Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer

Paglialunga & Harris, PS |  Winning Justice

Personal Injury, Accident & Wrongful Death Lawyers Seattle, Washington
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Car Accident

Seattle Accident Lawyer | Car Accident Lawyer | Accident Attorney
Car accidents, auto accidents, pedestrian accidents, rollover accidents, passenger injury accidents.

Know your legal rights: If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, we recommend that you speak to a lawyer who handles car accident cases for some advice.Whether you contact our law firm or another, we want you to know your rights before you deal with the insurance company.Insurance companies know their rights.You should too.

Get your questions answered: You might have questions about car repairs, or how to get treatment paid for, or what to do if you are unable to work. Lawyers in our office are available to speak to you and answer your questions, free of charge. To immediately discuss your case with an experienced car accident lawyer, call us toll free at 1-888-604-3438, or you may instead use our online case evaluation form. ClickHere for your free confidential case evaluation from a Seattle personal injury lawyer in our office.

Get tough legal representation: f your injuries are permanent, have caused you to lose wages, and are likely to bother you and cause you expense into the future, you should have a personal injury lawyer on your side to protect your rights. The unfortunate reality is that day in and day out insurance companies fight legitimate claims, trying to minimize the damages or avoid responsibility. You need someone with experience who can handle their tactics and get you what you are legally entitled to.

What the law says: The purpose of personal injury law is not to allow an injured person to profit from their injury or to punish the person who caused the injury. The primary purpose of personal injury law is to provide compensation for what the injured person has lost.If someone injures someone else through an act of carelessness, the careless person owes the injured person a debt. Justice requires that the debt be paid in full, just like any other debt.

The law in Washington says that when a person is injured in an accident because of someone else's negligence, the injured person is entitled to compensation for two different types of damages: economic losses and non-economic losses. Economic losses are things like medical expenses, wage loss, and money paid to people to help do things around your house that you can no longer do because of your injury. When money for these losses is paid back to the injured person, it doesn’t really go to the injured person. It goes to doctors and care givers. Non-economic losses cover the most important harms in a personal injury case:the human losses. These include things like pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, disability, and disfigurement.

What to do if you are injured in a car accident:  Here are some helpful tips if you are injured in a car accident.
  • Obtain insurance information of other drivers.
  • Call the police.
  • Obtain contact information of any witnesses.
  • Seek immediate medical treatment.
  • Consult a personal injury lawyer who handles car accident cases before giving a recorded statement or signing a release for an insurance company.

Common types of car accidents and definitions:Common types of car accidents include:

Rear end collision:where a car crashes into the back of the car in front of it. This is probably the most common type of car accident that we see. When someone causes a rear end collision, it is almost always completely their fault. This is because the law says that when we drive we have a duty to maintain a safe distance between our car and the car in front of us; and we have a duty to maintain a safe look out.

Common injuries from rear end collisions include whiplash injury, where the head is whipped forward and back, causing injury to the cervical spine. These injuries may be “soft tissue” injuries, such as a sprain or strain, or may involve discs impingements, herniations, or bulges. Other common injuries include lower back and lumbar strains and sprains, bulged discs, and herniated discs. A less commonly understood injury from rear end collisions is a closed head injury, which can occur if the head strikes a part of the vehicle. A closed head injury, concussion, or brain injury can also occur even if the head does not strike any part of the car because in a strong whiplash accident, as the head is violently thrown backwards and forwards, the brain is thrown against the inside of the skull, causing injury.

T-bone collisions: where a car crashes into the side of another vehicle at a ninety degree angle. These collisions often occur at intersections, such as in a situation where one driver fails to yield the right of way, misses a stop sign, or runs a red light. A high speed T-bone collision can cause very serious injuries as the body is thrown to the side. We frequently see head injuries from the head striking the glass, shoulder injuries, and crushing injuries from these accidents.

Sideswipe collision: where a car crashes into the side of another car at a narrow angle. These collisions typically cause less force to be transferred into the body of the occupants, but may nevertheless cause severe and permanent injuries.

Head on collision: where a car crashes into the front of another car, frequently where both cars are traveling towards each other. These collisions are often the most dangerous because the speeds of both vehicles combine to increase the force in the collision. We have seen deaths from these accidents, as well as severe traumatic brain injury, quadriplegia, and paraplegia. Often times, these accidents occur on rural highways, where traffic is traveling at a high rate of speed in opposite directions. One car might momentarily cross the center line, causing a head on collision of the most serious and sometimes fatal kind.

One car accident: where there is only one car involved in the accident, such as where a car goes off the road and strikes a tree, power pole, or building. In such a case, if the driver was at fault, passengers will have a claim against the driver for negligence. One should not assume, however, that only the driver is at fault for a one car collision. Sometimes, these accidents are caused by other factors which may contribute to the accident, such as an unsafe road or inadequate warning signs (giving rise to a claim for negligent highway design or roadway design), poorly maintained brakes or steering (giving rise to a potential claim against a mechanic if they were responsible for faulty work), or a tire or car that was unsafe by design (giving rise to a product liability claim, such as the Ford Explorer and Firestone Tire rollover accident cases).

Multi-car accident: where there is more than two cars involved in the accident, such as where one car hits another car, causing the second car to collide with a third car. These accidents sometimes require the personal injury lawyer to hire an accident reconstructionist to determine exactly how the accident happened and who caused it.

Rollover accident: where a car flips over onto its roof or rolls one or more times. These types of accidents can result in serious injuries as a result of a “roof crush” where the roof collapses, causing injuries to the head or neck of the driver and passenger. Rollover accidents can sometimes occur because of driver error, dangerous driving conditions, poor highway design, or poor vehicle design.Claims can be made for negligent highway design or product liability claims can be brought if the car was poorly designed or the tires were defective. 

Frequently overlooked claims: Sometimes a person will be seriously and permanently injured in an accident, or killed, and a personal injury lawyer will look at the case and quickly determine that there is not enough insurance to cover the claim and will decline to accept the case because the available insurance is not even enough to cover a fraction of the medical expenses. A skilled personal injury lawyer will leave no stone unturned in his or her investigation of the claim, and will attempt to determine all possible contributing factors for the collision. The following are some frequently overlooked claims.

Auto defect cases: Defective seat belt, defective air bag or air bag injury, roof crush or roof collapse, defective brakes or steering. These cases are brought under theories of negligence, failure to warn, and product liability.

Server liability or dramshop: When a tavern, bar or restaurant serves an obviously intoxicated person more liquor, they may be held responsible if the intoxicated person gets behind the wheel and causes injury to someone. Therefore, in any case where a drunk driver has caused serious injury, the personal injury lawyer should look into the possibility that the liquor server is also a legal cause of the accident. Studies have shown that holding liquor servers accountable for injuries by drunk drivers helps to reduce drunk driving accidents.

Negligent Highway design: Roadways must be maintained and designed so as to be reasonably safe. When the State or a City fails to maintain a reasonably safe roadway, and as a result someone is injured in an accident, the State or City may be liable for the damages caused. Examples of negligent highway design cases include:inadequate traffic controls or warning signs, stop signs, reduce speed signs, children present signs, inadequate guard rails, poorly designed intersections, lack of visibility, poorly designed exits or entrances to freeways, severe potholes, and lack of warning of road construction.

Legal Help - Our personal injury lawyers are available to discuss your car accident case with you at no charge. To immediately discuss your car accident claim with an experienced personal injury lawyer, call us toll free at 1-888-604-3438, or you may instead use our online case evaluation form. One of our attorneys will evaluate and respond to your online inquiry within 24 hours. Click Here for your free confidential case evaluation.