When traveling Washington’s roads and highways, the risk of harm is everywhere, regardless of whether you are a driver or a passenger or on a residential street or a multi-late interstate. State transportation safety records from 2019 show there were 111,632 auto accidents throughout the state, with 500 fatalities.
In the city of Yakima, there were 1,832 auto accidents in 2019, followed by the tri-city region of Pasco-Richland-Kennewick with an astonishing 3,735 collisions – 1,076, 1,235, and 1,424, respectively, with West Richland reporting an additional 80 accidents. Many of these accidents resulted in injuries or fatalities.
Motor vehicle accidents can leave families devastated by injuries, loss, and financial damage. Survivors can struggle to overcome long-term disabilities, cognitive impairments, psychological issues like depression or post-traumatic stress disorder, and more. Dealing with the death or permanent disability of a family member can be emotionally and economically crippling.
Proving Fault in an Auto Accident in Yakima & Tri Cities
Like anywhere else, the causes of auto accidents vary widely in the Franklin/Richmond County area surrounding the Tri-Cities as well as the city and county of Yakima. High-speed pileups involving multiple passenger cars and big-rig tractor-trailers accidents are unfortunately common on Interstate 182. The stream of commuters into Yakima (Washington’s ninth-largest city) has caused congestion and increased fender-benders and other day-to-day commuter accidents. Many other accidents are caused by drunk or distracted driving, partly due to the prolific wine country attractions attracting tourists unfamiliar with local roads.
Proving who is “at fault” and liable for damages can be difficult. Drivers and operators may be legally responsible if they violate traffic safety laws, exceed the speed limit, engage in unreasonably risky behavior, or don’t use reasonable care. There are accidents in which than one driver is at fault. Under Washington law, injured parties that share some responsibility for an auto accident can recover compensation, reduced by their proportion to their degree of liability – called “comparable fault.” Pedestrians and cyclists can also be legally responsible for not obeying traffic laws or acting recklessly.
Yakima & Tri Cities Insurance Claims and Compensation
The unfortunate reality is that many drivers are uninsured or underinsured. If you’re injured in an accident caused by another party without insurance or without enough insurance to cover your expenses, you may still receive compensation, but the process may be different and more challenging.
Chances are that your vehicle insurance policy includes uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) coverage for this situation. An experienced lawyer can help you file a claim with each of the insurance companies involved, including your own insurer. It’s critical that your claim is complete and well-supported, or you may not recover what you deserve. In UM/UIM claims, perhaps more than any other type of case, you need an attorney dedicated to protecting your rights and obtaining the compensation to which you’re entitled. You need an attorney at Calbom & Schwab.
Compensation and Long-Term Effects
The impact of an auto accident can range from inconvenient to catastrophic. Sometimes the long-term damage from a motor vehicle accident isn’t immediately apparent, which is why the law provides three years to file a lawsuit for your injuries against a negligent driver. This is called the “statute of limitations.” But don’t wait until you are finished with your medical treatment to consult an attorney. Experienced personal injury lawyers can help you find treatment resources, manage medical expenses, and document your progress and ongoing physical limitations.
You may recover compensation for many kinds of damages because of another driver’s negligence. These can include:
- Compensation for lost work or lost work opportunities.
- Medical expenses.
- Long-term disability.
- Expenses related to childcare.
- Transportation for medical visits.
- Emotional and psychological damage.
- Pain, suffering, and other harm.
In wrongful death cases, family members may pursue claims and recover damages for the loss of their loved ones.
Local Yakima Attorneys Looking Out for You
The attorneys at Calbom & Schwab are committed to pursuing and defending the rights of injured individuals and families across Central Washington. We have been in the community since 1954 and have proudly represented countless clients, securing the compensation they need to cover medical costs and lost income and overcome the aftermath of a serious injury or a family member’s untimely death.
Contact us for a free initial consultation to discuss your case and the best course of action. There is no obligation, and we offer contingency fee arrangements that allow you to defer attorney’s fees and other costs of pursuing your claim until you receive a settlement or judgment.
Compassionate and Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers
The trial attorneys at Calbom & Schwab have the skills, talent, and track record to handle most personal injury cases, including workers’ compensation, negligence, premises liability, Social Security disability, and other matters. You can count on us to be professional, ethical, responsive, and diligent.
Please contact us today and let us put our decades of experience to work for you.