What happens when you have the bad luck to be involved in a second car accident before your first accident claim is even finished? This situation is one that the lawyers at Fuller & Fuller have encountered time and time again.
When there are two accidents, the lawyer and client must strategize. Marya Fuller explains the risk of bringing two accident claims simultaneously: the insurance companies will each claim that their accident did not cause the injuries. Each company will “point the finger” at the other company, claiming that your injuries are the other driver’s fault. If the injuries from both accidents are to the same parts of your body, then it can be difficult to sort out which at-fault driver has what percentage of responsibility for your injuries. The attorney will have advice about whether the claims should be kept strictly separate or whether a joint settlement letter should be sent to both companies. The attorney will also have ideas about how to obtain the medical evidence needed to sort out which accident caused which injuries and in what percentage.
If the case cannot be settled and a lawsuit is filed, the law in Washington State provides some assistance to the client who has been in a two-accident situation. The injured party may not be required to prove which injury or portion of the total injury occurred as a result of each accident; rather, under Washington law, the negligent parties have the burden of apportioning damage between themselves, and can be held jointly and severally liable. See Phennah v. Whalen, 28 Wn.App 19, 26-7 (1980), (note that this information is only applicable in Washington State.)
Scenarios where two accidents are involved can be complex, and the injured party is well-advised to obtain professional assistance from an experienced attorney. In Western Washington, Fuller & Fuller, Attorneys, with offices in Tacoma, Olympia, and Port Orchard, have been assisting injured people for over forty years. Fuller & Fuller’s motto is “Let Our Family Help Your Family.” Contact Fuller & Fuller at 1-800-570-4878, or visit us here regarding your injuries from automobile, pedestrian, truck, bicycle, or motorcycle accidents.