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


Lots of Rain? Don't Hydroplane. Here's How You Can Drive Safely on Wet Roads

In Bellingham, WA, we can get a lot of rain. Wet roadways present some driving hazards that can catch drivers off guard, especially hydroplaning. Hydroplaning means a loss of traction and sliding on a film of water. Wet road surfaces can cause tires to hydroplane. This could result in the loss of control and steering ability, as your tires may lose contact with the pavement. It's a scary feeling to suddenly feel your car hydroplaning, but here are some things you can do to recover quickly.

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10 Tips to Prevent Road Rage

As roadways become increasingly congested, how we feel when we drive has a lot to do with how safely we drive. NHTSA (National  Highway Traffic Safety Administration) estimates that aggressive driving accounts for about one-third of all crashes and about two-thirds of the resulting fatalities. There are things drivers can do to limit the behaviors associated with aggressive driving. 

Here are ten tips to help you reduce the strain of being on the road: 

1. Get your Z's

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Travis was driving to work in his employer’s truck when a driver with marijuana in his system ran a stop sign and crashed into Travis. He suffered a fractured arm that required surgery to fix. The at-fault driver had no insurance, but Bellingham attorney Bill Coats was able to make a claim with the employer’s insurance company. After filing a lawsuit, the insurance company agreed to pay $180,000 to compensate Travis for his injury.

Bellingham and Whatcom County are popular for bicyclists, whether bike commuting to work, riding the trails, or taking a nice road ride in the county. However, when a car and bike collide, it's nearly always the cyclist who is hurt worse.

Don suffered disc injuries to his low back in a car accident where the at-fault driver pulled into traffic south of Bellingham and struck the side of Don’s classic 1955 Ford T-Bird. Don’s injuries were severe enough that he could not return to his physically demanding work as a paramedic. Although Don was close to retirement, he was counting on a few more good work years.

On an icy January night, Mr. O’Brien was going too fast down an onramp to I-5 and lost control of his Ford Explorer. He ended up facing southbound in the northbound lane. At the time, his license had been suspended and he shouldn’t have been driving at all. The driver of the car Nicolette was riding in was unable to avoid a collision. Nicolette injured her neck and tried everything her doctors recommended to get better.

Jenna was in Bellingham on a visit from British Columba, Canada.  Her friend was driving on I-5 and lost control.  She overcorrected, crossed the median, and hit a car going the opposite direction.  Jenna was critically injured and transported by helicopter to the hospital, where she underwent extensive medical treatment.

Kim was driving to her Bellingham home after work when her VW Beetle was rear-ended by a large pickup truck. The impact forced Kim’s car into the car in front of her, broke her seat, and injured her back.  She tried less invasive treatment but eventually needed spinal surgery. Bill Coats negotiated a settlement of $295,000.

Our client Derek was driving home when he was struck by another driver who was distracted by his young children, failed to negotiate a curve in a Whatcom County road, crossed the center line, and crashed directly into Derek. Derek was extricated from his vehicle and was airlifted in critical condition to the hospital, where he was treated for a fractured forearm, fractured fibula, hip dislocation and broken ribs.