Car Accident Lawyer in Tacoma, WA
Tacoma offers a mix of urban amenities, natural beauty, and cultural attractions, but the traffic and commuting can be a bear, especially during peak hours. And when auto accidents happen, they can cause serious injuries or death. Last year, Tacoma experienced a 10-year high in traffic fatalities. If you suffered injuries in a car accident in Tacoma, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills and other expenses. Contact an experienced Tacoma car accident lawyer from Park and Chenaur & Associates today, and let’s discuss your case.
Why Choose the Tacoma Car Accident Lawyers at Park Chenaur & Associates?
Park Chenaur & Associates is a leading personal injury law firm with over 30 years of experience. We have the resources and expertise to handle any case, from minor fender benders to catastrophic accidents that result in wrongful death. Our lawyers are compassionate and committed to getting our clients the compensation they deserve for their injuries. We fight hard on your behalf so that you can focus on healing and moving forward with your life after an accident.
How Common Are Car Accidents in Washington?
The Washington State Department of Transportation reports that at least 100,000 car accidents occurred last year in the U.S. Over 30,000 of these collisions resulted in injuries to one or more individuals. In Tacoma, there were 26 traffic fatalities—more than the city’s seen in a decade.
If you have experienced physical or property damage from a car accident, there are legal steps you can take to obtain compensation, which usually begins by making an auto accident claim to the insurance company.
Car Insurance Laws in Washington
Washington State follows a system of “fault-based” or “at-fault” car insurance when it comes to handling auto accidents and determining liability. In an at-fault insurance system, the insurance companies and/or legal authorities determine who is responsible for causing an accident. The at-fault driver is usually responsible for covering medical bills and lost wages of the accident victim through their insurance policy.
In Washington, like in most at-fault states, drivers are required to carry liability insurance coverage. This coverage helps pay for injuries or property damage that the insured driver causes to others in an accident. The minimum requirements for coverage in Washington are $25,000 for cases of injury or death to one individual, $50,000 for cases of injury or death of two or more individuals, and $10,000 for the destruction of property.
When an accident occurs, the drivers involved will generally file claims with their own insurance companies. The at-fault driver’s insurance company will investigate the accident to determine who was responsible. If the other driver(s) were not at fault, their own insurance companies may cover their damages or injuries up to their policy limits.
If you or a loved one was injured in a car crash that was not your fault, or at least, not entirely your fault, you will need to file a car accident insurance claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Having a Tacoma car accident attorney from Park and Chenaur & Associates handle your personal injury claim can improve your chances of recovering full and fair compensation while freeing you up to focus on your own recovery.
What if I’m Partly to Blame for My Accident?
Washington follows a comparative negligence rule in handling car accident cases. Comparative negligence is a legal principle that determines how compensation is allocated when both parties involved in an accident share some degree of fault. Washington specifically follows a “pure comparative negligence” rule.
Under the pure comparative negligence rule, when an accident occurs, the degree of fault is assigned to each party involved. This is usually expressed as a percentage. For instance, one driver might be found 60% at fault, while the other driver is found 40% at fault.
The compensation awarded to each party is then adjusted based on their assigned percentage of fault. If you are found to be 30% at fault and your damages are determined to be $10,000, you would receive 70% of that amount, or $7,000. Conversely, if you were found 70% at fault, you might only receive $3,000.
Importantly, even if you are assigned any portion of the fault, you can still recover compensation for your damages. However, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
How to Prove a Driver’s Negligence in Car Accidents
In a car accident case, negligence refers to a legal concept where one party’s failure to exercise reasonable care results in harm or damage to another party. To establish a successful claim of driver negligence in a car accident case, generally, four elements need to be proven:
- Duty of Care: The first element is demonstrating that the defendant (the person accused of negligence) owed a duty of care to the plaintiff (the person making the claim). In the context of a car accident, all drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles safely and follow traffic laws to prevent harm to others on the road.
- Breach of Duty: The plaintiff must show that the defendant breached their duty of care. This means that the defendant’s actions fell below the standard of care expected of a reasonably prudent person in similar circumstances. For example, if a driver runs a red light or exceeds the speed limit, they might be considered to have breached their duty of care.
- Causation: The plaintiff needs to establish a causal link between the defendant’s breach of duty and the harm or damages suffered by the plaintiff. In other words, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant’s actions directly led to the accident and subsequent injuries or damages.
- Damages: Lastly, the plaintiff must prove that they suffered actual damages as a result of the defendant’s breach of duty. Damages can include physical injuries, property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses that can be quantified.
If all four of these elements can be proven, it may establish a strong case of negligence against the defendant in a car accident case. However, legal standards and procedures can vary based on the specific circumstances of each case can influence how these elements are applied. If you’re involved in a car accident and believe you have a negligence claim, it’s recommended to seek legal advice from an attorney who handles personal injury lawsuits.
What Damages are Available for Car Accident Victims
Victims of car crashes may be eligible to collect various types of damages in a car accident claim, such as:
- Medical expenses: This includes costs for hospitalization, surgery, medical treatments, doctor visits, prescription medications, rehabilitation, and any other necessary medical care related to your injuries.
- Property damage: Compensation for the repair or replacement of your vehicle and other damaged property, such as personal belongings that were in the car during the accident.
- Lost wages: If your injuries prevent you from working, you can seek compensation for the income you’ve lost due to missed workdays. This may include both current and future lost wages.
- Pain and suffering: Noneconomic damages for physical pain, emotional distress, mental anguish, and reduced quality of life resulting from the accident and your injuries.
- Disability or disfigurement: Compensation for any permanent disabilities or disfigurement resulting from the accident, which can affect your ability to work or enjoy life as you did before.
- Loss of consortium: Damages awarded to a spouse or family member for the loss of companionship, care, and support due to your injuries.
- Loss of enjoyment: Compensation for the loss of enjoyment of life’s activities and hobbies due to your injuries.
- Wrongful death: If the accident resulted in a fatality, the surviving family members may be eligible to seek damages through a wrongful death claim. These damages can include funeral expenses, loss of financial support, and loss of companionship.
To maximize your chances of obtaining fair compensation, consult with an experienced personal injury attorney from Park Chenaur & Associates who can assess your case, help you gather evidence, and guide you through the legal process. Legal professionals can provide tailored advice based on your specific situation and the most up-to-date information on Washington State’s laws and regulations.
What to do After an Auto Accident
One of the most important things you can do after a crash is to contact a car accident lawyer in Tacoma. At Park Chenaur & Associates, we can help you protect your interests, get the medical care you need following an accident and receive the proper compensation you deserve. This can have a massive impact on your quality of life, happiness, health, and family. What else can you do to strengthen your legal case?
1. Get Medical Attention Promptly
If you, a passenger, or a member of your family have been injured in a car crash, call 911 right away. This sends the police to your location — this type of accident should always be reported to the police — and helps you get medical care as soon as possible.
Is receiving medical treatment bad for your car accident case?
Not at all. It’s actually a good thing. Both the police report and medical records outlining your injuries are excellent pieces of evidence that a car accident lawyer in Tacoma, WA, can use in your favor. They help when negotiating with insurance companies or preparing a lawsuit.
2. Take Pictures of the Scene
If a picture says a thousand words, then photographs of the scene of the accident speak powerfully on your behalf. Images help your car accident lawyer in Tacoma, WA, establish what happened in the accident. They can prove the damage that occurred to your vehicle and show the injuries you suffered.
What should you photograph?
- Your vehicle
- The other vehicle
- The other vehicle’s license plate
- Any injuries you have
- Injuries of family members riding with you
- Nearby street signs or location information
3. Get As Much Information From the Other Driver As Possible
As far as possible, don’t let the other driver leave until the police arrive. If the other vehicle tries to drive away, snap pictures of the license plate with your smartphone. Write down the vehicle’s description. Then contact a car accident lawyer in Tacoma, WA, right away.
What other details should you try to gather from the other driver?
- Insurance information
- Contact information (street address and phone number)
- Name of the driver
- Driver’s license number
- Name of adult passengers
If you notice other people standing nearby who saw the accident, ask them if you can have their name and telephone number. Our team at Park Chenaur & Associates can also look for eyewitnesses and gather other evidence as needed for your case. The more evidence available, the stronger your case.
4. Consult With a Tacoma Car Accident Attorney
Dealing with car accident claims can be stressful and time-consuming—and the last thing you need if you are recovering from accident-related injuries. Your lawyer can determine the full extent of your damages and fight for maximum compensation on your behalf. The personal injury attorneys at Park Chenaur & Associates work on a contingency fee basis. That means we don’t get paid unless we recover compensation on your behalf.
Contact the Tacoma Car Accident Attorneys at Park Chenaur & Associates Today
The experienced personal injury lawyers at Park Chenaur & Associates are dedicated to helping people get the compensation they deserve. We will fight for your rights and ensure that you receive all of the money you need to recover from your injuries. You can trust us with your case because we know what it takes to win, and we never back down from a challenge!
When you choose Park Chenaur & Associates as your car accident attorney, we will take care of everything so that you don’t have to worry about anything else but recovering from your injuries. We handle every aspect of our client’s injury cases to focus on getting better without having to stress over their legal issues too!
You don’t have to go through this alone—we will be by your side every step of the way as we work toward obtaining justice and fair compensation in your personal injury case. Our team will work to make sure that all medical expenses are covered along with other damages such as pain and suffering or loss of income due to time missed at work because of your injuries. Your well-being is our top priority.
If you were injured in a car accident, you deserve a fair settlement. Contact a personal injury lawyer in Tacoma at Park Chenaur & Associates by calling (253) 600-2408 or filling out our online form today for a free case evaluation.
Tacoma Office Location:
3517 6th Ave, Tacoma,
Phone: (253) 345-2555