Even serious injuries can result from a minor accident. In Washington, the party who causes an accident is responsible to pay for the damage that they cause. Even when the accident is relatively minor, the responsible party may owe the victim compensation.
Serious injuries and minor car accidents
While a car accident may seem minor, there are a number of ways that serious injuries could occur. When pedestrians or bicyclists are involved, they do not have the protection of being in a large motor vehicle to shield them from impact. A person is no match for a vehicle moving at even a relatively slow speed. Even a fender bender can cause broken bones, internal organ damage, brain damage and paralysis.
In addition to pedestrian accidents, side-impact crashes do not offer vehicle occupants sufficient protection to shield them from injury. A vehicle door may not have side air bags or a strong enough structure to withstand impact. The result may be devastating injuries to a victim. Alternatively, a rear-end or front-end crash may throw victims forward in ways that cause sudden, irreversible damage to the body.
Is there legal liability for serious injuries from a minor car accident?
When serious injuries result from a motor vehicle accident, the responsible party is liable to the victims. Even when injuries seem relatively minor compared to the severity of the crash, the party who caused the accident must pay for the damage. Washington law puts the burden on the negligent person to compensate victims for the harm that they cause to others. The purpose of compensation is not to punish the defendant but to make the victim whole for their injuries.
Compensation for serious injuries from a minor car accident
To receive compensation for serious injuries following a wreck, a victim must show how the other party is legally at fault. Generally, proving fault means demonstrating the elements of negligence, recklessness or intentional behavior. The victim must show the link between the accident and the injuries that they sustain. Thoroughly preparing the case is critical for the victim to receive the compensation that they deserve.