Request your free case evaluation

We’ll meet with you to help you understand your legal options and what to do next.

Enter your contact information:

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Car

  1. What to do if you’re involved in a crash
  2. Call the police or Washington State Patrol (WSP) immediately
  3. Do not apologize to anyone involved in the accident
  4. Take photos and notes of the scene of the accident while you’re still present
  5. Get the names and contact information of any witnesses
  6. Get treatment for your injuries
  7. Call your insurance company
  8. File a personal injury claim
  9. Schedule a consultation with a Washington state car accident attorney as soon as you can
  10. Stay off social media
  11. Don’t settle unless you truly know what your case is worth
  12. Contact Herschensohn Law for your free consultation

What to do if you’re involved in a crash

what to do after car accident injury

If you’re involved in a car accident , Washington, there’s a flurry of emotions, concerns, and activities that take place in just seconds.

While it’s normal to feel overwhelmed, it’s also important to remember that the decisions you make in the moments and days that follow the crash are crucial for protecting your physical well-being, as well as your legal rights.

Here’s what you to do if you’re involved in a car crash in Washington state.

Call the police or Washington State Patrol (WSP) immediately

after car accident injury

Whether the car accident you’re involved in involves another driver, a pedestrian, or someone riding a bicycle, Washington state car accident laws require you to immediately stop and call the police or WSP if someone is injured, or if there is greater than $700 in property damage. (Even if it’s only a minor fender bender and you’re not sure there’s been that much damage, call anyway. It’s better to be safe than sorry.)

The responding officer will complete a Washington car accident report, known as a collision report (or more generally as a police report), which records a third-party observation of what they believe happened as well as the cause of the auto accident. If the WSP or the police only completes a basic report, you are required to complete one within four days of the accident. Calling law enforcement fulfills your legal duty.

Yet, calling WSP for a state accident report form or calling your local police to report the accident has another important benefit. If someone the on the scene is injured, calling 911 is the most effective way to get WSP or your local police, along with paramedics, to assist anyone who is injured.

People we’ve helped

Do not apologize to anyone involved in the accident

after car accident

While it may seem nothing out of the ordinary to say that you’re sorry because of the accident, doing so could be taken as a sign that you’re admitting guilt. It could even show up in the Washington car accident report.

Keep in mind that the accident report is something that is taken into consideration by the insurance company when claims are reported. While you should certainly check to make sure that the other driver as well as passengers involved are not injured, do not apologize or say anything that could be construed as an apology.

Take photos and notes of the scene of the accident while you’re still present

what to do after car accident injury

If you’re not injured and you’re able to do so, use your smartphone to take photos of the accident scene while you’re still present, but do not get in the way of the responding police officer while they work on the Washington state car accident report.

Take photos of the damage to the involved vehicles, the street, any skid marks, stop signs, road signs, road conditions, or anything else at the scene of the accident that could help with your insurance claim, as well as any potential legal claim that you may want to file in the future.

Write down license plate numbers, time of day, weather conditions, diagram of the accident—anything you can think of to help you preserve a record of the event and involved vehicles.

Get the names and contact information of any witnesses

This is important. Third-party witnesses may be necessary to help support your version of what happened. Ask for a statement from any eyewitnesses, or at least their names and phone numbers so they can be contacted later. You may also need to provide this information to the police, the insurance company, and to your Washington state car accident attorney.

Also, make sure you swap names, phone numbers, driver’s license details, and insurance information with the other involved driver.

Get treatment for your injuries

car accident injury

Even if you believe that the injuries you have aren’t that serious, you should always make sure that you get medical attention right away.

One issue that most people don’t recognize is that some car accident injuries don’t have obvious symptoms until they become quite serious. Internal bleeding, traumatic brain injuries, and many other kinds of injuries may go undetected for hours, days, or even weeks following an accident. Seeking medical treatment right away can often help you catch these problems before they have a chance to worsen.

On top of that, if you don’t seek medical care within the first few days after the accident, the insurance company may try to argue that your injuries weren’t really that serious, or that they were not related to the crash. By speaking with a doctor right away, those medical records can provide strong evidence linking the injuries to the crash, even when symptoms are delayed.

Finally, remember you’ve just been involved in a stressful situation. With adrenaline flowing through your veins, you may not feel much pain right away. This makes it more difficult for you to tell whether you’ve suffered a serious injury. To protect yourself, get checked out. If you are injured, get the treatment that you need.

Call your insurance company

Regardless of who you believe to be at fault for the accident, you should always report it to your own insurance company soon after a crash. Don’t wait to let the car insurance company know that you were involved in an accident, especially if it met the criteria in Washington state car accident laws that made it a requirement for you to report it to the police.

Even if it seems beyond obvious to you that the other party is 100% at fault and their liability coverage should be responsible to pay, that doesn’t mean the other driver will see it that way (or be honest about the circumstances). By promptly reporting the accident to your own insurer, you can better protect yourself in case you later choose to make a claim, or if anyone else makes a claim against you. Plus, if you have questions about liability and insurance coverage options, an experienced Washington state personal injury attorney can investigate every option for recovery so you can get the compensation you deserve.

File a personal injury claim

If you were hurt in an accident that was not your fault, or even just not entirely your fault, you may be entitled to financial compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company for your damages. Your medical bills, wage losses, and even non-economic damages like pain and suffering could all be part of your claim.

Washington is one of relatively few states that has a “pure comparative fault” system, meaning that as long as the other driver was at least 1% at fault, you can file a claim against the other driver’s insurance company. (Your damages will be reduced by whatever percentage of fault you share, if any.)

The minimum amount of auto insurance that someone must carry in Washington is $25,000 of liability coverage for one person in an accident that you are found at-fault for causing, $50,000 for total injuries or death to all people in an accident you are found at-fault for causing, and $10,000 for damage to anyone else’s property in an accident you are found at-fault for causing.

While it isn’t required to have uninsured motorist coverage (referred to as UM coverage), it helps pay for damage as well as medical care if you’re ever involved in a car accident with someone with no insurance. The unfortunate reality is that, if the other driver does not have insurance—or if their insurance policy limits are inadequate to cover your damages—you may have limited ability to collect fair compensation unless you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage of your own to pick up the slack. Again, to get a clear picture of your options, it’s in your best interest to seek legal counsel.

Schedule a consultation with a Washington state car accident attorney as soon as you can

It’s important to schedule a consultation with a Washington state car accident attorney who has nothing other than your best interest in mind. Don’t put this off! The sooner you get solid legal advice, the less likely you are to make costly mistakes, such as admitting fault, giving statements you shouldn’t have given, or accepting a settlement offer for far less than what your case is worth.

A car accident lawyer can also get to work quickly, help you identify and protect key evidence, and build you a strong case. Your attorney can also identify insurance policies and sources of compensation that may apply to your situation, guide you through the claims process, handle filings and negotiations on your behalf, deal with the insurance adjusters, and keep your case moving along so you can shift your focus toward healing and rebuilding your life, rather than fighting legal battles.

At Herschensohn Law, initial consultations are always free, and you never owe us anything unless you win a settlement or verdict.

 

Stay off social media

what to do after car accident

We know: the temptation is real. But even though your first instinct—after the shock wears off—might be to give an update to your friends and followers, it’s never a good idea to post about an accident or personal injury before a case is settled or otherwise concluded.

Social media posts are not private, and the things you post can very easily be used against you by the insurance company—even if your posts aren’t about the crash itself. If, for example, you post a picture of you hiking or lifting something (even if the image was from before the accident), the insurance company might use that as evidence that you’re exaggerating your injuries.

So, the safest course of action is to simply take a break from posting for a while, and avoid discussing your case with anyone other than your doctors and your legal team.

Don’t settle unless you truly know what your case is worth

Remember, the primary goal of the insurance company is to save money for themselves, not to ensure your needs are fully cared for. The insurance adjuster may act friendly and tell you they are trying to help you, but they are not your friend. They may not offer you enough to cover the damage to your vehicle, pay for your medical expenses, or the time you may have lost from work.

RELATED: How does my attorney determine the value of my car accident claim?

Contact Herschensohn Law for your free consultation

It’s your job to get better. You shouldn’t have to argue with the insurance company about what your life is worth. Don’t sign releases from them without talking to your attorney first. Your ability to file a claim for your car accident is limited by Washington state car accident law to three years after the date of the accident in most cases.

Attorney Zach Herschensohn has been fighting for the rights of the injured in the Seattle metropolitan area and across Washington for years. He and his team can help you determine whether you have a case, calculate what it’s worth, and provide unbiased legal advice.

To learn more about how to get what you deserve from your potential claim, call Herschensohn Law PLLC now at 206-588-4344 to schedule your free case consultation.

Our results speak for themselves

CONTACT HERSCHENSOHN LAW

Hurt? Let our law firm handle the details

When you request your free consultation, Kent personal injury attorney Zach Herschensohn will listen to you, answer your questions, lay out your legal options, and give you down-to-earth legal advice.

When you work with our law office, there are no obligations, hidden fees, or fine print. It’s that simple.

Request your free case evaluation

We’ll meet with you to help you understand your legal options and what to do next.

Enter your contact information:

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

We’re proud to fight—and win—for injured people in Kent, Washington. View our case results to learn more.

References

  1. Texas Department of Transportation. (2020, April 15). Texas Motor Vehicle Traffic Crash Facts Calendar Year 2019. https://ftp.txdot.gov/pub/txdot-info/trf/crash_statistics/2019/01.pdf
  2. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (2019, December). Fatality Facts 2018, Large Trucks. Retrieved from https://www.iihs.org/topics/fatality-statistics/detail/largetrucks

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as
legal advice on any subject.

Car

Watch out for these whiplash symptoms after a rear-end collision

symptoms of whiplash from rear end collision

Whiplash is one of the most common injuries after rear-end collisions. But unlike many other types of injuries, the symptoms may not become severe—or even noticeable—for hours, days, or in some cases weeks after a car accident. And while some cases improve within a few weeks using only simple, conservative treatments, others can lead to chronic pain, mobility issues, and other long-term effects.

If you’ve recently been in a car accident, it’s important to identify the potential warning signs of whiplash early and seek treatment as soon as possible. Doing so can not only help you protect your long-term health, but strengthen your personal injury claim, too.

symptoms of whiplash from rear end collision

What is whiplash?

car accident rear end collision

Whiplash is a type of neck injury that occurs when your head whips rapidly back and forth. In a typical whiplash injury, muscles, ligaments, and other soft tissues that support the head and neck become overextended and stretch or tear. However, more severe whiplash can also cause nerve damage, herniated discs, spinal cord injuries, and other serious injuries.

 

You can probably see why whiplash is so common after rear-end car accidents: Even at relatively low speeds, the sudden and unexpected jolt of car rapidly lurching forward and just as rapidly coming to a stop again can put immense pressure on the tissues, bones, and joints of the head and neck.

car accident rear end collision

People we’ve helped

What are the symptoms of whiplash?

whiplash from rear end collision

Like many other injuries, whiplash symptoms can vary depending on how severe the damage is. Common signs include:

·        Neck pain and soreness

·        Stiffness and poor range of motion in the neck

·        Headaches, which may originate near the base of the skull

·        Muscle spasms

·        Tenderness that extends into the shoulder, upper back, and upper arms

·        Tingling or prickling sensations

You should also be on the lookout for signs that tend to indicate more severe injuries (including neurological damage), such as:

·        Pain that’s especially severe or develops immediately

·        Dizziness

·        Blurry vision

·        Ringing or buzzing in the ears

·        Problems with memory or concentration

·        Irritability

·        Difficulty sleeping

Additionally, if you have any pre-existing history of neck or back pain or degenerative conditions, you’re at greatly increased risk for developing severe injuries after a whiplash accident.

While an insurance company may try to use this history to argue that your injuries were not related to the auto accident, it’s important to understand that your susceptibility to severe injury does not impact liability, and you can still claim damages for treatment of a pre-existing condition that was clearly re-aggravated or accelerated as a direct result of the crash. This is known as the “eggshell rule.”

whiplash from rear end collision

What should you do if you suspect whiplash after a car crash?

symptoms of whiplash

Do not wait until symptoms become severe to see a doctor. You should always seek treatment immediately after an accident, even if symptoms seem minor. This not only helps you catch problems early, but also helps you build a strong body of evidence linking any injuries you ultimately experience to the crash, and improve your odds of getting a fair settlement.

Diagnostic testing, such a x-rays, CT scans, and MRIs can often help a doctor accurately assess the damage, as well as identify (or rule out) related injuries. However, not all cases of whiplash will show up on these kinds of scans, even when pain is present. (Sometimes the tissue damage is too subtle to show up clearly on a diagnostic image.) So, be as specific as you can with your doctor about your symptoms, and make sure they are noted in your medical records.

The good news is that most cases of whiplash are temporary and heal in a few days to a few weeks with conservative treatment options like rest, physical therapy, massage, chiropractic care, and pain medications. However, in rare cases more aggressive therapy is required.

RELATED: The Car Accident Guide: What to do if you’re involved in a crash

Filing a personal injury claim

When you file a personal injury claim, do not be tricked into giving any official statements to the insurance company, admitting fault, or accepting the first settlement offer without fully understanding the value of your case and your legal rights. Speaking with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible—ideally before you start talking with a claims adjuster—can help you recover the compensation you deserve.

RELATED: What to expect from your personal injury claim

symptoms of whiplash

If you’ve been hurt, call Zach Herschensohn today

rear end collision causes whiplash

You don’t need to have been in a major accident to suffer from whiplash. Minor fender benders in many cases can still easily lead to a few thousand in medical bills or a few weeks of missed work—more than enough to be a major burden for most families.

An experienced car accident lawyer can help you accurately calculate how much your case is worth, help you file a claim, and protect your legal rights if the insurance company tries to deny or reduce your claim. The last thing you want to do is accept an offer that’s woefully short of what you need to provide for your long-term medical care and lost wages, because once you settle there are no do-overs.

Attorney Zach Herschensohn is a fighter who has been standing up for injured Washingtonians since 2003. From the smallest to the biggest cases, our team works aggressively to get our clients the full compensation they deserve, whether through settlement or at trial. Your initial consultation is always free—no obligation, no hidden fees, and no cost to you whatsoever unless you win.

If you’re dealing with symptoms of whiplash after an accident, give us a call at (206) 588-4344 or complete our simple contact form to request your free consultation.

 


 

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

rear end collision causes whiplash

Our results speak for themselves

CONTACT HERSCHENSOHN LAW

Hurt? Let our law firm handle the details

When you request your free consultation, Kent personal injury attorney Zach Herschensohn will listen to you, answer your questions, lay out your legal options, and give you down-to-earth legal advice.

When you work with our law office, there are no obligations, hidden fees, or fine print. It’s that simple.

Request your free case evaluation

We’ll meet with you to help you understand your legal options and what to do next.

Enter your contact information:

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

We’re proud to fight—and win—for injured people in Kent, Washington. View our case results to learn more.

References

  1. Texas Department of Transportation. (2020, April 15). Texas Motor Vehicle Traffic Crash Facts Calendar Year 2019. https://ftp.txdot.gov/pub/txdot-info/trf/crash_statistics/2019/01.pdf
  2. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (2019, December). Fatality Facts 2018, Large Trucks. Retrieved from https://www.iihs.org/topics/fatality-statistics/detail/largetrucks

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as
legal advice on any subject.

Car

4 Important questions to ask a potential personal injury lawyer

questions to ask personal injury lawyer

If you want to get the highest amount of compensation you can after a personal injury (and honestly, who doesn’t?) then picking the right lawyer to represent you is one of the most important decisions you can make.

But chances are, if you’re reading this blog post, you aren’t a lawyer and you might not know the first thing about telling a good one from a bad one. On top of that, you may already have as much as you can handle just trying to pay your medical bills, heal from your injuries, and rebuild your life. To make matters more complicated, if you wait too long to talk to a lawyer there’s a very real possibility that critical evidence will “disappear,” statutes of limitations could be missed, or you’ll make a preventable mistake dealing with the insurance company that ends up weakening your case.

So yes, we get it—choosing a lawyer in those early days after an injury can seem utterly overwhelming. But even if you know absolutely nothing about the law, there are still several important questions you can ask an attorney before you hire them that can help you narrow down your options and find a good fit. Here are some of the big ones:

questions to ask personal injury lawyer

1. How much experience do you have with cases like mine?

what questions to ask personal injury lawyer

Most people understand that different lawyers specialize in different areas of the law—you wouldn’t hire a tax attorney or an estate planning lawyer to handle a car accident case.

But even within the field of personal injury law, there’s still a lot of different types of cases. Does your lawyer handle mostly auto accident cases? Slip and fall accidents? Defective products? You get the idea.

Although every case is unique, you ideally want to work with a personal injury that not only has years of experience in the relevant area of law, but also has worked cases that have similar circumstances to yours.

Ask your lawyer about past cases and past clients, and what the outcomes of those cases were. (They may not be able to name names but should be able to relate the basic details.) If an attorney can only give evasive and vague answers to this question, it’s a red flag. 

what questions to ask personal injury lawyer

People we’ve helped

2. How much do you think my case is worth?

personal injury lawyer

To be clear, a good personal injury lawyer probably won’t answer this a single, specific number. In fact, it’s a red flag when a lawyer who is too confident or provides you with any kind of guarantee. At the initial consultation stages, there’s just not enough information available yet to make that kind of promise.

Instead, your lawyer should be able to give you a range based on similar cases they have worked on in the past. You want a lawyer who can give you clear and realistic estimates, explain how settlement values are calculated, and walk you through some potential scenarios for your case.

RELATED: How does my attorney determine the value of my car accident claim?

personal injury lawyer

3. How much does it cost to work with your law firm?

cost to work with law firm

The vast majority of personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. In other words, they offer free initial consultations and they don’t charge for their time or legal representation services up front. Instead, they take their cut from your settlement or jury verdict. So, if you don’t win, your lawyer does not get paid.

If a personal injury attorney does not work on contingency but asks you to pay for their time out-of-pocket, run very fast in the opposite direction.

Some related follow-up questions to ask here:

How much will I get if I win? Your lawyer should be able to give you a percentage range that accounts for both the contingency fee and any further “case costs” that are incurred.

How are additional legal fees handled? Who pays them if I lose? In addition to a lawyer’s contingency fee, there are other associated costs involved with personal injury lawsuits—filing fees, expert witness fees, and more—which don’t go to the lawyer, and you’d have to pay even if you were representing yourself.

Some lawyers will ask you to pay those fees up front out of pocket. Most will pay them for you while the case is ongoing, then reimburse themselves them from your settlement check at the end.

Things get complicated if you don’t win your case and there’s no settlement check available for the law firm to pay itself back. Many personal injury attorneys will eat those fees, meaning that you truly will pay nothing out of pocket no matter the result of your case. But not all do.

Losing a case is already miserable enough; you definitely don’t want to be surprised by hidden fees, so it’s important to get clarity on this aspect of your claim upfront.

cost to work with law firm

4. How often do you take cases to trial and how much do you litigate?

personal injury lawyer questions

There are a couple of things you need to understand here before you ask this question.

First, the reality is that the vast majority of personal injury cases settle out of court. Only about 5% of personal injury cases actually go to trial, although this certainly varies according to the circumstances. In most situations, a fair pre-trial settlement is the main goal, and a trial is only a last resort.

But second—and this is crucial—

If your lawyer always settles cases and is gun-shy about filing a lawsuit or getting in front of jury, the insurance company absolutely will exploit that. Trust us: the insurance company claims adjuster assigned to your case definitely knows which attorneys in your area are real trial attorneys and which ones aren’t. If you don’t have an experienced trial lawyer, the insurance company knows it’ll be able to play hardball and settle for less than your case is worth.

A lawyer with solid trial experience (and a successful track record) is in a much better position during settlement negotiations. Just the threat of filing a lawsuit or going to trial is enough to extract higher settlement offers in most cases. And, of course, if your case is one of the 5% that doesn’t settle, you want to make sure this isn’t your attorney’s first rodeo.

personal injury lawyer questions

Injured? Talk to Herschensohn Law today

If you’ve been hurt in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you deserve excellent legal representation to keep the insurance companies from taking advantage of you.

Zach Herschensohn is experienced, tenacious, knowledgeable, and ready to fight. He’s won millions for clients throughout Kent, the Seattle area, and King County; has extensive trial experience; and will work aggressively to get you a settlement or jury verdict that’s truly fair and provides you and your family with the compensation you need and deserve.

From initial case evaluation to filing your personal injury claim to negotiation to settlement or trial, our law firm handles all aspects of your case and work hard to get you the best possible settlement in the shortest possible time frame, so you can focus on rebuilding your life.

If you think our law firm might be a good fit for your situation, please reach out to us today for a free consultation. Go ahead and ask us all the questions in this blog post, and any others you can think of. We will happily answer any questions you have, and give you clear, honest legal advice about your case and what we think the next steps should be.

To reach out, call our office at (206) 588-4344 or complete our simple online form.

The Law Dictionary. Pre-trial Settlement Percentage: Statistics on Personal Injury Settlements. Retrieved from https://thelawdictionary.org/article/pre-trial-settlement-percentage-statistics-on-personal-injury-settlements/

 

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

Our results speak for themselves

CONTACT HERSCHENSOHN LAW

Hurt? Let our law firm handle the details

When you request your free consultation, Kent personal injury attorney Zach Herschensohn will listen to you, answer your questions, lay out your legal options, and give you down-to-earth legal advice.

When you work with our law office, there are no obligations, hidden fees, or fine print. It’s that simple.

Request your free case evaluation

We’ll meet with you to help you understand your legal options and what to do next.

Enter your contact information:

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

We’re proud to fight—and win—for injured people in Kent, Washington. View our case results to learn more.

References

  1. Texas Department of Transportation. (2020, April 15). Texas Motor Vehicle Traffic Crash Facts Calendar Year 2019. https://ftp.txdot.gov/pub/txdot-info/trf/crash_statistics/2019/01.pdf
  2. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (2019, December). Fatality Facts 2018, Large Trucks. Retrieved from https://www.iihs.org/topics/fatality-statistics/detail/largetrucks

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as
legal advice on any subject.

Car

How long does a car accident settlement take in Washington?

how long does a car accident settlement take

car accident can be a life-altering event—and an expensive one. It’s incredibly frustrating when the bills are piling up, you’re ready to move on, and you still have no idea when the insurance company is going to come through with a fair settlement.

Unfortunately, there’s no guaranteed schedule for how long it will take to settle a car accident claim. Some are settled in a few weeks. Some take more time. It’s important to understand that faster isn’t always better—especially if the insurance company is refusing to offer you anything close to what your claim is worth. At Herschensohn Law, we’re ready to use our knowledge of the law and aggressive legal tactics to help you get maximum compensation as efficiently as possible.

Read on to learn more about the factors that can determine how long your case may take and what our firm can do to help.

how long does a car accident settlement take

Factors that determine how long your car accident case may take

why is my car accident settlement taking so long

Because every case is different, it’s impossible to say with complete certainty how long it will take for you to settle your claim and take home a check.

However, the following factors tend to have the greatest impact in most cases:

  • The extent of your injuries. Minor or moderate injuries that fully heal and only keep you out of work for a short amount of time tend to be easier to settle. More severe injuries, especially those that lead to extensive medical bills and cause ongoing issues, tend to take longer—not only because they cost more to treat, but also because future needs are often more difficult to calculate.
  • The size of your claim.No insurance company is going to be thrilled about the idea of paying out a six or seven-figure settlement. The more they stand to lose, the more carefully the claims adjuster will examine the case and look for any opportunities to draw out the process and question your version of events.
  • The details of the crash. If the other driver was clearly in the wrong, your case is likely to settle faster. But if there’s any gray area about who is to blame, it may be much harder for both sides to agree on a fair settlement.
  • The quality of your legal advice and representation.Almost any case could be settled in a matter of just a few weeks to a few months, by simply taking whatever offer the insurance company gives you. However, this approach will almost always be a mistake in the long run, as it can easily leave you with far less compensation than you need (and no way to get more once you’ve agreed to accept the insurance company’s offer).

A skilled personal injury attorney will help you find the right balance between settling your case quickly, but also making sure that the compensation offered is reasonable, fair, and will meet your long-term needs.

RELATED: How Does My Attorney Determine the Value of My Car Accident Claim?

why is my car accident settlement taking so long

People we’ve helped

Filing a personal injury claim in Washington

how long does a car accident settlement take

If you’ve been in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, and you believe you are entitled to compensation to cover your damages, the first step is filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

If the driver is uninsured, or their insurance coverage is not large enough to cover the extent of your injuries, you may also need to file a claim with your own uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) insurance provider.

At this point, a claims adjuster for the insurance company will be assigned to the case. Be wary of this person. Their goal is to settle your case as cheaply as they can, and not to ensure you get fair compensation. Do not admit to any fault, provide any statements, or give them any information besides the basic facts of the accident. Then, contact an experienced attorney as soon as you can.

RELATED: Dealing with Car Insurance Companies

how long does a car accident settlement take

Common pitfalls to avoid after filing your car accident claim

car accident settlement

Here are some common pitfalls to avoid if you want to achieve a resolution that’s both fair and (relatively) quick.

  • Not hiring a car accident attorney. With so many free resources available, many people attempt to handle their personal injury cases on their own. However, this can lead to costly mistakes, as well as slowing down the process. An attorney can not only give you excellent legal advice, but handle the necessary paperwork, conduct a careful investigation, and negotiate with the insurer to keep the process moving and give you peace of mind.

The best time to seek a free consultation with a car accident lawyer is always as soon as possible—ideally even before you decide to make a claim.

  • Posting about the accident and your claim or lawsuit on social media. Ideally, you should only speak to your doctors and your lawyer about your case. Insurance adjusters can (and often do) attempt to use public posts or statements on social media as evidence against you.
  • Delaying medical care. Always go see a doctor as soon as possible after an accident if you have any symptoms—even minor ones. If you delay medical treatment, the insurance company may try to argue that you are exaggerating your condition or that you are attempting to seek compensation for injuries unrelated to the crash.
  • Not waiting until your injuries have sufficiently healed before accepting a settlement. The long-term effects of even minor auto accidents may not be clear for days, weeks, or sometimes even months later. Always wait until you have been through treatment and reached maximum medical improvement before accepting a settlement. You want to have as clear a picture of your long-term medical costs as possible before agreeing to anything.
  • Taking the first settlement offer. Again, the insurance company is concerned about its own financial interests. The first offer you get will almost always be less than what your case is worth, and potentially much less than what you actually need to get back on your feet. The insurance company is hoping the financial pressure will get to you and you won’t fight to protect your interests. Don’t take the bait.
  • Choosing quick over fair. We understand that waiting to get compensation can cause stress. But agreeing to a settlement that won’t even cover your long-term costs will only cause more trouble later. In the meantime, your lawyer can file a Letter of Protection with your healthcare provider, which guarantees that medical bills will be prioritized for reimbursement after any settlement payout or jury verdict.
car accident settlement

Choose Herschensohn Law to help settle your car accident case

Filing Your Car Accident Claim

We understand how much pressure you’re under after suffering an accident. Unfortunately, insurance companies will often attempt to exploit that pressure and get you to take a bad deal.

You deserve fair compensation and you deserve it as soon as possible. When the insurance company doesn’t want to pay up and is dragging out the process, contact Attorney Zach Herschensohn.

Our law firm has won millions in settlements and jury verdicts for people hurt in Washington crashes and works hard to make the process as quick, smooth, and efficient as possible for our clients—while at the same time fighting for the maximum compensation they deserve.

Contact Zach Herschensohn today for a no-risk free consultation. He will listen to you, ask questions, and give you his honest feedback about whether you have a case—and if so, how much it could be worth. There are no up-front costs, and if we take you as a client, you won’t owe us anything unless we win.

Contact our office in Kent, WA today by calling (206) 899-0998, or filling out our simple online contact form.

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

Filing Your Car Accident Claim

Our results speak for themselves

CONTACT HERSCHENSOHN LAW

Hurt? Let our law firm handle the details

When you request your free consultation, Kent personal injury attorney Zach Herschensohn will listen to you, answer your questions, lay out your legal options, and give you down-to-earth legal advice.

When you work with our law office, there are no obligations, hidden fees, or fine print. It’s that simple.

Request your free case evaluation

We’ll meet with you to help you understand your legal options and what to do next.

Enter your contact information:

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

We’re proud to fight—and win—for injured people in Kent, Washington. View our case results to learn more.

References

  1. Texas Department of Transportation. (2020, April 15). Texas Motor Vehicle Traffic Crash Facts Calendar Year 2019. https://ftp.txdot.gov/pub/txdot-info/trf/crash_statistics/2019/01.pdf
  2. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (2019, December). Fatality Facts 2018, Large Trucks. Retrieved from https://www.iihs.org/topics/fatality-statistics/detail/largetrucks

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as
legal advice on any subject.

Car

Does marijuana use cause car accidents in Washington?

blog-post-01

Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a leading factor in many fatal car accidents in Washington State—and the situation hasn’t been improved by recreational marijuana legalization, according to a new study. In fact, DUI crashes now account for almost half of all traffic fatalities in the state and represent a significant increased risk to public health.

Our law firm is concerned about safety on Washington roads. In this blog, we explore the recent findings around people who drive drunk and high and outline your options if you were hurt by one of these reckless drivers.

blog-post-01

Drivers who use alcohol and weed take more risks and cause more accidents

recent survey conducted by AAA found that people who use both alcohol and marijuana are some of the biggest risk-takers on Washington roadways. People driving drunk and high are more likely to speed, text, intentionally run red lights, and drive aggressively than those who don’t, AAA says.

In fact, Washington State Patrol, the Seattle Police, and other local departments have seen a lot more people driving on marijuana and alcohol since the legalization of marijuana in 2012. Plus, a Washington Roadside Survey found that nearly 1 out of 5 daytime drivers may be under the influence of marijuana.

Now, nearly a decade after marijuana legalization, the most common drug involved in fatal car crashes isn’t one drug at all, but a combination of multiple substances. “Poly-drug drivers” (people driving under the influence of a combination of multiple drugs or alcohol) are involved in about 40% of Washington fatal crashes.

A look at the stats: driving while drunk and high

The AAA study compared people who drive on marijuana and alcohol with people who drive on alcohol only to determine whether mixing weed with booze changes behavior behind the wheel.

The self-reported study asked people in the two groups (as well as sober drivers) whether they had engaged in the following risky behaviors:

  • Speeding on residential streets: 55% of marijuana-alcohol influenced drivers confessed to speeding, compared to 35% of drunk drivers.
  • Aggressive driving: 52% of drivers on weed and booze admitted aggressive driving habits, compared to 28% of the alcohol-only influenced drivers.
  • Intentionally running red lights: 48% of weed-alcohol drivers and 32% of alcohol-only drivers acknowledged they ran a red light.
  • Texting while driving: 40% of drunk-high drivers and 21% of drunk drivers admitted to reading or sending a text while behind the wheel.

People who drive sober said they drove recklessly much less often. The risk sober drivers took most often was driving while drowsy.

People we’ve helped

How does marijuana use affect driving ability?

It’s a common misconception that driving while under the influence of marijuana is perfectly safe. This just isn’t the case. Several studies, including one published in 2016 by the Society for the Study of Addiction, demonstrate a statistically significant increase in crash risk among marijuana users.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical component of marijuana responsible for the psychoactive effects, has been shown to impair driving ability in several notable ways:

  • Impaired judgement
  • Impaired coordination
  • Impaired concentration
  • Reduced reaction time

The higher the THC levels in the bloodstream, the greater the risk of a motor vehicle accident.

In short: driving under the influence of marijuana may be “safer” than drunk driving according to some metrics, but it is by no means safe.

Marijuana DUI laws in Washington State: what you need to know

Accidents caused by drivers impaired by marijuana can be some of the most difficult to investigate. With recreational marijuana legalization being fairly new, there is still a lot of debate about how high is too high to drive. To make matters more complicated, a 100% reliable way to detect the level of cannabis impairment has not yet been developed. Plus, detectable amounts of THC can linger in the bloodstream for hours or even days after drug use, so even if someone is perfectly sober, they would still test positive for THC.

That being said, Washington is ahead of many states when it comes to detecting marijuana consumption and setting limits.

Washington is one of a handful of states that has set a legal limit for THC in the blood stream, which is currently at 5 ng/ml for drivers over the age 21. If you are under 21, it is illegal to drive if any THC can be detected in your blood. Tests require a blood draw and are typically performed either at a medical facility or police station.

Our state is also one that trusts the Drug Recognition Expert program, which trains law enforcement officers to recognize impairment from various drugs.

Injured by a drunk or high driver? Tilt the odds in your favor with a car accident lawyer

If you were severely injured or a loved one died in a vehicle crash caused by a drunk driver, a high driver, or someone who was drunk and high at the same time, you can seek compensation for your damages under Washington State law.

While you may be entitled to compensation for your current and future medical bills, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, your pain and suffering, and other applicable damages, don’t expect the at-fault driver’s insurance company to just hand over the money you deserve without a fight.

You can’t count on insurance companies to do the right thing because ultimately, they have a financial incentive to pay you as little money as possible—if anything at all. That’s why it’s common for insurance adjusters to purposefully delay, dispute or straight-up deny valid injury claims. And if they do make you a settlement offer, insurance adjusters almost always lowball you in the beginning.

Hiring an experienced attorney who understand complex drugged driving cases and can stand up to the insurance company tilts the odds in your favor.

The Zach Herschensohn team knows how to make insurance companies take claims involving impaired drivers seriously

When the insurance companies try to reject or minimize payouts to people injured by drunk and high drivers, or other reckless people, our law firm hits them back with evidence-based arguments that are hard to ignore. Investigating impaired driving accidents can be complicated, but getting justice for people injured by such reckless, preventable behavior is our passion.

Don’t leave money on the table. Let a Kent car accident lawyer aggressively advocate for your best interests and fight for every dollar you deserve.

Contact us today for a free consultation. Our office is located in Kent, and we proudly serve clients throughout the Seattle Metro area and King County.

 

References

Gross, A (13 April 2021). Risky Driving Behaviors of Drivers Who Use Alcohol and Marijuana. AAA Newsroom. Retrieved from https://newsroom.aaa.com/2021/04/risky-driving-behaviors-of-drivers-who-use-alcohol-and-marijuana/

Washington State Patrol. DUI / Impaired Driving. Retrieved from https://www.wsp.wa.gov/driver/duiimpaired-driving/

Washington Traffic Safety Commission. Impaired Driving. Retrieved from https://wtsc.wa.gov/programs-priorities/impaired-driving/

Rogenberg, O. & Elvik, R (16 February 2016). The effects of cannabis intoxication on motor vehicle collision revisited and revised. Addiction, vol. 111 (issue 8), 1348-1359. Retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/add.13347

Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board. Safety. Retrieved from https://lcb.wa.gov/mj-education/safety

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Drug-Impaired Driving. Retrieved from https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drug-impaired-driving

 

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

Our results speak for themselves

CONTACT HERSCHENSOHN LAW

Hurt? Let our law firm handle the details

When you request your free consultation, Kent personal injury attorney Zach Herschensohn will listen to you, answer your questions, lay out your legal options, and give you down-to-earth legal advice.

When you work with our law office, there are no obligations, hidden fees, or fine print. It’s that simple.

Request your free case evaluation

We’ll meet with you to help you understand your legal options and what to do next.

Enter your contact information:

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

We’re proud to fight—and win—for injured people in Kent, Washington. View our case results to learn more.

Car

Speeding a leading cause of crashes in Washington

Seattle skylines and Interstate freeways converge with Elliott Bay and the waterfront background of in sunset time, Seattle, Washington State, USA.

Fewer drivers caused more fatal car accidents last year nationwide.

And one of the reasons why was speeding drivers, according to preliminary accident data for 2020 compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Speeding has long been a serious problem nationwide and in many states as well, including Washington. So how bad is the problem? And what makes speeding accidents so dangerous? Learn more from an experienced lawyer who represents people injured in accidents caused by other drivers in Washington.

How many accidents are caused by speeding?

Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) decreased last year by 13.2 percent or 430.2 billion miles nationwide, according to the NHTSA. Even so, motor vehicle fatalities increased by 8 percent, from 39,017 deaths in 2019 to 42,060 fatalities in 2020, according to the National Safety Council (NSC).

And when it comes to accidents caused by speeding, those numbers were up 11 percent in 2020 compared to 2019, the NHTSA reported. In comparison, speeding was a factor in 26 percent of all traffic fatalities nationwide in 2019, resulting in 9,478 deaths, an average of 25 fatalities per day, according to the National Safety Council.

As for Washington, the numbers are even worse. In the past five years, 30 percent of all motor vehicle accident fatalities in the state have been due to speeding drivers, according to accident statistics compiled by the NHTSA. Between 2015 and 2019, there was an average of 163.4 deaths each year due to speeding out of 541.6 motor vehicle fatalities on average each year in Washington.

People we’ve helped

Why is speeding so dangerous?

Driving too fast might not seem like a big deal. But speeding drivers make our roads more dangerous in many different ways, according to the NHTSA. Such reasons include:

  • Speeding drivers are more likely to lose control of their vehicle
  • Speeding vehicles cause more severe accidents
  • Speeding drivers have less time to stop and avoid a collision
  • Speeding reduces the effectiveness of safety equipment in a vehicle

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by a speeding driver, talk to an attorney as soon as possible to learn more about the legal options available to you.

How can a car accident lawyer help you?

Having a lawyer on your side after your accident can often make a dramatic difference in the outcome of your case. This is because the insurance company for the at-fault driver can often be difficult to deal with after an accident. In many cases, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will do everything they can to reduce or deny your accident claim. This is because you may be entitled to receive thousands of dollars or perhaps even more for medical bills, vehicle repairs, replacement income, and other accident-related expenses.

We know what’s at stake at Herschensohn Law, PLLC. That’s because we have years of experience representing injury victims and their families throughout Washington. When you have our legal team on your side, you can take an aggressive approach right from the start. Instead of insurance companies dictating what happens next, you are in control. Contact our law firm to learn more about how we can help after your car accident. Schedule a free case evaluation at our Kent, Washington office today.

Our results speak for themselves

CONTACT HERSCHENSOHN LAW

Hurt? Let our law firm handle the details

When you request your free consultation, Kent personal injury attorney Zach Herschensohn will listen to you, answer your questions, lay out your legal options, and give you down-to-earth legal advice.

When you work with our law office, there are no obligations, hidden fees, or fine print. It’s that simple.

Request your free case evaluation

We’ll meet with you to help you understand your legal options and what to do next.

Enter your contact information:

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

We’re proud to fight—and win—for injured people in Kent, Washington. View our case results to learn more.

Car

Traffic fatalities from not wearing seat belts are on the rise

Buckling Up Seatbelt

Even though fewer drivers were on the road last year, the number of car accident fatalities nationwide involving people not wearing their seat belts skyrocketed during 2020, according to recently released statistics. Meanwhile, the numbers show fatalities involving unrestrained crash victims in Washington State continue to be a problem as well.

Last year’s spike in motor vehicle fatalities involving unrestrained drivers and passengers nationwide was outlined in a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This is despite the fact that motorists drove 430.2 billion fewer miles last year, a reduction of 13.2% compared to 2019, according to a recent Forbes analysis.

Specifically, the number of people killed in accidents while not wearing their seat belts increased 15% last year. They went from 10,369 deaths in 2019 to 11,883 deaths in 2020. In addition, the number of deaths involving people being ejected from their vehicles increased by 20% last year: from 5,059 deaths in 2019 to 6,052 deaths in 2020.

Here’s what drivers in Kent and the Seattle Metro Area should know.

How common are accidents involving unrestrained drivers or passengers?

Not wearing a seat belt has been a problem for many years for certain drivers and passengers. In particular, teenage drivers and passengers are less likely to wear a seat belt than any other age group, according to statistics compiled by the National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS). In fact, nearly half of motor vehicle fatalities involved unrestrained drivers and passengers ages 16 to 19.

Drivers and passengers of all ages who don’t wear seat belts are also more likely to engage in other dangerous behaviors, including drinking and driving, distracted driving, and speeding, according to the NHTSA.

People we’ve helped

How bad is the problem in Washington State?

The crisis involving drivers and passengers not wearing seat belts nationwide is a problem in Washington State too. Each year, an estimated 107 people not wearing seat belts die in motor vehicle crashes in the state, according to accident statistics compiled by the NHTSA.

A recent study conducted by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission also found that drivers in Washington who did not use their seat belts were also “involved in other high-risk driving behaviors like speeding, distracted or aggressive driving, and impaired driving.”

In particular, drinking and driving and not wearing a seat belt was an exceptionally bad problem in Washington State. Researchers found that nearly 75% of motor vehicle deaths involving unrestrained drivers or passengers involved alcohol impairment.

A car accident lawyer can fight for you

Even if you wear your seat belt and practice safe driving habits, all it takes is one negligent driver to cause an accident that changes your life forever. If you were injured or a loved one died in a crash, it’s important for you to know your legal rights and options. At Herschensohn Law, PLLC, we can help you every step of the way. We’re familiar with Washington’s laws and how the legal system works when it comes to car accident claims. That’s why we have such a strong track record of success here.

Learn more about how we can help you. Contact us at our office in Kent, WA today to schedule your free case evaluation.

Our results speak for themselves

CONTACT HERSCHENSOHN LAW

Hurt? Let our law firm handle the details

When you request your free consultation, Kent personal injury attorney Zach Herschensohn will listen to you, answer your questions, lay out your legal options, and give you down-to-earth legal advice.

When you work with our law office, there are no obligations, hidden fees, or fine print. It’s that simple.

Request your free case evaluation

We’ll meet with you to help you understand your legal options and what to do next.

Enter your contact information:

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

We’re proud to fight—and win—for injured people in Kent, Washington. View our case results to learn more.

Car

Can I sue if I was a passenger in a car accident?

passenger in a car accident

After a bad car accident, a lot of focus is put on the drivers involved, but passengers in the crash have rights and responsibilities too.

About a third of all people involved in crashes are passengers, federal crash data shows.

In Washington state, passengers injured in car, truck, or motorcycle collisions can sue or file claims against the at-fault driver to pay for medical bills and other damages.

An injured passenger will still need to keep his or her guard up, though, because it is not beyond an insurance company to try to blame a victim in the passenger’s seat for causing a crash.

At Herschensohn Law Firm, PLLC, our firm has fielded many questions from passengers involved in car accidents in the Seattle Metro area. Below, we provide answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

Are passengers covered by car insurance?

Washington is a fault state, which means you can file a claim for damages with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If the at-fault driver’s insurance company won’t cover all the costs or rejects your claim, you can file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court against the driver who caused the crash.

Washington is also a “comparative negligence” state, which means various people can bear a percentage of responsibility for causing an accident. If you are found to be 10% at fault for an accident, for example, it means you can seek payment for 90% of your damages.

People we’ve helped

What happens if you are a passenger in an accident?

After an accident, your passive role as a passenger is over.

You do not have to, nor should you, sit back and let the drivers and insurance companies decide what happens to you next. It’s time for action.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Make a timeline. Write down as many events about the crash as possible to establish a record of the accident. Include when, where, and how the accident happened while the incident is still fresh in your mind. This can be an excellent piece of evidence to support your claim later.
  • Take photos of the accident and your injuries.
  • Call the police. Regardless of how minor the accident may appear; it is important to call the police after every wreck. Some injuries won’t reveal themselves for days later. The responding officer will make an accident report and identify the people involved, as well as any witnesses. It can be easier for an at-fault driver to deny responsibility without an official record of the crash.
  • Identify witnesses and get their contact information.
  • Accept medical treatment. Get examined at the scene of the accident and see a doctor as soon as you can afterward. Even if you feel fine, accept a medical checkup from emergency responders. They may be able to identify injuries you are too shocked or stunned to realize. Even if you were examined at the scene of an accident, it is important that you see a medical professional as soon as possible. Internal injuries and organ damage are not always detectable with the on-the-go equipment emergency responders use. In the chaos of a crash situation, it is also possible for a serious injury to go unnoticed.
  • Say as little as possible. Cooperate with the police and do provide your contact information, but do not elaborate on the details of the accident until you have spoken with an attorney. Saying the wrong thing at the wrong time could get you blamed for the accident.
  • Contact a lawyer. A car accident attorney can review the details of your case, answer your questions, and explain your legal options. This can be done at no cost during a free consultation, which is something most if not all personal injury law firms offer. If you decide to hire a lawyer for your case, you typically do so on a contingency fee basis. That means there are no upfront costs and you pay nothing unless the attorney secures financial compensation on your behalf.
  • File a claim. After consulting with an attorney to decide your best path forward, you can file a claim for damages with the at-fault driver(s) including the person who was driving the vehicle you were in at the time of the crash. You may also need to file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. The compensation you are seeking should cover current and future medical expenses related to the accident, your pain and suffering, lost wages, destroyed property, and other damages.

Can a passenger be held responsible for an accident?

It’s rare, but there are circumstances in which a passenger can be found at fault or partially at fault in an accident.

Passengers can be held responsible if they contributed to the accident by taking control or attempting to take control of the driver, steering wheel, brakes, gear shift, or other vehicle function or otherwise did something disruptive while the car was driving.

Simply talking with the driver could be considered disruptive in some cases and earn a passenger a share of the blame. With more attention being paid to the dangers of distracted driving recently, a savvy insurance adjuster could use any indication of a conversation as a reason to challenge your claim.

Can a passenger sue a not-at-fault driver in an accident?

You cannot successfully sue someone for damages if they did not have any part in causing the accident. But there are often more people responsible for a crash than just the drivers. In many cases, you can pursue compensation from others who had some responsibility for the accident including defective parts manufacturers or, if alcohol was a factor, the establishment that over-served the drunk driver.

If they want a fight, we’ll give them one

Herschensohn Law Firm is not afraid to take on the insurance companies and represent accident victims who have tough claims, including those involving passengers. We know how to build a strong evidence-based case and hammer away at the insurance companies until they make an appropriate offer.

We do not accept lowball settlements. If an insurance adjuster doesn’t want to act fairly, we have no problem taking the fight to court. We thrive on litigation and look forward to the opportunity to win your case in front of a judge and jury.

Attorney Zach Herschensohn confronts the insurance companies head-on and has won millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for clients. See what a personal injury lawyer with high energy and a strong work ethic can do for you.

Contact us today for a free consultation. Our office is located in Kent, WA and we serve clients throughout the Seattle Metro area.

Our results speak for themselves

CONTACT HERSCHENSOHN LAW

Hurt? Let our law firm handle the details

When you request your free consultation, Kent personal injury attorney Zach Herschensohn will listen to you, answer your questions, lay out your legal options, and give you down-to-earth legal advice.

When you work with our law office, there are no obligations, hidden fees, or fine print. It’s that simple.

Request your free case evaluation

We’ll meet with you to help you understand your legal options and what to do next.

Enter your contact information:

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Car

Motor vehicle deaths rise in 2020 despite fewer people on the roads

blog-02

The number of motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. dramatically increased in 2020 despite fewer people being on the road due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Preliminary data from the National Safety Council (NSC) shows roadway accidents spiked in most states even while there was a 13% reduction in how many miles were driven that year.

In 2020, the overall number of motor vehicle accidents grew by 8% while fatal car crashes shot up by 24%.

This means that nearly 3,000 more people died in car crashes in 2020 compared to 2019.

It’s too early for researchers to pinpoint the cause of the spike in car accidents, but several common factors have emerged from the collisions.

It seems people are using the pandemic-cleared roads to do more speeding as well as driving while distracted or impaired, the NSC said.

What Steps Should You Take After an Accident?

Although car accidents are increasing, not everyone knows what to do if they become the victim of one. Due to the confusion and shock of the moment, it’s important to understand what to do in a motor vehicle accident before it happens.

Every state has its own rules of the road.

Washington is a “fault state,” meaning the victim of a car accident can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance provider.

People we’ve helped

Immediately After the Crash

Take a deep breath, call 911, and ask for an ambulance. Even if you think you feel fine there could still be internal damage and bleeding. It’s best to have an emergency medical professional see you right away.

Make Sure the Police Are There

If they haven’t arrived yet, call the police. A police accident report is a key piece of evidence in an insurance claim.

Don’t wait to see a doctor. Even if you were checked out at the scene of the accident, it is important for you to see a doctor within 24 hours of the incident. The doctor may detect injuries, like a concussion, that were missed amid the chaos of the collision. If done within a day of the accident, the resulting medical report can be a strong piece of evidence supporting your claim.

Insurance companies have teams of lawyers ready to argue against your claim. It’s best to have someone in your corner who knows the law and won’t back down when faced with lowball offers and attempts at intimidation from insurance companies.

At Herschensohn Law Firm, PLLC, attorney Zach Herschensohn has been fighting for the rights of car accident victims in the Kent and Seattle metro area for years. Our law firm handles cases involving car accidents on a contingency fee basis, and we’ve secured millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for crash victims.

How Much Money Will I Get for the Crash?

The at-fault driver’s insurance company is responsible for reviewing your claim and determining how much money they think is appropriate to cover your damages, such as your medical bills, lost wages, future medical expenses, your pain and suffering, and any other accident-related expenses that might be covered. Keep in mind that the insurance company has a financial interest in paying you as little as possible, so you can be sure that they will do everything in their power to accomplish that goal.

If the insurance company denies a claim or tosses up an insultingly low offer and you haven’t secured a lawyer yet, it’s not too late to bring an experienced attorney on board. A lawyer can calculate the true cost of your damages, advocate for the compensation you deserve, and file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf, if necessary.

There is no average settlement figure for a car accident because the circumstances of each crash are so unique. Crashes that result in a severe or debilitating injury can easily add up to tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.

If the Insurance Company Wants a Fight, We'll Give Them One

Our law firm knows how to accurately tally up how much compensation you’re legally entitled to pursue and then fight for every dollar that you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation. Our office is located in Kent, WA and we proudly serve clients throughout the Seattle Metro Area.

Our results speak for themselves

CONTACT HERSCHENSOHN LAW

Hurt? Let our law firm handle the details

When you request your free consultation, Kent personal injury attorney Zach Herschensohn will listen to you, answer your questions, lay out your legal options, and give you down-to-earth legal advice.

When you work with our law office, there are no obligations, hidden fees, or fine print. It’s that simple.

Request your free case evaluation

We’ll meet with you to help you understand your legal options and what to do next.

Enter your contact information:

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

We’re proud to fight—and win—for injured people in Kent, Washington. View our case results to learn more.

References

  1. Texas Department of Transportation. (2020, April 15). Texas Motor Vehicle Traffic Crash Facts Calendar Year 2019. https://ftp.txdot.gov/pub/txdot-info/trf/crash_statistics/2019/01.pdf
  2. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (2019, December). Fatality Facts 2018, Large Trucks. Retrieved from https://www.iihs.org/topics/fatality-statistics/detail/largetrucks

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as
legal advice on any subject.

Car

How do I know if I need surgery after a crash?

If you sustained a severe injury in a car accident, it will likely not heal on its own. Finding out that you need surgery may be the last thing you want to hear. That could mean a significant amount of time away from work or engaging in activities you enjoy. To make matters worse, you’re hit with massive medical expenses that may be impossible to pay off while you’re out of work.

If you must undergo surgery after a crash, it’s critical that you speak to an experienced Washington car accident attorney who can help you weigh your legal options.

Injuries that often require surgery

These severe injuries often require surgery to make a full recovery:

  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI) — Mild TBIs and concussions usually don’t require surgery. Yet, they tend to be more common in car accidents. Severe TBIs such as skull fractures, open head trauma, hematomas, hemorrhages, and diffuse axonal damage can result in permanent brain damage and be life-threatening. These injuries often require surgery, along with other therapeutic treatments.
  • Severe bone fractures — Mild bone fractures may only require casting to heal. Bones that are broken into two or more pieces need to be put back together and held in place. Metal plates, pins, screws and wires are often used.
  • Neck, back and spine injuries — Slipped or herniated discs, fractured vertebrae, or spinal cord damage can lead to serious (and sometimes permanent) pain and complications. The following surgical procedures are necessary after sustaining a severe injury to the neck, back and spine:
    • Spinal fusion — Two or more vertebrae fused together to fix a broken vertebra.
    • Laminectomy — A small part of a vertebra surgically removed to reduce pressure on a spinal nerve.
    • Discectomy — Part of a herniated disc removed to reduce pressure on a spinal nerve.
    • Vertebroplasty — Broken vertebra repaired with acrylic bone cement filling.
  • Muscle, tendon, or ligament tears — When a muscle, tendon, or ligament tears, it may not heal without surgery. We often see this with knee injuries and rotator cuff tears.
  • Severe injuries to the face — Severe facial injuries can cause disfigurement and permanent scarring. These types of injuries often require plastic surgery or reconstructive surgery.

People we’ve helped

What comes after surgery?

In addition to surgery, you may have to undergo months of physical therapy, compression, elevation, ice/heat therapy and pain medication. On top of that, you may need to rest and avoid any physically demanding activities until you recover.

This can be both financially and emotionally devastating for crash victims. That’s why the car accident attorneys at Herschensohn Law Firm, PLLC are committed to helping clients get the compensation they deserve. Our legal team knows how to investigate crashes, deal with insurance companies, and advocate for fair financial settlements.

We serve crash victims and their families in Kent, Washington, and the greater Seattle area. Contact us online to schedule your free legal consultation.

Our results speak for themselves

CONTACT HERSCHENSOHN LAW

Hurt? Let our law firm handle the details

When you request your free consultation, Kent personal injury attorney Zach Herschensohn will listen to you, answer your questions, lay out your legal options, and give you down-to-earth legal advice.

When you work with our law office, there are no obligations, hidden fees, or fine print. It’s that simple.

Request your free case evaluation

We’ll meet with you to help you understand your legal options and what to do next.

Enter your contact information:

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

We’re proud to fight—and win—for injured people in Kent, Washington. View our case results to learn more.

Car

Are active driving assistance systems dangerous?

Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) provide the highest level of automated vehicle technology available to the public right now. ADAS uses sensors and cameras to detect road conditions and driver error and is designed to adjust accordingly.

Sounds great, doesn’t it?

AAA, however, has concluded that the electronic system is far from dependable. The AAA director of automotive engineering and industry relations said car makers need to find ways to make ADAS reliable and safe.

What issues did AAA find with ADAS technology?

In testing ADAS-equipped cars, AAA found the biggest problem was lane departure. The technology is supposed to keep the car in the lane and at a safe distance when approaching a vehicle or object. However, tests on a closed course revealed a crash occurred 66 percent of the time when an ADAS car approached a disabled vehicle, with an average impact speed of 25 mph.

So, if you think you’re safe behind the wheel of a high-tech car with a driver assistance system installed, think again. According to a AAA study, researchers found that there were other safety issues common among vehicles with this technology.

The cars that were part of the study experienced a problem every eight miles on average over the course of 4,000 miles of real-world driving.

Some of the top safety issues in the cars equipped with the technology include:

  • Trouble staying in a lane and getting too close to another vehicle or a guardrail
  • Automated braking or steering becoming disengaged with little notice and handing control back to drivers

In these cases, a driver who assumes the vehicle’s active driving assistance system is in control and safe may be disengaged with the driving experience and not prepared to take control of the vehicle. A serious car accident could be the result.

People we’ve helped

What to do after a car accident

If you’re in an accident, first seek medical attention. In some cases, drivers and passengers in car accidents don’t realize they have suffered an injury, or they feel pain and try to “tough it out.” The symptoms can get worse with time.

After getting medical attention, contact an experienced car accident lawyer. Accidents involving cars with driver assistance systems can become complex legal cases. The driver may have been negligent, but the manufacturer of the technology also may bear responsibility. Both parties may deny responsibility or try to shift the blame.

Your lawyer can evaluate the case. An attorney can determine if the manufacturer should be named in a claim, in addition to the driver.

Don’t try to handle the case on your own. Contact Herschensohn Law Firm, PLLC for a free consultation. Our Washington attorneys know how to maximize compensation for accident victims.

Our results speak for themselves

CONTACT HERSCHENSOHN LAW

Hurt? Let our law firm handle the details

When you request your free consultation, Kent personal injury attorney Zach Herschensohn will listen to you, answer your questions, lay out your legal options, and give you down-to-earth legal advice.

When you work with our law office, there are no obligations, hidden fees, or fine print. It’s that simple.

Request your free case evaluation

We’ll meet with you to help you understand your legal options and what to do next.

Enter your contact information:

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

We’re proud to fight—and win—for injured people in Kent, Washington. View our case results to learn more.

Car

The three biggest mistakes people make after a car accident

Nobody can predict when they will be involved in a car accident. You could be sitting at a red light and be rear-ended by a distracted driver. Or, you could be broadsided at a signalized intersection by a driver who failed to stop.

While we can’t always control the likelihood of being involved in a crash, we can take the right course of action during the aftermath. The Washington car accident attorneys at Herschensohn Law Firm, PLLC discuss the three biggest mistakes many people make after a crash and how you can avoid them.

Mistake #1: Not taking critical steps at the crash scene

The standard protocol after a crash is to move your car out of the line of traffic, check on other parties, call the police, or call 911 if anyone has sustained a serious injury. You are also required to exchange insurance information with the other driver and wait for the police to arrive.

During this time, you can gather some evidence that can help support your claim. This includes:

  • Pictures of the crash scene
  • Witness contact information
  • Taking note of nearby surveillance cameras
  • Noting the behavior of the at-fault driver

People we’ve helped

Mistake #2: Not getting medical attention

Not all crash-related injuries produce immediate symptoms. Pain and discomfort linked to your crash can set in several days later, sometimes weeks. We often see this with spinal injuries, whiplash, soft tissue injuries, and mild traumatic brain injuries.

There are two reasons why it’s important that you seek prompt medical attention, even if you feel fine:

  • Your doctor can identify your injuries early on and provide treatment before they worsen.
  • The other driver’s insurance company can’t argue that you waited too long to see a doctor.

Mistake #3: Attempting to handle a claim without an attorney

If you’ve never pursued a car accident claim, you may not be fully aware of the rights available to you or the risks of attempting to handle a claim alone.

One of the biggest mistakes people make after a crash is speaking to the other driver’s insurance company. Even if they come across as friendly, it’s important that you never speak to them. Your phone conversation with them will be recorded and anything you say can be leveraged against your claim. You may actually unknowingly admit fault by saying the wrong thing.

If the insurance company offers any kind of settlement, it will likely only cover a small fraction of your actual damages.

That’s why you need a strong legal advocate on your side who can:

  • Determine how much compensation you’re entitled to (medical expenses, wage loss, property damage, and non-economic damages).
  • Deal with the insurance companies and negotiate for a fair settlement.

If you were hurt in a crash, contact Herschensohn Law Firm, PLLC and set up your free consultation. We serve clients in Kent, Washington and the Seattle metro area.

Our results speak for themselves

CONTACT HERSCHENSOHN LAW

Hurt? Let our law firm handle the details

When you request your free consultation, Kent personal injury attorney Zach Herschensohn will listen to you, answer your questions, lay out your legal options, and give you down-to-earth legal advice.

When you work with our law office, there are no obligations, hidden fees, or fine print. It’s that simple.

Request your free case evaluation

We’ll meet with you to help you understand your legal options and what to do next.

Enter your contact information:

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

We’re proud to fight—and win—for injured people in Kent, Washington. View our case results to learn more.

Car

To what extent can Washington car accidents be blamed on environmental factors?

You never know what you’re going to encounter on your daily commute or when traveling in an unknown area. It could be a pothole in the road, a sharp curve, a downed tree or hazardous weather.

You may prepare yourself ahead of time by staying up-to-date with the weather and traffic conditions. You may also be aware of a construction zone that could cause traffic to back up.

Unfortunately, not all drivers are prepared for the environmental factors they may encounter. Even if you drive responsibly, reduce your speed, and stay attentive, there is no guarantee that other drivers will do the same.

What are some environmental factors?

Environmental factors are unfavorable driving conditions that are nearly impossible to avoid. They can be anticipated with advanced warning or come by surprise. They include:

  • Slippery road conditions
  • Adverse weather conditions (rain, snow, and high winds)
  • Roadway debris (downed trees, rocks, and objects fallen from cars or trucks)
  • Potholes, large cracks, and uneven surfaces
  • Visibility challenges caused by fog and poor lighting
  • Frequent or sharp curves in the road
  • Poorly-designed infrastructure, such as confusing intersections

People we’ve helped

Are crashes caused by environmental factors?

Environmental factors are merely contributors to crashes. They are not causes. They create the conditions that can lead to crashes when drivers fail to use caution.

Here are some examples of how human error can lead to crashes during unfavorable conditions:

  • Distracted driving while approaching an intersection, traveling around a curve, or when approaching a roadway defect
  • Speeding through a construction zone or around a sharp curve
  • Driving at an unreasonable speed during slippery road conditions, even when traveling at the posted speed limit
  • Driving drunk at night or when visibility is affected by rain or fog

Why should I hire an attorney to handle my claim?

If you were involved in a crash because another driver failed to use caution, the environmental factors involved can complicate your claim. That’s because the insurance company who represents the at-fault driver could place more emphasis on the environmental factors than the actions of the other driver.

For example, if you’re crash occurred on an icy road, the insurance company can claim that the crash was caused by the road condition and say that nobody was at fault. This can hurt your ability to obtain full compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering.

That’s why it’s critical that you refrain from speaking to the other driver’s insurance company and consult with an experienced Washington car accident attorney who can investigate your crash and help you get the compensation you need.

Our results speak for themselves

CONTACT HERSCHENSOHN LAW

Hurt? Let our law firm handle the details

When you request your free consultation, Kent personal injury attorney Zach Herschensohn will listen to you, answer your questions, lay out your legal options, and give you down-to-earth legal advice.

When you work with our law office, there are no obligations, hidden fees, or fine print. It’s that simple.

Request your free case evaluation

We’ll meet with you to help you understand your legal options and what to do next.

Enter your contact information:

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

We’re proud to fight—and win—for injured people in Kent, Washington. View our case results to learn more.

Car

Can road debris and defects lead to a crash?

When unexpected objects appear in the road, drivers may do whatever it takes to avoid hitting them. For this reason, road debris can be a major contributing factor in car accidents.

In some cases, hitting road debris that suddenly falls off another vehicle can be unavoidable. Large objects in the road and flying objects can cause significant damage to your car and injuries to you or any other occupants.

If you were injured in crash involving road debris, you may be eligible to pursue a claim against the driver or party that caused it. An experienced car accident attorney can help you get the financial compensation you need.

What are some examples of road debris?

Common examples of debris left in the road by other drivers include:

  • Furniture
  • Rocks
  • Tires
  • Car parts that break off
  • Mattresses
  • Wood and building materials
  • Other unsecured cargo

People we’ve helped

Can I take legal action against another driver for a debris-related crash?

If you’re able to catch the license plate number of the vehicle where the debris came from, you can file a claim against the driver’s insurance company. The same applies to the owners of business vehicles or trucking fleet owners.

When debris is left in the road, responsible drivers will sometimes leave the scene and be completely unaware that anything happened. If you can’t catch the license plate, you may have to rely on witnesses, dash cam footage, or surveillance camera footage (if available).

What if my car accident was caused by roadway defects?

Potholes, road damage and other roadway defects can also cause swerve risks and crashes. When this happens, it’s usually because a road defect wasn’t addressed by state or municipal officials.

If you were hurt in a crash caused by a road defect, it’s possible to pursue a claim against the agency responsible for maintaining the roads. These types of claims can be extremely difficult, since state and municipal agencies have immunity from some negligence claims. In Washington State, you only have 60 days to file your claim, so you would have to act quickly.

How can a car accident attorney help me if I was hurt in a crash?

When it comes to crashes involving road debris and road defects, things can get complicated. It can often be difficult to determine who was at fault, and in some cases provide adequate evidence.

It’s important that you speak to an experienced Washington car accident attorney to learn about the legal options available to you. Contact Herschensohn Law Firm, PLLC online or call (206) 588-4344 to schedule a free consultation. We serve clients across the state, including in Kent and the greater Seattle area.

Our results speak for themselves

CONTACT HERSCHENSOHN LAW

Hurt? Let our law firm handle the details

When you request your free consultation, Kent personal injury attorney Zach Herschensohn will listen to you, answer your questions, lay out your legal options, and give you down-to-earth legal advice.

When you work with our law office, there are no obligations, hidden fees, or fine print. It’s that simple.

Request your free case evaluation

We’ll meet with you to help you understand your legal options and what to do next.

Enter your contact information:

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

We’re proud to fight—and win—for injured people in Kent, Washington. View our case results to learn more.

Car

Washington State will most likely see an increase in drunk driving on St. Patrick's Day

one irish hat and keys

St. Patrick’s Day is one of the most popular holidays for drinking. According to WalletHub, the average person celebrating St. Patrick’s Days has about 4.2 drinks — enough to cause impairment. Of course, this becomes a problem when mixed with driving.

From 2014-2018, nearly 250 people died in traffic collisions in the U.S. on St. Patrick’s Day, according to federal statistics. More than 70 occurred in 2018. Most fatal crashes occur in the early morning hours on March 18 after the bars close and most people return home.

Police across the state will be out looking for drunk drivers. Many drunk drivers will evade detection, however.

How serious is drunk driving?

Each year across the United States, more than 10,000 people die in alcohol-related crashes, according to the NHTSA. Many of these traffic fatalities involve drivers with blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels over the legal limit, which is 0.08 percent.

Some drivers think it’s safe to get behind the wheel after having only a few drinks, but “buzzed driving” is also a cause of many alcohol-related fatalities, accounting for more than 1,800 in 2018.

After only a beer or two, drivers may have a BAC of 0.02 percent, which is enough to cause some slight impairment. This can still be dangerous when factored in with other causes of crashes, including distraction and drowsiness.

When drivers reach a BAC of 0.05 percent (still legal in most cases), they start to experience loss of coordination, reduced response to emergency situations, loss of attention, and difficulty steering.

At a BAC of 0.08 percent or greater, drivers tend to lose more control — both physically and cognitively.

People we’ve helped

How can I stay safe this St. Patrick's Day?

Drunk driving is inevitable on St. Patrick’s Day, unfortunately. For those who plan on celebrating this year, here are some tips for staying safe:

  • Designate a friend, relative, or colleague as a sober driver.
  • Hail an Uber or cab.
  • Stay within walking distance from home.
  • Spend the night if possible.
  • Avoid getting in the car with someone who is impaired by alcohol.

If you’re sober and plan on driving home, watch out for drunk drivers. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, these are the signs that another motorist may be drunk:

  • Accelerating or decelerating quickly
  • Tailgating
  • Weaving through traffic
  • Driving on sidewalks or the side of road
  • Erratic braking
  • Swerving out of lanes or across centerlines
  • Delayed responses to traffic signs and signals
  • Speeding or driving much slower than the speed limit
  • Making abrupt or illegal turns
  • Driving with headlights off at night

If you see another motorist driving erratically, it’s best to pull over, get out of the way, and call the police. Should you be injured in a crash with a drunk driver, an experienced Washington car accident attorney at Herschensohn Law Firm, PLLC can help you pursue justice. We serve clients in Kent and the Seattle area. Contact us online to schedule your free consultation.

Our results speak for themselves

CONTACT HERSCHENSOHN LAW

Hurt? Let our law firm handle the details

When you request your free consultation, Kent personal injury attorney Zach Herschensohn will listen to you, answer your questions, lay out your legal options, and give you down-to-earth legal advice.

When you work with our law office, there are no obligations, hidden fees, or fine print. It’s that simple.

Request your free case evaluation

We’ll meet with you to help you understand your legal options and what to do next.

Enter your contact information:

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

We’re proud to fight—and win—for injured people in Kent, Washington. View our case results to learn more.

Car

Why should I purchase uninsured motorist coverage?

road with debris after accident

Uninsured motorist (UIM) coverage is not required for Washington drivers, yet insurance companies are required to offer it. Those who choose not to purchase UIM must reject it in writing.

Sadly, many drivers fail to recognize the benefits of adding UIM to their insurance policies. They may do so to save money in the short term. When they are involved in a car accident with an uninsured driver or a hit-and-run, their options are limited, however.

If you were involved in a crash and the other driver took off or was uninsured, your liability coverage will not pay for the damages. That’s what makes UIM is so critical.

Having UIM on your policy can ensure that you are compensated for all medical expenses accrued from your car accident. It also covers car repairs and damages caused to other property.

Throughout the greater Seattle area, you may be at risk of being involved in a car accident with an uninsured driver. Here’s why you should be prepared.

How many drivers are uninsured in Washington?

Washington drivers are only required to carry liability coverage but the insurance policy must include:

  • $25,000 in bodily injury or death per crash
  • $50,000 in bodily injury or death (of any 2 people) per crash
  • $10,000 in property damage

In the typical two-car crash, the insurance provide of the at-fault driver would pay for medical expenses, lost wages, and non-economic damages through a personal injury claim. Property damage would also be covered. Not all Washington drivers carry the required insurance, however.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, more than 17 percent of Washington drivers are uninsured. The state also ranked No. 7 in the nation for having the most uninsured drivers.

People we’ve helped

How likely am I to be involved in a hit-and-run?

Hit-and-runs aren’t as prevalent here as they are in many other states. Washington ranked within the top10 states where hit-and-runs were unlikely, but that doesn’t mean they don’t ever happen.

When a car accident occurs, both drivers are required by law to stay at the scene of the crash until the police arrive. Drivers who fail to do so may be charged with a felony. Despite the legal consequences, some drivers still take off after causing a crash because:

  • They’re driving drunk or drugged and don’t want to get caught
  • They’re involved in a crime or are fleeing from police
  • They’re uninsured and don’t want to deal with the legal consequences
  • They’re completely unaware that they just caused a crash (very unlikely)

Why consult with a Seattle car accident lawyer?

It’s best to speak with a highly knowledgeable car accident attorney after your crash. Even if you carry UIM, your insurance company may be reluctant to pay the fullest extent of your damages. Let the experienced legal team at Herschensohn Law PLLC handle your claim. We know how the insurance companies work and the tricks they use to save money.

Contact us online today to find out how we can help.

Our results speak for themselves

CONTACT HERSCHENSOHN LAW

Hurt? Let our law firm handle the details

When you request your free consultation, Kent personal injury attorney Zach Herschensohn will listen to you, answer your questions, lay out your legal options, and give you down-to-earth legal advice.

When you work with our law office, there are no obligations, hidden fees, or fine print. It’s that simple.

Request your free case evaluation

We’ll meet with you to help you understand your legal options and what to do next.

Enter your contact information:

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

We’re proud to fight—and win—for injured people in Kent, Washington. View our case results to learn more.

Car

How does my attorney determine the value of my car accident claim?

Shards of car glass on the street

It may be difficult to stay calm after being involved in a car accident, especially when it’s clear that someone else’s reckless behavior caused it. It’s best to make sure that everyone involved is OK and call the police immediately.

If you are in an area where you can be struck by another car, it’s best to move somewhere safe immediately. Pull off to the shoulder of the road or find a nearby parking lot, if you’re able to. Everything else should be left as is, so police can document all details of the crash scene.

There are some steps you can take to gather evidence at the crash scene, however. The aftermath of a crash can be expensive and insurance companies are often reluctant to cover the costs. When pursuing a legal claim, you want to make sure that no stone is left unturned.

How do I document the crash scene?

Start by taking pictures before any of the cars involved are moved. This will allow you to gather fresh evidence regarding how the crash occurred, including:

  • The direction all cars involved were traveling at the time of the crash
  • Tire marks in the roadway
  • The site of car damage and the severity of it
  • Damage to guardrails, signs, or other roadway structures

If there are any witnesses present at the time of the crash, write down their names and phone numbers. You should also ask them what they saw and take note of it. Witness accounts can be beneficial when it comes time to pursue a claim.

In some cases, the driver who caused the crash may admit to being at fault. Be sure to note this when documenting your crash. Even if the at-fault driver refuses to admit fault, avoid arguing and stay as neutral as possible. An investigation of the crash scene will tell the real story.

Once the police arrive, they will question all parties involved in the crash. They will also document any observations they make from a neutral standpoint.

Police may also issue a citation, if the at-fault driver violated a traffic law. If the driver behaves aggressively after the crash or is found to be impaired by drugs or alcohol, police may make an arrest. This will be included in the police report. You may obtain the crash report on the Washington State Patrol website or physically at the nearest police station.

People we’ve helped

Should I get medical attention?

Always seek medical attention after a crash, even if you feel fine. A crash can be a stressful event that can trigger the release of adrenaline. This can happen within seconds, causing the body to go into fight-or-flight mode.

We don’t usually feel pain when adrenaline is released. Therefore, you may not be aware of a minor bone fracture, spinal injury, head injury, or other crash-related condition until after the adrenaline wears off.

Sometimes, it can take days for injury symptoms to appear. For example, a seemingly minor rear-end collision can result in whiplash. This occurs when the head jerks forward and backward in a rapid, whip-like motion. The soft tissue in the neck gets damaged as a result. You may begin to experience headaches, a stiff neck, and tingling in the limbs days later.

Be sure to document how you feel at the time of the crash and seek immediate medical attention. Having a qualified physician conduct a medical evaluation can be beneficial for these reasons:

  • You receive an accurate diagnosis of your injury.
  • Your injury can be addressed promptly before it worsens.
  • A medical evaluation can help your attorney build a strong legal claim.

How can an attorney help me obtain compensation?

You will likely be contacted by the at-fault driver’s insurance company after the crash. They’ll come across as friendly and may try to convince you that they want to help you. They may attempt to shift the blame away from the at-fault driver or convince you to agree to a lowball settlement.

Never fall for their tricks. Once you agree to a settlement, it’s game over. You may find yourself paying for most of your medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage out of your own pocket.

That’s why having an experienced car accident attorney on your side is critical. Your attorney acts as a buffer between you and the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If they attempt to contact you, simply redirect them to attorney Zach Herschensohn.

Attorney Herschensohn possesses a wealth of legal knowledge and has real courtroom experience taking on stubborn insurance companies. To find out how he can help you maximize your compensation, contact Herschensohn Law PLLC. Our law office is located in Kent, Washington.

Our results speak for themselves

CONTACT HERSCHENSOHN LAW

Hurt? Let our law firm handle the details

When you request your free consultation, Kent personal injury attorney Zach Herschensohn will listen to you, answer your questions, lay out your legal options, and give you down-to-earth legal advice.

When you work with our law office, there are no obligations, hidden fees, or fine print. It’s that simple.

Request your free case evaluation

We’ll meet with you to help you understand your legal options and what to do next.

Enter your contact information:

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

We’re proud to fight—and win—for injured people in Kent, Washington. View our case results to learn more.