Serving injury victims in the Tri-cities, Columbia Basin, Eastern Washington and Oregon.

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How do damages for pain and suffering work in Washington?

On Behalf of | Jun 6, 2022 | Injury

If you suffered severe injuries due to negligence, getting fair compensation is probably a top priority. In most situations, the victims of an injury cannot address their health and financial losses without restitution.

Many events can lead to harm. A commercial vehicle accident, for example, can result in catastrophic injuries like brain or spinal cord damage. You probably qualify for economic damages, but what if it doesn’t meet your needs?

Are non-economic damages available?

Commonly known as pain and suffering, non-economic damages are possible after sustaining injuries in a crash or through medical malpractice. These damages address the harm that’s difficult to quantify when a catastrophic event occurs. Examples of these damages include:

  • Disfigurement or disability
  • Loss of normal marital relations
  • Emotional distress and mental anguish
  • Destruction of parent-child relationships

The pain and suffering you continue to experience after an injury are also part of these non-economic damages.

What if you contributed to the accident or injury?

Under Washington law, you may still be entitled to non-economic damages even if you contributed to the event that caused your injury. The compensation you acquire will merely be reduced by the percentage of fault you bear. For example, if you were 50% at fault in a commercial vehicle accident, you could receive half of your monetary award.

Is there a limit on pain and suffering?

Although Washington has some of the most victim-friendly compensation laws in the nation, it does impose a cap on non-economic damages. The state calculates your non-economic damages with an equation based on your life expectancy and your average annual wage.

Even with a cap in place, injury victims can walk away from their ordeal with hundreds of thousands of dollars in pain and suffering damages. We urge you to learn more about accident and injury compensation if you suffered harm through negligence.