Car accidents can cause devastating destruction and injuries to the victims. They lead to chronic pain, expensive medical bills, and sometimes, even death. The Bellevue personal injury attorneys of Tamaki Law understand the uphill battle you’re facing after a crash and the frustration that comes with trying to seek compensation for your losses. It’s stressful and overwhelming to attend doctor’s appointments while also dealing with insurance companies.
You don’t have to take on the responsibility of a car accident case with us by your side. We can take over the process and complete each step on your behalf. Your only focus should be to recover from your injuries. You’ve suffered enough due to someone else’s negligent actions. The at-fault driver should be held liable for your medical treatment, prescription costs, and other expenses. You shouldn’t be forced to pay for anything out of pocket if you didn’t share responsibility for the crash.
Unfortunately, Bellevue has many dangerous roads and highways where severe accidents often occur, such as Coal Creek Parkway at Forest Drive or North Eighth Street. In 2019, there were 1,354 traffic-related collisions. Although it was a 13 percent decrease in the number of accidents in ten years, serious injuries and fatalities increased 50 percent in that same period.
When you get hurt in an accident that someone else causes, you deserve the chance to pursue compensation from them in an insurance claim or lawsuit. When you hire the Bellevue car accident attorneys of Tamaki Law, we’ll remain in your corner to help you fight for justice. The at-fault driver should be held accountable for their wrongdoing. Do not hesitate to contact us to learn more about our services and whether we can represent you in your case. Call us now at (425) 679-6421 for a free consultation.
Why Choose Tamaki Law?
At Tamaki Law, our legal team has been representing accident victims in Bellevue since 1994. Because we have over 100 years of combined legal experience, you can feel confident knowing you have a skilled and knowledgeable attorney on your side. We know how to handle the complex nature of insurance claims and lawsuits. We never back down from a fight and always aggressively pursue the necessary compensation for our clients.
Our Bellevue car accident attorneys believe in providing quality customer service at all times. You will feel like a priority as we’re handling your case and trying to reach a favorable outcome. We often work as a team to meet your needs and achieve your legal goals. You can depend on us to fight hard to hold the negligent party liable for the harm they caused.
Tamaki Law understands the financial struggles you might face. Many accident victims can’t afford their medical bills and often end up in debt. You shouldn’t have to worry about whether you can afford to hire a lawyer if you’re already struggling with the expenses associated with the accident. We take personal injury cases on contingency, so you’re not responsible for upfront fees or costs. We only collect our legal fees if we secure compensation from the negligent driver. If we lose your case, you won’t have to pay us.
Steps to Take Following a Car Accident in Bellevue
You probably don’t get in your car thinking that you’ll end up in a collision with another vehicle. You can’t prepare for a devastating incident like that or even know how to handle it if it happens. It’s something that can disrupt your life and cause physical and emotional harm.
In the immediate aftermath of the crash, you might feel confused and shocked by what just happened. It’s not uncommon for accident victims to wonder how they should handle the situation and what steps to take first. At Tamaki Law, our Bellevue car accident attorneys can help you through the weeks, months, and even years to come and navigate the complicated legal road for you.
There are critical steps you need to take following a car crash. If you wait too long to begin the process, you could end up walking away without the compensation you need to heal your injuries. We know what it takes to hold people accountable for causing accidents and how to pursue the money you’re owed for the losses you suffered.
One of the most important steps you should take after an accident is to seek medical treatment. Let an ambulance transport you to a nearby hospital, or you can drive yourself if you sustained a minor injury. Initial medical care is vital to prove you were hurt in the crash. Insurance companies want to save money and avoid paying large settlements whenever possible. If they discover that you waited days or weeks until your first doctor’s appointment, they could use that as evidence that your injury isn’t severe and you don’t deserve a significant settlement.
Some people don’t feel much pain immediately after a car crash and might skip treatment. They go home to rest, thinking they’ll heal without the help of a doctor. Unfortunately, that’s not always the best decision to make. The shock you’re experiencing could mask the severity of your injuries. It might not be until days later that you start feeling the full effects of the accident. You should see your doctor as soon as you leave the accident scene in case the injury is more severe than it seems.
After the initial evaluation, your physician should provide a diagnosis and recommend a treatment plan. It’s critical that you follow their orders and continue treating with all necessary healthcare professionals until you recover. That means undergoing imaging tests, attending physical therapy, and taking prescription medications.
If you suffer permanent damage that cannot be healed, your doctor might place you at maximum medical improvement (MMI), indicating that further medical intervention likely won’t improve your condition. At that point, you’ll only need to continue with treatment as required, and your case can move forward.
Hire a Lawyer
Besides medical treatment, it’s also necessary to hire a Bellevue car accident attorney as soon as possible. Communicating with the insurance company, completing extensive paperwork, meeting deadlines, and obtaining evidence can cause significant stress. It’s incredibly overwhelming to try to handle all the minutiae of an insurance claim when you’re trying to heal your injuries. You could also face certain obstacles that you don’t know how to handle.
You shouldn’t have to take on the responsibility of a case when you’re already dealing with daily struggles due to the accident. Tamaki Law can take over the legal aspects and complete each step on your behalf. We can file an insurance claim, submit evidence to the insurance company, and negotiate for a settlement. If the insurance company denies your claim or refuses to settle for an appropriate amount, we can move forward with a lawsuit and litigate your case in court.
Studies have shown that seeking legal representation can improve your chance of recovering a high amount of compensation than if you attempt to handle the case alone. You shouldn’t have to navigate the complex procedures and state laws yourself. Our Bellevue car accident attorneys have the experience, knowledge, and resources to represent you successfully and pursue the maximum financial award you deserve.
Records and Documentation
Evidence is also a vital part of the legal process. It can show the type of injury you suffered, who caused the crash, and the total cost of treatment. Don’t throw away any documents associated with your case. If you receive physician notes, hospital bills, insurance company letters, and other documentation, forward them to us immediately. We can also gather additional evidence to strengthen your case, so the insurance company pays the money they owe you.
Let Tamaki Law Handle the Accident Investigation
When you retain our services, we’ll begin investigating the accident to determine who was at fault. We’ll need to obtain evidence to show the insurance company exactly what happened and who should be held liable for the suffering you endured. Some of the evidence we might need includes:
- Police reports
- Lost wage reports from your inability to return to your job
- Traffic camera footage
- Damage estimates and pictures of all vehicles
- Photos from the accident scene
- Copies of your medical records
- Eyewitness statements
- The at-fault driver’s chemical test results, cell phone records, and other documentation showing their careless actions contributed to the collision
The Bellevue car accident attorneys of Tamaki Law know how to build a solid case for our clients. Our goal is to maximize the value of your case, so you don’t end up with a denied insurance claim or less compensation than you need to pay for your medical bills and other costs. You can depend on us to tirelessly work to hold the negligent driver accountable for what they’ve done so you can get on the road to recovery.
Most Common Causes of Bellevue Car Accidents
Various factors can lead to a motor vehicle accident. When you share the road with other drivers, you’re likely to encounter someone making poor decisions, behaving recklessly, or paying attention to their cell phone instead of the road ahead. Anyone could become the victim of a catastrophic collision and suffer severe injuries or death. The most common causes of car accidents are:
Alcohol and drugs prevent a person from operating their car safely. With a slower reaction time, the driver’s brain can’t register potential dangers and adjust the way they’re driving to avoid a crash.
Changing the radio, reaching for something in the back seat, and reading a text message are only a few examples of driver distractions that could result in fatal accidents. In 2019, there were 3,142 deaths caused by distracted drivers. It’s irresponsible behavior that puts other people at risk.
There’s much less time to react to a hazardous situation when a driver exceeds the speed limit. It becomes nearly impossible to maneuver the vehicle out of the way in time to prevent a collision.
Drivers must yield to others in certain situations, such as at intersections. If a motorist decides to run a red light, they could end up in the path of an approaching vehicle.
Routine maintenance is necessary to ensure the car functions properly. Recalled vehicle parts are common, and the driver must have them replaced to avoid any malfunctions. Unfortunately, many people decide to drive their car knowing there's a mechanical problem that could lead to an accident.
Just like drugs and alcohol, fatigued driving can impair a person’s mental and physical abilities. It’s harder to respond to adverse conditions and understand traffic signs and signals.
Motorists must always leave enough space between their vehicle and the one in front of them. Following someone too closely means there isn’t enough distance to come to a complete stop when necessary.
Governmental entities are responsible for performing maintenance and repairs on all roadways. If they don’t fix a pothole or address a malfunctioning stoplight, they could be liable for resulting car accidents.
Running a stop sign, weaving in and out of traffic, and engaging in acts of road rage are reckless behaviors that can cause severe injuries in a collision.
Common Types of Car Accidents
A range of scenarios can cause a car crash. The type of accident you’re in will depend on specific circumstances. For example, another driver could collide head-on with your vehicle if they look away from the road and drift into your lane.
The most common types of car accidents include:
- T-bone accidents
- Head-on collisions
- Rollover accidents
- Rear-end collisions
- Wrong-way accidents
- Single-vehicle crashes
- Multi-vehicle accidents
- Hit and run accidents
The Bellevue car accident attorneys of Tamaki Law are familiar with various types of collisions and the devastating injuries they cause. You shouldn’t face the burden of handling your own case when you’re already suffering the effects of your injury. Let us be your advocate and help you in the fight for justice.
Common Injuries Car Accident Victims Can Sustain
Traffic congestion is common throughout Bellevue, especially on Interstate 405. Researchers discovered that some of the worst areas are on this stretch of highway that passes through the downtown area. It’s especially dangerous where vehicles merge off of Interstate 90 and State Route 520. If you’ve ever commuted on these roads, you know the hazards you can face.
Collisions are likely to happen during heavy traffic. However, they can also occur on seemingly safe roads with a small number of vehicles. Depending on the contributing factors, you could suffer any type of injury, ranging from minor to life-threatening. The most common are:
- Broken bones
- Internal bleeding
- Dislocated joints
- Muscle sprain or strain
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord damage
- Psychological or emotional trauma
- Chronic pain
- Torn ligaments and tendons
- Loss of limb
- Cuts and burns
- Back injuries
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Permanent disability
The cost of medical treatment could push anyone into debt. You’re working to recover from your injuries but might worry about the impact of these expenses on your finances. If you can’t afford your medical bills, you could face significant hardships. Tamaki Law will work hard to determine who caused the car crash and how to secure an insurance settlement or favorable jury verdict so you can put this traumatic experience behind you.
Compensation Available After a Car Accident
Washington is a fault car insurance state, meaning the driver responsible for causing an accident becomes liable for the victim’s injuries and resulting losses. All vehicle owners must register for motor vehicle insurance with these minimum liability limits:
- $25,000 – bodily injury or death to one person
- $50,000 – bodily injury or death to two or more people
- $10,000 – property damage
When you file a liability claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, you could seek compensation for the losses you suffered, such as:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Property damage
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
Some drivers don’t maintain the liability coverage required by state law. If you discover that the negligent motorist doesn’t have insurance, you might be able to file a claim with your own insurance company.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) is optional coverage available to accident victims if:
- The at-fault drier doesn’t have liability insurance;
- The at-fault driver’s liability limits aren’t high enough to compensate for the victim’s total losses; or
- A hit-and-run driver caused the accident.
When you file a UM claim, you could pursue certain losses, such as:
- Past and future medical costs
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Pain and suffering
Every policy is different and contains different types of coverage. Your Bellevue car accident attorney can review your policy to determine which losses you’re entitled to seek in a claim.
Tamaki Law might recommend filing an insurance claim first to try to recover a settlement, depending on the circumstances of your case. However, in some situations, it might be necessary to file a lawsuit.
There’s a strict timeframe you must follow if you want to sue someone for the losses you suffered in a car crash. Washington has a three-year statute of limitations. That means you would have three years from the date of the accident to sue the at-fault driver for compensation. If you don’t initiate your lawsuit by the deadline, you’ll likely lose your right to hold them liable in court.
At Tamaki Law, we believe in treating our clients with the utmost respect and professionalism. We will be there to provide the support and guidance you need to recover from this devastating ordeal. Our legal team will be with you each step of the way until the end of your case.
If you suffered injuries in a car accident in Bellevue that was someone else’s fault, contact us immediately for a free consultation. One of our Bellevue car accident attorneys will be happy to meet with you to discuss the details and determine your legal options for holding the at-fault driver liable. Call (425) 679-6421 today.