Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer
Accidents happen in Seattle every day, leaving residents with severe injuries, economic losses, and emotional turmoil. If someone else’s negligence or recklessness contributed to the harm you are suffering from, it is important to know you may be eligible for compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.
The quality of your legal representation can mean the difference between a settlement and leaving the courtroom with no payment. Choose the attorneys at Washington Injury Law to represent your personal injury claim and help you find optimal paths toward maximum possible compensation.
Why Do You Need a Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer?
Hiring a Seattle personal injury attorney can provide several benefits to your personal injury case, whether you are filing an insurance claim for a car crash or a multi-million-dollar lawsuit for a catastrophic construction accident.
Your attorney will have the resources necessary to conduct an in-depth investigation into your case, gathering all relevant pieces of evidence and building a comprehensive case for your compensation. He or she may be able to access evidence you may not be able to.
All personal injury claims in the state of Washington are subject to strict deadlines, known as the statute of limitations, by which you must file your claim. Your accident attorney will help you file your claim before this deadline, avoiding unnecessary errors and delays.
Many personal injury claims require negotiations with insurance companies. Your injury attorney will have the negotiation skills necessary to advocate for your best interests in these situations, as well as the ability to calculate your estimated settlement amount and evaluate any offers you may receive.
In addition, there are many stages in a personal injury claim where making a premature statement could harm your chances at receiving a maximum possible settlement, such as conversations with insurance adjusters. Your accident attorney in Seattle will guide you through each stage of your claim and advise you on how to best approach these situations.
You may not know what types of damages you may qualify for. Your attorney will be able to learn your story and help you understand which compensation is available to you. In addition, your lawyer can help gather the evidence necessary to prove your need for damages.
Reasons to Choose Washington Injury Law
Hiring a Seattle personal injury attorney is an investment in your future and provides you with the resources you need to bring a strong case for your compensation to the courtroom. An injury attorney from Washington Injury Law can provide you with all of the aforementioned benefits and more.
Our firm has helped victims of accidents and serious for years, and we are committed to ensuring you receive the best outcome possible in your case. Our clients trust us for our experience, open communication and honesty, and dedication to their cases.
- Attorney Janelle Bailey has significant experience handling personal injury claims including car accidents, defective products, and wrongful death.
- We are familiar with Washington injury law and the court systems in these cities, allowing our attorneys to navigate these processes with confidence.
- We handle all cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning we don’t charge a fee unless we secure compensation on your behalf.
- Washington Injury Law serves the Seattle-Bellevue-Everett tri-cities area, and is committed to helping.
Personal Injury Claims We Handle
Washington Injury Law handles all manner of personal injury claims, from vehicle collisions to severe instances of abuse and neglect. Our experience with these practice areas has allowed us to define the resources, strategies, and steps we need to take to craft a compelling claim in your favor.
A few of the types of personal injury claims we handle include the following.
- Car Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Dog Bites
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Bicycle Accidents
- Medical Malpractice
- Brain Injuries
- Spinal Cord Injury
What Is the Personal Injury Claim Process?
Personal injury cases typically follow a similar process from the initial accident to a settlement or verdict. Washington, a fault-based state, allows you three avenues for compensation: filing an insurance claim with the at-fault party’s policy, filing a claim with your insurance company, or filing a personal injury lawsuit. You will likely begin in the insurance stage and progress to the lawsuit phase, although your case may vary.
In all personal injury claims, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible to receive treatment for your injuries. Receiving medical care will help you work toward a full recovery and provide you with valuable records that will be important pieces of evidence in your lawsuit or insurance claim. Waiting to seek medical attention could cast doubt on the severity of your injuries.
After receiving treatment, you should consult a personal injury lawyer before you speak with an insurance adjuster, since premature statements could harm the settlement you receive. An insurance adjuster may attempt to contact you during this stage, but it is important to speak to your attorney before making any statements.
After you speak to your lawyer about your claim, he or she will begin to investigate your claim. Your lawyer will ask you questions about your accident, collect all pieces of evidence, and ask for your medical records to determine your damages. This process may take a few months to complete, until you reach medical maximum improvement (MMI).
Your personal injury will then consider whether or not to make a demand prior to filing a lawsuit. Many personal injury cases settle outside of the courtroom, and your attorney will calculate your estimated damages once you reach MMI and potentially enter negotiations with the at-fault party.
If the negotiations are unsuccessful or your lawyer decides against them, he or she will file your lawsuit in civil court. It may take a year or so for your case to reach trial, and during this stage, your attorney will enter the discovery phase. During discovery, both sides of the claim will investigate the legal claims and defenses of each party.
Once discovery ends, you and your attorney may enter into another negotiation process to attempt to come to a settlement agreement with the at-fault party. If this process is unsuccessful or does not take place, your case will enter the courtroom.
During the trial, your attorney and the at-fault party’s attorney will present their respective arguments in front of the court. At the conclusion of your case, the court will deliberate whether or not you should receive a settlement and how much that settlement will be.
The entire personal injury process can take a year or two to complete, but receiving this compensation is vital to ensuring your health and well-being following a serious accident. Contact a Seattle personal injury attorney at Washington Injury Law to begin this process as soon as possible.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Personal Injury Claim in Washington State?
All civil lawsuits in the state of Washington are subject to the statute of limitations, a deadline you must file your case by or the court will dismiss your claim. While this rule may seem arbitrary, statutes of limitations help keep evidence fresh and witness testimony reliable.
You have three years from the date of your accident or injury to file your personal injury lawsuit. It is vital to file your claim as soon as possible to ensure you meet this deadline — filing after your window closes will cause you to lose your chance at securing the compensation you need to recover. Do not wait, and contact a Seattle personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Proving a Personal Injury Claim in Seattle
To prove a personal injury claim in Washington, you and your attorney will need to gather sufficient evidence to show negligence played a role in your accident. The presence of negligence will look different for different types of cases, but a successful personal injury lawsuit will require you to establish the following four facts.
- The at-fault party owed you a duty of care.
- The at-fault party breached his or her duty of care.
- The breach of care caused your accident and resulting injuries directly.
- You can collect compensation for the damages you suffered.
For example, say you suffer injuries as the result of negligent medical practices. A doctor prescribed the wrong medication for your condition, and you developed a severe illness as a result. You can establish a duty of care because all medical professionals have a duty to uphold medical industry standards when treating patients.
The breach of care occurred when the doctor prescribed the wrong medication in a situation where a similarly trained and prudent doctor would not. You can use your medical records to prove the harm you suffered due to this action, and your attorney may provide an expert witness to comment further on your condition. Your Seattle accident attorney can help you determine how much compensation you qualify for.
What Is Washington’s Pure Comparative Fault Rule?
While you may ask for a certain settlement in your personal injury claim, proving negligence does not guarantee you will receive the full settlement. This is due to Washington’s pure comparative fault rule, which may decrease your damages if the court finds you share a portion of the liability.
Under the pure comparative fault rule, Washington courts will decrease your award amount by the amount of liability you hold. Unlike many other states, Washington allows you to collect damages in a personal injury case even if you share 99% of the fault.
For example, say you are in a car accident with a driver who was speeding at the time of the accident. However, you were not wearing a seatbelt during the collision and the at-fault driver’s attorney argues your injuries would not be as severe if you had worn one. The court finds you share 50% of the liability, and if you are seeking $20,000 in damages, you will only receive $10,000. If you shared 99% of the fault, you would only receive $2,000.
Compensation Available in a Personal Injury Claim
Your accident may cause you to suffer significant physical, emotional, and financial damages. Personal injury lawsuits in Seattle allow you to collect compensation for these damages through your claim. Common types of compensation available in a personal injury claim include the following.
- Past and future medical expenses related to your accident, including medications, surgeries, and physical therapy appointments
- Lost wages you incur during your recovery time, as well as the loss of future earnings if your injury impacts your ability to work
- Property damage sustained in the accident, such as vehicle repairs or personal belongings
- Emotional and physical pain and suffering damages, which may include chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, and mental anguish
Your Seattle attorney will evaluate your case and help you determine which damages you are eligible for. Washington Injury Law is committed to helping you find all avenues to maximize your recovery.
Should You Speak to the Insurance Company After an Accident?
Soon after an accident, you may receive a call from the at-fault party’s insurance adjuster asking you for a statement. He or she may claim this statement will help expedite your claim, providing you with the funds you need to recover at a faster rate.
You should never speak to an insurance adjuster before contacting your Seattle personal injury lawyer first. Do not give a recorded statement or admit any details about your injuries. Remember, since the insurance company has to pay for your damages, it is not in their best interest to provide you with maximum possible compensation.
Speaking to an adjuster while you are still receiving treatment and have not yet reached MMI can also hurt your claim. You may not know the extent of the damages you sustained, and you may prematurely accept a settlement lower than what you need. In addition, the adjuster may use any statements you say during this early stage against you later on even if new facts arise, reducing your settlement in the process.
Your lawyer can handle all communications with the insurance company and guide you through how to approach these conversations. Your attorney will also evaluate your settlement offers and help you determine whether or not an offer is sufficient for your needs.
Contact Washington Injury Law Today
Facing a legal claim for a serious injury can be difficult — but with a Seattle personal injury lawyer from Washington Injury Law by your side, you have an advocate who will guide you through this process step-by-step. You deserve fair compensation, and Washington Injury Law can help.
Our firm will work tirelessly to recover the damages you need to heal from your losses, including medical bills, lost wages, property repairs, and pain and suffering. Contact Washington Injury Law today to schedule your free consultation with a Seattle personal injury attorney.