Personal Injury Attorneys in Washington
When you've had a serious car crash and gotten injured, it can be hard to know what to do next. A personal injury attorney can help you move forward and can represent your rights to the insurance company and/or in a lawsuit. If you decide to hire a lawyer, make sure to ask some questions so you pick the one that's right for you. Also, be sure to acquaint yourself with WA personal injury laws that may be relevant to you.
NOTE: The content of this website is intended solely for informational purposes. It is not a source of legal advice and should not be used as such.
Hiring a personal injury lawyer can help you determine what to do and ensure you don't damage your own case and, in turn, your ability to get the appropriate compensation for your injuries. Continue reading to learn more about personal injury attorneys and state laws regarding personal injury.
Why You Should Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
Hiring a personal injury attorney is a great idea if you are facing a complicated case and/or insurance negotiations after an injury-causing crash.
Attorneys can help you make sure you've gathered all the evidence you need, speak to your insurance provider, and provide guidance on your case.
Personal injury lawyers may be essential in cases that involve:
- Serious injuries.
- Large medical bills.
- Worsening of existing injuries.
- Non-economic losses like pain and suffering or emotional trauma.
- Lost wages.
- Shared fault.
- Uninsured motorists.
Questions to Ask Your Attorney
When you've decided to move forward with a WA personal injury attorney, it's important to make a good decision. You'll want to consult with several attorneys before settling on the best one for you.
As you interview potential lawyers, you should at a minimum ask the following questions:
- What is your experience?
- How many years have you practiced law?
- Is personal injury your area of expertise?
- What is your education?
- How many personal injury cases have you taken on?
- How many cases have you won?
- How do you like to work?
- How can we communicate during the process?
- What are your fees?
The more questions you ask upfront, the more confident you'll be in picking the right attorney to represent your interests.
WA Laws on Personal Injury
Time Limits for Personal Injury Cases
When you've been injured in a car crash, you only have a limited period of time to go to court and file a lawsuit. Each state determines how long this period is and refers to it as the â€œstatute of limitations."
In Washington, the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is 3 years.
If you neglect to file in this window, you may be unable to get your case heard at all, so it's important to hire a personal injury attorney with enough time to file your case.
In the case that you suffer injuries as the result of an auto accident, you might actually find that you're told you are partially at fault for the accident and, in turn, your injuries. In a situation like this, you'd still be able to recover some damages.
Washington operates under the comparative negligence rule, which states that your percentage of fault determines how much you can collect. Essentially, you lose compensation according to the percent you are at fault.
Here's an example:
- You're in an accident and are found to be 20% at fault.
- Total damages are $60,000.
- You can collect $48,000 ($60,000 less 20%).
Courts are obligated to follow the comparative negligence rule, so your personal injury attorney should be well versed in it and able to answer your questions about whether it's relevant to your case and how your insurance company may apply it.