Federal Way, WA, Car Accident Lawyers

Protect Your Rights After a Car Accident

When someone hits you with their vehicle, you may suffer injuries like minor cuts and scrapes, or you could suffer catastrophic injuries. The at-fault driver, or their insurance company, should pay for your medical expenses and other damages. Our Federal Way, WA, car accident attorneys can help you protect your rights and get the compensation you deserve.

After an accident, the at-fault driver's insurance company is usually responsible for paying damages. However, insurance companies will certainly try to avoid paying a claim; and they’re notorious for offering minimal amounts to settle.

If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a car accident, contact one of our Bellingham, WA car accident lawyers at Strong Law at 206-737-2997 for a free case evaluation and assistance in dealing with insurers.

Our Team Gets Results for Our Clients

Find Out Why So Many People Trust Strong Law

Our Federal Way, WA, car accident team works hard to get results for our clients. We take the time necessary to investigate your car accident case to the fullest extent. We leave no stone unturned so that we can represent your interests to the best of our ability.

The legal system is complex; and if your car accident case has more than one person at fault, it becomes even more complicated. Count on our experience, our strategic and negotiating skills and our knowledge of the law. We make sure insurance companies and other defendants do not violate your rights. We will make sure that you get all the compensation you deserve. Some of our results include:

  • A client was rear-ended while sitting at a stoplight. His neck surgery forced him to stay in a rehabilitation center for two months. We recovered $1.1 million for him.
  • A drunk driver crossed the center line, causing a head-on collision with our clients. We recovered $1 million for them.
  • A vehicle hit our client as the client was crossing the street. His injuries required surgery on his knee and shoulder and caused him to be out for work for over a year. We recovered $900,000 for him.
  • Our client was a passenger in the vehicle driven by an acquaintance. Unbeknownst to our client, the acquaintance was drunk. The driver crashed into a tree, causing our client to suffer neck injuries that required surgery. We recovered $875,000 for our client.
  • Three young children were riding in a car that was T-boned while the driver was making a left turn into a parking lot. The three children suffered injuries in the wreck. We recovered $680,000 for the children.

Each matter is unique, and your results may vary.

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Proving Liability in a Federal Way, WA, Car Accident

Our Experienced Attorneys Know How to Show Who Was at Fault

In some cases, it is obvious who was at fault in a car accident. In other cases, your attorney might have to retain private investigators to determine who was at fault in the car accident. While the police report can point to liability, it is not the only tool a car accident lawyer in Bellingham will use.

To recover damages in a car accident, you must be able to show that the other driver met the four elements to prove liability. Those elements are:

  • The driver – also known as the defendant – had a duty of care not to harm you.
  • The driver violated that duty.
  • The driver’s actions caused your injuries.
  • You suffered damages as a result of those actions.

More than one person could meet these elements – and if they do, they are also responsible for your injuries and other damages.

To help prove who shares in the liability for the damages you can collect, our Federal Way car accident lawyers will investigate the accident scene and use expert witnesses to recreate the accident, when necessary. Our attorneys will also interview first responders, police officers and other witnesses who were at the scene of the accident.

What to Do After a Car Accident in Federal Way, WA

In many cases, your injuries could prevent you from doing anything after a car accident. However, if you feel that you can move around without causing additional harm to yourself, you should take the following steps after a car wreck:

  • Call first responders and check on others involved in the wreck.
  • Obtain the other drivers’ contact information, insurance information and registration information.
  • Speak to witnesses. First, obtain a good phone number from anyone who witnessed the accident. You can also ask a witness what he or she saw. If you do, be sure to take notes about which witness said what.
  • Allow the emergency medical technicians to check you over, even if you believe your injuries are minor. Some injuries will not manifest for hours or even a day or two.
  • After the police release you from the scene, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Let the medical personnel know that you were in an accident and you want to ensure that you do not have any injuries that have not manifested yet.
  • Contact our car accident lawyers in Federal Way, WA.

Recoverable Damages After a Car Accident in Federal Way

In Washington, you can recover economic damages and non-economic damages. You cannot recover punitive or exemplary damages for a car accident in Washington State, even if the at-fault driver’s actions or inactions were grossly negligent.

Economic damages and non-economic damages are compensatory damages. The court orders these types of damages in an attempt to make you whole again. While the money does not bring back a loved one, it does reduce financial stress for family members and for the accident victim who might not be able to work again.

Economic Damages

Special damages, usually referred to as economic damages, have a monetary value. They include:

  • Past and Future Medical Expenses: Past medical expenses are those you incurred because of the accident and prior to a trial award or a settlement. Future medical expenses are those you expect to incur after you settle or win a trial award. Medical expenses also include any therapy you might need, such as cognitive and other psychological therapies, occupational therapy and physical therapy.
  • Past and Future Lost Wages: Past lost wages are those you lost from the time of the accident through the time you settle your case or win a trial award. Future lost wages are those you expect to continue losing after a settlement or a trial award. If you are able to work but your disabilities prevent you from making the same hourly rate or salary as prior to the accident, you could recover partial future lost wages.

Economic losses also include property damage. These damages sometimes have an emotional component as well.

Non-Economic Damages

Compensation for out-of-pocket expenses is essential in these situations. Simply stated, car crash victims need money to put their shattered lives back together. This money should never come from their own bank accounts.

But this compensation, by itself, does not make the victim whole again, as required by Washington State law. No one can turn back the clock and change what happened. So, financial compensation for non-economic losses is the next best thing. These categories of damages include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment in life
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of consortium (companionship and contribution to household affairs).

It is very difficult for anyone to put a price tag on items like these. To determine a reasonable amount for these damages, our Federal Way car accident lawyers often partner with accountants, psychologists, and other outside professionals. We never ask for more than is fair, and we never force you to settle for less.

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Lindsey - Washington
 

“Very professional, and treated me as an equal.”

Just wanted to say thank you to Jed and his team at Strong Law. Not only was I happy with the outcome, but the entire process as a whole. I would definitely recommend this firm to anyone. Thanks again.

Nick S
Utah

“Unbelievable work!”

I had a claim involving my own insurance company. I tried to negotiate with them, and they completely denied my claim – two times. I then hired Strong Law, and the change was instant. The insurance company immediately began negotiating, and Jed was able to secure an unbelievably good settlement. I will never again attempt to take-on an insurance company without Strong Law in my corner. Thank you!”

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Washington
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“I got justice and awesome compensation.”

“I hired Strong Law after my car accident. Jed and his team worked hard on my case. They were professional and compassionate through my surgery and as I recovered, and they were awesome on communication. I got justice and awesome compensation. I would recommend Strong Law to anyone in my situation.”

Rick R.
Colorado

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Federal Way, WA, Car Accident FAQs

When should I contact a car accident lawyer in Federal Way, WA?

Promptly reaching out to an attorney is extremely important, for both legal reasons and medical reasons. Any delay could have serious consequences.

Legally, the sooner you reach out to a lawyer, the sooner a lawyer starts building your claim for damages. This painstaking process includes collecting evidence. Much of this proof includes evidence unavailable at the accident scene. Furthermore, an attorney must research the ever-changing laws in this area.

Medically, many car wreck injuries are difficult to diagnose. They are also degenerative. The longer they go undiagnosed and untreated, the more serious they become. We have professional relationships with top doctors in the field, so we are usually able to arrange for immediate medical care with no upfront costs.

On a medical/legal note, if victims do not immediately see a doctor, insurance company lawyers usually argue that their injuries must not have been very bad, and that their damage claims are inflated.

My accident was not in Federal Way, and the at-fault driver and I live in another city. Do I have to use your Federal Way office?

No. You can work with our car accident lawyers in our office in Tacoma, WA, or even Portland or Eugene, OR. We also have an office in Salt Lake City, UT. Because of jurisdiction and venue laws, you should visit the office closest to where you or the defendant lives or closest to where the accident took place.

The insurance adjuster for the defendant’s insurance company keeps calling me. What should I do?

Ask the adjuster to contact our office. If you have given the insurance adjuster this information previously, tell the adjuster not to call you again. Additionally, let our office know that the insurance adjuster continues to reach out to you. We will also inform the insurance adjuster that he or she should not contact you.

I need to have my car fixed before my case settles. How do I get it fixed?

We will contact the insurance company on your behalf to get information about repairing your vehicle. Once an investigation has been completed, you can take your car in for repairs. In many cases, insurance companies have separate departments for property damage and personal injury claims. You can discuss getting your vehicle repaired with the property damage department, or you can ask us to obtain the information you need for the repair shop to submit expenses.

If the driver who hit me was on the job, can I also collect from his or her employer?

If the employer is found to have some fault in the accident, you can also sue the employer’s insurance company. For example, if the investigation finds that the brakes failed on a delivery car and the employer knew that the brakes were malfunctioning but told the driver to drive the car anyway, the employer could share in the responsibility for your damages.

If I caused an accident because of a defective part on my vehicle that the manufacturer would not recall, can I sue the manufacturer?

Yes and no. Generally, manufacturers are strictly liable for the injuries their defective products cause. However, if you knew about the defect and did nothing to make your vehicle safer, the manufacturer could use that inaction as a defense.

Strict liability is a higher standard than negligence. A defective product, like a defective tire or an ignition issue, could seriously injure thousands of people. There are basically two kinds of product defects in Washington law:

  • Design Defect: The 1970s Ford Pinto is an example of a design defect. To make the car lighter and cheaper, designers put the Pinto’s unlined gas tank behind the rear axle. As a result, it was overly prone to rupture and explosion, even in a relatively low speed accident.
  • Manufacturing Defect: 1990s Takata airbags are an example of a manufacturing defect. To cut costs, the manufacturer replaced a stable and expensive chemically propellant with ammonium nitrate, which is unstable and cheap. Ammonium nitrate is basically the same compound Timothy McVeigh used in the Oklahoma City truck bomb.

The unforeseeable use doctrine is basically the only legal defense in a defective product claim. Manufacturers are not liable for damages if individuals misuse a product, and that misuse causes injury. The misuse must be extreme, like using racing tires to go off-roading in the Cascades.

Is it possible to suffer post-traumatic stress disorder after an accident?

Absolutely. In fact, it’s also possible to suffer from PTSD-like symptoms, and obtain compensation for them, even if you were not otherwise injured.

About half of car crash victims suffer from PTSD. Going through a stressful event, like a car wreck or combat firefight, alters brain chemistry. The amygdala (part of the brain that controls emotional responses) enlarges, and the cerebral cortex (logical responses) shrinks. This imbalance causes effects like depression, anger, flashbacks, and other symptoms that make it difficult or impossible to function in everyday life.

Furthermore, the additional stress parents feel when they see their children injured triggers a special legal doctrine, called the zone of danger rule. Therefore, parents in these situations are entitled to compensation for bystander injuries. This compensation could include both the economic and noneconomic damages mentioned above.

What if the accident was my fault?

Tragedies like car crashes often have multiple causes. So, both drivers could well be partially responsible for the wreck. However, there are two important things to remember in this area.

First, there is a difference between fault and legal responsibility (known as “liability”). An insurance adjuster, who will have the insurance company interests as their focus instead of yours, usually determines fault based solely on the immediately available evidence. If your case goes to trial, a jury or judge determines liability based not only on the evidence at the scene, but also on electronic and other subsequently available evidence.

Additionally, even if you were partially responsible for the accident, compensation is still available. Washington is a pure comparative fault state. So, even if the victim was 99 percent responsible for the collision, the negligent driver is liable for a proportionate share of damages.

There Is No Fee Unless Our Federal Way, WA, Car Accident Lawyers Win

Many attorneys charge by the hour. It is not unusual for a top attorney to charge more than $1,000 per hour. Your car accident claim is extremely valuable, as outlined above. However, an hourly fee is not feasible for most families, particularly hourly fees in the middle or upper range. That’s especially true since most car crash victims are unable to work and have no current income.

At the same time, legal representation is vital. Insurance companies have almost unlimited resources. They do not hesitate to hire lawyers to defend their interests. In fact, many large insurance companies have attorneys on retainer. These lawyers are just waiting for the chance to reduce or deny compensation to car accident victims.

Consequently, many victims are in a quandary. They know they need legal representation, but they could have trouble paying for it.

Our Federal Way, WA, attorneys solve this problem by working on a contingent fee basis. Usually, our personal injury clients pay no upfront legal fees. Therefore, families get top representation without worrying about paying another bill.

Furthermore, because our firm has such significant resources, we usually advance all litigation costs as well, such as filing fees, deposition costs, and expert witness fees.

Your initial meeting with a lawyer is free as well. To win the compensation you deserve, contact our Federal Way, WA, car accident attorneys at 206-737-2997 for a free case evaluation as soon as possible.

Contact Our Team of Federal Way, WA, Car Accident Lawyers for a Free Case Evaluation

Car accident injuries, especially those that cause long-term or permanent disabilities, can significantly change your life – and usually not for the better. While the compensation you deserve does not get rid of your injuries and disabilities, nor does it bring back a loved one who died in a car accident, the money does reduce the financial stress of not being able to work or of missing that second income.

Our Federal Way, WA, car accident attorneys can help protect your rights after an accident and help you recover the compensation you deserve. If you or a loved one was in a car accident, contact Strong Law Accident & Injury Attorneys at 206-737-2997 for a free case evaluation.

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How Strong Law will handle you case

Investigate the Accident

Gather evidence, interview witnesses, and assess the circumstances surrounding the accident to establish facts and liability.

Identifying Compensation

Determine the extent of damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Negotiation

Engage in discussions with the opposing party or insurance companies to reach a fair settlement outside of court.

Litigation

If negotiations fail, proceed to court where legal arguments and evidence are presented before a judge or jury for a final decision.

Insider experience

We know how to fight big insurance companies

Prior to representing accident victims, Jed worked for GEICO insurance company as one of its in-house attorneys – representing the insurance companies. After learning the inner workings of insurance companies, he quit and began representing accident victims.

No upfront fees

Absolutely ZERO upfront fees

We want to help you get the legal advice you need with no upfront fees. There is no obligation to use our law firm and we only get paid if you win your case.

First class service

First class customer service

Our team of legal experts pride themselves on going above and beyond for our clients. We provide you answers and solutions to the legal issues you may experience from your accident.

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We are here to help you recover from your accident physically and fiscally. Let us help you maximize the compensation you deserve.

Frequently asked questions

Have other questions? Get in touch with our team at info@stronglawattorneys.com

What Is the Value of My Case?

The value of an injury case depends upon many factors related to the extent of your injuries and any other losses associated with your claim. You may have medical bills, lost income, costs associated with pain and suffering, among other possible damages. To learn the possible value of your case, contact the team at Strong Law. In a free case evaluation, we’ll let you know how much your case may be worth.

What Are Your Hours?

Strong Law is open five days a week between 9am and 5pm. In addition, we offer after hours return calls, weekend calls, and online chat.

What Kinds Of Cases Are Personal Injury?

Call us to know for sure, but a good rule of thumb is when an “accident” that happened to you because of the acts of or misdeeds of another party. Examples are: Auto accidents; motorcycle accidents; semi-truck accidents; wrongful death; medical malpractice; slip, trip and fall; boating accidents, faulty equipment, nursing home abuse; and many others.

Will I Be Charged To Consult Or Talk With You?

No, not ever. Strong Law is a contingency personal injury firm offering specialized experience along with access when you need it. Our goal is to gain the best settlement and provide comfort in the process, so easy access to us is part of our best practices.

What Does Contingency Mean?

Contingency in a legal matter means an expense to the client based on the outcome of a future event or circumstance which is possible but cannot be predicted with certainty. Said another way, Strong Law gets paid only if your case settles.

Can You Give Me An Assessment Of My Case?

Absolutely. While we cannot guarantee anything, nor do we imply a settlement, our willingness to take your case (and do it on contingency) is our voice that we feel your case has strong merit. After speaking with you, we can provide a merit assessment over the phone. However, we caution that accepting your case does not promise anything, your outcome is reflected in the law firm you choose.

What Should I Do If I’m Having Problems, Like Their Insurance Company Is Calling Me?

Always secure an attorney first. If you sign up with Strong Law now, you can advise their insurance company that you have representation and give them our name and contact information. From that time forward, they should not be contacting you again; it’s the law. If you do not sign with an attorney, like Strong Law, you will need to speak with them and represent yourself to resolve your injury. We strongly urge against this; insurance companies are skilled at ensuring their best interests over yours.

What Are Common Reasons For Insurance Injury Denials?

Make sure you receive medical treatment as soon as possible after an accident, otherwise insurance may argue your pain is from an unrelated incident.Insurance companies will be going out of their way to find some proof that the accident was your fault. Don’t be intimidated.If you have preexisting medical conditions that make you more likely to suffer an injury, it is not uncommon for insurance agencies to deny claims based on this.

How Long Does A Case Take To Settle?

It depends on many factors like medical care, future needs, evidence, proof of liability, and many others. Some cases take months while others can last a couple years. Ultimately, our goal is to represent you and what is going to be best for you in the long run.

Why Can Cases Last Years?

Because the law dictates it. There are many layers to make sure the insurance companies treat you with optimal care. For example, there will be time spent for medical treatments you might need. There is time to gather the needed medical reports and discover any long term impacts this injury will have on your life today and into the future. There is time for the other side to review our demands, research, and respond as well. It can feel like a long time, but we follow the law and strategize for the best benefit to you. We are with you the whole time.

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