What Damages Can Be Recovered for Washington Car Accident Injuries?
A car crash can take an enormous financial as well as physical and emotional toll. Fortunately, victims have a right to seek compensation for their injuries from other parties responsible for the accident. Under Washington law, you can recover compensation for both economic damages — which are defined as objectively verifiable monetary losses — and noneconomic damages. The latter include losses that are more difficult to measure but are nevertheless all too real.
However, state law places restrictions and limitations on damages recovery that you must be aware of in pursuing insurance claims as well as personal injury litigation. Below is a summary of compensation available for car accident victims.
Economic damages include:
- Medical expenses — You are entitled to recover present and future medical care associated with the accident, hospital visits, doctor’s appointments, medications and needed therapy.
- Lost wages — You may be able to obtain compensation for wages lost due to time off for hospitalization, recovery, medical treatment, rehabilitation and handling other affairs related to the accident.
- Loss of essential services — If you are unable to perform regular household chores, such as child care, and other necessary daily tasks because of injuries sustained in the accident, you may be reimbursed for hiring someone else to provide assistance.
- Property damage — You may be compensated for damage to your vehicle and personal belongings that were damaged in the accident.
Noneconomic damages include:
- Pain and suffering — This category of damages covers physical and emotional distress resulting from an injury, including limitations on activities and overall diminished quality of life.
- Loss of consortium — This type of damages refers to any problems in intimate relationships resulting from injuries suffered in the crash.
Notably, Washington law limits noneconomic damages to an amount equal to the average wage of the victim multiplied by his or her life expectancy. For the purpose of calculating damages, life expectancy is deemed to be no less than 15 years.
Bear in mind that you can recover damages from another driver only to the extent that they were at fault for the car crash. Under Washington’s contributory fault law, each party to an accident is responsible for the harm they cause to others and their own recovery of damages is reduced by their percentage of fault. For example, if you were 40 percent responsible for a car accident, you can recover 60 percent of your provable damages from the other driver. However, you would be liable for 40 percent of that driver’s provable damages.
If you or family members were involved in an auto accident resulting in injuries, to get in touch with Bottimore & Associates, P.L.L.C. Our legal team has years of experience helping Washington car crash victims obtain the compensation they deserve. Call 253-272-5653 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation at our Tacoma office.