Injuries, fault, and other issues

A Spokane bodily injury lawyer can help you determine fault and calculate pain and suffering for any local accident. Most attorneys will explain to you that fault is a direct factor of negligence and that in most cases there might be an insurance policy that would provide coverage for your damages.

Before you can successfully seek coverage for any Spokane bodily injury, someone must be negligent or at fault for all your damages.

This is an important concept because you (the claimant/plaintiff) have the burden of showing by a preponderance of the evidence that the other party is at fault. It is your responsibility to show that the other party caused all your damages.

The plaintiff must show that the defendant is negligent for all injuries and for all damages to personal property and real property.

For example, in an action for a car accident, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant caused damages to the car (e.g. rear bumper, trunk, quarter panel, etc.) and must also show that the same impact caused every specific injury.

This legal requirement makes it complicated to argue, negotiate, and settle aggravation of injury claims. If, for example, you are reinjured in a vehicle collision, insurance companies will want to argue that they do not owe you as much for medical treatment and/or pain and suffering because your injuries were caused by another incident in the past. A good Spokane bodily injury lawyer can help you assess your injury before and after the accident and maximize your settlement.

Injury lawyers use the “thin skull” or “eggshell plaintiff” theory to defeat the insurance company argument that your settlement should be reduced because of a prior medical condition. However, each Spokane bodily injury lawyer must be successful in showing that the defendant is at fault for every individual injury (e.g. lower back injury, knee injury, broken right arm, etc.).

Determining Fault

Fault is the product of negligence. Negligence has four specific elements: duty, breach, causation, and damages. All elements of negligence must be proven to a jury in order for a plaintiff to be entitled to recovery.

A duty arises in many different ways. However, duties usually arise out of the Revised Code of Washington and/or the Washington Administrative Code. Duties placed on certain persons (i.e. drivers) are outlined in the Title of Motor Vehicles RCW 46.

The Washington legislature placed these duties in the code so that everyone is bound by them.

If a plaintiff can show that a duty exists for a person to follow, then they must also show that that duty was breached. A Spokane bodily injury lawyer can help you show this by calling experts (for example, an accident reconstructionist).

Once the plaintiff shows that a duty existed and it was breached, then she must still show that the breached duty is the legal and proximate cause of the final injury (legal and proximate cause constitute the element of causation).

In order to be entitled to compensation, you must show that all four elements of negligence existed. Contact a Spokane bodily injury lawyer now to help you with this process.

Contact one of our Spokane attorneys now!

Read more about:

Overview of this area of law
Washington negligence law
Negligence: Duty and Breach
Negligence: Causation
Negligence: Remedies and Damages
Defenses to Negligence
Spokane car accidents
Washington products liability
Bodily injury, fault, and other issues
Personal injury claims
Types of Liability Claims
Dealing with insurance companies
Intentional Injuries
Going to trial – overview