Tacoma Car Accident Attorneys

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Car accidents can be absolutely devastating for victims and their families. If you or a loved one has been a victim of a car accident, contact the experienced car accident lawyers at Freeman Law Firm, Inc. We are here to offer you the support, legal advice, and advocacy you need during this difficult time. Our car accident attorneys can clarify your legal options and help to ensure that you receive the compensation you are entitled to. Contact Freeman Law Firm, Inc. today at (253) 383-4500 or reach out to us online for a consultation.
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Experiencing a car accident is often a life-altering event where victims can experience physical injuries, trauma, emotional turmoil, confusion, and uncertainty. When experiencing this, you need to hire a Tacoma, WA car accident lawyer with experience achieving the best outcomes for clients. Below, we explain the importance of an experienced car accident attorney that is going to help you understand your rights and the complex aspects of your car accident claim.

On This Page

Types of Car Accidents

Causes of Car Accidents

Locations of Car Accidents

Liability in Washington Car Accidents

Pursuing Compensation After a Car Accident in Washington

Understanding Damages In Washington Car Accident Cases

Statute Of Limitations In Car Accident Lawsuits

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Types Of Car Accidents

Rear-End Collisions

Rear-end collisions involve a vehicle hitting the back of a different vehicle. Often, these accidents happen because the driver in the rear is inattentive or is following too closely. In bad weather or heavy traffic, rear-end collisions become even more likely. These accidents can cause various injuries, from whiplash to more serious ones, especially if the impact is at high speed.

T-Bone Accidents

Side-impact collisions (commonly known as T-bone accidents) happen when a vehicle’s front hits another vehicle’s side. These are common at intersections, where one driver might run a red light or stop sign and crash into a car crossing legally. The side of a car has less protection than the front or back, so these accidents can be very dangerous. They often result in serious injuries, particularly for the passengers on the side of the impact.

Head-On Collisions

Head-on collisions are when the fronts of two vehicles hit each other. These are among the most dangerous types of car accidents. They often happen at high speeds and can lead to severe or fatal injuries. Causes include wrong-way driving, losing control of the vehicle, or driving under the influence. The force of two vehicles colliding head-on can cause significant damage, making these accidents particularly tragic. Our personal injury lawyers are expert in these complex cases. 

Single Vehicle Accidents

Single vehicle accidents involve only one vehicle. These can happen when a car hits a tree, guardrail, or other objects. Sometimes, they occur due to the driver losing control, often because of factors like bad weather, poor road conditions, or distractions. While these accidents might seem less severe, they can still result in serious injuries, especially if the vehicle rolls over or the driver is not wearing a seatbelt.

Multiple Vehicle Pile-Ups

Multiple vehicle pile-ups are large accidents involving several cars. These often happen on highways or in areas with heavy traffic. They can start with just one collision that leads to a chain reaction of crashes. These pile-ups are chaotic and dangerous, often resulting in numerous injuries and significant property damage. The more vehicles involved, the more complicated the case, especially when determining who is at fault.

Hit And Run Accidents

Hit and run accidents are when a driver hits another car, pedestrian, or property and leaves the scene without providing contact information or offering help. These accidents are particularly upsetting because they add a layer of injustice to the injury and damage caused. Victims might feel helpless, especially if the responsible party is not found. 

Causes Of Car Accidents

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is a leading cause of car accidents. When drivers are not fully focused on the road, the risk of an accident increases significantly. Distractions can come from many sources, such as using a cell phone, eating, or adjusting the radio. Texting while driving is particularly dangerous because it combines visual, manual, and cognitive distractions. Even a few seconds of inattention can lead to a severe accident, potentially causing harm to the driver, passengers, and others on the road.

Speeding

Speeding is another major cause of car accidents. Driving above the speed limit or too fast for road conditions decreases the driver’s ability to react to sudden changes, such as a sharp turn or an unexpected stop in traffic. High-speed collisions are often more severe and result in more serious injuries or fatalities.

Drunk Driving

Drunk driving remains a significant problem and a major cause of car accidents. Alcohol impairs a driver’s judgment, coordination, and reaction times, making it difficult to drive safely. Drunk driving accidents often result in severe injuries or fatalities.

Reckless Driving

Reckless driving includes aggressive behaviors like tailgating, changing lanes abruptly, and ignoring traffic signs or signals. This kind of driving endangers everyone on the road. Drivers who engage in reckless behavior not only risk their own safety but also the safety of others.

Weather Conditions

Bad weather, such as rain, snow, ice, fog, or even strong winds, can lead to car accidents. These conditions can reduce visibility and make roads slippery, challenging even for experienced drivers.

Running Red Lights And Stop Signs

Ignoring traffic signals and stop signs is a common cause of accidents. When drivers run red lights or stop signs, they risk colliding with other vehicles that have the right of way. These accidents can be particularly dangerous because they often occur at intersections, where vehicles may be crossing paths at high speeds.

Teen Drivers

Teen drivers, due to their lack of experience, can be more prone to making mistakes on the road. Their inexperience in handling complex traffic situations and tendency to take risks can lead to accidents.

Fatigue

Driving while tired or drowsy can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Fatigue impairs a driver’s reaction time, judgment, and ability to focus on the road. This is particularly a concern for long-distance drivers or those who drive late at night.

A recent estimate by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates that in the United States, approximately 42,795 people lost their lives in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2022.

In Washington alone, there were 698 fatal crashes. In 186 cases, the driver was impaired by alcohol. In 267 cases, the driver tested positive for drugs. 232 cases involved a speeding driver, while 94 involved a distracted driver.

Common Locations Of Car Accidents In Washington State

High Traffic Urban Areas: Seattle And Surrounding Cities

A large number of car accidents in Washington State occur in high-traffic urban areas. Seattle, being the largest city in the state, experiences a high volume of traffic, making it a common place for vehicle collisions. Other cities like Tacoma, Spokane, and Bellevue also report a high number of accidents. These areas have busy intersections, frequent stop-and-go traffic, and a high density of pedestrians and cyclists, all of which contribute to the risk of accidents

Interstate Highways And Major Routes

Interstate highways and major routes in Washington are also common locations for car accidents. Highways like I-5, I-90, and US Route 101 see a high amount of traffic, including heavy vehicles and long-distance travelers. These roads are often the sites of high-speed collisions, which tend to be more severe. Factors such as weather conditions, especially in the colder months, and high traffic volumes during holidays and peak hours, make for an increased risk on these highways.

Rural Roads And Less Populated Areas

While urban areas and highways are prominent locations for accidents, rural roads in Washington State should not be overlooked. Accidents in these areas might be less frequent but can be more severe due to higher speeds, less traffic regulation, and longer response times for emergency services. Rural roads are often narrower, have fewer safety features, and can be more challenging to navigate, especially in poor weather conditions.

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Liability In Washington Car Accidents

In Washington State, understanding who is liable in a car accident revolves primarily around the concept of negligence. The determination of liability is really important as it affects who will be responsible for the damages incurred. There are several key parties who could be potentially liable:

Driver Negligence

This is often the most straightforward form of negligence. Examples include speeding, driving under the influence, texting while driving, or not following traffic signals. In these cases, the driver who violated traffic laws or drove carelessly is typically held responsible for the accident and its consequent damages.

Vehicle Manufacturers

In certain scenarios, a defect in the vehicle itself could lead to an accident. This could involve faulty brakes, airbags that fail to deploy, or tire blowouts. If it is proven that a defect in the vehicle, which the manufacturer should have known about, caused the accident, the manufacturer might be held liable under product liability laws.

Government Entities

The role of government entities in maintaining safe road conditions is pivotal. If an accident is caused due to poor road maintenance, like potholes, lack of proper signage, or faulty traffic signals, a government body could be liable. However, claims against government entities often have specific procedural rules and tight deadlines.

Employers

If a person is involved in an accident while performing their job duties, their employer might be liable. This is especially relevant in cases involving commercial vehicles like trucks or delivery vans. The employer’s liability arises from the legal principle that an employer is responsible for the actions of their employees during work hours.

Pursuing Compensation After A Car Accident In Washington

After a car accident in Washington, victims have two primary avenues to seek compensation: through insurance claims or by filing a lawsuit.

Insurance Claims

Washington allows you to file a claim with your own insurance company, the at-fault driver’s insurer, or both. The insurance companies will evaluate the accident, determining who is at fault and the extent of damages. This typically involves negotiations with insurance adjusters, which is where an experienced Tacoma car accident attorney can step in to make sure your claim isn’t being devalued and that you are getting maximum compensation.

Filing A Lawsuit

If the insurance claim does not result in adequate compensation, or if there are significant disputes over fault or the extent of injuries, filing a personal injury lawsuit might be the next step to take legal action against the at-fault driver or other liable parties. A lawsuit may allow for a broader range of damages to be recovered, especially if the car accident case involves serious injuries or complex liability issues. An experienced car accident lawyer will be the difference between getting the compensation you deserve and getting nothing. 

Understanding Damages In Washington Car Accident Cases

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Following a car accident in Washington, the term “damages” refers to the financial compensation awarded to the victim for losses and injuries sustained. Here are some examples of potential damages:

Medical Expenses

This is often the most significant component of a car accident claim. It covers all medical treatments resulting from the accident, including emergency services, hospitalization, surgery, medication, and any long-term care or rehabilitation.

Lost Wages And Earning Capacity

If the injuries from the accident have caused you to miss work, you can claim compensation for lost wages. This also includes loss of future earning capacity if your injuries prevent you from returning to your previous job or working in the same capacity as before.

Pain And Suffering

This includes compensation for the physical pain and emotional distress you have endured because of the accident. Unlike medical bills or lost wages, pain and suffering damages are more subjective and can vary significantly from case to case.

Property Damage

This typically covers the cost of repairs to your vehicle and any other personal property damaged in the accident. If your vehicle is totaled, compensation might be provided for the fair market value of the car before the accident.

Statute Of Limitations In Car Accident Lawsuits

Relevant Washington Laws:

RCW 4.16.080 is a Washington law that sets a three-year deadline for bringing various types of legal actions, including those related to car accidents. Therefore, if you are involved in a car accident, you have three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. If you don’t bring your lawsuit inside of this period, you might not be able to obtain compensation for your injuries and losses.

Relevant Washington Laws:

RCW 4.20.010 addresses wrongful death car accident lawsuits. According to this law, if someone’s death is caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another, the deceased person’s personal representative can file a lawsuit against the responsible party. This lawsuit can seek compensation for both economic and non-economic damages sustained by the beneficiaries as a result of the decedent’s death.

Freeman Law Firm, Inc. Tacoma Car Accident Lawyers

If you or a loved one has been a victim of a car accident, consulting with an experienced Tacoma car accident lawyer may make all the difference in your path forward. Freeman Law Firm, Inc. helps car accident victims deal with their post-accident challenges. Our highly experienced and compassionate car accident attorneys understand how complex these cases can be and are committed to representing your interests with the utmost care and professionalism. Contact us at (253) 383-4500 or reach out to us online for a comprehensive evaluation of your case. Learn more about personal injury cases in Washington.

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Giving back and supporting our community is important to us. Upon the completion of your case, you will choose a charity to receive a 1% donation made exclusively from Freeman Law Firm, Inc. fees.
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