Auto Accident Injury in Yakima, WA
Have you suffered an injury due to a car accident in Yakima? 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 Yakima, WA that will fight for your legal rights and help you receive the financial compensation you deserve.
Auto Accident Injury Statistics in Yakima, 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. The State of Washington suffered 111,641 total crashes, resulting in nearly 2,500 combined serious injury and fatal crash incidents according to The Washington State Department of Transportation. From 2015–2017, 20 percent of all traffic fatalities and 20 percent of all traffic serious injuries in Washington involved walkers or bikers according to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.
With 109 fatalities in 2017, pedestrian deaths reached the highest number in more than 30 years. The state’s Target Zero Strategic Highway Safety Plan is focused on reversing this trend through achieving zero traffic deaths and zero serious injuries on the state’s roadways by 2030.
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. However, 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.
If your accident has caused injuries to you, to someone else, or approximately $1,000 worth to property, a collision report must be filled out. If a police officer or sheriff’s deputy is not available to fill out a police report at the scene, then you’ll need to file a report within 4 days from the date of the incident with the State Department of Motor Vehicles. A copy of the report is available online typically within 2-4 weeks through the Washington State Patrol for a fee of $10.50.
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
According to the National Highway Traffic Administration, economic costs due to motor vehicle crashes in Washington totaled an estimated $4.47 billion in 2010, meaning each crash that year carried an average expense of nearly $44,000. For 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated $10 million in medical costs for state-wide traffic crash deaths alone in 2018, over $15,000 per fatality on average. Motorcyclists accounted for 16% of the total cost estimate that year.
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 Yakima
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.
Yakima, like all cities in the State of Washington, is a comparative negligence jurisdiction. Your level of fault in causing a collision diminishes the amount of damages you can claim. Although, it does not prevent recovery altogether. For example, if you were found to be 25% responsible for causing the crash, you’d potentially be able to recover 75% of the damages. According to Washington State law, you must carry proof of financial responsibility while operating a motor vehicle.
Statute of Limitations in Yakima
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. You generally have within three years in Washington to file a personal injury claim after a traffic crash.
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 Yakima, 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!