Whether at work or on the road, the threat of getting injured due to someone else’s negligent actions is always imminent. According to recent data, the threat of getting injured in an accident is becoming strikingly common in the state of Washington, especially on the road. Just before the pandemic hit, there were almost 111,500 car accidents in the state.
When we break this down, 7,381 were related to drunk driving, 10,540 to distracted driving, and more than 15,000 accidents were caused by inexperienced teenagers behind the wheel. Overall, there were 1,942 serious injuries in these auto accidents in Washington. Even if we discount accidents on the road, the statistics still show an alarming number of injuries. In 2019, there were over 88,000 nonfatal workplace injuries in the state’s private industries.
If you have been injured due to the negligent actions of another in Sumner, Washington, or in the neighboring areas of Kent, Bonney Lake, Auburn, Lake Tapps, or Orting, Washington, you may be eligible for compensation. Our experienced personal injury attorneys at the Terry Law Firm, P.S. can help you explore all of your legal options. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Personal Injury Claims in Washington
Personal injury law provides injured victims with the opportunity to file a civil lawsuit and pursue damages that can provide compensation for medical bills and any additional pain and suffering that they have been forced to endure after an accident. The purpose of personal injury law is to provide an opportunity for the claimant to be ‘made whole’ when he or she has been injured by someone in an accident.
Get The Justice You Deserve
Notable Washington State
Personal Injury Laws
Washington is considered an ‘at-fault’ state, which means the person causing the injury will be held liable and required to pay damages. However, the state also has a ‘contributory fault’ system that considers the possibility that the defendant may not be 100% responsible for the accident. This is also known as the pure comparative negligence rule.
Pure Comparative Negligence Rule
The pure comparative negligence rule is used to account for situations where both parties are found to share some level of blame for the accident. For example, John comes speeding down the road and collides with Jane, just as Jane is turning in front of John. Jane didn’t see John approaching and decided to turn in front of him because she was looking at her phone while driving. Even if John sustains serious injuries, John can still be found partially at fault because he was speeding and could not stop in time. Had John not been speeding, he may have been able to avoid the collision.
Because John was speeding, the court may find John to be 30% responsible for the accident. In other words, the total damages that he will be eligible to receive will be reduced by 30%, due to the pure comparative negligence rule. So if John is awarded $100,000 in damages by the court, he will only be eligible to receive $70,000 to account for his level of fault in causing the accident. It’s also important to note that insurance adjusters may attempt to apply this rule if the case doesn’t go to trial and is settled outside of court.
Washington Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits in Washington is three years from the date of the accident, and this also applies to property damage. It’s important to remember that the state specifies that this three-year window begins the day the accident occurs, not from the date you discover your injuries. This means that if you get into an accident outdoors or at work, it is so crucial that you find a doctor to check you immediately, even if you don’t feel any pain.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim
Residents of cities like Sumner, Kent, Bonney Lake, Auburn, Lake Tapps, and Orting, Washington can pursue damages through a lawsuit or with an insurance company. Depending on the circumstances of your unique situation, it’s always a good idea to explore all of your options with an experienced personal injury attorney.
Filing Against Your Own Insurance
Car owners in Washington should have liability insurance to cover damages in an accident where they are at fault. In a no-fault state, automobile owners are not required to carry liability insurance. Also, note that Washington state residents can add no-fault personal injury protection (PIP) in their policy.
Filing Against Someone Else’s Insurance
If you have been injured in an accident, you can file a claim with your insurance company or the insurer of the at-fault party. Typically you’ll choose to file against the at-fault party’s insurance company if you believe they carry a significant portion of fault and can prove their liability.
How Litigation Works
You can also file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver themselves. Even if you don’t pursue this option, it is strongly recommended that you seek legal advice from an experienced personal injury lawyer like Scott Terry, even when filing basic insurance claims.
In the state of Washington, there are no damage caps when pursuing compensation for a personal injury claim. When filing a personal injury claim, you should consider a variety of different factors when determining the amount of compensation to pursue, such as the accumulation of all of your medical expenses, any rehabilitation expenses, any lost wages during the recovery process, and any other pain and suffering that you’ve been forced to endure.
Work with an Attorney You Can Trust
At the end of the day, most people aren’t prepared for the significant toll that serious injury can take on a day-to-day basis. The recovery process can be long and arduous, and bills can pile up quickly. If your injuries force you to miss work, you can quickly find yourself overwhelmed with debt. The good news is, you don’t have to face these challenges alone.
At Terry Law Firm, P.S., personal injury attorney Scott Terry has spent over 30 years working with injured victims and their families to help them pursue the compensation they need to recover from their injuries and get their life back. If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident, don’t wait. Call or reach out to Terry Law Firm, P.S. today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how Scott Terry can help you pursue the compensation you need.
Personal Injury Attorney
in Sumner, Washington
Sustaining injuries due to the negligent actions of another can diminish your quality of life in more ways than one. That’s why you have a legal right to hold those responsible accountable and pursue fair compensation. If you or someone you know has been injured in Sumner, Washington, you can always rely on Terry Law Firm, P.S. to protect your rights and provide the legal guidance you need. Reach out today to schedule a free consultation.