Car Accident Lawyer Tri-Cities, WA
Although there are countless ways to be injured in a traffic crash, a car accident lawyer Tri-Cities, WA residents trusts can confirm that the most common collision scenario is the basic rear-end crash. Statistics show that these accidents account for about 29 percent of all traffic collisions.
Parking-lot fender-benders are certainly common. But rear-end crashes can also be far more disastrous, injurious, and even fatal. Of the nearly 1.7 million rear-end collisions every year on U.S. roads, about 500,000 results in injuries, while another 1,700 prove to be fatal
Below is some important information on rear-end car accidents, including the common injuries associated with them and why an accident victim shouldn’t assume that the rear car is at fault for the crash. Instead of making any assumptions about your collision, you should instead speak with an experienced Tri-Cities, WA car accident lawyer who can investigate the cause(s) of your crash, protect your rights, and help you make informed decisions about taking legal action.
Common Injuries Resulting from Rear-End Crashes
When the impact of a rear-end crash isn’t strong enough to be fatal, the most likely outcomes to occupants of the leading vehicle are suffering neck, back, and head injuries. This includes:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Back and spine injuries
- Broken bones
- Soft-tissue damage
Although broken bones and spinal injuries should be taken very seriously, it is important not to underestimate the long-term damage and suffering that can accompany injuries like whiplash and soft-tissue damage. These injuries may not present themselves immediately after a crash, but when pain does develop, it can be debilitating and long-lasting. Sometimes, it is permanent.
If you’ve been involved in a rear-end collision or any other type of crash, it is important to be examined by a medical professional to ensure that your immediate medical needs are met and that your injuries are properly documented.
Who is at Fault for a Rear-End Crash?
Conventional wisdom says that the trailing car in a rear-end crash is automatically at fault for the collision. This seems intuitive because the rear car seemingly has the most control over whether or not a crash is ultimately avoidable. Usually, factors like tailgating and distracted driving are blamed for rear-end crashes.
However, there are times when the leading driver is actually to blame for causing the crash, including instances when the lead car:
- Brakes suddenly for no discernible reason
- Pulls out and merges into flowing traffic without paying attention to the positions of other cars
- Drives at night without functioning brake lights
- Puts on turn signals ahead of a turn but then fails to follow through
- Experiences mechanical issues like a flat tire, but fails to adequately pull over to the side of the road and doesn’t put on hazard lights
These are just a few of many examples in which the lead driver may be at fault. In regards to your situation, our attorneys can help you reconstruct that accident scenario to better determine and prove fault so that we can build the strongest possible case on your behalf.
Do I Need to Work with a Lawyer After Being Involved in a Rear-End Crash?
One of the most common misconceptions that influence how Americans move forward in the wake of a car accident is that “I don’t need to work with an attorney if I am not planning to sue anyone.” Certainly, if you’re thinking about filing a personal injury claim against anyone else involved in the crash, you have likely concluded that you’ll need to work with an attorney to achieve your legal goals. However, if you are unsure of whether you are interested in filing a personal injury claim, you don’t know what your legal options are, or you’ve decided that you won’t be filing legal action at this time, you’ve likely concluded that you don’t need to seek legal counsel. The experienced Washington legal team at Telaré Law chooses to offer free personal injury consultations to all accident injury victims because we believe that everyone deserves to fully understand their rights under state law and to understand how to exercise their rights, should they decide to do so. If you’ve been hurt in an accident, it is a good idea to seek legal guidance regardless of whether you’re currently planning to file legal action or not. Leaving your legal situation unclarified could cause you to “miss out” on a significant amount of compensation to which you would otherwise be entitled.
Those who aren’t interested in filing personal injury claims in the wake of an accident are usually still compelled to negotiate with insurance providers related to their personal coverage and to any settlement awards they may be owed from others involved in their crash. It’s important to, whenever possible, allow our team to negotiate with insurance providers on your behalf instead of speaking with them directly. Insurance companies cannot remain operational unless they remain profitable. As a result, they like to save money when they can. Accordingly, they train their representatives to reject claims when possible and to devalue claims when possible. If you negotiate with insurance providers directly instead of allowing our legal team to take on this process for you, it is likely that you will not be awarded the full value of compensation to which you are owed. For this reason alone (even though there are other compelling reasons to seek legal guidance as noted above) it is worth scheduling a free consultation with our firm. Depending on the unique circumstances surrounding your accident, you may benefit significantly from allowing our team to negotiate with insurance providers on your behalf.
Before you arrive for your consultation, take a few minutes to write down your questions and to gather any documentation related to your accident. You’ll want to take advantage of this opportunity for free legal feedback to the best of your ability. The more information you provide us with to start, the more comprehensive we can be with our feedback during your consultation session.
Why Am I Being Asked to Go to an Independent Medical Examination (IME)?
If you have filed a car accident claim, your insurance company, or the at-fault party’s insurance company might ask you to schedule an independent medical exam (IME). These exams are generally not conducted by your own primary care physician, but rather a medical doctor who works for/with the insurance company. Usually, an IME will be required when the insurance company does not agree with your diagnosis and recommended medical treatment.
When one of our clients is asked to go to an IME, we always suggest that they let us know ahead of time. This will give our firm the opportunity to talk about what you can expect, and provide advice regarding things that should or should not be said or done. If you have not hired a car accident lawyer in the Tri-Cities, WA, this is a time to reconsider. Your case could be at risk!
Advice for Your IME
An IME can be nerve wracking. Consider the following advice for going to one:
Take Someone With You
If possible, ask a loved one or friend to go with you to your IME. You should let them know what an IME is, and what you want them to do. For example:
Take note of the beginning and end of the exam
Review, and write down, what questions are asked (including medical history)
Write down any tests that were performed and how long they took
Make notes about anything else that happened
In some cases, this person might be a witness – especially if there are arguments about the accuracy of the exam. It can also prevent the doctor from attempting intimidating tactics – which is sadly all too common.
Counter a Bad Report
A doctor who is conducting the IME will be working for the insurance company. Although they are a doctor, their interests might not be in line with your own. Unfortunately, their goals may be to tell the insurance company what they want to hear. For example, your injuries are not as severe as other doctors say they are. Your medical history suggests there were pre-existing injuries. You don’t need the recommended treatment. As a car accident lawyer in the Tri-Cities, Washington, we know what to expect and will be ready to counter any rogue claims made against you.
Get a Copy of the Report
You should get a copy of the IME report. The insurance company might tell you they will provide you with one; however, often it is only a partial version. If you don’t know how to get the full copy, we can help you.
Note Any Inaccuracies
You might review the report only to find that it is not complete, false, or inaccurate. If you feel this way, you should make this known. As long as you have a lawyer on your side, he or she will likely do this for you.
Ask a Doctor to Write You a Response
In the event your IME is negative, or the insurance company is using it against you, you might want to ask your own doctor to write you a response. This might include a letter that counters the report. You may be charged for this, but it should be included in the compensation that you recover. Our lawyers can tell you whether or not you need this letter.
Contact Us to Learn More
The aftermath of a car accident can be disorienting, to say the least. Know that after you contact the experienced team at Telaré Law, we’ll be able to take over the legal “heavy lifting” so that you can focus on healing. To take advantage of a free initial consultation with an experienced Tri-Cities, WA car accident lawyer, call our office today; we look forward to speaking with you.