When someone suffers an injury in the State of Washington, there is more to obtaining compensation for that injury than simply filing a claim with an insurance company. Based on state liability laws, personal injury lawyers point out that there are some restrictions that apply. This is something anyone who has suffered from an injury should know about. To understand how personal injury cases are viewed and how liability is determined in Washington, personal injury lawyers and car accident lawyers recommend that any person hurt in any type of accident learn some basic facts about liability and how it can affect their injury claim.
Statute of Limitations for Injury Claims
The statute of limitations for filing any type of personal injury claim in Washington State is three years. This is three years from the date of injury for general personal injury cases or product liability injury cases. For medical malpractice, the statute of limitations is three years from the date of the injury or omission or one year from the time the injury should have been discovered, whichever is later, not to exceed eight years from the original date of injury.
Comparative Negligence Liability Theory
State of Washington liability law is based on the theory of comparative negligence and fault. This means that insurance adjusters and personal injury lawyers will determine who is at fault for an accident and to what degree. Settlement amounts are based upon that determination. Washington recognizes joint fault and liability that requires all defendants to share responsibility.
Financial Caps on Injury Claim Awards
Liability laws in the State of Washington have no financial caps on injury claims, as this has been found to be unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of Washington. In addition, Washington does not recognize a serious injury threshold. This means that any type of injury, worth any settlement amount, can be claimed by personal injury lawyers and lawyers who help car accident victims. This includes non-physical injuries, such as pain and suffering, monetary losses resulting from injuries, and other damages incurred as a result of an accident.
Personal Injury Liability in Washington State
Along with the above stipulations regarding injury law in the State of Washington, the state also recognizes certain other specifics depending on the type of injury. These specifics include applied limitations to who can claim an award for wrongful death, comparative negligence theory for auto accidents, slip-and-fall accidents and similar accidents, medical malpractice, potential liability for a decedent’s estate, and some specific workers compensation and product liability laws.
Every state recognizes accidents and liability law differently. In the State of Washington, comparative negligence liability and views regarding financial caps and payment of injury awards create an environment where those responsible for injury are liable to the extent of their fault and must pay damages to those who are injured. For more information about liability in Washington and the theories recognized by the State legal system, a person should discuss their injury with experienced car accident lawyers or personal injury lawyers!
Maurer Law, PLLC
505 West Riverside, Suite 400
Spokane WA 99201