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Why Would an Insurance Claim Be Denied After a Car Accident?

Posted on Monday, February 20th, 2023 at 8:49 pm    

Car accidents can be traumatic and costly. Unfortunately, even when accident victims have car insurance, there may be times when insurance companies deny their claims. It can be incredibly frustrating to be in an accident that was not your fault, only to find out that you won’t get the compensation you need to repair your car or cover medical bills. This blog post will examine why an insurer may deny your claim after a car accident in Washington.

You Didn’t Report the Accident in a Timely Fashion

One of the most common reasons an insurer may deny your claim is that a claimant didn’t report the accident promptly. If you wait too long to report the accident, the insurance company can use this as an excuse to deny your claim. The best way to keep an insurer from denying your claim is to get in touch with the insurance company as soon as you can after the accident. Remember to provide the insurer with all the necessary information, including the time and place of the accident, any contact information for other parties to the accident, and other relevant details. 

You Were at Fault for the Accident

If the insurance company believes you were at fault for the accident, they may deny your claim. This is especially true if they can prove you were negligent or reckless. To make their determination, the insurer will review the police report and witness statements and investigate the scene to determine who was responsible. If the insurer determines you were at fault, they will likely deny your claim.

The Other Driver Was Underinsured

Sometimes, an insurance company can deny a claim if the other driver involved in the car accident is underinsured. This means that even though the other driver was at fault for the accident, they do not have enough insurance coverage to cover the losses resulting from the accident. In this case, it’s important to speak with a Washington car accident attorney who can help you explore other options for recovering compensation.

You Didn’t Get a Medical Evaluation or a Relevant Diagnosis

An insurance company might deny an injury claim if the claimant did not seek medical attention promptly after the accident. It is essential to see a doctor following any car accident, even if you don’t think you were injured. In some cases, people who have been in a crash may not recognize the symptoms of their injury until days or weeks later. When an insurance company finds out that a claimant did not visit a medical professional after an accident, they may assume that the person was not seriously injured and deny the claim. In addition, medical records can provide proof of an injury and document the extent of the damage, which can support your claim. It can improve your chances of receiving a settlement for your injuries and losses.

The Insurer Denied the Claim in Bad Faith

Insurers have a duty to act in good faith when handling claims. This means they must thoroughly review the claim and consider all factors before denying it. If an insurance company denies a claim without considering all the facts or fails to give a valid reason for the denial, they may be acting in bad faith. In this case, the claimant may have to pursue other avenues for legal recourse, such as taking the matter to court. For this reason, professional advice from a car accident attorney is advisable after being injured in an accident. 

How a Washington Car Accident Attorney Can Help

If you’ve been in a car accident, you might feel overwhelmed, frustrated, and unsure of what to do next. A qualified Washington car accident attorney can help you navigate the complexities of filing a claim and seek the compensation you deserve. They can provide expert legal advice and guide you through appealing your insurance claim if necessary. Your attorney can also assist with negotiations with the insurance company and fight for a fair settlement. Most importantly, they can protect your rights as an accident victim and fight for the compensation and justice you deserve.

Speak With a Lakewood, WA, Car Accident Lawyer

If you’ve been in a car accident, it’s crucial to get the advice of an experienced attorney as soon as possible. A qualified Lakewood, WA, car accident lawyer can help you review your insurance claim and protect your rights. At The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs, our team of experienced attorneys is here to help you through the legal process. We will review your case and provide you with options to move forward. Call us today at (253) 588-6696 for a legal consultation to discuss your claim.


How to File an Insurance Claim After a Car Accident

Posted on Sunday, January 1st, 2023 at 7:54 pm    

The sooner you file an insurance claim, the sooner you will get compensation from the insurance company. However, many factors go into how you should file an insurance claim after an event, including who was at fault for the collision. When you are involved in a collision, you should file a police report before you file an insurance claim because the insurance company may request it.

What Is an Insurance Claim?

An insurance claim is a request to an insurance company for compensation to cover the losses you sustained in a car crash covered by the insurance policy. When filing an insurance claim, you will likely be asked questions about the collision and requested to provide documentation, including:

  • Name and phone number of each party involved
  • Insurance policy numbers of each party involved in the event
  • Information about the vehicles involved
  • Photos of the scene, injuries, and property damage
  • Name and phone number of any witnesses of the crash
  • Medical records, if available
  • Police reports

Are Police Reports Required for an Insurance Claim?

Not all collisions in Washington require a police report. However, an insurance company may request one. If you were in a car crash that resulted in an injury, death, or at least $1,000 in property damage, you are required under Washington law to report the collision to the Washington State Patrol. The crash can be reported by a police officer who was present at the scene and indicated they would submit a collision report, or you can report it yourself through Washington State Patrol’s online portal.

When to File an Insurance Claim

Insurance claims are not limited to significant accidents resulting in severe injuries or thousands of dollars of property damage. You should file an insurance claim whenever you are in a collision that results in any injury or damage.

When a collision needs to be reported depends on the insurance policy that covers the collision. For example, some policies require collisions to be reported within 30 days, while others may allow up to 180 days or some other period of time. Failing to file your insurance claim within the required timeframe could result in you being barred from receiving compensation. As a result, once you’ve been in a crash, you should file a claim with the insurance company as soon as possible.

Which Insurance Company?

In Washington, the person who negligently caused the collision is responsible for any losses resulting from it. As a result, if you caused the collision, you should file an insurance claim with your car insurance company. You can file a claim by calling your insurance company, or if your company allows you to file claims online, you can file your claim through your online portal.

If someone else is responsible for the collision, you will file the claim with their insurance company. If you have the at-fault driver’s insurance information, you can call their insurance company to file a claim.

However, you should contact an attorney to deal with insurance companies on your behalf. The insurance adjuster assigned to your claim will be trying to save their company as much money as possible, so having an experienced car accident attorney on your team can make a difference in the compensation you receive when settling an insurance claim.

Additionally, an attorney will represent you in court if a lawsuit is required to get you the compensation you deserve.

Determining Who Is Responsible for a Collision

In Washington, the party whose negligence caused the collision is responsible for compensating the injured party for their losses. Acts of negligence can include:

  • Speeding
  • Texting and driving
  • Swerving
  • Not following traffic signs or signals

Multiple parties could be at fault for a car crash if they behaved negligently and contributed to it. The percentage of fault assigned to each party can affect the compensation an injured party receives in a personal injury lawsuit.

For example, in a personal injury lawsuit, if the judge or jury finds that you were ten percent at fault for the crash, the compensation you receive from the other party will be reduced by ten percent, meaning that if you are awarded $100,000 and found to be ten percent at fault, you will only receive $90,000.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer for Help

Car accidents can severely impact your mental and physical health, but you do not have to go through the process of pursuing money for your losses alone. A skilled and knowledgeable Lakewood car accident attorney of The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs can help you get the compensation you deserve. At The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs, we have experience representing victims of car crashes and are ready to use that experience to deal with insurance companies on your behalf.

If you were injured in a car crash that wasn’t your fault, call us today at (253) 588-6696 or contact us online to discuss your legal options.

What You Need to Know About Your Car Accident Claim

Posted on Monday, August 1st, 2022 at 6:17 pm    

car accident claimBeing involved in a car accident is shocking and often traumatic. If you suffer injuries in the crash, your life can turn upside down in an instant. Your injuries may force you to take time off work or even prevent you from returning to work at all. At the same time, you will have to deal with the costs of not only the damage that your vehicle sustained but also an endless stream of medical bills. This mix of circumstances often leads many accident victims to believe that they are headed toward financial ruin.

However, if you were not at fault for the collision, you may be entitled to file a claim for compensation for the losses you suffered as a result of your accident. Here’s what you need to know about filing a car accident claim in Washington.

How Much Time Do I Have?

In the state of Washington, there is a three-year statutory period for filing a car accident claim. This means that you must file your claim within three years of the accident. However, in some circumstances, when a victim might not have had a way of knowing that they had been injured right away, the clock starts ticking from the moment you discover your injury instead.

Similarly, if your injury was the result of a car part that only later proves to have been defective, you may have more time to file your claim.

How Do Car Accident Injury Claims Work?

If you decide to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party, you will submit your case to their insurance company. They will investigate the accident so that they can determine what occurred, who should be held responsible, and the extent of your injuries. As part of this investigation, they will want to review your medical records and bills so that they can be sure that your injuries are as bad as you are claiming that they are and that the medical expenses you’ve submitted for compensation are appropriate.

This is one of the main reasons it is important to seek medical attention as soon as you possibly can after an accident. By doing so, you not only improve your chances of recovering more quickly, but your medical records will also demonstrate that you took your injuries seriously from the very beginning.

While the insurance company may choose to make a settlement offer at any point in this process, it is not advisable to speak with them directly. Unfortunately, many insurance adjusters do not operate in good faith. They may try to tempt you with a lowball offer that does not cover the full extent of your expenses. They may even claim that this is their final offer, which may be untrue.

You should consult with a personal injury attorney so that you can get an accurate assessment of what you are owed for your losses. If you let your lawyer handle the negotiations with the insurance company, you are much more likely to achieve a fair settlement.

What if I Can’t Reach a Fair Settlement?

looking at car damageSometimes, even after lots of negotiation, an insurance company will decide not to make the offer that your attorney knows you deserve. In such situations, a good lawyer will take the at-fault party to court so that they can be held publicly accountable for the harm they have caused you. In many cases, taking the initial steps of a lawsuit is enough to get the insurance company to finally offer a fair settlement. If not, you will have the opportunity to make your case before a judge and, perhaps, a jury of your peers.

Contact an Experienced Washington State Car Accident Attorney

Filing a car accident claim is almost never straightforward. With an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side, you will have someone who knows how to handle the paperwork, the insurance agents, and the courtroom if necessary. The Lakewood car accident lawyers of The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs have the skill and knowledge necessary to build the strongest claim possible. For over 60 years, our lawyers have been helping people injured by the wrongdoing of others recover the compensation they deserve. We are ready to do the same for you today.

Don’t let someone else’s negligence ruin your future. Call us today at (253) 588-6696 or contact us online to see how we can help you seek the justice and compensation you deserve.

4 Ways to Prevent Car Accidents

Posted on Sunday, March 27th, 2022 at 3:43 am    

When you hit the road, the unsettling thought of being the victim of a car accident is probably not what you want to keep at the front of your mind. Unfortunately, data from the Washington State Department of Transportation estimates that in a recent year, a car accident occurred every 4.5 minutes.

The consequences of a car accident can be catastrophic. While we never want to think the worst can happen, being prepared can save your life. At The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs, we have compiled four ways you can help prevent car accidents. Take these tips to heart, and help keep yourself safe on Washington’s often wet, but always busy streets.

If you have any further questions or have recently been in a car accident, don’t hesitate to contact The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs today.

Avoid Distractions

distracted driver

The number one cause of car accidents is driver error, with distracted driving being the prime culprit. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that distracted driving tragically claimed 3,142 lives on U.S. roadways in a recent year.

Distracted driving is any behavior that diverts your eyes or attention span away from the road. Making phone calls, texting, and eating behind the wheel are common distracted driving culprits. However, grooming, loud music, and using a GPS can also divert a person’s attention and lead to significant accidents.

Keep yourself and others safe by avoiding distractions and focusing on the safe operation of your vehicle. Keep your cell phone in the backseat or put it in airplane mode. You can also download apps that will automatically send out a message to people informing them that you are driving if they try to contact you. Always keep your hands on the wheel and avoid grooming, eating, drinking, and daydreaming while driving. If you feel your attention drifting away, pull over and take a short break.

Slow Down

According to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, 6,616 speeding citations were issued in a single year. Speeding is dangerous and can cause significant and life-altering accidents. Life moves at a fast pace for all of us. There are places we all need to be every day, but according to studies, speeding doesn’t actually get you where you are going much faster. On average, going 10 miles over the speed limit only saves six minutes during a typical trip. Far more noteworthy is that speeding can endanger your life and the lives of those around you.

In a rush? Set an alarm, and leave a few minutes early. Also, try to avoid the temptation of speeding to avoid traffic congestion or other obstacles. Slow down and take your time. People would much rather see you show up late than never show up at all.

Plan Ahead

plan ahead

One way you can help avoid an accident is to plan in advance. If you are traveling, review your route ahead of time so you know what to expect. The Washington State Department of Transportation offers travelers real-time alerts that include construction zones, incident reports, and inclement weather advisories.  

Let someone know about your plans and when they can expect you to arrive. Be sure to also give them the details of your planned route. If the worst happens and you do not arrive as expected, someone will know to contact help.

Planning also means making sure your vehicle is in good condition before you hit the road. Check your tires and fluid levels. Also, keep up-to-date on the latest recalls or product defects that may impact your automobile.

Be Confident, Don’t Be Aggressive

It is one thing to drive assertively. It is another to drive aggressively. Operating a vehicle in a way that may endanger people or property is generally categorized as aggressive driving. Examples of aggressive driving include:

  • Excessive speeding
  • Tailgating
  • Unsafe lane changes
  • Failing to yield
  • Failing to signal
  • Passing in no-passing zones

While being confident behind the wheel can help prevent accidents, aggressive driving can cause accidents. One study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety indicates that as many as 54 percent of all fatal car accidents are the result of aggressive driving. Even in stressful situations, try to remain calm and don’t let road rage get the best of you, as the risks are never worth it.

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Today

Everyone has the duty to be responsible and safe while driving. While you may follow the rules of the road, not every driver is as courteous as you. Hold negligent drivers responsible for their actions and seek the compensation you deserve after an accident by calling the experienced car accident team at The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs.

Since 1952, our knowledgeable attorneys have been helping clients just like you seek justice and pursue the financial compensation they need to recover from their injuries. For a free consultation to review your car accident claim, contact our office online, or at (253) 588-6696. 

Five Tips for Safe Travel During the Holidays

Posted on Monday, November 1st, 2021 at 5:24 pm    

Even though gas prices are up 65 percent for the 2021 holiday season over last year, if the past is an accurate predictor, the majority of U.S. travelers will still choose to drive to their destinations. Early estimates for this year predicted that more than 100 million of our fellow citizens would jump behind the wheel to meet friends and family for holiday get-togethers, fuel costs notwithstanding. Most of us love the independence that being in the driver’s seat provides, but that freedom comes with the responsibility to drive safely.

Have Your Vehicle Inspected Before Your Holiday Trip

Before you take to the road, whether it’s 25 miles or 2,000 miles, your first priority is checking on the condition of the vehicle you plan to use. If you have not had an inspection recently, get one just prior to your journey. The probability of the inspected vehicle getting into an accident is lowest right after the inspection but increases as time passes. A bonus to driving a car that has a clean bill of health is your peace of mind as the driver. No worries about improper wheel alignment or worn brake pads.

car mechanic inspection

What Does a Typical Vehicle Inspection Checklist Include?

The state of Washington does not require passenger car safety inspections. But if you are concerned about your car’s ability to get you to your destination safely, a qualified mechanic will check the following:

  • Air filters
  • Brakes
  • Engine
  • Fluids
  • Filters
  • Horn
  • Lights
  • Steering mechanism
  • Safety restraints
  • Tires
  • Transmission
  • Wipers
  • Window glass

As part of the inspection, the mechanic will also ensure that your car’s VIN, registration, and insurance information are up to date and easy to locate. Now you are ready to drive!

Five Tips to Keep You Safe

When you know you’re going to travel, keep these tips in mind to help you reach your destination safely.

Don’t Drive While Distracted: The environment in your vehicle as well as your actions while driving impact the safety of you and your passengers while you are on the road. Distracted driving kills eight people daily in car accidents in the U.S. Distractions include:

  • Eating
  • Drinking
  • Scrolling through your entertainment system
  • Using your cell phone
  • Loud conversations

Don’t Drive While Impaired: Impaired driving refers to driving while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both. Approximately 29 people die daily in crashes involving alcohol in the U.S. Both illegal and prescription drugs can cause unsafe driving, just like drunk driving can. Driving while impaired has a negative impact on your:

  • Vision
  • Attentiveness
  • Motor skills
  • Decision-making ability

Don’t Drive Without Checking the Weather Conditions: Before embarking on your holiday trek, check the weather where you are starting out and along the route where you will be driving, all the way to your destination. Every year, more than 1.2 million crashes are related to weather. The following adverse weather conditions, which vary depending on your geographic location, can cause traffic accidents:

  • Snow
  • Ice
  • Sleet
  • High Winds
  • Rain
  • Fog
  • Water level
  • Pavement conditions

Don’t Drive Faster Than the Posted Speed Limits: With so many drivers on the road during the holidays, don’t allow yourself to become impatient and drive too fast. Speed limits are determined by transportation engineers. The design of the road and how fast a majority of drivers travel on that type of road are factored into the determination of the speed limit. Ignoring these posted limits can increase the risk of an accident. Speed limits for the following types of roads and highways vary by state, so be alert to any changes while on your road trip:

  • Unpaved
  • Country
  • Urban
  • Suburban
  • State
  • Interstate
  • Toll

Don’t Drive When You Are Tired: Although it is not yet possible to pinpoint how many traffic accidents are related to drowsy driving, experts agree that people can be injured or die when a tired driver gets into an accident. On the bright side, driving while tired is preventable. To ensure a safe journey, do the following before you get behind the steering wheel:

  • Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep
  • Check medications that may induce drowsiness
  • Avoid drinking alcohol

happy family driving safely

Why Should You Call the Personal Injury Attorneys of The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs if You Have Been in an Accident?

If you or a family member is seriously injured in a traffic accident due to another person’s negligence during the holidays, or at any other time, call The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs at (253) 588-6696 to protect your rights and help you pursue the compensation you deserve for your injuries. You can also fill out our contact form for a prompt reply from a member of our legal team.

Don’t hesitate to contact us. There are no upfront costs, and we don’t get paid unless you do. Our attorneys specialize in achieving the best outcomes possible for our personal injury clients. Since 1925 our firm has worked hard for victims and their families, and that kind of experience is hard to beat. Call today.

How to Prevent Autumn Car Accidents

Posted on Monday, September 13th, 2021 at 12:10 am    

As autumn approaches, the days get shorter, and the temperature begins to drop. These factors, in combination with heavier holiday traffic, can contribute to an increase in vehicle accidents in the fall. Each year, hundreds of people are injured in accidents around the nation as a result of the changing seasons. With a few simple steps, you can avoid being involved in such an accident and can protect both yourself and your loved ones.

Be Aware of External Conditions

There are many factors outside of your vehicle that can be dangerous to any driver who is not paying attention. One such factor might be the weather conditions. As the temperatures begin to get cooler, frozen precipitation and black ice on the roads become more common. These conditions may be hazardous to drivers who are not actively avoiding them.

Another external factor that may present a hazard is the shortened days. As Daylight Saving Time ends, the sun sets earlier, and the roads become dark. There are several ways you can prepare for the shorter days of autumn. Be sure that your vehicle’s headlights are in proper condition, both your regular lights and your brights, so that you will be able to see clearly at night. It’s also important that you visit your optometrist to ensure your vision is in the best condition for driving at night.

With the approach of major holidays, the flow of traffic between cities and across the country is greatly increased. In order to allow for the heightened number of motorists on the road, it’s important to remain fully aware and alert as you drive this fall.

distracted driving

Practice Safe Driving Habits

While external factors may contribute to a motor vehicle accident, there are several practices you can engage in as you get behind the wheel this autumn that can help keep you safe. One important thing to do is to remain alert at all times. There are a few things that may distract you from focusing on the road. Some examples include:

  • Drowsy driving: operating a motor vehicle requires focus. If you have not had the proper amount of sleep, you’re putting not only yourself in danger but the other motorists with whom you share the road.
  • Distracted driving: driving without focusing on the road can be very dangerous. Things like cell phone use, looking at GPS navigation, and talking to passengers can all be distracting to a driver and potentially hazardous to others on the road.
  • Drunk/drugged driving: not only is driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol dangerous, but it’s also against the law. Those who drive under the influence experience blurred vision, impaired judgment, and loss of depth perception, which can be very dangerous.

Keep Your Vehicle Properly Maintained

There are several important steps you can take to make sure your vehicle is functioning properly this autumn. One important safety measure is to check your windshield wipers. With more frequent precipitation, it’s important to have your windshield wipers installed and functioning correctly so that you can have clear visibility at all times.

Another safety measure you can take is to check your tires. You’ll want to make sure the tread on your tires has not worn down, as this can make driving on slippery surfaces hazardous. It’s also important to check your tire pressure. Cooler temperatures can affect the pressure of your tires, so you’ll want to use a tire pressure gauge to make sure the psi (pounds per square inch) of your tires match the recommended amount listed on the sticker inside the driver’s side door or in the driver’s manual.

What to Do if You’ve Been Involved in a Car Accident

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, there are several important things you can do. First, call for medical attention if you need it. Also, call the authorities and report the accident. Take pictures of the scene, including any injuries you sustain and your damcar accident victimaged property. Avoid talking to anyone at the scene more than is necessary, except to exchange insurance information. Finally, call The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs to connect with one of our attorneys and discuss your motor vehicle accident case.


Need Help? Call The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs Today

If you or someone you love has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you know how difficult it can be to go through the process of gathering evidence, communicating with the other involved parties, and building a compelling vehicle accident case.

Luckily, the Lakewood personal injury attorneys at The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs are more than prepared to help you pursue the compensation to which you’re entitled. Call The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs today at (253) 588-6696 to discuss your circumstances. We’ll help you determine the best course of action as you pursue the justice you deserve.