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What damages can people seek for auto accident injuries in Washington?

After suffering injuries in Washington auto accidents, people may be entitled to compensatory damages for their economic and noneconomic losses.

According to the Washington State Department of Transportation, there were 121,064 motor vehicle accidents across the state in 2017 alone. As a result of such collisions, those involved often suffer serious injuries, which may require extensive medical treatment and time off work. Understanding the types of damages they may be entitled to may help people obtain the compensation they need, so they can focus on their recoveries.

Economic damages

When people pursue personal injury claims following motor vehicle accidents, one of the classifications of damages they may be awarded are economic damages. This type of damages refers to the quantifiable monetary costs that people have accrued as a direct result of their accidents. The types of losses that may fall under this classification include the medical bills they have paid for their injuries, the projected future costs for their medical care, the income they lost while they were off work recovering and a loss of earning capacity. Additionally, they may be entitled to compensation for the value of property damaged in the accident or the costs of repairing it.

In order to show that they have suffered such losses, people may rely on documentation such as invoices, receipts and medical records to support their claims.

Noneconomic damages

Some of the losses people suffer as a result of car collisions are not as tangible as the economic costs. These include the following:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish and emotional distress
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of enjoyment
  • Inconvenience
  • Humiliation and injury to reputation

Unlike their economic losses, which are objectively verifiable, it may be difficult for people to prove their noneconomic losses. Proof of these damages may require testimony from the injury victims and their families, as well as medical professionals and other experts.

Working with a legal representative

After suffering serious injuries in motor vehicle collisions, people in Washington and elsewhere may face a range of challenges. In addition to dealing with their physical and emotional pain and suffering, they may have concerns about how they will pay for their medical bills, lost wages and meeting their financial obligations. Depending on the circumstances, however, the drivers responsible for the accidents may be held financially responsible. Thus, people who have been injured in car crashes may find it helpful to discuss their rights and options with an attorney.