If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, no doubt you are feeling anxious about your future. The rising doctor bills, the lost time from work, trips to the rebab, they are all taking their toll, and you just want your life back.
At Crary, Clark, Domanico, & Chuang, P.S., we understand what you are going through, and we are passionate about getting justice and fair compensation for those injured in an accident because of the negligence of someone else.
Justice for the Injured
Washington law says that when someone injures you through their negligence, then they are required to “make the person whole again.” Another way this is put is “to put the injured person back in the position he or she was before the accident.”
We all know that neither is possible. So, the law requires the next best thing, and that is to compensate the injured with money.
Types of Damages Spokane Courts Award
In many Spokane personal injury trials, the question of fault isn’t seriously being fought over, rather the fight is over how much compensation will be paid. The law allows certain types of damages that can be claimed by the victim.
There are two broad categories of damages, economic and non-economic. Economic damages are those with a fixed amount of money to be repaid like medical bills. Non-economic damages are those that require money to repay but the amount is subjective and variable.
- Medical Bills
- Lost Time from Work
- Future Lost Wages
- Property Damage
- Vocational Rehabilitation
- Any direct and quantifiable loss
- Pain and Suffering
- Emotional Distress, Anguish
- Temporary or Permanent Disability
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
- Permanent Disfigurement (aside from medical costs)
- Loss of Companionship/Consortium
How the Award is Calculated
The amount of these losses will vary depending on the circumstances and the extent injuries. All economic damages are a matter of adding those amounts up, and this the figure you ask for concerning those damages.
The rest don’t have a fixed price, so each one will have to have solid evidence behind it to prove that the loss is real. For example, loss of enjoyment of life might be claimed, and to prove it the injured person could show how they loved fishing but now they can’t do it anymore. You still have to put an amount on it, but without proof that the loss was real, the jury won’t consider it.
One aspect of a personal injury case is that there is usually a limit to what can obtained. In Washington, there is no limit set by law, so a victim can ask for any amount. However, most people don’t have an endless supply of money, so they rely on their auto insurance to pay their damages subject to the policy limit.
In Washington, the minimum insurance requirement is $25,000 per person for bodily injury and $50,000 max for all bodily injuries in a single crash. The property damage is capped at $10,000.
So, this means that after your economic damages have been established, the goal is to get at least the cap, so all the non-economic damages become important. Ultimately the jury will decide, and this is why all non-economic damages have to be backed with evidence.