At Fuller & Fuller, Attorneys PLLC, our Washington car accident lawyers have helped crash victims throughout Olympia, Tacoma, and other Washington areas for fifty years. We understand the hardships you may be facing and we are committed to helping you pursue the maximum compensation you deserve for your physical, financial, and emotional losses.
When you get injured in a car accident, it is important to make sure you have a clear understanding of your legal rights. Car accidents can be incredibly expensive; if you have grounds to file an insurance claim or lawsuit, doing so can allow you to recover compensation and move forward with your life.
Assessing your legal rights requires a detailed analysis of the facts based on the relevant principles of Washington law. As a result, it is important to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
The best way to determine the merits of your car accident case is to discuss your situation with an experienced attorney. It costs you nothing to discuss your case with a car accident lawyer at Fuller & Fuller, Attorneys PLLC. During your free initial consultation, our attorney will listen to the facts of your accident and explain your rights and legal options.
Five Factors to Consider After a Car Accident in Washington
When you schedule a free consultation with a car accident lawyer, your attorney will examine several factors to determine if you have a valid claim. Five of the most important factors are:
1. Was Someone Else At Fault in the Accident?
For you to have a valid claim, someone else must have been at fault in your car accident. Most car accident lawsuits involve claims based on driver negligence. If you were hit by a driver who was distracted, driving recklessly, not following the rules of the road, or was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, then you may have a claim against the driver (or the driver’s insurance company) for compensation.
Some lawsuits may also involve claims against drivers’ employers, government entities for a road defect, or other less common claims. When examining your legal rights, it is important to consider all potential sources of financial recovery.
2. Were You Partially At Fault in the Accident?
It is also important to consider whether you played a role in causing the collision. Under Washington law, if you are partially responsible for your own injuries, the amount you are entitled to recover goes down based on your percentage of fault. With that said, you should not make any assumptions about your percentage of fault in causing your own injuries. Determining the cause (or causes) of a car accident frequently requires a comprehensive investigation.
3. Is Evidence Available to Prove Fault?
Winning a lawsuit or an insurance claim requires evidence. This evidence can take many forms, but you need sufficient evidence to prove that you are entitled to compensation. Some examples of the types of evidence your lawyer might need to prove who was at fault for the accident include:
- Photos or videos from the crash site
- Photos of the damage to each vehicle
- Accident reconstruction and forensic data
- The police report
- Vehicle repair or maintenance records
- Road repair or maintenance records
- Witness statements
Since some forms of evidence can disappear over time, it is important that you hire a lawyer to investigate your car accident as soon as possible. Based on the evidence recovered during this investigation, your lawyer will be able to determine if you have a viable lawsuit to file.
4. What Are Your Total Losses from the Accident (Current and Future)?
In addition to proof of fault, filing a car accident lawsuit or settling an insurance claim also requires proof of your total losses from the accident. You will need to work with your lawyer to assess the value of your claim, collect the necessary medical evidence, and decide if it makes sense to move forward. Washington law allows for the recovery of both financial and non-financial losses, and you will need to ensure that you have a clear understanding of both your losses to date and how much your car accident is going to cost you in the future.
5. Do You Still Have Time to File a Lawsuit?
Finally, you need to make sure you still have time to file a lawsuit. In Washington, personal injury and wrongful death claims must be brought within the statute of limitations. Consulting with an attorney soon after your accident helps ensure a lawsuit can be brought in time.
When it comes to determining if you have a car accident lawsuit, these are not the only factors that come into play, but an attorney can help you sort it all out and gather the necessary evidence and documentation.
After a serious car wreck, you may be facing disability, high medical bills, and time away from work you can’t afford. The Washington car accident lawyers at Fuller & Fuller, Attorneys PLLC can help you pursue the justice and compensation you need to move forward.
Contact our office today online or at (800) 570-4878 for a free case review. We serve clients in Olympia, Tacoma, and other areas throughout Washington.