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Sammamish Personal Injury Lawyer
When an individual suffers injuries or other damages due to the negligent actions of another party, the victim can pursue compensation through a personal injury claim. Sammamish, WA is home to more than 64,000 residents of the Seattle-Bellevue-Everett metropolitan area and a major commuter hub. Residents of the Sammamish area need to know their options after sustaining injuries from negligence. If you or a loved one has recently experienced a personal injury, Colburn Law can help.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
If you plan to pursue a personal injury claim in the state of Washington, you must first ensure your claim filing falls within the state’s statute of limitations, or time limit for filing a civil action. Washington’s statute of limitations for personal injury claims is three years. The time limit starts ticking on the date of the injury in question; however, some injuries or illnesses caused by negligence are not immediately perceptible. In these cases, the statute of limitations begins on the “date of discovery,” or the date the plaintiff should have discovered the harm with reasonable diligence, or the date symptoms became noticeable.
While your personal injury claim may seem open-and-shut, hiring a personal injury attorney to handle your case comes with several advantages. First, your attorney will be able to work quickly to meet the state’s statute of limitations as well as the court’s filing deadlines for the different phases of your case. The average person with no professional legal training or experience would likely miss these deadlines, potentially leading to a judge throwing out a case before it even reaches trial.
Your attorney can also help you manage insurance concerns after an accident. If your damages occurred in a car crash, your attorney will start gathering evidence to determine which driver was at fault for the collision and help you draft a claim to the appropriate insurers. You may need to file a claim against an at-fault driver’s auto insurance, or your own policy in the event of an accident with an underinsured or uninsured driver.
Negligence in Washington Personal Injury Cases
Personal injury law revolves around the legal concept of negligence, or one party’s failure to act with appropriate and reasonable care in a given situation. To succeed with a personal injury claim, your attorney will need to prove four elements of negligence:
- Duty. First, your attorney must establish that the defendant owed you a duty of care. For example, another driver has a duty of care to operate his or her vehicle safely and abide by the traffic laws.
- Breach. Next, your attorney must show that the defendant breached this duty of care in some way. In a car accident claim, this requires proving the defendant did not operate his or her vehicle safely or otherwise caused (or contributed to causing) the accident.
- Damage. The plaintiff may only file a lawsuit if he or she sustained injuries and suffered measurable losses. The plaintiff’s attorney should build a strong case that shows the economic and non-economic effects of the defendant’s negligence.
- Causation. Finally, the plaintiff’s attorney must prove the plaintiff’s damages are the result of the defendant’s negligence and not some other cause.
This process may seem straightforward, but civil lawsuits can be very complex, and a personal injury case can take weeks, months, or even years to reach a conclusion. Trained attorneys also know how to find the different channels of compensation for their clients, such as medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
The attorneys at Colburn Law have a strong record of success in a wide variety of personal injury cases in the Sammamish, WA area. If you or a loved one recently sustained injuries or other losses due to the negligent actions of another party, contact our firm today to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation.