If another person’s negligence or carelessness caused your injuries in an accident, you should contact the Yakima personal injury attorneys of Tamaki Law immediately. You need an experienced and dedicated legal team in your corner to protect your rights and be your advocate during this challenging time in your life.
Anyone could suffer an injury at any time. Whether you’re at the grocery store, on vacation, or driving your car to work, it’s always when you least expect it. When you’re involved in an accident, it can upend your life and cause emotional trauma and long-term medical problems. You might not be able to afford your medical bills and could end up facing massive debt.
You shouldn’t have to suffer the financial consequences of someone else’s actions. They should be held liable for what they’ve done and compensate you for the trauma you experienced. At Tamaki Law, our personal injury attorneys in Yakima have over 100 years of combined experience helping clients recover after an accident. We will fight hard to reach a favorable outcome in your case.
Why Hire Tamaki Law?
It’s a scary and stressful experience when an accident occurs. Dealing with insurance companies, spending time away from work to attend doctor’s appointments, and completing confusing paperwork can become overwhelming. You might also encounter obstacles you don’t know how to overcome. Even the smallest mistake during an insurance claim or lawsuit can leave you with minimal compensation or none at all.
That’s why it’s critical that you contact Tamaki Law immediately following the accident. Our Yakima personal injury lawyers can take on the responsibility for your case so you can focus on healing. We will provide the personalized one-on-one attention you need to get through this devastating time in your life.
We will need to consult with various experts to build a solid case and collect the necessary evidence to prove someone else was at fault for your injuries. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, these experts might include:
- Car crash reconstructionists
- Vocational specialists
- Maintenance specialists
- Orthopedic surgeons, neurologists, and other healthcare professionals
- First responders
- Forensic toxicologists
Our legal team will exhaust all available resources to pursue the maximum possible compensation from the at-fault party for you. You deserve the full amount owed to you so you can afford your medical treatment and other expenses. We will not rest until we hold the negligent individual or company accountable for their wrongdoing.
You’re likely facing an uphill battle after a catastrophic injury leaves you in pain, out of work, and struggling to afford your bills. You deserve the opportunity to hold the negligent party liable and recover the compensation necessary to put you on the path to recovery. Do not hesitate to contact Tamaki Law so we can start working on your personal injury case.
Common Causes of Personal Injury Accidents
Personal injury involves any type of incident where someone’s negligent action or omission causes another person’s injury or death. Each case is unique and could result in financial recovery from an individual, a business, or more than one party. The reason these accidents happen depends on the particular circumstances involved.
Motor Vehicle Accidents – Car accidents are often due to driver inattention or error. Operating a motor vehicle requires that a motorist focus on the road ahead and obey all traffic laws. Car drivers, motorcycle riders, bicyclists, and pedestrians could become involved in an accident if a driver becomes distracted or behaves recklessly. The most common causes of car crashes are:
- Unsafe lane changes
- Running a red light or stop sign
- Distracted driving
Trucking Accidents – Commercial truck drivers are highly trained and experienced in operating large vehicles, such as tractor-trailers. They must know how the truck works and what to do if they encounter adverse conditions. Unfortunately, accidents occur because of the trucker or trucking company’s negligent actions, such as:
- Improperly loaded or overloaded cargo
- Failing to perform background checks on new drivers
- Taking a turn too fast
- Sudden or incorrect braking
- Lack of maintenance and repairs on the vehicle
Sex Abuse and Assault – Sexual assault and abuse can cause not only physical injuries but also emotional or psychological trauma. Survivors typically endure years of feeling ashamed or guilty about what happened to them. There isn’t one specific reason why sexual abuse and assault happen, but victims may have certain risk factors in common, such as:
- Unstable home environment
- Physical or mental disability
- Prior instances of domestic violence
- Young children with limited or no supervision
Medical Malpractice – Errors made by doctors, nurses, and other medical providers can result in injury or death to a patient. The most common reasons for medical malpractice are:
- Inadequate pre or post-operative care
- Prescribing the incorrect medication
- Delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis
- Using unsterilized medical equipment
- Surgical errors
Construction Site Injuries – Construction workers encounter dangerous conditions at the job site often. Careless employee actions and construction company negligence can cause severe injuries and fatalities. OSHA’s statistics showed 5,333 job-related deaths in 2019. The most common causes of these accidents include:
- Lack of fall protection
- Exposure to toxic substances
- Faulty machinery
- Inadequate safety gear
- Improper training and supervision
Premises Liability – Commercial and residential property owners owe guests a certain standard of care that should prevent accidents. Unfortunately, various scenarios can lead to injuries, such as:
- Slippery or wet floors
- Inadequate lighting
- Malfunctioning elevators or escalators
- Faulty electrical wiring
- Lack of warning signs near hazards
Civil Rights – United States citizens have specific civil rights under the constitution. There are laws in place that protect people from harassment, discrimination, and other violations. Unfortunately, there are times when individuals, companies, and even the police will violate a person’s rights. Common examples include:
- Illegal search and seizure
- Workplace discrimination
- Nursing home abuse
- Police brutality
- Government official misconduct
Dog Bite or Attack – Dog owners can be held liable for injuries their dog causes to a person that is lawfully on private or public property. Sometimes dogs attack when they feel threatened or territorial. Factors that can contribute to dog bites and attacks are:
- An unleashed dog roaming free
- Dangerous breeds
- Vulnerable children in the vicinity of the dog
Bad Faith Insurance Claims – Dealing with an insurance company following an accident can be challenging. Their goal is to save money and avoid large settlement payouts. They will likely look for reasons to deny a person’s claim. However, there are times when they act in bad faith and violate the Washington Insurance Fair Conduct Act. Common examples of violations are:
- Unreasonably denying a claim
- Misrepresenting provisions in the policy
- Inadequately investigating the accident
- Failing to acknowledge receipt of the filed claim
Lawsuits Against the Government – Governmental agencies and employees can cause injuries due to negligence. Suing the government requires following specific laws and procedures. Common reasons for bringing personal injury cases against government entities are:
- Poorly maintained roadways
- An accident involving a negligent bus driver
- Injury from hazardous conditions at a post office or other facility
Wrongful Death – When a person’s death results from another party’s default, neglect, or wrongful act, surviving family members can pursue a lawsuit to compensate for the losses suffered by the deceased’s estate. Common causes of wrongful death include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Occupational hazards
- Nursing home negligence
- Defective products
Tamaki Law is ready to take on the at-fault party and hold them accountable for the suffering they caused. Don’t wait too long before contacting us. Our Yakima personal injury attorneys need to investigate the accident immediately to secure crucial evidence that could go missing or become damaged if too much time passes.
Common Injuries Associated with Personal Injury Accidents
Different injuries can occur depending on the circumstances of the accident. Some scenarios cause permanent disability, while others may only result in minor cuts and bruises.
The most common injuries include:
- Loss of limb
- Traumatic brain injury
- Broken bones
- Back and neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal damage
- Permanent impairment or disability
- Psychological trauma
The cost of medical treatment can lead to financial strain. If you can’t afford your bills, you might wonder how you’re ever going to recover. You shouldn’t be responsible for these expenses. Tamaki Law is ready to help you pursue compensation from the at-fault party, so none of these accident-related costs become your burden.
What You Should Do After an Accident
At Tamaki Law, we understand the importance of taking immediate action following an accident in which you were injured. Every second counts when you’re up against strict deadlines. Even if your injury is minor, you should still follow the steps below to protect your rights just in case you decide you want to pursue compensation.
Go to the hospital or your doctor after leaving the accident scene. It’s vital that you don’t wait too long before seeking initial medical care. Insurance companies can use a gap in treatment as evidence that your injury doesn’t exist or isn’t serious enough to justify a significant settlement payout.
Once you undergo a complete evaluation of your injuries, follow up with all recommended physicians. You might need physical therapy, rehabilitation, or prescription medications. Attend all of your doctor’s appointments until you heal, or they inform you that you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI).
MMI refers to a plateau in recovery. It means your condition isn’t likely to improve with further medical intervention. At that point in a personal injury case, it usually indicates that it’s time to request all copies of the accident victim’s medical records and submit the necessary evidence to the insurance company for review.
Besides seeking medical treatment, you should also hire a Yakima personal injury attorney. You shouldn’t attempt to handle your case by yourself. The insurance company might use tactics to trick you into signing away your rights to the maximum available settlement or intimidate you into accepting a lowball offer. You’re also likely to encounter roadblocks that you don’t know how to handle.
Tamaki Law is familiar with state laws and the procedures we need to follow to secure financial compensation for our clients. We can complete all the necessary paperwork, collect evidence, communicate with the insurance company, and handle all other legal aspects of your personal injury case. You won’t have to worry about any of these responsibilities when you have us on your side.
It would also be helpful if you maintain all documentation associated with your case. That means keeping copies of your medical records, prescriptions, billing statements, insurance company letters, and anything else you receive regarding the accident. Forward them to us, and we’ll review everything to determine whether we can use it as proof that someone else caused your injuries.
Specific actions could sabotage your case. If you do or say the wrong thing, you could end up with a denied insurance claim or much less compensation than you need. At Tamaki Law, we want to prepare our clients for all possible scenarios, so you know what to avoid while we’re working on your personal injury case.
Don’t exaggerate the severity of your injuries. If you lie to the insurance company about your injury and they find out, they could deny your claim altogether. Even worse, you could face insurance fraud charges. Always tell the truth about what happened, especially when you’re talking to expert witnesses or answering questions under oath.
Don’t speak to the insurance adjuster. The at-fault party’s insurance company’s agent will likely try to talk to you about the accident. Although it might seem like an innocent conversation, their job is to fish for incriminating information or evidence that they can use to shift liability from their policyholder to you or someone else. Give them our contact information so we can communicate with them on your behalf.
Don’t post anything on social media. Most people don’t realize that insurance companies and defense attorneys will scroll through the accident victim’s social media accounts for evidence that works in their favor. You might feel tempted to discuss what happened with other people, but the defense attorney could use what you say against you. It would be best for you to avoid using Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms until we resolve your case.
Don’t sign anything you receive from the at-fault party’s insurance carrier. They typically send forms for the claimant to complete and send back. However, the language can be confusing and even deceptive. If you don’t understand what you’re signing, you could inadvertently waive your rights to hold the negligent party liable for your injuries. If you receive any documents, forward them to us before you sign so we can review them.
Possible Compensation You Could Pursue After an Accident
If you suffered injuries in an accident, you probably suffered various losses. You might be entitled to compensation for these losses when you file an insurance claim or lawsuit.
Examples of recoverable losses include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Property damage
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Loss of consortium
Our Yakima personal injury attorneys can review your total losses and other contributing factors to calculate the monetary value of your case. We will work hard to try to recover the money you’re owed so you can adequately cover your past and future accident-related losses.
Without their hard work, I would have been completely taken advantage of by the insurance company. – Kelcy
Personal Injury Laws in Washington
If you want to sue someone for the injuries you suffered in an accident, you must follow the statute of limitations for personal injury cases. Generally, Washington enforces a three-year statute of limitations. That means you must file your lawsuit within three years of the date of the accident if you want to pursue compensation. After this deadline passes, you could lose your right to hold the at-fault party liable in court.
Washington’s pure comparative fault doctrine could diminish your financial award if you share any responsibility for the accident. During a lawsuit, the jury will assign a percentage of fault to each party. If they determine that your actions partially contributed to your injuries, they can reduce your monetary losses by the percentage they assign.
For example, if your total losses equal $100,000 but you were 20 percent at fault for the accident, you could only seek up to $80,000 in compensation. There is no bar to recovery based on your percentage of shared fault. Even if you’re 90 percent liable for your injuries, you could still pursue compensation. However, the total amount of compensation you could receive would be reduced by 90 percent.
Personal Injury Frequently Asked Questions
Tamaki Law wants to prepare you for the legal road ahead. We have answered some of the most common questions people ask us following an accident. Although this information can be helpful, it doesn’t provide a comprehensive overview of all personal injury cases. You should contact us to discuss the specifics of your situation, so we can provide the guidance you need.
Accident victims worry about the cost of hiring a lawyer to represent them. When you’re already paying for your medical treatment, you don’t want to face additional financial strain. Tamaki Law understands this, which is why we take most personal injury cases on contingency. That means there are no upfront fees or costs. We don’t get paid unless you get paid.
You might be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault party. Only specific individuals can initiate this type of case:
- The personal representative of the deceased’s estate;
- Surviving spouse or domestic partner;
- Surviving child or stepchild;
- Surviving parents; or
- Surviving siblings.
If you want to seek compensation, you must file the lawsuit within three years of the date your loved one died.
We can’t guarantee an outcome in any personal injury case. However, we can estimate the compensation you should receive based on multiple factors, such as the severity of the injury, the total cost of medical treatment, and other details. We will do our best to secure the maximum available insurance settlement or favorable jury verdict to compensate you for your total losses.
Tamaki Law has been fighting on behalf of our clients since 1994. We believe in holding people and companies accountable for their careless and negligent behavior. You suffered enough because of another person’s misconduct and deserve the opportunity to obtain a full and fair settlement or face the wrongdoer in court.
We advocate for the rights of our clients and aggressively seek the maximum compensation necessary to heal. You won’t be alone as we’re building your case and finding a way to achieve your legal goals.