Yakima personal injury lawyers Brumback and Ottem

You may suffer a personal injury in Sunnyside, WA, due to someone else’s negligence. At this point, you may not be responsible for any costs relating to your injury. To find out if this is the case, meet with an injury lawyer. This can help you figure out if now is the right time to pursue damages from any at-fault parties. 

The injury lawyers at Brumback & Ottem are bulldog-tough. Our personal injury attorneys can take a look at your case and go over your legal options with you. To get started, contact us today. 

Personal Injury Definition

A personal injury occurs when one person gets hurt due to another’s actions. Types of personal injury cases include:

  • Car accident
  • Truck accident
  • Dog bite
  • Premises liability
  • Workplace accident
  • Motorcycle accident
  • Bicycle accident
  • Slip and fall accident
  • Product defect


Personal injuries range from mild to severe. If you suffer an injury due to someone else’s negligence, it may be in your best interests to consult with a doctor. This allows you to treat your injuries and reduce the risk that they may affect you long into the future. 

Along with this, it may be beneficial to partner with an injury attorney. From here, a lawyer can answer frequently asked questions and many others about personal injury claims. They can help you determine if you have a valid claim — and, if so, how much it may be worth. 

Personal Injury Claim Statute of Limitations

Per the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 4.16.080, there is a three-year statute of limitations for injury claims. Generally, you have up to three years from the date you suffer an injury due to another person’s negligence to seek damages. You may not be able to have this window for filing a claim extended. 

If you are weighing the pros and cons of submitting a claim, a Sunnyside personal injury lawyer may be able to help you out. They can help you determine who may be liable for your injury. If you want to submit a claim, they can discuss the process of doing so with you. 

How Much an Injury Claim Is Worth

You may receive economic and non-economic damages in an injury claim. These are awarded for many reasons, such as:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Diminished earning capacity
  • Property damage


Sunnyside injury attorneys work with clients to figure out their quantifiable and subjective losses. Once your lawyer calculates your losses, they can help you prepare an argument designed to help you secure this amount. 

Punitive Damages in an Injury Case

You cannot request punitive damages, but a court may award these in addition to economic and non-economic ones. Punitive compensation is provided to deter an at-fault party from committing future acts of negligence. It is rarely given out in personal injury cases.

Who Is at Fault for a Personal Injury

The at-fault party depends on the circumstances surrounding an injury. Potential parties who may be liable for injuries include:

  • Car or truck drivers
  • Businesses
  • Property owners
  • Product manufacturers


Personal injury law firms treat every case as its own entity. An attorney can examine your injury and find out why it happened. They may help you identify any at-fault parties and pursue damages from them. 

How to Prove Liability in an Injury Case

Just saying someone else caused your injury is insufficient. In a dog bite case or any other personal injury lawsuit, you must show that another party was negligent. This requires you to prove the following elements of negligent were present when your injury occurred:

  • Duty of Care: The at-fault party was legally obligated to avoid careless and reckless acts. 
  • Breach of Duty of Care: This party violated their legal obligation toward you. 
  • Causation: Since the party acted carelessly or recklessly, you got hurt. 
  • Damages: You incurred economic or non-economic losses due to the party’s actions. 

Sunnyside injury law firms help their clients build a body of evidence. With sufficient proof, a plaintiff may be able to show a judge or jury that they deserve 100% of the damages they request. 

Contributory Fault in a Personal Injury Case

Per RCW 4.22.005, contributory fault applies to personal injury claims in Washington. This means you may pursue compensation from an at-fault party, even if they are just 1% responsible for your injury. At the same time, the damages you receive may be reduced by your percentage of fault. If you are found to be liable in any way for your injury, you may not receive the compensation you need to cover all of your losses. 

For example, you may submit a claim, and a judge or jury finds you to be 20% at fault. In this instance, you may receive 80% of the damages you initially requested. 

Comparatively, a judge or jury may find you 99% responsible for your injury. If this happens, you may get 1% of the compensation you requested. 

In the worst-case scenario, a judge or jury may say the defendant is not at fault for your injury. If this occurs, you may not receive any compensation and are solely responsible for your injury-related expenses. 

Time It Takes to Resolve a Personal Injury Case

You may believe your case is straightforward. Regardless, it may take months or years to resolve your claim. To understand why, consider how the claims process works.

As an example, you may be involved in a car accident in which the other driver is speeding and slams their vehicle into yours. Following the crash, you may want to submit a claim through the at-fault motorist’s insurance company. 

In Washington, it is against the law to drive a car without liability insurance or some type of coverage that allows a person to assume financial responsibility for any damages they cause. If you have the at-fault motorist’s auto insurance information, you can file a claim. In this situation, the insurer may pay your claim. However, it is more likely that the insurance provider may contest your request for compensation to protect its bottom line. 

An injury law firm can help you deal with insurance companies and seek damages as part of a lawsuit. Your attorney can handle communications with an insurance provider on your behalf. They can also help you build an argument if you have to bring your case to trial. With your lawyer’s assistance, you may be able to get a settlement offer that allows you to resolve your case without a trial. 

Personal Injury Case Settlement

In a truck accident case or any other type of personal injury lawsuit, you may have the option to settle. There is no legal requirement to accept a settlement proposal. If you get one, you may want to review it with a personal injury law firm. 

Personal injury attorneys want their clients to make informed legal decisions. If you receive a settlement offer, your lawyer can evaluate it with you. They can explain what the proposal entails and the potential ramifications if you accept or reject it. Your attorney will not pressure you to decide one way or another on the offer. Rather, they will discuss your options and help you determine the best course of action specific to your legal situation. 

If you get a settlement proposal you feel good about, you can move forward with it. This allows you to secure compensation and close your case without having to go to a trial. 

Conversely, if a settlement offer is well short of what you want, you can decline it without any penalties. If you do, you and your attorney can remain open to negotiations. In a case where no settlement is reached, you can present your argument to a judge and jury and let them decide if damages will be awarded. 

Tips to Help You Deal with a Personal Injury Claim

It may be challenging to file an injury claim and seek compensation from any at-fault parties. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to move forward with your case and avoid mistakes throughout your litigation. These include:

Continue to Get Medical Treatment

After a slip and fall accident or any other incident that leaves you with an injury, follow through on any treatments recommended by your doctor. Keep track of your medical bills. Doing these things can help you show a judge or jury the severity of your injury and the costs associated with it.

Gather Evidence 

If you are involved in a motorcycle accident or any other type of motor vehicle collision, take photos and videos at the scene. In addition, collect police reports, medical records, and other evidence after you suffer your injury. You are responsible for the burden of proof. If you have plenty of evidence, you may be able to show a judge or jury why you deserve damages. 

Connect with Witnesses

If someone saw your injury happen, get their contact information. This gives you the ability to reach out to them at a later time. You may be able to ask a witness to put together a statement, which may help you compel a judge or jury to rule in your favor.  

Do Not Speak to the Other Party’s Insurance Company

If you get a call from the other party’s insurance provider, do not say anything about your injury. You do not have to provide an insurer with access to your medical records or any other information. If you choose to share any information, you may compromise your ability to get compensation. 

Be Careful About What You Share on Social Media

Do not publish photos, videos, or other content about your injury on social networks. The defendant in your case and their insurance company may browse the internet for information they can use against you. If you post content that makes it look like your injury is not as severe as you reported, this may hurt your chances of getting compensation. 

Hire an Attorney

Select an injury lawyer who has experience relative to your injury. For instance, if you were involved in a bicycle accident, choose an attorney who has handled bike crash cases similar to yours. This lawyer can share their legal knowledge and insights with you. They can help you navigate the legal process and avoid challenges along the way. 

Cost of a Personal Injury Claim

What you pay for an injury claim may be based on who you hire for your legal representation. 

An attorney may accept your case on contingency. If they do, they may request a percentage of the settlement you get. If you do not receive any damages, you are not responsible for paying your lawyer.

A lawyer can explain their pay structure and fees. You can ask questions and share any concerns about these. This can help you decide if an attorney offers legal services and support that align with your finances. 

What to Expect During an Injury Trial 

If your injury case goes to trial, your attorney presents your argument to a judge or jury. The defendant and their lawyer also share their respective argument. The judge or jury will review the information from both parties and decide whether to award damages. 

You cannot control how a judge or jury will respond to your argument. On the other hand, you can work with an attorney who is committed to your case. This lawyer can help you prepare an argument that resonates with the court and protect your best interests and legal rights throughout your litigation. 

When to Hire an Injury Lawyer

Time is limited for filing an injury claim. If you are unsure about whether to seek damages from anyone responsible for your injury, contact an attorney. This gives you the opportunity to discuss your case with a legal professional. The lawyer can explain what legal options are available and help you decide if it is worthwhile to pursue compensation. 

Get Started with an Injury Attorney

A personal injury lawyer can be a difference-maker. At Brumback & Ottem, we have injury lawyers on staff who have a wealth of legal experience. We go above and beyond the call of duty for our clients and can review your case for free. To schedule a complimentary consultation, contact us today.