Vancouver Car Accident Lawyers
If you were injured in a car accident that was caused by another driver, you may be eligible to recover financial compensation for the cost of medical treatment, lost wages, property damage and more. Washington State provides accident victims with the option of pursuing compensation from the at-fault driver's insurance policy or the at-fault driver by filing a personal injury lawsuit in civil court.
Very caring and hard working and knows what they are doing.
- Client of Rizk Law
The auto accident attorneys at Rizk Law have helped many car accident victims and recovered significant amounts of compensation on behalf of our clients including a $695,000 recovery for a PDX shuttle driver that was struck by an SUV and a $460,000 recovery for a client that was involved in a collision with two other vehicles.
Previously, our founder Richard Rizk was a defense lawyer for national insurers and as such, has highly-detailed knowledge of how insurance companies handle auto accident claims.
Our firm also has a 10.0 superb Avvo rating, there are no upfront fees if you hire us and it's free to talk to a lawyer at our firm to help determine if you have a case.
How a Lawyer Can Help After a Crash
Auto accident victims that have legal representation recover more financial compensation compared to those that do not hire an attorney. A licensed attorney can help to explain the legal options that may be available for your specific incident, while also providing guidance through the legal process.
Car accident victims that hire a lawyer recover more financial compensation compared to those that have no legal representation.
When accident victims are recovering from injuries and trying to arrange transportation and other, related issues due to their vehicle being damaged, a representative from the at-fault driver's insurance company will likely reach out to the victim. Their goal is to close the claim for the lowest financial amount possible and they may attempt to offer a settlement amount in order to accomplish that.
While every case is different, it is very important to understand that many cases are worth significantly more than the settlement amount that is offered by the insurance company. Insurance companies have many years of experience handling these situations and years of data to help them during the post-accident process.
Talking to a lawyer BEFORE any documentation is signed can help to level the playing field and ensure that your rights as an accident victim are protected.
Need Help? Free Consultation. Ph: 503.245.5677
Recovering Compensation in Washington
Like most states, Washington follows a fault system for assigning financial responsibility after a car crash. This means the driver who is at fault is financially responsible. Victims of the accident have three options for pursuing compensation for their damages:
- Filing an insurance claim with the at-fault driver's insurance company
- Filing an insurance claim with their own insurance company, which will likely pursue compensation from the at-fault driver's insurance policy
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver, which allows the victim to pursue additional damages not available in an insurance claim
Despite the fact that filing a lawsuit is an option, most car accident cases are resolved by filing an insurance claim and negotiating for fair compensation.
Insurance Coverage Minimums
In Washington State, all drivers are required to have self-insurance, certificate of deposit, liability bond, or car insurance with the following minimum amounts of coverage:
- $25,000 for the injury or death of one person in one accident
- $50,000 for the bodily injury or death of two people in one crash
- $10,000 to cover injury or destruction of others' property in one accident
The first two coverages pay for medical expenses while the third covers damage to the other driver's vehicle from the accident. This coverage applies to the policyholder and family members listed in the policy.
If you are injured in an accident where another driver is at fault, you could be entitled to compensation from these coverages. While the amounts listed above are the minimums required by law, the at-fault driver in your accident may have higher limits. In either case, our Vancouver car accident lawyers will pursue fair compensation for your damages, up to the limits of the other driver's policy.
However, there are other forms of car insurance coverage that could provide you with compensation after an accident, such as these coverages in your own insurance policy:
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage – This provides compensation to the policy holder if he or she is involved in an accident with a driver who lacks insurance or does not have enough coverage to pay for your damages. This is often the coverage your attorney will attempt to draw from after a hit-and-run accident.
- Personal injury protection – You are not required to purchase this coverage, but insurance companies are required to offer it to you. This pays for the treatment of injuries to the driver and others in the car, no matter who is at fault for the crash.
- Collision insurance – This provides compensation for damage to your vehicle from a collision with another car or object. If you are leasing or financing your car, you may be required to purchase this type of coverage.
Our Vancouver car accident attorneys can review your options for obtaining insurance compensation in a free legal consultation. We can represent you throughout the claims process, advocating for your best interests and negotiating for fair compensation. We are not intimidated by this process and we are prepared for a tough negotiation if that is what it takes to recover fair compensation on your behalf.
Call Rizk Law. Ph: 503.245.5677.
How We Can Help Build a Case
After a crash, there are some steps that a lawyer can take to help begin building a case. For example, accident victims may be instructed to begin medical treatment as soon as possible. This is important first and foremost for your safety.
However, quick treatment helps to link the injuries to the accident. If you were injured in an accident and receive treatment at the hospital an hour later, it is tougher for insurance companies to prove the injuries were caused by something else. You can be sure insurance companies will try this defense and others to avoid paying you fair compensation.
Another step you can take while still at the scene is to get out your smartphone and take a lot of pictures. If you are too injured to do this and someone else is with you, ask him or her to do this. Take pictures of the entire scene, damage to the vehicles, other property damage, your visible injuries, street signs, and anything else you think might be relevant.
Once you leave the scene, things are likely to be swept aside and cleaned up. This may be your only chance to photograph the scene as it looked right after the accident.
Another step you can take is to talk to witnesses present at the time of your accident. Ask them what they remember about the crash and the moments leading up to it. Their insights can be invaluable. Ask witnesses for their phone numbers or other contact information so you can contact them again if you have more questions. Provide this information to your attorney as well, so he or she can ask them what happened.
Report the Accident
If a police officer comes to the scene, answer his or her questions about the accident. The officer will use your responses and the responses of the other driver to complete a report about the crash. This serves as an official record of the accident, which will be a crucial piece of evidence as we pursue compensation.
If an officer does not come to the scene, you may be required under state law to file a collision report. State law says you must file a report if there was $1,000 in damage to a vehicle or injury to any person.
For more information on what to do after an accident, schedule a free legal consultation with a Vancouver car accident attorney. Call 503.245.5677.
Filing a Car Insurance Claim
It is best to file an insurance claim right away after an accident. This helps to ensure you do not miss any deadlines the insurance company or your policy has for pursuing compensation.
Even though your attorney can deal with the insurance company on your behalf, you can get the process started by contacting the insurance company and explaining that you were injured in a car accident and are receiving medical treatment. You can explain the date and location of the crash and provide your name and contact information. That is all that is really needed to start the claims process.
Be careful revealing too much information about the accident or your injuries. You should stick to the basic facts. The insurance company can learn more through its investigation into your medical records and the crash itself. If you start trying to determine how much pain you are in or the severity of your injuries, the insurance company will try to use this against you to deny or devalue your claim.
Another thing to watch for is if the insurance company asks you to give a recorded statement about the accident or sign something right away. There is usually no need for this - signing something too soon could unfairly limit the value of your claim. You can discuss these kinds of requests with one of our Vancouver car accident lawyers. He or she can help determine what the best option might be in this situation.
After filing the claim, you can choose to be represented from that point forward by one of our car accident lawyers in Vancouver.
It is important to understand your rights throughout the insurance claims process. For example, you have the right to expect:
- Prompt payment of a claim approved by the insurance company
- Prompt response if you have questions
- Clear details on how you will be paid
- Prompt and clear explanation of the decision on your claim
Usually you have the choice of repair shops to use to fix your car, although you should check with the insurance policy and also ask your Vancouver car accident lawyer.
You can demand that the repair shop use original equipment manufacturer parts to fix your vehicle, but you may be financially responsible for the difference between the cost of these parts and aftermarket parts.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Sometimes insurance companies do not offer fair compensation for a car accident victim. There are many reasons for this, but victims are probably more concerned with how they are going to recover the compensation they need for their damages.
Our Vancouver personal injury lawyers can discuss filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. We understand the thought of a lawsuit brings with it a lot of stress and anxiety for accident victims. However, you can rest assured that our attorneys can manage every stage of the legal process for you. We will explain the process, what you need to know, and what you should do to help us build a strong case.
Another advantage to working with experienced car accident attorneys in Vancouver is that we will keep an eye on the statute of limitations to be sure we have enough time to file a lawsuit. This law says personal injury lawsuits must be filed within three years of the injury. Failure to file a lawsuit within that period of time means your right to a file this kind of lawsuit is gone.
We understand that insurance claims are not always successful, so we will work to make sure a lawsuit can be filed in time while we are pursuing insurance compensation, which could take several months.
One of the advantages of a personal injury lawsuit as opposed to an insurance claim is that you are limited by the limits of the coverage in the insurance policy. Washington state places no limits on the economic and non-economic compensation you can recover in a personal injury lawsuit.
Another advantage to a personal injury lawsuit is that there are more forms of compensation available. You can pursue compensation for medical expenses and lost wages, just like an insurance claim, but you may also be entitled to compensation for the following:
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium (damage to your familial relationships due to your injuries)
- Damage to your reputation
These damages can be worth just as much, if not more than your medical expenses. However, it is difficult to establish the value of these damages. We may need you to keep a daily journal documenting these non-economic damages. We may also need testimony from family members and friends about how your car accident injuries have affected various aspects of your life.
Contact Rizk Law right now for a free legal consultation.
Types of Auto Accidents that May Result in Injury Claims
The Vancouver car accident lawyers at our firm are prepared to handle many different types of car accident claims, including those involving the following types of accidents:
If another driver was negligent, we may be able to pursue fair compensation for your injuries, which may include:
- Knee injuries
- Puncture wounds
- Internal bleeding
Some accidents involve other types of vehicles besides traditional passenger vehicles, such as motorcycles or commercial trucks. If you were involved in one of these accidents, contact our attorneys who handle these types of cases, such as our Vancouver truck accident lawyers or Vancouver motorcycle accident lawyers.
Schedule your free legal consultation today to find out how we may be able to help you after a car accident.
Dangerous Intersections in Vancouver
Unfortunately, Washington is seeing a rise in car accidents. There has also been an uptick in accidents in Vancouver in recent years – there were approximately 1,400 in 2016. There are some intersections in Vancouver that are more accident prone than others. These intersections include:
- Mill Plain Blvd. and 98th Avenue – There are a lot of buildings near the intersection, which makes it more difficult for drivers to see. A lot of drivers also run red lights, increasing the risk for accidents.
- Mill Plain Blvd. and Chkalov Dr. – This intersection is right off of the I-205 exit ramp and is one of the most frequently used intersections in the county.
- NE Hazel Dell Avenue and Main Street & 1-5 – Many of the accidents that occur at this intersection may be caused by the curve that blocks visibility on the right.
- Reserve and Evergreen – Drivers claim that the stop sign at the bottom of the hill is too easy to miss. The intersection is not as congested as the ones above, but it has witnessed a fair share of car accidents over the years.
Many drivers find it difficult to navigate through these intersections. If you have been in a car accident, our Vancouver car accident attorneys at Rizk Law can guide you through your legal options.
Schedule your free consultation today.
Contact a Vancouver Car Accident Lawyer as Soon as Possible
Do you know how much your car accident claim is worth?
Our Vancouver car accident attorneys can carefully investigate the crash and determine a fair valuation. Our goal is to determine the precise value of your damages because we understand how important compensation can be after an accident.
You can learn more about the benefits of working with our attorneys and what we can do for you by scheduling a free legal consultation. There is no obligation on you, you only work with us if you decide to do so. Our firm also takes cases on contingency, this means there is no fee unless our clients are compensated.
Call Rizk Law right now to find out how we may be able to help you. 503.245.5677.