What to Do After an Accident Injury

If you are injured in an accident, whether another car crashes into yours or you slip and fall in a store, what should you do? The answer is sometimes far from obvious. Should you talk to the other driver or store owner first? Go to a hospital or doctor’s office to tend to your injuries? Call the police, in the case of a crash? Call an attorney?

Following an accident, your next steps will largely depend on two things. First, you should always prioritize your safety and health. Second, you should collect evidence of the accident should you decide to pursue legal action later—or better yet, hire a personal injury lawyer to do that and many other tasks for you. Depending on the type of injury and what caused it, the specific actions you should take may vary. Let’s discuss the required steps.

Ensure Your Safety

The first step to take after you’ve been injured is to ensure your safety. You need to make sure, to the best of your ability, that you don’t encounter additional harm.

If you have been in a traffic accident, take steps to move out of traffic and safely to the side of the road. Do not leave the scene of the accident unless you are severely injured and require emergency medical attention. As soon as you are able, you should call law enforcement to file a collision report.

Of course, if you are severely injured, call 911 for an ambulance or have someone can call for you.

If you are injured at work, stop what you were doing immediately and seek medical attention. In Washington, your initial care can be from a doctor of your choice. Your employer has a duty to ensure that you can receive an initial medical examination and treatment.

If you were injured in a store, hotel, or other public place, take steps to remove yourself from the hazardous situation that caused your injuries.

If you are injured by a malfunctioning or defective product, stop using the product.

If you or a loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, the steps to take to ensure the victim’s safety will vary. If the abuse is being caused by a specific care provider, you may want to request that they are no longer assigned to attend to you. Such a request is only appropriate if it is safe to do so.

If the situation is caused by lack of care or an understaffed facility, it may be appropriate to discuss your concerns with staff supervisors or administrators. If a loved one is being psychologically abused or physically assaulted, you should consider removing them from the facility to ensure their safety.

If you think you have suffered an injury as a result of medical malpractice, you should seek an evaluation of the resulting damage from another medical professional.

Seek Medical Attention as Soon as Possible

Ensuring your safety after an injury and prioritizing your health and wellbeing can be achieved simultaneously in many instances. In general, two things are true. First, if you are in an accident that causes apparent and severe injuries, either you or people nearby should call an ambulance right away. How do you know if an injury is severe?

Signs of severe injuries may include a loss of consciousness, inability to move, or excessive bleeding. If you have any questions about the severity of your injuries, you should seek a medical evaluation immediately. Severe and even life threatening injuries may not display immediate symptoms, so it is always best to seek medical care.

Second, although, there are circumstances in which injured people should remain at the scene, if you are seriously injured you should leave the scene to seek emergency treatment. Traffic accidents are one example. Drivers should leave the scene only if they are significantly injured, requiring emergency transportation to the hospital. Otherwise, drivers should stay on the scene to talk to law enforcement and exchange contact and insurance information with other drivers or affected people (such as bicyclists or pedestrians).

Slip and fall accidents in public places are another. Communicate with management. You should inform them of your accident as well as the dangerous conditions that caused your injuries. Why? Should you later decide to pursue legal action, you must report your accident.

Note that, in both these cases, serious injury trumps any obligation to stay. If you need to call an ambulance or head to an urgent care center, your health should always be your first priority.

In other cases, such as a work-related accident, nursing home abuse, or product liability, there is no obligation to stay. You should remove yourself from danger and seek immediate medical attention.

If the circumstances and extent of your injuries deem it appropriate that you remain at the scene of the accident, see a doctor as soon as you can afterward. As mentioned, people can be unaware that they have suffered serious injuries. In fact, serious injuries such as concussions, a form of traumatic brain injury (TBI), often don’t manifest immediate symptoms. A physician will perform diagnostic testing to ensure that your injuries are not serious.

Get Evidence

What to Do After an Accident Injury Boohoff LawAfter your personal safety and health are protected, it’s time to think about collecting evidence to show how the accident happened. Washington state, for example, keeps collision reports, which have data on collisions. The reports include the location of the accident, the parties involved and the officer’s view of how a collision happened and what caused it.

If you are injured, you will pay medical bills. You may miss time off work. You may suffer emotionally and physically. Collect sufficient evidence to support your claim for recovery.

We understand that compensation cannot fix the impacts of a traumatic car accident. However, compensation for your injuries can help ease the financial burden associated with significant medical expenses. Experienced personal injury lawyers regularly fight for the rights of injured victims to seek the compensation they are entitled to. Individuals whose negligence or recklessness caused your injuries should be held accountable.

If another party was responsible, you need evidence of how the accident happened. The first step is identifying the at-fault parties.

You also need evidence of the harm the injury caused you. Your injuries themselves are one form of evidence. Your medical treatment records are another form of evidence. In addition, evidence of time missed from work to treat the injury and other impacts the injury has had on your quality of life will also show the harm the injury has caused you.

Evidence About the Accident

When you are in an accident, take pictures of the scene if possible. This is true if you’ve been in any type of traffic accident, or accident in a public place or at work. If you carry a smartphone, take advantage of its photo- and video-capturing capabilities.

Take pictures of the scene from every angle. In addition to documenting the damage to the vehicles involved, you should take other pictures that may demonstrate how the accident happened. For instance, you should document:

  • Skid marks or struck barriers (in a traffic accident),
  • Spilled or disorderly goods on the floor (in a store),
  • Poorly maintained sidewalks that caused you to trip (for a residential rental or store), or
  • Defective equipment (for injuries caused by defective products or work-related accidents).

Take pictures of anything that might indicate the conditions in which an accident happened, from all angles. If you don’t have a camera, take notes about what happened as soon as you can.

Talk to eyewitnesses of the accident, if there are any. Gather the names and contact information of the witnesses, and, if possible, ask the witness to make a statement of how the accident occurred.

If the accident was a collision between vehicles and law enforcement responds to the scene, they will file a collision report. This is an excellent source of evidence, as it contains information about the time of day, the weather, what occurred, and who the drivers were. If law enforcement for some reason doesn’t file a collision report, the drivers are required by law to file a report within four days of the crash.

Drivers are entitled to request a copy of the collision report from Washington State Patrol.

If the injuries are caused by a vehicle accident, you should note the names and contact information of the other drivers or affected people. In addition to their contact information, you should gather the other party’s insurance information.

For other types of accidents, if you talked to persons in authority about the accident or the injuries, take notes or request records of the conversation. Nursing homes, for example, may have records of your conversation with administrators or staff if you brought up a concern about potential abuse.

Evidence of Your Injuries

Another crucial part of obtaining compensation for your injuries, should you decide to do so, is compiling evidence about the nature and extent of your injuries. Some of this evidence may also be used to establish how an accident happened, as injuries can be revealing of what occurred.

Get records from your doctor’s office, hospital, or clinic about your symptoms and diagnosis. Keep records from all other healthcare providers, such as radiologists (X-rays and MRIs), pharmacies, and physical therapists. Keep records or notes about the advice on treatment and how long the treatment is expected to last.

Keep all records and all bills. You want a record of how much medical care resulting from the accident is has cost you. Medical expenses comprise all medical care, including buying devices such as a cane or inhaler.

A smartphone is also a very useful tool here, too. It’s important to take pictures of your injuries at the same time you see the doctor. You need evidence of your injuries before they begin to heal, even partially. Take pictures of your injuries and any affected parts of your body, from all angles.

If you don’t have a smartphone or camera, take notes on what your injuries are. In your notes include information on how the injury has impacted your quality of life, such as limiting your mobility or ability to care for yourself.

If there are eyewitnesses to your injuries other than medical personnel, talk to them about what they saw. Obtain their contact information.

If your injuries have caused you to miss time from work, or made it unlikely that you can work at a former occupation, save any documentation. For instance, collect pay stubs, doctor’s records of injuries and treatment, or notification from your employer regarding your time taken off or work restrictions imposed.

Obtain Damage Compensation

First ensure your health and safety are protected. Second, take steps to obtain evidence about how the accident happened and its impacts on your life. Lastly, you must consider how you will proceed to seek financial compensation for those injuries from responsible parties.

To obtain damage compensation, another party must be at fault. They must have been negligent, or, in other words, failed to exercise the duty of care that a reasonably prudent person would have. Negligent parties can be liable, or responsible financially, for injuries.

Here are some examples of negligence. A driver who is legally intoxicated and thus fails to stop in time as a child crosses the street can be deemed negligent. As drivers have a duty to drive safely and prudently, and obey traffic laws. A store owner who doesn’t keep premises safe for customers, or warn them away from temporarily unsafe conditions, may be negligent. A company that manufactures defective or even dangerous products can be negligent. A nursing home that cannot adequately provide for the safety or health of its patients can be negligent. A doctor whose actions cause harm and deviate from generally accepted treatment standards can be negligent.

In addition, the accident must have caused the injuries you sustained, not some other event.

In general, if these two conditions are met, injured parties may seek compensation for the following:

  • Medical bills, both current and future
  • Wages lost from work, both current and future
  • Pain and suffering, both current and future

Two primary methods can obtain compensation. The first is filing an insurance claim with the negligent party’s insurer. Injured parties file a third-party claim. In Washington state, for example, the at-fault party in a vehicle accident is responsible for the resulting injuries. The second method is to bring a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. You will want to consult a personal injury lawyer before you begin the claims process.

Talk to a Personal Injury Attorney

Tatiana Boohoff Lawyer
Seattle Car Accident Attorney, Tatiana Boohoff

It can be a good idea to talk to a personal injury attorney about the methods of obtaining compensation available to you. While an insurance claim may sound straightforward, insurance companies often pay less than a case is worth. A lawyer may negotiate a fair settlement that will adequately cover your expenses.

In addition, you may not know which insurer covers many types of accidents. Most attorneys offer a free initial consultation and case evaluation.

If you need more information, contact an attorney who specializes in personal injury today.


Boohoff Law
2200 6th Avenue, Suite 768
Seattle, WA 98121
(877) 999-9999

What Happens When a Tanker Truck Causes an Accident?

Every day, tanker trucks haul a variety of cargo across the United States. Commonly tanker trucks transport large quantities of liquid or gas, including oil, water, gasoline, septic tank contents, and chemicals. Light-duty tanker trucks can carry as much as 3,000 gallons of liquid. On the other hand, heavy tanker trucks can carry even higher volumes. There is no doubt that these trucks provide a vital service for many businesses. However, they can also pose unique hazards on the roadways.

Five Unique Hazards Posed by Tanker Trucks

Tanker trucks are unique commercial cargo trucks that are specially constructed to transport liquids or gases. Tanker trucks vary in design. Some tanker trucks have a separate truck cab that is attached to a separate trailer or tank. This design allows the tank to haul a wide variety of liquids and gases. Some tanks have a compartmentalized design that allows them to carry multiple substances simultaneously. Other tanks are undivided and can only carry a single substance at a time.

The design of the tanker truck itself has the potential to cause dangers on the roadways.

  1. Underfilled tanks can increase the risk of rollover accidents. Tanker trucks traveling at less than full capacity may have heavy liquids moving around freely inside them. When the liquid has room to move, it can create an imbalance of weight. As a result, they may have a greater likelihood of rolling over if they slip off the road and begin to tip. Specialty airbags can help reduce the risk of rollover accidents by filling the empty space and keeping the liquid where it belongs. However, they may not entirely prevent a rollover if the truck begins to slip off the road.
  2. Tanker trucks may carry hazardous cargo. While some tanker trucks carry relatively harmless substances, others may carry hazardous chemicals that can cause chemical burns on contact. Chemical burns can cause serious injuries. Like thermal burns, chemical burns often cause substantial pain and suffering for their victims. In addition, chemical burns may create a high risk of infection. Chemical burns frequently leave behind severe disfiguring scars. Obviously, chemical burns pose a substantial risk for victims directly involved in the accident. However, dangerous chemicals can also pose substantial risks for first responders as they attempt to provide aid to accident victims.
  3. Tanker trucks may have a high risk of fire. Many tanker trucks carry highly flammable liquids and gases, including gasoline and oil. When a tank gets punctured in an accident, it can significantly increase the risk of fire at the accident scene. A single spark can ignite hazardous cargo, increasing the risk of burn injuries as well as the likelihood of an explosion.
  4. Tanker trucks, like other large trucks, exert a substantial amount of force in an accident.Tanker trucks, like other large commercial trucks, weigh substantially more than the passenger vehicles they share the roadways with. The sheer size and weight of a tanker truck will often cause substantial damage to both the vehicles involved in the accident and the occupants. Tanker truck collisions can cause severe injuries, including traumatic brain injury, spinal cord damage, and amputation. Victims of even minor accidents may suffer serious broken bones.
  5. When tanker trucks consist of both truck and trailer, rather than a single unit, they have a risk of jackknife accidents. In a jackknife accident, the tank swings sideways, independently of the truck cab pulling it. In many cases, once the trailer begins to shift, the truck driver cannot regain control of the vehicle. Since the tank often weighs more than the truck cab, it can pull the cab along with it, leading to accidents with severe injuries.

What Happens When a Tanker Truck Causes an Accident Boohoff LawWho Bears Liability for a Tanker Truck Accident?

Many victims assume, following a serious tanker truck accident, that the tanker truck driver bears full liability for the accident. Oftentimes, the truck driver does bear primary responsibility for what happens when they are behind the wheel.

Truck drivers have a duty to safely navigate the road, adhere to all traffic laws, and avoid driving if any danger is suspected. However, in some circumstances, factors contributing to an accident may be out of the driver’s control.

In those cases, other entities may share liability for damages resulting from tanker truck accidents.

The Trucking Company

The company that employs the driver has responsibilities both to the truck driver and other drivers on the road. If the trucking company violates those responsibilities, it may bear liability for accidents that occur as a result of that violation.

  • The trucking company must ensure that its trucks receive appropriate maintenance. Aiming to increase profits, so trucking companies will delay routine maintenance of the trucks in their fleet. For example, companies may try to cut costs by delaying tire replacement or other known vehicle issues. If that lack of maintenance causes a serious accident, the trucking company will likely share liability for the resulting damages. A tire blow out caused by a lack of maintenance may cause a tanker truck accident. In that case, the trucking company may also be responsible for any property damage or injuries caused in the accident.
  • The trucking company requires its drivers to exceed legally-mandated time on the road.Truck drivers can only spend eleven hours driving without a break. A shift can consist of no more than fourteen consecutive hours. Some trucking companies, however, may attempt to force their drivers to exceed those mandates. Exhausted drivers can more easily become distracted and drowsy behind the wheel. Both of which can significantly increase the risk of a catastrophic accident. When companies pressure their drivers to exceed the limits prescribed by law, and, as a result, an accident occurs, they may also be liable for the resulting damages.
  • The trucking company forces its drivers to drive in unsafe conditions. Tanker trucks often carry cargo that requires a short delivery window. Sometimes, however, inclement weather prevents drivers from safely delivering that cargo within the allotted time frame. For example, mechanical issues, driver illness or inebriation, or unsafe weather or road conditions may make it dangerous for even the most experienced drivers to meet delivery deadlines. If the driver notifies the company of those challenges, and, nonetheless, the company requires the driver to continue driving, they may share liability for an accident.

Manufacturers

Both truck manufacturers and manufacturers of any truck parts, including tires, signal lights, and windshield wipers, have a duty to provide safe products. They must ensure that the quality of their products will not pose a risk to truck drivers or other drivers they share the road with. Sometimes, however, mechanical failures may contribute to a tanker truck accident that has severe consequences. If the manufacturer produces a part with a known defect, the manufacturer may share liability for any accident caused by those defective parts.

Mechanics

Most commercial trucking companies conduct regular maintenance on their vehicles, including tanker truck companies. Some fleets have in-house mechanics responsible for vehicle repairs and routine maintenance, while others may outsource those tasks.

If a mechanical failure causes an accident after a tanker truck has received maintenance, the mechanic may share liability if:

  • The mechanic certified a truck as road-worthy, but did not complete the repair.Dishonest mechanics may, for example, claim they performed maintenance on the vehicle that, in reality, they never performed. Other mechanics may fail to properly complete the repairs, leaving dangerous hazards behind. When this lack of repair causes an accident, the mechanic may share liability.
  • The mechanic failed to note a problem with the vehicle that he should have noticed.A mechanic may conduct a routine examination or repair on the vehicle and fail to notice an apparent problem. If an issue that should have been apparent to the mechanic causes an accident, the mechanic may share liability if the issue causes an accident. The mechanic may also share liability if he damaged the vehicle in some way while conducting repairs. If the mechanic failed to repair the damage or notify the owner of the vehicle, they may also share liability for any resulting accidents.

An experienced truck accident attorney regularly fights for the rights of injured victims to seek the compensation they are entitled to. You should consider consulting with an attorney to get a better idea of who may be responsible for damages resulting from a tanker truck accident.

Six Steps to Take After a Tanker Truck Accident?

At the scene of a tanker truck accident, you should exercise extreme caution. If the truck carries hazardous cargo, you may need to distance yourself from the scene of the accident as quickly as possible.

1. Listen to the Truck Driver.

The truck driver knows what he or she is hauling and the dangers associated with the substance. If there is any indication from the driver that the scene is unsafe, you should safely remove yourself from the scene. The driver himself may be injured and unable to communicate. In that case, look for any indication of the contents of the tank on the truck itself. If the truck indicates that the contents are hazardous, react accordingly.

2. Prioritize Seeking Medical Care.

When you sustain serious injuries, you should immediately proceed to the emergency room or an urgent care center. Always prioritize your health and medical care following an accident. Even if you believe you suffered no injuries in the accident, you may have been exposed to hazardous chemicals. You should always seek an evaluation from a medical professional as soon as possible. Merely inhaling some dangerous chemicals can pose a serious risk to your health. Carefully follow any instructions given by your doctor, including monitoring for signs of chemical exposure.

3. Take Photos of the Accident Scene, if You Can.

Take pictures of the truck and any signs indicating the contents of its tank, especially if it carries hazardous cargo. You may also want to photograph damage to the vehicles as well as the placement of the vehicles at the scene. If you take photos of the driver’s insurance information and driver’s license, you will have ready access to that information later. It is always important to exchange insurance information because it will make it easier for you to file a claim later. You may also want to collect contact information from any witnesses at the scene of the accident.

4. Contact Your Insurance Company.

Most insurance providers require their customers to notify them of any accident. Your insurance company may help you handle repairs to your vehicle as well as provide you with valuable advice about how you should proceed. You may also need to remove a totaled vehicle from your insurance policy or register a new vehicle after your accident.

5. Get in Touch With an Attorney as Soon as Possible.

Following a tanker truck accident, you may want to contact an experienced personal injury attorney. An experienced attorney can offer advantages as you seek compensation after your tanker truck accident. An attorney may help evaluate who caused or contributed to an accident. They may also realistically anticipate the amount of compensation injured victims can expect to receive. Attorneys have experience collecting evidence that may be critical to a personal injury claim. For example, driver logs, information about the cargo, and traffic camera evidence may help establish liability in the accident.

6. Prepare to Negotiate.

Tatiana Boohoff Lawyer
Tatiana Boohoff, Truck Accident Lawyer

Following your tanker truck accident, the truck driver’s insurance company may get in touch with you and provide a settlement offer. Often, this settlement may fail to reflect the full extent of recovery that you deserve. Compensation for your injuries may include compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Discuss the insurance company’s offer with an attorney before signing any agreements.

Many attorneys offer a free consultation that will help give you a better idea of what you should expect throughout the claims process. Oftentimes, the claims process involves several rounds of negotiation before an injured victim receives compensation. Some claims may require mediation or even go to court to reach a settlement. Prepare ahead of time to negotiate.

Tanker trucks can cause severe injuries that can leave victims with lifelong complications. By consulting a truck accident attorney, injured victims can get a better idea of exactly what compensation they deserve.


Boohoff Law
2200 6th Avenue, Suite 768
Seattle, WA 98121
(877) 999-9999

Seeking Compensation for Medical Errors

One of the most frightening ways in which a person can be injured or harmed is through medical errors. We rely on medical personnel, from doctors to nurses and from radiologists to physical therapists, to rescue us from injuries and harm, not to inflict it. While we expect medical professionals to provide a certain standard of care, what do we do if they fail to do so?

Medical professionals have very likely chosen a career in the medical field because they desire to help people maintain their health and wellbeing. Medical professionals rarely inflict intentional harm.

But the fact is, medical providers are only human and errors do occur. Patients can be given the wrong diagnosis for their symptoms. As a result, the recommended treatment plan will fail to heal their ailments or make them worse. Surgical mistakes can involve operating on the wrong limb or part of the body. Surgical equipment can be left behind inside of a patient. Healthcare providers of all kinds can fail to perform certain necessary tasks and precautions. They may misread a chart or fail to note a patient’s drug allergies. Lapses in communication in an organization or between two healthcare providers may lead to serious and even fatal mistakes.

That’s where a medical malpractice lawyer can help.

Types of Medical Errors

There are many different types of medical errors. Medical errors can include actions taken by medical professionals or errors of omission.

One major type of medical error occurs when a medical professional recommends a patient’s treatment plan. Diagnoses may be wrong. Lapses in judgment can occur. Concentration or skill levels may be affected by individual tiredness, overwork, or systemic problems. Practitioners may fail to order necessary tests, forget a crucial step, or fail to follow up properly.

Another major type of medical error is a mistake in providing health care. Medication or procedures intended for one patient may be given to another. Test results or diagnostic procedures, such as X-rays, may be misread.

Medical error can also occur if staff fails to appropriately collect or deliver information. Providers can fail to collect a complete health history from a patient, to convey important information to the healthcare team or another provider, or to enter health information into digital systems accurately.

Improper treatment is another type of medical malpractice. A physician, for example, could select a treatment that is not part of standard practice within the field. Improper treatment can also occur if a part of a standard practice is chosen, but not administered correctly or completely.

Finally, another type of medical error is termed “failure to warn.” Some treatments, unfortunately, come with risks. Medications may have side effects, or a course of treatment may cause adverse effects. Courses of treatment may not have a high success rate or result in limitations for the patient.

Medical providers have a duty to warn patients of known risks. The patients must provide informed consent when agreeing to any medical treatment plan. The failure to warn patients of known risks may be malpractice if a patient would not have undergone the treatment had they been fully informed of the risks.

Do you have any recourse if you or a loved one has suffered from a medical error that has caused you injury or harm? Yes, Washington law provides a remedy for victims who suffer harm due to the negligence of medical professionals. Injured victims may file a medical malpractice claim against a specific healthcare provider, organization, or institution.

As you may expect, medical malpractice cases can be very complicated. It’s important to know how the legal process works and what recourse can be sought. Below we discuss the rights of injured parties to seek compensation for the injuries resulting from a medical professional’s negligence.

What Do I Need to Bring a Case Against a Party Who Made a Medical Error?

Seeking Compensation for Medical Errors Boohoff LawHire a medical malpractice lawyer who knows how to litigate cases like yours. Medical malpractice is a type of personal injury law. Three things are common to personal injury claims. First, to bring a claim against either a provider or an organization, there needs to be proof that they were negligent in their duties.

Negligence is a legal concept that means a person or other entity failed to exercise the standard of care that a reasonably prudent person would have or should have exercised in similar circumstances.

For medical providers and para-medical providers (physical therapists and technicians, for example), the standard of care is codified into law. The standard of care refers to the duties of healthcare providers specifically. The Washington statutes define the standard of care as follows:

“[T]hat degree of care, skill, and learning expected of a reasonably prudent health care provider at that time in the profession or class to which he or she belongs, in the state of Washington, acting in the same or similar circumstances.”

In other words, the standard of care provided in cases of medical error is subject to comparison against the care, skill, and learning in the same profession and class in similar circumstances. A doctor’s care is compared to the care a similar doctor in the state would have given, generally. The treatment provided by a cardiologist would be compared against generally accepted practices in cardiology. A neurologist’s treatment practice against generally accepted practices in the field of neurology. A pharmacist’s care would be compared with pharmacist’s practices across the state, and so on for all types of healthcare providers.

Second, you must have been injured or harmed by the medical error. If you were not injured or harmed, the law does not provide recourse, even if an error was committed.

Third, the injury or harm you suffered must have been directly caused by the medical error, and not some other cause. Establishing causation can be complicated in medical malpractice cases. Of course, patients who seek treatment are suffering from medical conditions. Any symptoms involved in a medical malpractice suit must result from the medical error involved, not an underlying illness or condition.

Proving negligence and injury in Washington state requires establishing specific elements. In a medical malpractice claim, the injured patient must present evidence that establishes the standard of care in the patient’s case. Next, the injured party must show how the provider failed to provide the standard of care. Lastly, victims must prove that their injury resulted from the treatment provider’s failure to provide that standard of care.

The Statute of Limitations

Like most legal cases, medical malpractice cases are subject to a statute of limitations. The law provides that medical malpractice cases must be filed within a certain time period following the injury. When the time period expires, the injured party will lose their legal right to bring their claim.

In Washington, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases is within three years of the date on which the medical error occurred. In the alternative, a patient may be unaware that a medical error occurred for some time following the incident. In that case, the statute of limitations provides injured victims one year from the date of discovery of the error to bring their claim.

In some cases, the statute of limitations is also one year from the date of actual knowledge of the injury. For example, the patient may not know that a foreign object was left inside him or her, or the doctor or facility may have intentionally concealed the error.

Washington also has a statute of repose that applies to medical malpractice cases. A statute of repose requires that all cases be filed within a specific time frame. In Washington, the statute of repose for medical malpractice must be filed within eight (8) years of when the medical error occurred. This is true regardless of whether you discovered it or obtained information about it later. Beyond eight years of the date of injury, a court will in all likelihood refuse to hear a claim.

What Recourse Do Patients Injured by Medical Errors Have?

In all personal injury cases, injured people can sue for compensation for any resulting damages. Cases asserting medical malpractice are no exception.

In Washington, patients can sue for economic damages (sometimes called special damages) and non-economic damages (sometimes called general damages). Depending on the impacts of the injuries, injured parties may be compensated for both types of damages.

Economic damages are designed to compensate an injured patient for out-of-pocket costs they have incurred as a result of a medical error. They may also compensate an injured patient for future costs they can expect to incur as a result of the injury.

Economic damages may include:

  • Unreimbursed medical bills, including those for doctor’s care, surgery, hospitalization, prescription medication, and diagnostic procedures
  • Medical bills expected for future-related care that won’t be reimbursed
  • Chronic or long-term care
  • Physical therapy
  • Assistive equipment and home modifications
  • Lost wages from time needed off work to recuperate
  • Lost earning capacity, if the injury limits the ability to work at a former occupation

In some cases, a Washington court may allow a party to make periodic payments of economic damages, rather than a lump sum payment.

Non-economic damages are more subjective, because there are not specific quantifiable monetary costs that the injured party has paid for medical care. Non-economic damages may include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Impairment of or damage to personal relationships
  • Negative effects on the patient’s quality of life
  • Difficulties coping with disabilities and limitations

In Washington, the amount of non-economic damages an injured party may seek is capped by law. Non-economic damages may not exceed an amount over 43 percent of the average yearly wage in the state, multiplied by the plaintiff’s life expectancy, which must be at least 15 years.

Medical Error Cases: The Procedure

Nearly all states have specific legal procedures that injured victims must comply with when bringing a claim against a party that alleges a medical error. Why? In many cases, it is intended to protect medical professionals from frivolous lawsuits (those without merit). However, in practice it has made medical malpractice suits complicated and subject to additional procedures that other personal injury claims are not subject to.

Consult an attorney who is familiar with the procedures associated with filing a medical malpractice claim. Procedural errors can hurt an injured party’s ability to obtain compensation for their injuries.

The procedures require that the deviation from standards of care and the merits of the medical malpractice case be established before a case can be pursued.

Certificate of Merit

First, the injured patient or their lawyer must include a certificate of merit as part of their medical malpractice claim. The certificate of merit must be signed by a qualified expert. The certificate needs to explicitly state that the defendant (the party who committed the medical error) likely didn’t provide the standard of care, given the available information.

Medical malpractice attorneys work with medical and healthcare experts whose experience and credentials can validate a certificate of merit.

Mediation Is Mandatory

Washington law also requires mandatory mediation for claims based on medical error. Mediation is a form of dispute resolution offered as an alternative to the court system. A mediator will attempt to facilitate an agreement that both parties will find acceptable. A mediation agreement is nonbinding (ie, neither party has to agree to the terms), but the process itself is required.

If mediation is handled by experienced people, the process frequently results in a favorable settlement for the injured victim. But a mediator is not a judge or jury in the court system. Because of this, the agreement does not hold the same legal weight as a court order. In addition, a mediator may not award additional damages.

Attorney Certification of Reasonable Inquiry

To file a medical malpractice case, attorneys need to certify that they have conducted a reasonable inquiry and certify that they have reason to believe the claims are not frivolous.

An initial inquiry is a typical aspect of any legal case. An attorney needs to be reasonably sure that the defendant has been negligent, for example, and that they have evidence to support their claim. Without this kind of investigation and inquiry, a legal case cannot possibly be successful. But it is especially important in Washington state, because it is part of the medical malpractice procedure.

How a Medical Malpractice Attorney Can Help

Tatiana Boohoff Lawyer
Seattle Medical Malpractice Attorney, Tatiana Boohoff

Cases based on medical error, as you can see, can be complicated. They are unusually dependent upon people with medical expertise in a wide variety of fields. In addition, medical malpractice cases require the parties to attend mediation.

An experienced medical malpractice lawyer regularly fights for the rights of injured victims to seek the compensation they are entitled to.

If you need more information, contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney today.


Boohoff Law
2200 6th Avenue, Suite 768
Seattle, WA 98121
(877) 999-9999

The Basics of T-bone Truck Accidents

In a T-bone accident, one car impacts the side of another, often at a high rate of speed. Many vehicles have less protection on the sides, which means these accidents can cause catastrophic injuries to the victims. Undoubtedly, T-bone accidents involving large commercial trucks can cause extensive property damage and severe injuries.

How Do T-bone Truck Accidents Occur?

Victims of T-bone accidents often report feeling as if the impact came out of nowhere. Most often, T-bone accidents occur at intersections, where cars are traveling perpendicular to one another. Like other car accidents, a variety of factors may contribute to T-bone truck accidents. Some common causes of T-bone truck accidents include:

Distracted driving. Distracted drivers may be unaware they are passing through an intersection or may fail to observe a traffic light change in time to stop safely. Truck drivers, unfortunately, face a high risk of distraction. Because they spend long hours behind the wheel, truck drivers may engage in more activities while driving than other drivers. Anything that takes a driver’s eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, or mind off driving is considered a driving distraction. Cell phone use typically takes a driver’s eyes off the road for around five seconds. Although a seemingly short time, trucks can travel the distance of a football field in only five seconds.

However, cell phone use is only one of many activities that cause truck driver distraction. Other common distractions include:

  • Eating or drinking while driving. Eating messy food, in particular, can cause substantial distraction.
  • Checking or changing the GPS. On unfamiliar roads, especially roads with heavy traffic or road work, truck drivers may be dangerously distracted by GPS devices.
  • Adjusting the radio or controls within the vehicle. When drivers adjust the heating or air controls, they remove their hands from the wheel and are distracted from the road.
  • Zoning out. Truck drivers, in particular, face a high risk of exhaustion, leading to driver inattention and decreased focus on the road. Zoning out can cause a driver to lose track of time or fail to realize potential hazards. A driver who is tired and zoning out may be unaware of other vehicles in an intersection or that they are passing through an intersection at all.

Driver inebriation. Inebriated drivers may fail to properly navigate challenges on the road, including intersections. Impaired driving causes slowed reaction times. Inebriated truck drivers may fail to notice a changing light and struggle to stop in time. In general, impaired drivers may struggle to maneuver their vehicles safely or maintain their traffic lane. Inebriated drivers cause around 28 percent of traffic deaths across the United States each year.

Brake failure. Due to the sheer size and weight of semi trucks, they require significantly more time and distance to stop than passenger vehicles. If the brakes fail, the truck driver may have little recourse for stopping the vehicle. Often, truck drivers may not recognize a problem with the brakes until it’s too late.

Speeding. Truck drivers often struggle to meet tight deadlines due to limitations on the hours they are permitted to drive in a single day. Many truck drivers get paid by the mile, which may increase their inclination to speed to increase their pay. When traveling at excessive speeds, large commercial trucks become especially difficult to maneuver. Drivers may struggle to safely bring the vehicle to a stop, particularly when that stop is unanticipated. Excessive speeds may make it difficult for truck drivers to stop in time to avoid a T-bone accident.

Drowsiness. Driving while fatigued can cause impairment that is similar to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. As such, drowsy truck drivers can pose just as much of a hazard on the road as inebriated drivers. Drowsy drivers cannot maintain focus on the road or control of their vehicles. If a driver falls asleep behind the wheel, they may plow through an intersection without ever attempting to stop. If the truck strikes another vehicle that is properly passing through the intersection, the collision will likely cause extensive property damage and serious injuries.

Blind spot accidents. Truck drivers often have large blind spots making it difficult for them to see vehicles in front, behind and beside them. In addition, they often have to make wide turns. Unfortunately, failure to note the presence of a vehicle in a trucker’s blind spot can increase the risk of accidents. For example, wide left turns often result in T-bone collisions with smaller vehicles hidden in their blind spots.

Poor weather conditions. In poor weather conditions, big trucks require more time and distance to bring their vehicle safely to a stop. Both rain and snow can increase the risks of an accident for a large commercial truck. When a truck’s wheels fail to gain enough traction, it can make it impossible for the driver to come to a complete stop. Poor weather conditions coupled with speeding or other traffic law violations only increases the chances of an accident.

Failure to yield the right-of-way.When approaching an intersection, a big truck has no more rights than any other vehicle on the roadway. Some truck drivers, however, may fail to yield the right-of-way to other drivers, which can result in severe accidents.

Impaired visibility. While heavy fog, rain, and snow can all substantially decrease visibility, so can blind turns, intersections, and other vehicles on the road. Impaired visibility can make it difficult for truck drivers to see others in an intersection. Smaller vehicles may be even more difficult for truck drivers to observe.

Seven Ways to Decrease Your Risk of T-bone Collisions

Seven Ways to Decrease Your Risk of T-bone Collisions Boohoff LawWhen you drive a standard passenger vehicle, a T-bone accident with a big truck can cause catastrophic property damage and injuries.

While you cannot reduce your risk of accidents entirely, you can take several steps to help reduce the chances of being involved in a serious accident.

 – Make sure you have plenty of time to reach your destination whenever you get behind the wheel. Driving on a tight timeline not only increases your stress, it can encourage drivers to speed or engage in other unsafe driving behaviors. Although not always practical, if possible allow plenty of time to arrive at your destination to significantly increase your chances of arriving safely.

– Take a second look before moving through an intersection, especially if you notice the presence of big trucks. Try to avoid flying through an intersection the moment the light changes. Instead, check to make sure the intersection has no vehicles moving towards it before you move your vehicle forward. An extra second can provide the time you need to avoid an accident.

– Pay careful attention to the presence of big trucks around you. Commercial truck drivers often bear liability for accidents caused by their negligent or reckless behavior behind the wheel. Safely navigating around big trucks, however, requires care from everyone on the road. When you share the road with big trucks, carefully note their position. Try to stay out of the truck’s blind spot. Avoid entering into a truck’s blind spot while the vehicle is attempting a turn. When necessary, wait for the truck to complete its maneuver before passing alongside the truck.

– Avoid distractions at intersections. Ignore the urge to check your cell phone or to quickly adjust controls inside the vehicle at an intersection. Instead, pay attention to the other vehicles entering the intersection. While passing through an intersection, a simple distraction can result in a serious collision.

– Come to a complete stop at stop signs and red lights. Do not engage in a rolling stop, where you only slow your vehicle rather than a complete stop before proceeding through an intersection. Instead, stop completely and ensure the intersection is clear before proceeding forward.

– Avoid speeding. When you speed, it changes your rate of movement in comparison to other vehicles around you. As a result, it can make it difficult for other drivers, to judge your rate of speed. Instead, maintain a safe rate of speed by staying at relatively the same speed as other vehicles on the road.

– Exercise particular care when inclement weather conditions impair visibility. Slow down and observe the actions of other vehicles before proceeding through an intersection. If it will increase the visibility of your vehicle, turn on your headlights. A little care can go a long way toward reducing the risk of accidents with serious injuries.

Four Steps to Take After a T-bone Collision

After a T-bone collision, you and other passengers in the vehicle may suffer severe injuries. The passengers occupying the side of the vehicle that sustains the impact are particularly at risk. Nonetheless, every passenger in the vehicle involved in a T-bone collision with a commercial truck is at high risk of injury.

Avoid any actions at the scene of the accident that could worsen your injuries or place you in additional danger. You may need to remain in your vehicle until emergency personnel arrive to help care for your injuries. If you are able, take photos of the accident scene, your injuries, and the damage to the vehicles. Photos from the scene may serve as valuable evidence should you decide to pursue legal action later. Of course, you should always prioritize your health and wellbeing following an accident. Even if you feel that you only sustained minor injuries, always seek an evaluation from a medical professional.

Do not leave the scene of a T-bone collision unless you must seek necessary medical care or call the police. If you feel it is dangerous to remain at the scene, drive to safety and immediately contact law enforcement.

Step One: Seek Medical Care

Even if you believe you suffered relatively minor injuries in a T-bone collision, you should seek an evaluation from a qualified medical professional. A doctor can help identify injuries you may not have noticed at the time of the accident. Some victims with severe internal trauma may not notice the full extent of their injuries immediately. Other victims with broken bones, chest contusions, or soft tissue damage may not be aware of the full extent of their injuries. Immediate medical care can also help provide valuable documentation of your physical condition immediately following the accident. Medical records may serve as evidence should you decide to pursue a personal injury claim later.

Follow all instructions and recommendations given by the medical professionals providing your treatment. If you require ambulance transportation from the scene, the EMTs may request that you lie still or allow them to strap you onto a backboard. The emergency room physicians may provide an extensive list of instructions for your recovery, including symptoms to watch for in the days following the accident.

Step Two: Contact Your Insurance Company

You may need to remove a totaled vehicle from your insurance policy or register a new vehicle following your T-bone accident. Your insurance company may also provide valuable assistance as you seek compensation for the repair or replacement of your vehicle.

Step Three: Contact an Attorney

Tatiana Boohoff Lawyer
Seattle Car Accident Attorney, Tatiana Boohoff

Ideally, after experiencing a T-bone truck accident, you should contact an attorney as soon as you are able. While you may need to wait until your recovery has progressed before finalizing your claim, contacting an attorney early may provide you with valuable assistance. When appropriate, an attorney may help injured victims collect critical evidence.

Depending on the unique circumstances of your case, you may need to access the truck driver’s log book or obtain footage from traffic cameras. Experienced attorneys regularly collect critical evidence to strengthen an injured victim’s personal injury claims. Not only do they know what to look for, they also know how to easily access it.

You should always consult with an attorney before accepting any settlement offer from the truck driver’s insurance company. Insurance companies often attempt to provide a low settlement offer to decrease the company’s financial obligation. After evaluating the unique facts of your case, an attorney may give you a realistic idea of the amount of compensation you should expect.

Step Four: Keep Track of Medical Records and Expenses

Because T-bone accidents often result in such serious injuries, you may have significant medical costs. In some cases, you may receive multiple bills for a single procedure. Keep track of all medical expenses related to the accident. Medical expenses may include home modifications that you require to maintain independence or mobility after your accident. Any rehabilitation recommended by your physician should also be tracked, including any physical, occupational, or psychological therapy. By keeping track of these expenses, you will make it easier to total your medical expenses as you evaluate your claim.

If you suffer injuries in a T-bone collision with a truck, you may need an attorney to help file your claim or determine the compensation you may be entitled to. Contact an experienced car accident attorney as soon after your accident as possible.


Boohoff Law
2200 6th Avenue, Suite 768
Seattle, WA 98121
(877) 999-9999

Who Is at Fault in a T-bone Car Accident

If you’ve experienced a T-bone car accident, chances are that you’ve been left with a variety of questions. The experience is often painful, traumatic, and upsetting. If another’s negligence contributed to the accident, you may be entitled to compensation for any resulting damages.

T-bone car accident victims may not even know where to begin when it comes to recovering from their injuries. The idea of worrying about compensation is typically not a priority when you are focused on regaining your physical health. Locating a trustworthy personal injury attorney to help you navigate the personal injury claims process may help ease some of your stress. When appropriate, an attorney may assist injured victims in identifying responsible parties and seeking compensation. While an attorney handles the legal complexities of your case, you can focus on your wellbeing.

Demonstrating which parties are at fault is a critical aspect of any successful personal injury claim. A variety of factors may determine the types of evidence required to prove fault. In addition, the types of injuries you suffer and their impact on your life will affect the decisions you make throughout the legal process. Below, we discuss some basic information concerning fault and recovery as they relate to T-bone car accidents. While reading, you should consider your unique circumstances.

Examples of Severe T-bone Accidents

By their very nature, T-bone accidents have a high probability of causing serious property damage and severe injuries. Because T-bone accidents involve one vehicle hitting the side of another vehicle, they have a high likelihood of causing occupant fatalities.

Some T-bone accidents, however, can be even worse than others. Like any other accident, numerous factors can affect the severity of a T-bone collision. The size of the vehicles involved can greatly influence the severity of the collision.

For an extreme example, a T-bone accident involving a semi-truck can be particularly devastating. Commercial trucks loaded with cargo can weigh as much as 40 tons. The sheer size and weight of these vehicles can cause extensive property damage and serious or even deadly injuries. A passenger car T-boned by a semi-truck is much more likely to undergo significant damage than one T-boned by a similarly-sized sedan.

How to Prove Fault in a T-bone Car Accident

You must establish fault to seek compensation. State and federal courts, as well as insurance companies, rely on stringent requirements for determining fault. To ensure your personal injury claim is successful, you must have a strong case proving that the other driver was at fault.

When the damages exceed the coverage offered through your PIP or PDL insurance, you should consider filing a personal injury claim. Experienced attorneys regularly assist injured victims in identifying who was at fault after they sustain injuries in a car accident.

To establish that another driver was at-fault for the accident, injured victims must prove:

  • The driver performed a dangerous or negligent action OR
  • failed to perform a certain action which causes dangerous circumstances AND
  • The driver breached their duty to operate their vehicles as required by the standard of care.

Every driver is obligated to operate their vehicles in accordance with the standard of care. Drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles in a way that will ensure the safety of other drivers. Negligent and reckless driving behavior is a breach of this standard of care, and the driver may be liable for causing an accident.

When appropriate, personal injury lawyers may need to use several forms of evidence to build strong proof of the other driver’s fault. If necessary, an attorney may team up with industry experts who can provide testimony to support an injured party’s claim. Experts in the medical, automotive, and insurance fields may be helpful when proving fault. Depending on the specific circumstances of your case, the following types of evidence may be necessary:

Videos and Photos

Who Is at Fault in a T-bone Car Accident Boohoff LawIf at all possible, it is ideal to take photos and videos of the scene of the accident. However, the legal system understands that many accident victims sustain injuries that make it impossible for them to move about the scene. If you can’t document the scene of the accident, you will not be penalized. On the other hand, if you are able, photos and videos can provide valuable evidence of fault.

Many car accident victims lack the understanding of the law and experience that personal injury attorneys utilize to build strong cases.

Experienced lawyers regularly fight for the rights of injured victims to seek the compensation they are entitled to. Through years of practice, they have developed a keen sense of knowing which small details can make a big difference.

Beyond pictures of the damage to your vehicle, it may also be helpful to document:

  • Skid marks in the road (to indicate uncontrolled or panicked driving)
  • CCTV footage from nearby establishments
  • Videos or photos from witnesses

Don’t be afraid to reach out to any witnesses who observed the accident or nearby businesses. Personal injury attorneys may help injured victims acquire evidence that could prove critical to their cases.

Witness Statements

Witness statements can help resolve disputes regarding fault in court. The science behind human nature teaches us that witness statements are not always accurate. However, they can still help to corroborate your version of how the accident occurred. Collect contact information from any witnesses at the scene of the accident.

If at all possible, you should ask witnesses to provide a statement of how the accident occurred immediately following the accident. Human memory of an event is much more accurate right after it occurs. As time passes, our memories inevitably begin to fade.

Car Accident Report

When a police officer responds to the scene of an accident, they will compile an accident report. The report will include information about the accident, including the vehicles involved, the injuries sustained, and whether any citations were issued. You can obtain a copy of the accident report from the local police department.

Potential Serious Injuries You May Experience After a T-bone Car Crash

As mentioned, the side impact that is characteristic of T-bone accidents makes them particularly dangerous collisions. The average passenger vehicle weighs over two tons. When one vehicle strikes the side of another, only thin metal doors protect the occupants. Because passengers are vulnerable, the injuries they sustain are commonly more severe than other accidents.

Some of the most serious car accident injuries include:

  • Limb loss and amputation | Limb loss and amputation are undoubtedbly physically traumatic to the body. In addition, limb loss and amputation been linked to a wealth of psychiatric disorders. Victims who suffer these injuries during a car accident must cope with immense physical and significant emotional distress.
  • Paralysis and spinal cord injuries | Our brains and spines can easily be injured in a car accident. The brain and the spinal cord communicate with each other to ensure our bodies are functioning properly. Car accidents victims who suffer spinal cord injuries may experience muscle spasms, loss of motion, sexual dysfunction, and more.
  • Head and brain injuries | Head and brain injuries obviously have the potential to devastate the human body. Numerous head and brain injuries regularly lead to severe long-term consequences and, in some cases, death.

What to Expect Physically After Your T-bone Car Accident

In the aftermath of a traumatic car accident, vitctims often feel confused, frightened, and overwhelmed. Injured victims should prioritize their physical health and focus on progressing toward recovery. Although your symptoms may not be immediately apparent, it is extremely important to seek a medical evaluation following an accident.

Watch out for Delayed Symptoms

Some of the most serious injuries commonly do not display immediate symptoms. For example, symptoms of a traumatic brain injury may not appear until days or weeks after the accident. A medical professional can perform diagnostic testing to rule out injuries that could be potentially life-threatening if left untreated. Pay attention to your body in the days following the collision. If you experience any delayed symptoms, seek a medical evaluation as soon as possible.

The most common symptoms of injury that may be delayed, include:

  • Headaches | In many cases, headaches are an expected consequence of a car accident. This is especially true if the accident resulted in an impact to your head. Even though headaches are common, oftentimes they are signs of more serious underlying damage. It may be helpful to keep detailed notes of your daily symptoms and pain levels. Be aware of any patterns or inconsistencies, so you can differentiate between residual pain and delayed symptoms.
  • Behavioral changes | Just as headaches may indicate traumatic brain injury, behavioral changes may also signify brain damage. Like other internal injuries, brain injuries are particularly difficult to diagnose. In some circumstances, behavioral changes may be signs of mental afflictions, such as PTSD, which can be common among victims of devastating crashes.
  • Neck or shoulder pain | Neck and shoulder pain tend to be common after vehicle collisions. A common car accident injury, whiplash, occurs when the head and neck move violently in a back and forth motion. Neck and shoulder pain are common symptoms of whiplash, however, they may also signal more serve spinal cord injuries.

What if I Contributed to the Accident?

Don’t make that assumption—fault may lie with the other driver, a government that failed to maintain roads or traffic signals, or a defective car part. Thus, even if you believe your actions may have contributed to the accident, keep these tips in mind:

  • Never apologize for the crash or anything that occurred. Of course, you do not have to ignore other parties involved in the crash, but be careful not to implicate the crash was your fault. We can all be helpful and empathetic without saying the words “I’m sorry.” Seemingly innocent conversation can be misinterpreted as an admission of fault.
  • Call the police as soon as possible to ensure that emergency medical services will respond soon and a police will file a report to document critical evidence at the scene. Police officers will collect evidence to compile an accident report that could be critical to your personal injury claim later.
  • Note witness contact information.
  • Take photographs.
  • Contact your insurance company to inform them that you were involved in an accident. The law mandates that you must call your insurance company to notify them that you were in a collision. However, you should avoid telling your insurance company every detail. Insurance companies are motivated to payout the least amount possible for any claim. An experienced attorney regularly helps injured victims communicate and negotiate with insurance representatives. You may consider hiring an attorney before providing a statement to your driver’s insurance company, and definitely before talking with the other driver’s insurance carrier.

How a Car Accident Attorney Can Help You

Tatiana Boohoff Lawyer
Seattle Car Accident Attorney, Tatiana Boohoff

If you or a loved one were injured in a T-bone car accident, you deserve empathetic and informed legal counsel.

You may be entitled to pursue compensation that could help account for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and physical damage to your possessions.

The process of bringing or settling a case can be complex, however, a skilled lawyer with the skills to help simplify and expedite personal injury claims can help you understand your options every step of the way and fight to seek the compensation you deserve.


Boohoff Law
2200 6th Avenue, Suite 768
Seattle, WA 98121
(877) 999-9999

Reasons Why Some Car Accident Cases Take Longer to Settle

As a victim of a car accident that you didn’t cause, you may have suffered serious injuries—and huge medical bills to treat them. Creditors are calling. You have a wrecked vehicle, and need to repair it so you can get to work and the grocery store. In extreme cases, you need to pay for home modifications or purchase wheelchairs or prosthetics.

You hired a car accident lawyer, but the money from your claim hasn’t come in yet, and you wonder when it will so you can pay your bills and get out from under this mountain of debt. You also want to know why it’s taking so long.

Here, we answer those questions for you—but first, we pose a solution:

The fastest path to settling your case is to hire an experienced car accident lawyer.

In personal injury cases like car accidents, your lawyer doesn’t get paid more if the case takes longer—your lawyer will get a percentage of the settlement or judgment, not an hourly fee. Consequently, it’s in your best interests as well as your car accident lawyer’s to work to reach a fair settlement as efficiently as possible—and a good car accident lawyer knows how to do just that. On the other hand, the defense often does pay its lawyers by the hour—and the longer the case takes to settle, the more it can cost them.

That’s why the other side probably offered you a quick settlement, and it seems like a lot of money. Chances are, however, it won’t begin to cover all of your costs. It may not seem like it now, but with a car accident lawyer working to get you a fair settlement, the wait is usually worth it.

Why Some Car Accident Cases Take Longer to Settle

Safety and Health Were Not Prioritized

Reasons Why Some Car Accident Cases Take Longer to Settle Boohoff LawThere’s a reason that every attorney will insist that you make your health your top priority after a car accident.

It can be difficult to worry about your safety and recovery after a car accident. You’ve probably already viewed numerous articles that cite various steps you need to take after a crash. These steps are important and helpful.

However, the steps are only guidelines, which cannot be followed if your injuries prove fatal or debilitating. You should prioritize ensuring that you receive adequate medical attention as soon as possible after a crash no matter how minor you believe your injuries to be.

There’s another reason to prioritize your safety and health after a car accident. If you fail to seek a medical evaluation following an accident, your case may take additional time to reach a settlement.

The personal injury claims process may be delayed because:

  • Most personal injury cases only settle once the victim is recovered or a path to recovery is clear.
  • This can only be achieved if the victim’s injuries are properly diagnosed (thus allowing for adequate treatment).
  • The reason for this is simple: it’s easier to understand how much total compensation may be required.
  • Inadequate or delayed treatment can lengthen the recovery process.
  • You may not devote your full effort to pursuing your claim if you are not properly recovered from your injuries.

Insufficient Information Collected at the Scene

It is important to gather sufficient evidence at the scene of the accident to support your claim. However, the failure to do so is not always the fault of any party involved in a crash. Sometimes, due to damage or other circumstances, it’s all but impossible to spend time taking pictures or talking to witnesses after a car accident. A judge will not dismiss your case immediately if this evidence is missing. It is possible, however, that your case may take additional time to settle.

Some information to aim to collect from the scene of a car accident includes:

  • Contact details for other drivers involved | Name, phone number, and driver’s license information should all be noted, if possible. You should ask other drivers if they’re open to providing recorded statements, which can benefit the case later, but remember they are at liberty to turn down your request.
  • Witness’ contact information | The police who respond to your accident should take actual witness statements. All you need to worry about are their names and phone numbers. This allows for easy contact in the future should you or your attorney need to contact any witnesses.
  • Photographs and/or videos of damage | “Damage” includes property damage to your car and physical injuries to your body. If you have access to a camera, try to take pictures of whatever instances of damage or injury you can. Some other things can be helpful to photograph, too, like skid marks near the accident scene.

You’re Tangled up With an Insurance Company

What is the easiest way to handle insurance companies that try to speak to you after your accident? Avoid communicating with them entirely. However, this excludes any interaction where you report the accident to your own insurance company, which is legally mandated.

You’ll probably be contacted by insurance agents before you even realize you need an attorney. These experts move in quickly after an accident to try to leverage victims’ confusion and fear. The best course of action is to delay discussions with insurance agents until you’ve retained an attorney.

Unfortunately, it’s easy to get caught up in discussions with these parties. Insurance representatives can add immense complexity to the legal process, make your attorney’s job more difficult, and give the insurance company more power in court.

Your Accident Was Unique or Severe

Some circumstances can lead to accident cases that require more time than average to settle. Crashes with very large vehicles, for example, often result in a considerable amount of physical damage. Significant damages may translate to a longer settlement process.

If you get into an accident with a commercial vehicle, that could extend the legal process, too. Semi-trucks operators, for example, often carry numerous insurance policies. Victims of rideshare accidents may need to deal with three, four, or even five insurance companies total to settle their claim.

In addition, injured parties must identify all potentially liable parties. The concept of liability, which may be shared among multiple parties, can become deeply complex. Not every crash only involves two drivers or parties. Some accidents involve commercial vehicles that may involve liability for:

  • Passenger car drivers
  • Commercial vehicle drivers
  • Commercial vehicle companies
  • Commercial vehicle maintenance workers and companies

While You Wait for Your Case to Settle

It can feel difficult to wait for your claim to progress through settlement negotiations. Once the legal process begins, it tends to involve a lot of back and forth between injured parties and insurance company representatives. It’s very rare that a case ever settles as quickly as a victim hopes.

There are some steps victims can take to help ease stress at home and expedite their cases, including:

  • Contacting medical providers’ billing departments to sort out medical bills, arrange payment plans, and so on.
  • Looking over your employer’s policies on subjects pertaining to time off and disability.
  • Getting in touch with your creditors to manage payments before they get out of hand. Mortgage and auto lenders, in particular, can help simplify intimidating expenses.

Recoverable Damages

One factor that may influence a case’s time to settlement is the defendant’s desired compensation. More severe damages, which typically result in higher settlements, may translate to a longer legal process.

Your attorney can offer more insight into what damages you may recover after a car accident, but they may include:

  • Medical bills | This includes past, present, and future medical bills acquired as a result of the accident. It can also include specialty services like emergency transport. Physical therapy, medical equipment, and a range of other expenses are all potentially covered
  • Pain and suffering and mental anguish | Compensation given for these damages helps account for some of a victim’s mental and physical pain. Car accidents can lead to immense physical discomfort; the legal system recognizes that victims deserve some compensation for this
  • Property damage | This includes damage to your vehicle and any possessions inside of it
  • Lost wages or diminished earning potential | If your overall earning potential has lowered due to your accident or you can’t work
  • Vehicle repair and towing
  • Permanent scarring or disfigurement

Leading Causes of Car Accidents

In the United States, car accidents cause over 90 deaths every single day. Unfortunately, fatal car accidents have become commonplace on our roadways. When you are behind the wheel, whether driving in rural farmland or in a bustling city, you are at risk of being involved in an accident.

Most times, it is impossible to prevent accidents caused by other driver’s negligent or reckless behavior. However, understanding behaviors that commonly lead to car accidents may allow you to identify risky situations in the future.

A wide range of factors may lead to a car accident in a variety of circumstances. The following list offers some insight into some of the most common causes of car accidents. However, keep in mind that the list is not comprehensive. Common factors that contribute to car accidents include:

Driving Under the Influence

We are all aware that driving under the influence can be extremely dangerous and lead to fatal car accidents. However, some people, nonetheless, insist on driving after drinking anyway. Nearly 30 Americans die every single daydue to negligent drivers who operate their vehicles under the influence. In the United States, almost one-third of all traffic-related deaths are associated with impaired driving.

If you believe that you have encountered a driver under the influence on a roadway, you should first try to distance yourself from the vehicle. If you believe others may be in danger, you may want to contact local authorities. Cars that demonstrate a persistent inability to maintain their lanes are likely operated by inebriated drivers.

Distracted Driving

Many stimuli may contribute to dangerous distractions. Texting, eating, and turning to talk to a child in the backseat while at the wheel are all examples of actions that distract drivers. Of course, many of us refrain from browsing social media while speeding down the freeway. But many of us would also not think twice about turning to the backseat to smile at our child.

In one recent year, more than 3,000 people were killed in accidents caused by distracted driving in the United States. Thousands of Americans give into distractions while driving on a daily basis. At almost all times, there is a good chance that you are sharing the roadway with a distracted driver.

There’s no surefire way to pinpoint a distracted driver (unless you can physically see what is distracting them). The unpredictability and subtly of driver distractions makes them difficult to avoid. A driver displaying severe road rage is, in some ways, easier to spot than a distracted driver. Always maintain a safe distance from drivers who appear distracted and keep your own eyes on the road.

Reckless Driving

Reckless driving, much like distracted driving, is a pervasive issue on American roadways. A wide variety of practices qualify as reckless driving. Some behaviors may be considered to be reckless under certain circumstances, while in other circumstances they would not.

Reckless vehicle operation is no major offense that can cause serious consequences. Each state maintains its own laws concerning the penalties imposed for reckless driving. Typically, reckless drivers may be subject to fines, jail time, and probation. Reckless behavior on crowded roadways put other drivers in significant danger. Even one aggressive or poorly-planned move can lead to disaster.

Some common examples of reckless driving include:

  • Driving through crowded areas quickly or with little regard for space
  • Driving in the wrong place or area (restricted areas, the middle of the road, etc.)
  • Illegal or improper passing
  • Failure to scan for pedestrians

Keep in mind that not all reckless drivers are aggressive or angry. Just because a driver does not seem emotional does not mean that he or she poses no risk to other drivers on the roadways.

Poor Road and/or Weather Conditions

In some cases, poor road or weather conditions will contribute to a car collision. Unfortunately, in many other scenarios, poor conditions only exacerbate already troubling circumstances. A reckless driver, for example, is likely to drive even more recklessly if he or she is in inclement conditions.

The best course of action to avoid accidents caused by weather or road conditions is avoiding driving in conditions that prevent you from safely operating your vehicle. You might opt to stay home or arrange a ride when you know you cannot drive well in the circumstances. On the other hand, it could also mean avoiding traveling at all because you know other drivers may be driving negligently.

An Ounce of Prevention

Over 400,000 car accidents occurred across the United States in one year alone. There is no doubt that these catastrophes pose a serious danger to all of us on the road. What can we do about it?

In some cases, a little bit of knowledge may allow attentive drivers to avoid accidents. When attentive drivers identify signs that another driver is inebriated or distracted, they can safely navigate away from the danger and inform local authorities, if appropriate.

On the other hand, despite the most cautious driving, accidents are oftentimes unavoidable. If you are injured in an accident caused by another’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. In Washington, injured victims have the right to file a personal injury claim against the parties who are responsible for their injuries. An understanding of the factors that play into your case and its settlement can ease your mind during the legal process.

One of the most important elements in a successful case is an empowered victim. You deserve to have your pain and suffering acknowledged. You also deserve to work with a skilled, trustworthy personal injury attorney. An experienced personal injury attorney regularly fights for the rights of injured victims to seek the compensation they are entitled to. Because every case is unique, it is impossible to guarantee the outcome of your case.

A Car Accident Lawyer Can Accelerate the Process

Tatiana Boohoff Lawyer
Seattle Car Accident Attorney, Tatiana Boohoff

An experienced car accident lawyer knows how to identify with the other party or parties are using delay tactics and how to push them to negotiate in good faith—by presenting strong evidence of negligence on the part of the other driver and strong evidence of the compensation the other party owes you.

An experienced car accident lawyer knows how to quickly gather and preserve that evidence, too. Finally, a car accident attorney knows how to get your creditors off your back while your case remains open.

Nobody knows how long a particular case will take to settle, but rest assured, a car accident lawyer will work hard to find an equitable resolution for you as quickly as possible.


Boohoff Law
2200 6th Avenue, Suite 768
Seattle, WA 98121
(877) 999-9999