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Bellingham Personal Injury Lawyer
Accidents can happen to anyone, at any time. However, many of us are not prepared to handle the financial hardship that an unexpected accident can bring. From mounting medical bills to an inability to work and provide for your family, suffering a severe injury can lead to significant stress — especially if someone else was responsible for the accident in the first place. If you or a loved one has been injured, contact our Bellingham personal injury lawyers today.
- Why Hire Colburn Law
- How Do I Prove a Personal Injury Claim in Bellingham?
- Statute of Limitations in Washington State
- What Compensation Can You Recover in a Personal Injury Claim?
- Free Consultation: Contact a Bellingham Personal Injury Lawyer
Why Choose Our Bellingham Injury Attorneys?
In these situations, trust Colburn Law to help you and your family rebuild your life and seek the compensation you need to recover. For years, our firm has assisted Bellingham residents with their personal injury lawsuits and insurance claims, securing thousands of dollars in compensation.
- We believe in the power of listening to each client’s story and taking the time to craft a compelling case using unique strategies. You will work closely with your attorney to tell your side of the story, leveraging your power to collect the compensation you need.
- Our firm operates on a contingency fee basis to limit your out of pocket costs. If we do not secure a settlement on your behalf, we will not charge you any legal fees. If we do win, we will take an agreed-upon percentage of your settlement as payment.
- We understand how difficult it can be to move around after an accident. That’s why our attorneys will gladly meet with you at home, in your hospital room, or any other location that is convenient for you.
What Is a Personal Injury?
Under Washington state law, a personal injury occurs when you suffer an injury as a result of someone else’s negligence or recklessness. Personal injuries can be emotional, physical, or mental, and can involve a number of different actions and accidents, including the following.
- Car accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian collisions
- Dangerous or defective products
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Slip and falls
- Dog bites and animal attacks
- Medical malpractice
- Assault and battery
How Do I Prove a Personal Injury Claim in Bellingham?
To prove a personal injury claim, you and your attorney will work closely together to collect necessary pieces of evidence to prove that the at-fault party was responsible for your injuries. However, you will need to satisfy the following four elements in your lawsuit.
- First, you will need to prove that the at-fault party owed you a duty of care at the time of your accident. Proving this element will depend on the facts of your case. For example, drivers owe each other a duty to drive safely and landlords and homeowners have a responsibility to maintain safe premises.
- Second, you will need to prove that the at-fault party breached his or her duty of care at the time of the accident. For example, proving that a homeowner was aware that his or her back porch was unstable and chose not to fix it before hosting a large party would be a breach of duty of care.
- Third, you have to prove that the breach of care led to your injuries in some way. Using the unstable porch example, you can prove that the homeowner was aware that his or her porch was dangerous for people to stand on and chose to have a party regardless of this risk. If the porch collapses during the party and you break a bone, you can prove that the homeowner’s negligence and failure to maintain a safe premises led to your injuries.
- Finally, you must prove that you suffered damages that you can collect in your lawsuit during the course of the accident. Damages can be economic, such as medical bills or lost wages, or non-economic, such as pain and suffering. Your attorney can help you identify which damages you may be eligible for.
What Can You Expect During the Personal Injury Claim Process?
While the exact steps will vary from case to case, most personal injury claims follow the same general process.
- Medical treatment: Your first step after an accident should be to receive treatment for your injuries. Your doctor can help relieve any pain and treat injuries before they worsen, as well as provide valuable evidence.
- Legal assistance: After receiving care, you should contact your personal injury attorney to begin filing your claim.
- Investigation: Your attorney will begin investigating your claim and gathering evidence on your behalf, such as medical records or witness testimony.
- Negotiations and demands: Your attorney will inform the at-fault party and his or her insurance company, if applicable, of your intent to file your lawsuit. You may enter negotiations prior to trial, which may result in a settlement.
- Filing: If the negotiations do not result in a sufficient offer, you can formally file your lawsuit in Washington civil court.
- Discovery: During this process, your attorney and the at-fault party will exchange information and continue investigating your claim.
- Pretrial negotiations: You may enter another round of negotiations to try and settle before going to court.
- Trial and settlement: You will then proceed to trial if the second round of negotiations do not result in an agreement. The court will decide whether you should receive compensation and the value of your settlement.
What Is the Statute of Limitations?
All states impose a statute of limitations for personal injury cases, or a deadline by which you must file your lawsuit. If you fail to meet the statute of limitations, the court will likely dismiss your claim.
For personal injury cases, you must file within 3 years from the date of your accident. There are some exceptions to this filing deadline, although they are not common for all claims. Speak to an attorney at Colburn Law to ensure you meet your correct filing deadline.
What Compensation Can You Recover in a Personal Injury Claim?
You can claim compensation for multiple types of damages in a personal injury lawsuit. Washington law splits damages into two general categories: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages involve the tangible financial losses you endure as a result of the accident. For example, you may need medical care for your injuries, so you might claim compensation for past and future medical expenses. Economic damages can also cover lost wages, property damage, disability accommodations, and transportation costs for medical treatment.
On the other hand, non-economic damages compensate you for your physical and emotional pain and suffering. Common types of non-economic damages in Washington personal injury cases include the following.
- Depression and anxiety
- Chronic pain
- Disability and disfigurement
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of quality of life
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Mental anguish
What Are the Four Elements of Negligence in a Personal Injury Case?
To secure compensation in a personal injury claim, you will need to prove that negligence played a role in your accident. You and your attorney must gather enough evidence to prove four specific elements.
- Duty of care: The person or entity responsible for your accident must owe you a duty of care at the time of your injury. For example, in car accident cases, all drivers must follow traffic laws and drive safely in order to keep other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians safe.
- Breach of care: After you establish duty, you must prove the at-fault party breached his or her duty of care to you by acting in negligence.
- Causation: Once you prove the breach of duty occurred, you must prove that the negligent acts of the at-fault party directly caused your injuries.
- Damages: You must prove that you suffered serious injuries as a result of the at-fault party’s negligence, and you can collect compensation for these damages in your lawsuit.
Contact Colburn Law Today
If you are suffering from the aftermath of an accident caused by someone else’s negligence or recklessness in Bellingham, you can collect compensation for your injuries. Colburn Law will advocate aggressively for your needs, from negotiating table to courtroom and everywhere in between. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation at our office in Issaquah.
Client Testimonial: 5/5 ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Greg guided me through a stressful process involving a car accident and the insurance company. Not only did he put me at ease, but he was truly an advocate for me and my family. I am truly thankful for his help, and would highly recommend him to any of my friends or family.
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