Accidents are never planned or expected. And when an accident results in a serious injury, it can quickly upend your life. In addition to dealing with the demands of seeking medical attention, you may suddenly be faced with a loss of income if you need to take time away from your job. And to make matters worse, the underlying accident may have been someone else’s fault.
If that is the case, you have the right under Washington law to seek compensation. The Tacoma personal injury lawyers at Alliance Law Group can help. Since 1950, our firm has represented accident victims throughout Washington who are looking to rebuild their lives. We can advise you on dealing with insurance companies and taking more formal legal action against an individual or business whose actions led to your injuries.
Alliance Law Group Handles a Broad Range of Personal Injury Claims in Washington
Personal injury law covers a wide range of legal claims arising from torts, i.e., a civil wrong that causes someone to suffer harm or loss. While personal injury claims may be rooted in an intentional or criminal act, such as assault, most cases involve accidents caused by negligence. In simple terms, negligence refers to a scenario where all of the following is true:
- The defendant owed a duty of care under the law to the plaintiff;
- The defendant breached that duty through action or inaction;
- The plaintiff suffered some sort of harm or loss; and
- The defendant’s breach was a proximate cause of that harm.
A duty of care can be something as simple as the requirement for all Washington drivers to obey the traffic laws when operating their motor vehicles. If a driver commits a traffic infraction–say by running a red light–and hits another vehicle, that constitutes a breach of that duty of care. And anyone in the vehicle that was hit has the right to bring a personal injury claim to seek compensation for their injuries directly arising from the crash.
Indeed, motor vehicle accidents are among the most common types of personal injury claims we handle at Alliance Law Group. Some of the more specific situations we see with our clients include:
- Bicycle and Pedestrian Accidents
- Commercial Trucking Accidents
- Drunk Driving Accidents
- Distracted Driving Accidents
- Head-on/Wrong-Way Collisions
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Rear-End Collisions
- Rollover Accidents
- Side-Impact Collisions
Besides motor vehicle accidents, Alliance Law Group can also represent you if you have been injured in any of the following situations:
- Defective Products: Companies that manufacture, market, and distribute consumer products have a duty of care to protect those consumers from dangerous and defective items. A manufacturer is liable if its negligence during the design or manufacturing process results in a defective product. A manufacturer can also be held responsible for failing to exercise “reasonable care” in warning customers about potential defects or safety issues regarding one of its products.
- Insurance Disputes: Even when your own insurance company is required to cover your losses following an accident, it can still be a battle to obtain compensation. Remember, insurers are in business to make money by paying out as little as possible to policyholders. So, it is often necessary to work with a Tacoma personal injury attorney who is unquestionably on your side.
- Premises Liability: If you are injured on someone else’s property, the owner of that property may be responsible for your injuries. Washington law requires property owners to keep their premises reasonably safe for invited guests and others who enter the property legally. For example, if you are injured in a slip-and-fall accident at the store, the company that owns that store can be held responsible for your losses.
- Wrongful Death: When an accidental or intentional act results in a loss of life, the victim’s family and estate can pursue a special kind of personal injury claim known as a wrongful death lawsuit.
What Compensation Can You Expect in a Washington Personal Injury Case?
Personal injury claims are civil in nature. The goal is not to punish a defendant for criminal wrongdoing but rather to compensate victims for their losses. Washington law generally divides compensation into two categories: economic and non-economic damages. Here is what each category covers:
- Economic Damages: These are losses that are easy to measure in pure dollar terms. The most common types of economic damages awarded in Washington personal injury cases are medical bills and lost income. But they may also include other out-of-pocket costs, such as the expense of repairing your car following an accident.
- Non-Economic Damages: These are intangible losses that cannot be precisely measured in terms of dollars, even though that is what must be done through a settlement or judgment. Common terms used to describe non-economic damages include “pain and suffering,” emotional distress, and damage to your relationship with your spouse or other family members.
Like most states, Washington follows a version of the “comparative fault” rule in personal injury cases. This is a legal principle that can significantly affect your ability to receive economic and non-economic damages. Basically, a defendant in a personal injury case can argue that the plaintiff’s actions contributed to or caused their own injuries. If the defense can prove some degree of “comparative fault” on your part, your damages are reduced accordingly.
The good news is that Washington employs what is known as “pure” comparative fault. This means you can still recover some damages regardless of your share of the fault. So, in theory, you could be 99 percent liable for an accident and the defendant would still owe you 1 percent of your total damages.
Our Tacoma Personal Injury Lawyers Are Ready to Take Your Call
Most personal injury claims in Washington are settled without the need for a formal trial. Yet it is still important to work with a qualified Tacoma personal injury lawyer who can guide you through this process. Insurance companies are especially skilled at pushing accident victims to accept low offers. By working with an attorney, you can significantly increase the chance of a more favorable outcome. And when a settlement is not possible, a personal injury attorney can zealously represent your interests in court.
If you need to speak with a personal injury lawyer today, call Alliance Law Group at 253-300-2055 to schedule a consultation.