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How to File a Personal Injury Claim in Washington State

August 21, 2023Personal Injury

If you’ve been injured due to the negligence or wrongdoing of another party in Washington State, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. The process for filing a personal injury claim can be complex, requiring a detailed understanding of the state’s legal procedures and statutes. Here is a comprehensive guide to help you through the essential steps.

Does Your Case Qualify for a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

To file a personal injury claim in Washington, you need to establish that you have suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence or intentional misconduct. These cases can involve car accidents in Redmond, professional malpractice, and even criminal acts.

Below are a few common examples of scenarios that may be grounds for a personal injury lawsuit:

  • You were hit by a driver who ran a red light while you were crossing the street.
  • A medical professional misdiagnosed your heart attack as acid reflux, leading to delayed treatment and additional complications.
  • You get into an argument with a subcontractor at work and he pushes you off a scaffold, causing you to break your leg.

The only way to determine whether you qualify for a personal injury claim is to speak with an attorney. A Redmond personal injury lawyer can evaluate your case and available evidence to help you understand your legal options.

How Does the Personal Injury Lawsuit Process Work?

Navigating a personal injury lawsuit involves several intricate steps that pave the way for both parties to present their cases. Although no two cases are the same, your lawsuit will likely involve the following processes:

  • Initiating the Lawsuit: First, you’ll need to draft and file an official complaint in the appropriate court. This document outlines the specifics of your case, the nature of your injuries, and the legal reasons why the defendant should be held responsible.
  • Notifying the Defendant: After filing the complaint, an adult who is not involved in the lawsuit must serve a summons and a copy of the complaint on the defendant.
  • Response from Defendant: Once served, the defendant has a limited time to submit an official answer to the court. In this answer, the defendant can admit or deny the allegations.
  • The Discovery Period: During this phase, both parties have the right to request relevant information from each other and take depositions of witnesses. This is an important step, as it allows both sides to fully understand the scope of the case.
  • Settlement Negotiations: At any point before the trial, both parties can engage in negotiations to try to reach an out-of-court settlement.
  • Heading to Trial: If negotiations fail, the case proceeds to trial where evidence is presented and a verdict is rendered by a judge or jury.

How Long Do You Have to File a Personal Injury Claim in Washington?

In Washington, you have three years from the date of the injury or from the date you discovered the injury to file your personal injury claim. Failing to file within this time frame can forfeit your right to seek compensation, so it is important to act quickly.

Speak to a Redmond Personal Injury Attorney Today

Given the intricate nature of personal injury law, it is crucial to have an attorney on your side when filing a claim. A Redmond personal injury lawyer can offer valuable guidance and advocate on your behalf to secure the best possible outcome. After your accident, contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your future steps.