Vancouver Car Accident Lawyer
Over 100,000 vehicle crashes involving Washington drivers occur annually, causing millions of dollars in vehicle damage and medical expenses. While some of these accidents are minor “fender benders”, the costs of repairing even minor vehicle damage can add up. In more serious accidents, where injuries and significant vehicle damage occur, the long-term costs can be enormous. All in all, these monetary losses add up, making it necessary to enlist an experienced Vancouver car accident lawyer to help seek compensation.
At Uptown Injury Law, we are well-versed in crucial liability laws and insurance issues that affect all multi-vehicle accidents. Call us today for a consultation.
We Can Help You Maximize Compensation
Our legal team deals with all aspects of your recovery, from vehicle repair to handling all insurance negotiations. Washington drivers often have coverage required by state law that includes coverage for personal injury protection and uninsured/underinsured motorist benefits. Recovery for your damages may include both your own auto insurance company and the other driver’s insurance. Our attorneys help maximize your compensation from all sources. We also negotiate with your medical providers on your behalf to minimize the expenses you pay if you sustained injury.
How to Recover Medical Treatment Costs
This may be the most important part of any car accident claim. If someone has injured you or a passenger in a car accident, you may have medical coverage under your own car insurance, or car insurance for your household. This insurance coverage is called Personal Injury Protection or “PIP”. You should contact your car insurance right away to find out more about your PIP coverage. Your PIP insurance will be the first responsible to pay for your medical bills up to the amount under your car insurance policy. You may have $10,000.00 to $35,000.00 under your car insurance to help immediately pay for medical bills without copays or deductibles.
Once you have used up or exhausted all of your PIP insurance, you can use your personal health insurance.
However, this may not be enough to make you legally “whole,” meaning you will need to seek damages from the other driver. Even if they received all or most of the blame for the accident, as determined by the police officer(s) at the scene, it is important to know that an at-fault driver or at-fault party insurance company is not responsible for paying your medical bills until you legally pursue an insurance claim against them. Our car accident lawyer can help with this process, and to help recover medical bills.
What You Should Do Right After a Car Accident
Besides the basics, like pulling over to the side of the road and rendering first aid if necessary, there are specific actions you should take right after a car accident to protect yourself. First, write down the other car’s license plate number. That may not seem important, but it can be. In addition:
- Ask the other driver not to leave the scene, with or without their car, until police arrive. However, do not make any efforts to keep them there.
- Prepare your license, registration, insurance, and other important documents for the accident scene investigator.
- If a police officer doesn’t show up soon, call in the accident.
- If the other driver has already left the scene, provide his or her license plate number to the officer. In many cases, it’s illegal for someone involved in an accident to leave the scene until an officer gives the okay.
- Explain the situation to the officer as thoroughly as possible. However:
- Do not admit fault.
- Exchange insurance information with the other driver while the police officer examines the scene.
- Ask the officer for a copy of the police report. You will probably have to wait several business days before you receive it.
- If you receive a traffic ticket for any reason, simply accept the ticket. You can fight it later.
- Do not leave the scene or have your car towed until after the officer says you can.
Seek Medical Treatment Immediately
You may not be able to tell if you have suffered an injury until hours or even days after your accident. At the accident scene, adrenaline, anger, nervousness, and fear for yourself or loved ones may mask your injuries. Tissue and bone injuries are not always obvious just from looking, and you may not feel them until after you have settled down to normal. This is one reason why it’s so important to get the other driver’s license plate and insurance contact information, so you can file a claim later if you need to.
That said, there are certain situations in which you should get medical care immediately, even if you are ambulatory. Ask for an ambulance at the scene if you:
- Are a hemophiliac.
- Have any other illness or syndrome that may worsened by car accident trauma.
- Are bleeding anywhere, especially on the head.
- Suspect or know you have one or more broken bones.
- Have suffered a strain or sprain.
- Feel lightheaded or nauseous (possible signs of a concussion).
- Have suffered whiplash.
- Ache at any location, especially where you struck an object like the dashboard or a seat back, or where your seatbelt or an air bag restrained you.
- Have clouded, obscured, or doubled vision.
- Notice your chest and arm hurt for no obvious reason (possible symptoms of a heart attack).
- Are having what appears to be a panic or anxiety attack, as oftentimes heart attacks have similar symptoms.
Why Do I Need a Vancouver Car Accident Lawyer?
Dealing With Insurance Companies
While not every car crash requires court proceedings, our attorneys have the necessary trial experience to handle complicated automobile accident litigation. It’s not always easy for you, as an individual, to receive the compensation you deserve. The other driver’s insurance company may fight your claim, no matter how legitimate it may be. It’s often standard procedure for those who ensure negligent drivers to aggressively defend claims brought against them.
Insurance companies who insure negligent drivers have substantial assets and often aggressively defend claims brought against them. They typically attempt to settle claims for far less than full value when victims do not have legal representation. They may even try to convince the victims of crashes that they do not need a car accident lawyer.
For example, they may say something like, “Oh, you only have a bruise from the seat belt? Well, why don’t we give you $500 so we don’t have to worry about going to court over that? It would just be a waste of time for everyone.” Don’t let them sell you on arguments like this or guilt you into not making a claim by saying it would just contribute to an “already overwhelmed” legal system. The beauty of the American system of justice is that everyone gets their say.
Making Sure You Receive Medical Treatment and Document Your Injuries
Don’t assume that all you have to do is wait for the police to arrive, get a report, and exchange insurance cards. You may still need a car accident lawyer, because not all the results of a car accident are obvious right away. You may not be aware of some auto damage, like a bent frame, without a visit to a mechanic. Nor may you be aware of some physical injuries, like slow internal bleeding or deep tissue damage, without an emergency room visit. Having a harness, seat belt, or airbag suddenly jerk you to a stop can severely injure you if you have very low or very high levels of body fat, or if you hit the restraint a certain way.
You may find you need a car accident lawyer to represent you if your auto damages or injuries are worse than expected. Don’t waive your right for legal assistance just because you think you’re fine. Make sure you get all the other driver’s insurance information.
Contact Us Today to Speak to an Experienced Vancouver Car Accident Lawyer
Our lawyers have the necessary resources, the experience, and the reputation to aggressively and ethically handle all types of automobile accident cases. Our representation can be the difference between a full recovery, and receiving less than the fair amount for your claim. You will never have to pay an up-front fee, our firm is only paid if we earn a recovery for you. If you’ve been injured in a car wreck, contact our office today for a free consultation. Contact Uptown Injury Law today or call us at (360) 433-9361.