Personal Injury FAQ

The following information includes frequently asked personal injury questions. The answers stated are general in nature and are not intended to apply to every personal injury situation. Each case is different and carries its own set of circumstances which must be taken into consideration by competent legal counsel. By contacting Tacoma, Washington serious injury lawyer David A. Bufalini, P.S., you can receive a personal consultation regarding your specific legal claim.

David recently gave an interview on Tacoma radio station KLAY Radio AM 1180. Basic insurance coverage questions were covered, but the issue is much more complicated and the limited time allowed for the interview did not allow for a complete discussion of the many aspects of this part of every injury claim. Still, there is useful information here and worth a listen. I am always happy to answer questions from prospective clients. A simple phone call will connect you to David, who will gladly answer any questions you have, at no cost or obligation. Here's the link:

What is Personal Injury?

Personal Injury is any physical or mental injury to a person that results from another person's negligence or harmful act. Personal Injury involves civil law cases as opposed to criminal law cases which involve a defendant and the State of Washington. Personal injury can occur in a wide variety of ways. The following are some of the most common:

  • Auto Accidents
  • Animal Attacks
  • Insurance Bad Faith
  • Insurance Fair Claims Act violations
  • Slip and Fall Accidents/Premise Liability

What financial compensation can I recover in a personal injury claim?

Accident victims are entitled to recover monetary damages for all losses and expenses suffered from the accident. Depending upon the particular circumstances of your case, damages may include recovery for any of the following:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost Wages, including overtime
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Physical Disability
  • Disfigurement
  • Emotional Trauma
  • Mental Disability
  • Property Damage

Under what circumstances can a wrongful death occur?

Wrongful Death Law provides financial compensation to the family of a person whose death was caused by the negligent, willful or wrongful act of another. Wrongful death cases arise as the result of a variety of situations, including:

  • Automobile, bus, motorcycle and bicycle accidents
  • Construction site accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Accidents involving large commercial vehicles

Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit?

A wrongful death case alleges that the decedent was killed as a result of the negligence of the defendant, and that the decedent's immediate family members (often called "statutory beneficiaries") are entitled to monetary damages as a result of the defendant's conduct. The most common distributees are surviving spouses and children, and sometimes parents.

Pecuniary (financial) injury is the main way damages in wrongful death cases are computed. Courts interpret "pecuniary injuries" as including the loss of support, services, lost prospect of inheritance and medical and funeral expenses. But the death of a spouse, child, or step-child involves more than monetary loss. The emotional and psychological response to the death of a loved one is also deserving of compensation.

David A. Bufalini has handled wrongful death claims involving husbands, wives,  children, and step-children. Compassion and caring are as important as years of experience handling such claims. Mr. Bufalini and his highly experienced staff will provide the highest quality representation while recognizing and providing the level of emotional support families need at such times.

How do I know if I need an attorney?

If you have been seriously injured in western Washington and are unsure about the outcome of your injury, consult with experienced personal injury attorney David A. Bufalini as soon as possible. Make sure this is done before you give any official statements or sign papers of any kind. Washington State laws require filing a lawsuit within a specific period of time. Depending upon the circumstances of your case, you may be prohibited from filing a lawsuit and obtaining any compensation for your injuries if you delay. Washington wrongful death lawyer David A. Bufalini, P.S., can advise you on the applicable statute of limitations for your injury case.

What is Assumption of Risk?

If you have knowingly and voluntarily assumed the risk inherent in a particular action that caused an accident, you cannot sue another person for negligence. For example, if you went to a friend's house and they told you not to go out the backdoor because the deck was being repaired and after being told you still went out the backdoor, you assume the risk. If you become injured in most jurisdictions, under the doctrine of the assumption of risk, you would most likely not be able to collect damages.

Another example of assumption of risk is participation in a sport in which certain risks are inherent to the game. For example, if you are playing football and you get tackled and break an arm, you may not sue the person who tackled you. On the other hand, if you are playing tennis and a fight breaks out and you are injured as a result of the altercation, you may be able to sue the person who injured you, since the assumption of risk does not cover any injury that was intentionally inflicted and not an inherent part of the game.

What is a Contingency Fee?

A contingency fee is an industry standard fee that is applied to personal injury cases, and is dependent upon the successful resolution of your case. A contingency fee is a percentage of the monetary recovery obtained by counsel on a client's behalf and is only paid if and when counsel is successful in obtaining monetary recovery, whether through settlement or litigation. The industry-standard contingency fee is from one third of the awarded settlement. A contingency fee is the form of payment earned by a lawyer when he or she states that "there is no fee unless we win your case."

How much does Attorney David A. Bufalini charge for personal injury or wrongful death counsel?

David A. Bufalini's standard 1/3 fee agreement is common for personal injury specialists.  The fee agreement can be tailored to a clients specific needs.

Due to the nature of law, each case is unique and David A. Bufalini provides various fee structures to accommodate each client and each client's case. Necessary out-of-pocket costs are typically advanced and repaid at the time of settlement.

Under Mr. Bufalini's fee agreement clients are not asked to pay a retainer to have Mr. Bufalini and his highly-trained staff handle their case. There are no up-front costs. The attorney fees are paid at the time of the resolution of the client's claim.