seattle Personal Injury Attorneys
Seattle Car Accident Lawyers
Experienced and Aggressive Representation from a Team that Cares
At Carpenter & Zuckerman, we understand the physical and emotional pain of being injured in a car accident due to another person's negligence. Our experienced attorneys can work hard to help you navigate the process of filing a claim or lawsuit. We strive to provide compassionate legal representation as you go through this challenging time, seeking justice and fair compensation for your injuries.
With years of experience handling car accident cases, you can trust us to fight for your rights every step of the way. Contact us today for a free consultation. We can review your case and discuss your legal options with you. There is no obligation to hire us, and we will not charge you any fees unless we recover compensation on your behalf.
Don't let the insurance companies take advantage of you. Contact our Seattle car accident attorneys at Carpenter & Zuckerman today to learn more about your legal rights.
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$1.3 Million Spinal Injury
If a negligent driver injured you in an accident, you might be unsure whether or not you were at fault and to what degree. While making a reliable determination as to who is at fault is impossible without knowing the details and circumstances of your accident, several types of accidents are often the fault of another motorist.
Some of these include:
- Rear-end collisions occur when a car behind you does not have enough time to stop or slow down because they were following your vehicle too closely. This type of accident is usually caused by someone tailgating or not paying attention to traffic flow.
- Head-on collisions happen when two vehicles traveling in opposite directions collide. These are often caused by someone drifting into the opposing travel lane due to distraction, drowsiness, intoxication, or simply failing to yield the right of way.
- T-bone or side impact collisions occur when a vehicle hits another at an angle from one side. For example, if one car runs a red light and t-bones another vehicle that is legally going through the intersection. These accidents are often attributed to reckless driving behavior like running stop signs and red lights. Slamming on the breaks suddenly in adverse weather conditions can also lead to a t-bone.
- Sideswipes often occur when drivers fail to check their blind spots before merging or changing lanes properly. This type of crash can cause significant property damage and bodily injury.
- Multi-vehicle accidents involve three or more vehicles and often occur on highways or during adverse weather conditions. One initial collision can set off a chain reaction involving multiple vehicles.
- Hit-and-run accidents occur when a driver involved in a collision leaves the scene without exchanging information or providing assistance to the injured parties. It is illegal in most jurisdictions.
- Rollover accidents happen when a vehicle overturns onto its roof or side. These accidents are more likely to occur with taller vehicles, such as SUVs or trucks, during sharp turns or collisions.
- Pedestrian or bicycle accidents involve pedestrians or cyclists when a vehicle collides with someone walking or biking on or near the road.
Car accidents can occur for a variety of reasons, and they often result from a combination of factors. Some of the common causes of car accidents include:
- Distracted Driving: One of the leading causes of car accidents is distracted driving, which involves activities like texting, talking on the phone, eating, adjusting the radio, or using navigation systems while driving. These distractions divert a driver's attention away from the road, increasing the risk of accidents.
- Speeding: Driving at speeds higher than the posted speed limits or too fast for road conditions reduces a driver's ability to react to sudden changes in traffic or road situations. Speeding is a significant contributor to accidents and their severity.
- Impaired Driving: Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs impairs a driver's judgment, reaction time, and coordination, making them more likely to be involved in accidents. This includes both illegal substances and certain prescription medications that can impair driving abilities.
- Reckless Driving: Reckless driving behaviors like aggressive tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, and disregarding traffic signals and signs significantly increase the risk of accidents.
- Fatigue: Driving while fatigued or drowsy can impair a driver's focus and reaction time, leading to accidents. Fatigue-related accidents are especially common during late-night or long-distance driving.
- Running Red Lights and Stop Signs: Disobeying traffic signals and signs can lead to intersection accidents, where vehicles collide because one driver failed to yield the right-of-way.
- Weather Conditions: Adverse weather conditions such as rain, snow, ice, fog, and heavy winds can reduce visibility and road traction, making it more challenging to control a vehicle and increasing the likelihood of accidents.
- Poor Road Conditions: Roads with potholes, debris, uneven surfaces, or inadequate signage can contribute to accidents. Lack of proper maintenance can create hazards for drivers.
- Mechanical Failures: Vehicle malfunctions, such as brake failure, tire blowouts, or engine problems, can cause accidents. Regular vehicle maintenance is essential to prevent these issues.
- Inexperienced Drivers: Novice drivers, particularly teenagers, may lack the experience and skills to handle challenging driving situations, increasing the likelihood of accidents.
- Tailgating: Following the vehicle in front too closely reduces the reaction time in case of sudden stops, increasing the risk of rear-end collisions.
- Aggressive Driving: Aggressive behaviors like road rage, excessive honking, and aggressive lane changes can escalate situations and lead to accidents.
- Poor Visibility: Inadequate visibility due to factors like fog, rain, or nighttime driving without proper lighting can hinder a driver's ability to see other vehicles and hazards.
- Wildlife and Obstacles: Collisions with animals or objects on the road, such as fallen debris or trees, can lead to accidents, particularly in rural areas.
If you were involved in any of these types of accidents due to another driver's negligence, then you may be entitled to compensation for your losses, such as medical expenses and lost wages associated with your treatment. This list is not exhaustive, and if your accident is not listed, we can discuss whether or not your case is eligible for compensation during your free initial consultation.
Depth of Experience
Economic damages compensate for any financial losses resulting directly from the crash. If the value of a loss in your accident can be quantified, it will likely be economic damage.
These can include medical expenses such as:
- Hospital bills
- Prescription medications
- Rehabilitative care
- Lost wages or loss of earning capacity due to an inability to work
- property damage costs associated with repairing or replacing your vehicle
- Specialized equipment to accommodate a disability
Non-economic damages cover intangible harm like pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment in life activities, or reduced physical ability caused by the crash. These losses are more difficult to calculate due to their subjective nature. However, they can still play an essential role in helping victims recoup from a traumatic experience like a car accident.
Many states also offer an opportunity to collect punitive damages; however, Washington is not among them.
It is important to remember that Washington is a comparative fault state, which may impact the value of the damages you are entitled to. Comparative negligence is a legal doctrine that compares each party's negligence in an accident or injury. It determines who should or should not be held liable for damages related to injury, death, and property damage. Comparative negligence works by assigning a percentage of fault to each party based on the degree to which they were at fault for an accident and reducing the overall recoverable compensation accordingly.
For example, if you do not stop completely at a stop sign and a car is speeding and driving recklessly through the intersection and hits you, you would likely be found partially at fault for the accident. For the sake of providing a complete example, we will say that the court finds you 20% liable. In this case, you would only be entitled to collect 80% of the available compensation.
To prove negligence in a car accident case, you must show that the other driver owed you a duty of care, that the driver breached that duty, the breach caused your injuries, and that you suffered harm.
The duty of care is a legal obligation that all drivers owe to other drivers on the road. This means that drivers must drive safely and avoid doing anything that could cause an accident, always keeping the safety of other motorists in mind.
Breach of duty occurs when a driver fails to uphold their duty of care. This can happen in many ways, such as speeding, running a red light, or driving while intoxicated.
Causation is the link between the other driver's breach of duty and your injuries. To prove causation, you must show that the other driver's actions were the direct cause of your injuries.
Damages are the losses that you suffered as a result of the accident. This can include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
If you can prove all four elements of negligence, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries.
What Kind of Evidence Do I Need to Win My Car Accident Lawsuit?
If you have been involved in a car accident and are looking to pursue legal action, it is crucial to understand what type of evidence you need to build a strong case.
You will want to provide as much evidence as possible that proves fault or negligence by the person or company responsible for your accident.
This could include documentation such as:
- Police reports
- Witness statements
- Medical records
- Photographs of the scene
You should also keep detailed records of any expenses incurred due to the accident, such as lost wages, property damage, and medical bills. Evidence demonstrating financial loss can help strengthen your case and will be essential to the damages element we discussed above.
Knowing any applicable laws or regulations related to your incident is also essential. Was there a law broken? Were safety protocols disregarded?
At Carpenter & Zuckerman, we understand that every accident is unique. We can work with you one-on-one to review all aspects of your situation and devise an effective strategy for pursuing justice on your behalf.
Should I speak with the other party's insurer?No, we will take care of that. They will likely offer you a lower settlement than you deserve. Further, you run the risk of saying something that an insurer can use against you, leading to a diminished claim.
Can I seek property damages in my car accident case?Yes.
Can a third party be responsible for my injuries in a car accident?Yes, if they are responsible for causing the accident. For example, if a defective part leads to an accident, you may be able to seek compensation from the part's manufacturer.
“They took great care of me and expedited my case quickly and efficiently.” - Vincent C.
“Had an amazing experience after our vehicle accident.” - Former Client
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident due to negligence, it is essential to know your rights. Our Seattle car accident lawyers can help you evaluate your options and pursue compensation for the losses you have experienced. From investigating an accident to negotiating with insurance companies, we can provide the legal guidance and representation you need to recover from a car accident. Contact our office today for more information about how we can assist with your case.