You can't control everything that happens on the road.
But the choices you make after a car accident might mean the difference between receiving compensation for your injuries and being stuck footing the bill.
In this guide, we'll take a look at Washington car accidents, including the rules of the road you should know and the steps you can take after an accident to increase your chances of recovery.
Washington is considered one of the safest places to drive in the United States. In 2019, there were 0.83 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles, making Washington the 7th safest state for drivers.
Of course, serious car accidents still happen more frequently than Washingtonians would like.
|Washington car crash statistics (2015–2020)|
|Year||Total crashes||Fatal||Serious injury||Minor injury|
Most laws impacting Washington drivers can be found in Title 46 of the Revised Code of Washington. These laws cover everything from vehicle registration to when a driver must stop at a crosswalk.
When it comes to Washington car accident claims, there are 3 important laws you should keep in mind:
The Revised Code of Washington § 46.30 requires anyone who drives a motor vehicle or motorcycle in Washington to carry liability insurance with the following minimums:
This insurance coverage is commonly referred to as "25/50/10 coverage" and it's the easiest way for most drivers to comply with the law. There is, however, an alternative that involves depositing a large amount of money with the state in case of an accident. Drivers who prefer to go this route can:
Washington requires drivers to provide proof of insurance upon request from a law enforcement officer. Drivers who do not have insurance are subject to a fine of up to $550. What's more, an uninsured driver may have their license suspended.
Following a car accident in Washington, state law requires that you take the following 3 steps:
If you collide with an unoccupied vehicle, you must:
To receive compensation after a car accident in Washington, you generally have to prove that someone else was at fault (i.e., liable) for the crash and your resulting damages or injuries.
In most accidents, proving fault means establishing that some other driver was negligent. To prove that a motor vehicle driver was negligent in Washington, you must show that:
Of course, not all car accidents are caused by other drivers. Other potentially liable parties include:
Washington allows car accident victims to recover the following damages:
In Washington, you have 3 years from the date of the car accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. This is referred to as the statute of limitations. If you fail to file your lawsuit within the statute of limitations, you will be permanently barred from receiving compensation for your injuries.
If you suffered minor injuries or minor property damage, you may be able to file an insurance claim and receive the compensation you deserve without involving a lawyer. However, if any of the following are true, we strongly recommend consulting with an experienced attorney near you:
A personal injury lawyer helps individuals who have sustained injuries in accidents to recover financial compensation. These funds are often needed to pay for medical treatment, make up for lost wages and provide compensation for injuries suffered. Sometimes a case that seems simple at first may become more complicated. In these cases, consider hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer. Read more