If you or a loved one was harmed by negligent medical treatment or was injured in an accident because of the willful or negligent behavior of another, you are probably suffering from physical and emotional pain as well as experiencing financial losses. As a long-time Bellingham personal injury lawyer, we understand what you are going through. Over the last four decades, we have helped thousands of accident victims in Whatcom County and surrounding areas recover monetary damages concerning their injuries.
We provide peace of mind to our injury clients by:
- Taking over the burden of gathering evidence on your claim.
- When necessary, hiring expert witnesses who can assist in recovering full and fair compensation.
- Keeping you informed on the progress of your claim.
- Protecting your rights and fighting on your behalf with medical and other lienholders so you can keep more of your settlement monies.
- Fighting for the full and maximum monetary compensation you deserve. This includes money for lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering and disability.
- Representing you in court, if necessary, when a fair settlement cannot be reached during pre-trial negotiations.
Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury Claims
An injury claim should be pursued as soon as possible after the accident occurs, or when injuries and other damages are incurred because all personal injury cases have a statute of limitations. A statute of limitations means that you have a limited amount of time from the date that the injury occurs to file a claim or your case will no longer be viable. In Washington State, the statute of limitations on injury claims involving negligence is generally three years from the date of the accident.
Note: While injured persons should open a claim as soon as possible, they should never accept a settlement before they know the true value of their claim. In many cases, it can take a year or two to understand the extent of medical treatment that will be necessary and the cost of the medical bills is an important part of the settlement. Contacting a personal injury lawyer soon after the injury occurred is the best way to determine the value of your case and ensure you complete the injury claim process successfully.
What’s the Difference Between a Personal Injury Claim and a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Both personal injury claims and personal injury lawsuits ultimately seek to provide the injured party with compensation for the damages they have suffered as a result of the negligent actions of another. A personal injury claim is filed with the insurance company or the person or entity that caused the injury. If an out-of-court settlement cannot be reached on the injury claim through negotiation, a personal injury lawsuit may be filed against the plaintiff. At trial, a jury award takes the place of a negotiated settlement.
Why Choose Tario & Associates, P.S.? – Best Bellingham Personal Injury Lawyer
Because forty plus years of experience matters. Since Michael Tario opened his Bellingham personal injury law firm in 1979, the personal injury attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. have helped thousands of injured people receive full and fair compensation and just treatment for their injuries. We fight tirelessly for you, our injured clients. Our goal is to help you get back on your feet, physically, emotionally, and financially.
We have the resources, experience, and knowledge necessary to represent you and achieve a maximum possible recovery for your injuries and your other financial losses. Our network of highly respected specialists in medicine, accident reconstruction, psychology, and engineering help us prove your claim and achieve a full and fair monetary award to fully compensate you for your injuries and monetary losses. With the Tario & Associates, P.S. accident lawyers you will have a strong team of trained professionals on your side with the experience and knowledge you need to get full and fair monetary compensation for your injuries; including pain and suffering, disability, mental and emotional harm, lost wages (past and future), medical expenses, and much more.
No out-of-pocket costs
If you need help with your personal injury claim, do not worry about paying large sums of money out-of-pocket. This is because we represent our personal injury clients on a contingency fee basis and our firm advances many out-of-pocket costs for our injury clients. When cases are concluded with a monetary recovery, our firm is repaid for the out-of-pocket costs we have advanced from the proceeds of a settlement or judge or jury verdict.
Free consultations, hospital and home visits
Our law firm offers free consultations where we discuss your injury claim and your legal rights. If you are unable to come to us, we will visit your home or hospital bed to see how we may be of assistance. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!
If you need help with a personal injury claim / personal injury lawsuit, you can count on our law firm. Reviews from some of Tario & Associates, P.S. satisfied personal injury clients:
Michael helped me in a personal injury case when I was hit by a drunk driver. He was professional and fought hard for me to get the best possible settlement. I highly recommend him. His assistants are great too, always willing to answer questions. – Cathy
Mr. Tario worked on a personal injury case for me where I was in a car accident. I had been injured and had major loss to my business because of it. Mr. Tario was very quick to help me in both getting medical help so all my needs were taken care of and so I would be reimbursed for all my losses. I found his knowledge to be absolutely top notch! Very impressive and I will most certainly use him again if the need arises. – Chris
I have used the services of Tario & Associates for several matters and have had nothing but excellent results. Michael is tenacious and very well informed. He and his associates took on my issues as if they were their own. Tario & Associates do the job right! – Ray
Please contact our Bellingham personal injury attorneys through our contact form or by calling our office to schedule a FREE consultation today. We also provide home and hospital visits for those who are unable to come to us. Our goal is always to treat you with respect and care while fighting for a fair settlement that fully compensates you for all of your financial, physical and psychological damages.
Personal Injury FAQs
How do I know if I should pursue a personal injury claim?
There are many types of personal injury claims. The only way to know if you have a case is to meet with one of our experienced personal injury associates for a FREE consultation. We will fully evaluate your accident and injuries and discuss your legal rights.
Do I need to hire an attorney or should I handle my own personal injury claim?
In most cases, hiring an injury attorney will yield much better results than you would ever be able to achieve on your own, even for seemingly minor claims. At Tario & Associates, P.S., we stand by our injured clients every step of the way and have been rated as one of the best personal injury lawyers Bellingham and the State of Washington has to offer!
Insurance adjusters don’t work for you
Remember this key point: an insurance adjuster works for the insurance company, not you. Insurance companies are in business to make money. Adjusters are trained and go to special classes to learn how to convince people not to hire an attorney and are often taught how to be friendly and give the impression they want to give fair compensation. Most of the time this is far from the truth. If you have already been presented with a proposed settlement offer, you need to know whether or not it is fair. Since you are not an experienced personal injury attorney it would be hard to have an idea whether or not any offer is fair or how much your case might actually be worth. This is something that you need to discuss with an experienced and knowledgeable attorney from Tario & Associates, P.S. Our attorneys have evaluated thousands of cases and they are on the cutting edge with regard to current and up to date knowledge as to what a case like yours might be worth. It is not unusual for our attorneys to be able to achieve monetary recoveries five to twenty times what an insurance company has offered.
How much do I have to pay to pursue a personal injury claim?
There are no upfront costs or fees paid by our clients to pursue an injury claim; we provide representation on a contingency fee basis for personal injury cases, which means we don’t get paid unless you receive monetary compensation. Our fees are a percentage of what we get for you on personal injury cases and you will not incur any attorney fees if we are unable to win your case and recover money for you. Washington law requires clients to reimburse the law firm for out-of-pocket expenses.
Our firm advances out-of-pocket costs for our injury clients and does not require our clients to pay any of these costs up front. When cases are concluded with a monetary recovery, our firm is repaid for the out-of-pocket costs we have advanced from the settlement monies received.
What is my personal injury claim worth?
Depending on the severity of your injury, medical expenses and other financial losses such as lost wages can be devastating. The type of injury will affect the damages awarded in a personal injury lawsuit. A plaintiff may recover damages for pain and suffering (both physical and emotional), medical expenses, lost wages, disability, disfigurement, in-home care, rehabilitation and loss of enjoyment of life. The amount allocated for each aspect of your injury will be taken into consideration. Injury settlements can range between $15,000 for a small case to over 1M for very serious cases.
Washington State is a comparative fault state, which means that fault can be shared among multiple wrong-doers on injury cases. Damages may be awarded based upon contributory fault law which provides that you may only be awarded damages proportionate to the percentage of fault caused by the defendant. You cannot be awarded any damages for the amount of fault that you caused.
How is pain and suffering calculated in a Washington personal injury case?
Putting a number on someone’s pain and suffering is often one of the most difficult tasks facing a jury or judge. Jury instructions don’t usually go into much detail about how the jury should calculate damages for pain and suffering. Jurors must draw upon their own life experience and common sense and try to determine what amount of money fairly compensates an injured party for their damages. A jury will determine the exact economic losses for medical expenses, lost wages, and other monetary damages that a person has suffered. These are called special damages, which are separately set forth by a judge or jury. In addition, a judge or a jury may award a separate amount for “general damages”, which are pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and in some cases, loss of consortium. Loss of consortium is damage to the marital and family community.
Read more personal injury FAQs here.
What You Need to Know About the Personal Injury Claim Process
Patience is required for a personal injury claim. In most cases, attorneys are able to work out a settlement without going to trial but even an out-of-court settlement takes a fair amount of time. The average time for an out-of-court settlement is often between one and two years because of the work involved and the need to get a clear picture of what medical treatment is required. In some cases involving critical prominent injuries, a settlement can take between two and three years.
Out-of-court settlements made by lawyers who want to get the case over as fast as possible usually end up with the injured plaintiff not receiving full and fair compensation for their injuries. In nearly all cases, the insurance company will hire a defense attorney who will vigorously attempt to reduce or eliminate the negligent party’s liability in the accident. A good personal injury attorney acts as an experienced and professional adversary who will overcome the common tactics used by defense and insurance lawyers.
A settlement is often a more desirable solution since a trial typically takes longer with increased costs and there is a certain amount of risk inherent in any jury trial. Juries are often unpredictable so it is better to reach a fair out-of-court settlement when possible. Even if an injured person receives a significant monetary award from a jury, there is always the chance that the other party will appeal any monetary award made by a jury.
If you are looking for the most experienced personal injury lawyer Bellingham WA has; look no further than the Tario law office. Our personal injury attorneys are ready to offer legal advice and fight for the settlement you deserve. The sooner we can begin gathering information about your claim, the better. Contact us today for your FREE consultation.