An auto accident injury attorney in Bellingham, WA can help someone who has tried to make a monetary claim with another driver’s insurance company but is dissatisfied with the results so far. One problem that sometimes occurs is the insurer stating that the claimant was partly at fault for the incident and does not deserve the amount asked for. Washington is a comparative fault state, so it’s true that being partially responsible may reduce the compensation to be paid.
Technically, comparative fault would only apply in a case that goes to court. A judge or jury would decide how much the injured person had been at fault, and the financial compensation would be reduced by that percentage. However, insurance companies may determine their own version of fault percentage and return a counter-offer that the injured person doesn’t find to be reasonable.
This is why it’s crucial to have an auto accident injury attorney in Bellingham, WA for representation. The lawyer knows how much compensation should be expected even in cases affected by comparative fault.
For example, if a person was under the influence of alcohol while driving and was struck by another vehicle, they did not actually cause the accident. However, the attorney and the insurer both know that being intoxicated behind the wheel can slow reaction time and impair judgment. In court, this person would not likely receive 100% of the money they would normally be awarded.
The insurer may state that the alcohol involvement means the claimant was 40% at fault. An attorney with an organization like Allen Law Firm may counter with a figure of 20% fault. This type of negotiation can be easier to succeed with if the other driver made an obvious hazardous move, such as racing through a red light.
These matters rarely proceed to trial, but the insurance company is likely to accept a counter-offer to its own figure rather than risk going to court. That’s especially true if the claimant’s blood alcohol level was below the legal limit and not considered a factor in the accident by law enforcement. Visit the website to learn more about this particular organization.