In 2020, the Washington State Department of Transportation summary report indicates that there were 292 total crashes in Sumner, Washington. Getting injured in a traffic collision can be an extremely difficult and overwhelming experience. If you or someone you love has been hurt in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you are within your rights to pursue fair compensation for your injuries.
The Terry Law Firm, P.S. has the necessary resources and experience to help you hold the responsible parties accountable for your injuries and any other damages. Personal injury attorney Scott Terry can review and investigate every last detail of your case and explore all possible legal options that you have to recover damages. As an experienced Washington State personal injury attorney, Scott will fight compassionately to protect your rights and help you seek fair financial compensation to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, future medical treatment, and any additional pain and suffering.
Terry Law Firm, P.S., proudly serves car accident victims and their families in Sumner, Washington, and throughout the State of Washington, including Pierce County, King County, Thurston County, and the nearby communities of Bonney Lake, Puyallup, Auburn, Lake Tapps, Orting, Tacoma, Federal Way, and Kent Washington.
Assessing Liability for Car Accidents in Washington
Washington is considered an “at-fault” state. This means that the driver responsible for the traffic crash (known as the at-fault party) will be held liable for all medical expenses, vehicle damages, and other losses suffered by any injured victims. If you have been injured in a Washington state car accident, your possible options to seek compensation include:
- Filing a claim with your own insurer
- Filing a third-party claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party in civil court.
Get The Legal Assistance You Need
In Washington State, motorists are required to carry liability insurance with a minimum coverage of:
- $25,000 for bodily injury or death per person per accident
- $50,000 for bodily injury or death to two or more persons per accident
- $10,000 for property damage per accident
- Underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.
State Laws Addressing Personal Injury Claims
There are a number of state laws that address personal injury claims in Washington. These laws were established to dictate a number of different aspects of the personal injury claim process, including the amount of damages that may be recovered and the time limit one has for filing claims.
Statute of Limitations
According to the Revised Code of Washington section 4.16.080, any legal action for injury to the person or rights of another, or injury to personal property shall be commenced within three years of the date of the accident.
Comparative Negligence in Washington State
Washington is considered a “pure comparative negligence” state. Pursuant to the Revised Code of Washington section 4.22.005,
“In an action based on fault seeking to recover damages for injury or death to a person or harm to property, any contributory fault chargeable to the claimant diminishes proportionately the amount awarded as compensatory damages for an injury attributable to the claimant’s contributory fault, but does not bar recovery.”
This means, for instance, that if the court decided to award a $100,000 settlement to you following a car accident, but the judge rules that you were 30% at fault for the crash, your compensation will be reduced by $30,000 to account for your level of fault in the accident. This means that you will only be eligible to recover $70,000 in compensation.
However, Washington State’s pure comparative negligence law does allow for accident victims to recover damages for their injuries even if they were over 50% responsible for the car accident.