Client-Focused Personal Injury Firm Dedicated to Helping Tacoma Accident Victims
In the Tacoma area, there is no personal injury law firm that is more respected or more dedicated to the community than Van Law Firm. Our attorneys and staff have both the skills and experience to effectively handle all personal injury and mass tort cases. In just about a decade of service we’ve recovered over 50 million dollars for our clients, but If our words aren’t enough to convince you, simply read through any of our 500+ 5-star reviews.
We take pride in the diversity of our expertise and practice areas. All potential clients should feel safe in trusting us to handle their case, regardless of the details. We are continuously seeking new cases for the following types of claims:
- Auto collisions
- Uninsured and underinsured motorist claims
- Wrongful death cases
- Bad faith insurance claims
- Nursing home and elder abuse
- Motorcycle crashes
- Product liability claims
- Trucking accidents
- Premises liability cases
- Workers’ Compensation
A huge part of maintaining a 5-star reputation involves flexibility and versatility in all areas of our firm. We know that in order to get the results everyone wants, sometimes we have to get creative. We can arrange to transport you to the office if need be, and we can even visit you if circumstances are especially dire. No matter what your schedule looks like, our staff is available around the clock.
Washington State Doctrine Regarding Personal Injury Cases
You may have heard personal injury cases referred to as “torts”– that’s because they fall under the category of tort law. As a whole, tort law is meant to protect injury victims by forcing the guilty party (defendant) to financially compensate them for the damages they’ve suffered. The defendant could be a person, insurance company, business, or a group of multiple. As is with all law, each state has their own specific provisions for personal injury cases– in Washington, one example of this would be the state’s comparative fault law.
This means that instead of a clear-cut winner and loser in terms of fault, all parties can receive blame so long as the percentages total 100. The biggest thing to keep in mind is that the primary party at fault (over 50 percent) will not recoup anything, even with severe injuries. Any percentage assigned to you is deducted from the end settlement. For example, if a court rules that Driver X was 30 percent liable, even though he is not the primary party at fault, any settlement he is awarded will be reduced by 30 percent.
Damages Awarded in Tacoma Personal Injury Claims
Whereas criminal courts will debate crimes and convictions, personal injury claims are filed in civil courts, meaning that any debate will be over whether or not to force the defendant to pay damages to the plaintiff. Because of this, it is the responsibility of the plaintiff’s attorney to calculate a settlement amount and present successful arguments as to why it should be awarded. Failing to retain a qualified personal injury attorney will undoubtedly cause you to leave money on the table.
For the most part, courts award what are known as compensatory damages. These are relatively simple to calculate, but difficult to obtain. They include:
- Medical costs
- Property damage
- Lost wages, damage to future earnings
- Loss of enjoyment
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
Courts may also award heavy fines that are known as punitive damages. These are reserved for the most brutal cases in which the defendant acted especially negligently. When courts decide to award punitive damages, they take the existing settlement amount and multiply it based on what they feel is appropriate for the case. Most of the time, the defendant will be taken into account– for example, a wealthy corporation whose products harmed thousands is more likely to face punitive damages than an 18-year-old who forgot to mop a wet floor.
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