Auto Accident Injury in Spokane, WA
Have you suffered an injury due to a car accident in Spokane? If so, your life may never be the same again. Injuries from a car accident can interfere with your ability both to work and to enjoy everyday activities. They can also be incredibly painful. As such, you need an auto accident attorney who understands the laws in and around Spokane, WA that will fight for your legal rights and help you receive the financial compensation you deserve.
Auto Accident Injury Statistics in Spokane, Washington
According to the National Safety Council, in 2019 about 4.4 million people suffered serious injuries in motor vehicle accidents and an estimated 38,000 were killed. In the State of Washington, inattentive/distracted driving was the largest contributing factor, affecting 650 severe crashes. Nearly 730 young drivers ages 16-25 were involved according to the Washington State Department of Transportation, as well as a combined 1,000 motorcyclists and pedestrians. Spokane’s “Look Up!” project involved painting warnings onto sidewalks at problematic intersections to prevent pedestrians from walking into traffic while looking at their phone screens.
What to Do After an Auto Accident
It’s important to be prepared in the event you are a victim of a car accident. Below are the steps to remember immediately after your crash.
Receive Immediate Medical Attention
What is the most important step that you need to take after an auto accident? You need to receive immediate and proper medical treatment. You may believe that the injuries sustained after an auto accident are minor. Proper medical treatment helps ensure that you have not sustained any internal injuries that you may not be aware of.
File a Police Report
Even if no one sustained injuries, you still need to call 911 and request law enforcement assistance. When officers arrive, jot down each one’s name and badge number. Answer their questions honestly, but don’t volunteer any unasked for information, especially your thoughts on exactly what happened or who caused the car accident. Be sure to ask the officers for the number of their police report. Also ask when and where you can get a copy of it, including how much it will cost you.
If there’s no officer available to fill out a Police Traffic Collision Report, any person involved in a collision with $1,000 or more of property damage and/or injury to any person must complete a Motor Vehicle Collision Report. Collision reports are available through the Washington State Patrol for $10.50. You can also request by mail through the Washington State Patrol Collision Records Section. It may take 2-4 weeks before the report becomes available.
Gather the Appropriate Documentation
While waiting for officers to arrive after a car accident, collect information from all other drivers involved in the accident, including the following:
- Full name, address, phone number and email address
- Driver’s license state and number
- Auto insurance company name, policy number and phone number
Use your cell phone to take pictures of each driver’s license, auto insurance card, your vehicle and each additional vehicle involved in the car accident. Don’t rely on verbal communication. Having as much information as possible will only help you and your case later on. Try to keep this exchange as civil and friendly as possible. However, do not apologize for causing the accident or indicate in any way that you think you may have caused it.
Recovering Damages After an Auto Accident Injury
After surviving a car accident, the emotional and economic toll it takes can be staggering. You are not only dealing with the mental anguish that comes with being involved in a crash, but you may also be experiencing severe physical harm as well.
Common injuries associated with motor vehicle accidents include:
- Burn injuries
- Back and neck injuries, such as whiplash
- Brain and head injuries
- Broken bones
- Spinal injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
The National Highway Traffic Administration estimated 2010 economic costs due to motor vehicle crashes in Washington totaling $4.47 billion. The figure comes out to about $44,000 per crash when spread amongst all crashes for that year. In 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated $10 million in medical costs associated with traffic crash deaths in the state, two-thirds of which involved cars. Broken down by age, 10% of the total cost estimate was generated by teens. In traffic collisions involving 224 vehicles in 2019, nearly 130 individuals were seriously injured according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.
Hiring a car accident lawyer ensures you have the financial ability to cover any losses that have occurred as a result of a crash. An auto accident attorney will also help you handle the paperwork that you will have to complete from insurance companies. This boosts your odds of receiving the insurance compensation you deserve.
Auto Accident Laws in Washington
Liability Laws for Spokane
When car accidents happen, it is essential to determine who bears responsibility for the resulting damage and medical bills. Determining fault impacts everything from your insurance claim and level of liability to the amount of confusion you may endure during the claims process.
The State of Washington, including Spokane, is a comparative negligence jurisdiction, where your level of fault in causing a collision diminishes the amount of damages you can claim, but does not prevent recovery altogether. For example, if you were found to be 45% responsible for causing the crash, you’d be able to recover 55% of the damages. You must carry proof of financial responsibility such as insurance while driving a motor vehicle.
Statute of Limitations in Spokane
Each state has its own tort laws that determine the statute of limitations on a claim. In some states, this gives you just one year to file a claim in court, while some others may give you up to six years. While there are certain exceptions, you generally have within three years to file a personal injury claim after a traffic crash in Washington.
This is why it is important to consult with an attorney immediately after your car crash. Don’t wait and risk losing out on any compensation they can recover.
Work With an Experienced Auto Accident Lawyer Near Spokane, WA
After a car accident, you have enough to worry about. We can help you find an auto accident attorney for your unique case. Get the financial restitution that you deserve if you’re the victim of someone else’s conduct.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in Washington!