Common Injury Questions Answered by a Yakima Personal Injury Lawyer

If you have never presented a personal injury claim, you might have numerous questions on how the process works. It’s understandable, and you aren’t alone. While personal injury cases are very common, the claims process can be confusing and frustrating for many people. To help you better understand what you can expect, we’ve put together a list of some of the most commonly asked questions about personal injury claims in Washington.

What Constitutes a Personal Injury Case?

If you were injured and suffered harm due to someone else’s negligence or intentional actions, you could be entitled to pursue a personal injury claim. Most cases result from events like a vehicle collision, slip and fall, dog bite, medical malpractice, defective product, etc. If you aren’t sure whether you have a valid personal injury claim, speak with a local personal injury lawyer before deciding not to pursue legal action.

Can I Still Pursue a Claim for Damages If I’m Partially at Fault?

In Washington, you are allowed to pursue legal action in a personal injury claim even if you are partially at fault. According to a personal injury lawyer in Yakima, WA, comparative negligence applies here. You can still pursue a claim for your damages, but your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault you share. For example, if you are found to be 20% at fault, you would receive only 80% of your damages.

What Types of Compensation Can I Get in a Personal Injury Claim?

The financial compensation you could receive depends on your circumstances. Every claim is different, and therefore the damages you are entitled to will vary. In general, recoverable damages in a personal injury claim could include:

- Current and future medical expenses;
- Lost wages to date and future earning capacity;
- Property damage;
- Pain and suffering from your injuries; and
- Punitive damages in limited situations.

Your attorney can provide you with a breakdown of what damages apply in your particular case.

Should I Give the Insurance Company a Recorded Statement?

One of the biggest mistakes that plaintiffs make is giving the other party’s insurance company a recorded statement without proper legal representation. The defendant’s insurance company is looking for anything it can use against you to place most or all of the blame on you, so it doesn’t have to pay any money to you.

How Much Do Personal Injury Attorneys Charge?

Most personal injury lawyers do not bill hourly or ask for upfront fees. Instead, they work on a contingency basis, which means they don’t get paid unless you do. They typically take a percentage of your settlement to cover their fees and expenses. If you meet with a personal injury attorney who wants to bill hourly and asks for a large retainer, you should consider meeting with other law firms.

How Much Time Do I Have to File a Lawsuit?

Every type of injury claim is subject to a statute of limitations. This date is the deadline you have to file a lawsuit in the proper Washington court. If you fail to meet the deadline, the court will likely dismiss your case, and you’ll be barred from any recovery. In most cases, the deadline in Washington is three years from the accident or injury date, but it can vary in certain situations. That is why it’s recommended you work with a lawyer, so you don’t inadvertently miss the filing deadline.

Should I Meet with More Than One Firm?

Before hiring a personal injury lawyer, there’s nothing wrong with meeting multiple lawyers. You need to find the right person who has the appropriate combination of experience and skills and with whom you feel comfortable. Most personal injury law firms give you a free consultation, so you have nothing to lose by scheduling meetings with several different firms until you find the right personal injury lawyer for your case.

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Posted - 04/22/2021