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.
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.
See a Doctor
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.
Get a Lawyer
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.