Evaluating Claim Value (per Washington State Jury Instruction)

Posted Wednesday, September 12, 2007 by Ed Harper

It is the duty of the court to instruct you as to the measure of damages. By instructing you on damages the court does not mean to suggest for which party your verdict should be rendered.

If your verdict is for the plaintiff, then you must determine the amount of money which will reasonably and fairly compensate the plaintiff for such damages as you find were proximately caused by the negligence of the defendant.

If you find for the plaintiff, your verdict must include the following undisputed items:
(List undisputed past economic damage amounts.)

  1. In addition, you should consider the following past economic damages elements: (Including but not limited to the reasonable value of medical expenses incurred to date and the disability and disfigurement experienced to date.) (See 30.07.01, 30.08.01, 30.09.01 and 30.10 through 30.16.)

  2. In addition, you should consider the following future economic damages elements: (Including but no limited to the present cash value of medical expenses to be incurred with reasonable probability in the future and the present cash value of earning capacity with reasonable probability to be lost in the future.) (See 30.07.02, 30.08.02, and 30.09.02.)

  3. In addition, you should consider the following noneconomic damages elements: (Including, but not limited to the pain and suffering experienced to date and with reasonable probability to be experienced in the future.) (See 30.04 through 30.06.)

    The burden of proving damages rests upon the plaintiff. It is for you to determine, based upon the evidence, whether any particular element has been proved by a preponderance of the evidence.

    Your award must be based upon evidence and not upon speculation, guess, or conjecture.

    The law has not furnished us with any fixed standards by which to measure noneconomic damages. With reference to these matters you must be governed by your own judgment, by the evidence in the case, and by these instructions.

WPI 30.01.01

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