car crash in Vancouver, Washington

According to the most recent data from the Washington State Department of Transportation, in 2022 there were 104,385 total collisions in the state, resulting in 30,490 injuries and 734 fatalities. In addition, data for 2023 shows that traffic deaths in Washington hit a 33-year high, with an astounding 810 fatalities.

With more than 35 years of experience fighting for car accident injury victims in the Pacific Northwest, the Vancouver car accident attorneys at the NW Injury Law Center have seen how these traumatic events can impact your life on an emotional, physical, and financial level.

Cars are a necessary part of many people’s daily lives, but improper use and unsafe driving habits can lead to disastrous consequences such as wrongful death accidents in Vancouver. Because of this, we promise to use every resource necessary to thoroughly investigate your claim and quantify the effects of your accident so you can get the best recovery possible.

If you or a family member have been in a car accident in Vancouver or Portland, call us at (360) 695-1624 for a free consultation or fill out our contact us form. We will be happy to review the details of your case and can answer any questions you may have to determine the best course of action for your situation.

Also, visit our frequently asked questions page to learn more about what to do in the critical hours and days right after your injury.

Why Choose Our Vancouver Car Accident Attorney? 

  • Client Focused: Our team of attorneys is committed to securing top results for their clients. We are not afraid of going up against powerful adversaries and insurance carriers in car accident cases in Vancouver.
  • Decades of Experience: Our law firm’s founder, trial attorney Don Jacobs, has been litigating motor vehicle accident cases since 1979. He has helped thousands of injured clients collect compensation.
  • Proven Results: We have a long track record of success. We have won jury trials throughout Washington and recovered verdicts of over $1 million for injured victims in both Washington and Oregon.
  • Contingency Fee Basis: We accept car accident clients in Vancouver on a contingency fee basis, meaning you will owe us $0 unless we secure financial compensation for your losses.

What Our Client Had to Say

5 Stars Black

“Don and the staff made me feel they really cared about me and were helpful with all of my questions. I would refer anyone who needs a an injury lawyer to Don at NW Injury Law Center.”

-Aileen Gillespie

More Client Testimonials

Steps to Take After a Car Accident in Vancouver 

If you get involved in a car accident in Vancouver or anywhere in Washington State, it is important to know what steps you should take to protect yourself as much as possible. A car insurance company will check to see what you did and did not do after a car accident when deciding whether to accept or reject your claim.  

Taking the following steps can help you build a stronger case and ensure your well-being:

  1. Check yourself, your passengers and people in the other car for injuries.
  2. If anyone has suffered serious injuries, call 911 to request an ambulance.
  3. Get medical care right away, even if you initially feel fine. You may have hidden or delayed injuries.
  4. Call the police from the scene of the accident to report the crash.
  5. Exchange information with the other driver, but do not admit fault.
  6. Take photos of the crash scene and check for any available footage from nearby cameras.
  7. Speak to witnesses to collect statements before you leave.
  8. Write down your police report number so that you can obtain a copy of the document.
  9. Contact the other driver’s car insurance company to file a claim as soon as possible.
  10. Be cautious when speaking to insurance claims adjusters.
  11. Do not give a recorded statement or accept a fast insurance settlement.
  12. Consult with a car accident attorney in Vancouver for legal advice before settling.

You can contact a Vancouver personal injury attorney for assistance with your car accident claim as early on in the legal process as you wish. The sooner you secure legal representation, the easier it will be to focus on healing and recuperating while your lawyer handles challenging legal processes on your behalf.

How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Claim in Washington?

It is important to know that you do not have an unlimited amount of time in which to file an injury claim after a car accident in Washington. A state law known as the statute of limitations places a strict deadline on an accident victim’s right to file a car accident claim. In general, if you do not meet this deadline, the courts will not allow you to proceed with a claim.

The statute of limitations is found in the Revised Code of Washington Section 4.16.080. This law states:

  • The following actions shall be commenced within three years: (2) An action for taking, detaining, or injuring personal property, including an action for the specific recovery thereof, or for any other injury to the person or rights of another not hereinafter enumerated.

Under this law, you have no more than three years to file a car accident claim in Vancouver, Washington, unless a rare exception to the rule applies to your case. If you wish to file a wrongful death claim after a fatal car accident, you will have three years from the date of death. Keep in mind that this time limit is for filing a lawsuit for a car accident; an insurance claim should be filed much sooner.

Some extenuating circumstances can shorten or extend the time window. For example, if you do not discover your injuries immediately, you may have three years from the date of reasonable discovery rather than the date of the crash. If you need to file a claim against a government agency, you may have significantly less time. This is why it is important to speak to an attorney as soon as possible.

Our Vancouver Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You

Types of Compensation for Car Accident Injuries:

Medical Expenses: The most straightforward compensation, if the other party is found liable for your injuries is the related medical expenses, such as a visit to the hospital, surgery, physical therapy, or anything else associated with approved medical professionals. Your future medical expenses also come into play, as long as it is proven the continued medical care is related to the crash.

Lost Wages: If your injuries are significant enough that you miss time from work, you may be eligible for compensation for lost wages, dating from the time of your accident. Even if you were unemployed at the time of your injuries, you may be able to recover damages for potential earnings.

Lost Future Earnings Potential: Sometimes an injury is severe enough to hinder the victim’s ability to reach their full earnings potential that they could have reached had they not been in the accident.

Pain and Suffering: While quantifying these damages are more challenging, you can also be awarded non-economic damages related to pain and suffering. In addition to physical pain, emotional pain suffered due to the car accident is also a valid source of compensation.

Loss of Consortium: When the plaintiff is married, the spouse may be able to seek monetary damages for loss of consortium. These damages relate to when a plaintiff is unable to provide for his or her spouse on an emotional and physical level (companionship, romantic), financial support, and their share of household duties.

Punitive Damages: In special situations, when the defendant has acted in a particularly egregious manner, and all other compensation is deemed not enough of a punishment, punitive damages may be awarded. In addition to punishing the accused, it is meant to discourage them from similar actions in the future.

Proving Liability After a Car Accident in Vancouver, WA

Washington operates under a fault-based auto insurance rule. This allows injured car accident victims to seek financial recoveries from those at fault for the crash. This is in contrast to the no-fault car insurance system, where all involved drivers file claims with their own car insurance companies, regardless of fault.

Fault-based insurance claims generally provide greater financial compensation than no-fault claims; however, the tradeoff is that a claimant must prove that the other party is liable. Proving liability in a car accident case is typically synonymous with proving negligence, meaning the failure to act with ordinary care.

Negligence consists of four elements:

  1. Duty of care: every driver has an obligation to operate a motor vehicle according to Washington’s traffic laws and best practices for preventing car accidents.
  2. Breach of the duty of care: proof that the driver or accused party acted in a way that a reasonably prudent person would not have in the same or similar circumstances.
  3. Causation: a provable connection between the driver’s negligent act or omission and the car accident.
  4. Damages: specific losses suffered by the victim in the motor vehicle accident, such as bodily injury, medical bills or property damage.

The burden of proof that must be met for a car accident victim to recover compensation in Washington is “a preponderance of the evidence,” meaning true with at least a 51 percent certainty. While evidence varies from case to case, proof of liability may include an accident report, photographs and videos, witness statements, and testimony from experts.

Contact Our Vancouver Car Accident Lawyer Today

If you or a loved one was recently injured in a car accident in Vancouver, our Vancouver car accident attorney at NW Injury Law Center can help you understand and protect your legal rights. We can guide you through each step of a car insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit in pursuit of justice and fair compensation. We will not charge you a dime for our services unless we win your case.

Contact us online or call (360) 695-1624 today to schedule a free case evaluation. Our Vancouver law office is located at 514 W 9th St., Vancouver, WA 98660.