When you suffer a sudden traumatic injury due to someone else’s negligence, reckless behavior, or intentional wrongdoing, you shouldn’t be left burdened with undue expenses in addition to the painful recovery process. The court considers these consequences of a preventable injury as “damages” in a personal injury claim in Washington. A successful claim relieves financial hardship so you can focus on maximizing your physical recovery. While compensation amounts vary widely depending on the circumstances of the case, understanding what damages are available for compensation in an Everett personal injury claim can help you understand how to get the most from your claim.
Who Pays the Compensation in a Personal Injury Claim?
Injuries quickly become costly when they keep you from returning to work at the same time that medical bills begin piling up. If another individual or business entity caused your injury, they’re responsible for your damages. Compensation in a personal injury claim typically comes from the appropriate insurance policy of the party at fault. For instance, the premises liability insurance of a store with a slip-and-fall hazard, or the auto insurance policy of an at-fault driver. In most cases, it takes an experienced personal injury attorney in Edmonds to investigate the injury, identify the liable party and the correct insurance policy, and send an evidence-backed demand package to the insurance adjuster assigned to your case.
About 95% of personal injury claims settle out of court with a settlement from the insurance company. One of the most important functions of a diligent personal injury lawyer is to carefully calculate your damages to maximize the amount of compensation you’re due before they begin negotiating a settlement. Personal injury claims in Washington go to court only when the insurance company wrongfully denies a claim or lowballs the settlement amount.
What Damages Are Available in a Washington Personal Injury Case?
Many injury victims file personal injury claims because their injury prevents a full return to work during their lengthy recovery period. Some injuries cause disability that makes it impossible to return to work at the victim’s former capacity. This causes serious economic harm to the victim and their family. Common damages in Washington personal injury claims include the following:
- Medical bills
- Future medical expenses for further injury-related treatment, physical therapy, or home healthcare
- Lost income
- Future income loss
- Diminished future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Other non-economic damages appropriate to the injury such as disfigurement compensation, traumatic limb loss, loss of enjoyment of life, or loss of consortium (the loss of a full physical and emotional relationship)
Your Washington personal injury attorney will help identify any damages that apply to your case. While financial compensation can’t erase intangible damages like pain and suffering, it’s the civil court’s only means of justice for a wrong done to an injured victim. Non-economic damages can significantly increase the value of your claim.
Under Washington’s comparative negligence insurance laws, you can still recover a portion of your damages even if you were partly at fault for your injury. The compensation amount you receive is minus your percentage of fault. For example, in a $100,000 claim, if you were 20% at fault, you’ll recover $80,000.
Average Personal Injury Settlements in Washington
It’s important to remember that average numbers in Washington settlement amounts are based on factoring in unusually high payouts as well as low ones. What your Washington personal injury claim is worth is unique to the circumstances of your injury.
- Payouts for minor injuries average $6,827
- Payouts for moderate injuries average $25,181
- Payouts for severe injuries average $489,887
The settlement range for severe injuries is $75,000 to $2,700,000. Recent settlements in Washington include a $60,000 jury award for a victim injured in an accident with a garbage truck in 2023, a $3,600,000 settlement for a pedestrian accident in Snohomish County in 2023, and a $1.6 million dollar settlement for a medication error in a Washington hospital.
Talk to your Washington personal injury attorney about the value of the damages available in your case.