Kirkland, 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 Kirkland, 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 Kirkland, WA, car accident lawyers at Strong Law at 206-741-1053 for a free case evaluation and assistance in dealing with insurers.
Protect Your Rights with the Help of Our Kirkland, 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 Kirkland, 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 Kirkland, 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 Kirkland, 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 Kirkland 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 Kirkland 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.
What Kind of Car Accidents Can Cause Injuries?
Any car accident in Kirkland, WA, could cause injuries to those involved. The extent of those injuries depends on how a vehicle hits you, the speed at which the vehicles collide, your health at the time of the vehicle accident, and several other factors.
Types of car accident injuries include:
- Multi-vehicle accidents.
- T-bone accidents. A T-bone is when another vehicle rams into the side of your car while it is heading straight at you.
- Sideswipe accidents. These happen when two vehicles contact each other on the side. They may occur when both vehicles are traveling in the same direction, and one merges into the other. However, a vehicle coming toward you could sideswipe you as it passes you.
- Head-on wrecks. Generally, these wrecks happen when someone in the other lane crosses into your lane while approaching you from the front. Head-on accidents often cause catastrophic injuries.
- Rear-end crashes. In most cases, someone might rear-end you while you are at a stoplight or stop sign. However, someone who is speeding could ram into the back of you if they tailgate or are following too closely at higher speeds and try to get around you without allowing enough room.
- Rollover accidents. A rollover accident could happen because someone hit you and caused your vehicle to roll over, or it could happen if you hit debris in the road, drive recklessly, or speed excessively.
- Drunk driving accidents.
- Drugged driving accidents.
- Distracted driving accidents.
- Speeding, including excessive speeding, accidents.
- Reckless driving accidents.
- Hit and run accidents.
People who are drunk or drugged behind the wheel are most likely also driving recklessly or with excessive speed. If you notice a driver that doesn’t look as though he or she is driving in a safe manner, hang back or, if you are on a highway, get off at the next exit and take a break for a few minutes. Hopefully, by the time you get back on the highway, the driver will have exited or will be far enough ahead of you so that you have plenty of warning if he or she wrecks.
What to Do After a Car Accident in Kirkland, WA
In many cases, your injuries could prevent you from doing anything after a car accident. However, if you feel that you can move around without causing additional harm to yourself, you should take the following steps after a car wreck:
- Call first responders and check on others involved in the wreck.
- Obtain the other drivers’ contact information, insurance information and registration information.
- Speak to witnesses. First, obtain a good phone number from anyone who witnessed the accident. You can also ask a witness what he or she saw. If you do, be sure to take notes about which witness said what.
- Take photos of the accident scene. Be sure to get pictures from all angles and include any damage to the road, fences, property, poles and other items your vehicle or other vehicles damaged in the wreck.
- Allow the emergency medical technicians to check you over, even if you believe your injuries are minor. Some injuries will not manifest for hours or even a day or two.
- After the police release you from the scene, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Let the medical personnel know that you were in an accident and you want to ensure that you do not have any injuries that have not manifested yet.
- Obtain copies of any medical records that are related to your car accident injuries.
- Obtain a copy of the police report.
- Contact our car accident lawyers in Kirkland, WA.
Injuries You Could Suffer in a Kirkland, 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 Kirkland
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.
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.
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 Kirkland, 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 Kirkland, 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 Kirkland 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 Kirkland 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 Kirkland, 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 206-741-1053 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 Kirkland, 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 Kirkland, WA, car accident attorneys at 206-741-1053 for a free case evaluation as soon as possible.
Why You Need Experienced Car Accident Attorneys in your Corner
If you’ve been in a car accident, you know it can be scary, stressful, and frightening. This is especially true if you’re a victim of a car accident and you don’t know what to do. Fortunately, you don’t have to handle it alone – there are many support services available, including a lawyer.
A personal injury lawyer can help you recover compensation for your losses, including economic damages like lost wages and medical expenses, emotional damages like anxiety and stress, and punitive damages to punish the at-fault party.
If you’re unsure about what to do after a car accident or if your injuries are not serious enough to merit a personal injury claim, consider hiring a personal injury attorney to evaluate your case.
Here are some good reasons why you should hire a car accident lawyer.
The Lawyer Will Evaluate Your Case
Whether it will be worthwhile to file a lawsuit depends on the injuries you sustained in the accident, the extent of your injuries, whether another person was at fault, and the severity of the injuries you sustained. A car accident lawyer can help you decide if a lawsuit is right for you.
A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You Get Compensated
You may be able to receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. A lawyer can help you prepare a claim and negotiate with the at-fault party’s insurance company.
A car accident lawyer can help you with every aspect of your claim, including evaluating your case, filing the paperwork, negotiating with the at-fault party’s insurance company, and holding the parties accountable.
A Good Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You Get Justice
A car accident attorney can help you get justice. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you won’t be able to get the compensation you deserve on your own. A good car accident lawyer can help you find justice and make the other driver pay for their negligence.
The Lawyer Has Experience Handling Car Accident Cases
Every car accident case is unique, and it’s important to hire an attorney who is knowledgeable about the law and your specific situation. A lawyer who handles car accident cases regularly will know the right questions to ask during the investigation stage and what evidence you need to make a successful case.
Our experienced Kirkland, WA, car accident attorneys know how to navigate the court process, including how to build a case, what evidence to present at trial, and how to negotiate with the other side.
You Can Confidently Trust the Lawyer You’ve Hired
When you hire our Kirkland, WA, car accident attorneys, you can be confident that you’ve hired a top-quality professional. There are many personal injury attorneys, but only a few are highly rated with positive reviews from satisfied clients.
A good lawyer is a rare find. That’s why our Kirkland, WA, clients trust us to get the outcomes they desire in their car accident cases.
Your Case Will Be Evaluated by a Professional Lawyer
When you hire a car accident attorney, you are hiring a professional. A good lawyer is not just someone who can write a winning lawsuit but someone who has the experience and expertise to handle a car accident case. A good personal injury attorney will have experience handling car accident cases, including handling different kinds of cases and relevant laws in your state.
A good lawyer will also know how to evaluate your case and determine whether it is worth filing a lawsuit. That’s why you can trust our car accident lawyers in Kirkland, WA, to assist you every step of the way.
Kirkland, 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 Kirkland, 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.
When should I contact a car accident lawyer in Kirkland, WA?
You should contact our Kirkland, WA, car accident lawyers as soon as possible after the accident. Even if you are in the hospital, we can still meet with you for your initial case evaluation. We can visit you in the hospital or conduct a case evaluation over the phone or via video call.
If you are not able to meet with us due to your injuries, a loved one may contact us on your behalf. We will let your loved one know what steps to take.
My accident was not in Kirkland, and the at-fault driver and I live in another city. Do I have to use your Kirkland 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.
Can I continue driving my car?
It is better if you wait until we can investigate your case before you continue driving your vehicle. Once we take pictures and finish that part of the investigation, then you can repair and drive your vehicle.
I need to have my car fixed before my case settles. How do I get it fixed?
We will contact the insurance company on your behalf to get information about repairing your vehicle. Once an investigation has been completed, you can take your car in for repairs. In many cases, insurance companies have separate departments for property damage and personal injury claims. You can discuss getting your vehicle repaired with the property damage department, or you can ask us to obtain the information you need for the repair shop to submit expenses.
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 the driver who hit me was on the job, can I also collect from his or her employer?
If the employer is found to have some fault in the accident, you can also sue the employer’s insurance company. For example, if the investigation finds that the brakes failed on a delivery car and the employer knew that the brakes were malfunctioning but told the driver to drive the car anyway, the employer could share in the responsibility for your damages.
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.
“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.”
Contact Our Team of Kirkland, 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 Kirkland, 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 206-741-1053 for a free case evaluation.