Because they happen so frequently, car crashes are among the most common causes of personal injury claims in Seattle, Kirkland, Bellingham, Olympia and Washington State. Being injured in a car accident can be very stressful and disturbing. Many car accidents result in physical injuries that incur medical expenses to treat bruises, broken bones, and head injuries.What to Do After a Car Accident
After being involved in a car accident, there are some keys steps that you can take to help your personal injury case. Among them are:
- Make sure you’re off the road and the car is turned off.
- Make sure no one is injured. If possible, at this point it’s a good idea to turn on your hazard lights.
- Call 911.
- If it is safe and if you’re physically able, you need to exchange information with the at-fault driver or, if there are multiple vehicles involved, trade information with all those drivers involved in the accident.
- Take photographs of the damage to your cars.
- Call your car insurance company and the at-fault driver’s car insurance company.
- Call The Jackman Law Firm to discuss your case.
When you exchange information with the at-fault driver, you need the following information from the drivers involved: name, address, phone number, insurance company and policy number, driver’s license number and license plate number, along with the make and model of the cars involved.
Recent Jackman Law Firm Case: Recently, the Jackman Law Firm settled two cases for two women in separate car accidents. Both women suffered traumatic brain injuries as a result of their injuries. In both cases, the women receive the maximum amount of insurance available. One case settled for $200,000 and the other settled for $275,000.Washington State Car Accident Laws
There are many laws that aim to keep drivers safe in Washington State. It is best to keep between two to three car lengths between you and the car in front of you while driving to make sure you are not too close to the vehicle ahead of you and you have ample room to stop should you need to. It is advisable to allow even more room between cars if you are traveling at high rate of speed.
Washington State law requires a driver to signal for at least 100 feet before switching lanes or merging into another lane. Sudden and abrupt lane changes are among the most common reasons for car accidents in Washington State. Far too often cars fail to properly signal before turning and cars are often in each other’s blind spot when the accident occurs.
Perhaps the most common car accident occurs when one driver rear-ends another, which results when the car is following too closely. RCW 46.61.145 states that a driver may not follow “follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway.”
Adjusting to traffic, especially when it is sudden, is one of the biggest reasons for accidents. Car accidents often happen when a driver is going too slow or too fast, though it’s usually the latter. Controlling speed and adjusting lane position and signaling in a timely, effective way are the surest ways to avoid common accidents.Common Car Accident Injuries
There are many injuries that can give rise from car accident cases. They can range from minor cuts and bruises to paralysis and even death, but here are the most common:
- Soft tissue injuries
- Broken bones
- PTSD and Emotional Trauma
- Bulging discs
- Herniated discs
Many people who have been in bad car accidents have to receive injections to get better. If you have been injured in a motor vehicle, you need to seek immediate medical care from a medical doctor, chiropractor, physical therapist, or massage therapist.Washington State Car Accident Statistics
Driving is something most of us take for granted. As adults, most of us have been driving for years and consider it nearly as normal a behavior as walking. And while you may think you totally safe when driving or riding in a car, with seat belts and air bags and all the other diverse safety features modern cars have adopted, the following statistics may make you realize that you aren’t quit as safe as you think.
We’re not trying to scare you. We just want you to know the realistic truth so you can take reasonable precautions to minimize your risks for a motor vehicle accident. (We refer to car accidents as motor vehicle accidents because motorcycles and bicyclists also share the road and unfortunately are also involved in crashes.)
While statistics vary slightly year to year, a common pattern remains. In Washington State, on average a car crash occurs about every 4 – 5 minutes. A person is injured in a car crash roughly every 10 – 15 minutes. And every 15 – 20 hours someone dies as a result of having been involved in a car crash collision.
- Every 4 – 5 minutes a car crash happens
- Every 10 – 15 minutes a person is injured in a car crash
- Every 15 – 20 hours s person dies from a car crash
These are serious statistics showing clearly that driving is not nearly as safe as we like to think it is. For real-time updates on Washington State car accident see the two links below:
Twitter live stream of car crashes and traffic: Washington State Department of Transportation:
Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) travel alerts: Washington State Department of Transportation:Yearly Car Crash Statistics in Washington State
In 2017, there were 120,993 motor vehicle accidents according to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT). Of these crashes, 525 were fatal accidents involving 555 deaths, while I,932 were accidents involving serious injuries and 34,311 involved minor injuries. Luckily, 84,225 of these accidents did not involve any apparent injuries.
This means over 28% of all motor vehicle collisions in Washington State incurred an injury, and
5.6% of these injuries were serious.
Out of all motor vehicle accidents in Washington State, 8,229 involved a drunk driver – which means 6.8% of all car accidents were due to alcohol. 11,508 car accidents involved a distracted driver, which includes texting or using a mobile phone. Who would have thought that texting was as bad as driving drunk? The stats show it is.
Meanwhile, 17,385 car crashes involved teen drivers, or 14.3% of the car crash total – which is a very high percentage. While the total number of registered drivers in Washington State is well over 5.5 million, the total number of teen drivers is slightly less than 60,000. So, although teens represent less than 2% of the total number of drivers, they are involved in 14.3% of the car crashes. This is a glaring discrepancies that calls for attention and remedy.
Both in Washington State and on the national scale, car accidents are the leading cause of death for young adults age 16 – 20.
Washington State car crashes in 2017 involved:
- 2,386 pedestrians
- 1,205 bicyclists
- 2,122 motorcycles
- 1,203 buses
- 3,940 trucks
Tragically, someone dies every 15 – 20 hours in Washington State as the result of a motor vehicle accident
It’s a sad fact that so many pedestrians are involved in car crashes. While you would think not driving a car would ensure safety from being in a car accident, this is clearly untrue. Pedestrians need to remain keenly aware at all times of the presence of cars when walking on sidewalks, crossing streets, or simply being anywhere cars are.
Motorcycle and bicycle riders also need to exercise extreme caution when operating on car-traveled roads – likewise, drivers should take special care to give these motorists the safe zone of space they need. Motorcyclists and bicyclists are especially vulnerable amongst cars because they are unprotected. This is obvious, but bears emphasis as so many of these motorists are injured in crashes with cars.
Washington State fatal motor vehicle collisions in 2017 involved:
- 110 drunk drivers
- 107 pedestrians
- 87 distracted drivers
- 82 motorcycles
- 50 teen drivers
- 32 large trucks
- 13 bicycles
When drunk drivers leads the statistic demographics on car crash fatalities, you know there is a serious problem. Surprisingly, distracted drivers account for nearly as many as drunk drivers – which is living proof that texting while driving is extremely dangerous, not to mention against the law. The high number of pedestrian fatalities also calls for drivers to exercise greater care when motoring in highly populated zones with lots of foot traffic.
Although teen drivers appears on the bottom half of the list, drivers aged 16 – 25 were actually the at the highest risk level for being killed in a car crash. Please be diligent when instructing your teen to drive, as well as careful regarding when and with whom they do this. It is quite literally a matter of life and death.
Washington State serious injury motor vehicle crashes in 2017 involved:
- 365 drunk drivers
- 372 motorcyclists
- 356 pedestrians
- 201 distracted drivers
- 201 teens
- 102 bicycles
- 61 large trucks
Once again, we see drunk drivers topping the list of demographics involved in a car crash, followed by motorcyclists, pedestrians, distracted drivers and teens. These statistics give us good insight into the causes of motor vehicle accidents and, hence, what we can possibly do to mitigate them.
Obviously, not drinking and driving would be the number one remedy. Yet with the preponderance of bars and the availability of alcohol – along with the extent to which we use alcohol as a cultural panacea to soothe the woes and stresses of life – it is rather difficult to enforce this rule 100%.Legal Requirements for Car Crashes
In Washington State, any driver who is involved in a car accident resulting in serious injury or death (of another driver, passenger or pedestrian) or property damage totaling over $1,000 is legally bound to report the accident in writing to the police or state patrol. The report must be submitted within four days of the accident. If a law enforcement officer is present at the accident scene and files a report at that time, the driver does not to submit his or her own report.Time Statistics
According to a recent WSDOT report the majority of car accidents occur on Fridays and Saturdays, while the least amount occur on Sundays. Most car crashes occur from 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Rush hour on the weekend is, as we all know, especially brutal. The least number of car crashes occur from 3:00 a.m. – 4:59 a.m. when the majority of drivers are sleeping.
November and December represent the two months when car crashes are most numerous, and February is the month when they are the least.
Keeping these time-based statistics in mind can be helpful for all drivers. Knowing the peak hours and peak seasons for car accidents can help us to exercise extra special effort to drive safe during these times.Common Reasons for Car Accidents
While there are any number of reasons why a car accident can occur, below are the most common reasons for car accidents in Washington State
- Driver impairment: 50.1%
- Running off the road: 43.7%
- Speeding: 39.5%
- Young driver: 34.6% (this is defined as someone 16-25)
- Driver distraction: 30.3%
- Unrestrained occupants: 24.8%
- Errors at intersections: 20.6%
Based on the above, you can see that the most common reasons for car accidents are
driver impairment. Driver impairment involves, most commonly, drivers who are either texting or on their phones texting, but drug usage and drinking are also very common reasons for impairment. Other reasons not to mention here in this list are bad weather and vehicles that have product liability issues. By product liability issues, this means vehicles that are poorly designed or have issues with their brakes, steering, and tires.How The Jackman Law Firm Can Help After a Car Accident
After being in a car crash, the victim is confronted by many unpleasant tasks. Going to the doctor, chiropractor, and physical therapist is common. The car, truck, SUV, or van most likely has to go to a body shop to be fixed, or the vehicle is completely totaled and transportation arrangements have to be made until a new car, truck, or SUV is purchased. Both your car insurance company and the at-fault driver’s insurance company are likely calling, emailing and sending letters, not to mention time from work and family is being missed to deal with these issues.
Why go through it alone? The Jackman Law Firm can handle all of this for you, allowing you to focus primarily on healing and recovering. In addition, while it may seem hard to believe, there are times, after making a demand from the insurance company, when they take the position that you were either partly or entirely at fault for the accident. If this is the case, you need an attorney who can help prove your case. We can do this by interviewing witnesses and the police, sending subpoenas for documents or surveillance videos, and obtaining documents from the at-fault driver to prove your case.
With The Jackman Law Firm’s help, you can recover:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Future wages, if applicable
- Money for pain and suffering
- Out of pocket expenses, such as repayment for a cane, brace, or wheelchair, if applicable.
- Loss of Consortium
Call The Jackman Law Firm to discuss your rights and learn how we can help you recover. Each category of damages, whether it is medical bills or money for pain and suffering, is your legal right to recover and something that you are owed under the law if you have suffered injury because of someone else’s negligence.