In Washington, the failure to exercise reasonable care that leads to another person’s injury is called negligence. It is expected by law for everyone to exercise a degree of care when doing something like driving or refraining from doing something to avoid an injury.
What is Negligence in an Olympia, Washington Personal Injury Case?
Negligence, as described above, means a person failed to exercise reasonable care. This failure caused another individual’s injury. The person that caused the injuries may be liable for them. This means they must pay the injured person money to cover damages such as medical expenses and lost wages.
What is Contributory Fault in a Washington Personal Injury Case?
In Washington, laws are specific regarding defenses a defendant may use to avoid paying damages to the injured person. One of those challenges is called contributory fault. The way contributory fault works is pretty simple.
If the injured person’s actions lead to or contributed to the accident, their jury verdict decreases. The injured person can receive money for their accident-related expenses. However, it won’t be the amount initially awarded to them. For example, if an injured person is found 30 percent liable for the personal injury accident, their initial reward decreases by 30 percent. Thus, the injured person is 30 percent responsible for their own accident-related expenses.
The Elements of a Negligence Claim in Washington
A personal injury lawyer olympia wa is responsible for proving the other party was liable for the personal injury accident. This is done in four steps called elements. For instance, establishing duty is the first step.
Duty of care must be owed to the injured person prior to the accident. An example of duty of care is in a car accident. The at-fault driver was responsible for obeying traffic laws and not doing things that would cause an accident. Breach of duty is the next step and shows the defendant breached their duty when they acted or failed to act in a responsible way. Cause of the accident is the third step. The attorney must show that the defendant was the indirect or direct cause of the accident.
In the last step, which is called damages, the attorney must prove their client actually incurred expenses related to the accident. Damages range depending on many factors of a personal injury case. These factors include the severity of the injuries and amount of time away from work. Thus, the attorney must provide evidence such as medical bills and lost wages so their client is compensated.
Personal Injury Claims in Washington Require an Attorney
A personal injury claim is the result of an accident that was not the injured person’s fault. As the result of the accident, the injured person has many accident-related expenses such as lost wages and property damage. The at-fault party may not want to pay the injured person these damages. This means their only recourse is to file a lawsuit and go to trial. Seek the assistance of a personal injury attorney for help.