Seattle Law Firms
Motor vehicle accidents claimed over 450 lives, in Washington, in 2011. Those who survive often live with permanent, life-altering injuries. If someone else caused your accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost income, damage to your vehicle, pain and suffering and more. Too many motor vehicle accident victims simply accept whatever the insurance company offers, which is almost always far less than they need and deserve, if it offers anything at all.
Causes of Motor Vehicle Accidents and Injuries
When you are trying to recover from injuries or taking care of an injured loved one, the underlying causes of you accident may be the farthest thing from your mind. However, determining the cause of the accident and factors which may have caused or exacerbated injuries play a big role in your ability to recover compensation. Motor vehicle accident attorneys conduct thorough investigations and often work with accident reconstruction experts to determine and prove these factors so that the appropriate parties can be held financially responsible.
Common causes of motor vehicle accidents include:
- Distracted drivers
- Excessive speed
- Failure to observe stop signs and traffic signals
- Driver who violate the right-of-way of other drivers and pedestrians
- Inexperienced and undertrained drivers
- Intoxication and other forms of impairment, including fatigue
- Defective vehicles and parts
- Defective roadways
If You Were Partly To Blame for Your Accident
First of all, you should never admit fault at the scene of the accident, to insurance company representatives, or to anyone else after a motor vehicle accident. If you think you may have been at fault or partly to blame, your auto accident attorney can help. In many cases a thorough investigation of a motor vehicle accident will reveal factors you were not aware of at the time.
If you were partly to blame for your accident, you may still be able to recover compensation for your injuries. Washington is a pure comparative negligence state. That mean you are allowed to collect compensation for your injuries if you are partly to blame, even if you were 99% at fault. Your compensation is reduced by your percentage of fault, so if your damages are $100,000 and you were 65% to blame, your compensation would only be $35,000.
In some states, if you were not wearing a seat belt it can be used against you in a motor vehicle accident lawsuit. In Washington, seat belt use or non-use cannot be used as evidence in your case, so failure to wear a seat belt cannot be used against you and will not reduce or bar compensation.