Even if you are a safe and careful driver, there is always a risk that you could be involved in a serious motor vehicle accident. According to data collected by the Virginia Highway Safety Office, there were 128,172 crashes and 65.708 injuries reported in the Commonwealth in 2019 alone. If you were involved in a collision in the Hampton Roads region, you may be wondering: Am I entitled to compensation for my pain and suffering? The answer depends on the specific circumstances of your case—though pain and suffering is a recoverable loss in Virginia. Below, our Virginia Beach auto accident attorney explains the key things you should know about recovering pain and suffering after a crash.
Virginia Law: Victims Have a Right to Seek Compensation for Pain and Suffering
As a starting point, it is important to emphasize that pain and suffering is a valid loss. Through a personal injury claim, injured auto accident victims can seek financial compensation for both their economic and non economic damages. As described in the Virginia Model Jury Instructions – Civil, juries are instructed to consider any “physical pain” and “mental anguish” suffered by the victim when awarding damages. The value of any such award fully and fairly compensate the plaintiff given the damage they sustained.
How is Pain and Suffering Calculated in Virginia?
By definition, pain and suffering is an intangible damage. Putting a precise dollar figure on the value of the “pain” or “suffering” that a person has endured can be difficult. There is no specified formula for calculating pain and suffering damages in Virginia. That being said, courts often use a process called the ‘multiplier method’ to try to value pain and suffering damages. Essentially, pain and suffering damages will be calculated as a ‘multiple’ of a person’s actual economic losses.
As an example, imagine that you incurred $10,000 of medical bills and $5,000 of lost wages after a car accident in Virginia Beach. You also endured considerable pain and suffering in the crash. Your direct economic losses are $15,000. If your non economic damages are valued as a multiple of ‘2’, then you may be eligible to recover an additional $30,000 for pain and suffering. What multiple is appropriate depends entirely on the specific facts of the case.
Recovering Fair Compensation for Pain and Suffering Can Be Challenging
Unfortunately, many victims struggle to get access to the complete financial compensation that they rightfully deserve. As pain and suffering damages are fundamentally intangible, ambiguity exists. Defendants and insurance companies may try to take advantage of the uncertainty. Indeed, insurance companies are often aggressive in defending a claim for pain and suffering.
To maximize your financial recovery, you must thoroughly document the severity of your injuries. According to a study published in the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, researchers find that pain and suffering correlates highly with both total medical expenses and the amount requested by the injured victim. A lawyer will ensure that your damages are properly documented and that you ask for the full financial compensation that you deserve.
Call Our Virginia Beach Car Accident Lawyer Today
At Barney Injury Law, our Virginia auto accident attorney is an experienced, solutions-driven advocate for injured victims. We will help you maximize your financial compensation for your pain and suffering damages. To arrange a free, no obligation case evaluation, please contact our law firm today. With an office in Virginia Beach, we represent car accident victims throughout Hampton Roads, including in Norfolk, Hampton, and Ne