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


Many Whatcom County drivers may be victims in a very scary car accident in the future

We who live and work in Bellingham and Whatcom County live along the Ring of Fire, which isn't just a great song. There are faults all around the underground, which means that we could one day experience an earthquake and/or tsunami event. It's likely that many drivers will be on the road if/when it hits, or roads will be impassable, so we will have to wait it out at home.

read more

Bigger vehicles are safer than smaller vehicles in Bellingham car crashes

It's more than a feeling: bigger, heavier vehicles are safer for passengers than smaller cars when it comes to accident fatalities. When considering the purchase of a new or used car, many look to data on safety ratings, gas mileage, and of course, the impact on their pocketbooks. Larger vehicles are safer but more expensive and worse on gas mileage for the most part, which is common sense. Car manufacturers have been trying to level the playing field to stay competitive in today's markets.

read more

...But if you've got to take them with you, keep pets secure in the car

I wanted to follow up my previous post on the risks of keeping pets in hot cars. The risks associated with pets in vehicles don't end with heatstroke. It's now common sense that car occupants must buckle up. Just as you should always wear your seatbelt to protect yourself in case of a collision, your pet should always be properly restrained while in the vehicle. The surest way to keep them safe is a secure harness or a carrier.

read more

Leave them at home!

When the weather starts to heat up here in Bellingham, I think about kids and pets in hot cars. Seems like we live in a cool enough climate in late May that we shouldn't need to worry about hot cars, right? Not so. It doesn't take much before a car becomes too hot for a living creature to stand. The temperature inside your vehicle can rise almost 20º F in just 10 minutes. In 20 minutes, it can rise almost 30º F...and the longer you wait, the higher it goes. At 60 minutes, the temperature in your vehicle can be more than 40 degrees higher than the outside temperature.

read more

Help! My car was in an accident, but I wasn't in my car. Here's what to do

It's a phone call no one wants to answer. If you lend your car to someone else and they are involved in an auto wreck, things can get awfully complicated. It seems like if you're not anywhere near the accident, you couldn't possibly be held liable and/or sued, but think again. There are some common circumstances where exactly that may happen. 

read more

When accidents don't happen: fraudulent accident claims

It may seem innocent enough: get in a fender bender and exaggerate your injuries to get a higher compensation amount than you would otherwise. These auto insurance companies are so huge and rich it wouldn't matter, right? But it doesn't just impact the industry, it impacts all our Bellingham friends and neighbors. Car insurance companies insuring Bellingham and Whatcom County drivers have to account for these exaggerations and other kinds of fraudulent insurance claims. On the whole, it makes everyone's insurance premiums more costly. 

read more

Which way to go? Rear face car seats until age 2

Bellingham babies (and parents), take note: the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) currently recomends that toddlers are kept in rear-facing car seats until age two, or until they exceed the height or weight limit for the car seat. Previous recommendations were a little less strict about that, informing caregivers to stay in rear-facing car seats as long as possible. They only recommended the minimum age and weight to switch them to forward-facing, which was only one year old and twenty pounds.

read more

Handling head injury claims after a car accident

Of the two million Americans who suffer head injuries each year, 14% of those are due to injuries from car crashes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That means 286,000 people receive TBI (traumatic brain injury) every year in car accidents. This number may even be on the low end, because TBIs are notoriously hard to pinpoint after a wreck.

read more

New distracted law approved by Washington State lawmakers

State lawmakers approved stricter distracted driving definitions and penalties for all Washington State drivers. No more loopholes for social media usage, selfies, snapchats, or playing Asphalt-Extreme while behind the wheel. If you're caught using your technological device for more than one finger pressing start on a navigation app, you'll be fined and your insurance will hear about it. This means higher rates just like you'd be hit with for any other moving violation.

read more

Tips on navigating Bellingham's traffic roundabouts

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, you’ll see them more on more on Bellingham roads. Roundabouts! They’re becoming a popular alternative to conventional intersections because they reduce accidents and severity of crashes that do occur. Also, they keep the flow of traffic moving more efficiently.

While roundabouts come in many different shapes and sizes, they have the following traits in common:

read more