Car Accident Attorney Serving Spokane, Washington
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that traffic accidents were responsible for almost 43,000 deaths in the U.S. in 2021, marking a more than 10 percent increase from the previous year. In addition, a December 2021 study by the Washington State Traffic Safety Commission revealed that traffic fatalities in Washington have risen to levels not seen in 25 years. If you have been injured in a car accident, it may be beneficial to seek the assistance of a skilled Spokane Car Accident Attorney.
Types of Car Accident Injuries in Spokane
The statistics are alarming. For those who were injured as a result of a car accident, the results are devastating. Injuries that require medical attention may include severe and life-altering catastrophic injuries that often result in the need for multiple procedures and long-term medical care. Car injuries may include:
- Soft tissue injuries: Such injuries can range from bruises to sprains (partially torn ligaments). One of the potentially more serious is whiplash. University of Washington Medicine describes whiplash as “an injury caused by your neck bending forcibly forward and then backward …it often affects the nerves, muscles, disks, nerves and tendons in your neck.” Whiplash may lead to chronic neck pain.
- Broken bones: Commonly sustained broken bones in a car accident collarbone (clavicle) and sternum fractures from lurching forward into the seatbelt or airbag impact; pelvic fractures; and facial bones, including broken noses, cheekbones, and orbital bones (the bony structure around the eye), which may cause disfigurement. Skull (cranial) fractures are among the most dangerous because of the potential for brain damage.
- Burn injuries: A severe burn is among the most painful of all injuries. Skin is the largest organ on the body, responsible for protecting the body from germs and contaminants, while also regulating body temperature. Burns do more than damage the skin, they leave the body open to serious, life-threatening infection.
- Back and neck injuries: Lower back (lumbar) sprains and lumbar spine injuries are common. A National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) study showed that of all enrollees in the study 64.8 percent suffered lumbosacral spine issues from a car accident. In addition to whiplash, cervical facet joint syndrome may develop as a result of trauma to the neck in a car collision.
- Brain injuries: Concussions are another common injury in a car crash. Signs and symptoms may not show up immediately. Danger signs include loss of consciousness, loss of balance or coordination, memory loss, increased anxiety or emotional extremes. Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) occur when an outside force disrupts normal brain function. At it’s most extreme, it can lead to coma and an extended vegetative state, or even death.
- Spinal injuries: In extreme cases, a spinal injury can lead to paralysis: monoplegia, which affects only one limb; hemiplegia, in which one side of the body is paralyze; paraplegia, or paralysis of the lower half of the body; and quadriplegia (or tetraplegia), in which most of the body is paralyzed, including both arms and legs.
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury caused by someone else’s reckless or careless driving, put an experienced Spokane car accident lawyer on your side. You need and deserve compensation for the harm that was done to you, and we know how to hold the negligent party responsible. Before you say one word to the other party’s insurance adjuster, call us at 208-981-0555. Let us do the talking for you. We know how to make sure that your rights are protected, and that you get the justice you deserve.
Our Spokane Serving Car Accident Attorney
The legal counsel you choose can make all the difference in getting maximum compensation. Attorney Jim Bendell started his career by representing the other side. He knows the language, he knows the strategy, he knows how insurance companies think. We utilize this “insider knowledge” to navigate the system by anticipating obstacles, employ the best strategies and tactics, and win.
Mr. Bendell is a master negotiator and will always try to get you the best deal without going to court. If negotiations don’t work in your favor, Jim Bendell is a fierce litigator who isn’t afraid to take your case to trial. And the insurance company knows it.
Proof of negligence in a Spokane car accident
Negligence is the basis of a personal injury claim, including car accident lawsuits. It is how liability is established, and it is the liable party who must be held accountable and against whom a lawsuit is filed. In Washington State, the injured party must prove that:
- You were owed duty of care: Every driver owes every other driver a duty of care on the road. This means that they follow the laws and don’t operate their car in a manner that could cause injury to others.
- The defendant breached that duty of care: Was the other driver speeding? Driving while intoxicated? Was he or she texting while driving? Tailgating? If they breached that duty of care, they likely performed in a manner that a reasonable person would have under the same circumstances and were therefore negligent.
- The breach of duty cause the accident: “Causation” simply means that the defendant’s negligence caused the injury.
- Lastly, the plaintiff suffered real harm: “Damages” can include both economic and non-economic harm, such as physical pain, emotional suffering, medical bills, and lost wages.
Getting compensation after a car accident
Fighting to get full and fair compensation for a car accident injury means going up against insurance companies and the adjusters, lawyers and others who work for them. It’s their goal to find every way to pay the lowest possible settlement and help their company keep the profits. It’s our goal to make sure they don’t get away with it. That’s the reason you shouldn’t take a first-offer settlement or even talk to the other driver’s insurer without the solid, skilled, and experienced help of the Bendell Law Firm.
Compensation is referred to as “damages,” and this means money for the physical and emotional harm that you have suffered, and even compensation for the loss of your vehicle and loss of wages. In order to pursue a claim, the following requirements must be met:
- The accident was recent
- You and/or a family member(s) were injured
- You have not already settled with the insurance company
- You and/or a family member(s) received medical treatment for your injury(ies)
- You were not found to be at fault for the accident
Spokane personal injury claims
Whether the injury occurred as the result of another party’s negligence in a car accident, a slip and fall, or a dog bite, the lawsuit is for personal injury. Personal injury law (or tort law) is defined as a law “to protect you if you or your property is injured or harmed because of someone else’s failure to act.” In a successful tort action, the one who caused the injury or harm compensates the one who suffered the losses.” In most cases, failure to act means negligence.
Types of losses from an accident injury
We pursue damages for both economic and non-economic losses to maximize your compensation. Economic losses are for out-of-pocket expenses, such as:
- Medical bills
- Loss of wages; both current and future
- Loss of property
- Domestic services
- In the case of wrongful death of a loved one, funeral expenses
Non-economic losses are not tangible but are nonetheless very real to the person who was harmed. They may include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Disability or disfigurement caused by the accident injury
- Loss of consortium
- Child’s/children’s loss of parental care and guidance
Comparative negligence in a Washington car accident lawsuit
Because Washington is a comparative negligence state, contributory fault may apply. There may be no doubt that the car that hit you while weaving in and out of traffic is liable, but if you were speeding, you may also share in the fault. The court may decide that the driver who was swerving through lanes was reckless, aggressive, and had 90 percent of the liability. But the fact you were speeding may make you 10 percent at fault.
Comparative negligence doesn’t mean you can’t receive financial compensation, but the other party does need to be more at fault than you are.
Speak with a knowledgeable Spokane serving car accident lawyer today
If you have been injured in a car accident, contact Bendell Law Firm as soon as possible for a free consultation. To schedule a time to discuss your case and your needs, call us at (208) 981-0555 or complete and return our free injury claim valuation form.