Yes. When the fault isn’t immediately clear, a car insurance company could quickly try to pin the blame on you. If you don’t fight back, an insurance company may get away with providing zero support for your recovery.
A Spokane car accident lawyer is your defense against this unfair treatment. CCD Law of Spokane protects victims when they are wrongly accused of causing a crash. We offer all traffic accident victims a free consultation to find out what their case is worth and how to make sure a car insurance company can’t shift the blame. Contact us to schedule a free, no-obligation case review.
What Happens When an Officer Doesn’t Assign Blame in an Accident?
After a Washington traffic accident, an at-fault driver is legally responsible for the car damage that’s caused, the injuries that result, and other damages. An accident report written up by the Washington State Patrol (WSP) or a police officer with a local police unit, such as the Spokane Police Department, is proof of who the officer thinks caused the accident.
However, in some cases, an officer won’t ticket any driver. The officer, who didn’t witness what happened, may not have the evidence to really pin the blame on one driver. In some cases, two drivers may tell two conflicting stories. Without the help of impartial witnesses, the fault in an accident may be difficult to determine. As a result, at-fault drivers may get away without paying for the consequences of their reckless actions.
Why Insurance Companies Like to Shift the Blame After a Car Accident
In these cases, it’s left to the car insurance companies for the drivers involved to sort out who should accept the blame. This allows car insurance companies to make up any story they want about what happened. They do this to avoid having to pay out support to cover expensive car repairs or even more expensive hospital bills.
The higher the bills get, the harder an insurance company will fight to get innocent drivers to accept liability. This allows insurance companies to get away with providing no support at all, or providing reduced support, and sticking you with a huge percentage of recovery costs.
A Spokane Car Accident Attorney also helps determine how accident liability is handled. Your attorney is your shield against any attempts to alter what really happened. Skilled lawyers collect evidence to back up your account of what happened. They counter a false claim by an insurance company. They also begin aggressively negotiating on your behalf.
When insurance companies refuse to admit to blame for their policyholder and provide fair support, your lawyer represents the strong threat of a lawsuit. A car insurance company that continues to blame the wrong person would have to face a judge and jury and defend its unfair practices. This threat of a trial is usually enough to convince insurance providers to accept liability and to provide a fair settlement check. Insurance companies hate to spend money defending themselves in court.
Comparative Negligence in Washington State Accidents
Your car accident lawyer is also of great benefit to your case in accidents where two or more drivers actually do share the blame for a collision. In Washington State, the blame can be spread between several drivers and insurers with each party having to accept a certain percentage of the blame.
This concept is known as “comparative negligence.” It means that your attorney and the other car insurance companies involved would negotiate on who would accept a certain percentage of the blame. One driver may have to accept 75% of the fault in an accident for pulling out in front of traffic. The other motorist involved may have been speeding and would be assigned 25% of the blame.
A skilled Spokane car accident lawyer also proves beneficial in these cases, because car insurance companies for the driver who bears the most blame will naturally try to assign as high a percentage of fault as possible to the other drivers. Your lawyer will fight back and work to keep your percentage as low as possible.
What’s more, if you actually don’t bear any blame for what happened, your lawyer will reject attempts to stick you with any percentage of the blame. Your representative fights until your percentage of fault is zero, where it belongs.
You can seek injury support even if you were partly to blame for your crash, but your settlement check would be reduced by your percentage of the blame.
Compensation for Victims After a Spokane Car Accident
Car accident victims often don’t realize the many different factors that can earn support after a crash. Receiving compensation to pay all medical bills and car repair costs is just the start.
There’s also support available for the mental anguish victims face in a long recovery from injury. Even when a victim must accept some percentage of blame in an accident, earning some money towards your recovery costs can be the difference between paying your medical bills or going into bankruptcy.
Your Spokane car accident attorney will make sure every hardship you and your family face in the aftermath of an accident is listed in your injury claim. Your attorney then fights to get support for every damage.
An injury claim can help you earn an award for many, if not all of these factors:
- Hospital and recovery expenses now and in the future.
- Travel expenses for each trip you make to see doctors and out-of-town specialists.
- Past and future lost earnings.
- Compensation for a lifestyle change due to a permanent physical disability.
- Physical pain and suffering.
- Emotional distress, such as depression and anxiety.
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
- Replacement or repair of your vehicle.
Contact a Spokane Car Accident Lawyer
In Washington, car accident victims have up to three years to seek compensation for an injury. But victims shouldn’t wait years to determine if they have a strong case or not. If you suffer a serious injury or if you are being unfairly blamed for a crash, talk to an experienced Spokane Car Accident Lawyer. It’s a free meeting to go over what your case is really worth before insurance adjusters try to convince you it’s worth nothing at all.
Contact the Lawyers at CCD Law of Spokane for a consultation on the details of your case. It comes at no cost to you. This is a confidential, no-obligation meeting with a real lawyer about what you should be demanding from a car insurance company.