Personal injury law covers legal disputes stemming from accidents where someone suffers harm due to another person’s or entity’s carelessness. These can include unforeseen dog attacks to the all-too-common auto accidents

A personal injury case aims to hold the negligent party accountable and secure compensation for the victim’s damages. That’s why understanding the legal framework and the representation available is crucial in seeking justice and compensation.

Our Seattle personal injury attorney at Craig Swapp & Associates stands at the forefront of providing comprehensive legal assistance in such matters, ensuring that the rights of those injured are protected.

Dog Bites and Injuries

Dog bites can be unexpected and cause severe injuries, both physical and emotional.  Injuries can range from minor lacerations and puncture wounds to serious infections, disfigurement, and long-term psychological trauma.

  • Minor Bites: These often result in lacerations, puncture wounds, and bruising, which may require cleaning and stitches.
  • Severe Bites: Deep bites can lead to significant tissue damage, crushing injuries, broken bones, and permanent scarring or disfigurement.
  • Infections: Even minor-looking dog bites carry the risk of infection from bacteria in the animal’s mouth. Without proper treatment, these infections can spread and become serious.
  • Long-term Complications: Major dog bites can have lasting physical consequences, such as nerve damage, reduced mobility, and chronic pain.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a dog bite in Seattle, understanding your legal options is crucial for securing compensation and beginning the healing process. Compensation for dog bite injuries include:

  • Medical Expenses: Costs for all necessary treatment, both immediate and any future ongoing care related to the bite.
  • Lost Income: Compensation for time away from work due to your injuries and any reduced earning potential they may cause.
  • Pain and Suffering: This encompasses both the physical pain as well as the emotional distress associated with the bite and its consequences.
  • Other Damages: Depending on the case, this could include compensation for scarring, disfigurement, or therapy costs related to coping with the trauma.

Don’t underestimate the severity of any dog bite. Seek immediate medical attention and consider contacting a personal injury attorney in Seattle to understand your legal options.

Dog Bite Laws in Washington

Washington State has a “strict liability” statute for dog bites. This means that in the majority of cases, a dog’s owner can be held financially responsible for injuries their dog causes, even if:

  • No Prior Aggression: The dog has never bitten someone or shown signs of aggression before.
  • Owner Unaware of Potential Danger: The owner was not aware of any reason to believe their dog was dangerous.

There are a few circumstances where Washington’s strict liability may not apply:

  • Trespassing: If the injured person was trespassing on private property at the time of the bite.
  • Provocation: If the injured person was harassing, taunting, or otherwise provoking the dog.
  • Law Enforcement Dogs: Special rules may apply in situations involving on-duty law enforcement dogs.

Washington’s strict liability law offers significant protection for dog bite victims. It eases the burden of proof, as you don’t need to demonstrate the owner was negligent or knew of their dog’s dangerous tendencies. However, even with strict liability, dog bite cases can be complex.

Auto Accidents and Injuries

Seattle’s bustling streets and highways are prone to traffic congestion, which unfortunately increases the risk of auto accidents. These accidents can range from minor fender-benders to severe collisions.

Injuries sustained in auto accidents vary widely in severity and require varying levels of care and recovery:

  • Minor Injuries: Whiplash, cuts, bruises, and sprains may resolve relatively quickly but can still cause pain and require medical attention.
  • Catastrophic Injuries: These include spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), amputations, severe burns, or paralysis, often altering the course of a victim’s life.
  • Fatal Injuries: In the worst-case scenarios, auto accidents tragically result in fatalities, leaving families seeking justice.

If you have been hurt in an auto accident in Seattle due to another driver’s negligence, Washington auto accident laws may entitle you to compensation.

Auto Accident Laws in Washington

Washington operates on the following principles regarding car accidents:

  • Fault-Based System – Washington assigns financial responsibility to the driver whose actions (or inaction) directly caused the accident. This could stem from careless driving behaviors like speeding, distracted driving, running red lights, or driving under the influence.
  • Comparative Negligence – Washington follows a “pure comparative negligence” rule. This means that even if you share some partial fault for the accident, you may still be able to recover compensation. However, your award would be reduced in proportion to your percentage of fault.

For example, if the total damages amount to $100,000 and you are found to be 20% at fault, you could potentially recover $80,000.

  • Auto Accident Claims Process – Auto accident cases in Washington can be highly complex, especially when fault is disputed or multiple parties are involved. An experienced Seattle personal injury attorney can help you:
  • Investigate the Accident: This includes gathering evidence, determining liability, and working with accident reconstruction specialists if necessary.
  • Calculate Your Damages: A skilled Seattle injury attorney will work to ensure that all economic and non-economic losses are fully assessed and accounted for.
  • Negotiate with Insurance Companies: Insurance companies often seek to minimize payouts. An attorney can advocate for your best interests and negotiate for a fair settlement that reflects the full extent of your losses.
  • Represent You in Court: If a satisfactory settlement can’t be reached, your attorney will be prepared to fight for your rights in court.

Attorney for Personal Injury Cases in Seattle, Washington

If you’ve been injured in a dog bite or auto accident in Seattle, the experienced attorneys at Craig Swapp & Associates are here to help. We understand the complex nature of personal injury cases in Seattle, and we’re dedicated to providing compassionate and aggressive legal representation to our clients.

Contact Craig Swapp & Associates today and let us fight for the justice you deserve.

Written By: Ryan Swapp     Legal Review By: Craig Swapp