Our Seattle car accident lawyers help victims of car crashes to recover fair compensation for their injuries. It is essential to understand how common auto accident injuries are and what to do if you have been involved in one. Here’s a look at these aspects of a car crash within the context of the city of Seattle.
Seattle Car Accident Statistics
Car accidents across Seattle have declined very slightly from 2009 to 2018. In 2018, a total of 10,249 auto accidents were reported to the authorities across Seattle. It is estimated that another 1,936 self-reported collisions also took place. The rate of collision in 2018 was 63.4%, with the average daily traffic estimated at 544,722.
The collisions that happened across the city in 2018 resulted in a total of 191 severe or fatal injuries. These include 14 fatalities caused by the collisions.
Top Car Traffic Arterials in Seattle
Typically, higher car traffic arterials are closely related to a higher rate of accidents. This is why it is important to identify and know the top arterials across Seattle city. According to date from Seattle Department of Transportation, the top arterial of the city is the West Seattle Bridge, with a traffic volume of 90,742 on an average weekday. This is followed by the East Marginal Way, which has a traffic volume of 76,386. Next comes Aurora Ave N, which has a weekly average volume of 66,854.
The Montlake Bridge, Elliott Ave W, Mercer St, Ballard Bridge Count Station, 1st Ave S, Lake City Way, and the 4th Ave S are also included among the top 10 arterials of the city.
When it comes to motor vehicle speeds, the 4th Avenue S tops the Seattle list. This applies to both the northbound and southbound lanes of the road. This is followed by the southeast-bound SW Admiral Way, 16th Avenue S, and Aurora Avenue N. Despite the speed limit on these Seattle roads set at not above 35%, more than 40% of the drivers on these roads typically drive at or above 85 mph.
Auto Insurance Laws in Washington
When filing a car accident claim, it is important to understand the state laws that apply. In particular, auto insurance laws are an essential consideration in all types of auto accidents. These laws can vary from state to state in terms of the minimum amount of auto insurance you must carry. In Washington State, all drivers are required by law to carry auto insurance. This is to ensure that any parties that are injured in a car accident are covered.
When driving in Seattle, you must meet the following auto insurance requirements stipulated by the state:
- If a single person is injured, $25,000 per person
- If more than one persons are injured, $50,000 per person
- $1,000 per accident if any property damage is involved
You have another option if you don’t want to follow the state-defined minimum requirement. You can deposit $60,000 with the State Treasurer, get a $60,000 insurance certificate, or get a liability bond.
Is Washington a No-Fault State?
Washington is not a no-fault state.
A no-fault state is where each driver’s auto insurance pays for their injuries and damages in the event of an auto accident. This has the benefit of speeding up the claims process and eliminating the need to go to court. However, this also means that even drivers who are not at fault or have a smaller degree of fault have to receive compensation from their own insurer.
In contrast, Washington State mandates that the at-fault driver should pay for the property damage and injuries caused in an accident. This means that the negligent driver’s insurance company pays up. If you run into an accident in Seattle and the other driver is found negligent, you will receive compensatory damages from the other driver.
What to Do After a Car Crash in Seattle?
There are a couple of things that are important in the wake of a car crash. These will help you stay on the right side of the law and make sure you don’t lose your right to fair compensation for your injuries and losses.
Call 911: Immediately after a car crash, call 9-1-1. This applies when you are conscious and able to make the call. During the call, make sure you provide the location and other vital details to ensure that help reaches you as soon as possible.
Get Medically Examined: Once the first responders arrive on the scene of the accident, make sure you get primary medical care. You may be tempted to think that you have no injuries. However, many accident victims are in trauma and may not immediately feel pain or discomfort. This is why it is vital to get medical care initially and then undergo a detailed medical examination. If you eventually discover that you have sustained injuries, you have better chances of winning a compensation claim if you underwent a medical examination at the earliest.
Exchange and Record Information: When in a car crash, exchange relevant information with the other drivers involved. This includes insurance information, identification, contact details, and vehicle details. You should also interact with any witnesses who are present on the scene of the accident and record their contact details.
Provide a Statement: When you are involved in a car crash, law enforcement agencies will ask you to provide a formal statement about the incident. At this point, it is best to simply record the facts of the case, such as the manner of the incident and your own injuries or losses.
Get Legal Help: If an accident in Seattle involves significant property loss or physical injuries, you can expect to undergo a long and protracted process of giving statements, dealing with insurers, and fighting for your claim. All of this is made more accessible by hiring qualified Seattle car accident lawyers. A reasonable attorney can help you with all aspects of the claims process.
Damages Covered By a Car Accident Claim
Typically, car accident claims cover both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages refer to losses that are tangible and can be calculated. These include damage to your vehicle or any other form of property as well as the medical costs, including doctor’s fees, expenses of traveling to and from a hospital, and prescription medicines. It also covers therapy and rehabilitation costs and any other expenses associated with the short-term or long-term treatment of your injuries.
Non-economic costs refer to the intangible losses of a car accident such as physical pain, mental anguish, loss of companionship, and PTSD. For non-economic damages, the Washington State calculates the maximum possible amount by multiplying the average annual wage of the injured person with the life expectancy, calculated not less than 15 years. However, if the negligent party was a minor who caused your injury in a crash, the state stipulates that you only receive $5,000 from the parents of the minor.
Both economic and non-economic damages help you deal with the financial, physical, mental, and emotional fallout caused by a car crash.
Why Hire Seattle Car Accident Lawyers?
If you have been injured in a car crash in Seattle, our Seattle car accident lawyers can help you recover fair compensation. We have been working with auto accident victims in Seattle for a long time. Our qualified attorneys help you gather the relevant evidence, speed up the claims process, and negotiate confidently with the insurer and the other parties. With our legal help, you can be sure that you don’t agree to an offer that is too low or too unfair to the losses you have suffered. Contact us today for a FREE consultation with our attorneys.