Accidents and mishaps are unfortunate but can happen to anyone. If you suffered injuries and losses because of someone’s negligence, carelessness, or disregard for safety, you may have the scope to file a personal injury claim.
While not mandatory by law, legal expertise can be handy in such circumstances. A skilled attorney can guide you on filing a claim, or an eventual lawsuit, and more importantly, they can guide you on your rights and expected settlement. When you were wrongfully injured in Kent, knowing the personal injury laws in Washington State can be useful, besides talking to an attorney. In this post, we are sharing some of the basics worth knowing.
Statute of Limitations
The Statute of Limitations allows a specific amount of time to file a personal injury lawsuit after an accident. In Washington, you have three years to file such claims, counting from the date of injury. If the accident resulted in someone’s death, the family has three years to file a wrongful death lawsuit, from the date of death.
To win a personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff must prove the liability of the defendant. Expectedly, defendants do not want to accept fault, and the plaintiff had a share of fault, the usual blame game will only make things more complicated. So, how can one prove liability? There are a few facts that must be proved through evidence-
- The party owed a duty of care
- The party has breached that duty
- The action of the defendant led to injuries
- The plaintiff suffered losses and injuries because of the action of the defendant
Understanding pure comparative fault
Washington is a pure comparative fault state. If someone was injured but also had a share of fault in an accident, their eventual settlement will be reduced by the percentage of their fault. For instance, if you were awarded $50,000 in compensation but were 30% at fault, you can only recover $35,000 as final settlement. In the real world, calculations are not always simple, which is precisely why hiring an attorney is so important.
Meeting a personal injury attorney
Most personal injury attorneys in Seattle and Kent work on a contingency basis. This means that the lawyer will not ask for a fee if they don’t win. Also, meeting a lawyer doesn’t have to cost anything. Your personal injury attorney can give a fair idea of what to expect in settlement and how to proceed with the claim, so as to recover your losses and damages.
Personal injury is legal terminology for an actual physical injury to the mind, body or emotions, rather than an injury to real property. In English, the word personal injury is used to describe a kind of civil lawsuit in which the plaintiff has actually suffered some damage to his or herself, either physically or emotionally. In general terms, personal injury law is actually synonymous with tort law.
Tort law, in the most common sense, refers to a body of law that permits the state to be sued for damages that were inflicted by private parties within the bounds of the state. Personal injury law is designed to allow people who have been injured due to the actions of others to seek recompense for their losses.
Claims under personal injury law cover a wide range of injuries – from brain injuries to broken limbs to dog bites. Personal injury law also covers medical malpractice, auto accidents, and workplace injuries.
Claims may be brought on behalf of anyone who has been wronged for any reason, including death, mental illness, wages lost, pain and suffering, emotional trauma, property damage, loss of earning capacity, and many other situations not mentioned above. Some claims are based on negligence, whereas others are based on strict liability. Whatever the nature of the legal claim, it must be brought within a specific time limit and on reasonable grounds.
Every state has its own laws that govern personal injury cases, including how compensation can be claimed. The process for claiming compensation depends largely on the nature of the incident and on the negligence of the other party. In most cases, personal injury lawyers will assist you in determining the extent of your injuries, their potential financial impact on your life and your financial future, and the extent of your obligations to others. In addition, they will also help you find a qualified and experienced attorney to help you build your case.