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Understanding personal injury damages

On Behalf of | May 24, 2022 | Personal Injury

A momentary mistake does not necessarily mean that you are entirely responsible for an accident that causes your injury. Comparative negligence laws in states including Washington could lower the value of damages you may receive, but that does not mean you will forfeit all relief.

Understanding how Washington personal injury claims work can ensure you receive the damages you need and deserve.

What is comparative negligence?

States upholding comparative negligence laws assign all parties a percentage of responsibility for an accident that leads to an injury. These laws may reduce a plaintiff’s final damage award by a comparable amount. Therefore, plaintiffs can increase their damage awards and reduce their percentage of responsibility for an accident by proving that a defendant’s breach of a duty of care and actions are directly responsible for a plaintiff’s significant injuries.

What damages can you recover?

After injuries leave you unable to work, you may seek economic damages to cover your medical bills and wages until returning to your job. However, an injury that leaves you unable to resume your pre-accident work activities and limits your work options may qualify you for additional damages making up for any salary difference between your former and post-injury job.

You may also receive non-economic damages to compensate for pain and suffering, an inability to enjoy your everyday activities, psychological damage and physical disfigurement.

Although there is no cap on recoverable damages, Washington’s comparative negligence laws consider your degree of responsibility for your injuries. Therefore, if your case goes to trial, your damages hinge upon the defendant’s ability to shift blame for your accident onto you.

In Washington, personal injury cases are not straightforward, but you can still obtain damages that can impact your recovery and future.