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


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You probably won't have much choice - or awareness - about what kinds of medical attention you'll receive directly after a car accident. Everything happens so fast, and the EMTs will be doing everything they can to stabilize you when seconds count. You may be rushed to Bellingham's hospital, St Joe's, or air lifted to Seattle. They will immediately focus on the most grievous of wounds, such as damage to the head and spinal column, broken bones, and lacerations.

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Things to think about before you call the insurance company

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Proving fault in one-way car accidents in Bellingham

Just the other day I was walking along downtown and noticed someone turn down the wrong way on a one way street. Bellingham is notorious for its one way streets, especially downtown, and while I witnessed no accident, others haven't been so lucky. In fact, one of the leading causes of car, motorcycle, and trucking accidents is attributed to a driver heading in the wrong direction on the roadway. Often this is just an awkward mistake, but a slip-up like this can cause a serious accident, resulting in traumatic injuries and even death.

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Just how safe are Bellingham roads?

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Who Is At Fault for Accidents in Bad Weather?

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Insurance Acronyms Cheat Sheet

There is no shortage of Acronyms for most professional services.  Insurance coverage is no exception.  Here is a quick cheat sheet:

LI- Liability

BI- Bodily Injury

PD- Property Damage

PIP – Personal Injury Protection

UIM/UM -  Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage

ACV – Actual Cash Value

COMP- Comprehensive coverage

COLL – Collision

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NO PIP COVERAGE? Ask for a Copy of the Waiver You Signed

Washington State has a rule that says if you decline Personal Injury Protection (PIP) you must sign a waiver stating this.  If you are hurt in a car accident, Bellingham Washington Attorney Bill Coats advises to always ask for a copy of the waiver if your insurance company says you do not have PIP coverage.  If you have not signed one, you will be entitled to PIP coverage.  This is just one tip regarding the ins and outs of insurance coverage.  Call Bellingham Personal Injury Attorney Bill Coats at 360-392-2833 if you need more information regarding this issue. 

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