Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Handling Personal Injury Claims in the Seattle Area and Throughout Washington Since 1995

My name is Chris Thayer and I am a personal injury attorney practicing in downtown Seattle. I handle personal injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death claims throughout the greater Seattle area, including Issaquah, Mercer Island and Kirkland.

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How To Determine Your Injuries And Recoverable Damages From An Auto Accident In Seattle

Posted Wednesday, June 15, 2016 by Chris Thayer

Injuries in an auto accident run the gamut from bruises and sprains to more serious, longer lasting injuries. If you are injured in an auto accident in Seattle, it is important that you seek medical attention immediately to ascertain the nature and extent of your injuries. You may be able to seek compensation from the at-fault party to the accident for your injuries.

Types Of Injuries

Essentially, if you are in an auto accident, any part of your body could be injured. Some common auto accident injuries are listed below:

Minor injuries. This refers to situations where you are in an auto accident but not seriously injured. Some examples would be bruises, cuts, sprains that are not long lasting.

Major injuries. This refers to any major, long lasting injury. Some examples are punctures to arteries or organs, infections, injuries that require surgery, and head injuries. An example would be if you break your leg in a car accident. The injury is close to an artery and the broken bone injures a vein or an artery causing more serious damage.

Whiplash. Whiplash is a common term that refers to the injury as a result of the abrupt back and forth flexion of the neck.

Scarring and disfigurement. This refers to any injury which produces a scar or results in disfigurement. Some examples would be burns or cuts, called lacerations, from going through a windshield.

Soft tissue injuries. Soft issue injuries are harder to discern and often result from the jarring or abrupt motion caused by an auto accident. Some examples are neck injuries and back injuries. While a bone may not be broken or there is no visible blood after an accident, soft tissue injuries can cause a lot of pain and discomfort.

Broken bones. Broken bones are usually clear. If you have a broken bone as a result of an auto accident, the question then becomes the nature and extent of the injury. For example, if you break your arm, the arm may heal nicely. On the other hand, if you fracture your arm in several places and lose some of the use of your arm as a result, your compensation could be considerably greater.

Back and neck injuries. This refers to any damage or injury to your neck or back. Some examples include whiplash, neck strain, or any damage to your vertebrae.

Head injuries. This refers to any situation in which your head is struck or otherwise injured as a result of an auto accident. Some examples would be a concussion or memory loss from your head injury.

Loss of use or mobility. This refers to a situation in which you lose the use of or mobility in part of your body. An example would be the loss of use of an arm.

Exacerbated condition. This refers to a situation in which you have a pre-existing condition that is worsened by an auto accident. An example would be a heart condition or a circulatory problem that is exacerbated by an accident.

Complications injuries. Injuries from an auto accident are not always predictable. For example, if you are injured in an auto accident, have surgery, and that surgery results in a heart attack or arterial damage this could be considered a complication as a result of the auto accident.

Wrongful death. If a person you care about dies in an auto accident, then the deceased person’s estate or family may have a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party.

Type Of Damages

You could receive monetary compensation for your economic and non-economic damages resulting from your injuries in your auto accident in Seattle. “Damages” refers to the amount of money that you may be awarded for your injuries and expenses arising from your injuries. This may include the following:

Economic Damages: compensation for your calculable losses

Medical expenses. This includes any expenses incurred as a result of medical care or treatment for your injuries. Some examples include cost of medical treatment, emergency room visits, and EMT costs as well as the cost of any future medical treatment.

Out of pocket costs. This would include costs such as vehicle repair, property damages, and any damages related to the auto accident for which you were required to pay for the cost of repair or incur additional expenses that would not have happened but for the auto accident. This also includes any prescription and non-prescription medications to treat your injuries.

Lost wages and earning capacity. This refers to any lost earnings as a result of your injuries. Some examples would be monies for time off work and impairment to future earnings and your earning capacity.

Wrongful death. Damages include health care and funeral expenses, loss of net earnings accumulations, pre-death pain and suffering, and pre-death fear of death.

Non-Economic Damages: compensation for your non-pecuniary or intangible harms that is not readily calculable.

Loss of consortium. This refers to damages to pain and suffering injuries for a spouse or a family member as a result of a person who has been injured or killed, including loss of companionship, advise, or support. A spouse may also claim a loss or decrease of intimacy.

Loss of quality of life. This refers to compensation for any loss of enjoyment of life due to your personal injuries.

Pain and suffering. These refer to your physical pain and discomfort along with your emotional injuries such as grief, anxiety, insomnia and other related emotional injuries caused by the auto accident.

Emotional distress. This refers to provable emotional damages resulting from the accident.

What You Should Do After An Auto Accident In Seattle

To ensure that you receive the medical care that you need and the compensation that you deserve after an auto accident in Seattle, here are some things you may do:

Get medical attention right away. This includes at the scene medical treatment and from your treating physician.

Be sure to document your injuries with journals, medical records, and police reports.

Pay attention to any pain or discomfort that you experience after the accident. Injuries are not always apparent right away after an accident.

If you are medically cleared and are still experiencing discomfort or pain, get a second medical opinion.

Document all expenses incurred as a result of the auto accident. This would include transportation expenses, costs of repair, time off work, and medical bills.