How to Calculate Damages in Virginia Personal Injury Cases

By Peter DePaolis

After getting injured in an accident that was someone else’s fault in Virginia, you probably want to know if it would be worth it to file a personal injury claim. It would help if you knew the different types of monetary damages that could be available and how to calculate damages in Virginia personal injury cases.

Every personal injury claim is different, which is why the types and amount of compensation you could seek from the liable party will depend on the specific facts of your situation. A Virginia personal injury attorney could help you pursue a claim or lawsuit for the damages that are appropriate in your situation. 

Types of Damages in Virginia Personal Injury Cases

The two primary types of monetary damages in Virginia personal injury claims are economic and intangible losses. These damages are to compensate the plaintiff for the harm they suffered.

Sometimes, the jury assesses punitive damages against the defendant to punish them for their conduct, but punitive damages in personal injury cases are rare. The plaintiff has to prove that the actions of the defendant were intentional, malicious, outrageous, or committed with extreme disregard for the safety of others. This blog will focus on the two types of compensatory damages, economic and intangible.

Economic Damages in Virginia

Economic damages are things that can get measured easily in dollars because they have paperwork like bills or receipts. Some of the common economic losses people request in personal injury cases in Virginia include things like:

  • Medical expenses incurred to treat their wounds. The bills from the ambulance, emergency room, blood transfusions, x-rays, lab tests, prescription drugs, surgery, physical therapy, and pain management can fall into this category.
  • Lost wages for any unpaid income from when your injuries prevented you from working.
  • Future lost wages if you still struggle with impairments that impact your ability to work after achieving maximum recuperation from your wounds.

Also, if someone else’s carelessness caused the loss of your close relative’s life, we might be able to pursue additional damages for the family in a wrongful death claim.

Intangible Losses in Personal Injury Claims

Intangible losses are a little more challenging to quantify in terms of dollars, but these are significant damages with a monetary value. For example:

  • Pain and suffering. When a person gets injured in an accident, there is usually physical discomfort, inconvenience, and emotional distress. The mere payment of a person’s medical bills and lost wages does not compensate the injured person for the pain and suffering they endured. Pain and suffering damages honor their intangible losses.
  • Disfigurement. Severe wounds can leave a person with disfigurement. Burns, amputation or dismemberment, extensive scars from the injury or surgical incisions are examples of disfigurement.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can develop after a person experiences or witnesses a horrific accident. PTSD can affect a person’s ability to maintain gainful employment and personal relationships.

Your Virginia personal injury attorney can determine the economic value of your losses and help you pursue a claim for compensation from the at-fault party. Reach out to our office today for help with your case, we gladly offer a free consultation.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.