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Scott McDonald and Associates PLLC

What is a Personal Injury Case?

Seattle Auto Accident Attorney | Seattle Truck Accident Attorney

I have been asked on many occasions to explain what kind of case qualifies as a  personal injury case.  Lots of people have heard the term "personal injury," or even been told by a lawyer that he handles “personal injury cases” or “car accident cases,” but what does that mean? 

A personal injury case in general is any type of claim where a person has been injured or sometimes even killed due to someone else’s fault.  There are legal terms and rules in determining "fault" but let's just assume we know who the person is that's 100% responsible for causing the injury you suffered.  Injury cases can be car accidents, semi-truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accident, or other injury or even death causing accidents. 

Any time you are injured because of someone else's actions you may have a personal injury case.  To have a personal injury case you must have an injury to your body. For example in car accidents, when the damage is solely to your car you do not have a personal injury case. However, if your car was damaged you have a property damage claim. In many car accidents your car will be smashed up and you will be injured, in these cases you have both a personal injury and property damage claim. When this happens, the insurance company will usually, but not always, fix your car without too much trouble to you.  Personal injury cases focus on the injuries to your body and the insurance companies are oftentimes much less cooperative when it comes time to discuss resolving your injury case.

In the most serious accident sometimes a person's injuries are so bad that a death occurs.  When an injury accident causes a person's death a “wrongful death” claim may arise.  I truly hope that you never find yourself in this situation, but if you do I recommend you find an attorney who understands the complexity of Washington wrongful death laws.