Personal Injury in Spokane, Washington


Personal injury is the legal term used to describe injury to a person’s body, mind, or emotions, caused by another’s negligent or reckless act, or failure to act. Washington personal injury law allows an injured person to recover damages from a Defendant if he or she was owed a duty of care, and the Defendant’s failure to exercise that care resulted in the injury. Many common activities result in a person owing a duty of care to another. For example, when operating a vehicle, a driver has a duty of care to all those with whom he or she shares the roadways and sidewalks. If a duty of care is owed, that duty is that of ‘reasonable care’. Reasonable care is defined as that care which a reasonably prudent person would exercise in the same or a similar situation.

Once a duty of care has been established, the scope of that duty relies upon the foreseeabilty of harm to the Plaintiff. In order for a Defendant to be held liable for an injury caused by his or her negligence or recklessness, the injury must be one that was, or should have been, foreseeable. For example, it is foreseeable that if you run a red light, you may crash into another vehicle and injure or kill its passengers. Therefore, if you run a red light, crash into another car, and cause injury to, or kill, the passengers in that car, you may be held liable.

When a person fails to exercise reasonable care towards those to whom he or she owes a duty of care, and a foreseeable injury is incurred, the injured party may file a claim for personal injury in order to recover damages for such things as medical expenses, lost wages, legal fees, emotional distress, and future medical expenses and lost wages.

Types of Personal Injury

Washington personal injury law covers such things as automobile accidents, slip and falls, medical malpractice, birth defects, dog bites, and consumer product injuries. Stephen Haskell Law Offices, however, limits their practice to major damage claims, sometimes referred to as "catastrophic injury" cases. This specialization means our caseload remains focused on a relatively small number of matters at any given time, and ensures each case receives the individualized it deserves. Our office does not pursue a "volume oriented" practice and for that reason, does not handle certain claims typically associated with the term personal injury. As an example, we normally do not accept automobile accident or slip and fall cases unless the injury or injuries are significant and/or permanent.

Catastrophic Injuries

Catastrophic injuries may occur as the result of defective products, unsafe working conditions, or a person’s negligence and are significant and/or permanent in nature. Loss of limb, paralysis, and brain injuries may be considered catastrophic injuries. For more information on catastrophic injuries, see Catastrophic Injury.

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