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Putnam Lieb Potvin Dailey

Washington's pure comparative negligence laws

Becoming injured in an auto accident is a traumatic event for Washington residents and leaves emotional and physical scars that can take both a long time and a lot of medical treatment to recover from. Medical bills result from treatment and one way to recoup medical bills is by pursuing a personal injury lawsuit against the driver at fault for the accident. However, one reason accident victims hesitate from getting the justice they deserve is because they are also at fault in the accident and are unsure of the laws surrounding their crash.

Recovery after an auto accident is based upon fault. Therefore, if one driver behaves negligently and causes injury to another, then the negligent driver is liable for the resulting damages. With the concept of negligence comes contributory negligence-conduct that would create an unreasonable risk to oneself. This means that the accident victim also has a duty to act as a reasonable person and when they do not and are injured as a result, the victim may be liable for their own injuries even though someone else was also involved in the event. However, the victim's role in the injuries does not bar him or her from recovering in Washington, which is a pure comparative negligence state.

This means that the accident victim's damages are summed up and then reduced to reflect the proportion of the victim's fault. For example, if the accident victim receives $10,000 as compensation for his or her injuries but was 50 percent responsible for them, then they would receive $5,000.

If one's conduct has contributed to their own crash, they might know that they can still recover compensation for someone else's contributing negligent behavior. it is important to understand the law that surrounds recovery after an accident and an experienced attorney can provide that guidance.

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