What Damages Can You Collect After Being Injured in a Car Crash?

After you’ve been injured in a car crash, you probably have many questions about how to proceed and what legal recourse is available to you. During this time, you may start to wonder what types of damages you may be entitled to. Typically, drivers have questions like “Is the at-fault driver liable for my vehicle damages?” or “Can I recover damages for my medical bills?

While each case is different, the following are some of the most common types of damages you can collect after being injured in a car crash in Washington. 

Economic Damages

In the state of Washington, car crash victims can recover two main types of damages, one of which is economic damages. This represents the monetary damages you incurred that can be directly tied to the crash, including: 

  • Medical expenses: Includes the past and future costs associated with injuries sustained during the crash such as hospital bills, surgeries, medications, ongoing/future treatments
  • Lost wages: If your injuries kept you from working you can claim compensation for your lost wages; if the accident caused you to have a long-term or permanent disability, you may be able to recover damages representing your future earning capacity (the income you would have earned had the accident not occurred)
  • Property damage: Compensation for vehicle repairs or replacement costs that were damaged during the crash

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are the other main type of damages awarded in personal injury cases in Washington. These damages represent the non-monetary losses you experienced because of the accident. Non-economic damages can include: 

  • Pain and suffering: Meant to cover the physical and emotional distress caused by the car crash, including emotional trauma, anxiety, and depression
  • Loss of consortium: This may apply if injuries sustained from the accident impact the victim’s relationship with their spouse, addressing specific aspects like loss of companionship, intimacy, and affection
  • Wrongful death: In the unfortunate case that the car crash victim’s injuries lead to their death, certain surviving family members may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim; damages may include funeral expenses, lost financial support, and emotional suffering

Are Punitive Damages Available in Washington?

In many states, car crash victims may be able to recover punitive damages in a personal injury case. However, these types of damages are rarely awarded in Washington. 

Punitive damages are meant to punish the at-fault party for their intentional or malicious actions and discourage similar behavior. 

Final Thoughts

Hopefully after reading through this guide, you have a better idea of the types of damages you may be entitled to after being injured in a car crash. 

Keep in mind that the state of Washington follows a comparative negligence system, meaning the amount of damages you can claim is reduced if you are found partially at fault for the accident. 

If you need help navigating the complexities of filing a personal injury claim after being injured in a car accident, working with an experienced Washington personal injury lawyer like Brumley Law can help you maximize your potential compensation.