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Over 50 years of combined legal experience
If you have suffered injuries in a car or motorcycle accident, you may have a claim for negligence against the other driver. Typically, you begin a claim process by contacting your insurance company, and the other driver’s insurance company.
For additional details see: What you should know when you get into a collision.
How to receive compensation for your auto accident injury:
The extent of your compensation for a personal injury claim depends on many factors including but not limited to whether you caused the accident, the severity of the accident, your injuries, and the specific insurance policies involved.
If the auto accident was your fault:
If you are injured and the accident was your fault, then you can only receive compensation from your insurance company if your policy contains personal injury protection coverage (PIP). A PIP policy provides compensation for economic damages such as your medical expenses, wage loss, and loss-of-use expenses, but it does NOT compensate for pain and suffering.
If the auto accident was not your fault:
If you are injured and the accident was not your fault, then, you can receive compensation from the negligent party’s insurance and your own PIP policy. Pursuing a claim through the negligent party’s insurance carrier is the only way you can receive compensation for general damages related to loss of enjoyment of life, and pain & suffering.
If the auto accident was caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver:
Sometimes the person causing the accident does not have insurance or does not have sufficient insurance to compensate you for all of your injuries. If that happens, and you have an uninsured motorist policy, you can bring a claim for damages against your own insurance company. This type of claim includes compensation for your pain and suffering, as well as any economic loss.
If there is more than one cause of the accident:
In addition to the driver, there may be other negligent parties responsible for your injuries. Although less common, the accident may be the result of a poorly designed intersection, a dangerous road condition, or inadequate lighting. In such cases the city, county or state may bear some responsibility for your injuries. You should be aware, however, that there are special rules that apply whenever a claim is made against a government entity, and that the failure to follow those rules can result in the dismissal of your case against the government.
If you are not injured in an auto accident:
Even if you are not injured in a car or motorcycle accident, you may want to make a claim against a negligent driver for compensation related to property damage resulting from the collision.
How do I navigate the insurance claim process?
If you have been injured in a car accident, the insurance claim process can be complicated and time consuming. The insurance companies save money by settling claims quickly. As a result, they will often pressure you to settle your claim before the full extent of your injuries are known. It is very important that you not be in a rush to settle your claim. Remember for negligence actions in Washington State, you have three years from the date of your injury to settle your claim.