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What You Need to Know About Contributory Fault in Washington State

Posted on : April 12, 2022Posted By : Russell HillPosted In : Personal Injury

Have you been injured in an accident resulting from someone else’s negligence in Washington State? If so, contact a personal injury attorney. You may be eligible to recover compensation for such losses as your medical bills, lost wages, and even certain non-economic damages, such as the pain you may have endured as a result of your injuries.

A personal injury lawyer can assist you in many ways when pursuing compensation in these circumstances. Specifically, a lawyer can help you optimize your chances of recovering the full amount of compensation for which you may be eligible. They can’t promise you will recover a specific sum, but they can account for your various losses to indicate why you may deserve more compensation than the insurance companies might initially offer.

They can also defend against false claims that you contributed to your injuries. Due to Washington State’s “contributory fault” laws, that’s very important.

Contributory Fault in Washington State: Essential Information

There are instances when a person is injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, but it could be argued that their injuries would have been less severe had they not been negligent themselves in some capacity.

For example, maybe a pedestrian is struck by a speeding and drunk driver while crossing the street. Naturally, the assumption would be that the driver is the negligent party responsible for compensating the victim in these circumstances.

However, perhaps footage from a nearby security camera shows that while the victim was crossing the street, they had their headphones in and they were looking down at their phone. As a result, they were unable to see the vehicle approaching them.

In this scenario, an insurance company might argue that the victim is partially at fault for being harmed. Thus, the amount of compensation they may collect should be reduced accordingly.

Washington State, like many other states, has a contributory fault law. According to this law, the degree to which a victim contributed to their own injuries must be accounted for when determining how much compensation they may collect. For example, perhaps you have been injured and would normally be eligible to recover $10,000 in compensation. However, it might be found that because you were slightly negligent yourself, you were 20% to blame for the harm that befell you. Because of this, you may only be eligible to recover a maximum of $8,000.

There are instances when victims have genuinely played a role in the seriousness of their injuries and accidents. However, sometimes insurance companies attempt to argue that victims are partially to blame for what happened to them when this is not necessarily the case.

An insurance company may employ this tactic in an attempt to minimize the amount of money you end up settling for. If the insurance company is claiming you were negligent when this is not genuinely the case, our personal injury attorneys at Russell & Hill, PLLC, are on hand to counter these false assertions. Learn more about how we can help you pursue the compensation you may be owed by calling us at 800-529-0842 to schedule your free consultation.

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