Why Should I Hire a Local Washington Car Accident Attorney? Hiring a local attorney in Washington can be beneficial for victims of car accidents. A local lawyer is more familiar with the specific laws and nuances of the community and can offer tailored advice and support. In dealing with insurance companies, who typically aim to pay out as little as possible, a local attorney can be a strong advocate in ensuring you receive the maximum compensation. 

What is the Statute of Limitations for an Automobile Accident in Washington? In Washington, you have a 3-year window from the date of the accident to file a claim for injuries or damages. 

Which Negligence Standard Applies in Washington? Washington applies a pure comparative negligence standard, as specified in Wash. Rev. Code § 4.22.005. 

Is Washington a Fault or No-Fault State? Washington operates under a fault-based system for automobile accidents, making the party at fault liable for damages. 

What Are the Automobile Insurance Requirements in Washington? The state requires liability insurance with minimums of $25,000 for injuries or death to one person, $50,000 for injuries or death to multiple people, and $10,000 for property damage. Uninsured motorist coverage is optional, not mandatory. 

What Are the Insurance Requirements for Rental Cars in Washington? Washington law does not have specific provisions for rental cars. The terms of the rental agreement and renter’s liability policy should be consulted to determine primary coverage. Notably, in cases of intoxication, the renter’s insurance is primary according to PEMCO v. Hertz. 

What Should I Do After a Car Accident in Washington? 

  • Do not leave the scene; it’s illegal and could result in severe consequences. 
  • Move your vehicle off the road to avoid any additional accidents. 
  • Turn off your engine and refrain from smoking. 
  • Alert approaching traffic using flares or other signals. 
  • In the event of hitting an unoccupied vehicle, leave detailed contact information for the owner and report the incident to local authorities. 
  • Exchange comprehensive information with all parties involved. 
  • Document the scene and any damages with photographs. 
  • Do not move injured individuals unless there is an immediate danger. 

When Should I File a Collision Report in Washington? If the police do not investigate your accident, you are required to file a collision report within four days. These reports are available at local police departments or the Washington State Patrol. 

What Information Appears on My Driving Record After an Accident? The Division of Licensing (DOL) will only add a collision report to your driving record if the accident involved injuries or damages exceeding $700. The record will not assign fault but will list details such as the date, number of vehicles involved, and any resulting injuries or deaths. 

How is Liability Determined in Washington? Liability in a car accident is determined based on the evidence, the applicable Washington laws, and other circumstantial factors. Depending on the strength of the evidence, a claimant may be offered a settlement or may proceed through legal channels, eventually leaving the final liability and compensation determination to a judge or jury.