After The Crash: How Auto Accident Attorney Bill Coats Protects Your Rights

Everyone at Bill Coats Law understands the challenges that can arise after a serious car accident. We have seen the injuries and damage that can result from a collision and understand the difficulties some victims face in trying to recover full and fair compensation from the insurance companies.

There are very specific rules and regulations in Washington State that can complicate an insurance claim and the ability to recover additional compensation for things like disability, loss of enjoyment of life, and pain and suffering. In cases of severe injury or death, to have the best chance at receiving full and fair compensation for your losses, it is best to contact a local attorney who has knowledge and experience in laws regarding auto accident claims. We are located in Bellingham and serve clients throughout northwest Washington. 

Attorneys Bill Coats and Tiffany Bailey focus on automobile accident cases and will help ensure that your rights are protected.

If you’ve been in a car accident and are unsure of your next step, please call to set up a meeting with Bill to discuss your case.  There is never any charge to discuss your case.  We will review your claim, answer your questions, and determine if we can help. 

                                                                                                 Call to discuss your case: (360) 392-2833.

We hear daily from people who have been injured in car accidents in Bellingham and throughout Whatcom County, including Ferndale, Blaine and Lynden. Sometimes the accidents and injuries are minor, but often, someone is seriously hurt or killed in a crash. It is a terrifying experience to go through, and afterwards, many crucial decisions need to be made to ensure the physical and financial recovery of the victims. Because of this, attorney Bill Coats focuses his legal practice on auto accidents in Bellingham and Whatcom County where he can help people negotiate the difficult road to recovery.

Contact Bill to discuss your car accident case at 360-392-2833.

Bill Coats' track record of full, fast, and fair auto accident settlements speaks for itself

Bellingham auto accident attorney Bill Coats has spent 20 years working with injured clients to ensure they get the medical treatment they need to recover, to get their medical bills paid, and to deal with auto insurance companies and adjusters to get the optimal settlement. His goal is to obtain the funds needed so clients can recover from their financial losses and move forward with their lives. He’s helped clients dealing with a wide variety of auto accidents, including:


Here’s what Bill has learned in 20+ years of handling auto accidents:

  • Even a fairly minor car accident can cause long-term injuries requiring extensive medical treatment – it is crucial to know how to estimate the cost of future medical treatment.
  • Car accidents are often caused by drivers with no insurance, despite the requirements of Washington State law, so it is imperative to find coverage through any available source.
  • Many people do not carry enough insurance to cover the damages in a car crash, especially if more than one person is injured or killed.
  • All insurance adjusters will offer low settlements initially, and it takes an experienced auto accident attorney to negotiate a full and fair settlement.

When you or someone you care about has been seriously injured in a car accident, there is a flurry of immediate decisions that need to be made to help the person medically and financially. Bill hears many questions and concerns from accident victims as they struggle to deal with what has happened. For example:

  • What should I do if I can’t work for a while?
  • What should I do if my injuries prevent me from ever returning to my current job?
  • Medical bills are piling up and I haven’t received any payments from the driver’s insurance company or from my own – What do I do?
  • The other driver had no insurance and I don’t know if my coverage will be enough?
  • The insurance adjuster is giving me the run around – how can I get a fair settlement?

Bill has the answers to these questions. Give him a call now to begin recovering from a car accident.

Some folks have received fairly minor injuries and call with questions about how to deal with property damage, and how to work with insurance adjusters to resolve their own claims. While in some cases it is possible to handle your own claim, for example when there are no injuries, very minor injuries, or minor vehicle damage, it is advisable to have a personal injury attorney review the situation first.

Bill Coats Law focuses upon personal injury and wrongful death law in Bellingham and throughout Whatcom County, and our experience has allowed us to help hundreds of clients like you. Contact us today to learn the path to recovery, at 360-392-2833.

Many auto accidents involve alcohol or drugs. If you or someone you love was involved in a drunk or drugged driving accident, click here to learn more. 

With the prevalence of electronic devices, distracted driving and the accidents it causes is on the rise. If your accident involved these factors that contribute to distracted driving, consult with an attorney experienced with handling them. 

If you have been in a different type of collision and want specific information about it, please click on the corresponding link below:

Bike accident

Pedestrian accident

Wrongful Death

Distracted Driving

Drunk Driving

Semi Tractor Trailer and Truck Accidents

Motorcycle Accident

Personal Injury


Common causes of Bellingham car accidents in intersections

One of the most deadly types of car accidents is the intersection crash. Also known as a T-bone accident, there are multiple factors that contribute to the severity of such crashes, including the speed and impact angle at which intersection accidents typically take place. It's often the kind of accident in which multiple injuries present, and that's if all parties involved are inside vehicles, benefitting from the numerous safety features they have.

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Stay calm and know your rights after a Bellingham car accident

Victims of accidents, even minor ones, know their adrenaline starts to pump immediately afterward. Even when you try to stay calm, your hands and feet might shake and your mind might buzz. An inability to stay calm after an accident can lead to more serious injuries, such as when a confused driver steps on the gas instead of the brakes or forgets to put a car in park. That’s why it’s so important to stay calm and assess the scene after an accident.

Most Common Types of Car Accidents

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Bellingham drivers should stay at the scene of an accident they caused - no matter how difficult

Recently there have been some hit and run accidents that hit the news. Earlier this month, a Western Washington University student was hit on I-5, and the driver was later arrested. Last October, this pedestrian was hit but got off lucky.

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Aggressive driving in Bellingham greatly increases risk of severe car crashes

Bellingham has been growing by leaps and bounds, which adds more cars to Whatcom County roads. More cars on the roads means more traffic, and that can mean more headaches. I'm sure every driver has gotten angry at other drivers, but aggressive driving is highly dangerous. Just take a look at this driver in the Seattle area who became an Internet sensation when he chose to use his car as a battering ram last summer.

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Recent Whatcom County rains bring challenging road conditions

The last few days have been rain-filled here in Whatcom County. The forecast calls for more, causing officials to keep a close eye on the Nooksack River as it nears flood levels. Chances are if you're driving, you'll encounter some very wet roads. It takes just six inches of water to stall out a car, about the same height that will knock someone over.

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Myths and facts about brain injuries in Bellingham car accidents

It's usually obvious where someone is injured in a car accident. Bruises, abrasions and lacerations are visible injuries that show up quickly after impact. Victims may also experience pain from soft tissue injuries to their neck and back. Usually, the pain from these types of injuries is felt immediately after the collision or soon thereafter, and so you are able to pinpoint the cause of your injuries and seek the necessary treatment. The most common type of injury that may not be visible, however, is that of what is referred to as a “minor traumatic brain injury,” or MTBI.

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Drive like your kids live here

I often see "Drive like your kids live here" signs posted in Bellingham yards. If you speed through a residential neighborhood and hit someone with your vehicle, is it really an “accident”? Sure, you didn’t mean to hurt anyone, but you were, in fact, breaking the law, and driving dangerously. Children can come out of nowhere. When you were a child, did you think about “safety first” when playing in your front yard? It's a sad fact that every day motor vehicles kill more kids than any disease.

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Avoid these prescription drugs if you are driving

All medications that are on the market today have gone through a rigorous testing and approval process and are generally considered to be safe for use as long as they are prescribed by a doctor and used as intended. However, not all medications are safe for all people, as certain medications are associated with an increased risk of car accidents. Below, we’ll take a look at some of the pharmaceuticals currently on the market that have the highest risk of injuring their users.


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Dashing through the rain... tips for Bellingham drivers

Many Bellingham residents will hit I-5 for some holiday drives in the next few weeks. This can be a stressful time, so here are some things you can easily do to make the trip safe and festive.

1. Don't drink and drive

It may be tempting to beat the stress of an impending drive with a hot toddy or two, but don't do it if you are the driver. Winter often brings driving condition that require even more attention than a warm summer day, but the real reason to not drink and drive is it is never safe, no matter the conditions. 

2. Plan your route in advance

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