Bellingham, WA, Car Accident Lawyers

When someone hits you with their vehicle, you may suffer injuries like minor cuts and scrapes, or you could suffer catastrophic injuries. The at-fault driver, or their insurance company, should pay for your medical expenses and other damages. Our Bellingham, WA, car accident attorneys can help you protect your rights and get the compensation you deserve.

After an accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance company is usually responsible for paying damages. However, insurance companies will certainly try to avoid paying a claim; and they’re notorious for offering minimal amounts to settle.

If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a car accident, contact one of our Bellingham, WA car accident lawyers at Strong Law at (206) 741-1051 for a free case evaluation and assistance in dealing with insurers.

Protect Your Rights with the Help of Our Bellingham, WA, Car Accident Lawyers

When someone’s negligence injures you or takes the life of a loved one, you have the right to recover monetary damages, typically paid by the at-fault driver’s insurer. The insurance company has limits on what it will pay, based on how much insurance the driver purchased on the policy. In some cases, your damages could exceed that amount. When you need that additional compensation for your injuries and losses, you can sue the at-fault driver or the insurance company to pay more.

In some cases, more than one person could share in the responsibility for your injuries. For example, perhaps you were in an accident with a truck. If the driver of a commercial vehicle hits you, the driver and his or her employer could share in the responsibility. In car accidents involving multiple vehicles, more than one driver could share in the responsibility for the accident. Our car accident lawyers in Bellingham, WA, will investigate your case to determine who shares in the fault. Then, our team will strategize how best to get you the compensation you deserve, whether via settlement negotiations with an insurance company or taking your case to court.

Our Team Gets Results for Our Clients

Find Out Why So Many Clients Trust Strong Law

Our Bellingham, WA, car accident team works hard to get results for our clients. We take the time necessary to investigate your car accident case to the fullest extent. We leave no stone unturned so that we can represent your interests to the best of our ability.

The legal system is complex; and if your car accident case has more than one person at fault, it becomes even more complicated. Count on our experience, our strategic and negotiating skills and our knowledge of the law. We make sure insurance companies and other defendants do not violate your rights. We will make sure that you get all the compensation you deserve.

Learn about how we’ve helped other clients. Some of our results include:

  • A client was rear-ended while sitting at a stoplight. His neck surgery forced him to stay in a rehabilitation center for two months. We recovered $1.1 million for him.
  • A drunk driver crossed the center line, causing a head-on collision with our clients. We recovered $1 million for them.
  • A vehicle hit our client as the client was crossing the street. His injuries required surgery on his knee and shoulder and caused him to be out for work for over a year. We recovered $900,000 for him.
  • Our client was a passenger in the vehicle driven by an acquaintance. Unbeknownst to our client, the acquaintance was drunk. The driver crashed into a tree, causing our client to suffer neck injuries that required surgery. We recovered $875,000 for our client.
  • Three young children were riding in a car that was T-boned while the driver was making a left turn into a parking lot. The three children suffered injuries in the wreck. We recovered $680,000 for the children.

Proving Liability in a Bellingham, WA, Car Accident

Our Experienced Attorneys Know How to Show Who Was At Fault

In some cases, it is obvious who was at fault in a car accident. In other cases, your attorney might have to retain private investigators to determine who was at fault in the car accident. While the police report can point to liability, it is not the only tool a car accident lawyer in Bellingham will use.

To recover damages in a car accident, you must be able to show that the other driver met the four elements to prove liability. Those elements are:

  • The driver – also known as the defendant – had a duty of care not to harm you.
  • The driver violated that duty.
  • The driver’s actions caused your injuries.
  • You suffered damages as a result of those actions.

More than one person could meet these elements – and if they do, they are also responsible for your injuries and other damages.

To help prove who shares in the liability for the damages you can collect, our Bellingham car accident lawyers will investigate the accident scene and use expert witnesses to recreate the accident, when necessary. Our attorneys will also interview first responders, police officers and other witnesses who were at the scene of the accident.

Injuries You Could Suffer in a Bellingham, WA, Car Accident

Some of the injuries suffered in a car accident heal quickly, while others could forever change your life. Injuries you might suffer include:

  • Cuts, scratches, scrapes, bumps and bruises
  • Strains and sprains
  • Soft tissue injuries, including torn muscles and pulled muscles
  • Simple fractures, compound fractures, and crushed bones
  • Face and eye injuries
  • Head, neck and shoulder injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Back and spinal cord injuries
  • Amputation during the accident or after the accident if the doctors cannot save a digit or limb
  • Road rash
  • Thermal and/or chemical burns
  • Psychological issues, especially when an accident is traumatic
  • Wrongful death.

Recoverable Damages After a Car Accident in Bellingham

In Washington, you can recover economic damages and non-economic damages. You cannot recover punitive or exemplary damages for a car accident in Washington State, even if the at-fault driver’s actions or inactions were grossly negligent.

Economic damages and non-economic damages are compensatory damages. The court orders these types of damages in an attempt to make you whole again. While the money does not bring back a loved one, it does reduce financial stress for family members and for the accident victim who might not be able to work again.

Economic Damages

Special damages, usually referred to as economic damages, have a monetary value. They include:

  • Past and future medical expenses. Past medical expenses are those you incurred because of the accident and prior to a trial award or a settlement. Future medical expenses are those you expect to incur after you settle or win a trial award. Medical expenses also include any therapy you might need, such as cognitive and other psychological therapies, occupational therapy and physical therapy.
  • Past and future lost wages. Past lost wages are those you lost from the time of the accident through the time you settle your case or win a trial award. Future lost wages are those you expect to continue losing after a settlement or a trial award. If you are able to work but your disabilities prevent you from making the same hourly rate or salary as prior to the accident, you could recover partial future lost wages.
  • Repair or replacement of damaged or destroyed personal property, such as your vehicle and anything in it, such as a laptop or clothing.
  • Funeral, cremation and/or burial expenses if you lost a loved one in a car accident.

Non-Economic Damages

General damages, usually referred to as non-economic damages, are more difficult to compute in monetary terms. They include:

  • Pain and suffering, including emotional distress, for those who suffered injuries in a car wreck.
  • Loss of quality of life. Some accident injuries cause disabilities that might require medication or the use of ambulatory aids for the rest of your life. You could recover compensation for loss of quality of life if the accident injuries caused such life-changing changes.
  • Loss of companionship. If your car accident injuries caused long-term or permanent disabilities that preclude you from enjoying family events and activities, you could recover extra compensation.
  • Loss of consortium. If the car accident injuries caused a long-term or permanent disability that precludes you from having a physical relationship with your spouse, whether those injuries are physical or emotional, you could recover extra compensation.
  • Loss of use of a body part, such as a hand or a foot.
  • Loss of use of a bodily function, such as bladder control or your eyesight.
  • Amputation. Whether the amputation happened in the accident or after the accident because a doctor could not save a limb or digit, you could recover extra compensation.
  • Excessive scarring or disfigurement, such as that from burns or a spinal cord injury that does not allow you to straighten up.

Why You Should Hire Our Car Accident Lawyers in Bellingham, WA

Depend on Our Winning Record. Count on Our Experience.

Some people might wonder if it’s a good idea to settle the claim themselves, without hiring a lawyer. However, our team at Strong Law Firm knows that those who settle a car accident claim on their own usually leave money on the table. Insurance companies are in business to make money. That means that every time they pay out a claim, it decreases the insurance company’s bottom line.

As a result, insurance companies will look for any reason to deny a claim. In fact, when you contact an insurance company to notify them that you were in a car accident in the Bellingham, WA area, you should not say much at all. Give them only your name, the insured’s information, the date and location of the wreck, and your attorney’s contact information. Don’t say anything more. You can direct them to your Bellingham car accident lawyer if they start asking questions.

The insurance company representative may try to get you to make a statement. They may be pushy. Keep referring them to your attorney for any statements. The insurance company might twist what you say in an attempt to put the blame for the accident on you so that they can deny your claim or offer you a low amount that might not even cover your medical expenses or other damages you might be entitled to.

Since our Bellingham car accident lawyers are familiar with the tactics used by insurance companies, when you hire our team to represent you we will plan for their actions. There is another advantage to working with us, too. The insurance company knows that those who hire car accident lawyers are better able to litigate their case. When car accident claims end up in court, the cost to an insurer is usually higher.

Working with our team of experienced car accident lawyers in Bellingham, WA, you have skilled negotiators by your side who will fight for the settlement you deserve. When a settlement offer is not appropriate, our team will take your case to court. Your chance of getting the compensation you deserve is much higher when you hire the Strong Law Firm team than if you try to handle your claim on your own.

Call us today at (206) 741-1051 to discuss your case so we can get started on our work. Let us handle the fight for compensation so you can focus on healing.

There Is No Fee Unless Our Bellingham, WA, Car Accident Lawyers Win

You might be thinking that it is all well and good that we can obtain these types of results for our clients, but you worry about fees to retain us. This is one concern you don’t need to have.

Your initial case evaluation is free, and you don’t pay our attorney’s fees unless we win your case for you. If we win, we take our attorney’s fees from your settlement or trial award. We understand that you are going to have a hard enough time paying bills while you are out of work due to accident injuries. We have the resources to investigate your case and negotiate for a settlement to cover your injuries and costs or to take your case to court.

To win the compensation you deserve, contact our Bellingham, WA, car accident attorneys at (206) 741-1051 for a free case evaluation as soon as possible.

Bellingham, WA, Car Accident FAQs

  • Is Washington a no-fault state or a tort state?

    Washington is a tort state, which means that the at-fault driver’s insurance pays for your injuries. If you have personal injury protection, which is optional, you might be able to collect from your own insurance policy. Personal injury protection is helpful for some accidents, like when a hit-and-run driver crashes into you.

  • Does Washington have punitive damages for those injured or killed in a car accident?

    No. Washington does not allow you to collect punitive or exemplary damages after a car accident.

  • How long do I have to file a lawsuit?

    If you suffer injuries in a car accident, you have up to three years to file a lawsuit. But we recommend that you contact our Bellingham, WA, car accident lawyers as soon as possible after a crash, since investigations, obtaining medical records and other documents, and negotiating your case take time. The three years will expire sooner than you expect.

  • My accident was not in Bellingham, and the at-fault driver and I live in another city. Do I have to use your Bellingham office?

    No. You can work with our car accident lawyers in our office in Tacoma, WA, or even Portland or Eugene, OR. We also have an office in Salt Lake City, UT. Because of jurisdiction and venue laws, you should visit the office closest to where you or the defendant lives or closest to where the accident took place.

  • The insurance adjuster for the defendant’s insurance company keeps calling me. What should I do?

    Ask the adjuster to contact our office. If you have given the insurance adjuster this information previously, tell the adjuster not to call you again. Additionally, let our office know that the insurance adjuster continues to reach out to you. We will also inform the insurance adjuster that he or she should not contact you.

  • How do I get paid if the person who hit me does not have insurance?

    You can make a claim against your insurance company to recover certain damages. You can also opt to sue the defendant directly. If your insurance company pays damages and you later win a judgment against the defendant, and the defendant pays, you might have to reimburse your insurance company for the damages they paid on your behalf.

  • If I caused an accident because of a defective part on my vehicle that the manufacturer would not recall, can I sue the manufacturer?

    Yes and no. Generally, manufacturers are strictly liable for the injuries their defective products cause. However, if you knew about the defect and did nothing to make your vehicle safer, the manufacturer could use that inaction as a defense.

    Strict liability is a higher standard than negligence. A defective product, like a defective tire or an ignition issue, could seriously injure thousands of people. There are basically two kinds of product defects in Washington law:

    • Design Defect: The 1970s Ford Pinto is an example of a design defect. To make the car lighter and cheaper, designers put the Pinto’s unlined gas tank behind the rear axle. As a result, it was overly prone to rupture and explosion, even in a relatively low speed accident.
    • Manufacturing Defect: 1990s Takata airbags are an example of a manufacturing defect. To cut costs, the manufacturer replaced a stable and expensive chemically propellant with ammonium nitrate, which is unstable and cheap. Ammonium nitrate is basically the same compound Timothy McVeigh used in the Oklahoma City truck bomb.

    The “unforeseeable use” doctrine is basically the only legal defense in a defective product claim. Manufacturers are not liable for damages if individuals misuse a product and that misuse causes injury. The misuse must be extreme, like using racing tires to go off-roading in the Cascades.

  • Is it possible to suffer post-traumatic stress disorder after an accident?

    Absolutely. In fact, it’s also possible to suffer from PTSD-like symptoms, and obtain compensation for them, even if you were not otherwise injured.

    About half of car crash victims suffer from PTSD. Going through a stressful event, like a car wreck or combat firefight, alters brain chemistry. The amygdala (part of the brain that controls emotional responses) enlarges, and the cerebral cortex (logical responses) shrinks. This imbalance causes effects like depression, anger, flashbacks, and other symptoms that make it difficult or impossible to function in everyday life.

    Furthermore, the additional stress parents feel when they see their children injured triggers a special legal doctrine, called the “zone of danger rule.” Therefore, parents in these situations are entitled to compensation for bystander injuries. This compensation could include both the economic and noneconomic damages mentioned above.

  • What if the accident was my fault?

    Tragedies like car crashes often have multiple causes. So, both drivers could well be partially responsible for the wreck. However, there are two important things to remember in this area.

    First, there is a difference between fault and legal responsibility (known as “liability”). An insurance adjuster, who will have the insurance company interests as their focus instead of yours, usually determines fault based solely on the immediately available evidence. If your case goes to trial, a jury or judge determines liability based not only on the evidence at the scene, but also on electronic and other subsequently available evidence.

    Additionally, even if you were partially responsible for the accident, compensation is still available. Washington is a pure comparative fault state. So, even if the victim was 99 percent responsible for the collision, the negligent driver is liable for a proportionate share of damages.

Attorney Jed Strong

Attorney Jed StrongJed Strong is the founder of Strong Law. He knows that accident injuries can be devastating to individuals and families, so he does everything in his power to ensure his clients recover every bit of compensation they deserve. Prior to representing accident victims, Jed worked for GEICO insurance company as one of its in-house attorneys – representing the insurance companies. After learning the inner workings of insurance companies, he quit and began representing accident victims. [ Attorney Bio ]

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    “I hired Strong Law after my car accident. Jed and his team worked hard on my case. They were professional and compassionate through my surgery and as I recovered, and they were awesome on communication. I got justice and awesome compensation. I would recommend Strong Law to anyone in my situation.

    – Rick R.

    “I want to thank Jed and Tory of Strong Law for their outstanding help with my case. The attention to details and keeping me informed at all times made for a positive outcome. Thank you again for your help, determination, and hard work. I would not hesitate to recommend you to anyone in need of an excellent lawyer.

    – Jaretta O.

    “Unbelievable work! I had a claim involving my own insurance company. I tried to negotiate with them, and they completely denied my claim – two times. I then hired Strong Law, and the change was instant. The insurance company immediately began negotiating, and Jed was able to secure an unbelievably good settlement. I will never again attempt to take-on an insurance company without Strong Law in my corner. Thank you!

    – Jonathon S.

    “Absolutely outstanding! I was involved in a motorcycle accident and Jed led the way! Definitely top notch! When it matters, call strong law!

    – Edwin S.

    “While working a wrongful death case of my husband’s, throughout the legal process, Jed pursued every possible resource and angle to ensure that we would receive policy limits despite intense resistance from the representatives of the insurance companies. We are deeply grateful to him for the funds we received and the lasting friendship that grew out of the entire ordeal.

    – Cheryl.

    Contact Our Team of Bellingham, WA, Car Accident Lawyers for a Free Case Evaluation

    Car accident injuries, especially those that cause long-term or permanent disabilities, can significantly change your life – and usually not for the better. While the compensation you deserve does not get rid of your injuries and disabilities, nor does it bring back a loved one who died in a car accident, the money does reduce the financial stress of not being able to work or of missing that second income.

    Our Bellingham, WA, car accident attorneys can help protect your rights after an accident and help you recover the compensation you deserve. If you or a loved one was in a car accident, contact Strong Law at (206) 741-1051 for a free case evaluation.