Areas of Practice
Donchez Law Firm specializes in the following areas.
Click on each category to find out more information.
Construction Site Injury
Over the years we have represented many injured workers for
construction site injuries. These include electrical burn injuries or death
caused by electrocution, workers injured or killed by machinery,
fire fighters and police hurt in their line of work, and generally anyone
who is injured on the job. A worker injured at a construction site or on
the job will usually have the Workers Compensation or Labor and
Industries system available to pay for medical expenses and lost
wages. Under the Workers Compensation (Department of Labor &
Industries) system, a worker injured on the job should receive time loss
benefit, medical coverage for treatment related to the injuries, and
sometimes, vocational rehabilitation services. Time loss is generally
paid as a percentage of the workers actual wage at the time of injury.
While the injured worker cannot sue his or her own employer for the
employer’s negligence, the injured worker may have a claim against
another subcontractor, an employee of another contractor, or the general
contractor at the construction site. Claims against another subcontractor
or general contractor are independent of the worker’s compensation
claim and these claims may be brought at the same time.
The statute of limitations generally expires three years from the date of
the initial injury.
Automobile, Truck, Motorcycle, Bicycle or Pedestrian Accidents
We have represented people severely injured or killed as a result of
traffic accidents. Automobile, truck, motorcycle, bicycle and pedestrian
accidents are all governed by the Washington rules of the road. The
rules of the road are the standard by which fault is determined.
Compensation for injuries depends upon a number of factors including
who was at fault, the severity and extent of the injuries, and whether
the injuries are permanent, to name but a few. Benefits may be due to
you under personal injury protection coverage or other types of
coverage even if you are at fault for an accident. There may be
insurance available to pay for medical expenses and lost wages even if
you believe you were at fault. Please contact us either by e-mail or
telephone and we will usually be able to give you an immediate
preliminary opinion about your rights and responsibilities. The statute of
limitations generally expires three years from the date of the accident.
Medical Malpractice (professional)
Medical negligence cases, commonly referred to as medical malpractice, are cases that are brought against a physician or institution, such as a hospital, retirement center, or nursing home, for care that is below the accepted standard that results in an injury to a patient. In medical malpractice cases, our on staff doctor will review your medical records, after which, we will be able to give you a preliminary opinion about your case. Should we go forward and accept representation, then we will retain the services of expert witnesses who will testify for you regarding the breach of the standard of care and your resulting injury. The basis or foundation for a medical malpractice claim required by law is an expert witness who will testify that the injuries suffered by the patient were a result of sub-standard care provided by a physician or institution.
It should be remembered that a poor result or a physician's poor bedside manner isn't necessarily malpractice. Medical malpractice cases are difficult, time consuming, and expensive. We here at the Donchez Law Firm are here to help you through the many layers of problems that exist in this area of the law.
Legal Malpractice (professional)
Legal malpractice, or legal negligence, is much like medical malpractice in that there is an accepted standard of care that must be followed. A legal malpractice claim is a case within a case. The person who suffered the injury or damage must prove that the lawyer's conduct was below the standard within the industry and that the lawyer's specific substandard conduct caused the person's injury or damage. The aggrieved party is then further required to prove that had the lawyer acted properly, a different result would have happened.
Thousands of people are injured, maimed, and even killed by defective products every year. Defective products may range from prescription drugs to children's toys to household products to airbags in automobiles. Some defective product cases involve a product that was the subject of a nationwide recall. Other defective product cases may involve a single instance of a product failing. In either event, the injured person must prove that the product was not safe for its intended use, that the product was not misused, that the product had not outlived its useful life and that the defect in the product caused the person's injuries. Much the same as a medical negligence case, experts are utilized to prove these points
Food Borne Illness
Every year, thousands of people are made seriously ill by food borne poisoning. These illnesses sometimes result in death or serious life long disability. Food borne poisoning can range from E. coli, Salmonella, Shigella, Listeria, Campylobacter to Hepatitis A infection. We have successfully represented a number of people against major corporations for food borne illness
Injured Seamen and Dock Workers
Injured seamen and dock workers have claims under federal or state law depending upon which is applicable. Many can sue for not only maintenance and cure but for their personal injuries as well. We help injured seamen and dock workers obtain compensation for their lost wages and medical expenses while we pursue a claim for damages.
Every year, many people are injured as result of attacks by animals, typically dogs. A pet owner is typically strictly liable for the actions of his or her pet. Contrary to popular belief, a dog doesn’t get a free bite. Usually, the pet owner’s home owners insurance covers damages for animal attacks.
People are commonly hurt on elevators and escalators when those machines malfunction. An owner of an elevator or escalator is considered a “common carrier” under Washington law. They are in the same legal category as a bus, taxi, train or airplane. A common carrier must provide the highest degree of safety for passengers on an elevator or escalator. A person hurt on an elevator or escalator should report the malfunction to the building owner as soon as possible.
When consumers fall victim to unfair or deceptive business practices, they may seek recourse through the Washington Consumer Protection Act. The elements of a Consumer Protection Act (CPA) claim are an unfair or deceptive act or practice that occurs in trade or commerce, affects the public interest, and causes harm.
A consumer who prevails in a CPA claim may be entitled to an award of actual damages, reasonable attorney fees, costs of suit and punitive damages of three times the actual damages up to $25,000.
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