Accidents can disrupt your life in significant ways. Even a relatively minor injury can cause you to miss work and rack up medical expenses that make you wonder how you will be able to pay them. Fortunately, Washington State allows injured victims to seek the compensation they need to cover the medical bills, lost wages, and other unanticipated expenses stemming from the accident. While these types of damages tend to be simple to calculate (i.e., they are easily quantifiable), other consequences can be harder to determine. For instance, if you developed insomnia, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after the accident, it can be hard to ascribe a number to the emotional and mental anguish you’ve endured. Enlist the support of a knowledgeable and compassionate Vancouver personal injury attorney to help you secure the pain and suffering damages you need to support all aspects of your recovery.
Understanding Compensatory Damages in Washington
The term “compensatory damages” refers to the financial award an accident victim can receive to reimburse them for the physical, mental, or economic harm they suffered. There are two main types of compensatory damages: Special and general. Special damages refer to quantifiable damages related to a personal injury (i.e., medical bills, lost wages, diminished earning capacity, etc.). These types of damages can be calculated using hospital bills, pay stubs, and other receipts documenting the economic impact of the accident. Working with a seasoned personal injury lawyer can help you determine the amount of special damages you can recover.
General Compensatory Damages
It’s no secret that an accident can impact your life in other ways than your physical injuries. Many accident victims develop symptoms of anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after experiencing this traumatic event. They may find themselves feeling hopeless about the future, especially if their injuries are severe enough to alter their life in significant ways. For instance, if the accident causes you to lose your limb or requires you to use a wheelchair, it can be overwhelming to cope with this new reality. Your attorney can help you seek general compensatory damages to assist you with the difficult aftermath of the accident. Although money may not be able to restore your mobility, the compensation can help to support your emotional and mental recovery.
Calculating Pain and Suffering Damages
Unlike special damages, pain and suffering damages are much more subjective and difficult to quantify. Before you start calculating how much your personal injury claim may produce in general damages, it’s important to recognize that every case is unique. There are several factors that may influence how much compensation you will recover, and it’s often up to the court to determine the award. Washington State does not have a specific formula for determining an accident victim’s pain and suffering. Ultimately, it’s up to you and your attorney to assess the impact the accident has had on your life, including how it will affect your future—both personally and professionally. Below are just a few factors that may affect how much compensation you receive for the pain and suffering you’ve experienced as a result of the accident.
Long-Term Effects of the Injury
Catastrophic injuries that cause permanent damage often increase the amount of general damages a victim may recover. For instance, if you suffer paralysis, disfigurement, or lose a limb, these significant injuries will permanently affect your life. You may become unable to perform your job duties, compelling you to seek employment elsewhere. Suffering a disability may confine you to a wheelchair, which then requires you to modify your living environment (i.e., installing wheelchair ramps and other accommodations). Your attorney will work with you to determine an appropriate amount of compensation to pursue that will assist you with these monumental and difficult tasks.
Quality of Life
Accident victims can experience devastating emotional consequences in the wake of this traumatic experience. If your loved one or companion finds this event too difficult to handle, they may move on and leave you to navigate this challenging time on your own. Loss of companionship and other forms of emotional distress can be debilitating, but your lawyer can work hard to secure you the compensation you need to move through this harrowing period with greater stability.
Trusted Legal Guidance When You Most Need It
If you’ve suffered an injury at the hands of a reckless or negligent party, you are not alone. It’s natural to feel overwhelmed and anxious during this stressful time, but you do not have to make these difficult decisions on your own. Reach out to a caring and empathetic personal injury attorney to help you assess your case. Together, you can identify the most strategic path forward to ensure you maximize your settlement offer and secure the compensation you need to support your recovery.
Reach out to Henderson Taylor Law Firm today at (360) 737-1478 to speak with a trusted and caring Vancouver personal injury attorney.