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Compensation For Pain And Suffering Damages in Washington

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Home Blog Personal Injury Compensation For Pain And Suffering Damages in Washington

Key Takeaways

  • Pain and suffering is a compensation type that falls under non-economic damages. It usually covers emotional trauma in Washington State.
  • Pain and suffering damages in Washington State are calculated on a case-by-case basis rather than being set by a strict formula.
  • Washington State does not place a monetary cap on pain and suffering damages.
  • You will want to keep a comprehensive file of your medical records on hand to secure pain and suffering compensation.
  • McPartland Law has over 20 years of experience helping those in Washington secure compensation for their pain and suffering. Speak to an attorney today to begin your case via a free consultation.

If you suffered an injury in an accident or lost a loved one, you have probably heard of the term pain and suffering. These are special kinds of damages that differ from typical damages considered in a personal injury claim, such as medical bills, property damage, and lost wages. It can be difficult to attach a specific monetary value to pain and suffering, especially when insurance companies try to deny coverage.

Understanding the value of your pain and suffering is paramount when pursuing compensation for damages caused by someone else’s negligence, and you may need an experienced Washington personal injury lawyer to help you get the numbers right. Take a closer look at what pain and suffering covers in the state of Washington, and discover how a lawyer can help calculate the proper damages.

How Are Pain and Suffering Damages Calculated in Washington State?

Washington has no set formula for calculating the value of pain and suffering damages. Instead, an arbitrator, judge, or jury is given discretion in calculating the amount on a case-by-case basis. That is why it is so important to have a Washington personal injury lawyer by your side throughout the process to help prevent your claim from being undervalued.

Different fact finders use different methods for evaluating pain and suffering damages. One of those may be a per diem method. Another may be a multiplier method. Most methods will take the medical expenses and lost wages incurred and then evaluate that against the period of time that a person has to experience those losses, to determine pain and suffering damages.

Pain and suffering damages are very personal to each individual. For example, an amputated foot for one person – like a lawyer – may not make any difference in that person’s ability to make a living, while for a construction worker that same kind of injury would likely be a career ending experience. Consultation with an experienced Washington personal injury attorney is essential to protect your rights.

What is Pain and Suffering?

Pain and suffering is a compensation type that falls under non-economic damages. It is typically associated with emotional trauma. Post-traumatic stress disorder, anger, grief, emotional distress, insomnia, mental anguish, disfigurement, and a host of other conditions can be considered pain and suffering. Even cognitive changes that develop after a head injury can qualify.

Loss of consortium is another example of pain and suffering. This occurs when an accident results in the death of a loved one. Loss of consortium can involve a loss of companionship due to the death of a spouse or the loss of parental guidance due to the death of a parent. The general loss of love and affection, even from a friend who is not related, can be considered pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.

As a disclaimer, Washington State law has a statute of limitations for pain and suffering. You only have three years from the onset of the pain and suffering to file a claim, with some special exceptions. These exceptions will vary based on the case, but they can include the three-year countdown not starting until a minor claimant turns 18 years of age.

Is There a Cap on Pain and Suffering Damages in Washington State?

Man struggling with head pain due to personal injury

There is no maximum amount of compensation for pain and suffering damages in Washington. There is no specific calculation used to determine pain and suffering damages. An occasionally useful way to evaluated pain and suffering damages is to take the value or amount of damages and compare that against a person’s presumed life expectancy. The information that a court would typically use to determine a person’s presumed life expectancy is available here.

When we are talking about pain and suffering damages, we want to talk about the difference in a person’s life that a motor vehicle collision has made and how long a person has to experience that pain and suffering. For some people it may be a few months of discomfort. For some people it may be years or even a lifetime of anguish. It is very important that an injured person talk to an experienced Washington personal injury attorney about their experiences following a collision. Maintaining a journal, a diary or even just notes in a person’s phone can be useful to help explain the experience that a person has after a crash.

What If You Are Partially Responsible For The Cause of Injury

Washington is a pure comparative fault state. This means that Washington law allows injured parties to receive compensation based their degree of fault for the accident, and pain and suffering damages are no exception. For example, if it is determined that your pain and suffering is worth $100,000 and you are 55% responsible for the accident, you can only receive $45,000 in compensatory damages at most. An experienced Washington personal injury attorney can help you fight and hold the other person involved in the crash more or even fully responsible for causing the crash.

What Evidence Should I Collect to Support My Pain and Suffering Claim?

Pain and suffering may be non-economic, but you will still need hard evidence to support your personal injury lawsuit. For the most part, this comes in the form of medical records. These records will help corroborate your experience and demonstrate how your quality of life decreased after the accident.

Here is a breakdown of what you will need:

  • Medical Records:
    • Corroborate your pain and suffering.
    • Collect paperwork for every counseling or personal injury doctor appointment you attended.
    • Demonstrate the impact on your quality of life post-accident.
  • Journal/Diary Entries:
    • Maintain a record of your experiences.
  • Comparison Evidence:
    • Gather information about your life before the accident for comparison.

Gathering all this evidence on your own can be overwhelming, as the details of your case will determine the exact nature of the evidence required. By hiring a Washington personal injury attorney, you will have a much easier time gathering all the necessary evidence, as they can help gauge what is most important.

McPartland Law Is Ready to Help You Fight for a Fair Settlement

At McPartland Law Offices, we have more than 20 years of experience working in personal injury and are happy to put all that experience to work for you. While some attorneys might say that the damages for a car accident should be three times the value of your medical bills, we strive for compensation that’s much higher. Every personal injury case is different, which is why our Washington law firm focuses on each case individually to provide high-quality service for each client.

A Recent Testimonial

“When all others wouldn’t take or wanted nothing to do with my case, he took it and stuck with it and saw it through til the end. Bryce also was determined to get me what I deserved. He always was honest and held nothing back. He also kept my husband and I very informed and was very professional. My family and I are thankful for his hard work and determination on my case and belief in my case. I would recommend him to anybody who needs legal help. Thank you again Bryce.” — Joey J.

Do Not Suffer in Silence

McPartland Law Offices stands ready to help with your case. Get in touch with our team today by calling 509-495-1247 or using our online contact form for a free consultation.