In a personal injury claim, there are two types of damage that the victim is entitled to, the first type refers to all of the economic losses such as past and future medical bills and lost income, the second type, on the other hand, is known as ‘pain and suffering’.
Pain and Suffering refer to the physical, emotional and psychological pain and anguish one might suffer as a result of being victim to an accident where they were not at fault, such as vehicular or professional accidents. Unlike other damages, such as income loss and medical bills, pain and suffering is difficult to calculate as there are no specific dollar amounts to determine it. In Virginia, the statute of limitations for a pain and suffering claim is 2 years for most personal injuries and 5 years for personal injuries to an infant.
In the state of Virginia, many factors may be considered when deciding how much to award in pain and suffering, these include any bodily injuries sustained and any effects they may have had on the individual’s health; any humiliation or embarrassment associated with the accident; any past and future physical pain, mental anguish or inconvenience and the recovery time of the injury. In order to prove the value of these factors, one can either testify or bring pieces of evidences such as photographs of the injuries, medical records or documentation from relative or friends that further prove the injuries suffered. It is advised to hire a skilled attorney in order to effectively prove these factors to the court.
Generally speaking, there are two methods to determine the amount of pain and suffering a victim deserves.
The first is the multiplier method, which consists of multiplying the total medical expenses with the ‘multiplier’, a number between 1.5 and 5. The factors that affect the size of the multiplier are the severity of the injury, its impact on the victim’s daily life and any future prospects it may have affected. In other words, the more serious the injury is, the higher the multiplier will be.
The second method is the per diem method. This method is meant to multiply the suffering endured by the victim each day of their injury. This daily amount refers to the daily earnings lost due to being unable to work and is also affected by other daily activities the victim was unable to do due to their injuries. This amount is then multiplied by the number of days the victim was injured for.
Furthermore, a contributory liability rule is enforced in Virginia, this means that the other person must be 100% responsible for the accident, and if evidence proved that the victim is responsible for at least 1% of the accident, they are not entitled to any damages.
An attorney is recommended in order to help in determining the amount of pain and suffering the victim should be entitled to and also to gain a better understanding of the contributory liability rule.
If you need a Virginia Pain and suffering damages Lawyer to help you with your Pain and suffering damages case in Virginia, call us at 888-437-7747. Our Virginia Pain and suffering damages Attorneys can help you.