CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS

Have you been involved in a car accident in Seattle or a car accident in Tacoma?
Are you unsure of what your next steps are?

Did your car accident involve pedestrians, distracted drivers, teenage drivers, drunk drivers, or another case of reckless driving that resulted in an injury to you or damages to your car?

Regardless of what kind of motor vehicle accident you had, Washington Law Center will fight for you! We will explain your rights as a victim and guide your claim to a positive resolution.

Washington Law Center is ready to represent you in a car accident lawsuit. We will work to get you compensated for your injuries, damages and inconveniences caused by the at-fault party.

Our accident injury attorneys understand that your case is important, unique and personal. At Washington Law Center, our team will provide you the assistance you need to reconcile your case.

We fight, you win.

See how we can help you by giving us a call us today at our Tacoma office at 253-476-2653 or at our Tukwila office at 206-596-7888 or fill out our contact form.

SE HABLA ESPANOL

Washington car accident laws FAQ

  • What to do if you’ve been involved in a car accident?

    What to do if you’ve been involved in a car accident?

    If you are involved in a collision that causes injury no matter how minor the injury might seem, you should take the following steps:

    1. Medical Attention: If you suffer any form of injury, you should visit a hospital or doctor for diagnostic evaluation and treatment. Some accident victims with only minor symptoms compromise the value of their legal claim by postponing medical attention. There are many severe injuries that may not present obvious symptoms until a period of time has elapsed. When you seek immediate medical attention, you can improve your prognosis while also allowing a doctor to create medical records with diagnostic evidence. All diagnostic tests, treatment and rehabilitation should be completed.
    2. Summon Law Enforcement: Generally, you should summon the police, so a law enforcement accident report can be prepared even if you do not think anyone was injured, and no vehicle suffered more than nominal damage. If symptoms of physical injury occur later, a police report will preserve a record of physical evidence, witnesses and other relevant evidence. We recommend getting the name and badge number of the officer as well as the accident report number.
    3. Preservation of Evidence: If you are too injured to gather evidence at the scene, you should have someone assist you. A camera phone can be used to take pictures of vehicle damage, injuries, position of the vehicles and notable environmental factors. The names and contact information of witnesses should also be gathered in case the police fail to interview a witness who later proves to be important to your case. You also need to exchange insurance and driver’s license information with the other driver.
    4. Legal Advice: The statute of limitations for car accident lawsuits in Washington typically is three (3) years. However, shorter time limits can apply in certain cases, such as lawsuits against public entities for dangerous roads. Further, your motor vehicle accident lawyer will need time to investigate your claim so you should seek legal advice promptly.
    5. Negligent Driver’s Insurance Company: The other driver’s insurance company might try to contact you to request a written statement or to obtain a release for your medical or employment records. The claims adjuster might justify these requests based on a desire to “resolve” your claim. However, individuals who suffer injuries in car crashes must remember that the “resolution” that the adjuster cares about is one where you recover little or no compensation. Many motor vehicle accident lawsuits are damaged by injury victims that attempt to deal directly with the other driver’s insurance company. All communications and dealing with the insurer for the negligent party should be done by the car accident law firm that is representing you.

  • Who is liable and at fault in a car accident?

    Who is liable and at fault in a car accident?

    The evidence of a motor vehicle collision must be carefully evaluated, so all responsible parties and the basis for fault can be identified. A broad spectrum of parties might be financially responsible for causing an accident, such as:

    • Other drivers
    • Vehicle owners
    • Public entities for unsafe roads
    • A driver’s employer
    • Vehicle manufacturer for defective vehicles or parts
    • Businesses serving alcohol to a minor or visibly intoxicated individual (dram shop law)

    Liability in car accident lawsuits typically will be based on negligence. Negligence by another driver often involves violations of traffic laws or other forms of unsafe driving. Sometimes defendants in personal injury lawsuits can be subject to strict liability if a product defect is a substantial factor in causing the accident or in contributing to more serious injuries.

    While there are many types of conduct that might pose the basis of fault in a car accident, some common examples include:

    • Drunk driving
    • Speeding
    • Right of way violations
    • Running red lights and stop signs
    • Distracted driving
    • Tailgating
    • Aggressive driving
    • Road rage
    • Unsafe turns
    • Improper vehicle maintenance
    • Defective vehicles
    • Hazardous roadways

  • What are common types of accidents that constitute the need for a Washington personal injury lawyer?

    What are common types of accidents that constitute the need for a Washington personal injury lawyer?

    The Seattle car accident attorneys and Tacoma car accident attorneys at the Washington Law Center have successfully represented hundreds of car accident victims. We have the experience and expertise to handle all types of accident cases which include, but are not limited to the following:

    • Back over accidents
    • Trucking accidents
    • Head-on collisions
    • Motorcycle accidents
    • T-bone crashes
    • Rear endings
    • Cycling crashes
    • Vehicle rollovers
    • Pedestrian accidents
    • Bus crashes
    • Road departure accidents
    • Multi-vehicle pileups
    • Side-impact crashes

  • If I’ve been injured in an accident, what damages am I entitled to?

    If I’ve been injured in an accident, what damages am I entitled to?

    If you are injured by the negligence of another in a motor vehicle collision, you might be entitled to a broad range of damages. While the value of your car accident claim and the specific damages available will depend on the unique facts of your case, you might be entitled to some or all of the following types of damages:

    • Medical costs (including costs of travel to appointments)
    • Lost income
    • Pain and suffering
    • Impaired enjoyment of life
    • Loss of consortium
    • Diminished earning capacity
    • Disfigurement
    • Punitive damages (cases of egregious conduct e.g. drunk driving)

  • I’ve been involved in a tractor-trailer accident; do I need a personal injury attorney?

    I’ve been involved in a tractor-trailer accident; do I need a personal injury attorney?

    When you are involved in any type of collision, you can suffer debilitating injuries. However, legal claims for compensation arising out of trucking accidents are qualitatively different than car accident lawsuits involving only passenger cars. Tractor-trailers (i.e. big-rigs, semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, large trucks) can weigh in excess of 25 times more than an economy car. These enormous vehicles can reach a length of 53 feet and weigh 80,000 pounds when transporting a maximum load through Washington.

    The massive weight disparity between large trucks and passenger cars presents a substantial risk of catastrophic injury to occupants of the passenger car. A recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report indicates that 3,900 people died and another 104,000 were injured in tractor-trailer crashes nationally during a recent one-year period. Of these trucking accident fatalities, 72 percent involved occupants of the other vehicle involved in the semi-truck collision.

  • What makes tractor-trailer accident claims different?

    What makes tractor-trailer accident claims different?

    While most personal injury attorneys handle collision lawsuits, trucking accidents are not just accidents cases that involve an exceptionally large vehicle. Trucking accidents involve special considerations that make it imperative you hire an experienced and knowledgeable trucking accident lawyer. At the Washington Law Center, we have successfully handled many significant trucking accident lawsuits, and we utilize this expertise regarding the following issues:

    Trucking Regulations

    Drivers of large trucks and trucking companies are subject to an extensive regulatory framework that covers a range of safety issues that include:

    • Vehicle inspection and maintenance
    • Anti-fatigue rules
    • Driver fitness
    • Drug and alcohol testing
    • Weight and length limits
    • Pre-employment screening
    • Training and supervision

    These are just a few examples of the types of special regulations imposed on the trucking industry to mitigate the safety risks posed by these extremely large vehicles. Trucking companies that operate across state lines (interstate trucking) will be subject to regulations from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Commercial carriers that operate exclusively within Washington will be subject to state regulations. Violation of these safety regulations often constitute the primary basis for liability in a trucking case, so Washington trucking accident attorneys must be thoroughly familiar with these regulations as well as other relevant laws and trucking industry practices.

    Unique Trucking Accident Risks

    Although trucking accidents often are caused by the same sorts of conduct that cause crashes involving non-commercial drivers, there are unique accident risks that are particularly common in the trucking industry. Trucks that are parked do not generate profits, so trucking companies often utilize compensation plans that encourage drivers to ignore special regulations called “hours of service” (HOS) rules designed to reduce the risk of fatigue-related crashes. When drivers are paid per mile and trucking companies look the other way when drivers exceed the permitted amount of time behind the wheel, the risk of a tractor-trailer collision rises dramatically.

    Trucking companies and commercial drivers also are subject to strict regulations regarding vehicle inspections and maintenance. When these requirements are disregarded, brake failure, trailer hitch malfunctions, tire blowouts and other equipment-related issues can result in horrific crashes.

    Preservation of Evidence

    Trucking industry regulators have imposed special recordkeeping requirements because of the danger posed by fatigue and maintenance issues. However, these logbooks are so frequently falsified that they are disparagingly referred to as “lie books”. Trucking accident lawyers must move quickly to avoid the destruction of evidence. If appropriate steps are not taken, trucking companies might conveniently lose black box data or repair body damage to tractor-trailers.

    Our Washington trucking accident attorneys frequently send warning letters to trucking companies indicating that the big-rig and data stored in a big-rig’s black box must not be destroyed or altered. If the trucking company disregards this notice, we may file for an injunction to preserve the evidence or seek sanctions against the trucking company. These sanctions can include an attorney fee award or even judge imposed presumptions that favor the plaintiff regarding what the destroyed evidence would have revealed.

  • What to do if you’ve been involved in a car accident as a cyclist or pedestrian?

    What to do if you’ve been involved in a car accident as a cyclist or pedestrian?

    Any collision involving a motor vehicle can cause catastrophic injuries and fatalities, but bicyclists and pedestrians are especially vulnerable to devastating injuries. Because those riding a bike or walking have none of the safety protections afforded by cars, trucks, SUVs or tractor-trailers, they disproportionately suffer severe injuries when they are struck by a motor vehicle.

    At the Washington Law Center, our pedestrian accident attorneys and bicycle crash lawyers understand that the stakes are extremely high for people injured in these types of collisions. Our litigation team carefully investigates the facts and evidence, such as accident reports, the crash site, vehicle damage, medical reports, witnesses and more.

    Washington Law Center’s Commitment to Pedestrian Accident and Bicycle Injury Victims

    Because we know that severe injuries can mean staggering medical bills, long periods of disability and permanent inability to engage in life activities, we prepare an extremely compelling case for trial. Our approach means that we also can negotiate from a position of strength when dealing with a careless or inattentive driver’s insurance company.

    While we have fashioned a reputation for effective negotiation and exemplary litigation, we also understand the importance of customer service. Our clients have already been victimized by the negligent conduct of another, so they should not be forced to cope with calls that are unreturned and emails that are ignored. Our Seattle pedestrian accident attorneys and Tacoma pedestrian accident attorneys make client communication a high priority. We exercise a commitment to providing reasonable updates to our clients and responding to inquiries the same day or by the next business day.

  • What are common causes of bike and pedestrian crashed in Seattle?

    What are common causes of bike and pedestrian crashed in Seattle?

    The basis of imposing fault on drivers involved in cycling and pedestrian accidents will usually be negligence. In simple terms, negligence refers to a failure to exercise reasonable care to prevent foreseeable injury to others. Most collisions between vehicles and people who are walking, jogging or riding a bike are the result of a traffic violation or other forms of inattentive or careless driving. Some of the most frequently types of unsafe driving that cause these types of especially dangerous crashes include:

    • Talking or texting on a cell phone
    • Disregarding the posted speed limit
    • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
    • Over-reliance on mirrors when turning or changing lanes
    • Distracted driving
    • Running red lights, yield signs or stop signs
    • Lack of caution in high pedestrian areas (school zones, parks, shopping centers)

    While many crashes involving cyclists and pedestrians are caused by unsafe motorists. Sometimes the failure of a public entity to focus enough attention on roadway safety features can also contribute to these accidents. When the design or maintenance of the roadway contributes to this type of crash, a public entity might be financially responsible. Because there are special procedures and shorter time limits for suing a government entity, time is of the essence in seeking legal advice when a dangerous road contributes to bike or pedestrian injuries.

  • How important is wearing a bicycle helmet?

    How important is wearing a bicycle helmet?

    Although there is no statewide law in Washington that requires bicyclists to wear a helmet, many cities and counties impose such a requirement. Our Seattle bicycle accident attorneys, as well as our Tacoma bicycle accident attorneys urge riders to wear a helmet, even if helmets are not mandatory where a cyclist is riding. The fundamental reason that bike riders and pedestrians are more likely to suffer serious debilitating injuries is that they have limited options in terms of safety equipment or features. A bicycle helmet provides a notable exception.

    A study published in the Journal of Pediatrics analyzed data involving bicyclists who suffered serious or fatal injuries over a ten-year period. The data was analyzed by comparing states with mandatory bicycle helmet laws to states without a helmet law. The researchers concluded that helmets were twenty percent effective in preventing injuries. Because many bicyclists injured in crashes suffer traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), we encourage all riders to strap on a helmet for safety.

Over $100 million awarded to our clients by verdict, settlement, injury pension or judgment

Free Case Review

CALL US NOW