Your brain is the most important part of your body. It’s what keeps you alive, makes your organs function, lets you feel emotions, and helps you do your job. So, what happens when your brain is injured in an accident?
Put simply, your life can turn upside-down after a brain injury. You may be unable to work or even care for yourself. You may have memory loss. Your medical bills may shoot through the roof. Your future will begin to feel bleak.
Fortunately, you may have legal options that can help you get your life back. A Seattle brain injury lawyer can help you seek compensation from the person who caused your brain injury. Thanks to the provisions of the Revised Code of Washington, Section 4.22.070, you can sue for your brain injury if someone else was at least partly at fault.
If you are one of the countless Washington state residents who suffers a brain injury from a car accident, fall, or other leading cause of brain injuries every year, read on or contact Will & Will to learn more about your legal options.
Attorneys Michelle and Court Will, of Will & Will, can give you peace of mind as you work to get your life back under control after a brain injury. We are experienced traumatic brain injury attorneys who know Washington state personal injury law and how to help you recover the compensation you deserve. We put our more than 35 years of combined legal experience to work for you and work tirelessly to help you win.
After a car accident, slip-and-fall incident, or other accident that causes a brain injury and might involve an insurance company, you may get a quick settlement offer. No one but your lawyer can tell you for certain whether you should take it. However, you need to keep in mind that this is a common insurance company tactic.
Insurers sometimes send a quick settlement offer that is actually worth less than you deserve. They hope you will take it because you need the money and do not realize that you could actually get more. In most cases, it’s best to talk to a brain injury lawyer about whether you should take an insurance settlement offer for a head injury.
Whether you can sue for a brain injury will depend on a number of factors. The first and most important factor is whether someone else was at fault because of their own negligence. This person might be the other driver in a car accident, a homeowner in a slip-and-fall accident, or a manufacturer if your brain injury was caused by a defective product. You must also be able to show that your injury caused real losses, such as financial costs or damage to your quality of life.
You have a deadline to file your lawsuit after a brain injury. It’s called the statute of limitations. If you miss this deadline, you may be unable to recover personal injury compensation for your brain injury.
In Washington state, the statute of limitations for brain injuries is three years from the date of the accident. A traumatic brain injury attorney can help you make sure you file everything on time.
If you hope to recover compensation for your brain injury, you need to be careful after the accident. Saying or doing the wrong thing can hurt your chance of success. First, you need to seek medical care. Even if you feel okay, a doctor can give you appropriate treatment and make sure your health isn’t in further danger. Seeing a doctor will also create a medical record of your brain injury that you can use in your brain injury lawsuit later on.
You also need to be careful when talking about your accident. Whether you’re speaking with an insurer, police, the at-fault party, or even someone you know, saying the wrong thing can wreck your chance of recovering full compensation. A lawyer can help you understand what you should and shouldn’t do after your accident.
Recovering compensation through a traumatic head injury lawsuit is all about fault due to negligence. Who is at fault will determine who must compensate you and how much they have to pay. The evidence will determine who is at fault. Police reports, witness statements, traffic cameras, medical records, photos and videos, and expert testimony can all act as evidence in your lawsuit.
Even if you are partially at fault for the accident that caused your concussion or other brain injuries, you may still be able to recover compensation. If someone else was also partially at fault, they may be forced to compensate you.
This is thanks to Washington state’s comparative fault law, which states that your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault you are found to hold. For example, if you suffered a brain injury in a car accident, you might be owed $100,000. If you were speeding before the crash, you might hold 10 percent of the fault, meaning you would only get $90,000 from the at-fault party who ran a red light and T-boned you.
If the person who hurt you doesn’t have applicable insurance, you can still recover compensation in a few ways. You may be able to sue the at-fault party directly. Also, if your brain injury was from a car accident, you may have an uninsured or underinsured motorist policy that will compensate you when the other party doesn’t have insurance.
In Washington state, most workplace injuries are covered under workers’ compensation benefits. That means you may not be able to sue your employer for a brain injury that happened at work. However, in certain cases, you may be able to sue for compensation outside of the workers’ comp system. For example, if someone other than your employer, such as a third-party contractor, caused your injury, you may be able to sue them.
When a brain injury becomes fatal, it may result in a wrongful death lawsuit. Loved ones can sue at-fault parties for wrongful death. That means you may be able to recover personal injury compensation for the death of your loved one due to a brain injury.
For your lawsuit to be successful, you will need to have evidence to support your claims. This evidence can look a lot of different ways, but the following are some common types of evidence that prove helpful in these cases:
You may be able to recover compensation for nearly any type of harm you suffered because of a brain injury that was someone else’s fault. Depending on your situation, you may be able to seek compensation for the following, among other damages:
A brain injury lawyer in Seattle can help you calculate the total cost of your medical treatment — including expected future medical treatment — so that you can seek compensation for it in your brain injury claim.
If you are suing someone for a brain injury, you can expect them to put up a fight. After all, they don’t want to have to shell out thousands of dollars no matter how much you deserve it. Most often, they will try to make it seem like your head injury was your fault. By doing this, they can reduce the amount of compensation they owe you. They may claim that you were driving recklessly before a vehicle accident, for example.
In other cases, the other side may try to claim that you are lying about your injuries. For instance, they may acknowledge that they caused the accident but say your injury was actually the result of another event.
Many brain injury claims do not actually end up in court. If you and your traumatic brain injury attorney can convince the other side to offer an acceptable settlement, you may not have to go to court at all. However, if they won’t cooperate, you may have to take them to court to get the compensation you’re owed. Your lawyer can help you understand your likelihood of going to court and what to expect in the court process.
Yes. This is both a safety concern and a smart move for your possible brain injury lawsuit. Brain injuries sometimes do not show symptoms for days or weeks, so it’s best to go to a doctor to get checked out. As an added bonus, getting a brain injury diagnosis creates a medical record of your injury that can be strong evidence in your lawsuit.
Both short-term and long-term memory loss are common after traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). And in most cases, you can sue for them if the accident that caused them was someone else’s fault. This is because memory loss can cause severe mental and financial harm in your life. For that, you deserve compensation.
The best Seattle brain injury lawyers will work on contingency. This means they will cost you nothing unless they win your brain injury lawsuit. If they do win, you will pay them a percentage of the compensation you recover. This percentage will be discussed and agreed upon beforehand in writing.
You don’t have to have a brain injury lawyer to file a lawsuit, but having one can be extremely helpful. First, consider the pain you are in because of your brain injury. Will you be able to gather evidence, complete mountains of legal paperwork, and build an effective legal case while you are suffering like this? The answer is likely no, but a lawyer can do all of that for you.
The other way in which a good traumatic brain injury attorney can help you is by applying in-depth legal experience and knowledge to your case. Lawyers have to know Washington state law inside and out. That means they will know how to build a case that gives you the best possible chance of recovering maximum compensation for your brain injury.
We’ll keep this answer simple: Yes, you need an attorney if you want to maximize your recovery. It’s just one of those things that is best left to the experts.
This question will get you a very lawyer-like answer: it depends. We need to know a lot more about your injury and get deep into the case before we can fully answer this question.
The word “win” also means different things to different people. For instance, if an insurance adjustor offers you $500 to settle your case and then after we get involved the offer goes up to $20,000, many people would consider that a win. In some cases, we would agree with this. In others, we may believe that more money is deserved and will urge you to keep fighting.
What we can tell you is this. We will put you in the best position to maximize your recovery, whether that is through a settlement or trial.
The two primary types of damages that can be recovered are economic/special damages, and non-economic/general damages.
Economic damages are for out-of-pocket costs that are incurred due to the injury. For example:
General damages are for other harms that you have suffered but are more difficult to calculate, such as:
It’s not uncommon for injury victims to be partially at fault for an accident. This does not mean you are completely responsible and you very well may still be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Washington State uses a “pure comparative negligence” calculation, where the amount of money you recover gets reduced by the percentage you are considered to be at fault. For example, Let’s say you recover $100,000 but are determined to be 25% at fault, your total recovery would then be $75,000.