It’s hard to give directions to anywhere in Spokane without referencing Interstate 90. The massive six, seven, and eight-lane roadway cuts through the heart of the city. What’s more, most area highways and streets intersect the interstate at some point.
I-90 combines local traffic with commuters and travelers from Idaho and the rest of Washington each day. The speeds at which motorists choose to travel and their carelessness can make it a hazardous trip at times.
Accidents occur every day and at all hours. Fortunately, many of those collisions only result in fender-benders and only traffic back-ups. But I-90 sees its share of major accidents each week too.
For the motorists involved, it’s important to know what to do in the moments after any sort of crash. It’s also vital that injured victims stay informed of the steps to take in the days that follow to make sure they have a chance to seek financial support for their recoveries.
Accident Dangers on I-90 in Spokane
Drivers who use the 30-mile stretch of I-90 through Spokane County every day have seen other motorists make a lot of careless and reckless moves. They’ve definitely observed them traveling way too fast. They’ve likely noticed motorists making aggressive moves and switching lanes without checking mirrors and blind spots. It’s also common to see drivers slamming the brakes to avoid the stopped traffic they weren’t looking out for.
Periods of ice and snow accumulation are also times when drivers who should slow down and show more caution seem to get more reckless. In fact, the Spokesman-Review found that bad weather, speeding drivers, and motorists following too closely were factors in 84% of the collisions on I-90 in Spokane. The newspaper reports that over a four-year period, 1,333 accidents were recorded on Interstate 90 through Spokane County.
KHQ-TV also studied accident statistics in certain hot spots along I-90. They found that a few interchanges most frequently saw collisions. Researchers documented that I-90 at Freya Street, at the Altamont Street exits, at Division/Lincoln, and at Maple/Walnut were the most common places for traffic collisions.
In fact, the Maple Street on-ramp is the most dangerous spot along the entire corridor, seeing around 20 accidents a year. These are hot spots that daily drivers are likely very aware of. These hazards only multiply the chances of drivers getting into a collision and suffering serious injuries. Afterward, personal injury victims can face enormous hospital bills while losing paychecks as they miss time at work.
What To Do After an Accident on I-90 in Spokane
After an accident along Interstate 90, you’ll want to first make sure you aren’t in a spot where you can get hit again. You should move your vehicle out of harm’s way if possible.
Furthermore, according to Washington vehicle codes, you are required to move your vehicle out of the path of Interstate 90 traffic if your accident only involved property damage. Moving your vehicle won’t affect the determination of fault in the accident.
Once you are in a safe place, assess any injuries you or a passenger may have suffered. Then it’s important to complete a few more steps to ensure the safety of everyone involved and to secure evidence on the scene in case you will need to file an injury insurance claim.
- Alert 911 – The Washington State Patrol and/or the Spokane Police Department will respond to the scene and will construct an accident report based on your account of what happened. This report will be important evidence in your I-90 accident insurance claim. A Washington DOT Traffic Incident Response team may also respond. Follow their instructions. Allow paramedics to check you out no matter how minor you think your injuries are.
- Exchange information. Get driver’s license and insurance information from other drivers. Also note if they are professional drivers who work for a trucking company, a rideshare, or a delivery business. Get employee numbers and business names and addresses.
- Use your phone to take photos. Show the damage to all cars involved. Take pictures of any signage on vehicles showing they belong to a business. Show the lanes where the accident took place and any skid marks on the interstate. Take photos of any visible injuries.
- Discuss the accident with witnesses. Find out what they saw and get contact information. See if they happen to have had a dashcam rolling. Also, get the names and phone numbers of any person who stopped to help you. Your Spokane personal injury lawyer will contact witnesses for testimony to strengthen your case.
- Schedule an appointment with your doctor. Have all injuries examined and documented. Follow every recommendation the doctor gives and see any suggested specialists. Save your medical invoices.
- Contact a Spokane personal injury lawyer after a serious injury. No matter how clear the fault in your interstate accident is, insurance companies can still fight you over who is to blame. A personal injury lawyer safeguards your case against insurance tactics meant to rob you of personal injury support. The attorneys at CCD Law offer a free consultation to all victims injured in accidents. It’s a no-risk way to discover what your injury is worth before insurance adjusters try to convince you your injury should earn no support at all.
Talking to Insurance Companies After an Interstate Accident
You should alert your insurance company about what happened. If you feel you weren’t to blame for your accident, you’ll still want your insurance provider prepared if other drivers call them to falsely accuse you and file their own claim.
If you may have been to blame, you’ll still want to notify your insurance company of your incident. You don’t want the other driver to catch your insurance representative unaware.
If you feel you should receive compensation from an at-fault driver’s insurance provider, you can pick up the phone and call the insurer. You’ll want to make sure the insurance company is informed of what happened in case their own policyholder decides not to report it.
Be careful not to give a lot of details on the severity of your injury or how the accident occurred. These comments can be twisted and used against you later. Let collision reports, your medical charts, and your personal injury lawyer prove what happened.
Be careful when you are contacted by an opposing insurance adjuster seeking a recorded statement in the days that follow. Decline these requests. You aren’t legally obligated to give a statement. Any statement you make could be used as an excuse to reject your claim.
Allow your Spokane car accident lawyer to handle all communications with insurance representatives from this point forward.
Reporting your I-90 Accident in Spokane
You will also need to self-report your accident to the State DOT in some cases.
If officers respond to your accident and indicate they will be filing this report, you won’t have to. If not, you are responsible for reporting what happened as a driver, pedestrian, pedal cyclist, or property owner involved in a collision.
File a report if…
- Your accident is NOT investigated by a police officer, an officer with the Washington State Patrol, or sheriff’s deputy, AND…
- there are injuries or the total damage exceeds $1,000.
When both factors are true in your case, you have four days to report the accident to the State Department of Motor Vehicles. You can do that by clicking here, WSP link to file an accident report.
Contact an Interstate 90 Car Accident Lawyer Serving Spokane Victims
If you or a loved one have been the victim of a careless driver on Interstate 90, discuss your options with a Spokane Car Accident Lawyer. It’s important to know the benefits available to you and your family. An insurance adjuster definitely won’t be mentioning these benefits to you.
Contact CCD Law for a free, no-obligation case consultation for your family. We serve victims across eastern Washington and are also licensed to represent victims in Northern Idaho after accidents on I-90 and along any roadway.