Car and motorcycle accidents can happen to anyone at any time. The most common injuries range from minor fractures to severe neck injuries, and are often expensive to treat, especially for lifelong debilitating conditions like a spinal cord injury.
The state of Washington has a special set of laws regarding car accidents, known as pure comparative negligence laws, which can hold multiple people at fault for an accident. What this means is that anyone involved in an accident who is legally at fault is responsible for the damages they caused. If only one person is found to be at fault, then that person is responsible for 100% of the damages. If multiple people are found to be at fault, however, then the amount of damage each is responsible for is assessed accordingly.
For example, let’s say two people are in a car accident. They are found to both be 50 percent at fault for the accident. If one of these parties incurs damages and injuries that total $10,000, the other party would pay a proportionate 50 percent of this amount, which equates to $5,000.
The Price of Car Accident Injuries
Injuries sustained from car accidents can be severe. Unfortunately, many aren’t immediately obvious, which is why it’s important to always seek medical attention after a car accident, whether you feel like you need it or not. By doing so, you’re being proactive about your health, but you’re also creating a documented paper trail, which is important if you plan on seeking compensation from the person responsible for the accident.
Some of the most common expenses recovered after a car accident include:
- Treatment for broken bones
- Follow-up doctor appointments
- General painkillers for injuries like whiplash
- Medical equipment costs
- Ambulance costs
- Hospital appointment costs
- In-home assistance and services
- Brain injury requiring cognitive therapy
- Disability costs
Along with medical costs, you may also be able to seek damages for the impact the accident has had on your life in general, which is often referred to as “pain and suffering.” These calculations are complicated and highly dependent on the severity of your injuries. For example, if you were permanently disabled by the accident, the amount of compensation you could potentially receive would be dramatically higher than if you sustained injuries that only minorly affected your day-to-day life.
Steps to Take After an Accident
After a car accident, there are a few extremely important steps you should take to properly document what happened. This information will play a critical role in your case moving forward.
First and foremost, you should always contact the police to file a report for the accident. Equally important is contacting your insurance company. Beyond these basics, you should keep detailed notes regarding any and all related medical expenses. This includes everything from blood work and checkups to prescription medications and chiropractic adjustments. It’s important that your attorney has access to these records, so that the costs can be included in the total compensatory damages being sought.
You should maintain records of time missed from work as well if your injuries changed how you go about your day-to-day activities. So, for example, if you have a broken leg, do you now have to rely on outside transportation to get around? Have you had to hire a home health aide to assist around your home because you can’t do basic things like cook or clean? This is all information that should be accounted for in as much detail as possible.
Contact an Attorney Who Is Well-Versed in Auto Accident Claims
Regardless of the severity of your injuries, you should always seek medical attention and legal advice in the immediate aftermath of a car accident. At Herschensohn Law PLLC, we have extensive experience handling motor vehicle cases, and can help you explore all of your options to improve the odds of a favorable outcome for your specific case. Contact our Kenmore and Kent locations by calling (206) 588-4344, or our Tacoma location at (253) 383-3382.