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Filing a Personal Injury Claim in Washington: Here’s What You Need to Know

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The entire process of filing a personal injury can be a challenging task. First, you need to recover from the injuries you suffered and put your life back together. Also, you must find a way to navigate the legal system, and this can quite a challenge.

Depending on the severity of the accident and your percentage share of the blame, the compensation you are likely to get might not line with what you expected. Therefore, consult with a reliable car accident lawyer in Tacoma to file your personal injury claim successfully and get the amount of compensation you deserve. Here are some of the important aspects you should know if you plan to file a personal injury lawsuit.

The Statute of Limitations – Time Limits

In Washington, the time limit within which a victim of an accident should file a personal injury claim is 3 years. That means you have up to three years from the time you sustained an injury or a loved one suffered wrongful death to file a lawsuit. Though there are exceptions to this law, failure to adhere to the statute of limitations could mean that you completely barred from seeking compensation for your injuries.

The Theory of Damages

In any personal injury claim, damages are intended to compensate the claimant the costs incurred due to the injuries and other misfortunes that befell him or her due to the accident. Different types of damages include loss of property, medical expenses, loss of consortium, lost income, pain, and suffering. Remember, damage caps or limits are viewed unconstitutional in Washington State.

Also known as exemplary damages, punitive damages are geared towards making an example out of the at-fault party to defer them or all other people from engaging in similar behavior in the future. Note that Washington State laws don’t allow punitive damages in civil cases. This makes it a less appealing place for significant tort damage litigation.

Pure Comparative Negligence Laws

The pure comparative negligence laws make it clear that the plaintiff can get compensated even if they were 99% to blame for the accident. However, the amount of compensation received will be reduced based on their share of fault.

‘Fault’ Vehicle Insurance

Just like other states across the country, Washington uses ‘fault’ vehicle insurance. This allows the company to conduct its own investigations and in the event that they can’t agree on the share of fault with the claimant, a lawsuit should be filed.

Dog Bites: the Strict Liability Laws

In Washington, there’s ‘one-bite’ rule for dogs. That means no matter the dog’s past behavior, the owner is liable for all forms of damages caused by the animal.

Wrap Up

Filing a personal injury claim in Washington isn’t easy as most people think. Remember, you must prove beyond any reasonable doubt that, indeed, someone was responsible for the accident that caused your injuries. This isn’t a kid’s job. You need someone who understands the law and is ready to fight for your rights.