Auto Accident FAQs
Answering Your Car Accident Questions – FAQ
When people get in car accidents one of the first things they think to do is call their insurance company. Insurance companies can provide some guidance but it’s best to have an independent source of information to understand how to do what is best for you after being in a car accident.
The following questions are some frequently asked by those injured in auto accidents.
Call 911. If the accident was mostly caused by another motorist you want the police to investigate and file a report. The police report will provide evidence to support your claim. If your injuries are not serious enough to send you to the hospital, get checked out by a doctor as soon as possible. Medical records will help establish the nature and extent of your injuries. Contact your insurance company to make sure you are in compliance with any accident reporting requirements.
Always remember to be thoughtful as you are talking to police, doctors, and insurance companies about the accident or your injuries. You don’t want to have your own words used against you.
It’s probably best not to – without legal representation. You may be caught off guard responding to questions that you haven’t had time to consider and that could hurt your claim. Insurance companies are looking for anything they can use that will help them pay less money out. You don’t want to go into this battle unarmed.
Yes. And you should do it even if your injuries don’t seem all that bad in the beginning. When you describe how the accident happened it will give the doctor an idea of what injuries you might have and whether there may be further developments over time. The doctor’s evaluation will help establish that you were injured in the accident and how severely you were impacted by the injuries.
Yes. In Washington, you can still make a claim to recover for your injuries as long as you were not 100% at fault for the accident. The amount of your recovery will be reduced by the percentage of fault that you have for causing the accident. If you have some fault for your accident, get legal representation as soon as possible. Minimizing your responsibility for the accident is crucial and requires legal expertise.
Many injuries that occur in car accidents come from the force imposed on the body at impact. That force can result in any of the following injuries common in car accidents.
- brain injuries
- spinal cord injuries
- neck and back injuries
- broken bones
- internal injuries
- loss of limb
At first, probably you – or your insurance company. You likely have some medical coverage from your car insurance policy that applies without regard to who caused the accident. However, the coverage limits are usually pretty small. For ongoing medical treatment that is not covered by insurance, a lawyer can often arrange a medical lien against your eventual settlement to pay your doctor.
In the short term, your employer may have some type of disability benefit that you may qualify to receive for a limited time. Longer-term you may qualify for federal social security disability benefits depending on the nature of your injury and how it affects your ability to work.
Yes. The compensation you can receive after being injured in a car accident includes both economic damages – like medical expenses and property damage – and non-economic damages such as pain & suffering and mental distress.
If the person responsible for your accident is uninsured or has very minimal limits, you may need to look to your own car insurance for recovery. Washington does not require motorists to purchase uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage but insurers are required to offer it and a lot of people opt to get it as a precaution. If you don’t carry the coverage or it is not adequate to cover your losses, you can bring a lawsuit directly against the responsible party.
No, you don’t need an attorney. But the more complex the issues, the greater the disadvantage you will be at when it comes to establishing the evidence you need to prove your claim. At the very least, take advantage of the opportunity most personal injury attorneys provide for a free consultation. Go prepared with questions and write down the information you learn that can help you succeed with your claim.
It depends. If liability for the accident is clear and your injuries are not too complicated, your claim may be able to settle within a matter of weeks or months. However, if fault for the accident is contested and your injuries are significant or complex, it could take a lot longer to sort everything out and come to a resolution.
No. Anything less than a full policy limits settlement offer is usually a place to start negotiations. You do need to have accurate records of the accident-related expenses you have incurred and credible predictions of what you will likely incur in the future. You also need to be able to put a value on your non-economic damages such as pain & suffering. And you need to have a compelling argument as to why you are entitled to more than the insurance company wants to offer.
The Law Offices of Joseph Rome has been representing persons injured in traffic accidents for over 15 years. Our Kirkland car accident attorney will evaluate your accident and recommend the best course of action you can take to get the maximum recovery for your injuries. Call our office at 425-429-1729 to schedule a free consultation or click here and leave your contact information.