An Overview of Pain and Suffering Claims in Washington State

Almost everyone strives to put safety first when they get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle; however, an accident can happen at any time and even the smallest accidents can lead to serious injuries. If you have been injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to damages if the accident was the fault of someone else.

When someone hears about injury damages stemming from a motor vehicle collision, they often think about medical costs, insurance bills, and even lost wages due to time missed from work; however, there is another category of damages that people should know. This is called pain and suffering.

The Definition of Pain and Suffering Damages

States will vary slightly in their definition of pain and suffering. In some cases, there might even be a cap. In the state of Washington, for example, pain and suffering are defined as an inconvenience, mental anguish, and emotional distress. This can even include probable emotional distress that may take place in the future.

The definition of pain and suffering is subjective and can be hard to quantify. While a medical bill has a number printed on it, as do the costs of car repairs, pain and suffering can be difficult to quantify.

Coming to a Fair Number for Pain and Suffering Damages

Because pain and suffering are both subjective, it is important to work with a legal professional to come up with a fair number. Often, this amount is going to be based on prior cases that might have had a similar outcome. Some of the factors that are going to play a role in the final number include the person’s age, his or her occupation, the person’s state of health before the collision, and the type of physical injuries that someone sustained.

In the end, it is critical for people not to settle for less than what they are owed. Too often, an insurance adjuster is going to tell someone that their pain and suffering award has already been set in stone. Instead, those who have been involved in a car accident should work with a legal professional who will fight to defend the rights of his or her client.