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


How much car insurance should you buy?

It will be a different for every Bellingham driver, but here's a way to find the right level of car insurance for you.

The short answer, however, is you'll need at least the state's minimum requirement. In Washington, it is a law to have these minimal limits on your auto insurance policy: 

read more

They're baaack!... Do you know how to share the roads with school buses?

Sharing the roads with school buses can be frustrating. They're like mobile stop lights, and when the lights flash, it may add a few moments to an early commute to work or weary drive home. But buses have their unique safety features and stopping laws because they carry our most precious cargo, and driving infractions carry stiffer penalties for motorists giving way to their frustration - or distraction. When you see a school bus, have some patience, and remember these laws so you can  help keep everyone safe.

read more

How many Bellingham drivers wear their seat belts regularly?

Not enough, I can tell you that much, since it should be each and every time, every person. Just skipping your seat belt once will increase your chance of serious injury or death in an auto accident by half for that quick trip to the grocery store or wherever you're trying to go. Nobody looks cool or feels more comfortable after they've been ejected from their vehicle. But the bright side is most Washington drivers and passengers know better, and wear seat belts 97% of the time.

read more

I'm a safe driver. Do I really need to buy insurance? The answer is yes.

There are a lot of things we can go without. The latest and greatest fill-in-the-blank might very well be one of them, along with that unused gym membership are a couple examples of useless things we waste money on. Car insurance is not one of those things. In fact, it is required by law in Washington to carry a policy if you drive a car, even though the minimum amounts the law names are very low.

read more

So you've bought an auto insurance policy. How do you read this thing?

It's not always a straightforward read. Okay, it's actually quite boring and confusing, full of legalese and jargon. This makes some degree of sense, however, since insurers are legally required to cover the bills when accidents happen. They want to be as specific as possible to avoid paying more than they've agreed to pay. Here are some basics on understanding your insurance policy. If you know what to look for and where to find it, your policy becomes a lot easier to understand.

read more

Basics of auto insurance policies that every Bellingham driver should know

Consider this post a take on the summer beach reads. Okay, not quite a page turner, but if you are a driver, then this is information you should know. All drivers must have insurance - it is Washington state law - so if you're paying for it anyway, you might as well know what you're buying. Here's a primer on auto insurance policies. 

read more

A $30 million car accident that did not happen in Bellingham

I feel it's a basic truth that the most expensive car accident, in Bellingham, Whatcom County, or anywhere on the planet, is any car crash that takes a life. After all, how expensive is priceless? However, there is a dollar value assessed to the loss of life that comes from fatal motor vehicle accidents. Society pays the price of the many costs associated with these devastating events. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), U.S.

read more

In a serious car accident? Internal bleeding is highly likely

Because of behaviors like distracted and drunk driving, serious car accidents are on the rise. Last year, traffic deaths increased 6 percent, to 40,200, according to estimates released on Wednesday by the National Safety Council. The two-year increase — 14 percent — is the largest in more than a half a century.

read more