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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A common issue that affects accident victims is that when they're recovering from an accident, they can't work. Does this mean that you've got to take whatever time you've accrued in sick leave, or paid time off in order to not go without income while you recover? Not at all, and we at Bill Coats Law here in Bellingham certainly work for a different outcome. This will mean that accident victims have to file a wage loss claim. 

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3800 violators of the Move Over Law

It seems like it would be impossible to miss the flashing police lights and hazards on the highway, evidence of a state trooper or EMTs at an accident scene. Those lights are so bright and designed to be seen from far off, to give drivers a chance to slow down, and move over into the next lane. But if someone is looking at their cell phone, it's the same as driving with their eyes closed. If they're driving drunk, they might not be able to discern where their car is headed.

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Uninsured Motorist: The Hamilton Rule [VIDEO]

It might be natural to think that it’s easy enough to file your own claim to recover damages if you’re not the at fault driver. The insurance company commercials certainly make it seem that way, that all you need to do is call and they show up, happy to help, like any good neighbor would. Especially one that you’re paying thousands of dollars over the lifetime of a driver.

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What is inattention blindness? [VIDEO]

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Who pays after a car accident? [VIDEO]

It's a law, but we all know that not everyone follows the law all the time. Drivers in Washington State must have insurance, but what if they don't, and they hit you? Luckily, lawmakers thought of a way to help accident victims in situations like this, and it's called underinsured or uninsured motorist protection. By law here in Washington, all insurance companies must offer this protection to their customers.  So if the at fault driver doesn't have enough money to pay a full, fair settlement, you can turn to this part of your policy to file your claim. 

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5 Tips for the first conversation with the insurance adjuster after a car accident

Many accident victims are nervous about their first contact with the insurance company’s adjuster, and justifiably so. Assuming anyone who was recently in a car wreck is dealing with injuries and emotional stress that come from a traumatizing event, it’s hard to think clearly through a claim negotiation.

Here are some tips for that first contact with the insurance adjuster to help you advocate for yourself or a loved one and set the stage for financial recovery instead of further anxiety and financial stress.  

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Tips on How to Handle a Panic Stop

Google the phrase “panic stops” and up pops a short list of suggestions. One is “kissing stops panic attacks.” That may be, but it’s not what I mean today. Panic stops are when you are driving then suddenly the car in front of you brakes hard for seemingly no reason. It happens when, of course, you least expect it – a big rig up ahead has spilled its load, or a distracted driver swerves into the lane ahead of you, creating chaos for other drivers. Or maybe a herd of deer crosses the Mount Baker Highway as you're leaving Bellingham for a hike in the woods.

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