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Issaquah Personal Injury Attorney
If you recently sustained an injury in an accident, you’re likely full of questions. How will I pay for my medical bills? How much money will I lose while I am missing work? Most importantly, how can I hold the parties responsible for my injuries accountable for their actions?
Being involved in an accident can be scary, especially when it’s through no fault of your own. Fortunately, victims of accidents have an important avenue for legal recourse, a personal injury claim.
Why Hire Colburn Law
- Our contingency fee system allows you to pursue a lawsuit without financial barriers. You only pay legal fees if we secure compensation on your behalf, and if we do not win, you do not pay.
- Our lead attorney, Greg Colburn, experienced the personal injury process firsthand after he suffered a back injury due to a subcontractor’s negligence. This experience allows us to lend a unique, compassionate perspective to your personal injury case.
- We pride ourselves on providing personal, direct communication throughout each step of your case. We will always answer any questions you may have, and inform you of any important updates in a timely manner.
Cases We Handle
Personal injury applies in many situations. Some of the most common areas of personal injury law include:
- Car accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Commercial vehicle wrecks
- Injuries at daycare or school
- Injuries incurred on boats or pleasure craft
- Slip and fall or trip and fall accidents
- Workplace injury
What to Know About Personal Injury in Issaquah
There are any number of reasons a person in Issaquah may require personal injury legal services. Primarily, its location off busy Interstate 90 makes citizens prone to collisions involving both cars and commercial motor vehicles. The area is also home to abundant outdoor recreation, from the Issaquah Alps (including Cougar Mountain, Squak Mountain, Tiger Mountain, Taylor Mountain, Rattlesnake Ridge, Rattlesnake Mountain, and Grand Ridge) to Lake Sammamish. While these beautiful landmarks create opportunities to enjoy recreational activities year-round, they also lead to accidents involving pleasure craft and injuries on rough hiking trails each year.
Issaquah is also a part of the King County Metro system, which transports citizens throughout metro Seattle. Although rare, wrecks involving public transportation like trains, trolleys, and buses can be devastating, because of the lack of safety features like airbags and passenger restraints.
What If I Was Injured on the Job?
Finally, personal injury claims may arise from injuries sustained on the job. Issaquah is perhaps best known for being the headquarters of Costco, but it’s also home to a booming manufacturing and construction industry. The industrial insurance system of Washington can be difficult to navigate, and you may not get the compensation you deserve. For this reason, many injured workers seek personal injury claims beyond or in place of their industrial insurance payout.
These are some of the most common victims of personal injury who seek legal services throughout Issaquah, but anyone who incurs injury within its borders may benefit from meeting with a Seattle personal injury attorney.
What is Personal Injury?
Personal injury cases all hinge on the idea of negligence, or the idea that someone else’s action or inaction led to your injuries. For example, if someone crashes into you while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, they committed negligence.
In a legal sense, negligence refers to the idea that we all have a duty to exercise caution around one another. When someone violates that duty, they may be legally responsible for any damages you incur as a result.
Benefits of Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
If you suffer serious injuries in an accident, it is important to contact a personal injury lawyer to represent your claim. While self-representation may seem like a viable option, it is very difficult to navigate the personal injury process without previous legal knowledge. Hiring an Issaquah personal injury lawyer to handle your claim can simplify this process.
Your lawyer will handle all legal matters on your behalf, completing complex paperwork and meeting necessary deadlines to file your claim. Your attorney can also handle all negotiations on your behalf, estimate the potential value of your claim to avoid insufficient settlements, and advise you on how to approach each step.
In addition to representation, your attorney will also have the resources and network necessary to fully investigate your claim. Your lawyer will know how to find and request certain pieces of evidence that can support your lawsuit, as well as access to expert witnesses who can provide valuable, fact-based testimony to prove your need for damages.
Ultimately, hiring a personal injury attorney will provide benefits for your case that you may not be able to access alone. Your attorney will advocate for your best interests each step of the way, helping you maximize your potential settlement and understand what you need to fully recover.
Personal Injury Claim Process
Although personal injury lawsuits can involve a number of different accidents, the process you will need to follow generally remains the same for each case. The typical personal injury case may take a year or more to reach settlement, although many cases settle during negotiations at various stages of the case.
- Receive medical treatment: Your first step after a personal injury is to seek medical attention immediately. Not only can visiting a doctor prevent your injuries from worsening, seeking immediate care establishes important evidence and solidifies the credibility of your claim.
- Contact a lawyer: As soon as you receive medical care, contact a personal injury lawyer to begin the initial steps to file your claim. Your attorney will not want to file your lawsuit until you reach maximum medical improvement so he can accurately estimate your settlement.
- Begin the investigation: Your attorney will begin investigating your claim while you receive treatment. This may involve gathering important medical reports, police reports, witness testimony, and input from experts, such as medical specialists and accident reconstruction experts.
- Make an initial demand: Your attorney will then send a letter to the defendant in your case detailing your intent to file a lawsuit and the initial demand you are seeking. At this stage, you may enter negotiations to settle the claim before filing your lawsuit.
- File your lawsuit: If negotiations are unsuccessful or you do not negotiate at all, your attorney will file your lawsuit in Washington civil court. After filing, you will enter the discovery period where you exchange information with the at-fault party and continue the case’s investigation.
- Enter pretrial negotiations or proceed to trial: In many cases, you will enter another round of negotiations prior to going to trial. Many personal injury claims settle before trial, but if the at-fault party does not offer a sufficient settlement, it is best to progress to the courtroom.
If your case reaches trial, a judge or a jury will listen to the facts of the case and arguments from both parties. After the trial, the court will determine whether or not you are eligible for the settlement and the value of your lawsuit. If the court determines you may not receive a settlement, you may file an appeal.
Washington Negligence Laws
To secure the compensation you need to recover, you will need to prove that the defendant in your case acted in negligence at the time of the accident. Proving negligence — and thus proving your case — will require you to show that the following four elements are true.
- Duty of care: For you to hold a defendant liable, he or she must owe you a duty of care at the time of the accident. Determining whether or not this duty applies depends on the circumstances surrounding your accident. All drivers have a responsibility to follow traffic laws, for example, and all property owners must keep their properties in reasonably safe condition.
- Breach of duty: Negligence cannot occur unless an at-fault party breaches his or her duty of care in some way. This element also depends on the circumstances surrounding your accident; for example, a driver who runs a red light breaches his or her duty of care, as does a property owner who is aware of and subsequently ignores an obvious hazard.
- Causation: You will need to prove the at-fault party’s actions directly caused your injuries. If you cannot prove the defendant is directly responsible for your damages, the court will not award a settlement.
- Damages: You will need to prove you sustained damages as a result of the accident. These can include medical costs, lost wages, repair expenses, emotional damage, and physical pain.
For example, say that you notice damage to the stairs in your apartment complex. You email the landlord about the stairs and ask him or her to repair the damage, but he or she ignores your request. The stairs ultimately collapse underneath you, leading to a broken leg. You file a claim for your medical expenses, lost wages, and emotional damages.
You can establish duty of care through your landlord’s obligation to keep your complex in safe condition, and you can establish breach of care by showing your attempts to notify the landlord of the stair damage. Witness testimony and medical records can establish causation, and your attorney can help you gather the evidence you need to prove your damages.
Comparative Negligence in Washington Personal Injury Cases
It is important to remember that, although you may satisfy the above elements, the court may not award you the full value of your claim. Under Washington’s comparative negligence rule, the court will reduce your award amount by the portion of liability you share.
For example, say that you are in a car accident after a driver makes an unsafe lane change and collides into your vehicle. You file a claim against the at-fault driver for $20,000 to pay for your medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage.
However, the court discovers you were texting and driving at the time of the accident, and the defense’s attorney argues you would have had time to react safely if you were not on your phone. In this situation, the court may assign you 30% of the liability. At the conclusion of your case, you will only receive $14,000 out of your original settlement.
Unlike some states, Washington allows you to collect compensation even if the court finds you 99% at fault. Using our car accident scenario, the court may assign you 99% of the liability if you ran a red light at the time of the accident. In this situation, you will receive $200 of your original settlement.
Compensation in Accident & Injury Cases
The specific damages you may receive in your personal injury claim varies based on the circumstances of your case. In Washington, you can categorize potential compensation into two distinct categories: economic and non-economic. Economic damages involve your financial losses, while non-economic damages concern your physical and emotional pain and suffering.
You can collect any economic and non-economic damages related to your accident, including the following.
- All medical expenses associated with your injury
- All continuing medical expenses, such as physical therapy and medication
- Disability accommodations
- Lost wages you incur during your recovery period
- Loss of future earnings if your injury prevents you from returning to work
- Chronic pain, disability, and disfigurement
- Emotional distress and the development of mental illnesses
- Loss of enjoyment or loss of quality of life
Your Colburn Law attorney will help you understand the compensation you qualify for. We will consult with experts and examine previous case results to determine the value of your potential settlement, advocating for maximum compensation each step of the way.
Do You Offer a Free Consultation?
Yes, at Colburn Law, we operate on a simple premise; no one should have to pay for someone else’s negligence. If you recently sustained an injury and believe someone else was at fault, contact us to arrange a free initial consultation. Let us review your case and offer legal advice, free of charge. Schedule yours today.
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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