Can WSDOT be held liable for my injuries?

August 23, 2016

If you or a loved one has been injured and you think that the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) could be to blame please contact us today for a free and friendly consultation.

Can WSDOT be held liable for my injuries?

As opposed to the law in just about all other states, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) can be held liable for ordinary negligence by creating or failing to remedy road conditions that cause a motor vehicle accident and resulting injuries. The legislature in Washington has made it very difficult and complicated to sue the state though, so victims will want an experienced Spokane personal injury attorney. Examples of possible WSDOT negligence can include but not be limited to:

  • Dangerous roads, or poorly designed or incorrectly built highways
  • Road signs that lead motorists into dangerous situations
  • Failure to post road signs of dangerous road construction, conditions or closures
  • Inadequate traffic management in construction zones
  • Negligent snow plowing, sanding or salting

Notice of injury

If you believe that the WSDOT caused you to be injured and you want to seek compensation for your damages your attorney will file a claim with the Office of Risk Management (ORM).

Damages that victims are allowed to seek in these claims vary from injury to injury, but they can include:

  • Past and future medical bills
  • Past and future lost earnings
  • Pain and suffering and loss of a normal life
  • Any permanent disfigurement
  • Any permanent disability
  • Funeral and burial expenses in the event of a wrongful death

The notice requirement and the 60 day waiting period are strict prerequisites to filing a lawsuit. If the notice requirement isn’t complied with, it’s highly likely that a lawsuit will be dismissed.

The statute of limitations

Every state has a deadline within which a personal injury lawsuit must be filed. The general rule in Washington is that the lawsuit must be brought within three years of the date of the accident. That three year statute of limitations also applies to any actions brought against WSDOT. If you fail to file your personal injury action against WSDOT within three years of the date of the accident, you’ll likely be forever barred from proceeding further. Remember, you’re also required to file your claim with ORM, and allow it 60 days before you can file your lawsuit.

Personal injury lawsuits involve complex litigation, and the State of Washington maintains an office of about 50 defense attorneys specifically for purposes of defending personal injury lawsuits brought against it. If you believe that WSDOT was responsible for an accident you were involved in and any injuries that you suffered, contact us right
away for a free consultation and case evaluation.

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