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Home » Seattle Car Accident Lawyers

Seattle Car Accident Attorney

Car Accident Lawyer in Seattle WashingtonCar accidents are one of the most common hazards we all face in daily life. From minor fender-benders to catastrophic, multi-car pileups, getting into an accident in a motor vehicle can end a life or change it forever. At Boohoff Law, one of our principal areas of focus is the representation of Seattle residents and visitors who have suffered injuries in car accidents.

The Seattle Department of Transportation’s annual traffic report illustrates the constant challenge to our city posed by car accidents. In 2017, Seattle police reported 10,959 motor vehicle collisions on city streets. According to the report, in 2017 there were a total of 187 fatal and serious injury collisions on Seattle streets. Data available from the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) reflect an even worse tally in 2018, with 212 crashes that resulted in serious injury or wrongful death.

If you suffered serious injuries or lost a loved one in a Seattle-area car accident, you may have the right to recover compensation from those whose actions caused your loss. Contact an experienced, skilled Seattle car accident lawyer at Boohoff Law today to learn more.

Contact an experienced Seattle car accident lawyer today – call (877) 999-9999 or email us. We’re available 24/7!

What Sets Boohoff Law Seattle Car Accident Attorneys Apart

Attorney Tatiana Boohoff and the team of legal professionals at Boohoff Law bring years of combined experience to the task of representing victims of car accidents. Founded more than a decade ago, Boohoff Law’s mission is to serve Seattle residents and visitors victimized by personal injury with skill, determination, and a commitment to personalized client service.

A graduate of top-ranked Boston University School of Law, Tatiana Boohoff leads a team that focuses its efforts exclusively on advocating on behalf of personal injury victims who need help recovering compensation from those whose actions did them harm.

About Car Accidents

You don’t need us to tell you that car accidents can cause serious harm. Because cars are the number one form of transportation in the U.S., every one of us has pretty good odds of getting into a car accident at some point in our lives. For most of us, it’s a scary but survivable experience. Some of us, however, are less lucky. People die in car accidents every day in our country, and many of those who survive face lives completely altered by the injuries they suffered.

Common Causes of Car Accidents in Seattle

Car accidents happen for a host of reasons, including behavioral, environmental, and situational. A small number of car accidents are inevitable and can’t be prevented. Most of them, however, could at least be prevented, and many result from poor decisions by someone who should have done better. Among the most common human-related causes of car accidents are:

Alcohol and drug impairment. According to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC), “[d]river impairment due to alcohol and/or drugs is the number one contributing factor in Washington fatal crashes and is involved in nearly half of all traffic fatalities.” Increasingly, drivers involved in fatal crashes have been found to have both drugs (typically marijuana) and alcohol in their systems.

Driver distraction. The WTSC recently made this sobering statement about distracted driving that sums up its risks: “In Washington State, distracted driving is a factor in nearly one of every three traffic fatalities and more than one of every four serious injuries. From 2015-2017, distraction-involved fatalities increased 27.1 percent and serious injuries 33.8 percent compared to the previous three years. Distraction ranks only behind impairment as a prevalent risky behavior in traffic fatalities and serious injuries.”

Speeding. Although driver distraction overtook speeding in 2015 as the second-most common factor in fatal car accidents in Washington, speeding remains a significant cause of car accidents in the state, playing a role in more than 1 in 5 accidents resulting in a fatality or serious injury in 2018, according to WTSC crash data.

Speeding Car Accident Statistics in King County

Source: Speeding

Driver fatigue. Fatigue can have the same effects on driver performance as drug or alcohol impairment, as this tragic story from WSDOT’s blog reflects.

Drowsy Driver-Involved Injury Crashes Statistics in King County, Seattle

Source: wtsc.wa.gov

Vehicle malfunctions. Sometimes, a crash happens because something went wrong with a vehicle. Some of these are typical, such as a blown tire or broken tail lights that fail to warn of a slowdown. Others are more unusual, and may signal that some part of the vehicle had a dangerous defect.

Road conditions. Drivers have an obligation to operate their vehicles in a manner appropriate for road conditions. That is not always an easy task. Wet roads, in particular, contribute to a significant number of Seattle car accidents.

These are just a few of the more common ways car accidents occur on Seattle-area roadways. There are lots more. Every car accident has its own unique facts and circumstances, which is why it is critical for accident victims to retain the services of an experienced Seattle car accident lawyer with the know-how to investigate and litigate a car accident injury.

Dangerous Intersections in Seattle

Seattle’s huge volume of automobile traffic, unfortunately, creates opportunities for car accidents all across the city.  However, some areas are more prone to accidents than others.

These are some of the most dangerous intersections for collisions in the city, according to crash statistics reported by the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT).

  • James Street and Sixth Avenue – This intersection, near the Harborview Medical Center’s Emergency Department, is a regular spot for crashes, and reports show that more accidents happen at this intersection than any other in the Seattle area.
  • Boren Avenue and Pike Street – This intersection is near the Washington State Convention Center, which means there are often unfamiliar drivers and pedestrians passing through. This is a common location for both car and pedestrian collisions alike.
  • Lake City Way NE and NE 103th Street – Though this intersection is outside of downtown Seattle, it is still a major thoroughfare in the northeast region of the city, and eight crashes occurred here in a single year. Lake City Way is risky in general, as many intersections along the roadway are common accident sites.
  • Dexter Avenue North and Thomas Street – This intersection is in the heart of downtown, close to the Space Needle, many hotels, and other tourist attractions. Accidents commonly involve drivers visiting the area, cyclists, and pedestrians.

Aside from the above-mentioned intersections, some additional risky intersections throughout the Seattle area include:

  • Rainier Avenue South and South Massachusetts Street
  • Rainier Avenue South and South Henderson Street
  • 15th Avenue NE and NE Pacific Street
  • Corson Avenue South and South Michigan Street
  • Fifth Avenue and University Street
  • South Dawson Street and East Marginal Way

Other Common Location for Crashes

Intersections are not the only locations that regularly see traffic crashes.

Additional areas of the city that might have increased accident risks are:

  • Capitol Hill
  • Belltown
  • Near the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
  • Georgetown
  • Ballard
  • Near the campuses of the University of Washington Seattle or Seattle University

These areas are known for nightlife, student communities, tourists, and other aspects that can make crash risks higher. Such risks include heavier traffic, impaired drivers, inexperienced drivers, and more.

No matter where your accident happens in Seattle, you have the same rights to compensation if someone else was responsible for causing your injuries. Boohoff Law represents car accident victims throughout the entire Seattle area, so please do not hesitate to contact our office to discuss your specific situation and injuries.

Frequently Asked Questions About Seattle Car Accidents

After a car accident, you may find yourself with a wide range of questions. What happens next? What should you expect from the legal process? Most people suffer through the aftermath of a car accident at some point in their lives, but not everyone knows what they should do about it. If you have questions about your car accident, these answers can help you moving forward.

Common Seattle Car Accident Injuries

Car accidents result in fatalities far too often, as the statistics cited above bear out. But, even survivors of car accidents can face severe injuries and health complications, and a lifetime of medical and financial needs. Some of the more common severe injuries car accident victims sustain include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries that leave victims with cognitive impairments or minimally conscious;
  • Spinal cord injuries resulting in partial or total paralysis;
  • Crushed or traumatically-amputated limbs, particularly the legs of drivers and passengers in a front-end collision;
  • Burns from explosions and disfiguring scarring from lacerations caused by sharp metal and glass;
  • Broken bones and orthopedic injuries; and

Severe internal and soft tissue damage, which can include chronic neck pain from severe whiplash.

Severe injuries from car accidents can heal, but unfortunately full recovery from some injuries leaves accident victims badly impaired or disabled, and in need of a lifetime of care and medical support. An experienced Seattle car accident attorney takes the time to understand the severity of a car accident victim client’s injuries, and to make sure she seeks an appropriate amount of damages to cover the client’s long-term medical needs.

Seattle Car Accident Statistics

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) maintain detailed records of motor vehicle accidents in and around the Seattle metro area. In this blog post, we summarize some of the most important data for Seattle drivers to know about accidents, in the hope it will help them avoid crashes and become safer, more responsible users of Seattle roads.

If a Seattle-area car accident has injured you or tragically taken the life of your loved one, then contact the experienced car accident attorneys at Boohoff Law today to learn about your rights to compensation.


SDOT posts annual reports on traffic in the city on its website. As of this writing, the most recent report was for the year 2018 based on 2017 traffic data.

Traffic Volumes and Speeds

The first category of information SDOT’s annual report evaluates is the volume and speed of traffic in Seattle. Here are some of the principal findings.

  • The volume of traffic in Seattle has stayed relatively steady over the past twelve years at roughly 1,000,000 trips per day. This is notable insofar as the population of the city has grown by nearly 25 percent during that same period, and its population of workers has also seen a steady increase. Possibly counteracting the growth in population, mass transit ridership has also increased.
  • More than half (51 percent) of Seattle’s commuting population, however, travels alone in a vehicle to work every day. A quarter of all commuters ride mass transportation. As of 2017, just 9 percent of commuters carpooled.
  • The eastbound and westbound lanes of the West Seattle Bridge, west of the Alaska Way Viaduct, experienced far-and-away the heaviest daily volumes of traffic in the city, with approximately 100,000 trips per day. The next-most-trafficked corridor was East Marginal Way South, south of South Alaska Street, which saw roughly 70,000 trips per day, followed by the Montlake and Aurora Bridges, with 66,000 and 61,000 trips respectively.
  • Aurora Avenue N and Rainier Avenue S, in both directions, saw the highest volume of vehicles traveling at a high rate of speed relative to the posted speed limit. Both avenues saw statistically significant numbers of drivers exceeding the speed limit by at least 10 MPH.

Traffic Collisions (Excluding I-5, I-90, and SR-540)

SDOT also tracks the number of motor vehicle-involved collisions in Seattle, excluding collisions on the I-5, I-90, and SR-540 arteries (which are tracked instead by the WSDOT statistics, below). The data show:

  • Collisions in Seattle (excluding the arteries) declined steadily from 2006 to 2013, only to rebound slightly in the four subsequent years. As of 2017, the city saw roughly 11,000 motor vehicle-involved collisions per year.
  • For the past eight years, the rate of collisions per million daily trips has held relatively steady between 50 – 60 collisions per million.

Fatal, Serious, and Non-Serious Injuries

In keeping with the relatively steady rate of collisions per million, the number of accidents resulting in serious injuries has held more-or-less steady at between 150 and 200 accidents per year. Similarly, the number of fatalities has hovered between 10 and 20 per year over that time period. The areas with the highest concentrations of those accidents (again, excluding the major arterials) were downtown and along the length of Rainier Avenue S.

Although the numbers of serious and fatal injury-involved collisions represent just a tiny fraction of the total number of annual collisions in Seattle, they don’t quite capture the scale of the toll of Seattle car accidents. According to SDOT, 28 percent of collisions result in some kind of injury, even if not severe or fatal. That’s over 3,000 motor vehicle injuries per year, on average.

Crash Mechanics and Contributing Circumstances

SDOT also collects data on the “types” of collisions, their contributing circumstances (if reported), and their locations.

  • The two most common collisions were vehicles traveling in the same direction (the vast majority of which were likely rear-end collisions), and vehicles entering the flow of traffic at an angle (typically at intersections). Perhaps surprisingly, the next-most-common type of accident after those two was collisions between a moving vehicle and a parked vehicle.
  • For accidents in which contributing circumstances were reported, the most common contributing factors were driver inattention, driver distraction, and the failure to yield the right-of-way to another vehicle. Ignoring traffic signals and signs also contributed to a significant number of motor vehicle accidents, as did drivers following too closely, speeding drivers, and drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol.


WSDOT’s data for the Seattle area include motor vehicle accidents on city streets and the major arterials, and allow us to dig even deeper into factors contributing to accidents. Here’s is what they show for the year 2018.

Total Crashes by Type of Injury

WSDOT reported 12,338 vehicle collisions in Seattle in 2018. Of those, approximately two-thirds resulted in no apparent injury. Out of the remaining third, there were 3,032 crashes involving “possible” injuries, 993 involving “suspected minor” injuries, 196 involving “suspected serious” injuries, and 20 involving fatalities. These statistics are in-line with the SDOT data from the previous year, when accidents on major arterials are taken into account.

Serious Injury and Fatal Crashes

Taking a closer look at the crashes involving serious injuries and fatalities, we find the following:

  • Of the crashes involving serious injuries and fatalities, WSDOT found roughly half of them (108) took place at intersections. (Note, this includes collisions with pedestrians and bicyclists, which were the types of crashes most likely to result in serious injury or fatality). The two other types of accidents that had a significant number of serious injuries or deaths associated with them were lane departure crashes and run-off-the-road crashes.
  • There were slightly more single vehicle crashes than crashes involving multiple vehicles, but the difference was negligible.
  • Risk factors that played a statistically significant role in many of the serious injury or fatal crashes in Seattle in 2018 included driver distraction and inattention, the driver being a teen or young adult, alcohol and drug use, and speeding.
  • The highest concentration of serious injury or fatal crashes in 2018 were concentrated around downtown and along the I-5 corridor.

What the Data Tells Us

From our viewpoint, the SDOT and WSDOT data point to a serious and continuing risk for drivers and others on Seattle-area roads. Motor vehicle accidents are to be expected in any major metro area, and of course Seattle and the King County area are not immune to those problems. Still, as personal injury lawyers, we would vastly prefer our clients to avoid serious injuries and tragedies than to have to come to us seeking help in recovering compensation after a car accident disrupts their lives. Here are some of the conclusions the data tell us we can draw to keep everyone safer on Seattle-area roads.

Serious Injury Car Accident Statistics in King County, Seattle

Source: wtsc.wa.gov

Common Parties With Legal Liability for Seattle Car Accidents

Determining the causes of a car accident and the severity of a client’s injuries are just two of the many tasks an experienced Seattle car accident attorney will typically perform on a client’s behalf. Another important step in most car accident cases is the process of identifying each and every party who may have legal liability to the lawyer’s client. In some cases, that is a simple inquiry. But it’s frequently less straightforward than you’d think. Here are some of the parties commonly held to account under the law for a car accident victim’s injuries:

Other drivers. Every driver has a duty to share the road responsibly. Unfortunately, many drivers do not. Distracted driving, impaired driving, aggressive driving, and just-plain careless driving can all cause an accident, and leave the driver with legal liability for the injuries those behaviors caused.

Commercial entities. Not all accidents involve personal vehicles. Many instead involve cars and trucks operated by a business or some other corporate entity. Businesses and other entities that own or operate vehicles that end up in a crash may face liability for the accident.

Government entities and contractors. Our taxes go, in part, toward paying for our state and local governments to design, build, and maintain safe and secure roadways. Sometimes, however, our governments fail to do an adequate job. A poorly-designed road with dangerous curves, a poorly-built road with inappropriate road material, or a poorly-maintained road with gaping potholes or visual obstructions, all can lead to a government entity having legal liability for injuries those conditions cause.

Car and car part manufacturers. Cars represent a significant purchase for most Washingtonians. If the manufacturer of a car or its component parts puts a defective product on the road, Washington law may hold that manufacturer legally liable an accident the defects cause.

Of course, we mentioned earlier, every car accident is unique. Who has legal liability to a car accident victim may differ substantially from case-to-case. That is why it is so important to have an experienced Seattle car accident attorney on your side to make sure you find every party with potential legal liability for your injuries.

Common Damages for Car Accident Injuries in Seattle

As a general matter, Washington car accident victims and the representatives of those tragically killed in car accidents have legal rights to pursue damages as compensation for their injuries and losses. The law broadly categorizes these damages as economic (or special) damages and non-economic (or general) damages.

Economic damages compensate a car accident victim for the fixed, out-of-pocket expenses directly connected to the accident and resulting injuries.

Typically, they include:

  • Unreimbursed medical bills – Injuries often require medical treatment, and we all know how costly medical treatment in the United States can be. Even if you have insurance, a few stitches in the emergency room can result in thousands of dollars in bills. More serious injuries can result in bills for hospitalization, surgery, rehabilitative therapy, and much more.
  • Chronic or long-term care costs – Not all injuries heal in a few weeks or months with proper treatment. Some have chronic effects that you need to manage with the help of long-term medical care. Long-term costs include ongoing therapies, medications, and future surgeries, among others. It is important to consider future medical costs when seeking compensation for your injuries.
  • Assistive medical devices and home modifications – Car accidents can result in injuries that cause permanent impairments and disabilities, and this will change your life in many ways. You might need a technologically advanced wheelchair, modifications to your vehicle, ramps installed in your home, and other adaptations to help you live your everyday life with your disabilities. These can also be expensive.
  • Physical therapy – A wide range of injuries from car accidents require physical therapy, including neck and back injuries, fractures, soft tissue injuries, dislocations, and more. You might need to attend several sessions in the months following your accident to regain strength, balance, and other movement abilities, as well as to help eliminate pain.
  • Property damage – If a car crash caused injuries, it almost certainly also caused damage to your vehicle or other property. The costs of repairing a vehicle can be shocking, as even a simple dent removal can cost more than $1,000. You might need to repair your vehicle or, if the damage was totaling, replace your vehicle altogether. There might also be costs of temporary transportation while the repairs are taking place.
  • Lost wages from time off from work while recovering – If your injuries caused restricted movement abilities, your doctor ordered you to rest for a while, or you needed surgery or hospitalization, you will likely miss days, weeks, or months of work while you recover. You might not have paid leave, or you might use up your paid leave relatively quickly, resulting in lost income for your household. You should recover all wages you lost due to your injuries and recovery.
  • Lost income or employment opportunity due to injuries – Some disabling injuries might affect your ability to effectively perform your job. For example, if you suffer paralysis, you cannot return to work on a construction site or another physical job. If you sustained a serious brain injury, it could prevent you from engaging in complex research or other intellectual work. You can seek financial recovery for the lost employment opportunities and earnings due to your injuries.

In some Washington car accident cases, the party with legal liability to the car accident victim may have the right to make periodic payments of economic damages rather than paying those damages as a lump sum.

Non-economic damages pay a car accident victim for subjective injuries that are more difficult to value, such as:

  • Pain and suffering – Injuries often result in physical pain, mental trauma, and emotional suffering, both due to the injuries themselves and the changes your injuries might cause in your life.
  • Damage to personal relationships – Injuries can often result in changes in your important personal relationships, including loss of consortium or companionship with a spouse, effects on a parent-child relationship, and more.
  • Negative impacts on quality of life – In general, severe injuries can change your life for the worse in many ways. You cannot always participate in activities you enjoyed, care for yourself, play with your children, or engage in other hobbies or personal enjoyments.

Non-economic damages do not stem from medical bills or pay statements that clearly delineate the value of your losses. You want the help of an experienced Seattle car accident lawyer who knows how to calculate non-economic damages and provide evidence supporting the damages you demand.

There are also statutory considerations when it comes to non-economic damages in car accident claims. In contrast to the laws in many states, in Washington, non-economic damages cannot exceed 43 percent of the average annual wage in Washington multiplied by the victim’s life expectancy at the time of the accident (minimum 15 years).

Washington law also does not usually permit a court to award punitive damages for a car accident. However, aside from these limitations, you still might obtain significant damages for serious injuries from a car crash.

Don’t Delay in Contacting Boohoff Law

At Boohoff Law, we understand how difficult life can feel after a car accident turns your world upside down. Contending with the pain of recovering from an injury or mourning a lost loved one is only the beginning. Financial strain can also set in, and you may find new demands on your time from insurance adjusters and police investigators, among others.

We get why hiring a lawyer during this difficult time might not seem like a top priority. But, it is. In fact, with every day that passes after you suffer an injury in a car accident, your chances of recovering maximum compensation from those whose actions harmed you will begin to decline. Here’s why.

The general statute of limitations on personal injury claims in Washington is three years. In some car accident cases, that window barely provides enough time for investigating and pursuing a claim. Even if the time is adequate, however, the passage of time can make evidence harder to find and analyze, and can dim the memories of critical witnesses. If possible, you should have an attorney on your side investigating your accident immediately.

You can also be sure of one thing: Insurance companies for the parties who have legal liability to you aren’t wasting any time. You may have already received a phone call from an insurance adjuster asking you to sit for an interview, or dangling what might seem like a tempting settlement offer. Before you act, speak with an experienced Seattle car accident attorney. Insurance companies do not have your best interests at heart. Their mission is to minimize their own financial exposure to you. A lawyer can help protect you against tactics insurers employ to try and reduce the value of your claim.

Call Boohoff Law’s Seattle Car Accident Lawyers Now

Boohoff Law P.A.
Tatiana Boohoff, Seattle, WA Car Accident Lawyer

Tatiana Boohoff and the team at Boohoff Law represent car accident victims day-in, day-out throughout the Seattle area. Their mission, always, is to protect and advance their clients’ rights to seek accountability and compensation for injuries and tragic losses.

Don’t wait to connect with one of our skilled, compassionate personal injury lawyers. If you sustained a serious injury or lost a loved one in a Seattle-area car accident, we want to help in any way we can.

Contact Tatiana Boohoff and her colleagues at Boohoff Law or dial (877) 999-9999 to schedule a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation.

We promise to treat you with dignity, respect, and compassion in this difficult time.

Client Testimonial

“From the moment I contacted Boohoff Law on the day of my accident, I felt as though I was being assisted by professionals who not only excelled in their field, but also, genuinely cared about the people they served. Staff appeared enthusiastic with every contact we had over the time it took to resolve my case. I also never felt manipulated nor condescended to when asking questions about my case. I felt supported in my goals to be forthright and honest about my condition. Simply, this law firm appears to be run by a kind, competent, and friendly staff. I am completely satisfied with the service I received. Although I hope to never need their help again due to being injured in an accident that was not my fault, I feel secure in the knowledge that I have them in my corner should I ever find myself in such unfortunate circumstances again.”
– David T.

Review: 5/5
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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