What to Know About Damages for Pain and Suffering in a Personal Injury Case

What to Know About Damages for Pain and Suffering in a Personal Injury Case

What to Know About Damages for Pain and Suffering in a Personal Injury Case

By Jan Hoen

If you were hurt in an accident caused by someone else’s negligent acts, you may be aware that you have legal remedies under Virginia law. Whether you were injured in a traffic crash, slip and fall, or defective product, you can recover compensation for the losses you suffer. Virginia personal injury statutes cover the specifics of how damages work, but the primary objective is to put the victim in the same position as if the accident never happened.

Medical costs, lost wages, and expenses comprise a large portion of compensation in an accident claim, and these are considered economic losses. However, victims may also qualify to recover amounts for noneconomic losses, including pain and suffering. You endure significant hardship because of your injuries, even though these amounts cannot be expressed as a dollar value. It is important to discuss your remedies with a Virginia personal injury lawyer, but there are some facts to know about damages for pain and suffering.

Basics on Pain and Suffering

There are numerous consequences for a victim after being hurt in an accident, and many are personal and subjective. When injured, you deal with many different impacts on your quality of life. Your personal relationships are affected, job satisfaction diminishes, and you may not be able to enjoy your favorite activities. These implications may not have an exact financial value, but you certainly endure adversity.

Personal injury laws allow victims to recover noneconomic damages as compensation for these losses. Besides pain and suffering, scarring, disfigurement, and emotional distress are also types of noneconomic damages.

Calculating Noneconomic Damages

Because pain and suffering is an intangible concept, there can be challenges with proving your rights. You will need to rely on specific forms of evidence to show that you are entitled to compensation. Examples include: 

  • Medical records indicating surgery, rehabilitation, and other treatment;
  • Input from medical experts who can testify on how your injuries impose limitations and affect your life;
  • Your own statements and recollections about your experiences since being injured; and,
  • Statements from loved ones about how your quality of life was affected by an accident.

Contributory Negligence in Virginia

Another important point to know about damages for pain and suffering is that you could be barred from recovering any amount in certain cases. Virginia follows the rule of pure contributory negligence, which focuses on actions by the victim. If you were negligent in causing the accident that led to your injuries, you cannot obtain damages for economic OR noneconomic losses. The at-fault party must be 100% responsible for the incident for you to qualify for compensation.

Count on a Virginia Personal Injury Attorney to Seek All Available Damages

If you were hurt in an accident, it is crucial to get legal help to ensure you receive the full amount of compensation available by law. Hampton Injury Law PLC will tackle the challenges and complete all requirements, so please contact the firm today. We are happy to set up a case evaluation with a Virginia personal injury lawyer.

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