Will My Kent Personal Injury Case Go to Trial?Request Free Consultation
All injuries are sudden, painful, and traumatic, but an injury is especially distressing when it was the fault of someone else who acted in a negligent, careless, or reckless manner. A personal injury claim ensures that the at-fault party is held accountable and pays for the damages. “Damages” in a Washington personal injury case refers to the economic consequences of an injury as well as the pain and suffering it causes. Compensation for damages typically comes through a payout from the appropriate insurance company. For example, an auto insurance personal injury protection (PIP) plan for a car accident injury or property insurance liability for a dog bite.
The majority of personal injury cases in Kent settle out of court—particularly when an experienced attorney gathers evidence of liability and carefully calculates damages to present to the insurance company. Only in about 5% of cases does the claim proceed to a lawsuit rather than ending in a settlement.
How Do You Get an Insurance Company to Offer a Settlement in a Kent Personal Injury Claim?
A Kent personal injury lawyer investigates the circumstances of the injury’s occurrence and documents evidence from eyewitness testimony, photos and videos, accident reconstruction experts, and your medical report to present to the insurance company of the at-fault party. In nearly 95% of cases, the insurance company negotiates with the attorney and offers an ample settlement for damages. A Kent personal injury attorney with a good track record of success will only take a fee for their legal counsel after they secure your settlement. Only if an insurance company lowballs the claim or denies a valid claim does the case proceed to a lawsuit as long as it’s filed within the state’s statute of limitations.
What is Washington’s Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Lawsuits?
Like all states, Washington places a time limit on how long after an injury occurs the injury victim may file a lawsuit. This statute of limitations ensures the evidence remains available when a case comes to court. Washington’s statute of limitations is three years from the date of the injury. The only exceptions are if the injury victim discovers the injury sometime later, in which case it’s three years from the date of discovery, or if the injury occurs to a minor who has up to three years after their 18th birthday to file a claim.
What Happens if We Go to Trial for a Personal Injury Case in Kent?
Insurance companies sometimes refuse to offer adequate settlements to protect profits or to deter similar claims. They may decide it’s worth a trial to attempt to avoid a large payout. If you and your Kent personal injury attorney decide that there’s sufficient evidence of the at-fault party’s negligence and your damages amount to more than enough to cover court costs and your attorney’s fee and still provide ample compensation for your damages, they’ll file a lawsuit in your jurisdiction.
A discovery period takes place with both parties exchanging evidence requests. Once the case goes to trial, both sides argue their side to a jury. Because Washington is a comparative negligence state, you may recover a portion of your damages even if a jury finds you partly at fault for the injury. Your percentage of fault is subtracted from your jury award for compensation. If the other party was entirely at fault for your injury, and your skilled personal injury attorney provides compelling evidence, you’ll receive a positive jury verdict.
What Compensation for Damages Can I Get From My Personal Injury Lawsuit in Kent?
Settlements and jury awards for damages in a personal injury case typically provide compensation for the following damages:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning capacity for disability
- Pain and suffering and any other non-economic damages that apply in your case like disfigurement compensation or emotional trauma
When someone neglects their duty of care to prevent injury to others, and the result is a serious injury, the injury victim has a right to pursue compensation for damages even if it requires a lawsuit.