Overview Of Personal Injury In Seattle And Washington State
You’ve been hurt in a car accident because of someone else’s negligence. You’re in a good deal of pain and you want nothing more than to recover and rest. Then the bills start accumulating and that week off of work turns into a full month. And the person who caused the wreck has walked away without a scratch.
So, you may be asking yourself – “What can I do?”
You can file a claim with the insurance company to try and settle the matter, or you can file a lawsuit. Odds are, if you’re asking yourself that question, you are well within your rights to pursue legal action. But you’ll need help. Help from someone who can answer that question, honestly and completely. Help from a personal injury firm that specializes in car accident law and has a history of success throughout the greater Seattle metro area. A Washington personal injury law firm like Pendergast Law.
For nearly 30 years, our firm has been providing effective and aggressive representation for victims of vehicle accidents. We have built our reputation one case at a time, helping clients climb out from under the wreck that has permanently altered their lives. And we can do the same for you.
Just call 888-539-9211 to schedule a FREE and confidential appointment. Don’t let the guilty party walk away without a fight. With our counsel and tireless dedication, you’ll be able to secure the future you want, and deserve, today.
Do I Have A Seattle Personal Injury Case?
There is a wide range of personal injuries you can claim if you have been harmed by the negligence, recklessness, or inaction of others. Any victim can file a Seattle personal injury claim for physical injury, emotional injury, and in some cases, damaged property. In wrongful death cases, the family of the deceased victim can file suit on behalf of their loved one.
Here is just a sample of the personal injury claims that are covered by the law:
- Auto accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Wrongful death
- On-the-job injuries
- Exposure to toxic materials
- Defective product injuries
- Slips and falls
Under any of these circumstances, you should speak to a lawyer to determine if you have a personal injury claim. Our Seattle injury attorneys can guide you through the claims process and help you make the right choices for your specific case.
Pendergast Law is an AMAZING law firm … I would recommend Mr. Pendergast to anyone looking for an honest, trustworthy, and competent attorney. They will not be disappointed. He and his team are the BEST in my book!
– Deborah N., Tacoma, WA
What Are Some Common Injuries After An Accident?
While the exact nature of injuries after an accident tends to vary quite a bit, certain injuries are more common than others. Some of these are fairly minor, while others are serious and can impact your health and well-being for years afterward.
- Brain and head injuries: Brain damage of any kind can have serious consequences, including lifelong changes in behavior, loss of senses, and death. Even minor injuries to the face can cause scarring or disfiguration, which can have long-term physical and emotional repercussions.
- Spinal cord injuries: Injuries to the spinal cord can also be very serious. Minor injuries can result in pain, which can last for years and require additional treatment and medication. More severe injuries to the spine often result in partial or full paralysis. This paralysis may be temporary and helped through physical therapy and treatment, but permanent paralysis above or below the waist is also possible.
- Broken bones: Broken bones are painful and can involve additional expenses. Most broken bones can be repaired and reset, which allows them to heal with minor issues. They are still serious injuries; however, which require professional medical treatment.
- Internal organ damage: Not all major injuries are immediately obvious, and damage to internal organs can have painful consequences. Surgery and other medical treatment may be necessary, and some organ damage can result in death or the need for ongoing care. This is why immediate medical treatment should be sought after any accident to ensure you have not suffered injuries you may be unaware of.
- Sensory Damage: Injuries to the eyes or ears can cause the loss of vision or hearing. Such sensory loss can be partial or full and either temporary or permanent. Head injuries can also result in sensory loss if certain areas of the brain are damaged.
- Amputation: In some cases, injuries are so severe that a limb is lost either in the accident or afterward due to surgical amputation. The loss of an arm or leg, or any part of one, can have numerous long-term consequences. While medical advancements are better today than ever before, any kind of amputation is a serious injury.
- Lacerations and bruising: Sometimes, minor cuts and bruises might be all that occurs in an accident. Such injuries usually require little care and may not need professional medical treatment. It is important to keep cuts clean to avoid infections. After any accident, it is best to still see a doctor for a checkup to be sure you have not suffered any injuries you might not have realized.
Suffering a serious injury can change your life! Contact a Seattle personal injury lawyer at Pendergast Law immediately for help.
What Are The Repercussions After An Accident?
After any accident, you are likely to experience quite a bit of stress and worry, which is entirely normal. Having an experienced and knowledgeable personal injury lawyer at your side, though, can help you with your concerns. He or she can explain what has happened to you and discuss your options moving forward.
Common repercussions from injuries after an accident include:
- Hospitalization: Depending on the injuries you suffered, you might need to spend some time in a hospital. Most hospitals try to keep patients for as short a term as possible, but even a brief stay can be very expensive.
- Physical therapy: After initial treatment for injuries, physical therapy may be needed. This may include help with muscle injuries, treatment for ongoing pain, or relearning to use a limb or sense after an accident.
- Time off from work: Losing time at work means losing out on money. When this is compounded with medical expenses, the costs of an accident can be overwhelming.
- Loss of future wages: You should also keep in mind that injuries may have long-term consequences that impact your future earning possibilities. Lost wages from missed time at work are pretty easy to calculate, but a serious injury might mean you cannot attain a higher position at work or continue a career in music or athletics.
- Changes in lifestyle: Some repercussions do not have a simple price tag you can assign to them. Long-term physical changes due to injuries can be difficult and often come with emotional and psychological distress that requires help to overcome.
How Do I Handle My Medical Needs During The Claims Process?
Once our firm takes your case, we will contact the insurance companies and determine what sources of benefits are available to you. This may also involve working with Medicare, L&I, DSHS, and other agencies to be sure that you continue to receive appropriate payments.
Once all available insurance coverages and other benefits have been determined, your lawyer will communicate with your healthcare providers and coordinate all benefits during the claims process.
Washington Personal Injury Case Results
- $3,300,000 recovery in a wrongful death claim in Auburn.
- $2,400,000 recovery for a degloving injury due to a defective spring in the control mechanism of a power winch in Seattle.
- $2,125,000 recovery for a fractured neck and closed head injury in a motor vehicle accident in Kent, WA.
- $825,000 recovery in a wrongful death claim for a woman killed when a tire came off a boat trailer in Wenatchee.
The Process Of Filing A Personal Injury Claim
After any personal injury, your first concern should always be your health – seek the necessary medical care. And even though it can be difficult, try to forget about the cost of the care and focus on making a full recovery. However, you should be diligent in maintaining copies of all of your medical expenses and documentation that medical professionals provide to you about future care or your prognosis.
During your treatment, you are certain to be contacted by the insurance company of the person responsible for your injuries, or your own insurance company. Even if the adjuster sounds helpful and understanding, remember that insurance companies are in business to make money, which can conflict with paying you the compensation that you deserve. It is always in your best interests to contact an attorney who will represent you against everyone else – especially the insurance companies. Pendergast Law understands the process you are going through, and we will work to defend your rights against the insurance company tactics of “deny, delay and defend.”
As a part of our service to you, we will calculate the economic impact of your injuries. We will also evaluate your lost wages and how your injuries could impact your future earning capacity or even limit your future career opportunities. Our evaluation will also include less tangible losses, such as pain and suffering, emotional trauma, mental anguish, PTSD, scarring and disfigurement, and loss of quality of life. All of these factors will be taken into consideration and included in a demand letter to the at-fault driver’s insurance company, asking for a fair amount of compensation for your injuries. We will negotiate with the insurer to get the maximum amount, and if they don’t cooperate, we will prepare to file a lawsuit in court after speaking with you about what you want.
What Kind Of Compensation Can I Expect?
Car accidents rarely let the victims off easy. You could be hurt in any number of ways, from catastrophic injuries to minor cuts and bruises. In all instances, however, there is pain and suffering involved – physically, emotionally and mentally. Therefore, financial awards can range from the thousands to the hundreds of millions, depending on the kind of injuries you suffered.
When you are injured, you can normally expect to file a claim for the following damages:
- Medical expenses. This includes money to treat your injury, such as doctor’s visits, hospital and emergency room expenses, fees for chiropractic care, massage therapy, physical therapy, and any types of medical devices that you need during your recovery.
- Future medical expenses. You can also recover funds for any continued medical care you may need as a result of the accident. This amount will be determined by your doctors or other medical providers, working with your lawyer.
- Pain and suffering. Pain and suffering includes physical pain resulting from your injury. The damages are based on the severity of the pain and how long you will likely be in pain.
- Mental anguish. Any type of mental or emotional distress you suffer as a result of an accident can also be claimed. These could include fright, anxiety, grief, shock, and/or loss of dignity.
- Lost wages. You can recover damages for the amount of money you would have earned between the time of your injury and the settlement or judgment. If you were unemployed at the time of the accident, you can still recover lost wages if you can show what you could have earned during that time.
- Loss of earning capacity. You can recover damages for lost earning capacity, if you can show that your ability to earn money in the future has been impaired.
- Loss of consortium. This refers to the loss of the benefits of married life with your spouse that has resulted from your injury.
- Vehicle and property damage. This compensates you for the value of your property that was damaged as a result of the crash.
Basically, you can expect to recover any money spent or lost as a result of your injury. Other damages are harder to place a dollar value on, such as “pain and suffering,” and will be part of the negotiation during the settlement phase and/or presented at trial.
What Should I Do Now?
As said earlier, if you have considered filing a lawsuit and are unsure of what case you may have, call Pendergast Law for more information. The call and the consultation are both free. Our knowledgeable attorneys will help you determine exactly what kind of options you have available and the kind of compensation you can look forward to.
However, you do not want to delay. Washington has a statute of limitations in place for all lawsuits. After a certain period of time, you will be unable to collect on any damages that you or your family may have suffered in an accident. So, it is in your best interest to call at your earliest convenience.