Experiencing a serious car accident on a busy Spokane road can leave you in shock and, in some cases, in a lot of pain. Once you’ve received important medical care and been able to calm down, you may stop to wonder who will be held responsible for what happened. That usually leads to the question of who will be held liable for all of the consequences of a major wreck.
When the question of Spokane car accident liability is raised, you can count on some protections under Washington law, but you are also vulnerable. You should also speak to a Spokane Car Accident Lawyer when you feel you’ve been unfairly blamed for a crash because this unfair tactic can also serve to limit the support you and your family receive as you heal.
Collision Reports and Car Accident Liability
When a Spokane Police Officer or a member of the Washington State Patrol responds to your scene, they’ll be creating a collision report based on the observable facts on the scene. This will include witness testimony and what each driver says happened. This should be a powerful document proving your innocence, but that’s not always the case.
Unfortunately, police reports aren’t considered admissible evidence in court. However, most car accident cases are settled before there’s any need for a trial. In an insurance claim negotiation, collision reports often serve as powerful evidence.
On the scene of your accident, you should give the investigating officer the details of everything you saw leading up to the accident. Help them get an accurate view of what happened. The details included will go a long way in forcing the at-fault driver’s insurance company to accept liability.
Your car accident attorney will likely be securing a copy of the accident report for your case. If you want to know more about securing the collision report from a Washington accident, check out our informational page here.
Comparative Negligence in Spokane Car Accidents
Washington follows the concept of “comparative negligence” when it comes to traffic accidents. It means that drivers involved in accidents can share the liability in a crash. One driver may be found to have made an illegal turn. The motorist that hits that driver may be found to have been going way too fast at the time. They can both be assigned blame and have to pay something in compensation.
The following is a simple example of how liability might be assigned in a Spokane car accident. The first driver could be assigned 75% of the responsibility for the reckless turn. The second driver might be assigned 25% of the liability for speeding. If the second driver was injured, the driver could file a claim and seek recovery compensation. However, the amount awarded would be reduced by 25% due to the driver’s assigned level of fault.
There’s no set formula for how much blame drivers in accidents receive. That’s why it’s important to have a Spokane Car Accident Lawyer arguing for your side. It’s sometimes necessary to fight back when you are unfairly assigned a percentage of blame for what happened or when you are asked to accept all of the blame. Your lawyer would fight to keep your percentage of liability as low as possible or show strong evidence that you weren’t to blame at all.
Liability in Spokane Multi-Car Accidents
Comparative negligence can also mean that in a big pile-up accident on I-90, there may be several drivers to hold liable in a crash. Several drivers may have made mistakes that led to you getting hurt in a collision. Your lawyer would investigate to make sure insurance providers for every at-fault driver were named in your injury claim.
When multiple car insurance providers are liable, it’s more likely that injured victims will receive full compensation for their recovery costs. Some drivers carry inadequate insurance that has low limits on the compensation it will provide to victims. When multiple auto insurers are involved, it’s more likely that a lawyer can earn what’s fair for the victim and the victim’s family.
Liability in Car Accidents Involving Truck Drivers
Big rigs and delivery vans can be found on any Spokane road at any time of day. When these drivers cause accidents with their big, heavy vehicles, the injuries are often that much more severe.
When a driver who is an employee of a company gets careless and causes an accident, a lawyer is often able to file a claim against the truck driver and the truck driver’s employer as well. It’s another case of victims having access to potentially more support through multiple insurance policies. Commercial insurance policies often carry much higher limits that allow victims to secure much more in compensation.
Car Insurance Company’s Role in Spokane Car Accident Liability
The car insurance adjuster assigned to your case wasn’t at the scene of your accident, but they often act as if they were. They will try to shift the blame in a car accident to you, even when a police accident report says differently. They attempt this in order to reduce the amount of support they must give you in a settlement check. They may also get away with providing your family with no compensation at all.
Auto insurers might dig up your past driving record. They may point to other accidents you’ve had or traffic tickets as proof you are a reckless driver. These are weak arguments, but without a Spokane car accident lawyer protecting your rights, you could be tricked into accepting some or all of the liability.
A Spokane Car Accident Lawyer’s Role in Determining Liability
As we’ve seen, the fault in an accident doesn’t always hinge on the facts of what happened. Insurance companies will fight hard to try to get the blame off of their policyholder so they don’t have to pay compensation.
A skilled traffic accident lawyer recognizes these tactics and fights back to make sure you aren’t unfairly blamed for what happened. Your lawyer collects evidence and witness testimony to build a strong case for you. This case, backed with proof, makes it much harder for car insurance providers to change the narrative and wriggle out of taking accountability. They should be held liable for all property damage and injury costs.
Insurance companies also like to wait to make a settlement offer until you’ve already received a lot of hospital bills and are getting desperate. They hope you’ll accept any “lowball” car accident settlement offer they throw your way. Your lawyer would recognize a settlement that doesn’t fully cover your hardships. Your attorney would send this offer back and demand more.
Contact a Spokane Car Accident Lawyer With Questions About Liability
If you or a loved one are the victims of a serious car accident you should speak with an experienced Spokane Car Accident Attorney at CCD Law. This is especially important if you are being unfairly blamed for an accident or if there may have been several at-fault parties involved in your collision. Insurance companies can unfairly question the fault in your crash and leave you without a dime in recovery support.
Contact us after any accident resulting in a serious injury for a free, confidential consultation. We offer this free case review to all car accident victims in eastern Washington and Northern Idaho. There is no obligation, but if you decide we can help you get the most from your car injury claim, you won’t need any money now. We don’t get paid unless we win your case, and then our fee comes out of any settlement you receive.