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Hurt in a car accident? The carelessness of a negligent driver can cause irreparable damage and injuries that lead to a lifetime of complications. Car crashes can be traumatic experiences that lead to extensive damage to your vehicle, missed time from work, and outrageous medical bills for months or even years to come. Making the situation worse, injured parties must then communicate with aggressive insurance companies who do not have their best interest in mind. Fortunately, if a reckless or negligent driver caused you or your loved one harm, a Walla Walla car accident lawyer can help.
By working with our attorneys at Hess Law Office in Walla Walla, you will gain the peace of mind that a qualified legal team is helping you through the complex legal process. Our law firm understands the various hardships that you may be experiencing, and you can count on us to stand by your side and ensure the responsible party is held liable.
There are many causes of car accidents throughout Washington, including everything from drunk driving to distracted driving. The severity of an individual’s injuries can vary between minor cuts and bruises, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, catastrophic injuries like paralysis and disfigurement, and even wrongful death. If you’re suffering from serious injuries after a car crash, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced lawyer in Walla Walla who can help you pursue the results you need for your future.
The injuries you sustain after a car wreck can lead to all sorts of loss—whether it’s a financial cost or some other type of loss. Generally, you can claim two types of damages in a car accident case: economic and non-economic.
These types of damages are sometimes called “compensatory damages,” and they refer to financial loss that can be measured.
Economic damages often include:
Compensatory damages can be proven with documents like medical bills, car repair estimates, and wage statements.
Other losses are associated with injuries. They are not as easily measured but impact the injured person’s life just as much —if not more.
Non-economic damages that can often be claimed after a car accident include:
Non-economic damages are often awarded based on the injuries’ severity, their permanent effects, and the length of time it takes for the injured party to reach maximum medical improvement.
The Revised Code of Washington 48.22.095 requires that all insurance agencies that provide auto insurance policies to licensed drivers offer minimum amounts for Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage.
The minimum amounts are as follows:
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage is health-insurance-type coverage that pays for the injured person’s medical benefits or income loss benefits to the injured person. Notably, the party collecting benefits from their Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage is still allowed under state law to file a claim for compensation in addition to the set coverage. The experienced personal injury attorneys at our law office can help file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit for fair compensation after an auto accident in Walla Walla.
After a car accident claim is filed, you’ll likely get a call from an insurance adjuster. It’s important to note that the at-fault driver’s insurance company employs insurance adjusters – they are not working for you, the injured party. The primary goal of an insurance adjuster is to minimize the amount of fault that falls on their covered driver and reduce the amount of your injury settlement. They’ll often ask you for a recorded statement to build their case against you.
Negotiating a personal injury settlement with insurance companies is complicated, primarily if you pursue the settlement alone. Insurance representatives are aware injured parties are vulnerable, but they may not have the individual’s best interest in mind. An experienced personal injury attorney understands how this process works and can handle the negotiation meetings with the adjusters on your behalf.
Car accidents are common, and sadly, many of them cause severe injuries and costly property damage. A Walla Walla car accident lawyer has experience handling the complex legal system and dealing with aggressive insurance companies. Let us work with you to determine the value of your case and to pursue the legal action necessary to get you compensation. We can offer a free consultation on your case so that you can obtain some legal advice and information regarding your car accident. Contact us today to discuss your claim and learn more about how we can help you get the personal injury settlement you’re entitled to.
How long does an insurance company have to settle a claim in Washington State?
From the date you file your insurance claim, insurance companies typically have about 30 days to investigate your claim until they either approve or deny it.
Is Washington a no-fault insurance state?
Washington is not a no-fault state for insurance. The Evergreen State’s personal injury law follows a comparative negligence model for determining fault and settlement awards in personal injury cases. This means that even if you were partially at fault for the collision, you still might be able to collect damages. The amount of settlement awarded is reduced by the percentage of fault the injured party shared for the accident.
How long after a car accident can you sue in Washington State?
The statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits in Washington is typically three years. However, there are many exceptions. The only way to know for sure is to speak with an attorney. Every case is different, and once the deadline has passed, you will no longer be able to seek damages for your injuries.