Understanding Pain and Suffering Damages in Washington State
December 6th, 2023
Contributor: Nathan Dwyer
If you were injured due to the negligence of another, you may be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover your damages. Importantly, you might not only be able to recover your economic damages, but also your non-economic damages. Also referred to as “pain and suffering,” this category of damages is meant to compensate for your non-pecuniary losses — such as the physical pain and mental anguish you experienced in connection with their injuries.
Types of Pain and Suffering Damages
Pain and suffering damages may be awarded in cases where an accident victim’s losses go beyond those that are tangible. This category of damages essentially compensates an accident victim for having to go through the physical and emotional pain that would not have experienced if the accident had not occurred. A variety of pain and suffering damages may be awarded in a personal injury case in Washington, including the following:
- Physical pain — The physical pain experienced as a result of an accident-related injury is a key factor in an award for pain and suffering damages.
- Mental anguish — You might not only suffer from physical pain, but also mental anguish due to your injuries. The emotional distress, anxiety, and psychological conditions suffered is considered when calculating pain and suffering.
- Loss of enjoyment of life — If your accident-related injury affects your relationships or ability to enjoy the hobbies and activities you once participated in, you may be compensated for the loss of enjoyment of life you suffered.
- Physical disfigurement — The physical scars and alterations to your physical appearance can severely impact your self-esteem and quality of life. Disfigurement in a visible part of your body, such as your face may be compensated at a higher amount.
- Loss of consortium — Loss of consortium may be filed by a spouse who is deprived of the benefits of the relationship because of your injury.
Pain and suffering can be proven in a variety of ways. These damages can be established through medical documentation, photographic evidence, and testimony from your friends and family members. You can also help demonstrate your pain and suffering by documenting the pain you experienced each day and the limitations you suffered in connection with your injuries.
What is the Statute of Limitations to Recover Pain and Suffering Damages?
If you intend to file a personal injury action to recover your economic losses — as well as your pain and suffering damages — it is important to understand you only have a limited amount of time to do so. In Washington, you must file a personal injury lawsuit within three years from the date of the accident. Failure to file a claim before the statute of limitations expires will bar you from ever obtaining monetary recovery for your injuries and holding the negligent party accountable.
There are limited exceptions to the three-year statute of limitations in Washington. Specifically, the time frame to file a personal injury lawsuit may be tolled in cases where a victim suffers from incapacity or is under the age of 18.
Contact an Experienced Washington Personal Injury Attorney
If you have been hurt in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, carelessness, or recklessness, a personal injury attorney can fight to recover your economic and non-economic damages. The Bellingham personal injury attorneys at Robinson & Kole provide committed counsel to accident victims throughout Washington State and work to secure the maximum compensation to which they are entitled. We welcome you to contact us for a free consultation by calling 800.640.5616 or by using our online contact form. Se habla Español.
Categories: Personal Injury