If you become injured in an accident, you may wonder if you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit. As long as you have evidence that your injury occurred as the result of someone else’s negligence, the answer is yes.

Personal injury is a broad category that covers many types of accidents, including birth injuries. If you have never filed a personal injury lawsuit before, you may have questions about your rights based on your situation.

1. What sorts of damages can you recover?

In addition to economic damages, which include medical expenses and lost wages, you may also be able to recover non-economic damages. These are losses such as pain and suffering that, though not easily quantifiable, have a significantly negative impact on your life.

2. What is the difference between a birth injury and a birth defect?

A birth injury occurs due to trauma that occurs during labor and delivery. A birth defect, on the other hand, occurs due to a genetic predisposition for a certain condition that the baby inherits from his or her parents. In other words, a defect occurs even in the absence of trauma, whereas a birth injury is usually the result of human error.

3. What if you were partially at fault for the injury?

Per Washington state law, contributory fault for an accident does not automatically prevent you from recovering damages. The court determines the percentage of fault that you bear for the accident and diminishes proportionately the award you would otherwise recover.

4. How common are birth injuries?

Fortunately, due in part to obstetrical technique refinement, the incidence rate of birth trauma has seen a steady decline over the last several decades. In 2012, birth injuries occurred in approximately 1.9 out of every 1,000 live births.

5. Why should you see a doctor after a car accident?

Symptoms of severe injury do not always show up right away, in part because of the adrenaline from the car accident. Seeing a doctor ensures you receive the treatment you need and establishes a record of damages sustained in the crash.