Auto Accidents, Truck Accidents & Motorcycle Accidents
Each year over 250 million vehicles travel an estimated 4.7 trillion miles across America’s network of highways, streets, and roadways. There are approximately 210 million people driving on these highways, city streets, and country roads every day. Auto accidents are commonplace with over 10.8 million collisions occurring in the U.S. annually, of which 2.2 million people suffered injuries and caused nearly 36,000 fatalities. Given these statistics, chances are that you will be involved in at least one auto accident during your lifetime.
Although the number of auto related deaths in the U.S. has declined over 27% since 2005, there has been a disturbing rise in fatalities caused by inattentive drivers. The number of deaths in the U.S. involving driver distraction has increased from 10% in 2005 to 16% in 2009, and that number continues to climb. We’ve all seen them – drivers who are doing something else while behind the wheel, such as talking or texting on their cell phone, eating a cheeseburger, dealing with crying children, or putting on make-up. In fact, most of us have probably done these or similar things, at least once. We all know that being distracted while driving can have serious, and all too often, deadly consequences leaving drivers and their passengers seriously injured, permanently disabled, and financially devastated.
Auto Accident Statistics
- One person dies in the U.S. every 13 minutes in a car accident – 115 fatalities each day.
- Over 1.2 million deaths annually worldwide.
- Car crashes are the leading cause of death for Americans under age of 34.
- In 2009, there were 492 traffic fatalities in Washington State – nearly half were speed-related.
- Alcohol causes over 17,000 car accident deaths in the U.S. annually – 1 fatality every 31 minutes.
- One person is injured in a drunk driving accident in the U.S. every 2 minutes.
- Drunk driving is involved in 39% of all fatal accidents and 7% of all crashes in the U.S.
- Alcohol related deaths in the state of Washington is 10% higher than the U.S. average.
- Fatigued drivers cause an estimated 100,000 car accidents and 1,550 deaths in the U.S. each year.
- Damages from auto accidents total $150 billion annually.
What You Should Do Following an Accident
Anyone who has been injured in an auto accident, even if the injuries are not severe, should contact a reputable personal injury attorney shortly after you:
- Obtain prompt medical attention for any injured parties. If the injuries require emergency care, call an ambulance for transport to a hospital. If not, visit an urgent care center or arrange to be seen by your regular doctor as soon as you leave the accident scene. Some auto accident injuries, often serious ones, may not be apparent to you right away, especially when your body has been traumatized, so it’s important for you to be examined by a medical care provider without delay.
- Call the police and file an auto accident report. Filing a police collision report will document the facts of the accident and help determine who was at fault.
- Gather information at the accident scene. Anyone who is involved in a car accident is required by law to exchange contact and insurance information. If you are able, you should take photos of the damage to the vehicles (use a cell phone camera) and obtain the names and telephone numbers of any witnesses.
- Report the accident to your insurance claims office, but don’t give recorded statements to the insurance company representatives, even your own, about the car accident without an attorney present. The information you give the insurance companies can be detrimental to your case. Insurance companies are not the friends of injured claimants. Don’t make their job easier by providing them with information that they can use or manipulate to deny your claim.
- Don’t rely on any insurance company, even your own, to protect your interests. Every insurance company has adjusters, investigators, and attorneys assigned to auto accident claims. Their primary goal is to limit the amount of compensation the insurance company pays to auto accident victims like you.
Do I Need an Attorney?
If you sustained serious injuries, it is in your best interests to consult with an attorney. If your injuries are very minor, it may not be necessary to have an attorney handle your case. In any case, there is no harm in seeking out a free consultation. The following are some of the services provided by an experienced personal injury attorney:
- Assist you in getting the medical care you need and overseeing your treatment.
- Conduct all communication with the insurance companies (your own and the other drivers).
- If necessary, conduct an immediate investigation to locate witnesses and preserve relevant evidence before it is lost or altered.
- Find all potential sources of recovery to compensate you for your losses.
- Gather all medical records, wage loss information, and other documentation to support your injury claim.
- Negotiate with the insurance company representatives for a fair settlement of your claim.
- Skillfully navigate your case through the complexities of the court system.
- Providing the necessary legal bases for your claims and quantifying the damages to which you are entitled.
- Aggressively protect your interests, and assure all filing deadline dates are met.
- Answer any questions you may have and relieve you from the burden of having to deal with the consequences of the accident alone.
If you have been injured in an accident there is a good chance someone owes you money.
Call our office today to talk to an Auto Accident Attorney. Call 253-631-6484. We don’t get paid unless you get paid.