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Bellevue Car Accident Attorney
Navigating a car accident claim in Bellevue can be expensive, stressful, and time-consuming without a qualified and highly recommended car accident attorney. A good injury lawyer can help you build a strong case, manage communication with insurance companies, and help you manage your affairs until your case concludes. If you or a loved one recently suffered injuries in a car accident in the Bellevue, WA area, contact Colburn Law today to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation with one of our attorneys.
Car Accident Resources
- Proving Negligence After a Car Accident in Bellevue
- Compensation After a Car Accident
- Free Consultation: Contact a Car Accident Attorney Today
Why Hire Colburn Law?
In 2017, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported that there were 536 fatal car accidents causing 565 fatalities in the state of Washington. Residents of Bellevue, WA and King County need to know what to do after a car accident and their options for legal recourse when a negligent driver causes injuries and other damages. The Bellevue personal injury attorneys at Colburn Law are here to help injured drivers recover their losses through personal injury claims, so contact our law firm today to learn more about how our legal services can help with your case.
Here is why you should choose our firm for your Bellevue car accident claim.
- At Colburn Law, we understand that car accidents result in financial hardship. That’s why we operate on a contingency fee basis. If we do not secure compensation on your behalf, you will not be charged legal fees. If we do secure a settlement, our firm will take an agreed-upon percentage of your award as payment.
- Our lead attorney, Greg Colburn, knows firsthand how difficult a personal injury can be. His experience as an injured plaintiff provides him with a unique perspective on your case. We will leverage this experience to provide you with compassionate, comprehensive representation.
- Our firm has handled hundreds of car accident cases over our years of operation. We have the resources, experience, and knowledge necessary to handle each aspect of your case, allowing you to focus on recovery.
Washington State Auto Insurance Laws
Like most states, Washington follows a fault-based system when it comes to car accidents. Under Washington state insurance laws, drivers who are responsible for accidents must pay for their victims’ damages. To uphold this financial responsibility, Washington requires all drivers to hold the following amounts of insurance.
- $25,000 for bodily injury or death to one person per accident
- $50,000 for total bodily injury or death per accident
- $10,000 in property damage per accident
You can choose to purchase higher amounts of coverage if you wish, as well as additional policies such as uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM). If you are in an accident with an at-fault driver, you typically have three options to pursue compensation.
- Filing an insurance claim against the at-fault driver
- Filing an insurance claim under your own policy if you have the appropriate coverage
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver in civil court
During the insurance process, the company assigns an independent representative, known as an adjuster, to investigate your case. The adjuster will speak to all parties involved in the accident and determine who is responsible. If the company believes the at-fault driver caused the accident, the adjuster will offer you a settlement. If successful, insurance claims typically resolve within a few months.
The lawsuit process, on the other hand, takes a longer amount of time to resolve. Your attorney will conduct an investigation into your case and gather evidence in preparation for trial and negotiations with the at-fault party. Your case may settle before going to trial, but if it does, a court will be responsible for determining whether you should receive compensation and how much. Personal injury lawsuits typically take one or two years to conclude.
Most car accident cases begin as an insurance claim and move to the lawsuit process if they are unsuccessful. However, there are some situations where it may be beneficial to file a lawsuit from the beginning. Even though the process may take longer, it is important to secure maximum compensation so you can fully recover from your losses.
For example, if you sustained a severe injury and require compensation that exceeds a driver’s policy limits, the insurance company will likely deny your claim or offer an insufficient settlement. In this situation, filing a personal injury lawsuit is more likely to yield the compensation you need to recover. If you do not file a personal injury lawsuit and accept an insufficient settlement, you could face additional hardship later on.
Before deciding how to proceed with your claim, speak to an attorney at Colburn Law. Your lawyer will review your case and determine which pathway is best for you. He will then launch an in-depth investigation into your accident, gathering evidence to prove the other driver’s liability and consulting with expert witnesses who can provide insight into your case.
Proving Negligence in Bellevue Auto Accident Cases
Your success as a plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit for a car accident hinges on your attorney’s ability to prove that the defendant in the case was negligent, and his or her negligence directly resulted in the accident and your damages. It’s essential to gather evidence that not only proves the extent of your losses but also that those losses only occurred due to the defendant’s actions and not another cause.
Some of the ways in which a driver can be liable for a car accident include:
- Reckless driving and speeding.
- Aggressive driving.
- Distracted driving, such as using a cell phone behind the wheel.
- Moving violations, such as failure to signal or running a red light or stop sign.
- Failure to keep a vehicle in a safe and functional order.
- Operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol.
Under Washington’s pure comparative negligence statute, a plaintiff may still recover damages even if he or she is partially at fault for the accident. The plaintiff simply loses a portion of the case award equal to his or her fault percentage. In a $10,000 claim in which the plaintiff is 25% at fault, the plaintiff loses 25% of the case award for a net total of $7,500, instead.
Washington State Car Accident Statistics
Car accidents are unfortunately common in Washington state. According to data from the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), 86,208 crashes occurred in the state during 2020. Out of these accidents, the WSDOT provides the following information.
- 502 accidents were fatal.
- 2,096 accidents resulted in a suspected serious injury.
- 8,136 accidents resulted in a suspected minor injury.
- 15,237 accidents resulted in a possible injury.
Washington car accidents can occur for a number of reasons, from inclement weather and dangerous road conditions to negligent driving behaviors. Many factors contributed to these 2020 collisions, including the following.
- 148 collisions that resulted in a suspected serious injury or fatality involved a driver, pedestrian, or bicyclist who was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. 239 individual vehicles were involved in alcohol or drug-related crashes in 2020.
- 15 collisions that resulted in a suspected serious injury or fatality involved a drowsy driver. 27 individual vehicles were involved in these accidents, which resulted in two fatalities and 14 serious injuries.
- 91 accidents suspected serious injury or fatal crashes involved an inattentive or distracted driver, pedestrian, or bicyclist. 146 individual vehicles were involved in these accidents, which resulted in 16 deaths and 87 serious injuries. Distracted driving can involve a wide range of distractions, not just mobile devices—out of these distracted driving accidents, only 23 involved the use of a cell phone.
- Speed was also a major factor in Washington car accidents. In 2020, 166 suspected serious injury and fatal accidents involved a speeding driver. 259 individual vehicles were involved in these accidents, resulting in 42 fatalities and 159 serious injuries. 39 of these accidents involved drivers who were under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
How Much Is My Car Accident Claim Worth?
There are several factors that go into calculating a car accident claim’s value. The easiest to discern are the economic damages, or the measurable losses resulting from an incident such as repair bills, hospital invoices, and lost income from time spent in recovery. Non-economic damages for things like pain and suffering are more difficult to estimate. Different courts use different systems for calculating pain and suffering, typically multiplying the plaintiff’s claimed medical expenses by a certain amount and awarding the result, or awarding “per diem” compensation for each day until the plaintiff reaches maximum possible recovery.
The different types of compensation available in most Bellevue, WA car accident claims include:
- Medical expenses. An injured driver can claim the costs of necessary medical treatment for injuries resulting from an accident with a negligent driver.
- Lost income. If the plaintiff must miss work during recovery, the plaintiff can claim the income lost during this time.
- Property damage. The plaintiff can claim the costs of repairing or replacing a damaged or destroyed vehicle.
- Pain and suffering.
- Punitive damages. A jury may award punitive damages if a defendant’s behavior was intentional or grossly negligent. The amount of punitive damages the plaintiff receives typically hinges on the financial status of the defendant. A wealthy defendant should expect to pay more in punitive damages.
How Can a Bellevue Car Accident Attorney Help You?
Colburn Law has helped hundreds recover compensation after a devastating car accident. For your convenience, we are open 24/7 and offer our services on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t pay anything unless we win. Our experienced legal team can help navigate Washington’s complex auto accident laws while helping fight for you to receive compensation for your medical bills, pain, and suffering. If you have been in an accident, call Colburn Law at (206) 919-3215 today.
Bellevue Traffic Facts
In addition to statewide crash data, the WSDOT also provides yearly accident statistics at the county and city level. The following statistics apply to 2020 traffic crashes in King County.
- 23,495 accidents occurred in King County during 2020.
- 92 of these accidents were fatal.
- 534 of these accidents resulted in a suspected serious injury.
- 2,281 of these accidents resulted in a suspected minor injury.
- 4,754 accidents resulted in a possible injury.
- The majority of traffic accidents in King County—15,834—did not result in an apparent injury.
As seen on the state level, negligent driving behaviors like impaired driving, drowsy driving, and speeding contributed to King County crashes. According to the WSDOT, 131 serious injury or fatal crashes involved alcohol or drug-impaired drivers in King County. 9 drowsy drivers were involved in serious or fatal King County crashes, while 94 of these collisions occurred due to an inattentive or distracted driver. Speed-related crashes comprised 155 of King County’s serious and fatal collisions, resulting in 25 deaths.
Although Bellevue is a relatively safe city, its roads are not immune from traffic accidents. The following types of accidents occurred in Bellevue.
- 1,506 total crashes took place on Bellevue roads during 2020.
- 4 of these collisions were fatal.
- 20 accidents resulted in a suspected serious injury.
- 109 accidents resulted in a suspected minor injury.
- 247 accidents resulted in a possible injury.
- 1,126 accidents resulted in no apparent injury.
The local Bellevue government also collects data on accidents that occur within city limits. When a resident raises an issue about a certain street in Bellevue, the city conducts a field review and analyzes the intersection’s crash history. It then produces a comprehensive report that lists information such as the speed limit, traffic volume, and road characteristics.
If you are concerned about your street’s collision history, you can peruse recent Traffic Analysis Reports on the City of Bellevue’s website or contact the Bellevue Transportation Department to file a report. The city also provides opportunities to implement traffic safety yard signs, request sidewalks for pedestrians, and borrow portable radar units to discourage drivers from speeding.
Contact a Bellevue Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you are in a car accident in Bellevue, you need an attorney on your side. Navigating the car accident claims process can be complex and confusing, especially if you are recovering from a recent injury. A Bellevue car accident lawyer from Colburn Law will handle all aspects related to your case, allowing you to focus on recovery and avoiding errors that could jeopardize your claim.
The statute of limitations to file a car accident claim is two years in Washington, so it is important to act quickly. As soon as possible after your accident, seek immediate medical attention and save all records related to your treatment. Do not speak to an insurance adjuster or the at-fault driver until you speak to an attorney.
After you receive the care you need, contact Colburn Law to schedule a free consultation. During your appointment, your lawyer will review your case and identify your optimal path to maximum compensation.
Client Testimonial: 5/5 ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Greg guided me through a stressful process involving a car accident and the insurance company. Not only did he put me at ease, but he was truly an advocate for me and my family. I am truly thankful for his help, and would highly recommend him to any of my friends or family.
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