Spokane personal injury law is largely controlled by the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) and the Washington Administrative Code (WAC). The provisions contained in these codes control in large part how injury claims are handled and settled. They layout the duties and responsibilities citizens must comply with. However, they also lay out the regulations insurance companies and similar entities must follow.
However, Spokane personal injury regulations are not spelled out in one section alone. The code has different applications, from basic negligence to medical malpractice in several sections and they must fit together in any given injury claim or lawsuit.
Some WACs and RCWs allow for treble damages, (multiple of, and not an addition to, actual damages), depending on what kind of case you have. Some others will allow you to shift attorney's fees and costs to the party that caused your injuries, if you prevail. This is why it is critical that you contact a Spokane personal injury attorney to help you craft the best strategy to maximize your jury award and/or insurance settlement and minimize your legal expenses.
Personal injury claims can arise out of several sets of circumstances. They usually occur in car wrecks, slip and fall accidents, and dog bites. Because of the nature of injury claims, you could be faced with expensive medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, for which you could get compensated when you settle your claim. If you do not settle within Washington’s personal injury statute of limitation (3 years), your claim will be barred and you will lose all of your rights of recovery.
Be aware that filing a claim with an insurance company does not suspend or stop the statute of limitations. You have to file a formal lawsuit in order to protect your rights. The problem for injured parties is that, in many accidents, three years is simply not enough time to assess all the damages the accident caused. This is also even more complicated when you are trying to assess future treatment, future pain and suffering, and future wage loss.
Therefore, if you wait even two years to seek legal representation, you might substantially prejudice your attorney’s ability to investigate and hire the experts necessary to correctly and adequately assess the damages of your claim. It is wise to talk to a Spokane personal injury attorney and discuss your case early on, even if you believe your case might be weak or have difficult issues (i.e. you might be partially at fault).
Because injury causes of action arise by function of negligence, the Revised Code of Washington (RCW 4.22.005) has complete applicability. RCW 4.22.005 is known as Washington’s Pure Comparative Fault Rule. This rule or statute requires that all damages that arise from negligence actions be reduced by the percentage of liability caused by the plaintiff.
For example, in a Spokane personal injury action where there are only two parties and the injured party is responsible for 10% of the accident, he or she can recover only 90% from the other party. However, the injured party in this case would have to pay 10% of the damages the other party sustained in the same accident. Not only is the injured party's recovery reduced by his/her percentage of fault, but he/she also has to pay that amount to the other party.
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