Personal Injury Lawsuit WA State

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Personal Injury Lawsuit WA State

A personal injury lawsuit WA State is filed to recover damages for people who were injured because of the negligence of another. Cases involving serious, long-term injuries can yield large settlements but even with less serious injuries people can recover substantial damages for medical expenses and lost wages during recovery. In addition to monetary compensation, a lawsuit brought by a personal injury lawyer is a way to hold the negligent party responsible for their action or inaction.

When should I file a personal injury lawsuit WA State?

A personal injury claim should be pursued as soon as possible after the accident because all personal injury cases have a statute of limitations. A statute of limitations means that you have a set amount of time from the date of the injury to file a claim or your case will no longer be accepted. In Washington State the statute of limitations is generally three years. A personal injury lawyer will assess your situation and advise whether a lawsuit is the right approach to seek justice.

What kinds of damages can be recovered in a personal injury lawsuit?

Depending on the severity of your injury, medical expenses and other financial losses can be devastating. The type of injury will affect the damages awarded in a personal injury lawsuit. Some examples include:

  • Therapy, both physical and mental
  • Medical treatments and expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering (physical and/or emotional)
  • Mental anguish
  • Disability
  • Disfigurement
  • In-home care
  • Rehabilitation
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

How is a personal injury lawsuit won?

A personal injury lawyer expects the defendant to hire a defense attorney who will vigorously attempt to reduce or eliminate the negligent party’s liability in the accident. A good personal injury attorney acts as an experienced and professional adversary who will overcome the common tactics used by defense and insurance lawyers. He or she will interview and retain witnesses, investigate and research issues and gather supporting documents.

personal injury lawsuit

What are the steps in a personal injury lawsuit?

There are many steps involved in filing a personal injury lawsuit. A personal injury lawyer starts building a case by gathering all relevant documents and evidence required for a successful outcome. He or she will interview all witnesses, retain expert witnesses and may schedule medical evaluations of your injury to gather independent medical opinions about the cause and extent of your injuries.


After the information has been gathered and expert witness interviews have been conducted:


  1. The attorney will serve a “complaint” on the defendant. The complaint is an official, detailed document that describes the reason for the lawsuit and why the defendant is being sued. In Washington State, the defendant is typically allowed 20 days after the date of service to answer.
  2. Your case will enter the pre-trial litigatin phase. In the pre-trial litigation phase (also called the “discovery” phase) your personal injury lawyer will discuss the details of the case with the defense attorney and the parties will decide if the case can be settled out of court or if it will continue to trial. This is typically the longest part of the case, sometimes stretching on for several months or years.
  3. Settlement or trial. The majority of personal injury lawsuits are settled out of court, sometimes right before a trial begins. Once a case is settled, the plaintiff usually receives damages within a few months, but it can vary depending on the state.

Patience is required for a personal injury lawsuit. In most cases attorneys are able to work out a settlement without going to trial, but it can take several months or more to come to an agreement. A settlement is often a more desirable solution since a trial typically takes longer with increased costs and there is a chance that the other party will appeal any trial decision.

Documents to submit to your personal injury lawyer

personal injury documents

Trying a personal injury case in court: Washington State personal injury law

A good Washington State personal injury attorney will attempt to settle your case out of court or with arbitration but sometimes it’s necessary to try a case in court. Every state has laws governing the way it handles personal injury cases and it is beneficial to understand some basics including how a jury awards damages in your state. Here we will discuss personal injury damages WA State.


Two courts

In Washington State, two levels of courts are used for Personal Injury cases. The district court level handles Personal Injury cases worth less than $50,000 and the superior court level handles Personal Injury cases worth more than $50,000.


The right to a jury trial in Washington State

In Washington State defendants have a right to a jury trial. The accused has the right to a trial by an impartial jury from the state and district in which the incident allegedly occurred.


Reviewing the evidence in an injury case

Most jurors pay reasonably close attention to the evidence during the trial and most courts now allow jurors to take notes during the trial.


When deliberations begin in the jury room after the trial, jurors will usually review the evidence quite closely with each other. They cannot have a transcript of the testimony; they must rely on their memories and their notes, but they are allowed to have all of the trial exhibits with them. They will usually discuss the evidence until they are all satisfied that they have a good handle on how the accident happened.


In an relatively straightforward case, that could take less than an hour, but, in a more complex case, that could take days. After they have figured out the facts, the jurors will turn to the law.



The more complete the information you provide, the better your personal injury lawyer will be able to help. When you arrive for your consultation try to have as much of this information gathered as you can:

For a car accident:
  • Details of your vehicle, insurance, and driver’s license
  • All relevant details of the accident such as the date, time, and place; weather and traffic conditions; information about other passengers, drivers and their vehicles; names and contact information for witnesses; copies of accident or incident reports; tickets written at the scene and any charges issued to drivers involved such as reckless driving or DUI.
For all accidents:
  • Physician reports and any subsequent medical records in relation to the accident
  • Copies of x-rays and test results for injuries related to the accident
  • Bring information about any pre-existing conditions or injuries that were exacerbated by the accident
  • Receipts for medical expenses from the accident including medications, treatments, and therapies
  • Receipts for any other expenses incurred due to the accident
  • Documentation from your employer about days, hours and wages lost because of the accident
  • Copies of any correspondence with insurance companies in regard to the accident
  • Any notes you have made about your feelings and physical condition after the accident

Seek the help of a personal injury attorney in Washington State

If you or a loved one is dealing with an injury caused by no fault of your own, you have enough on your plate. Let an experienced personal injury attorney fight for the justice and fair compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring injury attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Mt. Vernon, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County and surrounding areas since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!

Let us help you!

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