A car accident can result in life-changing injuries, mounting medical expenses, and extensive damage to your vehicle.
Quick Law Group, PLLC, can help you collect the compensation you need in order to move forward with your life.
Why hire a car accident attorney?
What To Do after a Car Accident
If you have been involved in a car accident, it is important to follow certain steps to ensure your legal rights are protected, the liable parties are correctly identified, and that you receive the proper medical care required. Each accident is unique but there are general steps that most individuals should take:
Obtain Medical Help
If your injuries are severe, you may need to be transported to the hospital for more intensive treatment than what can be provided on the scene. If your injuries are less severe, you need to call your primary care physician and make an appointment as soon as possible. Many injuries are not immediately apparent but can develop over time. Do not ignore any symptoms, but instead call your doctor for a visit and go see any specialists recommended.
Call the Police
The police will arrive on the scene and assess the situation. A police report will be generated, which designates who is liable for the accident. This report is a vital piece of evidence, and can only be obtained if you call the police as soon as possible after the accident happens.
Take pictures of all damage done to your car and of any personal injuries you sustained. Photos of the position of the vehicles are also recommended, as is taking down the names and insurance information of all drivers and passengers.
Do Not Admit Liability
Do not make any statements that admit liability. Do not say you are sorry and do not agree to accept blame for the accident.
Contact an Attorney
Immediately locate a personal injury lawyer you trust. They will go over the facts and develop a strategy to help you receive the medical care you need and the compensation you deserve.
The law places a strict timeline on seeking damages from the negligent party. If you fail to meet that deadline, you will not be given a second chance. Quick Law Group
Mistakes to Avoid after a Car Accident
Following the traumatic experience of being involved in a car accident, it is important to avoid making any serious mistakes that could cost you financially and possibly jeopardize the outcome of a lawsuit.
1. Mistakes Related to Treatment
Not Going to the Doctor Immediately
The trauma associated with being hurt in a car accident can make it hard to think clearly. When you are fuzzy on details and on what to do next, mistakes can be made. Importantly, while you may not feel hurt right away, an injury can develop over time.
A qualified physician will know how to treat an injury that is not visible to the naked eye, and what type of ongoing treatment will be required to reach maximum recovery for any injuries. Rather than wait to see if you begin to experience stiffness, sore muscles, or bruising, call a doctor as soon as possible after the accident.
Not Following Doctor’s Orders
Once you do see a doctor, be sure to follow treatment as directed. If you are referred to a specialist, make sure you schedule an appointment and keep that appointment. Failing to listen to or follow-up with your doctor can increase the severity of your injuries and prolong the healing process.
Resuming Activity Too Soon
Do not resume regular activities or return to work before getting the green light from your physician. This can also increase the severity of any injury or lengthen the time it takes to fully recover.
Downplaying Your Injuries
Never try to downplay an injury. If you are hurt in a car accident it is important to speak up and give a full report on how badly you are hurt, as well as informing the doctor that the symptoms are not improving. You deserve a complete recovery, and that can only happen if you admit how badly you are injured.
2. Legal Mistakes
Hiring an Inexperienced Lawyer
Be sure to partner with a personal injury attorney who has experience specifically in car accident and injury cases. An experienced attorney, such as Liz or Matt Quick, will serve you best by making sure your case is filed on time, and that you do not leave out valuable information that could help your recovery. An inexperienced lawyer may fail to help you secure adequate compensation.
Not Keeping Your Lawyer Informed
Failing to keep your lawyer informed can cause your case to move at a slower pace, and may also hurt your overall recovery chances or award amount.
Not Notifying Them of Past Injuries & Lawsuits
Take care to let your attorney know if you have had any prior injuries or prior lawsuits. A complete account is necessary to make certain your case is handled properly and fully.
Diligent & Supportive Car Accident Attorneys
Liz and Matt helped me when I was in a terrible car accident. They guided me through everything and worked so hard for over two years to get me a fair settlement. Ashton
3. Sharing Information
Discussing the Case with Others
Keep the information about your case private, discussing it only with your attorney or authorized persons.
Posting Details on Social Media
If you post data online or share it with a friend, you run the risk of placing your case in jeopardy by revealing confidential information that may be used against you.
Talking to the Other Driver's Insurer
Do not speak to the insurance adjuster or other parties involved in the wreck. This is for your attorney to handle, and can be tricky. Neither the insurance adjuster nor the other driver has your best interests at heart. Talking to these parties could allow them to try and discredit your version of the events, and work against you rather than for you.
Why is Determining Liability Essential in Car Accident Cases?
Proving fault in any type of motor vehicle accident is critical to making a claim for reimbursement. The culpable driver (or drivers) is responsible for repayment of damages, but will not provide compensation unless a determination of liability is first made. In order to establish liability, a victim must prove:
Drivers owe one another the duty of safe driving while on the road. This includes driving within the speed limit, obeying all traffic signals, and devoting full time and attention to driving. When a driver fails to do these things, the duty of care required to safely operate a vehicle is breached. It is this breach of duty that gives rise to liability for any injuries and property damage which occurred.
Once a duty has been established and evidence provided to support that duty has been breached, the injuries suffered must be traced back to that duty and breach thereof. If a breach of the duty to drive safely is not the direct cause of an injury, the victim may not have a case.
The damage component of a car accident case relates to the victim demonstrating how they were hurt, and what it will take to fully reimburse them for their injuries. This typically involves presenting evidence of medical needs and costs, and the expenses required to provide any ongoing medical care or treatment.
Holding Multiple Parties Accountable
In the State of Washington, the fault for a car accident can lie with one or more drivers. This is referred to as comparative negligence, and this legal theory allows a victim to recover from multiple drivers, up to the percentage of fault assigned to each.
Car accidents change lives and cause catastrophic injuries. Recovering compensation requires proving fault, which means establishing liability in car accidents is a key component to every case.
This may be the case when more than two vehicles were involved, but it is also possible for an accident to fall under this concept when only two cars are involved. It is not uncommon for an insurance company to deny a claim and allege the hurt party contributed to the accident and thus should be held liable for a portion of the damages. In order to overcome this hurdle, evidence is needed to show the victim bears no responsibility for the accident. This can be done through eyewitness testimony and other key pieces of evidence, such as a police report.
Importance of Filing a Police Report
Alerting the police is one of the most important steps to take after a car accident. The officer arriving on the scene first is in the best position to document how the accident happened. In the moments after an accident the vehicles usually remain in the positions they were forced into by the collision, and these positions tell a story trained police officers are able to read about causation. The police report will contain the officer’s final account of how the accident took place, who was at fault, and the severity of damage done. Moreover, a police report is written by an unbiased individual, which lends more credibility to the data than does an account of the accident by one of the parties.
While you can take many of these actions on your own, it is highly recommended that you hire an attorney for the best possible outcome.
Why Hire an Accident Attorney
Having a car accident attorney represent you during your case and hold liable parties accountable is important because of all the complexities involved. Some of these things include:
- How to handle a case with multiple defendants
- Knowing the different approaches needed for arbitration, mediation and jury trials
- Properly identifying all insurance coverage
- Understanding uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage laws
- Gathering the evidence needed to support your claims
- Ensuring you meet deadlines
- Understanding interstate trucking and transportation laws
We make it possible for our clients to have peace of mind knowing that they are in the hands of a capable attorney who has years of experience working with car accident cases.
Injured in a Car Accident? Contact Our Law Firm to Bring an Accident Claim
From our offices in Bellevue, car accident attorney Elizabeth Quick represents clients in King County, Snohomish County and communities throughout the Seattle metro area and Puget Sound region. Contact us by e-mail to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Bellevue car accident lawyer today.
We Represent People Injured in Car Accidents — Never the Insurance Company
At the Quick Law Group, PLLC, our car accident clients are given straightforward, candid advice about their situation, and are always treated with respect as they deal with the legal and medical issues that result from the accident. Our accolades include:
- Being named among the 20 Best Car Accident Attorneys in Bellevue
- Being named a Top 100 Lawyer by the American Society of Legal Advocates
- Having a 10.0 rating by Avvo
Contact us to set up a free initial consultation with a lawyer. If we take your case, we will fight to collect maximum compensation for your injuries.