A Personal Injury Lawyer Proudly Serving Vancouver, Washington
Count on Colin to get results
An accident can happen at any time, and it can change your life in an instant. Suddenly, you are injured. Your medical expenses go up, while your income goes down if you can't work. Many people aren't sure what to do next. If you were hurt by the negligence of another, the law may entitle you to compensation. The Scott Law Firm, PLLC can help you recover.
Vancouver, WA personal injury attorney Colin Scott founded his law firm to help injury victims get their lives back on track. He is committed to making a difference in the community and helping his clients receive the compensation they deserve. One hundred percent of Colin's practice is dedicated to representing personal injury victims and families in Southwest Washington.
A personal injury can happen anywhere in Clark County, at any time. If the negligence of another party caused an accident that left you hurt, you may be entitled to compensation. Taking legal action is one way to hold that party accountable and recover compensation for the damages you have suffered.
We know the challenges you’re going through
When you’re injured, everything changes. Your days become an array of diagnostic tests like CT scans, MRIs, and X-rays; medical procedures and surgery; second opinions and new medications; physical therapy and follow-up appointments with specialists. You may not be able to work, take care of your family, or do the things you love. These are all real, debilitating losses that you need fair compensation for in order to move forward.
But recovering compensation can be challenging. The negligent party may deny responsibility, or they may blame another party. You may even be blamed for the accident that left you hurt.
You also can't rely on insurance companies to do the right thing. They are mostly concerned with their bottom line. To keep their profits high, they try to spend as little as possible on resolving claims. They won't hesitate to deny a claim if given the opportunity. And they have teams of lawyers looking out for their best interests.
What qualifies as a personal injury case?
Not every accidental injury is grounds for a personal injury claim or lawsuit. To have a personal injury case, four criteria have to be met:
- Another person owed you a duty of care; that is, a legal responsibility for your safety.
- That duty of care was breached; that is, the person was careless or negligent.
- The other person’s carelessness was the proximate cause of your injury. That is, you were hurt because they were careless.
- You suffered significant damages because of the injury.
For example, if you were hurt in a slip and fall on someone else’s property and your injury was caused by dangerous conditions on the premises, you may have a personal injury case against the property owner or manager. If you were injured in a construction accident, you might have a case against a subcontractor, general contractor, property owner, architect, or equipment manufacturer. Many situations can qualify as personal injury cases, including injuries caused by dangerous products, motor vehicle accidents, and work injuries caused by a third party.
However, the laws regarding negligence and liability for personal injuries are complex and can vary depending on the circumstances. For example, the laws regarding liability for dog bites are quite different from other types of personal injury claims. Ultimately, only an attorney can tell you if you have a case.
What damages can you recover in a personal injury case?
Depending on the extent of your injury and the effect it has had on your life, you can pursue damages (financial compensation) for numerous losses, including but not limited to:
- Past and future medical expenses – medication, surgery, medical procedures, physical therapy, medical devices, and so on.
- Past and future lost income and loss of earning capacity if your injury affects your ability to work.
- Modifications to your home or vehicle to accommodate a disability.
- Pain and suffering, emotional distress and mental anguish.
- Loss of enjoyment of life, if your injury affects your ability to do the things you love.
- Loss of consortium, a legal claim that the spouse of an injured person can make if the injury affects their intimate relationship.
- Disfigurement, if you have major scarring, burning, or other significant damage to your skin or face.
- Property damage associated with the accident.
This is not an exhaustive list. Remember that a personal injury claim is supposed to cover all the losses you have endured as a result of the injury, and you only get one shot at compensation. That’s why you need a lawyer to review your situation and calculate the full amount of damages you deserve under Washington law.
How much time do I have to file a personal injury lawsuit?
In Washington state, the statute of limitations (legal time limit) for most personal injury claims is three years from the date of the accident or injury. Likewise, if you lost a loved one in a fatal accident, the statute of limitations to file a wrongful death lawsuit is generally three years from the date of death. However, different deadlines can apply in different circumstances, and only an attorney can advise as to which statute of limitations applies in your case.
There are also practical time constraints on personal injury claims. In order to win your case, you need evidence proving that a careless party caused your injury, and that evidence can disappear fast. Security camera footage is often overwritten within days. Witnesses may forget what they saw or move away, and documents may be lost or destroyed. You may have up to three years to file a claim, but you need to get started much sooner if you want your case to be successful.
That’s one of the reasons you should talk to an attorney as soon as possible after you’re injured. The sooner you have legal representation, the stronger your potential case.
Do I really need a personal injury lawyer?
There is no law that says you must get an attorney for a personal injury case, but it’s almost always in your interest to do so. Personal injury claims are complex and adversarial. The insurance company is looking for ways to reduce or deny your claim, and they know how the system works because they engage with it every day. If you go it alone, it’s not a fair fight. The benefit of hiring an experienced personal injury attorney is a level playing field.
The insurance industry’s own data says that even taking attorney’s fees into account, people who hire a lawyer – and for that matter, even people who talk to a lawyer – recover more than those who don’t. Remember, you only get one shot at compensation; once your case settles, that’s it. Hiring an experienced attorney is the best option to make that shot count.
A passion for justice
That's why you need a personal injury attorney who is dedicated to helping his clients obtain the justice they deserve. Colin knows the obstacles that insurance companies put up in personal injury cases. He also knows how to overcome those obstacles and can help you recover the compensation you need and deserve.
Colin begins his investigation in every case by meeting with his clients and reviewing the facts. He obtains documents related to the accident - including accident reports, photographs, witness statements, medical records and other documents that are needed to support each claim. He also identifies witnesses and interviews them himself, or sometimes hires a private investigator. If needed, he can also consult with one or more experts and other specialists to support your claim.
All this work allows Colin to build strong cases that insurance companies can't ignore. When insurance companies realize their usual defense tactics won't work, they usually make a settlement offer. But ultimately the decision to accept or reject any settlement offer is up to our clients.
We seek compensation for all the damages our clients have suffered. This may include past and future medical expenses. It may also include lost wages if your injury left you unable to return to work. In virtually every personal injury case, Colin also seeks compensation for the client's pain and suffering and emotional distress. There may be additional damages available in some situations, depending on the facts in each case.
If you were injured in an accident, you may not be sure if you have a case. We encourage you to consult an attorney as soon as possible. You have a limited amount of time to seek compensation for your injuries. Once this time limit expires, it's too late and you will lose your ability to obtain financial recovery. That is why it's important to consult with a personal injury attorney following your accident as soon as possible.
The Scott Law Firm, PLLC offers a free consultation to all potential clients who call about a personal injury matter. Contact us online or call 360-718-3640 to schedule an appointment with personal injury attorney Colin Scott. He can review the details of your case, explain your options and answer any question you have.
"If you are in the unpleasant position of having to deal with a personal injury claim, I would like you to know that Colin Scott will make it all better for you."