Personal injury law and the process of filing lawsuits differ from state to state. Residents of the state of Washington who may need to pursue an injury claim lawsuit may not know how a lawsuit is filed as well as the rules and specifications that would apply to such a civil action. Experienced personal injury lawyers are familiar with the various lawsuit requirements and offer the following information about the guidelines that must be followed to file a lawsuit in the state of Washington.
Statute of Limitations
Every state has a period of time known as the statute of limitations during which personal injury attorneys may file a lawsuit on behalf of their clients for an injury claim. In Washington, that time frame is 3 years from the time of the initial event that caused the injury. Any lawsuit filed after that time frame would most likely be dismissed. If there is any consideration being given to file a lawsuit, it is important to speak with an attorney who handles injury claims before the statute of limitations expires in order to receive any compensation for injuries caused by another person.
The state of Washington is a Pure Comparative Fault jurisdiction. According to lawyers who help clients recover from injury claims, this means that each party to a loss shares fault with any other party to the loss. As an example, a person who is 95% at fault for an injury and is also injured could recover 5% of his or her injury claim under pure comparative negligence. A plaintiff who files a lawsuit against another party may recover damages from that defendant minus any comparative negligence that could be attributed to the plaintiff. In this case, if an injury claim is determined to have a value of $5,000 and the plaintiff has been assessed by the judge or jury to be 20% at fault for the injury-causing accident, the damage aware would be 80% of $5,000 or $4,000 total.
When a person’s dog bites someone and a claim for injury is made, many states allow a ‘first bite’ before considering the dog to be dangerous and the owners responsible for a resulting dog bite injury. In the state of Washington, a statute covers this occurrence and makes any dog owner strictly liable for injury caused by their dog irregardless of any prior behavior, according to personal injury lawyers.
Any personal injury claim against a municipal or state government employee or entity is handled in a specific way by injury lawyers for their clients in the state of Washington. Instead of filing a complaint via a lawsuit with the appropriate court jurisdiction, it is necessary to first file a notice of claim with the applicable municipal or state government entity. A lawsuit cannot be filed by personal injury attorneys on behalf of their clients against local or state governmental bodies until 60 days has passed since filing the notice of claim.
Damage Limitations or Caps
A damage limitation or cap can apply in some states to limit the amount an individual can recover for a particular type of harm or injury to a specified amount. In the state of Washington, there are no monetary limitations or caps on damage compensation. Whatever amount is awarded by a judge or jury is the amount that must be paid by or on behalf of a defendant, according to personal injury attorneys.
If you have been injured in Washington state and someone else is at fault, contact experienced personal injury lawyers in Washington to see if you have grounds for a lawsuit to recover damages. Attorneys who are experienced in the handling of Personal Injury Law can help determine your filing status and help clients get fair compensation for their injuries.
Joshua Maurer, Attorney at Law
505 West Riverside Suite 400
Spokane WA 99201