Frequently Asked Questions About Motor Vehicle Collisions
Once you have been involved in a collision with another automobile, your life can seem like an unending series of questions:
- How can I keep paying my bills if I cannot work?
- How can I take care of my family from this hospital bed?
- What if there is not enough money for a surgery or another treatment that I need?
You do not have to rely on internet searches, an insurance adjuster, or friends and family for answers to your most pressing questions about your car accident. Amity Legal Associates, PS, led by lawyer Geoffrey Kim, has compiled advice that addresses the most common questions our office gets related to personal injury lawsuits after an auto accident.
Motor Vehicle Collision FAQ
Why should I consider hiring an attorney to handle my car accident claim?
There are times when “doing it yourself” can be a sensible approach to a challenge. Filing a claim after an injury accident is not one of them. A personal injury attorney handles accident claims every day and understands how Washington state’s laws can impact the outcome of a case. Also, since firms like Amity Legal Associates, PS, work on a contingency basis, you have nothing to lose financially, and stand to gain more compensation than if you had tried to achieve a settlement with the insurance companies yourself.
Should I file a claim with my own insurance company if the accident was the other driver’s fault?
You have a legal contract with your insurance provider. This holds them to a higher standard legally than your claim on the other driver’s insurance policy. Because of this, you can file with your own insurer to have your vehicle repaired, minus the deductible stated in your policy. Additionally, if the at-fault motorist was uninsured, and you have purchased under/uninsured motorist insurance, this may be the only way to recover adequate funds for your recovery.
What could go wrong if I try to settle my claim directly with the insurance companies?
Many things could threaten your chances of getting the money you need out of your claim. If an insurance company sees you are not being represented by a lawyer, they may try to:
- Force you to settle quickly for money less than you need
- Send out an insurance adjuster who will record everything you say and do, and look for holes or inconsistencies in your statements so they can deny or minimize your claim
- Delay or deny your claim even if you have a solid legal case
If you have serious medical and financial needs after a car collision, hiring a personal injury attorney sends a signal to the insurance companies that you are serious about your claim, even if that means going to court.
What does personal injury compensation typically cover in auto accident cases?
You may ask for two types of damages after an auto accident injury: economic losses and noneconomic losses.
Economic losses are damages that are easier to place a specific monetary value on, such as:
- Medical bills and hospitalizations
- Wage or income loss if you are unable to work
- Lost future income opportunities due to disability
- Property damage (to your car)
- Ongoing medical or logistical services (physical therapy or housekeeping services if you can no longer care for your house)
Noneconomic losses can be harder to quantify but provide accountability for the lasting damage a car collision can include. Examples include:
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life due to post-accident limitations
- Loss of companionship in case of a wrongful death
Your attorney can gather the evidence related to your case and help you build a damages claim that will stand up in court or lead to a settlement that meets all of your needs.
More Questions About Car Accidents? We Have Answers.
At Amity Legal Associates, PS, our goal is to create a friendly, working relationship to create the best results possible. Bring your questions about car accidents and other personal injury claims to us by calling our office in Bellevue, Washington, at 206-338-6402 or emailing us to set up a free appointment.