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Seattle Car Accident Lawyer
After a car crash in Seattle, you may notice medical bills piling up, phone calls from insurance claims adjusters, and inquiries from your employer about when you can return to work. An experienced Seattle auto accident attorney at Colburn Law can help you navigate the legal matters surrounding your wreck, while fighting for the compensation you deserve. They will look at every aspect of a motor vehicle accident to determine if a plaintiff has the opportunity to seek the maximum amount of compensation.
Determining liability in the case will help set the stage for the rest of an accident case. A lot is going on in your life – all while you’re trying to focus on healing. Working with the right team of Seattle car accident lawyers can make the weeks and months after a collision much easier on victims. We can take care of the legal business surrounding your wreck, fighting for the compensation we think you deserve, while you spend time on yourself. Your future can begin with just a simple phone call. Call our Seattle car accident attorneys now at Colburn Law, Greg Colburn will personally evaluate your case and give you the best course of action to take following a car wreck.
What to Do After a Car Crash in Seattle
If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself:
- Never admit fault. It may seem natural to apologize after an accident, but it’s tantamount to admitting fault. Resist the urge to say you are sorry, even if you are simply sorry someone got hurt.
- Don’t sign any paperwork unless it’s from your insurance company or the police officer on the scene. The other driver’s insurance company may approach you with an offer – don’t accept it unless it’s been reviewed by your attorney.
- Retain the services of a Seattle personal injury attorney. We’ll protect your interests and work to secure the best outcome possible for your case.
- Take the time you need to heal. Car crashes can lead to serious injuries, and trying to get back to your life before your body is ready may make your condition worse.
Who Is at Fault for the Collision?
Police officers will report to the scene of a crash anytime there is an injury, but their focus is making sure everyone is safe. Both your insurance company and the other driver’s insurance company will likely conduct their own investigations, but their motives might not be in your best interest.
It’s standard procedure for each of these entities to investigate an accident and provide their own verdict of fault. They’ll look at eyewitness accounts, photographs of the damage to cars and surrounding property, and other available evidence. It is important you discuss the incident with your attorney, as he or she may want to conduct a separate investigation of the crash.
Washington’s Pure Comparative Fault Rule
Washington is a comparative fault state, which means your settlement amount may be affected if a jury finds you’re partially at fault for a collision. The concept is fairly straightforward – if you’re in an accident and incurred $100,000 in damages but were 10% at fault, you will ultimately be awarded damages, minus your degree of fault. In this case, you would walk away with $90,000.
Crashes Differ from Accidents
You may notice that we refer to these incidents as car crashes instead of car accidents. That’s because, in most cases, traffic collisions aren’t accidents at all. If you use the terminology “accident,” you imply it’s not anyone’s fault. In reality, car crashes are someone’s fault – and those people should be held accountable for their actions. Getting behind the wheel of a car drunk or texting while driving down the highway isn’t an accident – it’s a serious lapse in judgment. Those people should be held accountable for any injuries their recklessness might have caused.
A Brief Look at Car Crashes in Washington
Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of unintentional injury and death in the United States. Look at these statistics from the Washington Department of Transportation:
- There were over 122,000 motor vehicle crashes reported in 2016.
- Of those, over 508 were fatal.
- Nearly 2,000 were classified as involving serious injuries.
- Nearly 36,000 involved suspected injuries.
Another staggering statistic is that there is a car crash every five minutes here in Washington, which makes accidents an unfortunate reality of life. Statistically speaking, it’s not a matter of if you get in a car wreck, but when.
Seattle Collision Facts
Seattle is a buzzing metropolis, with buses, motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians all coexisting on the same roads. No amount of city planning can prevent the negligence of incompetent or reckless drivers. Sadly, these drivers cause collisions almost every day in Seattle. Looking at data from the Seattle Department of Transportation, one can see where, when, and why most collisions occur in the Emerald City:
- Busiest roads in Seattle: The highest traffic and collision areas in Seattle include the West Seattle Bridge, an arterial that sees 137,400 vehicles on an average weekday. In second place is East Marginal Way South with 68,000 weekday vehicles, followed by Montlake Bridge with 63,100, and Ballard Bridge with 60,400. Montlake Blvd NE, Fremont Bridge, north of Point A, 1st Ave S Bridge, and S Michigan St, west of 4th Ave S also made the list for the busiest arterials.
- Average daily traffic: The volume of motor vehicles in Seattle directly correlates with the number of traffic collisions. According to the Seattle Department of Transportation’s reports, the volume of average daily traffic has increased by 2.4% since 2013. Before then, there was a downward trend in the last decade. The last few years have seen steady increases in volume on Seattle’s roadways. Seattle police reported 11,603 collisions in 2016. There were an additional 2,038 self-reported collisions. This collision rate reflects a downward trend from the previous decade, but reports show the collision rate increased by 6.3% from 2015 to 2016.
- Historical collision data: Seattle residents will be happy to know that the historical collision data for the city has seen a steady decrease since 2005. In 2005, there were 16,016 reported collisions in Seattle. This number decreased consistently to reach a 10-year low of 11,948 in 2010. This number increased slightly in the subsequent five years, but remained well below the 2005 numbers.
- Types of collisions: The most common type of collision in Seattle is same direction car crashes, with 3,644 in 2016. Other common types of collisions are hitting a parked car, entering at an angle, rear-end collisions, sideswipes, left turns, and vehicles striking fixed objects. Collision severity was as follows for 2016: 58% property damage only, 27% injury collision, and 1% serious injury collision.
- Most common contributing circumstance: In Seattle, the number one cause of car collisions is a failure to grant another vehicle the right of way. This issue caused 1,230 collisions in 2016. Speeding, disregarding traffic lights, ignoring pedestrian right of way, rolling through stop signs, and driver distraction were also top causes. The most accidents occurred on a Friday between 5 p.m and 7 p.m in 2016.
- High-speed areas: With 357 total crashes involving speeding in Seattle in 2016, this is a prominent contributing factor in collisions. Avoiding high-speed areas can keep you out of these wrecks. These areas include Aurora Avenue North, Stone Way North, 24th Avenue Northwest, Rainier Avenue South, and Fauntleroy Way Southwest.
Getting the facts on Seattle vehicle collisions can help you become more aware of your surroundings and risk factors on daily commutes. The more you know about the traffic trends in Seattle, the better you can avoid dangerous roadways and driving practices. Unfortunately, you can’t control what other drivers do on the roadway. If you do end up in a collision, protect your rights with a highly qualified Seattle car crash attorney.
Finding a Motor Vehicle Collision Attorney in Seattle
Washington state’s motor vehicle accident laws can be overwhelming, but with the right personal injury attorney, you have an advocate by your side. Even if you were partially at fault for a collision, you still deserve fair compensation for your injuries. We can help you recover damages to compensate for medical bills, lost wages, and intangible losses such as pain and suffering. To schedule a strategic review of your legal options, contact Colburn Law.
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.