The injuries and pain suffered due to a collision can affect many areas of a person’s life. This includes an ability to work and dependence on one’s self or to engage with family and friends. Under Virginian law, personal injury victims have up to two years after the incident to file a claim for damages and five years if the injury is to an infant. This time period allows the victim to recover from his or her injuries and is called the statute of limitations.
During this time period, an attorney can calculate and document the total amount of damages that the injured party may claim in a personal injury claim. These damages generally include medical expenses; past and future medical costs such as hospitals, medical or surgical procedures and any medical aids such as a wheelchair, or it may include lost wages; including any future wages lost due to injury it also consists of pain and suffering; this category compensates for any physical and/or emotional pain the incident has caused.
Pain and suffering damages are considered as noneconomic damages. Virginian juries are instructed to take in many factors when deciding on how much to award an injured plaintiff.
- Any bodily injuries suffered and their effect on health.
- Past and future mental or physical pain.
- Deformation and any associated humiliation.
- Past and future inconvenience.
Pain and suffering has no particular formula to calculate the exact dollar amount. A lawyer must use concrete evidence to establish the amount of compensation. An attorney will take into consideration pain and suffering:
Pain- personal injuries usually include physical injuries such as muscle strain, sprains, bone fractures, head, neck and back injuries, deep cuts, burns and puncture wounds. Pain which is associated with these injuries includes the pain endured in the accident itself, pain that was resulted from the treatment of the injuries and future pain that may be experienced after recovery.
Suffering- it is common for people who have suffered from a physical injury to suffer from psychological and emotional problems as well. These include anxiety, fear, nervousness, isolation, depression, sleeplessness, digestive disorders or stress including headaches and muscle pain.
Usually, in Virginia, the economic losses which include medical bills are multiplied with lost wages. This is the most common method used for calculating the amount sought for pain and suffering.
Pain and suffering may be proved using a wide range of evidence. Medical documents which document symptoms may be relied on. As well as receipts for medical prescriptions, medical bills for treatment and therapy including emergency room visits, proof of time off from school or work or proof of lower performance, a daily journal analyzing moods and social obligations missed due to injuries and pictures of the injuries. All these along with any impact statement from family or friends may be provided by a lawyer in a Virginian court as proof of pain and suffering.
Every case is unique as there is no particular way to compensate for pain and suffering, Compensation is usually given in terms of money and there is no finalized amount. If the insurance company initially offers a low settlement value but then new evidence comes into light the insurance company may then agree to a higher settlement.