Bellingham Personal Injury Attorneys

When a Bellingham accident causes injuries or death, people need help to protect their rights

After a serious injury accident in Bellingham, the entire family can be affected, and typical daily life can be disrupted. Injury attorney Bill Coats has vast experience working with injured folks, and he knows what they are facing as they move toward recovery.

Resources that help injured people after a Bellingham accident

When an injury or fatality accident happens, one thing people need is information – information about the accident itself, and information about what to do next.

The Bellingham Police Department will respond to an accident scene when the crash occurs within the city limits, and will create a traffic collision report. Contact the department to find out how to get a copy.

The Whatcom County Sheriff's Department responds when an accident happens in the county.

The Washington State Patrol is the repository for the state's collision records. The agency receives all Vehicle Collision Reports from law enforcement officers at the state, county, city, and town levels, along with civilians that report their own collisions. These reports are written for each vehicle collision resulting in injury or death of any person, or damage to property to $1000 or more. Go here to request a copy of a traffic collision report.

The Bellingham Fire & Rescue Department provides immediate help for injured victims. Contact them to obtain copies of their records.

The region's medical centers produce records that support your injury claim

Often the first post-crash experience for an injured person is being treated at Bellingham's largest nearby hospital, PeaceHealth St. Joseph Hospital. Major trauma injuries may be referred to the larger regional medical centers:

Once treatment is finished, attorney Bill Coats will obtain copies of all medical records and bills for his clients, so that he can build a full insurance claim and ensure that all bills are paid in full.

Families can get emotional support after losing someone in a fatal Bellingham accident

When a loved one is killed in a motor-vehicle accident, many grieving families work with a grief support organization or therapist, to get help recovering and moving forward in life. Go here to learn more about Bellingham grief support providers.

The Bellingham court systems help accident victims deal with the civil, criminal, and legal aspects of a crash

The Bellingham Municipal Court typically has authority over minor criminal matters, traffic tickets, and civil lawsuits where a small amount of money is involved. The Whatcom County Superior Court handles felony cases and civil cases involving larger amounts of money.

Drunk-drivers continue to be a major safety issue and cause of Bellingham accidents

Bill Coats Law works with clients every day whose lives have been impacted by the actions of a drunk or drugged driver. We support the efforts of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) as they strive to reduce and prevent these collisions. Here's a link to the MADD site which provides great information on their important work.

Bicyclists and motorcyclists are at higher risk of injury and death on Bellingham roadways

In Bellingham, bicyclists and motorcyclists face a heightened level of danger due to their lack of protection from the impact of a collision. To improve safety for all road users, learn here about Washington bicycle laws and Washington motorcycle laws. Also, these great organizations serve as advocates for improved safety, and for better road conditions:;

Northwest Motorcycling Sound Rider;

Northwest Motorcycle Association.

Worried about handling your own insurance claim? Bill Coats Law can help you

Contact us if you are struggling with the aftermath of an accident and need some support and advice. We know what you are dealing with now, and we know what you will need to deal with in the future.

Here is how Bill and his team can help:

  • Managing all communications with other parties and their insurance companies;
  • Collecting medical records and bills, police reports, and other important documents;
  • Interviewing witnesses and collecting evidence and statements;
  • Negotiating with insurance companies on your behalf;
  • Communicating with medical providers and collections agencies regarding outstanding bills;
  • Bringing your claim to court if a full settlement is not offered.

Contact Bill Coats Law today to begin your recovery

The legal team at Bill Coats Law will provide you with a no cost, no obligation consultation to answer your questions and evaluate your potential claim. If we believe you have a case, we will offer their services and inform you of the next steps.

Get your questions answered and your case evaluated today by contacting us now.

The forces involved in a car accident are strong enough to break bones. Fractures and other types of broken bones require immediate medical attention and a trip to the ER. Fractures are always serious for Bellingham car accident victims. However, in many cases they can lead to long-term complications that can last a lifetime. While your doctor may be able to help you recover, the broken bone will always show evidence of the fracture. Broken bones can lead to many complications, including nerve damage, blood vessel problems, and arthritis.

If you were in a car accident in Bellingham, Washington, you may have a head or brain injury, or a concussion. These are serious injuries that need prompt medical attention. Even if you didn't feel your accident was serious enough to merit a trip to the ER, make sure you call your family doctor for a check-up after a car crash. Car accidents send adrenaline coursing through accident victims, which can mute the pain of their injuries. Sometimes symptoms don't immediately show. Often it's in the days following that headaches, neck pain and stiffness, and/or dizziness occur.

While driving to your destination in Bellingham, Washington, a distracted driver behind you glances down at his cell phone just as you slow for a red light. Bam! He hits your car, and in the moments directly after the crash, you think you're lucky to be alive. However, the following week you feel increasing pain to your neck and back. You see your doctor, have X-rays taken, and the pain remains. Your doctor recommends you see a chiropractor who can address soft tissue injuries caused by car accidents.

It is the law in Washington State to have a minimum $25,000/$50,000 liability coverage policy on all driving vehicles.  If you are in an auto accident and are found liable, it means that the accident was YOUR FAULT.  When it is your fault and you have the minimum liability coverage, the person you have hurt will only get $25,000 from your insurance policy, no matter how injured they are.  If several people are hurt in the same accident, the policy will pay out no more than $50,000 for the total accident.  This could leave you financially at risk.  Insurance companies do offer more than mini

You have been in an automobile accident in Bellingham Washington.  A Bellingham policeman arrives at the scene.  You are given some information but will need an accident report for the complete details of your accident.  Personal Injury Attorney Bill Coats often sees clients who only have the minimal information; he will immediately order the complete collision report for auto injury claims because it describes the “official” details of the accident as well as the registered owner’s name and insurance company.  To order a Bellingham Police Collision Report go to this website: 

BAM!!!  It happened so fast.  You have just been in an auto accident in Bellingham, Washington.  The adrenaline is running high and you think you’re ok.  Soon after though, you begin to experience headaches and/or neck & shoulder pain and/or back pain.  X-rays may be taken, showing no broken bones.  Chiropractic care is often the treatment of choice for these injuries.  Insurance companies will often pay for reasonable chiropractic treatment at the beginning of the claim.

A jury in Bellingham ruled that Debra Lehman was entitled to $7,584 to compensate her for neck and back injuries and other damages resulting from a rear end collision in Whatcom County.  The trial lasted 3 days.  Plaintiff claimed lumbar and cervical strains that resulted in permanent injury.  This was testified to by several of her doctors. She had no prior history of neck or back pain. There was $3,379 in medical bills claimed.  Her lawyer asked the jury for $142,970.  Bellingham car accident attorney Bill Coats was not involved in the case.

After a 3-day trial in Bellingham, the jury ruled that the driver of a truck was not responsible for the accident that caused biker John Steward to fall and break his arm.  Stewart was participating in the Tour de Whatcom charity bicycle ride in Bellingham, Washington, and was traveling on Hampton Road with 15-20 other riders. He claimed that Daryl Brennick who was driving a Toyota Tacoma truck, passed him on the left then suddenly made a right turn into a field, cutting off the lines of bicycle riders.

The dreaded phone call: “Hi mom/dad, I’ve been in an accident and crashed the car!”  In Bellingham, your teenage driver is more likely to have a car accident at the beginning of their driving experience than at any other time in their driving life. Washington has put restrictions on new teenage driver preventing them from driving alone between 1am -5 am for the first year.  Also, no passengers under 20 for their first six months of driving and only 3 passengers under the age 20 for the second six months. There requirements to keep in mind when choosing a driver education course.

According to a new article from, fully self-driving cars are a long way off. The progression of the self-driving car will happen in baby steps, hopefully to avoid car accidents and any missteps. After recent scrutiny of the self-driving car there has been a slight lapse in enthusiasm for the product because of potential dangers, such as car accidents.