Auto Accident FAQ
Seattle Personal Injury Attorneys
Car accidents can be scary, confusing and overwhelming. A Seattle personal injury lawyer from Ward Smith, PLLC wants to help you recover from this incident both financially and physically. Although it may seem as though there is a long and complicated road ahead of you, having a legal professional who is experienced and knowledgeable in the process will expedite it tremendously and help you conclude your claim successfully. One of the keys to a successful auto accident claim is being educated about your rights and how you should respond to an accident. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions concerning auto accidents in Seattle.
What should I do after a car accident?
After a car accident, it can be difficult to be rational and organized with your actions. This is an understandable product of such a traumatic event. Make sure that you and your passengers are alright and try to gather as much information about the incident. You should try and obtain the insurance information of the other driver, the license plate number and contact information of any eye witnesses from the scene. The most you can offer as to how the car accident occurred, the better your chances are for obtaining compensation for your damages.
Should I see a doctor?
Obviously, if you are injured, you should seek immediate medical attention. Even if you feel fine after a car accident, it may be a good idea to have a doctor confirm your health because injuries from car accidents are not always immediate or obvious. Obtaining medical records for any treatment you receive in connection to the car accident will also help you when you file a claim for damages.
Should I call the police?
Having the police at the scene of a car accident will help you and the other driver immensely. The officers are there to organize the situation, gather eye witness testimony and ensure that everyone is okay. The police officers will also write up an official report of the incident based on the information they themselves gathered. You can later obtain a copy of this report for the purposes of solidifying your car accident claim.
Can I still get compensation if I contributed to the car accident?
Yes, Washington state law operates on a policy of pure comparative negligence. This means that in a car accident claim, both parties will be assigned fault in the incident and then the plaintiff claiming damages will receive compensation according to the percentage of fault the other driver was assigned. For example, if you are assigned 25 percent of fault in a car accident that you were injured by and the other driver is held 75 percent at fault for the accident, you will receive 75 percent of the damages you initially claimed and expected to pay the remaining 25 percent yourself.
The at-fault insurance company offered me a settlement, should I accept it?
In most cases, you should first consult with a Seattle personal injury attorney before accepting any sort of settlement for a car accident. While this option may seem like a quick and easy way to obtain some compensation for the damages you incurred, the insurance company is likely not offering you everything that you are entitled to. By enticing you with a quick settlement, they are able to make a smaller pay out and reserve more revenue for themselves as they raise the premiums for their at-fault customer. If you have been offered a settlement, contact a personal injury attorney about your situation and ask them whether it is a fair amount according to your damages.
If you have any more questions about auto accident claims or if you are looking to hire a qualified legal representative for your specific claim, contact Ward Smith, PLLC today and speak with one of our Seattle personal injury attorneys.