Brett McCandis Brown & Conner, PLLC, are proudly serving Seattle, Bellingham, Mt. Vernon, Tacoma, Spokane, Olympia, and other areas in Washington State.
Washington Internal Injury Lawyers
Many of our clients have suffered devastating internal injuries after a traffic collision.
Internal injuries present many dangers to the injured because they can quickly develop into more serious or deadly conditions. They often lack visible signs, so victims might not even realize they have severe internal injuries. Even low-speed crashes can result in serious trauma to the body. Fortunately, you have legal rights if someone else’s actions resulted in internal injuries. Contact our Washington internal injury lawyers to learn more about how we can help you hold the responsible parties accountable.
Categories of Internal Injuries
You can divide internal injuries into two main categories: blunt and penetrating. Blunt trauma happens when your body makes contact with another object. Injuries can result from the sheer force of the impact or the impact of the blunt object. Examples include internal injuries caused by a steering wheel or airbag in a car collision.
Penetrating injuries are ones that occur when a foreign object pierces your skin. The penetrating object might break a blood vessel or pierce through an organ. Examples of this type of injury include stabbing and gunshot wounds.
Common Types of Internal Injuries
Numerous types of internal injuries can occur from personal injury accidents. Some of the most common ones we represent clients for in Seattle and beyond include the following.
When the stomach is compressed during an accident, it can lead to an abdominal aorta bursting. This condition is called an abdominal aorta aneurysm. This is a very serious condition and can even be life-threatening.
Broken ribs are also common in auto accidents. They can be extremely dangerous because the fractured rib can puncture other organs and cause other injuries such as bleeding, organ damage, or a collapsed lung.
Car accidents can cause damage to your blood vessels. The damage can prevent blood vessels from repairing themselves or clotting properly, which results in internal bleeding. Some symptoms to watch out for include:
- Feeling cold,
- Abdominal pain,
- Pale complexion, and
- Excessive thirst.
If you have abdominal pain following an accident, it’s crucial to seek medical treatment immediately.
Organ damage is serious and can have catastrophic results if not treated. Organs cannot properly function when they are damaged. Common internal organ injuries include kidney damage and liver lacerations.
A severe impact to the head can result in a brain bleed. Like most other internal injuries, failure to seek medical treatment right away can have fatal consequences.
A ruptured spleen is often associated with severe internal bleeding. This will not heal on its own. You must have surgery to repair it.
Proving Negligence in an Internal Injury Claim
Before you can receive any compensation for an internal injury claim in Washington, you must prove the defendants are responsible. Most cases filed involve negligence. To prove negligence, you must show evidence of these four factors:
- Duty—the defendant must owe the plaintiff a duty of care;
- Breach of duty—the defendant must have breached the duty of care;
- Causation—the breach must be the cause of your injuries; and
- Damages—you must have sustained damages, such as medical expenses.
If you cannot prove all four of these elements, then you cannot successfully collect any compensation for your internal injuries. The requirement to prove negligence doesn’t mean the defendant must be 100% at fault. Washington is a comparative negligence state. That means you can be partially at fault for the accident and still receive compensation. However, your percentage of fault will reduce the money you receive. For example, if a jury determines you’re 10% at fault, that means the maximum compensation you can receive is 90% of your damages.
Because of Washington’s liability laws, the defendant’s insurance will try to argue that you are primarily or entirely at fault for your injuries. By doing so, the adjuster reduces or eliminates the company’s liability. Internal injuries might result in permanent damage, requiring lifelong care. Insurance companies know you don’t have experience negotiating claims or handling complex legal issues. That’s why you want a strong lawyer representing you. You need someone who is not afraid to fight for you and who knows how to maximize your damages claim.
Statute of Limitations in Washington for Internal Injury Claims
Like other types of personal injury actions, you only have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit. This deadline is called the statute of limitations. For most personal injury accidents in Washington, you have three years from the accident date to file. Failure to file a lawsuit by that deadline usually means your case cannot move forward. A judge will dismiss your case, and the defendant’s insurance company will ask for proof you complied with the legal deadline before they will continue negotiations.
What does a successful internal injury claim look like?
When a client is suffering from internal injuries caused by an accident, our Washington internal injury lawyers take special steps to identify the extent of the injury, evaluate its cause, and determine how the injury affects our client’s life, now and in the future. Since internal injuries often require long-term, costly medical care, we ensure that this cost is fully factored into the insurance-claim process. A successful claim is one in which our client receives a settlement or verdict that enables them to fully recover financially and compensates them for their current and future losses.
Speak with a Washington Internal Injury Lawyer at Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner, PLLC Today!
Pursuing an internal injury accident claim can be daunting. You need a skilled legal advocate on your side. With decades of experience handling internal injury claims in Washington, our Washington internal injury lawyers can help you fight for the compensation you deserve. We understand what’s at stake and the importance of building a strong case. Contact us for your free consultation.