Personal Injury Law: Auto Accidents
AUTO INSURANCE FOR INJURY ACCIDENTS
You may know that WA State law says vehicles must be insured, but it also states that insurance companies must give you the option to buy personal injury protection (PIP), as well as underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage.
In the event of a car wreck, PIP pays for your medical bills, no matter who was at fault, shielding you from this burden. If the at-fault driver is not covered enough to pay your damages, or was not insured at all, you can turn to your UIM to bridge the gap. But simply paying for these doesn’t mean it will be easy to reclaim what you’re owed. This is why it’s vital to contact a skilled lawyer to ensure your claim is managed right. If the insurer doesn’t do what the law requires, Armitage & Thompson has experience filing lawsuits in State and Federal courts.
Large trucks (semis, etc.) weigh 20-30 times as much as a regular car, and they have higher fatal crash rates due to the vulnerability of those riding in smaller cars and trucks. Loaded semis take a 20-40 percent farther distance to stop than cars, and that number gets larger with empty boxes, wet or slick roads, or brakes that aren’t maintained.
Truck-driver fatigue also is a known crash risk. Although drivers of large trucks have laws to limit how many hours they can drive, surveys show that too often they are ignored, and drivers work longer than allowed.
BICYCLE ACCIDENTS & INJURIES
The law requires those riding a bike to follow the rules of the road; although, when a rider is on a sidewalk or in a crosswalk, they must be treated like a pedestrian by other drivers.
Traffic laws apply to persons riding bicycles and state:
(1) Every person riding a bicycle upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this chapter, except as to special regulations in RCW 46.61.750 through 46.61.780 and except as to those provisions of this chapter which by their nature can have no application.
(2) Every person riding a bicycle upon a sidewalk or crosswalk must be granted all of the rights and is subject to all of the duties applicable to a pedestrian by this chapter.
Car vs human wrecks are all too common and often involve severe injuries. In some cases, there may also exist a claim to be made that the roadway has not been kept safe for walking travel. It is vital to retain a lawyer with skill in road design and upkeep claims to ensure all aspects of liability are being researched.
Washington auto accidents may result in strict liability for injury to pedestrians who are disabled. RCW 70.84.040 provides for an “enhanced” duty of care owed by a driver to a pedestrian if the driver knew or should have known, within reason, the pedestrian was blind or partially blind, hearing impaired, or physically disabled.
See Wright v. Engum, 124 Wn.2d 343, 878 P.2d 1198 (1994). The statute applies only under certain events. If the statutory prerequisites are met, a driver is required to take “all necessary precautions to avoid injury” to the pedestrian and “shall be liable in damages for any injury caused pedestrian.” RCW 70.84.040.
Motorcycle accidents often involve serious injuries, such as paralysis, traumatic brain injury, or even the loss of life. Insurance companies defend drivers in these accidents by claiming the motorcyclist was at fault, and by arguing that the conduct of the motorcyclist contributed to the collision.
This is why it is so important to retain a lawyer who is familiar with insurance company tactics. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a motorcycle-related accident, contact our office today to discuss your rights.
Injuries arise from bus accidents in various contexts. People are injured from crashes, incidents that occur while on the bus, unusual jars and jolts caused by the driver, defects in the bus itself, and more.
Our lawyers have experience handling injury claims involving city buses, charter/tour buses, and school buses.
Contact us today for your free consultation, either fill out the form below or call us at 509-252-5048.
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