Severe hand injuries do not sound catastrophic once you realize your mishap could have easily ended with your death. It is natural to feel blessed rather than cursed, but what if you rely on your hands for your income?
Most of us depend on our hands, but some careers can suffer total devastation with hand injuries that seem relatively minor. When catastrophic injuries affect your ability to work and earn, you may be eligible for pain and suffering damages.
What does the phrase mean?
Also known as non-economic damages, pain and suffering address injury effects outside the typical compensation available to victims. For example, if a vehicle crash results in a broken bone, you can file a claim for economic damages. It will cover the medical expenses your injury caused and replace the wages you lost because of the injury.
Non-economic compensation addresses the additional effects of the injury. Examples of these damages include:
- Mental and emotional anguish
- Disfiguring and disabling injuries
- Loss of intimate relations and life enjoyment
For instance, if a dog bite left you with a mutilated or deformed hand, you probably qualify for pain and suffering. After all, catastrophic hand injuries will likely impact your earning capacity, personal relationships and overall quality of life.
You have three years
Under Washington state law, most injured victims have three years to file a claim for accident injuries. It is best to start working on your claim early, but make sure you know the full extent of your harm before you file.
Attention to detail early in your claim ensures that you obtain everything you deserve going forward, including a potential pain and suffering award.