Motor vehicles are a constant presence in all aspects of our lives. Working and living near roadways can put drivers, pedestrians, and others at risk of being injured in a car crash. When someone else is to blame for your injuries, you need qualified legal representation to seek compensation.
At Calbom & Schwab, we have nearly seven decades of experience handling cases like yours. When you contact us, we will schedule a free consultation with a reputable Pasco & Tri-Cities car accident lawyer who listens compassionately to your story. We know how to negotiate with insurance companies and defendants to obtain the maximum financial recovery available.
Our Pasco & Tri-Cities Auto Accident Lawyers Protect Your Claim
Our car accident lawyers are dedicated to offering experienced and reliable guidance when you are injured in a wreck. We perform an assessment of your case and explain your options for seeking restitution. Our staff is committed to serving our clients in Pasco & Tri-Cities, WA, with integrity and expertise.
We strive to be your trusted advisor, investigating and developing your case. We make your claim courtroom-ready at the start but work hard to reach a satisfactory settlement without going to trial. The robust evidence we prepare shows insurance adjusters and defendants that we are devoted to pursuing your case as far as necessary to secure the compensation you deserve.
Our Pasco & Tri-Cities car accident attorneys provide researched legal advice for every case we handle. We respond promptly to your messages and phone calls with staff members who are fluent in Spanish and English. Our team is fully committed to tackling all the legal hurdles while you focus on recovering from your injuries.
Car Insurance Policies May Not Pay for All Your Damages
In Washington State, all drivers must carry a minimum amount of liability insurance. Our state uses “at-fault” statutes, meaning that any driver who is found at fault for causing injuries or property damage is required to pay for those losses.
This sounds fine until you realize that there are very low minimum requirements for coverage. Washington drivers only have to carry:
- $25,000 for injuries or death of one person
- $50,000 total for injuries or death to two or more people per accident
- $10,000 for property damage
The costs of healthcare and auto repair are always on the rise. These policy amounts can be exhausted quickly, especially if your accident was serious. Emergency room charges, surgery, and rehabilitation treatment can send your medical bills through the roof, potentially costing tens of thousands of dollars.
If there are multiple parties at fault, you can pursue claims against all of them. You will still have to fight insurance adjusters who prefer to pay very little, but with our auto accident lawyers on your side, you have the fighters you need to make them meet your demands. We will not let them take advantage of you with lowball offers.
Insurance Companies Want to Avoid Paying Claims
Insurance companies are businesses, and they like keeping their money instead of handing it over to claimants. Even your own automobile insurance carrier is not interested in how badly you are hurt. They are interested in minimizing and denying your claim so they can get away with paying you less.
When it comes to working with insurance companies for the person who hit you in a car accident, the odds are stacked against you even higher. Adjusters will conduct their own investigations to find any evidence showing that you are partly or completely at fault for the crash. They will use anything they can find to avoid helping you.
Facing these representatives when you are hurt is a burden you do not need to bear. When you work with an accomplished car accident attorney from Calbom & Schwab, you have someone who will push back on these unfair tactics. We present strong evidence against their client and do not rest until we reach a settlement that meets your needs.
When Insurance Is Not Enough: Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit
While an insurance claim should be your first choice after a wreck, you may not get sufficient restitution from the policy. When the coverage is not enough, you will likely need to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, handling all this paperwork can be overwhelming when you are trying to heal from your injuries.
Facing the legal system without experienced guidance is a recipe for leaving money on the table and adding to your struggle. When you work with Pasco & Tri-Cities car accident attorney at Calbom & Schwab, we make sure you meet all critical deadlines and all your paperwork is in order.
The most important task for your attorney is to build a case that shows negligence on the part of the person who hurt you. Using evidence and appropriate interpretation of the law, we will prove the four elements of negligence:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care.
- The defendant breached or failed to uphold that duty.
- You experienced injuries and damage directly resulting from their failure.
- You have expenses that have resulted from your damage and injuries.
All four elements must be proven to establish liability and support your claim for compensation. Washington uses a comparative fault rule, meaning that it is possible that your settlement can be reduced if you are found partially at fault for the accident. Your car accident attorney will work to minimize any appearance of liability on your part so that you can receive as much financial recovery as possible.
You Must Start Building Your Claim Right Away
While you may be hurt in the aftermath of a car accident, you can still take steps to begin protecting and building your claim for restitution. If someone has hurt you in a crash, you want to avoid giving them anything that could be used to show you were at fault or that you do not deserve compensation.
To protect your ability to successfully pursue a claim, we recommend the following actions:
- Take photos and videos: Pictures of your injuries, damage, road conditions, signs, and the weather will capture what happened and how you were hurt. If you cannot take pictures, ask someone to do this for you.
- Exchange contact and insurance information: California law requires that anyone involved in an accident that causes injuries, significant property damage, or death must stop and provide their information to others.
- Ask for witness information: Get the contact details for any witnesses. Your attorney can interview them and ask if they have video or other records of the event.
- Avoid admitting guilt or assigning blame: It can be tempting to say, “I’m sorry,” or “You hit me!” but anything like this can be used against you later. Share contact details but do not engage in small talk.
- Accept medical care on the scene: First responders will want to evaluate you, and doing so establishes an important link between the accident and your injuries. Follow up with your doctor afterward.
- Make a record of what happened: As soon as possible, make a contemporaneous record of the accident by writing it down or dictating it as a voice memo. Do this quickly while your memory is fresh.
- Stay off social media: Insurance companies and defense lawyers will scour your social media posts for anything they can use to refute your claim. Avoid talking with anyone about the accident other than your attorney.
- Speak with a reputable auto accident lawyer: Contact Calbom & Schwab to schedule a free case evaluation to understand how you should move forward with your claim.
It can be difficult to remember all this right after a crash, but once you have gotten the medical treatment you need, it is crucial to prevent damaging your claim. Insurance companies have even been known to hire private investigators to follow you and obtain evidence that you are not following your doctor’s orders.
Calbom & Schwab’s Pasco & Tri-Cities auto accident attorneys will help you avoid these mistakes that could jeopardize your chance for full compensation. We will develop a customized strategy for your circumstances and handle the legal complexities for you.
Calculating Your Injuries and Damage in a Car Accident Claim
Our car accident attorneys will calculate your total losses for an insurance claim or lawsuit. We factor in economic damages that have fixed prices and non-economic damages that are more subjective. We have a broad experience with these types of cases and can suggest losses you may not have considered.
Our auto accident attorneys can connect you with medical experts to ensure your injuries are fully treated. We will also ask for a prognosis of your future treatment needs. Likewise, we can request estimates from respected auto repair shops so your property damages are fully reimbursed.
Our Pasco & Tri-Cities car accident lawyers have helped clients seek the damages described below.
In addition to doctor bills, you are able to include any expenses related to your injuries, such as surgery, hospital bills, ICU costs, ER bills, and rehabilitation. You can recover travel expenses, prescription medications, and costs of in-home nursing care.
Your car accident lawyer from Calbom & Schwab will ensure that we have a full list of your past and current medical expenses. We also will work to develop an estimate of your potential future treatment costs.
Lost Wages, Lost Earning Potential, and Lost Job Benefits
Perhaps your injuries are not significant, and you only need a fender replaced on your car. Even if the accident was small, you will still need to take time off work to heal, visit doctors, and get your car fixed. When a crash is severe, you could be out of work for a long time. You must be repaid for your lost income as well as the time you would accrue for promotions and bonuses.
If your job depends on your car, you might face even more financial devastation until everything is made right. Your earning potential could be reduced if you are seriously hurt or permanently disabled, leaving you and your family with a challenging future. Without sufficient pay, you are hobbled in saving for retirement.
In addition to repairing or replacing your vehicle, our attorneys will help you consider other items of personal property that might have been damaged in the crash. For example, you can ask for compensation to replace cell phones, computers, clothing, luggage, gifts, animals, or anything else that is lost.
These subjective damages can be difficult to understand, and you may even think you cannot claim payment for your pain and suffering. However, our auto accident lawyers can help you understand how your life has been affected by these losses and why you deserve compensation.
You could be impacted by damages such as:
- Amputation of a limb or digit
- Developing anxiety, PTSD, or depression
- Suffering extreme emotional distress
- Losing intimacy with your spouse or partner
- Limitations in your ability to enjoy your hobbies or other activities
- Adjusting to a permanent disability
- Experiencing isolation, shame, and embarrassment from scars or disfigurement
Your Pasco & Tri-Cities Car Accident Lawyer Fights for Your Rights
Nearly all car crashes occur because someone made a poor choice or did not pay attention to the road. When a driver chooses to drink before getting behind the wheel, they must be held responsible for the injury and damage they cause.
Your Calbom & Schwab auto accident attorney will fight aggressively to hold them accountable for their careless actions. Our team conducts a thorough investigation to identify all parties who played a part in your crash. We collect evidence to prove negligence and support your damage claims.
We build your case with documentation such as:
- Auto shop repair estimates
- Cell phone record of each driver
- Event Data Recorder (black box) data from all vehicles
- Expert testimony
- Photos and video of your injuries, property damage, the road, the weather, and any objects involved
- Police accident reports
- Medical records and bills
- Video from any cameras in the area, such as traffic or dashboard devices
- Witness statements
Your accident may have been caused by someone other than the driver who hit you. Suppose a truck in the lane next to you suddenly loses a tire. The tire flies into your car, causing your vehicle to flip at high speed and resulting in significant injuries. If the tire shop fails to properly install the tire or replace the wheel, you might have a claim against them, in addition to filing against the driver’s insurance.
In other instances, you may find that a manufacturer knew about a design defect that contributed to your crash. You can even file against a government agency that did not keep construction debris out of the highway. Determining who is at fault is just one area where our auto accident attorneys can strengthen your case.
When Car Accidents End in Death, We Can Help
Some car accidents are so severe that the victims pass away at the scene or succumb to their injuries in the days and weeks following the crash. In addition to facing medical bills and the need to hold the liable parties accountable, you must now deal with your own grief over your loved one. This is when you need a compassionate and capable car accident lawyer at your side.
The team at Calbom & Schwab has handled numerous wrongful death lawsuits. We assist you in calculating the additional damages, such as funeral costs, burial expenses, your own emotional distress, and the loss of income from your family member. We ensure that your needs are taken care of so you can mourn without worrying about bills.
In Washington state, the next-of-kin is eligible to file a wrongful death suit. This is usually spouses or domestic partners, an estate executor, or any other personal representative. Beneficiaries of a settlement or jury award are spouses, children, siblings, and parents.
Statute of Limitations for Car Accident or Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Car accidents and wrongful death cases are forms of personal injury claims and are subject to the statute of limitations in Washington, with slight differences. Both must be filed within a three-year time period.
For car accidents, you must file within three years of the date of the crash or lose the right to sue. In a wrongful death claim, the clock starts when the person dies. Although three years seems like enough time to create a case, if the details of who is liable and how the crash occurred are complex, three years may feel very short.
This is when having a Pasco & Tri-Cities auto accident attorney working for you can ensure you do not miss the chance to file.
Hire a Pasco & Tri-Cities Car Accident Lawyer Today
The uncertainty surrounding a car accident when it is not clear who is to blame can be frustrating. You simply want to heal from your injuries, get your vehicle repaired, and return to your life. Dealing with the bills, insurance companies, and filing a claim add to your stress and worry, but they do not need to when you have a skilled attorney.
Contact Calbom & Schwab and hand your burden over to a top-tier Pasco & Tri-Cities car accident lawyer. Let us handle the details and concerns for you with determination and commitment to success. Our team is dedicated to helping you recover from your crash, both financially and physically.
Schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your options by contacting us today.