Negligence occurs when a reasonable amount of care is not exercised, resulting in injury to another person. A driver who fails to wear glasses and causes an accident, for example, could be found negligent and liable for the injuries sustained by other drivers. Most torts are founded on negligence, such as medical malpractice and slip-and-fall incidents.

In most personal injury cases, an injured plaintiff sues a negligent defendant. Sometimes the plaintiff is at fault, as well, and he or she must accept partial responsibility. As a result, Washington recognizes contributory negligence in personal injury lawsuits. Continue reading to learn more about Washington negligence laws. 

What Constitutes Negligence?

Negligence can be defined as a breach of a duty of care to others. The three main components of negligence are as follows:

  • Duty of care
  • Breach of duty
  • Damages

Proving Negligence

Your lawyer’s goal is to minimize the extent of your fault. They will accomplish this by amassing evidence to demonstrate the other party’s negligence. As a result, the responsible party will be liable for your injuries and losses.

Meanwhile, the other party will attempt to do the exact opposite. In order to reduce your payout, the insurance company will try to prove that you were at least partially to blame for the accident. Therefore, in order to ensure legal justice, you may do well to have an attorney on your side.  

Fighting for Your Claim

If you’ve been in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, your main goal is to get your life back on track, which isn’t always easy. While the insurance company may appear to be on your side, this may not be the case. Following an accident, seeking the advice of a personal injury attorney is one of the most effective ways to protect your rights.

If you have been injured, an attorney will fight to get you fair compensation. It’s likely you will need the help of an experienced negotiator and attorney. Insurance companies are for-profit corporations that often seek to maximize profits by paying injured people as little as possible.

Washington Negligence Laws: Comparative Negligence

In states that apply comparative negligence, like Washington, you are not barred from recovering financial damages if you are found partially at fault for the accident, but someone else does need to be more at fault than you are.

For instance, Driver A crashes into Driver B, causing an auto accident and injuries. However, Driver B could have avoided Driver A if they hadn’t been on their phone at the time and driving distracted. As a result, Driver B was also negligent.

The judge determines the percentage of total liability that each party must bear. Those percentages are then applied to the total financial compensation awarded. In a nutshell, that’s how comparative negligence works in Washington.

Get Help Proving Negligence in Washington

If you were in an accident and the other driver is more at fault, their insurance company is liable for your damages. However, if there is a disagreement about who is at fault, things can quickly get messy.

If you are still curious about what Washington negligence laws entail, visit Craig Swapp & Associates. We are committed to assisting victims in obtaining compensation from the negligent party. Please call us at 1-800-404-9000 for more information.

Written By: Ryan Swapp     Legal Review By: Craig Swapp