Seattle Accident Attorney FAQS
What is comparative fault?
Comparative fault, also known as comparative responsibility, is a principle of tort law that examines each party’s fault within a lawsuit. It then divides the fault between the plaintiff and the defendant by a percentage, and the plaintiff is only awarded the money that he is entitled to. For example, if there was a car accident and the plaintiff suffered injuries, but both parties were at fault, with the defendant being more at fault, then the plaintiff can only recover a portion of his/her damages. If the plaintiff was 25% at fault, and the defendant was 75% at fault, then the plaintiff would be awarded 75% of the provable damages.
How is the amount of damages determined?
The person who is injured will be able to recover the sum of their damages from the individual who was at fault. The individual at fault is known as the tortfeasor. The damages incurred can include economic damages, such as lost wages, counseling services, and medical bills. They can also include the non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of activities. Non-economic damages and their values are determined by the trier of fact, which may be a judge in a bench trial, an arbitrator in an arbitration, or a jury in a jury trial. The trier of fact may rely on admissible evidence from expert and lay witnesses and may be guided by the arguments of the attorneys. Considerations in determining the value of non-economic damages might include the type of injury, the length of recovery, the inconvenience, and the disability.
How much are your attorney fees for a tort case?
The initial consultation is free; if our firm agrees to represent you, payment for the attorney fees is contingent upon the outcome. In a contingency fee case, we only receive payment if and when you recover monies for any damages. Our fees will be an agreed upon percentage of your recovery.
Should You Sign A Release, A Medical Authorization, Or Any Other Forms For The Insurance Adjuster?
Do not sign any release, medical authorization, or any other forms without the advice of an attorney. This might include property damage releases, medical record authorizations, settlement releases, or other requests for information.
If You File A Personal Injury Claim, Will You Have To Go To Court?
Not necessarily. Filing a claim is not the same as filing a lawsuit. After filing a claim, most cases are settled before litigation. Litigation may become necessary if the insurer or defendant denies liability, or if the insurer or defendant offers you less than fair compensation for your damages. The decision to file a lawsuit will always be yours. In our experience, even in the cases where clients choose to file a lawsuit, settlements are often reached before trial. At Gosanko & O’Halloran, we prepare every case as if it is going to proceed to trial which allows us to achieve the best result for each client.
If You Don’t Feel Injured After An Automobile Accident, Do You Have To See A Doctor?
It is highly recommended that you and any passengers that were in the vehicle visit a doctor immediately, even if you feel fine right after the accident. The physician may be able to identify injuries that you may not know exist. Oftentimes, it may take several days or even weeks for you to feel the effects of your injuries. If you wait too long to see a doctor for your injuries, though, the insurance company may claim that your injuries were not a result of the collision.
What Types Of Claims Involve Premises Liability?
Premises liability involves many different types of claims, such as falls, or other injuries that occur on public land, a building, in an elevator, or on private land. Our firm represents those who have been injured in various premises, either public or private.
What Is A Product Liability Claim?
While the laws applicable to defective product cases vary there are three legal principles which are similar in almost all jurisdictions that can form a product liability case:
Defects in Manufacturing: In these injury claims, the injury happened as a direct result of any defect in manufacturing. If a person rides a bike and becomes injured because the frame was built with a crack in it, he could file an injury claim.
Defects in Design: These injury claims can be filed if there was a defect in the design of a product, such as a snow blower that was developed without a proper protection device built in, thus causing an injury while using the device.
Inadequate Warning Label: These injury claims can be filed if the consumer was not warned that a product could be potentially dangerous if not used properly. For example, no warning label on a medication about drug interactions or harmful side effects is failure to warn.