Attorney Kevin Staples represents people throughout Southwest Washington who have suffered serious personal injury due to the negligence of another, such as in an automobile accident or other motor vehicle collision, or in cases of premises liability.
The law imposes a duty on people to act with reasonable care in regards to each other. When a breach of that duty causes injury to another, the law imposes liability on the negligent actor, who is required to compensate the injured person for the harm caused, including for property damage, present and future medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
If you are in an automobile accident, you are entitled to recover against the driver who caused the accident. Even if you were partially at fault, you may still be entitled to a recovery. Washington follows a doctrine of pure comparative negligence, meaning that your recovery will be offset by the amount you were at fault, but your ability to file a lawsuit is not impaired. Even if you were more than fifty percent at fault, you can still recover for that portion of liability that the other driver is responsible for.
When injured in a motor vehicle accident, the negligent driver’s liability insurance should compensate you for your injuries. In Washington State, all drivers are required to carry liability insurance with minimum limits of up to $25,000 in medical expenses for personal injury to one person, up to $50,000 for all persons injured in the accident, and up to $10,000 for property damage. To avoid personal liability for costs over these limits, many drivers will carry more insurance than the mandatory minimums. Other drivers, however, may not carry any insurance at all, despite the legal requirement. In these cases, if you are carrying uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, your own insurance company will compensate you.
Whether dealing with another driver’s insurance company or your own, the insurance company is financially motivated to pay as little as possible, or to deny the claim altogether if it can. When facing an experienced trial attorney, the insurance company is much more likely to settle for an amount that fairly compensates you for your injuries.
Premises liability encompasses the field of negligence when an injury occurs on the property of another. From slips and falls to dog bites, property owners are under a duty to maintain their property in a reasonably safe manner to prevent accidents or injuries to others. This duty includes inspecting the property and making any necessary repairs or providing adequate warnings. Common instances of premises liability include:
- Slippery surfaces from spills that have not been cleaned up
- Sidewalks that are icy, obstructed, or contain broken or uneven pavement
- Loose carpet
- Inadequate lighting in parking lots
- Small steps that are not marked or highly visible
If you have been injured due to the negligence of another, whether due to unsafe premises or in a car, motorcycle, truck, or boating accident, you should seek the advice of an experienced lawyer as soon as possible to protect your rights. An attorney can ensure you receive the proper care and treatment for your injuries while working to preserve evidence and make sure that important legal deadlines are not missed. If you have any questions regarding your personal injury claim, do not hesitate to contact Kevin Staples for a free consultation.