go into settlement value for thoracic outlet syndrome after a car accident, including:
- Severity of your injury
- How well your injury heals
- How your injury affects your life
- Financial effects of your injury
- Other damages related to your injury
Get a free consultation from Max Meyers Law. Call 425-399-7000.
The Severity of Your Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Injury
The thoracic outlet is the space between your first rib and your collarbone. Physical trauma from car accidents is one of the causes of thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS), according to the Mayo Clinic. TOS happens when the trauma compresses the nerves or blood vessels in the thoracic outlet.
TOS can make your neck and shoulders hurt, and can cause your fingers to feel numb. You may require surgery, physical therapy, or other treatment.
How the injury severity affects your settlement. The severity of your injury affects the medical treatment you require and the effects of the injury on your life. Your settlement should account for your medical bills and disability.
How Well Your Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Injury Heals
If your TOS heals completely, you can count yourself fortunate. Some people experience residual symptoms of TOS long after completing initial treatment.
Residual symptoms of TOS can include:
- Muscle wasting in your hand
- Pain in your neck, shoulder, and hand
- Numbness and tingling in your fingers or arm
- Weakness when you try to grip something
- Discoloration in the arm from obstructed blood flow
- Cold arm, hand or fingers
- Your arm fatigues quickly when you use it
- Your hand turns blue or lacks color
How Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Can Affect Your Life
When you suffer continuing problems from TOS, it can be hard to perform the daily tasks of living or working. This situation is particularly true if the injury affects your dominant arm or when you are performing tasks that require the use of both hands or arms.
If you cannot do your job as before, you might have to cut back your hours or seek a lower-paying job. In extreme cases, you might not be able to work at all. You might also need assistance at home with personal care, housekeeping, meal preparation, yard work, and home maintenance.
Your Financial Losses
We will collect evidence to show your economic losses. These damages can include any reasonable medical treatment you needed because of the accident, like the emergency room, hospital, surgery, doctor, prescription drugs, and physical therapy. The income you lost because of the crash and medical recuperation is also recoverable in a car accident claim.
We can also seek damages for the loss of your earning capacity, if the injury affected your job. Additionally, if you had to hire help at home because of the TOS, we can add that amount to the settlement demand.
Your Non-Economic Damages
Since you suffered physical injuries, you may also be eligible for non-economic damages. This category can include:
- Pain and suffering: for your physical discomfort, inconvenience, and emotional distress.
- Disfigurement: if you have extensive noticeable scars from the injuries.
- Loss of enjoyment of life: if the TOS makes you unable to do things that you used to enjoy, like playing a musical instrument or drawing.
Your Other Injuries from the Wreck
If you sustained other injuries in the accident, we will include the damages for all of your injuries in your claim. You do not have to pursue separate claims for different injuries as long as they happened in the same crash.
If You Were Partly at Fault, How Will Your Settlement for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Be Affected?
Do not assume that you cannot get compensation for your injuries if you were partially to blame for causing the car crash. You should not get stuck with all of your losses just because you made a mistake. As long as someone else was also at fault, our state’s rule on comparative negligence will allow you to receive some compensation.
The way Washington’s comparative fault works is that the law will reduce the amount of your settlement to account for your fault. For example, if you were 20 percent at fault, you will get 80 percent of your damages (100 percent reduced by 20 percent). If you would have gotten $100,000, you will get $80,000 after the 20 percent reduction for your partial negligence.
Getting Legal Help for Your Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Injury Claim
There is a time limit for filing a car accident claim, so contact a lawyer as soon as possible.
Call Max Meyers Law today at 425-399-7000, to get your no-cost consultation. We will talk with you about your case for free.
What Is the Settlement for a Pregnant Woman in a Car Accident?
The settlement value of every case is different because the facts vary from one car accident to the next. We need to explore the plaintiff’s financial, physical, and emotional damages. In a collision involving a pregnant woman, you have the additional variables of:
- Unique harm a pregnant woman can suffer in a car accident
- Injuries to the unborn child
Err on the Side of Caution If You Were in an Accident While Pregnant
Even if you feel perfectly fine and the wreck was a minor fender bender, you should see to your doctor or go to the emergency room for an assessment and evaluation of your and your baby’s health.
The force from a car accident may be enough to injure the baby. If caught early enough, medical professionals may be able to intervene and save the pregnancy.
You do not have to be in a significant collision to suffer injuries when you are pregnant. So, if you were in a car wreck, seek medical evaluation as soon as possible even if you do not feel injured.
Trauma Pregnant Women Can Sustain in Car Wrecks
Since you are growing and carrying another life inside you, a collision can harm you in different ways than if you were not expecting. The four main categories of medical issues the trauma team will assess are:
- Your immediate condition. They will evaluate whether you are physically stable and check your airway, breathing, and circulation.
- Obstetric injuries.
- Non-obstetric injuries.
- Fetal well-being.
What Constitutes Major Trauma for a Pregnant Woman in a Crash
The rules are different for evaluating trauma when you are expecting. If you experienced anything more significant than minor cuts or bruises, the hospital may treat you as having major trauma.
Some symptoms that may indicate a severe injury include:
- Abdominal injury
- Decreased fetal movement
- Vaginal bleeding or fluid loss
Recoverable Damages for a Pregnant Woman in a Car Accident
Some of the damages recoverable in your injury claim may include:
Doctors may keep pregnant women in the hospital for observation and monitoring after a car accident. Some women have to remain hospitalized for several days or weeks. It could be necessary to stay in the hospital for the remainder of the pregnancy.
The diagnostic tests, monitoring, and hospitalization can increase the medical expenses significantly over someone in a similar crash who was not expecting.
Your car accident claim should seek compensation for the costs of hospitalization after your accident.
Your settlement will not include your ordinary obstetric expenses, but it can include expenses above the cost of expected medical care for an uneventful pregnancy and delivery if we can tie the medical treatment to the accident.
The emergency room, diagnostic work, procedures, doctor bills, and hospitalization that were necessary because of the accident should be part of your settlement.
As with any negligence case, the income you lost because of the collision is compensable. When a pregnant woman suffers an injury in a car crash, lost wages can be significant, as she may require hospitalization and extended bedrest that keeps her out of work.
Necessary Childcare If You Are in the Hospital or on Bedrest
You may be able to recover compensation for what you had to pay someone else to perform tasks you could not do because of hospitalization or bedrest from a car accident.
If you have other children at home, your spouse or partner, friends, and family might pitch in to replace the care you routinely provided before the crash, but if your circumstances require hiring someone, we can pursue compensation for this expense.
Assistance in the Home
The law applies the same approach to other tasks, like cleaning and yardwork you cannot perform because of your injuries from the car accident. If you have to hire somebody to do household chores or yardwork that you normally do, you may pursue compensation for those expenses as well.
Protecting Your Right to Compensation After a Car Accident
We know that you have a million things on your mind if you suffered an injury in a car crash while pregnant.
Be sure to call Max Meyers Law at 425-399-7000 right away, so that we can take the legal matters off your plate.
Do not delay. If you miss the filing deadline, you will lose your legal right to a settlement or award of damages.
What Is the Statute of Limitations in Washington State for Car Accidents?
In Washington state, you have to file an action for personal injuries resulting from a car accident within three years of the wreck. (R.C.W. Section 4.16.080) If you do not meet this deadline, you may be unable to file a lawsuit to get compensation for your injuries.
An Insurance Company Cannot Change the Amount of Time You Have to File a Lawsuit
Notify the insurance company right away about an accident, but the insurer cannot change the legal deadlines for filing a lawsuit for your injuries. If an insurance company denies your claim, saying that you waited too long to file your personal injury claim, but you are within three years of the wreck, contact a Washington car accident lawyer.
Do Not Wait Until the Eleventh Hour to Talk to a Lawyer About Your Case
A great deal goes into filing a lawsuit. Some of the possible steps we might take before filing a lawsuit, depending on the facts of your case, can include:
- Investigating the accident to determine who caused the wreck;
- Finding out if there are multiple liable parties;
- Working with experts in accident reconstruction to figure out how the collision happened; and
- Obtaining police reports that identify all the parties involved in the wreck and that may describe the weather and road conditions at the scene of the accident.
All these actions take time. After we complete our investigation and identify fault and liability, we prepare the required legal documents to initiate a lawsuit.
Act Quickly to Preserve the Evidence for a Car Accident
Although you might still have time left under the statute of limitations, you can lose essential evidence we need to prove fault if you wait too long to act. Here are a few examples:
- The insurance company declared one of the vehicles a total loss and sent it to the scrap yard, where it became a compacted hunk of metal and plastic, useless as evidence. If a defective design or part in the vehicle caused the wreck, you may have difficulty proving it without the vehicle available for inspection.
- You suspect that one of the drivers was texting while driving. Her cell phone carrier only keeps detailed records for a short period of time, which has passed. She denies that she was inattentive, and you have no records to prove to the contrary.
- One of the parties liable for your accident is a company, but the company has now gone out of business. You may now be unable to obtain records or documents from the company, let alone file a lawsuit to recover compensation from the now-defunct business.
Act Quickly to Obtain Eyewitness Statements
Police reports may only portray a part of the story. It might be necessary to talk with witnesses. When too much time passes, it can be difficult if not impossible to locate people. Further, eyewitness’ memories of the accident may begin to fade as time passes, so act quickly to locate and secure the testimony of eyewitnesses to the accident.
Tolling the Statute of Limitations
Under limited circumstances, you may be able to toll the statute of limitations for your car accident lawsuit.
Here are some of the scenarios where you may be able to delay the statute of limitations under RCW 4.16.190:
- Plaintiff is under 18. In such cases, the statute of limitations tolls until the plaintiff turns 18 years old.
- Plaintiff is incompetent or disabled. If the plaintiff is deemed incompetent or disabled and cannot understand the nature of the proceedings, the statute of limitations tolls until the person is no longer incompetent or disabled.
Tolling the statute of limitations is uncommon. If you were hurt in a car accident, act now to get help filing your lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires for your case.
Call Max Meyers Law today at 425-399-7000 today so that we can get the ball rolling for you. The consultation is free and there is no obligation.
Do I Need Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Washington State?
Washington State only requires drivers to buy and maintain liability coverage to pay the medical bills and property damage of other people if the policyholder is at fault for a car accident.
So, to follow the law on minimum auto insurance, no, you do not have to carry uninsured motorist coverage in Washington State. There are plenty of reasons, however, to buy this optional type of motor vehicle insurance.
Situations in Which You Will Wish You Had Uninsured Motorist Coverage
You will wish you had uninsured motorist coverage if you are in a car accident and:
- The at-fault driver is uninsured, in other words, does not have motor vehicle insurance. Some people do not buy the required auto insurance, or their policies lapse because of non-payment. Your liability insurance only pays the damages of other people if you cause a wreck, not your damages if somebody causes a wreck with you. So, if you only carry liability coverage, your insurance company will not pay your medical bills and other damages. If you have UM coverage, it will pay your damages if an uninsured driver caused the wreck.
- Your vehicle is in a wreck with a hit and run driver. Since the car did not stay at the scene, you have no way to find out which insurance company should pay your damages. If the other driver caused the crash but took off, your liability coverage does not cover your damages. Your uninsured motorist coverage would cover your damages.
- An uninsured or hit-and-run driver struck you when you were a pedestrian or bicyclist. Your uninsured motorist coverage may cover you if you were a bicyclist or pedestrian at the time of the wreck.
Related Coverage: Underinsured Motorist Coverage
The minimum required coverage in Washington State is:
- $10,000 for property damage
- $25,000 for the injury or death of one person
- $50,000 total for all injuries or deaths in an accident
The medical bills in a significant crash can exceed the minimum coverage of $25,000. If the at-fault driver carries only the minimum coverage or has higher limits, but they are not enough to pay all your damages, you will be stuck with the excess medical bills to pay on your own.
To avoid getting caught in this situation, you can buy optional under-insured motorist (UIM) coverage as part of your auto insurance. The way UIM coverage works is that the at-fault motorist’s insurance pays first. After you reach the policy limits from that company, your UIM insurance should cover your damages that exceed the other driver’s coverage.
Another Option to Protect Yourself: PIP
Personal injury protection (PIP) is a first-party coverage that can pay some of your damages from a car accident, whether you or the other driver was at fault.
Washington State does not require drivers to buy PIP coverage, but your insurance company has to offer it. PIP can pay medical expenses, lost wages, and funeral expenses. PIP usually has relatively low policy limits, but the coverage can make the difference in having enough money to pay your damages.
Learn more about other types of optional car insurance coverage that may help after an accident with an uninsured or hit and run driver.
Get Help After a Car Accident With an Uninsured or Hit and Run Driver
If you suffered an injury in a car crash caused by an uninsured or hit and run driver and you have questions about whose insurance coverage should pay your losses, call Max Meyers Law.
We will be happy to evaluate your claim, analyze the insurance policies, and help you pursue a claim for damages. Call us today at 425-399-7000.
Who's at Fault for a Parking Lot Accident?
Fault for the parking lot accident depends on how the accident happened and which party acted negligently or violated traffic laws.
This is an overview of common causes and types of parking lot accidents, how to prove fault, and which party or parties may be liable. For legal help with your parking lot accident case, call Max Meyers Law at 425-399-7000.
Types of Parking Lot Accidents
- Failure to yield to a pedestrian
- Failure to yield to another vehicle
- Backing out a parking space without looking for other vehicles or pedestrians
- Speeding or aggressive driving
- Distracted driving
Evidence to Establish Who Caused a Parking Lot Wreck
The evidence you may use to prove fault for the parking lot accident will depend on what evidence is available. Some of the common types of evidence used in parking lot wreck cases include:
- Surveillance video from parking lot or store cameras
- Cell phone video (if anybody recorded the incident)
- Eyewitness statements
- Police/accident reports
If you were involved in an accident in a parking lot, write down the other party’s contact and insurance information. Jot down eyewitness names and phone numbers. And call the police to report the accident. Also, be sure to seek medical care.
Any evidence you gather may help prove fault and liability for your accident. We can further help you collect evidence and request testimony from eyewitnesses. Call 425-399-7000 for help.
Who Can Be Liable for a Parking Lot Collision
Whoever made a mistake that caused or contributed to the wreck can be responsible for the damages. Some of the parties who can be at fault include:
- A driver who drove too fast for the circumstances, failed to keep a careful lookout, did not take reasonable action to avoid a crash, or failed to yield to a pedestrian or another vehicle.
- The shopping center or store if the parking lot contained inherently dangerous conditions, such as an unsafe crosswalk in which vehicles do not have a clear view of pedestrians.
- A vehicle manufacturer if a vehicle defect contributed to the wreck, such as faulty brakes or accelerators.
- A pedestrian who darted out from between parked cars or stepped into the path of a vehicle without looking.
- A passenger whose horseplay distracted the driver, blocked his vision, or otherwise contributed to the wreck.
Factors That Govern Liability in Parking Lot Accidents
Here is how the law evaluates who is at fault in parking lot accidents:
- We all have a duty of care. Pedestrians must pay attention to their surroundings, keep a lookout for vehicles and other hazards, and proceed with caution. Drivers have a duty to drive at an appropriate speed for the circumstances while keeping a close lookout for pedestrians and other cars.
- Breaching the duty of care (negligence). When someone fails to meet the duty of care, he or she is negligent. A pedestrian who walks into traffic without looking breaches the duty to pay attention to surroundings. A driver who backs out of a parking space without checking for other vehicles or pedestrians is negligent.
- Causation. The other party’s negligence must have caused the accident. If a driver was not paying attention and strikes another vehicle, then that driver’s negligence caused the wreck. Or if the pedestrian walks into traffic without looking and causes a driver to swerve and strike another object, then the pedestrian’s negligence caused the wreck.
- Damages. The claimant or plaintiff must have suffered damages (e.g., medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering). The types of damages that are recoverable in a parking lot accident case depend on the physical, emotional, and financial effects of the accident on the parties involved.
Get Help After a Parking Lot Crash
Our accident injury team is waiting for your call so that we can help you. Max Meyers Law can help injured drivers and pedestrians who were involved in accidents in parking lots.
We will arrange a free consultation when you call 425-399-7000. We do not charge legal fees unless and until you get compensation.
Who's at Fault for a Side-Impact Car Accident?
Sometimes a driver runs a red light and slams into another vehicle, making it relatively easy to assess fault. At other times, however, both drivers blame each other for the wreck. The facts of the case will determine who is at fault.
Determining Fault for Different Types of Side-Impact Collisions
Here are some of the common side-impact accident scenarios:
Driver Drifts Into Other Lane
A driver who drifts into the other lane could sideswipe another vehicle. Some possible reasons a driver could drift into an adjacent lane include:
In most cases, the driver who drifted into the other lane will be at fault for the wreck. In some cases, an insurance company might try to argue that the claimant/plaintiff is partially at fault for failing to avoid the wreck.
See our article on comparative negligence and call Max Meyers for help fighting allegations of partial fault: 425-399-7000.
A side-impact wreck can happen in two ways when one driver is turning left:
- Car turning left strikes another car
- Car going straight strikes a car making a left turn
We will explore the behavior of both drivers to learn whose negligence caused the collision.
If the turning vehicle was supposed to yield the right of way but did not, and hit a car, the turning driver is responsible.
On the other hand, if a driver was making a legal left turn with a green turn arrow and someone ran a red light and crashed into the turning driver, the non-turning driver is liable.
Running a Stop Sign or Red Light
Intersections are inherently dangerous. If a driver does not follow the rules that govern intersections, the driver can strike the side of another car.
For example, a driver who fails to stop at a stop sign, runs a red light, or otherwise violates a traffic law at an intersection can cause a crash. Also, a driver who is confused, impaired, or inattentive can be oblivious to the other cars and unsafely enter an intersection.
Driver Loses Control of the Vehicle
If a driver loses control of his vehicle, he can strike the side of another car. Liability will depend on the reason the driver lost control.
For example, if the driver was driving too fast in inclement weather (e.g., snow, rain) and this caused the car to go into an uncontrolled skid or spin, the fault is on the driver. On the other hand, if the car goes out of control because of a mechanical failure, the car manufacturer could be responsible.
Damages in a Side-Impact Collision
You can get the same types of damages for a side-impact accident that you can for any other kind of collision. Ultimately, the recoverable damages for the side-impact crash will depend on the economic and noneconomic effects of the accident on the claimant/plaintiff.
Some possible recoverable damages include:
- Medical expenses to treat your injuries
- Income you lost because of your injuries
- Decreased earning potential if your injuries prevent you from making as much money as you did before the accident
- Pain and suffering for your physical pain and emotional anguish
- Ongoing or long-term care because of your injuries
Please speak with a lawyer to discuss your accident and for help pursuing the full amount of your damages. Call Max Meyers Law at 425-399-7000 for a free consultation.
Comparative Negligence if Both Drivers Were Negligent
Washington State uses the doctrine of pure comparative fault, which means that you can still get a recovery for your losses even if you were partly to blame for the crash.
The law will reduce the amount of your recoverable compensation in proportion with your negligence.
For example, if your damages were $100,000 and you were 20 percent responsible for the accident, comparative negligence would reduce your damages to $80,000 to account for your percentage of fault.
Get Help for Your Car Accident Injuries After a Side-Impact Crash
We will be happy to give you a free evaluation of your car accident case. There is no obligation, and we do not collect attorney fees unless you get compensation.
Please call us today at 425-399-7000 to set up your free consultation.
What Is Vehicular Homicide in Washington State?
Vehicular homicide in Washington State is a criminal charge. If a person dies from injuries sustained in a crash in Washington State, under some circumstances, the negligent driver can face charges of vehicular homicide.
If you are suing someone for the wrongful death of a loved one, you cannot add a charge of vehicular homicide to your lawsuit. Because vehicular homicide is a criminal matter, only a prosecutor can take someone to trial for this charge. A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil case, not a criminal case.
A Driver Can Face Both Vehicular Homicide Charges and a Wrongful Death Case
Let us say that a person was driving while under the influence of methamphetamines (meth) when they struck and killed a pedestrian. The prosecutor can file criminal charges against the driver for vehicular homicide. The pedestrian’s family can file a civil lawsuit seeking monetary damages for the loss of their loved one.
For example, in the O.J. Simpson case, there was a criminal murder trial and a civil wrongful death case. And just as in the Simpson case, a “not guilty” verdict on the criminal charges does not preclude the decedent’s survivors from filing and winning a civil wrongful death case. The two cases proceed independently of each other because the law imposes a different burden of proof in criminal cases than it does in civil cases.
What Constitutes Vehicular Homicide in Washington State
There are four elements the prosecutor will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt to support a conviction of vehicular homicide in Washington State. These elements are:
- A vehicle caused the death of someone other than the driver.
- The death was a proximate result of an injury caused by the driver.
- The person died within three years of the injury and as a proximate result of the injury. (In other words, if something unrelated to the crash — like an allergic reaction to a bee sting — caused the person’s death within three years of the crash, it is not a case of vehicular homicide.)
- The injury happened when the driver operated the motor vehicle in a reckless manner, with disregard for the safety of others, or while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug.
Penalties for Vehicular Homicide
Vehicular homicide is a class A felony in Washington State. Class A felony convictions in Washington can carry maximum penalties of life imprisonment in a state correctional institution, or a fine of $50,000, or both incarceration and a fine. The court can add two extra years to the sentence for each prior offense.
Prosecutors are allowed to recommend restitution instead of a fine. The statute provides that the defendant would pay the restitution money to the victim which, in a death case, would be the survivors of the decedent.
Do Not Delay in Filing a Civil Wrongful Death Action
While it is understandable that you might want to wait and see what happens in the criminal court before you file a wrongful death action, doing so could make you lose all rights to compensation in the civil courts. Felony cases can drag on for a long time, and you will have no control over the speed at which the criminal vehicular homicide case makes its way through the court.
Even after the criminal trial, judgment, and sentencing, there can be lengthy appeals.
If you do not file the wrongful death action before the deadline, state law will bar you from ever getting to seek damages for the loss of your loved one. Washington's statute of limitations does not prevent you from pursuing a wrongful death case just because the prosecutor might file vehicular homicide charges against the driver.
How to Get Legal Help
If your loved one died as a result of a crash that might end up in a vehicular homicide trial, you should talk with a wrongful death attorney right away. We will protect your rights and help preserve your claim to compensation. We will explain the two different cases — the criminal vehicular homicide case and the civil wrongful death action — to you and evaluate whether you might be eligible for compensation for your loss.Please call the Max Meyers Law wrongful death team today at 425-399-7000, and we will set up your free consultation. There is no obligation, and we only charge legal fees if you get compensation.
What Is the Value of a Scar from a Car Accident?
We cannot state the settlement value of a scar from a car accident without more information about your case. Each case is different. There are five factors that go into the calculations of the anticipated recovery for your claim.
First Factor: The Severity of Your Scar
The size and type of your scar will have an impact on the settlement value of your injury claim. For example, a straight one-inch scar that heals to the same skin tone as the surrounding tissue and does not cause any lasting discomfort will likely not have as high a settlement value as a massive burn scar or a long, jagged, dark purple scar.
Here are some aspects of scars that have higher or lower settlement value in general:
Lumpy or other texture changes
Smooth and flat
Heals to skin tone of the area
Second Factor: The Location of Your Scar
When people think of the location of a scar, they usually reflect on whether the scar is in a noticeable place, like on your face, hands, or throat. If your car accident scar is in an area that you would generally consider disfiguring, it may carry a higher settlement value than one on your foot, for example.
There is another essential distinction about scar locations. Internal scars can cause just as much distress as external scars, but not for cosmetic reasons. Internal scars are tough bands of tissue that grow between your tissues and organs inside your body. They can “cement” your organs, muscles, and connective tissue together. Internal scars can be the result of surgery to repair damage to your internal organs from the crash or direct injuries from the wreck.
Third Factor: Long-Term Impairment or Other Consequences of the Scar
The value of a scar from a car accident may be higher if you suffer long-term effects of scarring. Adhesions, keloids, and ongoing pain are some of the common residual problems one can experience from car accident scars.
Adhesions and Keloids
Adhesions (connecting two organs or two areas of the body, like fingers) and keloids (overgrowth of scar tissue) can be rigid and prevent you from moving an area of the body correctly. Adhesions can prevent an organ from performing its intended function, or they can restrict movement. Adhesions and keloids are hard to treat because doing additional surgery to relieve the problem can worsen it if the body then grows more scar tissue in response to the surgery.
In addition to the pain of restricted movement and organs being “welded” together, scar tissue itself can be painful. Some scars, like burns, can hurt for years or the rest of your life. Suffering pain is a legitimate type of damage for which you can receive compensation.
Fourth Factor: Other Injuries from the Crash
When you sustain injuries severe enough to cause scarring, you might have experienced other injuries as well. Let’s say that you had a direct blow to the chest and head in a multi-car accident. The impact caused a deep laceration to your face, a traumatic brain injury, several broken ribs, and bruising of your heart. It is possible to recover compensation for all of these injuries. We will add your damages together to reach a lump-sum figure for your settlement.
The higher your other injury damages are, the more value your total claim may have. Even a minor scar can have a high settlement value when coupled with other significant injuries.
Fifth Factor: Whether You Were Partially at Fault in the Wreck
You can still get some compensation for your scarring and other injuries even if you were partly to blame for causing the wreck, as long as someone else was also at fault. Washington follows the legal rule of comparative negligence, which means that your mistakes may reduce the amount you can recover, but your errors will not bar you from recovery if someone else was at least one percent at fault.
For example, if your damages were $100,000 and you were 20 percent negligent, you will get $80,000 in compensation, because comparative fault reduces your recovery the same percentage as your fault. If, however, you were the only person at fault in the wreck, you cannot get compensation from the other driver.
How to Get Legal Help for a Scar from a Car Accident
Our car accident injury team at Max Meyers Law examines police reports and reviews medical records to determine the eligibility for compensation for a scar from a car accident. We will negotiate with the insurance company for you. We do not charge legal fees until you get a settlement or damages award. There is no obligation in speaking with us about your case.Call us today at 425-399-7000 to get started.
How Much Is a Car Accident Concussion Settlement?
A car accident concussion settlement does not have a fixed amount. The settlement value of each case is different because no two cases are identical. The facts of your case will determine how much you may receive in a settlement of your car accident concussion claim. Even though each case is unique, there are five factors that determine the settlement value of every car accident concussion claim.
Factor One: How Severe Your Concussion Is
A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that may prevent your brain from being able to function normally. Usually, the impaired function is temporary, but sometimes people experience long-term consequences from this type of head injury.
Contrary to popular belief, most concussions do not cause the victim to lose consciousness. The typical effects of a concussion include headaches and difficulty with:
You might not be able to remember the event that caused the concussion — the car accident. In addition to the above, you might experience:
- Confusion, dizziness, or a “foggy” feeling
- Nausea and vomiting
- Ringing in the ears
- Slurred speech
Several days after the head injury, you can develop:
- Sensitivity to noise and light
- Depression and other psychological problems
- Irritability and other changes in your personality
- Difficulty with concentration and memory
- Sleep disturbances
Degrees of Concussions
Concussions range from mild to moderate to severe. Also, you might have other head injuries, such as a skull fracture. With a severe head injury, you might have to undergo surgical treatments to remove pressure on the brain or correct bleeding within the brain. Those complications can be life-threatening or result in permanent impairment of brain function. The worse your concussion and the complications, the higher the value of your damages claim.
When to Get Immediate Medical Care for a Concussion
Every head injury should receive prompt medical attention. Even if you already had a medical evaluation for your concussion, it is a medical emergency if you develop any of these symptoms, whether right away or days after a concussion from a car accident:
- Dilated pupils (larger than usual), unequal sizes of pupils, or other eye or vision abnormalities
- Ongoing or repeated dizziness
- Any of your symptoms worsen
- Large bumps or bruises on the head
- Difficulty with coordination or mental function
Factor Two: Whether You Suffer Chronic Headaches or Other Pain
Depending on the severity of your traumatic head injury, you might experience headaches for weeks or months after the accident. This result may be more likely if you have sustained previous head injuries. Noise and light sensitivity from the brain injury can inflict pain on the victim as well. A person who suffers chronic headaches or other pain may have a higher claim settlement value than someone who does not have those symptoms.
Factor Three: Any Long-Term Consequences or Impairment
Post-concussion syndrome is not limited to football players. Sometimes the brain injury symptoms that usually last only a few days in a typical concussion may linger for weeks, months, or longer — a condition known as post-concussion syndrome. Your risk of developing post-concussion syndrome is the same, whether you sustain a mild or severe concussion.
Although medical science still has a great deal to learn about this devastating condition, experts speculate that post-concussion syndrome happens when the concussion damages the structure of the brain or disrupts the messaging system within the nerves.
Factor Four: Other Injuries from the Car Accident
When you are in a crash that is significant enough to cause a head injury, you might have other injuries as well. In an accident injury settlement, we add the value of all of your injuries from the wreck together to reach a lump sum case value. If you sustained injuries in addition to the concussion, they may increase the expected settlement amount of your claim.
Factor Five: Whether You Were Partly at Fault in the Crash
Some people do not pursue legal action if they were partially to blame for the accident, but there is no reason to bear the full cost of your injuries if someone else was also at fault. A lawyer may help with the apportion of the negligence and calculate how much your settlement is worth, even if you were partly at fault.
Washington uses the legal rule of comparative fault, which reduces your settlement to account for your negligence but still allows you some compensation.
Getting Legal Help for A Concussion from a Car Accident
The car accident injury team at Max Meyers Law will talk with you and let you know if you might be eligible for compensation for your concussion. The only cases we handle are motor vehicle injury claims. We review accident reports and the medical records for our clients and deal directly with the insurance company, so our clients do not have to.Call us today at 425-399-7000 for a free consultation.
How Do I File a Lawsuit for a Brain Injury from a Car Accident?
A personal injury lawyer may help you file a lawsuit from a brain injury from a car accident, but one is not necessary to file one. Filing a lawsuit can help you get compensation to help you with the financial costs of a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Before you can make someone pay for your injuries, you have to prove that they were negligent. To hold the careless person accountable, we have to prove all four of the elements of liability:
- The person must have had a legal duty toward you. Drivers have a legal duty to keep a careful lookout and operate their vehicles in a safe manner. For example, if you were driving your car responsibly and a vehicle came flying out of a side street, ran a stop sign, and smashed into your car, the driver of the vehicle that hit you had a legal duty of care toward you.
- We must show that the driver breached their duty of care. Running a stop sign, speeding, and crashing into oncoming traffic breached the driver’s duty of care. Violating a duty of care is negligence.
- The negligence must cause the harm you suffered. The collision caused you to sustain a traumatic brain injury. This fact satisfies the causation requirement of liability.
- The harm must be measurable. If the reckless driver’s car had careened at the last second and barely missed crashing into your vehicle, you would not suffer measurable harm. Momentary fright is not sufficient as harm. However, if the speeding car slammed into your vehicle and caused you to sustain a traumatic brain injury, this harm is measurable.
Do Not Delay in Filing a Lawsuit
In every state, the legislature sets time limits (called statutes of limitations) for filing different kinds of lawsuits. If you file suit accusing the defendant of negligence, you will have a different amount of time to bring the lawsuit than if you sued someone for a breach of contract or a defective product. Your personal injury lawyer will explain the deadlines, but if you wait too long and the time for filing has passed, a lawyer cannot help you.
Getting Damages for Your Traumatic Brain Injury
Once we establish who was liable, we will build your case for compensation. Here are some of the damages you can receive, depending on your facts, for a traumatic brain injury from a car accident that was someone else’s fault:
- Medical costs: You can recover all the reasonable and necessary medical expenses because of the accident. We will use your medical bills, insurance statements, invoices, and receipts to prove your losses for the ambulance, emergency room, hospital, surgery, diagnostic testing, medical treatment, therapy, rehabilitation center, and prescription medications.
- Lost income: This includes wages and other income you missed out on because of the accident, treatments, and recuperation. We use your employer’s records and other documents to prove these losses.
- Pain and suffering: This is for your physical pain and mental anguish. We will calculate a fair amount for this type of damage.
- Disability or decreased earning potential: If you are unable to work or earn less because of the traumatic brain injury’s impacts on your cognitive abilities, memory, coordination, and other skills, we will use your medical records and a vocational expert to determine the extent of your disability or decreased earning capacity.
- Long-term care: If you need assistance with daily living activities or medical care because of the brain injury. We establish the value of this aspect of your claim using experts.
- Your spouse’s loss of consortium: If the brain injury adversely affected your relationship, your spouse’s testimony may be vital in making this claim.
Filing a Lawsuit for a Traumatic Brain Injury if You Were Partly at Fault
In many cases, more than one person was negligent in causing an accident. Let’s say that you were speeding and another driver changed lanes without looking. The two cars collided and you suffered a traumatic brain injury.
Both of you were negligent, but you can still get some damages for your injuries. The Washington law of comparative fault will apportion the fault between the two drivers and reduce the compensation to each injured person relative to that person’s proportion of the total fault.
In other words, if the judge decides that you were 20 percent at fault, comparative fault will reduce your damages of $100,000 by 20 percent ($20,000). You will recover $80,000.
How to Get Help with Your Traumatic Brain Injury ClaimAt Max Meyers Law, we dedicate our time to helping people who have sustained injuries in motor vehicle accidents. We will schedule your free consultation to see if you might be eligible for compensation if you call us at 425-399-7000. We will never charge you fees until you win.
What Is the Settlement for a Spinal Injury for a Car Accident?
Factors that Affect the Settlement Value of a Spinal Injury from a Wreck
Every case is different, so we cannot give one number to represent the amount of recoverable damages in a personal injury claim, including losses from a spinal cord injury you sustain in a car accident. Here are some of the many factors that will be part of the calculation of your claim:
The Location of Your Spinal Injury
A spinal injury can affect all neurological function at the level of the damage and everything below that level in your back. Another way of looking at this fact is that if you hurt your lower back with a lumbar spinal injury, it can affect your legs but not your arms. But if you suffer a thoracic spinal injury everything below your neck, including your arms and legs, can suffer damage.
The Type of Spinal Injury You Suffered
A back sprain or strain will receive less compensation than a complete spinal cord injury with resulting paralysis. You can usually expect to achieve a successful recovery of all function within a matter of weeks with some types of back injuries, while others can change your life forever.
The Severity of Your Injury
Back injuries you can sustain in a car accident range from mild to moderate to severe to catastrophic. The more serious your injury, the higher your compensation is likely to be. Within the different types of injuries, there are ranges of severity. For example, you can have an incomplete (some function remains) or complete (complete paralysis) spinal cord injury. A person can become a paraplegic or a quadriplegic as a result.
Treatments You Had to Undergo for Your Spinal Injury
The cost, inconvenience, and discomfort of the procedures you had to have to treat your spinal injury will affect the amount of your settlement. If you are lucky enough to recover fully from a mild back injury with only bedrest, over-the-counter pain relievers, and a few weeks of physical therapy, your claim will settle for less money than someone who had to suffer through multiple surgeries for a more significant spinal injury.
How Successful the Procedures Were in Treating Your Neck or Back
Not all patients achieve the same level of function after completing treatment that they had before the spinal injury. Many people endure chronic pain for years or permanently after a back injury. The less that you are made “whole” by the medical treatments, the higher your settlement is likely to be.
Complications From the Treatments on Your Back or Neck
Steroid injections and surgeries have inherent risks, including infection, paralysis, and nerve degeneration. Prescription medications can lead to addiction. If you suffered complications from the treatments that were supposed to help you, we can add those problems to your total claim.
Continuing Issues and Impacts on Your Life From the Injury
Some people are never the same after a significant spinal injury. If you continue to have problems after completing the full plan of treatments, and your injuries affect your life going forward, your settlement can include these losses.
Lost Income Past and Future
We will include the wages you lost because of the accident, medical treatments, and recuperation into your settlement package. Also, if you will be unable to earn as much money in the future because of your spinal injury, you should get compensation for this loss.
The Cost of Ongoing Medical Care
One reason you should not accept a quick settlement with the insurance company is that you do not know early on how well you will heal from your injury and whether you will need ongoing medical care. The costs of ongoing medical care should be part of your settlement.
Long-term Care and Assistance
In cases of paralysis, patients often need daily assistance with things like eating, bathing, and mobility. Some people need to live in a long-term care facility to receive regular medical care. These costs will be factors in a settlement.
In addition to all the economic losses you can experience with a spinal injury, you should receive compensation for things like your pain and suffering, depression, and loss of enjoyment of life. Your spouse might have a claim for loss of consortium.
The Behavior of the At-fault Driver
If the driver responsible for the crash was guilty of reprehensible acts, such as illegally leaving the scene of the accident or driving drunk, a jury is likely to punish him by awarding higher damages. The insurance companies know this, so if there are similar facts in your case, you might get more compensation than you otherwise would.
How to Get Legal Help for Your Injury Claim
As you can see from the many factors that go into the calculation of a settlement for a spinal injury from a car accident, you should not try to handle your claim without professional guidance.All you need to do is call the car accident team at Max Meyers Law, and we will investigate your case and negotiate with the insurance company for you. For a free consultation, call us at 425-399-7000.
What Is the Average Settlement for an ACL Injury from a Car Accident?
The amount of compensation you can recover for an ACL injury from a car accident will depend on the facts of your case, including the extent of the damage and how well it healed.
These knee injuries involve tears to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Although ACL tears happen frequently in sports activities, they can also result from car crashes. If you have a swollen knee that makes it too painful to stand, and it feels as if your knee will “give way,” you should get immediate medical attention.
Possible Outcomes of an ACL Injury
Some mild ACL injuries can heal with R.I.C.E., which is:
- Rest: Keep your weight off of your knee.
- Ice: Apply ice packs for 20 minutes every two hours or as your doctor directs.
- Compression: Wrap your knee with an elastic bandage or compression wrap.
- Elevation: Get your knee at a higher level by lying down and propping up your knee with pillows.
After the R.I.C.E. self-care at home, your doctor might send you for physical therapy and rehabilitative care. You might have to wear a knee brace and walk with crutches for a few weeks.
Your doctor might recommend surgery to repair the ACL damage if you are:
- An athlete
- Young and active
- Your knee buckles with ordinary use
- Your ACL injury is severe
Severely damaged AC ligaments do not heal well, so your surgeon will reconstruct the ACL by removing the damaged ligament and replacing it with a tendon from another part of your knee or an organ donor. Rehabilitation can take eight to 12 months after knee reconstruction.
Factors That Affect the Settlement Value of an ACL Tear from a Wreck
We cannot state a dollar value for settlements of ACL injuries from car accidents because every case is different. These are a few of the many factors we will use to calculate how much your car accident case is worth:
The Severity of Your ACL Injury
ACL injuries include an overextended but intact (not torn) ligament, a partial tear of the tissue, and a complete tear.
Treatments You Had to Undergo for Your ACL Injury
If your ACL damage heals without surgical intervention, you will have lower medical expenses, which will tend to lead to a lower dollar value of your settlement. Higher medical costs usually go hand-in-hand with higher compensation.
How Successful the Treatments Were in Treating Your ACL Injury
Because the knee is a complex joint and load-bearing, some people do not experience a perfect recovery of function and subsidence of pain. Many people go on to have future injuries to the knee. Even with full recovery of function and returning to a pain-free state, you are at higher risk of osteoarthritis in the knee after an ACL tear.
Complications From the Treatment of Your ACL Injury
All surgeries come with risks, such as infection and damage to nearby tissue. The pain pills they give you can lead to opiate addiction. Costs that complications create can get added to your total settlement demand.
Other Injuries You Sustained in the Wreck
It takes a significant collision with a direct blow to the knee to cause an ACL tear. In this type of scenario, the patient usually suffers other injuries, such as fractures, in addition to the ACL damage. The type, severity, and locations of other injuries will be factors in the settlement value of your claim.
Possible Compensation for an ACL Car Accident Injury
Continuing Issues and Impacts on Your Life From the Injury
If your knee does not heal well and you face a lifetime of mobility issues and pain, you should receive compensation for these losses.
Lost Income Past and Future
Your past lost income includes the time you missed from work because of the accident, medical treatments, and recuperation time. Lost future income is for when you cannot earn as much money as before as a result of the ACL injury.
For example, a professional baseball player suffered a complete ACL tear in a car crash and after treatment was no longer able to perform at a “major league” level. He should get compensation for his lost future income.
The value of your claim does not stop at the total of your economic losses. The law allows you to recover for non-economic harm as well, for things like your pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. Your spouse might have a claim for loss of consortium.
How to Get Legal Help for Your Injury ClaimThe personal injury team at Max Meyers Law will investigate the many factors that can affect the value of your settlement. We will negotiate directly with the insurance company so that you do not have to. We will calculate a fair settlement value of your injury claim. Call us today at 425-399-7000, and we will set up your free consultation.
Who Is at Fault for a T-Bone Accident?
The person whose negligence caused the crash is liable for a T-bone accident. The guilty party is not always the driver whose vehicle hits the side of the other car. Determining who is at fault in a T-bone car accident depends on who broke a traffic law that led to the wreck. Sometimes more than one person is negligent.
At Max Meyers Law, our legal team has experience helping clients who suffered injuries in T-bone accidents. If someone else caused your crash, you might be able to recover damages in a personal injury claim. Call us at 425-399-7000 for a free case evaluation.
How Can I Determine Who Caused My T-Bone Accident?
Typically, one driver has the right of way, and the other driver does not. If a driver fails to yield the right of way, and this results in a T-bone accident, they are often at fault for the crash.
If the other driver made one of these common driving mistakes, they could be liable for your damages:
- They disobeyed a traffic light and proceeded into the road;
- They failed to yield while entering the roadway from a side street or alley;
- They did not reduce their speed or come to a full stop in the presence of a yield sign;
- They did not follow the right-of-way rules for a four-way stop;
- They did not react appropriately to an uncontrolled intersection;
- They failed to yield while turning left at an intersection; or
- They did not treat an intersection with non-functioning traffic signals as an all-way stop.
How Do T-Bone Wrecks Happen?
A T-bone accident, also called a side-impact collision, happens when one car smashes into the side of another vehicle. Many of these accidents involve drug or alcohol impairment or distracted driving. Some of the most common scenarios for T-bone crashes are:
- Running a red light or stop sign;
- Failing to yield the right of way at an intersection;
- Pulling onto a street into the path of oncoming traffic; and
- Backing out of a parking space without looking for other vehicles.
Why Are T-Bone Crashes So Severe?
T-bone accidents are so dangerous because they usually result in catastrophic or fatal injuries, depending on the point of impact on your vehicle in relation to the locations of the driver and passengers.
Several factors can affect the severity of injuries. For example:
- If the other vehicle hits the driver’s door, the driver will experience the worst of the impact;
- If the other car strikes the opposite side of the vehicle, passenger injuries could be significant;
- If the force of the collision crushes the vehicle or sends glass and shrapnel into the passenger compartment, significant cuts or lacerations, head trauma, and spinal cord injuries can result; and
- If one vehicle is much larger than another, the occupants of the smaller vehicle could suffer serious injuries.
What Injuries Can Vehicle Occupants Suffer in T-Bone Accidents?
The driver and occupants of each vehicle can suffer significant injuries, including:
- Blunt force trauma;
- Head trauma;
- Spinal cord injuries;
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI);
- Damage to internal organs;
- Lacerations; and
If we can prove that another driver’s negligence caused your T-bone accident, we might be able to hold them liable for the cost to treat your injuries. You could also qualify for compensation for your other related expenses.
What Is Negligence?
Negligence has four legal components. If we can prove the following details were true, you could have a strong case for compensation.
Duty of Care
All drivers must obey the rules of the road, operate their vehicles in a reasonable and prudent manner, and follow all traffic signs and signals.
Breach of Duty of Care
If a driver fails to perform up to the standards of the duty of care, they are negligent.
If we can prove their negligence caused your accident, we can hold them responsible.
The at-fault party is liable for any damages you suffered as a result of their negligence.
How Will a Lawyer Prove My T-Bone Accident Claim?
We will build your claim by gathering the evidence related to the other party’s fault and your damages. This proof can include:
- The police report to show who caused the accident;
- Your medical records to establish the harm you suffered;
- Your work records to back up your claim for lost wages;
- Vocational experts to prove any long-term impact on your capacity to support yourself through employment; and
- Any other relevant documents showing your damages.
After we collect strong evidence for your case, we will file a claim with the at-fault driver's insurance company. If the insurer tries to deny your claim or is unwilling to offer you a fair settlement, we can file a lawsuit on your behalf.
What Happens If Both Drivers Were at Fault for the T-Bone Accident?
If you were partly at fault in the T-bone crash, Washington’s comparative negligence laws could allow you to recover money for some of your damages.
For example, imagine a drunk driver blew through a red light at an intersection. You had a green light and were traveling at a prudent speed, but you looked away for just a moment to check a text message on your cell phone. Because of the distraction, you could not stop in time to avoid getting T-boned.
Your damages total $100,000. If the judge assesses 10 percent of the negligence to you for distracted driving, you could still recover $90,000. This proportional reduction of damages represents your own degree of fault.
How Can I Get Legal Help After a T-Bone Accident?
At Max Meyers Law, we only handle claims and cases that are transportation-related. If you have suffered injuries in a T-bone or other traffic accident, call us at 425-399-7000 to arrange your complimentary consultation. We do not charge legal fees until you recover compensation.
Car Accidents in the Snow: Who Is Liable?
Someone else could be responsible for your damages if you were in a car crash in snowy weather. Do not assume that you are stuck with your losses just because bad weather may have been a factor in the accident.
At Max Meyers Law, our car accident team can help you determine who is liable for your weather-related crash. Car accident lawyer Max Meyers has experience helping victims of snow car accidents recover the compensation they deserve. Call 425-399-7000 today for a free evaluation.
When Is Someone Else Liable for My Single-Car Accident in the Snow?
Even if your car is the only one that wrecked, others can be at fault. Here are some examples where this might apply.
Another Motorist Drove Too Fast for Conditions
Imagine, for example, that you were driving your car with appropriate caution for the circumstances, but someone else was operating their vehicle too fast for the snowy road. If that driver lost control and caused your crash, they could be responsible for your damages.
Snow Build-Up Obstructed Your Vision
If snow build-up on a large car or truck comes loose and obstructs your vision, causing your wreck, the driver of the other vehicle could be liable.
The Local Government Did Not Maintain the Roads Safely
If snow or black ice caused your wreck, the local government entity in charge of maintaining the roadways could be at fault. If, for example, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) knew about a patch of black ice for several days—but did nothing to de-ice the roadway—and you were in a single-car crash, you could have a claim against the state.
Who Is Liable in a Multi-Car Accident on Snowy Roads?
If another driver operated their vehicle recklessly and this contributed to the accident, they will bear responsibility for at least some of the damages. Other drivers can also be at fault in snowy crashes even if they were driving in a manner one would consider prudent in clear weather with dry roads.
Here are some examples of situations in which another driver could be liable for your multi-car accident in the snow.
Another Driver Was Tailgating
If the driver behind you was following too closely and could not stop in time to avoid hitting your car, they could be held responsible for their tailgating. State law defines tailgating as following too closely behind another vehicle after you factor in:
- The speed at which the cars are traveling;
- Traffic; and
- Road conditions.
If the driver was following too closely for ordinary conditions, they will be liable. They also can be guilty of tailgating if they did not lag back further than usually required because of the snowy road.
Another Driver Was Speeding
If another driver caused an accident while exceeding the speed limit, they could have to pay damages to the crash victims. They can also be guilty of speeding even if they were driving below the posted speed limit, but too fast for the weather and road conditions.
A Motorist Ignored Maintenance or Upkeep on Their Vehicle
If another driver failed to maintain their car in a safe condition, they could be liable for any accidents that occur as a result. For instance, if the at-fault driver’s car had bald tires or worn-out brake pads, which prevented them from stopping in time, they could be at fault for the wreck.
A Local Business or Another Entity Created an Unsafe Condition
If a roadside business drained a water tank over the road and created a patch of black ice, the owner or manager could be responsible for any collisions that occur at that location.
How Can an Attorney Determine Who Caused the Collision?
Whether it was a one-car or a multi-car crash, we will get the police report on the accident. The report should contain extra details about the inclement weather, road conditions, and how all the drivers handled themselves under the circumstances.
Our car accident team will conduct an investigation of the wreck, visit the scene, and talk with witnesses. If we need to, we will work with experts in accident reconstruction to show what caused the crash. We pull all the evidence together to prove the other driver’s negligence.
What Happens If No One Was at Fault?
Sometimes, law enforcement officers decide that all the drivers were operating their vehicles in a reasonable and prudent manner for the circumstances, and they do not charge anyone with causing the wreck. When this result happens, each driver must look to their own insurance to cover damages.
We realize, however, that officers are human and they can make mistakes. If we can find evidence that someone else was at fault for your snowy weather accident, we will seek damages from that person. With our years of experience handling accident claims, we know how to obtain evidence proving fault.
What If More Than One Person Was Negligent?
If more than one party caused your crash, they will both be responsible for your damages.
For example, imagine a speeding driver hit a patch of black ice on the snowy road from a business that drained the water tank. You were in the path when the speeding driver went out of control. Although you reduced your speed for the weather and road conditions, there was no time to avoid getting struck by the speeder’s car. In this case, both the business and the speeding driver would be at fault for your wreck.
What Happens If I Was Also at Fault?
If you were also at fault, Washington’s comparative negligence laws allow the judge to reduce the amount of your compensation in proportion to your negligence.
For example, in the above scenario, imagine that you did not have time to avoid the collision because you were paying attention to a driving distraction instead of the road. If the judge decides that your negligence was 10 percent responsible for the accident, they can lower how much money you receive for your losses. If your damages were $50,000, you would only receive $45,000.
How Can I Talk to a Car Accident Lawyer About My Crash?
The legal team at Max Meyers Law can help you determine who caused your snowy weather car accident. Call us at 425-399-7000 today for your complimentary consultation with no obligation.
Why Should I Always See My Doctor After a Car Accident?
You should always get a thorough medical evaluation after an auto accident to find out if you have any injuries that need treatment. An untreated injury can worsen and become a more significant problem down the road. Also, your medical records provide important evidence that the wreck caused your injuries. This can help you recover compensation when you file an insurance claim.
What Should a Doctor Check for After a Car Accident?
It is important that your doctor checks you for whiplash after a crash. Car accidents are a common cause of this type of injury. According to the Mayo Clinic, the prognosis is optimistic for whiplash victims who undergo a few months of treatment. This can include physical therapy, exercises, and pain medications.
You might think that the stiffness and soreness you start to feel a day or two after a wreck is just a temporary inconvenience that will go away on its own, but without the correct medical interventions, whiplash can cause you to experience chronic neck pain and long-term complications. Prompt medical attention is essential when you are dealing with whiplash after a car accident.
When Should You See Your Doctor for a Whiplash Evaluation After a Wreck?
If any of these symptoms develop within a few days of a car accident, you should see your doctor as soon as possible for a whiplash evaluation:
- Your neck is stiff and painful;
- It hurts more when you move your neck;
- You cannot move your neck as far in any direction as you could before the wreck;
- You have a headache, usually centered on the base of your skull;
- Your shoulders, upper back, or arms are numb, tingling, tender, or painful; or
- You feel tired or dizzy.
If you experience these symptoms, get medical attention right away.
Can You Have a Herniated Disc With No Symptoms?
Yes, you can. The Mayo Clinic says that herniated discs can appear on spinal images before people experience pain or other symptoms. Since a car crash can cause a herniated disc, you should have your doctor perform an evaluation even if you are not yet feeling any signs of a problem.
If you are having symptoms, it can be helpful to know if what you are experiencing might be a herniated disc from a car accident. Get medical attention right away if you have any of the following symptoms.
Pain in Your Arm or Leg
Often the discomfort will shoot into your arm or leg if you move a certain way, or if you sneeze or cough.
Weakness in Your Arms or Legs
If you are having difficulty climbing stairs, you are stumbling, or you are finding it hard to pick up or carry things, you might have a damaged disc in your spine.
Tingling or Numbness, Usually in Your Arms or Legs
If the injured disc is in the lower area of your back, you may experience numbness or tingling sensations in your buttocks or legs. Problems with your shoulders or arms could indicate a rupture or herniation higher in the spine.
How Long Can It Take for Head Injury Symptoms to Develop?
You might think that something as significant as a head injury would be apparent immediately, but the U.S. National Library of Medicine says that it can take days or even weeks for the signs of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) to appear after the injury. Millions of Americans per year sustain brain injuries, and most of them need treatment at a hospital. Car accidents are a common cause of brain injuries in the United States.
If you hit your head during a crash, you should see a doctor right away, regardless of whether you are feeling anything unusual. Bleeding in the brain and other complications of TBI can lead to permanent brain damage or death if you do not receive immediate treatment.
You should get a neurological evaluation if you are experiencing:
- Ringing in your ears;
- Neck pain;
- Dizziness; or
Get emergency medical treatment for:
- A worsening or lingering headache;
- Continuing nausea or vomiting;
- Seizures or convulsions;
- Numbness or weakness in your arms or legs;
- Dilated eye pupils; or
- Changes in your speech, such as slurring.
How Can Seeing My Doctor After a Car Accident Protect My Right to Compensation?
Your doctor does not have a financial interest in your injury claim, so your medical records are unbiased evidence of what happened to you. When you go to the doctor for an evaluation and treatment, the staff will note why you came into the office and what injuries or symptoms they observed.
These notes in your medical records establish the link between your injuries and the wreck. Just make sure your doctor writes down that the car accident was the cause of your injuries. Without this evidence, the at-fault driver could claim that some other event caused your injuries.
Talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer About Your Case.
At Max Meyers Law, our personal injury team will be happy to evaluate your claim and tell you if you might be eligible for compensation. Call us at 425-399-7000 to get your free consultation.
Should I Take an Ambulance After a Car Accident?
After the shock of an auto accident, you may feel compelled to take an ambulance and seek immediate emergency medical care. While these actions are appropriate in some situations, you should not automatically ride in an ambulance to the hospital if you have been in a crash.
When Should You Take an Ambulance After a Car Accident?
If you need emergency medical care, call an ambulance to take you to the hospital. If you are in any doubt, call for an ambulance. As the Mayo Clinic explains, emergency rooms have staff whose primary function is to evaluate the level of care you need, including hospital admission, treatment in the emergency room, or getting discharged with instructions to see your primary care physician. It is in your best interest to allow these professionals to do their job and determine if you need emergency treatment.
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, it is a good idea to seek emergency care immediately:
- Chest pain, palpitations, or shortness of breath;
- Profuse bleeding;
- Head or eye injuries;
- Neck or spinal cord injuries;
- Severe burns;
- A severe headache or head or neck pain;
- Loss of consciousness, dizziness, loss of balance, or confusion;
- Sudden difficulty speaking or understanding what people are saying;
- Severe pain, particularly in the abdomen or the lower half of the back; or
- Another significant injury.
As Scripps Health warns, knowing whether you should go to the emergency room or an urgent care center could save your life. The advantage of taking an ambulance over getting a ride to the emergency room is that the ambulance has paramedics who can begin providing treatment on the way to the emergency room. This treatment could make the difference in whether you survive your injuries or not.
When Should You Not Take an Ambulance After a Car Accident?
If you are not experiencing any of the above symptoms and you do not have a significant underlying medical condition, you might not need to take an ambulance to the emergency room. Instead, consider one of the following actions, depending on the specific facts in your situation:
- Get a ride to the emergency room;
- Go to an urgent care center; or
- Make an appointment to see your primary care physician as soon as possible.
If your doctor cannot see you within 24 hours, go to an urgent care center. If your condition worsens or new symptoms appear, go to the emergency room immediately.
Why Is It Important to Get Medical Attention After a Car Accident?
Some injuries do not reveal themselves immediately, but they can become life-threatening within a short period of time. Internal bleeding and head injuries are examples of this phenomenon. If you have any injuries or you just do not feel “quite right” after being in a car wreck, you should get a thorough evaluation from a health care professional. Some medical conditions can be treated easily right away, but if you delay treatment, you might need a more extensive or invasive procedure.
Another reason to get medical attention as soon as possible is to document that the crash caused your injuries. If you try to tough it out without getting medical attention, only to discover that your injuries are worse than you thought and you need significant treatment, the insurance company of the at-fault driver could deny that you sustained your injuries in the crash.
When you get medical treatment, make sure that the person taking your medical history notes that a car accident caused your injuries. Doing this will provide the necessary link between the crash and your damages.
What Should You Do After a Car Accident?
First, get whatever medical care you need right away. Follow your doctor’s instructions and complete the treatment. If you do not complete your treatment as your doctor ordered, the at-fault driver could claim that you did not do everything you could to get better.
Next, you should talk to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer can keep you from settling for too little or offering a statement to an insurance adjuster that could hurt your claim. When you settle your accident injury case, you sign away the right to come back in the future to get more compensation.
Finally, if the insurance company declares your car a total loss, do not let the company dispose of the vehicle without checking with your lawyer. Sometimes the car is valuable evidence, particularly if the vehicle had a design defect or faulty equipment. Always save personal property damaged in a car accident.
Get Legal Help After a Car Accident.
At Max Meyers Law, we focus our practice entirely on transportation-related claims. We can tell you if you might be eligible for compensation after suffering injuries in a car wreck. We do not receive any legal fees until you recover damages. Call 425-399-7000 for a free consultation.
Does Your Property Damage Affect Your Injury Claim?
The amount of your property damage should not affect your injury claim. Sometimes, a crash causes major damage to the car, but the vehicle’s occupants are able to walk away with only minor injuries. In those situations, the car will be a total loss, but that will have no impact on the amount of the injury claim.
Can You Have a High Damages Claim From a Fender-Bender?
If you sustain significant injuries, your claim could have a high value, even if your car suffered only minimal damage. Imagine a driver who has spinal degeneration from years of arthritis is rear-ended at a low speed, causing little damage to the car. Because of the medical condition, the impact is enough to severely injure the driver’s neck, causing significant complications with her existing spinal cord problems. The lifetime costs of treating a spinal cord injury will make the damages astronomical in this situation, even if the crash did not seriously damage the vehicle.
What Determines the Value of an Injury Claim?
The higher your medical expenses are, the more compensation you are likely to receive—as long as the bills are reasonable and the treatments, procedures, and diagnostic tests relate to injuries sustained in the wreck. This category includes ambulance transport, emergency room stays, lab work, x-rays and other imaging, trauma doctor expenses, the cost of hiring medical specialists, bills for follow-up treatment from your primary care doctor, prescription drug costs, and bills from other treatments and therapies.
When you have significant injuries, you may need time off from work to recuperate from surgery or other medical interventions. You can recover lost wages starting with the date of the accident until your doctor releases you from treatment.
Ongoing Medical Care
After you have gotten to the point when your doctor does not anticipate any additional improvement of your medical condition, you might still have to undergo continued medical treatments. For example, if you had internal injuries that damaged your kidneys, you might have to be on dialysis for life—or until you can get a kidney transplant. You should receive compensation for the cost, inconvenience, and discomfort of these treatments, as well as the impact the injuries have on other aspects of your life.
If you are no longer able to work because of your injuries, you are disabled. Having your livelihood ripped away from you is a compensable loss. We will work with vocational and rehabilitation experts to prove your disability.
Lost Earning Potential
Sometimes people are able to work again after a severe injury from an accident, but they cannot earn the same amount of money they would have before the crash. You might not be able to work the long hours you did before the wreck. If you suffered a head injury, you might have cognitive impairment that will put you on a different career path than you were on before. You might not be able to perform physically at the same level because of your injuries. We will use expert witnesses to help you recover compensation for this loss of earning potential.
Having noticeable scarring compounds the trauma you have endured. Carrying a physical reminder of the crash can cause psychological harm, particularly if your scars are on your face, neck, chest, hands, or arms, where people can see them on a daily basis.
Loss of Enjoyment of Life
If your injuries changed your life, you might have to face depression, sadness, or loss of enjoyment of life. If you were an avid weekend athlete who enjoyed going outdoors and hiking or climbing, but you can no longer perform those activities because of your injuries, you have lost something important and special. You deserve compensation for such a loss.
Pain and Suffering
It is hard to put a price tag on the amount of physical and emotional pain you suffer when you experience injuries in an accident. The motor vehicle crash team at Max Meyers Law has the legal experience to determine a range of the reasonable compensation for your pain and suffering. We do this after you have completed all of your medical treatment and you know how your injuries will impact your life.
Loss of Consortium
Your significant other may also have lost something because of the wreck, even if he or she was not in the vehicle. When you suffer severe injuries, those close to you suffer as well. The impact of the injuries can affect your relationships.
How Can I Get Help With My Injury Claim?At Max Meyers Law, we would like to sit down and talk with you about how we can help you navigate the claims process and get through this difficult time. Please call us at 425-399-7000, so we can set up your free consultation. There is no obligation.
How Much Is a Rollover Car Accident Settlement Worth?
Since the details of every case are unique, we cannot estimate what your rollover car accident settlement is worth without investigating your case. We can, however, explain the factors that go into calculating the value of your claim.
How Much Were Your Medical Bills?
We will retrieve records to calculate your medical costs. Medical bills are among the largest economic losses in car accident settlements. Your medical expenses can include bills from:
- Ambulance transportation
- Emergency room visit
- Primary care doctor
- Physical therapy
- Medical equipment (wheelchairs, walkers, crutches)
- Prescription medications
We will gather the medical records and invoices to document your damages and calculate a fair value for your short-term and long-term medical costs. We may also consult a medical expert who can testify about the long-term care you may require.
What Are Your Lost Wages & Earning Potential?
If you suffered injuries in a rollover, you probably missed work while recovering. We will estimate your current lost wages based on records of your income and will also evaluate long-term effects of your injuries on your career and earning capacity. For example, some of the wage-related damages we will investigate include:
- Future earning capacity
- Loss of promotion
- Loss of benefits
- Loss of pension or retirement benefits
We may speak with medical experts and other expert witnesses who can testify about your ability to work and earn a living after the accident.
Are There Other Lasting Effects of the Rollover Crash?
Rollover crashes are among the most severe accidents, so it is not surprising that your injuries could have a long-term, if not permanent, impact on your life. Those who survive these crashes may face:
- Ongoing medical treatment
- Chronic pain
What Other Factors Determine the Amount of My Rollover Settlement?
In addition to your economic losses, we will investigate the non-economic damages associated with your injuries.
You may also qualify for compensation for your pain and suffering from a collision. If you will be unable to participate in hobbies you once enjoyed, we may seek compensation for your loss of enjoyment in life.
Severe injuries can leave scars after they heal. You may feel significant emotional distress associated with disfigurement, particularly if your scars and injuries affect the face, throat, hands, or other highly visible areas of your body.
Many people go through psychological trauma after being in a rollover. Some have insomnia, night terrors, fear of riding in a car, fear of going outside, and other post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. Depression, anger, and a sense of hopelessness may also follow a severe accident. If you are having psychological struggles, it can take a toll on your relationships. Your claim may also seek damages for loss of consortium.
Were You Partially At Fault for the Rollover Crash?
Washington’s comparative fault laws allow you to recover compensation for your damages even if you are partially at fault. Let’s say you had a green light when you collided with someone who ran the red light. But you were distracted when proceeding through the intersection, which the insurance company says makes you partially at fault because the insurer may claim you could have avoided the wreck if you were paying attention.
You can still file a liability claim against the at-fault driver, but your partial fault could reduce your compensation. For example, if the insurance company says you are 10 percent at fault, it will reduce your settlement by 10 percent. So, if you had $40,000 in damages, you will recover $36,000 after the $4,000 (10 percent) deduction.
This is why it is so important to build a strong, evidence-based case that proves the other party’s fault for your wreck. The team at Max Meyers Law is ready to help you with your rollover claim. We will evaluate your case at no cost. Call us today at 425-399-7000 to set up your free consultation.
How Much Is the Settlement for a Shoulder Injury From a Car Accident?
All crash injuries are unique, which is why there is no fixed value of a settlement for a shoulder injury from a car accident. There are, however, five factors you can use to estimate the value of your claim. However, we recommend working with a lawyer to accurately estimate your case value. Call Max Meyers at 425-399-7000.
1. The Severity of Your Shoulder Injury
At the mild end, your shoulder could have bruises, lacerations, a strain, or a sprain. Severe shoulder injuries from motor vehicle accidents include fractures, separated or dislocated shoulders, and rotator cuff tears. Significant shoulder trauma will generate steep medical bills and a long recovery period during which you might be unable to work. High medical bills and lost wages can lead to more compensation.
2. Permanent Impairment of the Shoulder or Arm
Shoulder trauma may not heal completely. People may report that after a severe shoulder injury they may experience weaking of the arm or shoulder joint, as well as reduced range of motion. Nerve damage can lead to numbness, tingling, pain, and weakness. Sometimes people suffer what feels like electrical shocks off and on after their shoulder trauma has healed. The shoulder can be stiff and less functional than before the wreck. Your car accident settlement should account for the permanent and long-term effects of your shoulder injury.
3. Chronic Pain
The chronic pain you experience from a car crash shoulder injury can come from nerve impairment, but there are other sources as well. Scar tissue, contractures (in which some of your tissue shrinks and pulls on other tissue), adhesions, fractures, and soft tissue damage can also cause lingering pain. Some people suffer pain upon exertion. Others will have discomfort with cold, humidity, weather changes, rain. If arthritis develops in the shoulder, you can expect chronic pain. Your settlement should account for your long-term pain and all the consequences that come with it - pain and suffering, lost earning capacity, ongoing medical care, etc.
4. Severity of Other Injuries
Shoulder injuries seldom happen in isolation in car accidents. An impact violent enough to cause shoulder damage may also cause trauma to one or more of these body areas:
- Lower extremities
Settlements for wrecks involving multiple injuries should account for the effects and financial cost of all injuries.
5. Your Comparative Negligence
If you were partly at fault in the collision, you could still get some compensation for your shoulder injury. Washington State uses the doctrine of pure comparative negligence to assess damages when more than one person is at fault.
In comparative negligence states like ours, your percentage of fault for an accident proportionally reduces the value of your settlement. For example, if you were 10 percent at fault and had $20,000 in damages, the settlement would drop by $2,000 to account for your 10 percent negligence. You would receive $18,000 for your shoulder injury.
“Pure” comparative negligence means that in our state, the law does not bar you from recovery even if you were mostly at fault in the collision. In some other states, if you were 50 or 51 percent or more to blame for the wreck, you would get no money at all, regardless of how devastating your injuries were. In Washington State, you can recover compensation even if you were more than 50 or 51 percent at fault.
Call Max Meyers Law at 425-399-7000 to get your free claim evaluation. We will be happy to evaluate your car accident and shoulder injury case.