Automobile Accidents

Representation for Victims Injured in Car Accidents

Nothing can ever prepare you for the physical, emotional, and financial challenges that arise in the aftermath of a traumatic auto accident. The good news is, you don’t have to tackle these hardships alone. Our Spokane car accident attorneys can build a strong claim and protect you against unfair tactics used by insurance companies. Our goal is to make sure you get the medical treatment you need and the maximum recovery available under the law. 

When insurance companies do not cooperate, we will take the case to trial and aggressively represent your interests. If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident in Spokane County, Adams County, or Grant County, call us today at (509) 495-1246 to schedule a FREE consultation.


Washington State restricts the amount of time you have to file a personal injury lawsuit. You have three years from the date of the accident to pursue compensation. The sooner you attain legal representation for your car accident case, the better the likelihood of winning your case. Don’t delay.

Representing Car Wreck Injury Victims Suffering from a Variety of Injuries

  • Face lacerations (cuts), contusions (bruises), and abrasions (scrapes)
  • Fractured legs, arms, wrists, and hands
  • Sprained and torn muscles, ligaments, and tendons
  • Hip and shoulder displacement, fractured ribs and clavicles (collarbones)
  • Herniated disks and spinal compression
  • Severed and bruised brain stem and spinal cord
  • Traumatic brain injuries including brain concussions, skull fractures, and other severe brain damage
  • Amputation
  • Paraplegia, tetraplegia or quadriplegia

Common Causes of Auto Accidents & Car Crashes in Washington

Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of accidental injury and premature death in Washington state. Most often, they are caused by driver negligence, defective car parts, or dangerous road conditions due to improper maintenance. Most traffic accidents are not “accidents” but rather the result of another driver’s negligent or reckless behavior, including:

  • Driving distracted such as using a cell phone to talk or text, eating or drinking, playing with the radio, talking to passengers, or tending to pets or children instead of paying attention to the road. 
  • Driving aggressively including speeding, tailgating, illegally changing lanes, and unsafely passing another vehicle
  • Failing to obey traffic signals 
  • Driving while impaired, either by alcohol, drugs, or fatigue

In addition to negligent actions, traffic accidents can be caused by:

  • Unsafe road conditions: Washington State has its share of crumbling infrastructure. It’s not uncommon to find roads riddled with potholes caused by the repeated cycle of freezing and thawing in the winter. 
  • Bad Weather: Rain, snow, slush, ice, high winds, and fog can affect a driver’s ability to see what is ahead, and to stop in time.
  • Defective auto parts: parties that design, build, or sell a car with defective parts (faulty brakes, an airbag that doesn’t deploy, tires that blow out, steering system defect) can be held liable for injuries

Common Types of Car Accidents

Rear-end collisions occur when a vehicle crashes into the vehicle in front of it. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), these accidents account for nearly 30 percent or one-third of all auto accidents in the United States. 

Head-on collisions happen when the front ends of two cars heading in opposite directions crash into one another. These are among the most devastating types of car accidents because they are most likely to result in serious injury or death. These accidents are usually caused by the negligent actions of one of the drivers, which may include:

  • crossing the center line
  • passing incorrectly into oncoming traffic
  • falling asleep at the wheel
  • speeding, driving distracted
  • under the influence of alcohol or drugs, etc.

Side-impact collisions happen when the front or back of one vehicle hits the side of another vehicle. These accidents, also referred to as broadside or T-bone collisions are most likely to occur in intersections and parking lots where vehicles are traveling perpendicular to one another. 

Vehicle Rollovers occur when a car flips over on its side or roof. These accidents are usually violent and have high fatality rates as drivers and passengers may be ejected from the car. 

Whiplash Injuries and Car Accidents: What You Should Know

The National Safety Council reports that 20 percent of all people involved in rear-end collisions suffer a whiplash injury. Even at a relatively low speed, a car accident can cause a violent impact. Whiplash and other soft tissue injuries are common in accidents. Whiplash is a type of soft tissue injury that occurs because of the “forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement” of the neck. While they are most commonly associated with rear-end collisions, these injuries can occur in any type of motor vehicle accident. Some of the specific symptoms and ailments that are associated with whiplash include:

  • Severe neck pain and neck stiffness;
  • Reduced range of motion and restricted movement;
  • Debilitating headaches;
  • Tenderness or tingling in shoulders;
  • Numbness in the extremities; and
  • Sustained fatigue and difficulty sleeping.

All whiplash injuries require immediate medical attention. Unfortunately, many people fail to seek proper care for whiplash. It may feel like whiplash is an injury that you can “walk off” or “let get better on its own”—but this is simply not the case. Neck pain should always be evaluated. The sooner you get medical attention, the better position you will be in to recover from a whiplash injury.

Building a Case to Recover Full Compensation for Whiplash Injuries

For a number of different reasons, it can be difficult for people to recover financial compensation for their whiplash injuries. As whiplash is fundamentally a type of soft tissue damage, there is no one definitive test that can be used to prove the existence and severity of a whiplash injury. The good news is that there are proactive steps you can take to protect your legal rights. An experienced Spokane, WA car accident attorney can help you put together the evidence you need to prove the extent and severity of your whiplash injuries. 

How Long Does it Take to Settle a Car Accident Injury Claim?

Auto accidents are among the most common causes of severe injuries in our region. The Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) reports that approximately 50,000 people are hurt in traffic collisions in the state each year. If you were injured in a crash, you need financial compensation to pay your medical bills and support your loved ones. 

There are many factors that will affect the timeline of your case. In this article, our Spokane car accident attorneys provide a brief overview of key things to know about the timeline for bringing a personal injury claim in Washington State.

The average car accident injury claim takes between two months and twelve months to reach a final settlement. In some cases, there is a fierce dispute over fault or damages. Remember, it is important to be patient. Do not settle your personal injury case for less than you rightfully deserve.

What Needs to Happen Before You Can Settle a Claim

Every auto accident injury claim is different. As a general rule, the more severe the injuries and the more complicated the accident, the longer it will take to resolve the case. Here are three things you must do before trying to settle a car accident injury case:

  • Gather and Collect Evidence: Among other things, this includes the police report, photographs of the crash site, and the insurance policy details for the responsible parties.
  • Complete Medical Treatment:  Without seeking professional care, you will not have a car accident claim. You should not settle a case until your condition has stabilized.
  • Present a Strong Claim: To get a full and fair settlement, you must present a strong case. An experienced Spokane, WA car accident injury lawyer will help you put together a compelling, well-documented claim.

Determining The Value of Your Motor Vehicle Accident Claim

Calculating the true value of your claim is our most important job. We wait until you’ve reached maximum medical improvement (as close to full recovery as possible) before we submit a demand letter to the insurer. This enables us to account for every penny owed. Here is a brief overview of our process of building a strong claim:

Prove Liability

An accident results in legal liability when you can establish that someone else’s negligent actions caused your accident and subsequent injuries. To prove negligence, you must show the following about the alleged at-fault party:

  • They owed you a duty of care
  • They breached that legal duty by acting or failing to act in a certain way
  • Their action or inaction caused your injuries and damages.

Our auto accident lawyers will gather evidence including police reports, photographs, witness statements, medical records, accident reconstruction, and more to make the case that you were a victim of negligence.  A thorough investigation on our end enables us to negotiate more effectively with the insurance adjuster. We will also consult with your doctor/s and other medical experts who can confirm that the accident was the “proximate cause” of your injury. 

Demonstrate Damages Incurred

personal injury claim doesn’t exist without the ability to show that you’ve suffered economic (monetary) and non-economic losses as the result of someone else’s negligence. We may consult not only with your doctor/s but with financial and vocational experts who can attest to your immediate and long-term financial issues. Albrecht Law can help to identify and calculate your total damages.

Frequently Asked Questions

In the immediate aftermath of a car accident, there are certain key steps you can take to improve your chances of recovering a fair settlement.

  1. Call 911/Local Washington Police: Without a police report, it can be difficult to document what happened, or even prove that an accident did occur. The first record of your injuries will be contained in the investigating police officer’s report.
  2. Seek Medical Attention: If you were hurt in the accident, seek medical attention as soon as possible. If the police or the emergency medical personnel offer you an ambulance ride to the hospital, take it. Make sure to specify all areas where you are experiencing pain/symptoms, even if you do not believe your injuries to be serious. If you fail to seek treatment or delay in obtaining medical attention, an insurance adjuster may suspect that you were not genuinely injured and discount your claim. 
  3. Preserve Evidence: If you have a camera on your phone, take pictures and/or video of the accident scene, including the position of vehicles, property damage, debris, skid marks, and your injuries.
  4. Collect Contact Info: Retrieve contact information from the other driver/s including their name, address, license plate number and their insurance company information. If there were witnesses, gather their contact information as well.
  5. Document Everything: Record your daily symptoms and daily limitations. Keep medical bills, receipts, correspondence with insurance companies, property damage estimates, and a record of work time lost.

Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company: Even if the crash was not your fault, you need to notify your insurance company and open a claim. Be sure to never admit fault and stick to the facts when speaking with an insurance adjuster.

One in six motorists are driving uninsured. If you were hit by an uninsured driver, you can most likely recover from your own uninsured motorist (UM) coverage up to your policy limit. If the driver has insurance but not enough to cover your losses, you may be able to recover the difference from your own underinsured (UIM) policy limit. 

Many accidents occurred along the major corridors of I-5, I-90, US-2, I-84, and I-405. Interstate 5 is considered to be the busiest and most dangerous highway in Washington State. In addition to the traffic congestion – construction, road maintenance, and road paving all play a role in making this a problematic road to travel on. U.S. Highway 2 between Everett and Stevens Pass is notoriously known as the “highway of death.” More than 60 deadly crashes have occurred on this 70-mile stretch of road since 1999. Oncoming traffic on this two-lane country road is only separated by yellow lines.

  • Interstate 90:  The stretch of I-90 from Ellensburg to Spokane has about 1,079 crashes a year. I-90 E. of Snoqualmie Pass is where one can find arguably the worst potholes in the country. I-90 is especially difficult to travel during storms which can cause trees and rocks to fall onto the highway.
  • Spokane Valley: More than 500 crashes have taken place on Bigelow Gulch Rd. this road since 1997. Clogged traffic combined with no opportunity to safely pass leads to driver impatience which results in collisions.
  • Highway 395 and Crawford Road: these roads near Deer Park are known as “coffin corner.” The narrow two-lane road doesn’t accommodate high volume traffic at high speeds which results in a high number of life-threatening crashes.
    Additional intersections in Spokane which are the site of frequent accidents, injuries and fatalities include: North Division Street and East Indiana Avenue, North Division Street and East Francis Avenue, South Division Street and West Sprague Avenue.
  • State Route 14 between Paterson and Interstate 82: truck drivers have called this the “deadliest asphalt in Eastern Washington”

US 195: US 195 connects Spokane with Pullman. Accidents can happen anywhere on 195, but are most prevalent in Hangman Valley in Spokane, the road’s busiest stretch.

According to the National Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 25% of all motor vehicle crashes in the U.S. are weather-related. Unfortunately, Inland Northwest residents know all too well what it’s like to drive in adverse weather conditions.

  • Road Conditions: Whether it’s navigating through icy mountain passes, flooded valleys, or mudslides and avalanches – extreme weather events throughout Central and Eastern Washington wreak havoc on daily commutes and driver safety. Winter storms in Spokane can produce heavy snow, blowing and drifting of snow, sleet, freezing rain, ice and black ice, and freezing fog.

Collisions: The areas that tend to be the most dangerous include all the mountain passes including I-90 at Snoqualmie Pass, U.S. 2 over Stevens Pass and White Pass. Heavy snowfall in this region creates the potential for avalanches, and in many cases, the passes need to be temporarily shut down. To make it safer to drive in inclement weather, Washington has made it legal to use studded tires Nov 1-March 31. Vehicles heavier than 10,000 pounds are required to carry tire chains.

In an auto accident, your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage will cover your medical expenses and wage loss during your recovery. In Washington state, all auto insurance providers must offer PIP coverage to their policyholders. In the event of an accident, PIP coverage must, at a minimum, provide the following coverage:

  • Up to $10,000 for medical expenses for each individual injured in an auto accident (higher levels of PIP coverage offered are $35,000 and $100,000)
  • Up to $200 per week for lost wages (may not kick in until 14 days after the crash)
  • Up to $2,000 for funeral expenses

When a lawsuit is brought forward for damages caused by a car accident, a judge or jury will follow the rule of pure comparative negligence to determine who is at fault. Under this rule, if you were partially responsible for your accident, you can still collect damages, but your settlement or award would be reduced by the percentage of fault that is attributed to you. For example, if you have a claim that results in $100,000 of injury and the other driver was 80% at fault and you were 20% at fault, you would receive $80,000. You are entitled to benefits under PIP regardless of who is at fault. To collect PIP benefits, we can help you setup a PIP claim with your insurer so that your medical providers bill your insurer directly.

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