Personal injury litigation is subject to different regulations in every state. To bring a case in Washington it is very important that you consult an experienced Washington personal injury lawyer, who can guide you through the states unique laws.
Personal injury litigation includes many types of action, including car accident cases, defective products cases and medical malpractice cases. A personal injury claim in Washington can arise from negligence or intentional wrongdoing.
In Washington you must prove four elements to win any negligence case:
1. The defendant owed you a duty
2. The defendant did not fulfill that duty
3. The defendants breach of duty resulted in your injuries
4. You suffered damages
In Washington personal injury lawsuits you can still recover damages even if your own negligence contributed to the injury. Washington follows the doctrine of pure comparative negligence. This means that a defendant is responsible for the proportion of the damages equal to their proportion of the blame in the injury. Even if the plaintiffs negligence was 90% responsible for an accident, a defendant can still be required to pay 10% of the damages.
Washington personal injury law follows the doctrine of several liability when determining liability between defendants. The doctrine of several liability means that each defendant is responsible to pay only for the portion of the damages equal to their portion of the fault in the case. Under Washington law if one defendant is unable to pay what they owe, other defendants cannot be held liable for this cost.
A Washington law limiting non-economic damages was held unconstitutional by the state supreme court. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, loss of companionship, emotional distress and humiliation.
Washington does not restrict punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded to punish the wrongdoing of the defendant.
In Washington you have three years to file a personal injury lawsuit under the states statute of limitation.
If you are considering pursuing a claim in Washington you need the counsel of a personal injury attorney who understands the nuances of Washington law. The sooner you begin working with an attorney the easier it will be to build your case and reach a successful outcome.