Last year, it was estimated that Washington State had an average of about 150 accidents a day. This suggests that no one is immune from getting into an accident. But there are some simple tips that can help you with the consequences of an accident.
So, you were in an accident – what to do?
- If you are involved in an accident, regardless of its complexity, as soon as possible stop the car and turn on the emergency lights.
- Check the health of your passengers and, if possible, park the car so it does not interfere with traffic. Make sure it is safe to exit the vehicle.
- Get out of the car and check to see if other parties in the accident need medical assistance. If necessary, contact emergency services.
- Under Washington state law, it is not necessary to report every collision unless it is a terrible accident. But every driver must fill out a vehicle collision report if there was injury to anyone or $1,000 or more in damage. In either case, you will need a report from the scene to contact your insurance company. If you have called law enforcement, you will no longer need to fill out the report yourself.
- Don’t say anything about who you think is at fault. Your statements could hurt you later.
- Write down all the information you can gather about what happened. This may include information such as: the other driver’s contact information, name, phone number and address; information about the weather and road conditions; information about all passengers; the make, model and license plate numbers of the cars involved in the accident; contacts of witnesses; time and date of the accident; a description of damage to the cars and injuries to everyone involved in the accident. If possible, take pictures of everything on your phone.
- If you do call the police to the place of the accident, stay at the place and wait for them, tell your version of what happened. Be polite to everyone and stay out of the way of the investigation.
- Make sure the officer takes a police report and records the names of all the passengers in your car at the time of the collision.
- After the report is filed, notify your insurance company that you were involved in an accident. If your car is not roadworthy, your insurance company will be required to take steps to get it off the road.
- If you are injured, you will also need to report the accident to the Washington State Insurance Commission.
- Do not post anything about the accident on social media until your case is closed. What you say or write may work against you.
- Within 14 days of being involved in a car accident, see a doctor. Do this even if nothing is bothering you.
What should immigrants do after a car accident?
If you received your driver’s license in the U.S., you have all the same rights and responsibilities as drivers who are American citizens. That is, you can drive anywhere in the country and obey the laws of the place where you live. If you have a driver’s license from another country and do not have an international license, how you proceed depends on how long you are in the state. If you are here for a short stay, you have the right to drive until the end of the current year. If you are moving to Washington State, however, as an immigrant you will need to obtain a state driver’s license within 30 days.
Either way, no one will be happy with a fine or a suspension of their license. To avoid such consequences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance either in advance or immediately after an accident in Washington. Even if you are involved in an accident in Orlando, for example, you have all the same rights and responsibilities as drivers who are American citizens.
What if one of the drivers doesn’t have insurance?
Any car accident can cause damage to your property or your health. Therefore, auto insurance in Washington State is mandatory, and failure to comply with this rule can result in fines of up to $450 and the suspension of your driver’s license if you fail to pay. The same consequences can occur if you simply cannot prove insurance.
So what happens if you are involved in an accident and don’t have insurance?
Insurance in Washington State will pay for your damages in the event of an accident to the extent of your insurance policy. In addition to your primary insurance policy, you may be able to buy your own supplemental coverage. If you don’t have any supplemental or primary coverage, you’ll need to pay for all of your own damages. That said, Washington State is not a no-fault auto insurance state. This means that if there is an accident, the at-fault party will be responsible for paying for all the damages they incurred.
For starters, you will be required to pay for the damages from the collision. If, however, the accident resulted in $1,000 or more in damages, or caused injuries to both parties, your license will be suspended. Your driver’s license can be suspended for three years from the date of the accident, and you will have to pay a $75 fine to have it reinstated.
That said, there is an option where you can keep your driver’s license even if you were involved in an accident without insurance or you were not listed on the insurance. To do this, you will need to provide the Washington State Department of Licensing with one of the following documents:
- A signed agreement stating that those involved in the accident will not be liable for damages;
- Proof that you have posted a bond in the amount of the accident damage;
- A copy of the written agreement with all parties for damages;
- A certified copy of the civil court ruling that you are not liable for the claims.
It’s important to remember that the deadline for filing these documents is 60 days before the suspension goes into effect.
An accident in which you are the at-fault party may not only result in legal liability, but also have a significant impact on your budget. This can happen for the reason that Washington has a comparative fault policy. Accordingly, if the court finds that you are more at fault for the accident than the other driver, you will have to pay more for the damages you receive. That is, the compensation for you will be less, which means you will have to pay more on your own.
An accident for the person responsible for the accident in this case can “run into a lot of money”. Therefore, it is always recommended to consult with an experienced lawyer, so as not to bring upon themselves even more financial costs.
Got into an accident in a state of intoxication. What will happen?
Fines for accidents, paying for the treatment of injured participants in the accident, and all the consequences of an accident are quite large, even if you are sober. But what happens if you are involved in a drunk driving accident?
If you are involved in an accident while intoxicated, you are likely to be seriously injured and the property damage from the accident will be higher, plus you will be legally liable for breaking the law. In addition, remember that you are not only endangering your own life, but also the lives of all road users.
Often, causing serious injuries during a drunk driving accident can be a criminal offense, depending on the severity of your injuries and the various circumstances. That means you’ll face several thousand dollars in fines, loss of your driver’s license, and jail time. In addition to fines for breaking the law, you may also be liable for injuries and damages to injured parties.
A drunk driving accident can also result in involuntary manslaughter. This is considered a crime and is punishable by law.
Seek legal assistance immediately if you have been involved in a drunk driving accident in Washington State.
What are the benefits of a car accident in Washington?
One of the first questions after a car accident is about car accident benefits. How big is the damage payout, what exactly is it for, and in what time frame? It’s all in order.
The law never fully compensates you for your injuries. However, Washington State law does allow you to receive compensation for damages you cannot even measure, such as a moral hazard payout for a car accident.
Possible damages to you after an accident may include:
- Medical treatment;
- Material damages;
- loss of wages;
- loss of ability to work;
Accordingly, you may be entitled to compensation for personal injury in a car accident, moral damages in a car accident, and other benefits for car accident victims. Any reduction in your quality of life that occurred because you were involved in a car accident with injuries should also be included in your claim.
If you have been involved in a car accident with injuries, seek legal help and an experienced attorney can help you get all the monetary compensation you are entitled to in Washington.
How do I get paid after a car accident?
Immediately after you have been involved in an accident and a police officer has filled out an accident report and added the names of everyone involved in the accident to the report, contact your insurance company right away for a settlement. The goal of insurance companies is to be able to make more money and pay less compensation. Therefore, it is always recommended to solve all their issues with the insurance company through a lawyer. A lawyer will work hard to make sure that your insurance company pays your losses as much as possible. Naturally, within the limits of your insurance coverage.
Amount of benefits
The amount of compensation for a car accident in Washington is different for each party involved in the accident. In Washington, the minimum insurance coverage is $10,000, which means that you can receive the minimum compensation from the insurance company according to the terms of this coverage.
If you and the other driver do not have automobile insurance, the issue of compensation for the accident victim may be resolved through the courts.
Time Limits for Compensation in Washington
The timeline for compensation in Washington depends on how quickly you file a claim with the at-fault driver or your insurance company.
It is very important to understand that payouts also depend on when you see a doctor. Many insurance companies tend to pay you right away because you may not know all of your injuries and the further expenses you may need to pay for treatment. For example, you or your doctor may not know how your body will react to a particular treatment. A poor response to treatment leads to a longer recovery period and higher medication costs, which your insurance company may not like. Also, because of the length of treatment, you will be out of work longer, which should also be covered by insurance.
Therefore, it is extremely important to see a doctor as soon as possible after the accident, and resolve all questions about the timing of payments from the insurance company through an attorney. On average, compensation can be paid within 3-6 months after the completion of treatment, but there are also cases where the payment of compensation may take several years.
Do not delay with a visit to the doctor and go to him, even if you do not have any pain and nothing bothers you. This will not only help you, but also the course of your compensation case. And don’t try to deal with all the consequences of the accident on your own, but be sure to contact an attorney such as Rafael Nunez https://thenunezlawfirm.com/our-attorneys/rafael-o-nunez/ if you have been involved in a car accident in Washington, DC.