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Filing a personal injury lawsuit for damages is a big decision, requiring time, resources, and effort. In many cases, claims can take multiple months, or even years, to resolve, and are major drain on your emotions. As such, before you pursue a personal injury claim – and certainly before you file a lawsuit – you should know what types of damages are recoverable under the law. Knowing what types of damages you may be able to recover can help you to make an informed, educated decision about whether or not a claim is worth pursuing.


Economic Damages


Economic damages are the most common damage type, and are available in all successful personal injury claims. As found in the Revised Code of Washington Section 4.56.250, economic damages are “objectively verifiable monetary losses.” Types of economic damages that are typically recoverable in a personal injury claim include:


  • Medical expenses;
  • Burial and funeral costs;
  • Lost wages and loss of earning capacity;
  • Loss of economic opportunities; and
  • Lost property.


If you have suffered any of these losses, or any other losses that are economic, you retain the right to seek the full value of these losses. There is no cap on economic damages in Washington.


Non Economic Damages


The same section of Washington code cited above also addresses non economic damages, or “subjective, non monetary losses.” Non economic damages are much more difficult to calculate, as their value is based on the individual’s extent of loss, and can vary on a case-by-case basis. Some examples of non economic damages that may be recoverable in a Seattle personal injury claim include:


  • Pain and suffering;
  • Mental anguish;
  • Loss of consortium;
  • Disability;
  • Disfigurement;
  • Loss of society;
  • Loss of companionship;
  • Emotional distress; and
  • Inconvenience


If you have suffered any non economic damages, it is strongly recommended that you work with an attorney who can help you to valuate these damages and seek your full recovery amount.


Punitive Damages


While Washington does not cap the amount of compensatory damages, both economic and non economic, that a plaintiff can recover, it does prohibit a plaintiff from recovering punitive damages. Punitive damages are designed to punish a defendant for gross negligence or egregious behavior, and are not permitted in Washington personal injury claims.


Maximize Your Settlement Amount


If you are injured by the fault of another, it is important that you recover the full value of damages that you have suffered. However, navigating the Seattle personal injury claims process on your own can be confusing, and you may not even know to which damages you’re entitled, let alone how to prove your losses and maximize your settlement.


At the law offices of Gosanko, O’Halloran, Lepore PLLC, we build your case from start to finish. Our job extends beyond just proving negligence and damages; we also negotiate on your behalf, and refuse to back down. When a fair settlement cannot be reached, we are prepared to take your case to trial.


To learn more about our services and how we can help you, please get in contact with us today. The easiest way to reach our team is by filling out the contact form on our website, or by calling our experienced Seattle personal injury lawyers directly.