No one intends to be in a car accident or to slip-and-fall at the grocery store or be the patient whose doctor makes a grave mistake.
Your very first step, in any of these scenarios, is to promptly seek medical attention. This is true even if you don’t think it’s all that serious. Latent injuries or illnesses could have serious consequences if not promptly identified and treated.
Your very next step should be to seek advice from a Tacoma personal injury lawyer.
Effective legal representation often starts with early involvement, allowing us to ensure crucial evidence is preserved, important questions are asked and necessary information is collected.
Common Personal Injury Claims
Many types of accidents can result in serious injuries or even death. These range from auto accidents to dog bites to medical malpractice. Having an injury attorney who knows the law and how best to approach these cases will maximize your chances of recovering damages.
Crash-related injuries are a top source of many personal injury and wrongful death claims. However, even these cases aren’t always as simple as they might seem at first blush. For instance, if your collision involved a tractor-trailer, the claim is automatically going to be more complex. There are likely to be more defendants. Plus, the operation of big rigs falls under the purview of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which necessitates review of federal regulations. Finally, truck accidents also tend to be very serious, meaning the stakes are much higher, and defendants invest more in fighting back.
Other common injury cases are bicycle accidents. Here in Tacoma and Seattle, we have seen a dramatic spike in the popularity of bicycling for work commute, recreation and sport. In turn, we have seen more bicycle accidents resulting in injury. Similarly, as more people are recognizing the benefits of walking, Washington pedestrian accidents are a serious problem. The good news is more communities are prioritizing “Complete Streets” approaches to protect vulnerable road users with better infrastructure and improved safety laws. Still, these incidents are far from elimination.
The Washington Traffic Safety Commission reports driver behavior is responsible for most motor vehicle crashes. In fact, 72 percent of all fatal car accidents in Washington State can be attributed to driver impairment, speed and/or run-off-the-road collisions.
Another common type of personal injury claim arises when property owners (particularly businesses and landlords) fail to ensure their sites are safe for invitees, or that those welcomed are made aware of non-obvious dangers. Potential premises liability claims may include slip-and-fall, negligent security, dog bites or some defective condition that posed a danger to those who entered.
In these cases, we must show the tortfeasor (wrongdoer) was negligent. That means showing:
- Defendant owed a duty of care to you;
- That duty of care was breached;
- This breach of duty proximately (directly) caused your injuries.
Finally, medical malpractice is another common source of litigation. These cases are inherently complex, adhering to a different standard of proof than general negligence lawsuits and requiring expert witness testimony to prevail. In these cases, per RCW 7.70.150 , we must show the health care professional in question violated the accepted standard of care. These matters must be thoroughly researched before claims are filed, and there must be a timely submission of a certificate of merit by a qualified expert witness. Tacoma medical malpractice claims may include:
- Missed diagnosis;
- Negligence affecting pregnancy and child birth/ Birth injuries;
- Errors in prescribing or administering medication;
- Surgical errors.
If you have encountered any of these scenarios and need help recovering compensation, Tacoma injury attorney Christopher L. Thompson is available to answer your questions, help you explore your legal options and formulate a successful legal strategy.
Contact Tacoma personal injury law firm CLT & Associates at (425) 553-8708 or by sending us an email.
Serving Tacoma, Seattle, Kirkland, Bellevue, Redmond, Puyallup and Gig Harbor