The Personal Injury Claims Process in Washington

Seattle Lawyers on Negotiating Personal Injury Claims

Negotiating with insurance companies can be a daunting task, particularly if you aren’t well-versed in Washington personal injury law. This is why it is vital to have an experienced personal injury attorney when pursuing compensation. The seasoned legal team at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., has been successfully representing Seattle-area injury victims for over two decades, and will put their skills to work on your claim. For a free case evaluation, call our Renton office at (888) 228-3860.

Preliminary Measures

Before you begin filing your claim, you should receive medical attention. Get a record of your injuries and the doctor’s opinion. Taking this step will be essential down the line to determine the amount of damages you are entitled to. Once the nature, severity, and duration of your injuries have been established, then you and your attorney can initiate the settlement process.

Insurance Companies Are Businesses

Insurance companies - your own, as well as that of the party that caused your injury - are businesses, and they operate accordingly. They make a profit by making the lowest payouts possible, regardless of the needs of an injury victim. To accomplish this, they employ skilled lawyers whose sole job is to deny or diminish their client’s liability for your injury. They will try to use the legal system against you to keep from having to make a higher payout. This is why you should never try to negotiate a personal injury claim on your own. In fact, we advise you not to speak to an insurance company until you’ve retained an experienced attorney to represent you.

Meeting With Your Attorney

If you’ve been injured, contact a lawyer who specializes in personal injury claims. This lawyer will determine if another party’s negligence resulted in your injury, and to what degree. Washington is a contributory fault state (meaning that more than one party can share fault for an injury), and any jury award will be adjusted accordingly. For instance, a car runs a red light and T-bones your car, leaving you with a broken arm and broken ribs. However, it was dusk and you didn’t have your headlights on. A judge or jury could find that the other driver was 90% at fault for your losses, and you were 10% at fault. If the total sum of your losses amounted to $100,000, you could only be awarded $90,000.

Calculating Economic Losses

Once you’ve chosen the lawyers at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., to pursue your personal injury claim, your job is, essentially, done. Your only task moving forward is to heal and put your life back together. We’ll do the rest. We will start by determining what your losses are, and what kind of compensation we’re going to ask for. All monetary losses are referred to as "economic" losses or damages. These may include the following:

  • Present and future medical bills
  • Lost wages (this includes for a spouse or family member if he/she has to quit or miss work to care for you)
  • Loss of career or earning capacity
  • Cost of learning a new career
  • Property damage
  • Other recovery costs (special equipment, like hospital beds or wheelchair ramps; cost of hiring in-home care; cost of assisted living facility)

Calculating Non-Economic Losses

Non-economic losses, also called general damages, are more abstract and less material in nature, but they can have just as devastating an impact on their victim as economic damages. Non-economic damages may include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish and emotional trauma
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Loss of a limb
  • Loss of reputation, consortium, or companionship

Non-economic damages have the potential to be much more lucrative than economic damages; however, they are much harder to prove. If a trial becomes necessary, testimony and legal arguments may help, but it is generally up to the discretion of the jury to determine the amount that is rewarded in non-economic damages.

For over 20 years, the esteemed legal team at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. has been honored to get Washington injury victims the compensation they so desperately needed and deserved. Let our compassionate, skilled, and experienced lawyers do the same for you by calling (888) 228-3860 for a free consultation.

Our Case Results

Degloving Injury$2,400,000
Degloving Injury
from defective power winch.
Wrongful Death$1,925,000
Wrongful Death
from head-on van accident.
Rollover Accident$1,925,000
Rollover Accident
resulting in wrongful death.
Wrongful Death$1,625,000
Wrongful Death
from highway design defect.
Car Accident$595,000
Car Accident
injuries to 47-year-old woman.
Wrongful Death$460,695
Wrongful Death
oncoming traffic accident.
Rear-End Collision$450,000
Rear-End Collision
resulting in lower back injury.
Car Accident$390,000
Car Accident
resulting in fractured leg.
Car Sideswipe$390,000
Car Sideswipe
resulting in injured back.
Head-On Collision$372,000
Head-On Collision
resulting in fractured pelvis.
Car Accident$360,000
Car Accident
resulting in lower back injury.
Car Accident$275,000
Car Accident
resulting in jaw fracture.
Overturned Truck$230,000
Overturned Truck
resulting in broken ribs.
Head-On Collision$230,000
Head-On Collision
resulting in shoulder injury.
Motorcycle Accident$225,000
Motorcycle Accident
resulting in leg fracture.

Written by Joseph Pendergast, this book is designed to help people who have suffered a personal injury understand their rights and the steps to take to be sure they get the compensation they deserve.

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Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S.
555 South Renton Village Pl. Suite 640
Renton, WA 98057
(888) 228-3860
(425) 228-3860 / (253) 445-3860

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Seattle Accident Lawyer Disclaimer: The legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results set forth herein are based upon the facts of that particular case and do not represent a promise or guarantee. Please contact a lawyer for a consultation on your particular legal matter. This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the State of Washington.

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