Injuries And Compensation For Auto Accidents

At Putnam Lieb Potvin, our lawyers are passionate about helping car, truck and motorcycle accident victims throughout western Washington. We have lobbied the legislature to ensure adequate legal protection for those who have suffered personal injuries. You can rest assured that we will bring that same dedication to meeting your legal needs.

An individual who has been injured in an automobile accident may be able to seek monetary compensation for injuries and damages. Cases are fact-specific, typically with complex issues of proof and fault in dispute. An experienced personal injury attorney can work with you to sort out your legal options.

Compensation For Your Losses

The injured party in a motor vehicle accident may be able to recover damages from the party or parties that caused the accident. Damages are monetary compensation for a victim's injuries or losses. Compensable injuries include physical injuries like broken bones, spinal cord injuries and head injuries, as well as emotional injuries like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. The pain and suffering caused by physical injuries may also be compensable.

Damages may also be sought to pay the victim's medical bills, including for treatment given directly after the accident and reasonable future medical expenses. If the victim requires rehabilitative services or accommodations such as physical therapy or the construction of a wheelchair ramp leading to his or her home, these costs may also be recoverable. The accident victim also may recover lost past and future wages and for property damage.

Other damages that are more difficult to quantify may also be sought. Mental pain and suffering may be compensable, as may permanent impairment or disfigurement. Loss of enjoyment of life is also compensable in certain situations.

If the injured person was already suffering from a previous injury, that does not necessarily bar monetary recovery. The accident may have aggravated or worsened an existing injury, and the new injury can be treated as a separate matter from the underlying injury.

If you have been injured in an auto accident, it is a good idea to keep a daily diary documenting how the injury is affecting you, both emotionally and physically. This can be of great assistance when it comes time to show the effects of the accident.

Spouse's Damages: Loss Of Consortium

Even if the husband or wife of the motor vehicle accident victim was not in the car at the time of the crash, he or she may also be experiencing a loss. Washington recognizes loss of consortium claims. Loss of consortium refers to the negative effect the accident has had on the marital relationship. Such relationships generally come with certain benefits such as companionship, comfort, assistance, sexual relations and affection. The loss of consortium resulting from a serious car collision can be temporary or permanent.

Auto Insurance

It is most often the case that auto accident victims who recover in court or via a settlement are paid by the other driver's insurance company. If the other driver is uninsured or underinsured, however, the accident victim may need to pursue other means of recovery.

The victim's own insurance policy may have an uninsured or underinsured motorist (UIM) provision that will provide compensation or personal injury protection (PIP) to assist in paying medical bills. Other types of insurance policies, such as short-term or long-term disability, often available through the victim's employer or a spouse's employer, may also provide benefits. How significant a benefit and whether it is available depends, of course, on the specifics of the situation.

Amount Of Financial Recovery

The level of damages to which an auto accident victim may be entitled depends on numerous factors, including state law, the extent of the victim's injuries, the available evidence, any fault apportioned to the victim, the type and length of medical treatment, the insurance coverage of each party, the effect of the accident on the victim's income, and the permanence of the injuries. This is why an experienced attorney can be such a strong ally in planning a case and assessing damages.

Contact A Personal Injury Attorney

A motor vehicle accident can have catastrophic consequences, both for the victim and the victim's family. Contact Putnam Lieb Potvin in Olympia, Washington, to schedule a consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer. Call 360-596-9539 or 877-551-2871 or send us an email to discuss the details of your case in a free initial consultation.

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