When accidents result in serious physical injuries, determining who is at-fault and taking appropriate legal action against them is vital to preserving an injured individual’s future prospects. Unfortunately, knowing someone else is to blame for damages you experienced and proving so in court are two very different things.
If you suffered harm because another person was careless or reckless, consider discussing your legal options with an experienced attorney. A seasoned Moses Lake personal injury lawyer’s guidance could make a big difference in your chances of securing the compensation you deserve.
What Makes Someone Liable for an Injury?
The basic legal concept most personal injury claims are built around is “negligence,” which applies to situations where someone physically harms someone else by accident rather than through intentional malice. More specifically, someone is negligent if they fulfill all four of the following criteria:
- They owed some sort of “duty”—a responsibility to act a certain way and/or follow certain rules to ensure the safety of others around them—to the injured plaintiff filing suit
- They breached their duty by acting in a reckless or careless way
- By breaching their duty, they caused an accident which in turn directly resulted in at least one injury requiring professional medical attention
- The injured plaintiff sustained compensable losses as a direct consequence of the accident
The exact nature of a duty in this context, as well as what constitutes a violation of said duty and what losses may be “compensable” can vary substantially from case to case. For example, a motor vehicle accident may stem from an overt breach of traffic law or a brief lack of attention at the wrong moment. Conversely, malpractice by medical professionals only qualifies as such if it entails a violation of a “standard of care” based on what equally skilled and knowledgeable professionals would have done in the same situation.
A Moses Lake personal injury attorney could explain how this concept works in practice and provide assistance building a case that accounts for all necessary elements.
Possible Obstacles to Comprehensive Recovery
Washington follows a “pure comparative fault” approach to plaintiff liability, which in non-legal terms means that a person who bears some amount of fault for causing or worsening their own injuries in an accident may be subject to a proportional reduction of their final damage award. Unlike states with modified comparative fault or pure contributory negligence systems, though, a plaintiff is not completely barred from recovery even if they share in a portion of the blame.
Additionally, Revised Code of Washington §4.16.080 sets a time limit of three years after an accident occurs for most prospective plaintiffs to file a civil lawsuit. Constructing a strong and comprehensive case within this period can be deceptively difficult, so it is generally best to contact a knowledgeable lawyer sooner rather than later after a personal injury in Moses Lake.
Schedule a Consultation with a Moses Lake Personal Injury Attorney
Injuries occurring under any circumstances can result in serious and potentially life-altering financial, physical, and personal losses. When those losses stem directly from someone else’s misconduct, you have a right to hold them financially accountable for their actions through a settlement demand or lawsuit.
A Moses Lake personal injury lawyer could provide irreplaceable guidance and support throughout your legal proceedings. Schedule an initial consultation by calling today.