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When could a Washington car wreck lead to a civil lawsuit?

On Behalf of | Nov 24, 2023 | Personal Injury

The possibility of a car crash is a small but ever-present safety threat. People never know when they might cross paths with a drunk driver or someone too distracted to be safe.

Injury victims generally anticipate filing an insurance claim in the wake of a crash and moving on with their lives accordingly. Unfortunately, more serious collisions may force people to take drastic steps in pursuit of appropriate compensation. Many people hurt in motor vehicle crashes in Washington eventually need to take the matter to civil court.

When would a personal injury lawsuit be an appropriate response to a recent car wreck?

When someone doesn’t have insurance

Some drivers openly violate Washington state law. Despite the requirement to carry liability insurance coverage, they let their policies lapse or intentionally cancel them to save the money they would spend on their premium each month. Someone hurt in a crash caused by a driver without insurance may have few options other than taking the matter to civil court.

When someone has major injuries

Car crashes are one of the most common sources of catastrophic injuries. A wreck can cause brain or spinal cord injuries. They are also one of the top reasons that people lose body parts due to traumatic or surgical amputations. Given that Washington law only requires $25,000 in bodily injury liability coverage if one person gets hurt, people may need to seek more compensation than insurance will provide. A lawsuit allows someone to claim the full cost of their injuries even if it goes beyond the policy limits of the driver at fault for the wreck.

When a business is the party at fault

Holding a business accountable for a car crash is sometimes necessary. Perhaps the person who caused the wreck was on the job at the time. Their employer may be liable for how their negligence affected a member of the public. Other times, businesses could contribute to crashes by improperly maintaining vehicles, hiring the wrong workers or turning out defective vehicle parts. If people have identified a company as the party at fault, then it may be necessary to pursue the matter in civil court.

Generally speaking, those asking the civil courts for compensation after a car crash need evidence that the collision occurred either because of negligence or illegal behavior, like openly violating traffic statutes. Speaking with a lawyer about crash causation, liability and compensation can, therefore, be very beneficial for those who believe that they are entitled to justice after a wreck.