In 2012, there were nearly 100,000 collisions on Washington roadways, according to the 2012 Washington Annual Collision Summary. This means that a crash occurred about every five minutes. The annual summary also reported that someone was injured on the road every 12 minutes, and someone was killed in a crash every 20 hours.
When someone is injured or killed in a crash, victims or their families may be able to seek financial remuneration from the responsible parties. Eligibility is based upon the circumstances surrounding the accident and the extent of the damages.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
An accident can occur because of dozens of causes, from mechanical failure to icy roads. Some of the common causes of crashes are:
- driving under the influence;
- texting or talking on the phone while driving;
- driving while sleepy;
- not obeying traffic rules;
- being inattentive;
- driving recklessly; and
- being distracted (eating, putting on makeup, fumbling with radio, etc.).
As you can see, while some car accidents are caused by uncontrollable circumstances like the weather, most accidents are, in fact, preventable.
Negligence and Compensation
When an accident occurs as the result of negligence, injured parties can file a claim for compensation to recover damages. The types of compensable damages include not only medical and/or funeral expenses, but also:
- lost wages;
- disability and disfigurement;
- pain and suffering; and
However, with each case, the insurance company or courts will look at the circumstances surrounding the accident and assign a degree of fault to each party. For instance, they might find one party 30 percent at fault for the accident, and the other party 70 percent at fault.
Regardless of victims’ degree of fault, they still may be able to collect compensation. Washington follows the comparative negligence rule. This rule says that crash victims can collect restitution if they were partly at fault; their settlement award will be reduced by their degree of fault.
In other words, if you are the victim of an accident with $100,000 in damages and you are 30 percent at fault, your settlement check would be reduced by $30,000.
Obtaining the Highest Settlement Possible
Proving fault and demonstrating damages are two crucial components of filing a car accident claim and obtaining compensation. If you or a loved one was seriously injured, take your case to a lawyer to help you collect evidence, file the pertinent paperwork, organize your case, and pursue the highest amount of compensation for which you’re eligible.
A local attorney who specifically handles car accidents will know the ins and outs of personal injury cases like yours and be able to steer your case toward settlement. You and your attorney can work together to obtain enough evidence to substantiate your claim.
Need a lawyer in Bellevue? Call Max Meyers Law PLLC
For a car accident firm in Bellevue that handles each and every case with care and attention, call Max Meyers Law PLLC. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation – 888-230-4970.