In the state of Virginia, there are many elements to be considered when it comes to determining the amount that should be sought after in a personal injury claim, in determining the type of damages that may be available to a claim and which source a person may want to turn to when pursuing a personal injury settlement.
The major factors in determining the value of a personal injury settlement in Virginia include:
- Pain and suffering- which includes the nature and the extent of the injuries suffered, such as any physical or mental pain that may have resulted from the incident. This also includes any economic losses such as medical expenses and loss of previous or future wages due to a lost ability to work. 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. A plaintiff seeking a personal injury settlement may also claim compensation for any psychological or emotional problems which have been caused by the incident. These include anxiety, fear, nervousness, isolation, depression, sleeplessness, digestive disorders or stress including headaches and muscle pain.
- Available insurance coverage- this is another major factor which is to be considered when filing a personal injury claim. In some cases the plaintiff is insured against the incident and may claim compensation from the insurance company. However, the settlement provided by the insurance company will also depend on the size of the premium paid or whether the average clause rule applies.
As an injured party in Virginia, the plaintiff may seek compensation for any economic or non-economic losses. There are many types of damages in which an injured party may claim settlements for, the most common ones in Virginia include:
- Any past or future medical expenses paid as a result of injuries caused by the incident.
- Any past or future losses of income.
- Loss of earning capacity, where the injuries acquired by the injured party have resulted in the inability to make the same or more amount of money in the future.
- Deformity as a result of the incident which may cause humiliation or embarrassment.
- Any inconvenience the injury may has caused.
- Any pain and suffering towards the injured party.
Usually, in Virginia, a personal injury claim is settled by multiplying medical bills with any lost previous or future wages.
In the event that the incident results in wrongful death, other damages may be recoverable. This includes any grief, loss of companionship and guidance suffered from the loss. It also includes compensation for loss of income of the deceased and loss of protection or services he/she previously provided. Compensation may be provided for any loss of assistance the deceased provided and funeral costs.
In Virginia, the injured party may file a claim for any injuries for up to two years after the incident and five years if the injury was to an infant. Virginia is, however, one of the few U.S states that still follow contributory negligence laws. They state that if the injured party is as little as one percent to blame for the incident then he or she may not claim any compensation for any losses suffered.