Despite Wapato’s small population, an average of two or three accidents occurred in the city every month in 2014, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation statistics. About 20 percent of these accidents resulted in injuries. This could mean major medical bills, lost time at work, and life-altering disabilities.
Fortunately, Washington is a “fault state,” which means that accident victims have a right to pursue compensation for their losses from any at-fault parties. They might also be able to recover under their own policies, depending on their coverages and the specifics of the accident.
If you or your loved one has been involved in a Wapato car accident, you are invited to call The Pickett Law Firm to discuss your options. We can review your case, calculate the value of your damages, and help you navigate the claims process. Our car accident lawyer can help you obtain the most money possible to take care of your current and future needs. Call our office today at 509-972-1825 for a free consultation.
What are the primary causes of car accidents in Wapato?
While busy streets, poor road conditions, and inclement weather contribute to a small percentage of accidents in Wapato, most car accidents are the result of negligence.
Driver negligence comes in many forms. For instance, according to a Yakima Herald report, police say intoxicants contributed to deadly crash on State Road 22 involving a 19-year-old Wapato driver who ran into a couple’s car, killing them.
Police say intoxicants were involved in another serious single-car accident involving a Wapato man. According to Yakima Herald, the man was heading west on Yakima Valley Highway when his car veered off the road, hit an embankment, and rolled over. Charges are pending.
Driving while intoxicated is just one example of negligence, though. Inattention is another. Drivers are all too often preoccupied by their cell phones, passengers, the radio, and myriad other distractions, rather than keeping their eyes and mind on the road. Other forms of negligence that contribute to collisions include:
- Speeding and driving too fast for conditions
- Driving in other vehicles’ blind spots and tailgating
- Driving recklessly
- Driving while sleepy
- Failing to yield
What rights do I have if a negligent driver caused my car accident?
Washington law provides that when someone is injured by a negligent driver, the victim has a right to file a claim against the at-fault driver to seek compensation for the associated losses. If you can show that the other driver caused or contributed to the accident, then you can recover your damages up to the policyholder’s limits. You may also be able to take the case to court and seek a fuller recovery.
Note: You have a right to have an attorney represent you for any car accident case. You will certainly want to exercise this right to ensure your case is handled effectively and in your best interest.
Also, because Washington implements what is called the pure comparative negligence rule, your percentage of fault will reduce your payment. So, for example, if the insurer deems you 10 percent at fault for the accident and your damages total $10,000, you would be able to recover $9,000.
This is why identifying and proving negligence is such a vital part of a car accident claim. The Pickett Law Firm can investigate your case, help prove negligence, and fight for the full amount of compensation you deserve. We will protect your rights and make sure we account for the full extent of your damages.
To make sure you are doing what you can to protect your rights, check out our Car Accident Guide.
What types of damages can I recover for my Wapato car accident?
There are two primary categories of damages you can recover if you win your Wapato car accident case:
- Special damages: Special damages are the easy-to-quantify monetary losses and expenses that result from the accident. This includes things such as medical bills, future treatments, lost wages, counseling, disability, the cost of hiring help for household tasks, the cost of renovating your home to accommodate a disability, and various other related expenses.
- General damages: General damages, also referred to as pain and suffering, are intangible losses you sustain that do not have an inherent dollar value. These include emotional, mental, and psychological effects such as post-traumatic stress disorder; the effect of a catastrophic injury on your career, relationships, and self-esteem; and lost qualify of life.
Do I need a lawyer for a car accident case in Wapato?
Having an attorney assist you with your case protects your interests and almost always results in a better outcome and higher settlement. And because The Pickett Law Firm does not charge for services unless you win your case, there are no upfront costs or risks on your part. Retaining an attorney just makes good sense.
Contact our office at 509-972-1825 to speak to a Wapato car accident attorney today.