Traffic mishaps happen often in Washington. If you were hurt in a car collision in Tacoma, you must preserve and protect the right to seek compensation from the driver or party liable for the accident. Washington is a fault state for auto accidents. Anyone who is accountable for an on-road mishap is also responsible for injuries caused to passengers, other drivers, and pedestrians. Among other things, you must make the most of the situation and should seek legal consultation from an experienced injury lawyer. Here are some essential details to know.
Washington follows the pure comparative negligence norm
The comparative negligence rule is used when more than one party is liable for a car accident. In Washington, the rule allows you to file a lawsuit against the other defendant, even if you are more to blame. Your fault percentage will determine what you get from the settlement given to you after you win. For instance, if you are 40% at fault and get $100,000 in compensation, your final settlement would be $60,000. In that context, the state laws are claimant-friendly and comparable to some other states, including California.
There is a time cap
Washington’s statute of limitations sets the time limit to file a personal injury lawsuit, which also extends to car accident cases. You have three years to file the civil lawsuit against the other party, although this deadline doesn’t extend to the insurance claim. You must initiate the insurance claims process within a short time, and only when the settlement offer is unacceptable, or there are other issues, you can file a direct lawsuit.
You should take steps after the crash
Here are the steps to follow after a car accident –
- Inform the local police and remain at the scene. If there was no police report filed, complete a Motor Vehicle Collision Report.
- Call 911 if someone (or you) needs emergency medical care. Do not ignore your injuries, even if you have bearable pain.
- Inform the insurance companies. Keep the conversation short and to the point.
- Call a car accident lawyer. Find a local lawyer based in Tacoma so that you can use their experience and connections.
- Don’t give a statement to the insurance company. Allow the attorney to negotiate the deal for you.
Don’t be averse to the idea of filing a lawsuit. Your attorney will guide you all through the process and take care of the paperwork and everything else.