Being involved in a car accident can be terrifying not only in the moment, but also in the days that follow. Victims of car accidents experience fear and pain at the time of the accident but also continue to experience both physical and emotional pain as they attempt to recover. In some cases, a car accident may even result in the death of a loved one. Unfortunately, automobile accidents are all too common in the United States. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that nearly 33,000 people were killed in car accidents in 2013 alone. Even more people were injured in auto accidents during this year.
If you or someone you love was injured in a car accident in Washington, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the party responsible for the crash. If your claim is successful, you may receive compensation to cover the expenses you incurred because of the accident.
Causes of Car Accidents
Car accidents may occur for a number of reasons. Some of the most common causes of car accidents include:
- Drivers disregarding traffic laws.
- Aggressive driving.
- Distracted driving.
- Fatigued drivers.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Bad weather.
- Vehicle malfunctions.
- Unsafe road conditions.
While some of these situations may warrant a lawsuit, others may not. Unfortunately, in many cases two or more of the factors above contributed to the crash. This can make it difficult to determine who was at fault for the accident. For this reason, it is important to consult an experienced attorney when you have been injured in a car accident.
Filing a Lawsuit
In the state of Washington, you must file a claim within three years of the car accident in order to recover compensation. Depending on the situation, you may name one or more defendants in your lawsuit, including the driver of another vehicle, the manufacturer of a vehicle and/or the entity responsible for maintaining the roadways. To win the lawsuit, you must typically show that the defendant’s action or lack of action was the direct cause of your injuries, property damage or emotional trauma.
The best way to determine whether you should file a lawsuit after a car accident is to talk to a qualified attorney.
How Much Compensation Will I Receive?
When you file a personal injury claim after an auto accident, you may receive compensation to cover your medical bills, lost wages, property damage and the pain and suffering you experienced as a result of the crash. Because Washington observes pure comparative fault rules in car accident cases, you may be able to obtain compensation even if you were partly at fault for the crash. However, your settlement will be reduced according to your level of fault. For example, if the court determines that your damages total $100,000 and the court finds that you are 10 percent at fault for the accident, you will be awarded only $90,000.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
To learn more about filing a lawsuit after an automobile accident in Washington, contact Twyford Law Office.