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Your life could be turned around if you’re hurt in an accident caused by someone else’s careless acts, as you’ll experience financial, and emotional implications even beyond the physical pain. There’s some consolation when you realize that Washington State law may allow you to recover compensation for your massive losses. However, seeking the monetary damages you deserve can be complicated. You may encounter challenges when filing an insurance claim, and the complexities only increase if you need to sue in court to enforce your rights.

You can trust our team at Khan Law Firm, PLLC to shoulder the legal burdens involved with pursuing the party responsible for causing your injuries. We have extensive experience representing accident victims in Pierce County, so we’re skilled at dealing with insurers. Still, we’re ready to take the battle to court if necessary to protect your interests. Please contact our firm to set up a complimentary consultation with a Bonney Lake, Washington injury lawyer. Some background information may also be helpful.

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How Personal Injury Claims Work

Accidents usually happen because someone was careless, which equates to negligence in the practice of law. To succeed in a claim for compensation, you must present evidence that proves four necessary elements.

  1. You must establish that the responsible party had a legal duty to exercise reasonable care and avoid conduct that could put others at risk;
  2. You need to show that this person or entity breached this duty through careless acts or a failure to act;
  3. There must be a causal connection between the breach of duty and the accident that caused your injuries, such that you wouldn’t have been hurt but for the breach; and,
  4. You must prove that you suffered losses as a result of your injuries.

A personal injury lawyer can explain these elements in more detail, but negligence is usually a factor in:

  • Motor vehicle collisions, including car crashes, truck accidents, and motorcycle wrecks;
  • Pedestrian and bicycle accidents;
  • Slips, trips, falls, and other injury-causing incidents that occur due to dangerous conditions on property;
  • Dog bites; and,
  • Many other types of accidents.

Seeking Compensation for Your Losses

In many personal injury accidents, your first step in recovering compensation is filing a claim with the responsible party’s insurance company. Motorists, trucking companies, property owners, business operators, and others carry insurance policies to protect their interest in accident claims. You might expect that the process of filing a claim is straightforward and you simply need to fill out some forms. However, getting the monetary damages you deserve isn’t as easy as you’d think. The claims adjuster assigned to your matter will fight your claim at every front. These employees are trained to protect the interests of the insurer, not yours.

If the insurance company is unwilling to settle for a fair, reasonable amount of compensation, you may need to go to court to enforce your rights. Litigation is even more complex than settlement negotiations, so it’s wise to have an attorney represent you in court. Your lawyer can handle such tasks as:

  • Filing documents with the court clerk;
  • Attending motion hearings and other court appearances;
  • Discovery and depositions;
  • Pre-trial proceedings; and,
  • A full trial on the merits of your case.











Monetary Damages Available Under Washington Law

If you are able to prove the four essential elements of a negligence case described above, you may be eligible to recover two types of damages.

Economic Damages: This category represents your ascertainable losses, which you can prove through documentation. It’s possible to recover for your:

  • Medical costs, including expenses for emergency care, surgery, medications, treatment from specialists, ongoing care, and related services;
  • Lost wages, if you’re unable to work because of your injuries – either temporarily or permanently;
  • Expenses for assistive devices as necessary for a wheelchair, hospital bed, crutches, braces, and many other types of medical equipment; and,
  • Any other out-of-pocket costs. 

Non-Economic Damages: You may also be able to recover for other subjective losses, which are more difficult to prove. Still, you can seek compensation for such damages as:

  • Pain and suffering;
  • Emotional distress;
  • Diminished quality of life;
  • Scarring and disfigurement; and,
  • Losses resulting from how your injuries impact your relationships with family and friends.

To prove these losses, it may be necessary to work with a wide range of experts. Your personal injury lawyer may rely on medical experts, financial analysts, accident reconstruction specialists, and many others in connection with your claim.

Legal Factors That May Limit Your Rights 

You might expect that payment will be forthcoming once you’ve established the four essential elements of a negligence cause, but there are additional issues that may affect your personal injury claim. For one, there’s the statute of limitations that applies to all personal injury cases in Washington State. You have three years from the date of the incident to file a lawsuit in court. If you don’t, you relinquish your rights and cannot recover compensation.

In addition, Washington State follows the rule of contributory negligence. If you were at fault in the accident which caused your injuries, you may not be able to recover full compensation. Your monetary damages are reduced by the percentage of blame attributable to your own actions. In other words, you could lose $3,000 off a $10,000 monetary damage award if you’re 30 percent at fault in the incident that led to you getting hurt. Examples include:

  • You were speeding when another driver ran a red light;
  • You failed to comply with a sign warning you about dangerous conditions on property; or,
  • You were drunk when crossing the street and you got hit by a car.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Bonney Lake, Washington Injury Attorney

While this overview may be useful in describing the basics of injury cases, it’s important to retain a lawyer to protect your interests. For more information on your rights as the victim of a personal injury accident, please contact Khan Law Firm, PLLC by calling 206.472.1255. We can set up a no-cost case evaluation to review your circumstances and explain your legal remedies in more detail.


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