In the state of Virginia, there are different factors that influence the value of a personal injury case. One would be the nature and the extent of the injury, after being healed initially, injuries can cause pain and complications to last for weeks, months or even years. The longer the rehabilitation period is, the more valuable the settlement will be. Another factor would be the injury’s effect on the victim’s employment, as being severely injured could prevent them to work as effectively as they normally would. In addition to this, the insurance coverage available greatly affects the value of a personal injury case as well.
However, some other factors may negatively influence the value of a personal injury case and diminish it, accepting partial blame for the injury or publicizing the recovery phase can both diminish the damages received from the personal injury case.
Moreover, there are mainly two types of damages to recover in a personal injury case in Virginia. The first are economic damages, which include medical expense and lost income, both past and present, these are easy to calculate. On the other hand, the other type of damages are referred to as pain and suffering, these include the mental anguish and pain suffered from the injuries, along with the humiliation and embarrassment that could have came with the injury, these are difficult to calculate as they are non economic and are subjective.
When determining the value of personal injury in Virginia, many factors will be considered. If the injury has caused the victim to miss time from work and subsequently lose income, and if it will cause the victim to miss more days because of rehabilitative treatment, the losses in income must be compensated. Moreover, in cases of severe injuries, the post-injury state of the victim may reduce their ability to earn wages similar to the ones they earned the past, in such cases, a vocational expert is required to calculate an expected earnings range. Furthermore, past medical expenses related to the victim’s accident must be considered, and medical bills should be kept by the victim in order to serve as evidence. Moreover, estimated future health care costs should be determined, in order to do this, consultation with medical experts and therapists is required. Pain and suffering are determined through medical records showing the pain suffered from the injury, testimonies from friends and family which will prove the mental harm suffered from the injuries and testimonies from psychiatrists or psychologists in order to prove the anxiety, depression and or humiliation suffered due to the accident. In the case of vehicular accidents, the property damage must also be considered by determining the repair costs of the vehicles. Finally, punitive damages, which are damages enforced in order to punish the defendants in cases of reckless behavior causing the accident and the injuries that followed are also considered, the cap for these payments is $350,000 in Virginia.
The amount of the damages does not have to be precise, rather it must provide sufficient facts to aid the court in making a decision regarding the settlement.