Washington’s Comparative Negligence Laws

When discussing legal matters, the term “negligence” frequently comes up. In simple terms, negligence refers to the failure to exercise the care that a reasonably prudent person would exercise in similar circumstances. It is a fundamental concept in tort law, allowing individuals who have suffered harm due to another’s lack of care to seek compensation.

Understanding the specifics of negligence is crucial, especially regarding how fault and damages are determined. This is where the concept of comparative negligence comes into play. Comparative negligence is a legal doctrine that allocates fault among parties involved in an accident or injury. Different states have adopted various forms of this doctrine, and it is essential to understand how your state handles negligence claims to protect your rights and interests.

Definition of Negligence

Negligence is a legal concept that forms the basis for many personal injury claims. It occurs when someone fails to exercise the level of care that a reasonably prudent person would in similar circumstances, resulting in harm to another person. To establish negligence, four elements must be proven:

  • Duty: The defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff.
  • Breach: The defendant breached that duty by acting or failing to act.
  • Causation: The breach of duty caused the plaintiff’s injury.
  • Damages: The plaintiff suffered actual damages or losses as a result.

Explanation of Comparative Negligence

In Washington State, the concept of comparative negligence is particularly significant. Washington follows the “pure comparative negligence” rule, which means that even if you are partially at fault for an accident, you can still recover damages. However, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault. This system aims to ensure a fairer distribution of liability and allows for a more nuanced approach to personal injury claims.

Under the comparative negligence system, the court determines the percentage of fault attributable to each party. The damages awarded to the plaintiff are then reduced by their percentage of fault. For example, if the plaintiff is found to be 20% at fault for an accident and the total damages are $100,000, the plaintiff would receive $80,000.

Importance of Legal Representation

Navigating a comparative negligence claim can be complex, and having skilled legal representation is crucial. Here’s why getting in touch with Brumley Law Firm at your earliest opportunity is important:

  • Expertise: An experienced Kent personal injury attorney understands the intricacies of comparative negligence laws and can help build a strong case by gathering and presenting evidence effectively.
  • Negotiation Skills: Attorneys are skilled negotiators who can engage with insurance companies to secure a fair settlement and ensure you are not taken advantage of during the claims process.
  • Legal Procedures: A lawyer will handle all legal filings, court appearances, and procedural requirements, allowing you to focus on recovery.
  • Maximizing Compensation: Attorneys can accurately calculate the full extent of your damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, to ensure you receive the maximum compensation possible.

Call Brumley Law Firm Today

With the right legal support, you can confidently pursue the compensation you deserve, even if you were partially at fault. Contact Brumley Law Firm at (833) 832-2727 or via our online contact form to discuss your case and find out how we can assist you.