If you have sustained injuries in a car accident in Spokane and want to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages, you must seek the legal assistance of a personal injury attorney Matt Albrecht. Your attorney will help you understand how comparative negligence works in the state of Washington and its effect on your case. Schedule an appointment with an attorney to discuss the details of your case.
Washington State Comparative Fault
In Washington State, both drivers involved in a car accident may be held liable for causing the crash. No matter the number of parties involved, a percentage of fault is assigned to every party. For instance, if your car was hit by another driver in a car accident, this driver could be responsible for it. But if you drive your car beyond the posted speed limit, you could also be to blame for the crash.
In court, a judge determines every party’s percentage of fault and applies it to the total compensation to be awarded. For instance, if you have a $50, 000 claim and you shared 10% of the fault, you could only be awarded $45, 000.
How to Prove Negligence
The job of your car accident lawyer is to minimize the fault assigned to you. This can be done by collecting evidence that shows the negligent actions of the other drivers and how these actions caused your accident and injuries. Your attorney will prove you have very little contribution to the crash, so you can get the most compensation possible. Proving negligence includes reviewing evidence such as accident reports, expert testimony, photos and video footage, and witness testimony.
Monetary Damages in Car Accident Cases
The majority of car accidents in Washington State are settled in insurance settlement negotiations instead of formal court cases. The negotiation process starts by submitting an injury claim with the insurer of the negligent party that shows evidence of damage caused. Then, the insurance company will investigate the case as well as examine the claim and the presented evidence. If the company finds its policyholder is at fault for the crash, it may make a settlement offer. When you accept this offer, you will be asked to sign a contract that agrees you won’t take further action about your case. Unfortunately, the initial settlement offer of the company will not reflect your current and future needs associated with your accident injuries. That is why you should consult an attorney first before accepting an offer from an insurer.