Wshington’s Most Trusted Personal Injury Law
- Auto collisions
- Bad faith insurance claims
- Workers’ compensation
- Product liability claims
- Uninsured and underinsured motorist cases
- Motorcycle accidents
- Trucking collisions
- Nursing home and elder abuse
- Wrongful death claims
- Premises liability claims
Why Claimants Should Remember Comparative Fault Laws
Even if we weren’t a top-tier personal injury firm, we would still advise all claimants to hire an attorney to handle their case no matter what. For starters, an attorney that is licensed to work in your particular area will know the specific rules and regulations that are required in order to stay within compliance. They will also handle the work of proving the defendant’s negligence, which is a vital part of all personal injury cases. Overall, hiring an attorney will alleviate a lot of stress on your end — however, comparative fault laws are one thing that Washington claimants should consider before filing suit.
Simply put, comparative fault makes it so that everyone can receive a portion of the liability. Think of it like a legal pizza party, in which the court may decide to slice up the fault evenly or in whatever combination they see fit. There are two reasons why claimants should keep this provision in mind: 1) any liability you are assigned will reduce your settlement by the same amount, and 2) the party with the highest percentage of liability cannot recover anything.
What Compensation is Available in Personal Injury Suits?
The other main reason why retaining an attorney is a good idea is the fact that you will undoubtedly recoup more than if you try to do it yourself–in fact, studies have shown that hiring an attorney will allow you to recoup 3 or 4 times more than you would without one. In addition to proving negligence, the plaintiff must also demonstrate the damages they’ve incurred as a result of their injuries.
Damages as a whole are divided into two categories, punitive and compensatory. Compensatory damages are the most common, and they are meant to encompass all of the physical and psychological trauma an accident may cause, such as:
- Medical costs
- Property damage
- Lost wages, damage to future earnings
- Loss of enjoyment
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
Conversely, punitive damages are extremely rare and courts are much more particular about which defendants will be hit with these steep fines. In reality, “fine” is probably a better definition, as they do not fall under normal compensation but are instead meant to be a punishment for terrible behavior.
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