Common Car Accident Injuries
Car accidents in Seattle can lead to various types and degrees of injuries. At Emerald City Law Group, we handle everything from moderate collisions that cause low-level injuries to serious crashes involving catastrophic injuries. No matter what type of injury you are dealing with, our auto accident personal injury lawyers are here to help.
- Lacerations: Car accidents often result in glass, plastic, and metal flying throughout a vehicle. This shrapnel can cause long, deep, and irregular lacerations that require sutures to close. These cuts can lead to significant scarring.
- Soft Tissue Injuries: Due to the impact of a collision, you may suffer sprains and strains in your muscles, ligaments, and tendons. In extreme cases, you may need surgical intervention to repair torn soft tissue.
- Bone Fractures: Crashes often result in broken bones. Some fractures are simple and heal with time. However, other fractures are more complex and may require surgery and physical therapy for you to recover as much strength and mobility as you had before.
- Head and Brain Injuries: After a car accident, you may be diagnosed with an injury to your skull or brain, including a concussion or a more traumatic brain injury (TBI).
- Neck Injuries: Whiplash and other neck and shoulder injuries are common after rear-end and side-impact accidents.
- Back Injuries: Your torso and back are exposed to significant trauma in an accident. You may be diagnosed with a herniated or slipped disk, fractured vertebrae, or a more serious spinal cord injury. If your spinal cord is partially or fully severed, you will suffer paralysis and many other medical complications.
- Joint Dislocations: A collision can cause a joint to be dislocated. One of the most common is a shoulder dislocation, though this can occur with any joint, including your hip, knee, or ankle.
- Amputations: Serious car accidents can result in traumatic digit or limb amputations. Or, injuries like a crush injury to an arm or leg may cause physicians to have to amputate your limb to save your life.
- Burns: Fires can result from collisions, and you may suffer serious burns during an accident.
When you are hurt in an accident, we are here to help. We will make sure you are receiving appropriate medical care. This allows you to obtain the best recovery possible, but it also ensures that the extent and significance if your injury is properly documented for your insurance claim or potential personal injury lawsuit. We understand that the medical bills can be frightening, but we will work with the medical providers to place these on hold while you pursue a full and fair settlement.
Car Accident Compensation
Following a crash that was caused by another driver, you have the right to pursue compensation for your economic and non-economic damages. You can also think of these as your physical, emotional, and financial damages. However you consider the types of damages, they include:
- Medical costs: Following a collision, we will fight for you to receive compensation for your past, current, and future medical expenses. We may work with medical and economic experts to determine your medical costs down the road. This is particularly important if you suffered a permanent, disfiguring, or disabling injury.
- Lost wages: We will strive for you to receive compensation for all of the wages you lost while recovering from the accident, including compensation for sick days and vacation days you had to take or other employment-related benefits you lost.
- Pain and suffering: You deserve to be compensated for the physical pain and suffering you endured because of the crash and your injuries.
- Emotional distress: Not all of the pain you feel after a car accident is physical. This traumatic event can lead to significant psychological distress. You may suffer from depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, sleep disorders, and other mental health issues.
- Property damage: Your vehicle was likely damaged or totaled, which means the cost of repairs are greater than the value of the car. We will strive for the compensation cover the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle.
- Scarring and disfigurement: If you suffered serious injuries that will leave you with visible scars or other disfigurements, then we will seek compensation for this long-term injury. The more likely the disfigurement is to affect your personal and/or professional life, the more compensation we may demand.
- Disability: If you suffered an injury that left you disabled, we will fight hard for you to receive appropriate compensation for your loss of a normal life.
- Reduced earning capacity: Permanent and disabling injuries may leave you unable to work, or at least unable to earn as much as you would have before the crash. When your potential income is lower after a crash, we will calculate the income you’ll miss out on through your life.
- Punitive damages: All of the other types of damages are compensatory. They are intended to pay you back or make you whole again. However, there is another type of damages called punitive damages. These are meant to punish the at-fault driver for their egregious behavior. You should talk with a Seattle car accident lawyer about punitive damages if you believe the other driver was acting recklessly or malicious at the time of the crash.
If you are a parent of a child car accident victim, call us immediately. It is important to talk with an experienced car accident lawyer when calculating damages for you and your child. As the parent, you bear the brunt of the accident’s economic consequences. You are responsible for your child’s medical expenses, and you likely have lost wages by taking time off work to care for your son or daughter. You need a lawyer who will address your child’s damages, including pain and suffering and possible disfigurements or disabilities, and your damages, including lost income and medical expenses.
Fatal Car Accident Compensation
If you lost a parent, spouse, or child in a fatal car accident, call Emerald City Law Group right away. We are here to help you through a wrongful death claim and to fight for you and your family to receive appropriate compensation. We understand you are going through an extremely painful time. You may not be very interested in an insurance claim or lawsuit. However, you are going to experience the financial repercussions of this death, and you deserve to have your grief recognized by the at-fault party.
Through a wrongful death car accident claim, we will pursue compensation for:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical expenses accumulated prior to death
- Loss of decedent’s income
- Loss of decedent’s employment benefits, like health insurance
- Loss of decedent’s companionship, guidance, and love
- Loss of consortium – the intimate relationship between spouses
- Decedent’s pain and suffering and emotion distress prior to death
How Much Is My Car Accident Claim Worth?
When you begin an insurance claim, it is best to speak with an experienced Seattle car accident attorney about how much your case may be worth. This kind of information is difficult to find online. You may be able to add up some of your economic damages, including medical expenses and lost wages, but you likely are not aware of how to calculate pain and suffering or a disfigurement.
Without this knowledge, you may grossly underestimate the value of your claim, which could lead you to accept a low-ball offer. You also may over-value your claim based on cases you find online, which could lead to a break down in settlement negotiations.
By contacting an attorney, you gain knowledge and insight into the damages relevant to your accident and how to calculate those damages. At Emerald City Law Group, we are aware of several ways to value non-economic damages, and we will utilize the method most applicable to your situation. We also will conduct thorough legal research to see how similar car accidents and injuries were resolved in King County.
When we are confident in the potential value of your claim, we will have an honest discussion with you regarding what your case is worth and what a potential insurance settlement may look like. We also will speak with you regarding potential limits on your compensation, such as the at-fault party’s insurance policy limit.
Washington / King County Car Accident Statistics
In 2015, the most recent year for crash data published by the Washington Department of Transportation, there were 5,576,586 licensed drivers and 117,053 collisions.
Of these crashes, 77,358 caused only property damage while 36,531 collisions caused 49,505 injuries. Of those injuries, 2,096 were categorized as serious. There were 499 fatal collisions, which lead to 551 deaths. If you were to look at the 2015 collision clock, you would see that a crash happened every 4.5 minutes. Someone was injured every 11 minutes, and someone died every 16 hours.
There were 40,962 accidents in King County alone. Of these crashes, 100 were fatal accidents, 490 involved serious injuries, and 12,592 involved minor injuries.
Keep in mind, not all of these accidents were between two or more vehicles. Many involved motorcycles, which resulted in 73 motorcyclist fatalities and 402 motorcyclist serious injuries. There were also pedestrians and cyclists involved, which resulted in 86 pedestrian and 14 cyclist fatalities.
Have an Auto Accident Personal Injury Lawyer Deal With the Insurer
You need to be aware that the insurance company is not your friend. They are not on your side. Insurers are businesses, and their main priority is protecting their bottom line. They want to spend as little as possible, which means they want to pay you as little as possible for your injuries. If an insurer can deny your car accident claim, they will. If an insurer to find reasons to limit the settlement offer, they will.
By hiring a Seattle car accident lawyer, you have someone who is truly on your side. You have someone who makes your needs and your potential settlement their top priority. Your lawyer is here to make sure the insurance company treats you fairly and upholds both Washington law and the insurance policy.
Washington’s Personal Injury Statute of Limitations
If you were hurt in a car accident, it is essential that you begin the claims process as soon as possible. Even if you speak with a lawyer in the days or weeks following the accident, it can still take time to investigate the crash, gather evidence of fault and liability, and determine the full extent of your injuries.
All of these factors and others can cause an insurance claim to take months or longer than a year. If you delayed in beginning the insurance claim, then a lengthy process could come up against the deadline for you to file a personal injury claim, which may be necessary if an insurer denies your claim or negotiations break down.
Washington’s statute of limitations for a personal injury claim is three years. You have up to three years from the date of the crash to file a lawsuit. This may seem like plenty of time, but a lot can happen in the years following the crash to delay filing. Wrongful death claims also must be filed within three years from the date of your relative’s death.
That being said, there are certain reasons why you may have more time to file a lawsuit. If the at-fault party is out of the state or in hiding, you may have until that person returns or their whereabouts become known. Or if you were disabled, incompetent, or a minor, then you have a certain period of time after you turn 18 years old or become legally able to sue to file your case.
Another option that may give you more than three years after the crash to file a lawsuit is known as the discovery rule. If you were unaware that the other party was liable, particularly if the other party took steps to hide their liability, then your statute of limitations begins to run on the date you knew or reasonably should have known that you had a legal claim.
By working with a Seattle car accident attorney right away, you can be confident in the deadline to file a personal injury lawsuit. You also can be confident that your lawyer will file suit prior to the deadline to ensure you retain your right to pursue compensation in court. If the deadline passes, then the court will not hear your claim. You can file and ask the court to handle the suit, but the other party or the court can immediately dismiss the case.
Contact Emerald City Law Group for Help Today
After a car wreck, the best thing you can do for yourself and your family is to hire a skilled Seattle car accident lawyer. We recommend giving us a call at Emerald City Law Group. We have the local knowledge, experience, and insight you need to obtain fair compensation and move forward with your life.
You can reach us at 206-973-0407 or through our online form to schedule your free initial case consultations.