Although nobody anticipates suffering a serious or debilitating injury in an accident or because of another party’s wrongdoing, accidents and injuries happen all the time.
When you sustain an injury in Yakima or the surrounding area, it is important to consider filing a personal injury claim in order to seek financial compensation for your losses.
Compensation can range from economic damages like hospital bills or lost wages to noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering. Before you begin the process of filing a lawsuit, it is important to learn more about Washington State personal injury law.
Statute of Limitations in Washington State Personal Injury Lawsuits
The first thing to know about personal injury law is that you only have a limited amount of time to file a claim. The Washington State personal injury statute of limitations for most types of claims is three years from the date of the injury.
This means that the law requires you to file a lawsuit within this specific time window, and the clock starts ticking for most people on the date that the injury occurred.
If you do not file a claim before the statute of limitations runs out, then you will have what is known as a “time-barred” claim. Once you have a time-barred claim, you are no longer eligible to obtain financial compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.
By speaking with a Yakima personal injury attorney as soon as possible, you can make certain that your claim is filed on time.
Damages in a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Washington
When you file a personal injury lawsuit, you are probably wondering what kinds of damages you may be eligible to receive. In most personal injury lawsuits, plaintiffs are seeking “compensatory” damages.
This is a type of damages award designed to compensate a plaintiff for his or her losses. Generally speaking, compensatory damages fall into one of two categories:
- Economic damages, which Washington State Law considers monetary losses, including medical expenses and loss of earnings, among others; and
- Noneconomic damages, which are considered subjective, nonmonetary losses, including, but not limited to pain, suffering, inconvenience, and mental anguish.
Understanding Contributory Fault in Your Washington Personal Injury Case
Plaintiffs often want to know: can I still recover monetary damages if I am partially at fault? The answer to this question is yes. Under Washington’s contributory fault law, a plaintiff’s contributory fault does not bar recovery. Instead, the plaintiff’s recovery is reduced by his or her portion of fault. This is true whether the plaintiff is only 1 percent at fault or as much as 99 percent