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WASHINGTON
BY APPOINTMENT ONLY
Plaza 600 600 Stewart St,
Suite 400
Seattle, WA 98101

When accidents happen, injuries often follow. And what comes after injuries is often even more difficult than dealing with the initial pain the injuries caused. That’s because regaining your financial footing after you’re suddenly unable to earn a living and stuck with expensive medical bills is challenging, to say the least. But there is a way to ease the financial pressure you’re feeling.

In the state of Washington, victims who were injured in accidents that were someone else’s fault can file a personal injury claim in order to pursue the compensation they need to return to the life they knew before they were hurt.

However, even if you leave out the difficulty of completing all the legal paperwork, seeking compensation is going to be tough. For help with every aspect of your claim for compensation, turn to a Seattle personal injury attorney at Craig Swapp & Associates.

How WA Negligence Laws May Impact Your Case

More often than you might think, injury victims have contributed to the cause of the accident they were involved in, even if it was in a minor way.

Even though you may be partially liable for your injuries, you can still recover compensation for your losses from the other culpable party, but your award will be reduced by the percentage of liability you carry. This is known as modified comparative negligence.

Let’s look at an example. Say you are awarded a sum of $100,000, but you are found to be 25 percent at fault for the cause of the accident. Your award will be reduced by 25 percent and your case will be resolved at $75,000.

It’s important to remember, however, that WA follows modified comparative negligence, meaning that once you hit the 50 percent liability threshold, you’ll no longer be eligible to pursue a personal injury claim against the other involved person or persons. In fact, if you are more than 50 percent at fault, you should probably prepare for the possibility of having a civil lawsuit brought against you for the damages you caused.

Common Personal Injury Cases in Seattle

Residents in Seattle encounter numerous dangers potentially leading to personal injuries. Each accident type introduces specific challenges and legal nuances. This demands that victims undertake a demanding journey filled with legal complexities to secure justice and financial reparation. The process necessitates careful navigation through the intricate legal landscape to ensure rightful compensation for the harm suffered.

Car Accident

Car accidents in Seattle stand as one of the leading causes of personal injury claims, impacting numerous lives annually. These incidents range in severity, leading to a spectrum of physical harm from minor abrasions and whiplash to catastrophic injuries that can dramatically alter one’s quality of life.

The state’s legal framework adopts a pure comparative fault rule, a critical consideration for victims seeking compensation. This rule adjusts the compensation amount based on the victim’s contribution to the accident, making the determination of fault a pivotal aspect of the legal process. Engaging with a skilled Seattle personal injury lawyer is essential for victims, as they navigate through the intricacies of establishing negligence, confronting insurance adjusters, and advocating for rightful compensation.

Motorcycle Accident

Motorcycle accidents in Seattle present unique challenges and often result in more severe consequences compared to car accidents. The vulnerability of motorcyclists is stark, exposing them to a greater risk of injury or death. The bias motorcyclists might encounter from insurance companies can further complicate the claims process, underscoring the necessity for adept legal representation.

The state’s enforcement of helmet laws and the application of comparative negligence principles are crucial factors in these cases. A Seattle personal injury lawyer can provide indispensable support to victims. They play a pivotal role in compiling evidence, challenging biases, negotiating with insurance companies, and pursuing litigation when necessary.

Truck Accident

Truck accidents in Seattle represent a particularly complex category of personal injury law, owing to the catastrophic nature of these collisions and the intricate web of liability that may involve numerous parties. Given the massive size and weight of commercial trucks, accidents involving these vehicles often result in devastating impact forces, leading to severe or fatal injuries for those involved.

The aftermath of truck accidents requires an in-depth understanding of both federal and state regulations specific to the trucking industry. These laws dictate standards for vehicle maintenance, driver hours, load limits, and more, directly affecting liability in these cases.

Truck accidents in Seattle are tasked with a multifaceted investigation process to pinpoint regulatory violations and establish negligence. This process may reveal that liability extends beyond the truck driver to include trucking companies, cargo loaders, or vehicle parts manufacturers, each of whom may have played a role in the accident.

Construction Accident

Construction sites are inherently hazardous environments, posing risks not only to the workers on site but also to passersby and nearby residents. In Seattle, the legal landscape surrounding construction accidents is multifaceted, involving potential workers’ compensation claims as well as personal injury lawsuits against third parties. These third parties might include contractors, subcontractors, equipment manufacturers, or even the owners of the construction site, each potentially bearing some responsibility for the conditions leading to an accident.

Washington enacts specific laws aimed at safeguarding construction workers, offering a layer of protection that intersects with broader personal injury and employment law principles. However, the complexity of cases that arise from construction accidents necessitates Seattle personal injury lawyers well-versed in deciphering these overlapping areas of law.

Defective Product

Laws on defective products in Seattle address instances where consumers suffer injuries as a result of products that are inherently unsafe. These safety issues can stem from a variety of sources, including flaws in the product’s design, errors in the manufacturing process, or the failure to provide adequate warnings or instructions for use.

Victims of such defects have the right to seek legal recourse against not only the manufacturers but also distributors and retailers involved in the product’s chain of distribution. The crux of these cases lies in proving two main points: first, that the product was defective; and second, that this defect was the direct cause of the injury sustained.

Dog Bite

Seattle enforces a strict liability statute concerning dog bite incidents, placing the burden of responsibility squarely on the shoulders of dog owners. This strict liability rule is significant in that it does not require victims to demonstrate the owner’s negligence or prior knowledge of the dog’s aggressive tendencies.

Whether or not the dog had previously exhibited dangerous behavior is irrelevant under Washington law; the owner is liable if their dog bites someone. This legal stance facilitates a more straightforward path for victims seeking compensation for their injuries, which can range from minor to severe, including infections, scarring, and emotional trauma.

Medical Malpractice

Seattle medical malpractice cases arise from the failure of healthcare providers to adhere to the established standard of care expected within the medical community, resulting in harm to the patient. This standard pertains to the level of skill, care, and treatment that is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent similar healthcare providers under similar circumstances.

The spectrum of medical malpractice is broad, encompassing various forms of negligence including, but not limited to, diagnostic errors, surgical mishaps, incorrect medication prescriptions, and complications during childbirth.

The legal journey for victims of medical malpractice in Seattle is fraught with the need to navigate a complex web of requirements. It necessitates the demonstration of a clear breach in the standard of care by the healthcare provider, directly linking this breach to the injury or death suffered by the patient. This often requires the amalgamation of intricate medical records, the engagement of medical experts to testify on the deviation from the standard of care, and a robust legal strategy to articulate the causal relationship between the healthcare provider’s actions and the patient’s injuries.

Slip-and-Fall

Slip-and-fall accidents in Seattle are governed by the legal framework of premises liability, which mandates that property owners and occupiers maintain a safe environment for all visitors. This responsibility encompasses the identification and rectification of potential hazards that could foreseeably harm those entering the premises. Victims of slip-and-fall accidents are tasked with proving that the property owner was, or should have been, aware of the dangerous condition and negligently failed to take appropriate measures to eliminate the risk.

The complexity of slip-and-fall cases lies in establishing the property owner’s knowledge of the hazardous situation and their subsequent inaction. Successful claims hinge on the ability to demonstrate the foreseeability of the hazard, the reasonable steps that were not taken to mitigate the risk, and the direct causation of the victim’s injuries by this oversight.

Wrongful Death

Wrongful death cases in Seattle represent a legal recourse for families and loved ones seeking justice and compensation for the untimely death of an individual due to the negligence or wrongful actions of another party. These claims are characterized by their complexity and emotional depth, as they touch upon the profound loss experienced by those left behind. The legal framework allows the deceased’s estate representatives to act on behalf of close relatives, typically including spouses, children, or parents, in seeking damages that address the multifaceted impact of their loss.

The scope of compensation in wrongful death cases is comprehensive, designed to mitigate the financial and emotional void created by the deceased’s absence. This includes coverage for funeral and burial costs, an aspect that, while immediate, represents only a fraction of the family’s total loss.

More significantly, claims also encompass compensation for the lost future income the deceased would have contributed to the family’s welfare, a critical component in preserving their financial security. Further, the legal pursuit of damages for loss of companionship, guidance, and affection acknowledges the irreplaceable personal loss suffered by the family members, attempting to quantify the unquantifiable aspect of emotional support and relational bonds severed by the untimely death.

Product Liability

Product liability in Seattle addresses the accountability of manufacturers, distributors, and retailers for harm caused by defective or unsafe products. This legal area is predicated on the principle that consumers have the right to expect that the products they purchase and use will not expose them to undue harm.

Cases under this category of personal injury case can arise from various defects, including flaws in the product’s design, errors in manufacturing, or the failure to provide adequate instructions or warnings about the product’s use.

Victims pursuing product liability claims in Seattle are required to navigate a complex legal landscape that demands proof of three critical elements: the product was inherently unsafe, the product was used in a manner consistent with its intended use, and there was a direct causation between the product’s defect and the injury sustained.

Calculating Your Compensation

For instance, how much do you expect to pay for physical rehabilitation in the next decade? What about after that? How much do you deserve for the permanent scars your injuries have left on your body?

These are all questions an experienced injury attorney in Seattle can help you answer. Your lawyer will examine both your economic and non-economic damages when quantifying your losses. Your economic losses refer to the impact your injuries will have on you financially, whereas your non-economic losses focus on the psychological and lifestyle impacts.

Your lawyer may advise you to seek compensation for the following damages, depending on the unique circumstances of your case:

  • Medical costs
  • Damage to your personal property
  • Lost wages during your recovery time
  • Future income you won’t be able to earn because of your injuries
  • Emotional trauma
  • The loss of household services
  • Disfigurement and scarring
  • Loss of consortium
  • Pain and suffering
  • The loss of enjoyment of life

Contact a Seattle Personal Injury Attorney

It’s normal to feel overwhelmed – maybe even a little hopeless – after you have been seriously injured through no fault of your own. We understand that physical pain and financial pressure come together to create a seemingly insurmountable obstacle.

But rest assured that hope is not lost – particularly if you work with a dedicated and passionate lawyer. At Craig Swapp & Associates, we’re passionate about seeking justice for victims of negligence.

Our firm is proud to offer our prospective clients a free case review prior to choosing us to represent your case. When you’re ready to arrange your complimentary consultation with a Seattle injury lawyer, give us a call at 1-866-480-2237 or head to the bottom of the page to fill out our online contact form.