Tacoma Personal Injury Lawyer
Suffering injuries after being involved in an accident can be devastating. If someone else caused the accident that hurt you, your injuries warrant compensation. To get the help you need, work with a Tacoma injury lawyer.
When you get hurt, your whole life is affected. From being forced to take time off of work to being burdened with costly medical bills, it can be tough to get by. Luckily, in most cases, the law is on your side, which means you have the right to file a claim against the person who caused your serious injury.
This area of the law can be complex, though, which is why our team at Craig Swapp & Associates is here to help. To boost your chance of success with your personal injury claim, team up with a Tacoma personal injury lawyer.
Tacoma Personal Injury Case Types
Unfortunately, injury-causing accidents are a normal part of everyday life. That’s why many victims like you are confused as to whether their circumstances and damages qualify them to take legal action. There is a significant difference between the everyday, unavoidable accident and a situation in which another person’s negligence led to serious injuries.
Understanding what types of personal injury cases are often filed should help you to discern the type of case you have on your hands and understand whether you are eligible to take legal action against the liable party. Some common examples of serious injury cases in Tacoma include the following:
- Medical Malpractice – When you are placed under the care of a health or medical professional, it becomes the healthcare professional’s responsibility to ensure you are safe. If a doctor fails in that regard, he or she can be held liable for your damages. Some examples of medical malpractice cases include a surgeon operating on the wrong body part, a doctor failing to diagnose and treat a deadly illness, or a pharmacist giving you the wrong medication.
- Product Liability – Every time you purchase an item, you do so with the understanding that you will not be harmed when you use that product. Product manufacturers are responsible for ensuring the safety of everything they put on the market, and when they fail to uphold this standard, injured victims can file a lawsuit against them. Often, product liability cases stem from defective children’s toys, medications, and cosmetics.
- Auto Collisions – Car, truck, and motorcycle crashes often lead to serious injury cases in Tacoma. These are often the result of texting and driving, driving while under the influence of alcohol, speeding, poor road or weather conditions, and other hazards.
- Premises Liability – When you legally set foot on another person’s property, you have the right to assume your safety will be protected. When property owners fail to keep their grounds hazard-free, victims of this negligence can seek compensation. These types of cases often involve dog bites and slip-and-fall accidents, and they can occur on residential or commercial properties.
- Workplace Accidents – Although some industries, such as the construction industry, are inherently more dangerous than others, employees still have the right to a safe workplace. Under particular circumstances, you may be able to file a Tacoma personal injury claim for your workplace injuries.
Regardless of the type of accident you were injured in, your attorney will be able to build a compelling case by compiling witness statements, video footage, police reports, medical documentation, and other forms of evidence that can help you win.
Get Your Claim Filed before the Statute of Limitations Expires
In Washington, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is three years from the date you are diagnosed with an injury that relates to the accident you were involved in, or from the date that the accident occurred.
This is true for claims where a government agency is named as the defendant as well. If you are unable to get your claim filed before the time limit runs out, you will, unfortunately, be barred from pursuing the compensation you’re entitled to.
Tacoma Negligence Laws and Their Impact on Your Case
Many would-be claimants will hold themselves back from filing a claim because they know that they’ve contributed in some way to the cause of the accident. However, in Washington state, you are still able to pursue compensation for your losses, despite playing a part in causing the accident. This is known as modified comparative negligence laws.
A good example could be a person who is found to be 10 percent at fault and is awarded a sum of $250,000. Their award will be reduced by 10 percent and their final award will be $225,000.
It is important to note that the threshold in modified comparative negligence laws in Washington is 50 percent. This means that once you are found to be more than 49 percent liable, you will no longer qualify to file a personal injury claim and could even end up having a claim brought against you if the other involved party suffered injuries as well.
Your attorney will review the details of your case to determine if you are partly responsible, and, if so, what that means for your claim.
How to Deal with the Insurance Company
As much as you didn’t plan on getting injured in an accident, you will probably be just as unprepared to handle the avaricious tactics of the insurance company. Over the years, insurers have risen to infamy for doing whatever they can to minimize the amount they’re required to settle for.
We’ve seen it all: From insurance adjusters issuing low-ball settlement offers to twisting the words of their claimants to make them appear more at fault than they are, the insurance company simply isn’t on your side.
For these reasons, we recommend that you not give the insurer a statement, and have any offers you’ve been given reviewed by your attorney so that you aren’t at risk for being taken advantage of during this time. We will handled the negotiations process on your behalf so that you get the most out of your claim.
Compensation Available in Serious Injury Cases
Once your Tacoma accident injury lawyer has determined which type of case you have on your hands, he or she will begin calculating the value of your claim. This involves determining which benefits you are eligible to receive. We will name all relevant damages in your claim to provide you with complete coverage extending into the future.
When reviewing your losses, we will consider the impact of both your economic and non-economic damages to ascertain what your claim is worth. Your economic damages have a direct impact on your finances and might include your lost wages, damage to your earning capacity, property damages, and your medical expenses.
Your medical costs in particular will need to be covered, as the cost of healthcare is astronomical in the United States, and you can’t afford to be stuck with that bill. Some commonly sought medical costs include hospital bills, costs of prescription medications, ambulance fees, diagnostic imaging, and medical equipment such as hospital beds, prosthetics, or wheelchair ramps.
Non-economic damages refer to the impact on your quality of life. Such losses could include permanent scarring or disfigurement, pain and suffering, loss of companionship and love, inconvenience, emotional distress, the loss of enjoyment of life, and the loss of household services, to name a few. Your lawyer will ensure that no loss goes unaccounted for so you can obtain full compensation.
What You Need to Know about Punitive Damages
Many people who file personal injury claims do so under the notion that they’ll be awarded a significant sum of money. These are the cases you think of when you hear of people suing for millions of dollars; it’s because they believe they should be awarded punitive damages.
Punitive damages are designed to punish the liable party for their intentionally harmful or malicious actions. The goal is to make an example of them in the hopes of preventing similar accidents from happening in the future. While an award of punitive damages can drastically increase the amount of your final award, Washington state takes caution in awarding punitive damages.
While beneficial to you, you shouldn’t expect this award, as the circumstances must be great for the judge to allow it.
Talk to a Tacoma Personal Injury Attorney
If you recently sustained a serious injury after being involved in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you shouldn’t have to bear the burden of the fallout alone. You have rights, and our team at Craig Swapp & Associates is here to ensure they are respected and upheld.
Working with a knowledgeable Tacoma personal injury lawyer can provide you with the representation and guidance you need to file a successful claim against the liable party so you can recover the damages you deserve.
Our firm is proud to offer our potential clients a complimentary claim evaluation before choosing to move forward with your claim. If you’re ready to bring the culpable party to justice, schedule your free consultation today by giving us a call at 1-800-404-9000 or by filling out our online contact form at the bottom of the page.