As mentioned above, the state of Washington uses a liability system, not a no-fault system. The person who caused the accident is also the person whose insurance company is responsible for paying full compensation (up to policy limits) to other people who are injured in that accident. Washington is not a no-fault insurance state. Washington operates under a liability system to process car accident complaints.
This means that when an accident occurs, the fault is assigned to one or both drivers. Washington is not a no-fault state. The state of Washington is a comparative fault state, meaning that the fault of all parties involved in a car accident comes into play when determining compensation for damages. However, Washington state residents have the option of adding no-fault auto insurance coverage with personal injury protection (PIP) to their policy.
The plaintiff must prove that the person who caused the accident (defendant) breached their legal duty of care. The Washington Supreme Court has found that a legal limit on non-economic damages constitutes an unconstitutional violation of the right to a trial by jury, making Washington a fair state for personal injury lawsuits. The state of Washington also allows another option in the form of personal injury protection (PIP), which is similar to no-fault insurance coverage. A person involved in a car accident in Washington State has the right to file a lawsuit for uncompensated economic damages, such as lost wages and medical expenses, and for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.
Kapuza Lighty PLLC of Yakima, Washington, has handled cases like this throughout Eastern Washington, including Grant, Benton and Kittitas Counties. On the other hand, if they only have the minimum policy offered by their insurance company, it's more than likely that they don't have significant assets to take advantage of. In civil liability law, the duty of care is a legal obligation imposed on a person, company, or organization that requires them to act with a reasonable standard of care when carrying out any action that could predictably harm other people. The state of Washington does not have a serious injury threshold, meaning that insurance companies pay for an injury based on the degree of fault of the claimant in the accident, and not on the severity of the injury.
If you were injured in a car accident and were taken to a hospital and received treatment, you might consider having an attorney review your case. Damages are awarded under the contributory fault law, which states that you can only be awarded damages commensurate with the percentage of fault provided by the defendant and nothing for the amount of fault you contributed. If you have a car accident with another driver and that driver is determined to be 80% at fault, your insurance company will be required to pay 80% of the damages. The state of Washington is a comparative fault state, meaning that fault can be shared in a personal injury case.
Specifically, Washington follows the Pure Comparative Fault Rule (also called pure comparative negligence theory), which allows the injured party to obtain compensation even if they are 99 percent at fault, but in which the court or adjuster will decrease compensation in proportion to the degree of fault of the injured party. Ten thousand dollars of PIP insurance coverage is the minimum amount of PIP coverage you can add to your standard Washington state auto insurance policy. Learn about Washington's mandatory insurance law and the laws that apply if you have an accident while driving without insurance.