If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by someone else’s neglect in Kennewick, you may be able to obtain compensation for your injuries. The Kennewick personal injury attorneys at Tamaki Law specialize in all types of personal injury claims, from construction accidents to medical malpractice claims. If you’ve been injured or suffered losses at the hands of another individual or company, Tamaki Law can help you get compensation for those losses and get your life back on track. Call us toll-free today at (509) 783-8333 for a free consultation, and let us put our experience to work for you and your family.
What Is a Personal Injury Claim?
A personal injury claim is a request for compensation for physical or mental injuries incurred after an accident caused by another entity’s negligence. This entity can be a person, business, or group, and the types of injuries can range from whiplash after a minor car accident to wrongful death caused by a negligent doctor.
Personal injury cases are handled in civil rather than criminal court. Unlike criminal law, where the goal is to convict someone of a crime, civil law deals with disputes between individuals or groups where compensation for wrongs or negligence is the intended goal. Most personal injury cases deal solely with civil law, though in some cases, the responsible party in a personal injury case can be found criminally negligent, which may affect the outcome of the case.
The amount of compensation due to an accident victim in a personal injury claim varies widely and depends on the particular circumstances of their injury. Each personal injury claim is unique, and estimating the amount of compensation you could receive can be difficult.
Tamaki Law’s personal injury practice is extensive and includes the following areas of personal injury law:
If you or someone you love was injured in a traffic accident caused by the other driver’s negligence, you can receive compensation for your injuries.Read More
Being involved in a crash with a commercial truck can be devastating because of their size and weight when compared to other motor vehicles. It can be difficult to know who was at fault for the crash, as there are many possible liable parties.Read More
Although Washington is a bicycle friendly state, bicycle accident rates are increasing. If your bicycle accident was someone else's fault, you may be entitled to money from the at-fault party.Read More
If you're a motorcyclist, you already know that other drivers don't pay as much attention to your bike on the road as they do other vehicles. If you were seriously hurt in a crash, you may be eligible for compensation.Read More
When you're walking, whether across a parking lot, along a sidewalk in a neighborhood, or on a path in a public area, you're vulnerable to distracted drivers and others who may injure you through their recklessness.Read More
If someone you love died as the result of an accident that was someone else’s fault, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim for compensation.Read More
If a trusted doctor makes a mistake and causes a life-altering injury, you can file a personal injury claim for damages.
If you’re injured as a visitor to a construction site, you may have a valid personal injury claim. Additionally, if you’re a construction worker doing a job on a construction site and were injured, you may have a workers’ compensation claim.
If your rights have been infringed upon at work, at school, or by law enforcement, you may be able to sue for damages.
If you slip, fall, and injure yourself on someone else’s property and you can prove that your accident was due to the negligence of the property owner or landlord, you may be entitled to compensation.
If you’ve been sexually abused or assaulted, you can hold the responsible party liable for monetary compensation for your pain and suffering.
If you’ve been attacked or bitten by a dog in Kennewick, you can hold the owner responsible and seek compensation for your injuries.
If an employee of the government has made a mistake that caused you an injury, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the government entity involved.
Whether you need assistance with completing a complicated set of insurance claim forms or if you want to pursue an action for an unlawfully denied claim, Tamaki Law can help with that.
These are just a few of the areas of personal injury that our firm covers. If you’ve suffered any type of injury because of someone else’s negligence, chances are we can help you recover compensation.
Do I Need an Attorney for My Personal Injury Claim in Kennewick?
In most states, Washington included, filing a personal injury claim without an attorney is perfectly legal, but doing so without a lawyer may not be advisable. There are several reasons why hiring an attorney for your injury claim is a good idea, including the following:
- Knowledge and experience. Having a lawyer by your side can help make the process of filing a personal injury claim smoother and easier. An experienced personal injury attorney who is familiar with the claims process and Washington personal injury case law can help make sure your personal injury claim is complete, fact-based, and free of errors that might get it denied on a technicality. We know insurance company tactics, and that gives us the advantage.
- Carrying the burden. If you’ve just been injured in an accident due to another’s negligence, you have enough on your plate. Instead of recovering from your ordeal or tending to an injured family member, you’re left filling out insurance forms and dealing with insurance adjusters whose sole purpose is to find a reason to deny your claim for damages. When you hire an attorney, we will take the work of preparing and filing your claim off your shoulders, leaving you to the more important tasks of healing your injuries or spending time with family. We will deal with the insurance companies, prepare and submit a complete claim, and negotiate a settlement on your behalf.
- Reputation. Hiring a personal injury attorney sends a message to insurance companies that you’re serious about your claim. Reputation matters in personal injury law, and a demand letter from a personal injury firm like Tamaki Law carries more weight than a demand letter from an individual. Not only that, when you hire a lawyer, the cost-benefit calculation for an insurance company changes substantially. Without a lawyer, if the insurance company denies your claim or offers you a low settlement, you have little recourse. With a lawyer, you can file a lawsuit for damages in court, and the insurance company has to decide whether the threat of legal fees and court costs is worth the extra effort. When an insurance company sees our letterhead, they know that you mean business.
- Estimating damages. Coming up with the right amount of compensation to request can be a tricky affair. Though economic damages like medical bills or property damage are easy to tally, noneconomic damages like pain and suffering or mental anguish can be more difficult to estimate. An attorney with experience filing personal injury claims will help you accurately assess damages from an accident, material or otherwise, and can help you recover losses that you may not think of. We will use our experience to make sure you get the maximum amount of compensation possible.
- Get you more compensation. A study from Martindale-Nolo research from 2016 showed that having an attorney can do more than just make the process easier. It can mean the difference between walking away with a cash settlement or nothing at all. According to this survey, more than 90 percent of accident victims with legal representation received a settlement or award, compared with just over half of those that did not have legal representation. And the numbers get better after that: the average settlement amount for victims that didn’t have a lawyer was just under $18,000. The average settlement amount for those that did retain a lawyer? Just over $77,000. Having an experienced attorney pays off in the end.
Why Tamaki Law for My Accident in Kennewick?
Tamaki Law has the experience to handle your case. With over 100 years of combined legal experience among our attorneys, we’ve seen every type of personal injury case, and we know how to handle them in court. We will investigate, gather evidence and do the legwork to make sure your personal injury claim is handled with professionalism and integrity.
We don’t get paid unless you do. In most personal injury cases, Tamaki Law works on a contingency fee basis, meaning that we take our fee as a percentage of the amount you receive in compensation or damages. If we aren’t successful in getting you compensation for your injuries, you don’t pay a penny.
Tamaki Law believes in giving back to the community. We support many local organizations and charities through regular donations because we understand that a community is only as good as the people that support it. Here are a few of the groups that we are proud to support in Washington.
And most importantly, we get results. Tamaki Law has helped our clients obtain hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation since 1994. We have a proven track record of success that we can put to work for you and your family. Though we can’t guarantee a positive outcome for your personal injury claim, we can guarantee that we will use all our resources to help you get your life back on track and recover peace of mind.
Without their hard work, I would have been completely taken advantage of by the insurance company. – Kelcy
What Kind of Damages Are Available for Personal Injury Claims?
The amount of compensation or damages available to an accident victim depends greatly on the severity of the injury and the circumstances surrounding the accident that caused it. Generally, the more severe the injury, the more compensation you may be able to obtain. There are exceptions. For example, if you suffered a minor injury in an accident with a truck, but that minor injury keeps you from returning to work and providing for your family, even though the injury was not severe, the monetary losses suffered may be extreme, and this would factor into the amount of compensation you and your attorney decide to seek.
There are two types of damages you can obtain through a personal injury claim, compensatory and punitive. Compensatory damages are designed to make up for certain losses suffered at the hands of another person or entity. These damages can cover many types of losses, including the following:
If you are the sole provider for your family, and you are injured and can’t return to work, your entire family suffers. Compensation for lost wages is designed to make up for any lost time at work for you or anyone else in your family that has to take time off to care for an accident victim.
Medical bills are usually the largest material loss suffered after an accident that caused a debilitating injury. Compensation for losses due to medical bills can cover hospital stays, ER visits, medication, treatment, rehabilitation, or emergency transport.
If you’ve been in a car or truck accident, your vehicle may need extensive repairs or be totaled altogether. Compensation for property damage is designed to cover this type of material loss.
Losses like mental anguish or pain and suffering can be hard to quantify at first glance, but your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Vigorously seeking compensation for your lost peace of mind should be just as important as paying for hospital stays. Your attorney will know how to assess the value of these types of losses.
If the worst should happen, your family, loved ones, or anyone that was financially dependent on the accident victim can seek compensation for their loss.
Washington joins Louisiana, Nebraska, and Puerto Rico as one of the few states and territories that does not allow punitive damages in personal injury cases. Punitive damages are different from compensatory damages in that they are not designed to compensate for any certain loss. They are designed to punish the responsible party for egregious negligence or intentional malice and deter them from committing the offense again.
Though Washington state does not allow punitive damages, we do not have a cap on compensatory damages. Some states, like Alaska and Colorado, have set a cap on the amount of compensatory damages you can obtain, usually relating to noneconomic damages like pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment, but in Washington, we can pursue the full amount of compensation for your losses, economic or otherwise.
Common Causes of Personal Injury Cases in Kennewick
Since each personal injury case is unique, the causes of each accident are similarly unique. Here are some causes common to Kennewick personal injury claims:
Car and truck accidents. Getting into an accident with another vehicle or 18-wheel tractor-trailer can be extremely dangerous and have a variety of root causes, including:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol
- Driving under the influence of drugs
- Reckless driving
- Inadequate surveillance
- Failure to stop at a traffic light
- Distracted driving
- Improper vehicle maintenance
- Faulty manufacturing
- Lane change accidents
- Blind spot collisions
Premises liability accidents. Injuries caused by a property owner or landlord’s negligence can include the following causes:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Falling objects
- Unsecured debris
- Uncovered pools
- Inadequate security
- Unsecure carpeting
- Broken/faulty handrails
- Inadequate lighting
Construction site accidents. Tamaki Law can help you get compensation for the following injury causes on a construction site:
- Lack of training
- Inadequate safety equipment
- Inadequate supervision
- Mishandling hazardous material
- Falling objects
- Inadequate signage
Civil rights abuses. A personal injury claim can be brought against local, state, or federal authorities that overstep their mandates:
- Excessive force
- Police misconduct
- Customs and border patrol misconduct
- False arrest
- Hate crimes
These are just a few of the causes that may warrant filing a personal injury claim for damages.
Common Injuries in Kennewick Personal Injury Cases
Injuries in Kennewick personal injury cases are as diverse as the accidents that cause them. Some common injuries include the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Neck injury
- Organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Puncture wounds
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Long-term disability
- Emotional trauma
Washington Personal Injury Laws and Statutes
Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury Claims: Washington state has a three-year statute of limitations on filing personal injury claims. This means that you have up to three years after your accident or injury occurred to file suit against the responsible party.
Comparative Negligence: Washington follows the comparative negligence doctrine with regard to personal injury cases. This means that if the injured party is partially liable for their injury, the amount of compensation they can receive will be decreased in proportion to the fault they share for the accident. For example, if you’re out driving at night in Kennewick and a drunk driver hits you, causing injuries, but it’s discovered that you were driving without headlights, you may be held partially responsible. This responsibility is expressed as a percentage. In this scenario, you may be held 25 percent liable, while the drunk driver may be 75 percent liable. Any compensation awarded to you would be decreased by 25 percent.
Drivers must render aid: If a driver is involved in any accident that causes death, personal injury, or substantial bodily injury, they have an obligation to provide their name, address, insurance company, insurance policy number, and driver’s license information to anyone else involved in the accident. The driver must also render reasonable assistance to anyone involved, including making sure any injured person is transferred to a medical facility.
Driver must notify the police: A driver has four days after any accident involving injury, death, or damage totaling $500 or more to notify law enforcement of the accident.
Contact Us Today at (509) 783-8333 for a Free Consultation
If you’ve been injured by another party’s negligence, don’t wait any longer. Tamaki Law is standing by to listen to your needs and build a personal injury claim that can help recover your financial losses and restore your peace of mind. Call us toll-free at (509) 783-8333, and let us show you how our team of dedicated attorneys can help you get your life back on track after an accident.