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Damages in Virginia Car Accident Cases

The following is what you need to know about damages if you’ve been involved in a car accident in the state of Virginia. To learn more consult with a VA car accident lawyer today.

In Virginia, you can recover your economic damages and your non-economic damages. Economic damages include your medical expenses, your loss of income, any loss of earning capacity, and future medical costs. Those sorts of things all count as your economic damages. Usually property damage is handled separately between the insurance companies because that’s a separate claim and not a bodily injury claim. Sometimes they get bound up together, but all of these damages count as economic.

Then, the non-economic damages are things like pain and suffering which is broken down into both your conscious pain and the suffering you’ve gone through but also how the injuries have impacted your ability to engage in your customary daily activities, your leisure activities, your recreational activities, that sort of thing.

There is also the potential for punitive damages in Virginia, which are damages that are awarded when someone acts with either willful or wanton behavior, which is a reckless disregard for the wellbeing of others. If it’s something that’s shocking to the conscience of the jury, they may be able to award punitive damages also.

Those are uncommon but Virginia law does allow for it, particularly in cases involving drunk driving. So that’s a breakdown of what the damages are that are available to you.

Damage Caps in Virginia Car Accident Cases

In Virginia, there’s no cap on recovery that is specific to accident cases. There is a cap on punitive damages in Virginia. Punitive damages are capped at $350,000 in Virginia. But as far as your compensable damages in a normal automobile case, there isn’t a cap.

Now there may be other restrictions on recovery, however, depending on the circumstances and if you’re dealing with a government entity. Some of the normal rules change in those cases. You cannot recover punitive damages or interest prior to judgment against the state. But normally there is not a cap on your damages except for the punitive ones. Medical malpractice cases do have a cap but automobile cases do not.

Common Injuries in Car Accidents

That can really run the gamut from soft tissue injury, that’s muscular pain and damage to tendons and ligaments, to very serious injuries like broken bones, concussions & traumatic brain injuries, punctured lungs, internal injuries, and death. The most common injuries after a motor vehicle accident are neck and back pain. Some people do sustain fractures to their vertebrae, people fracture hands, wrists, and ankles in car accidents too, and sometimes people suffer catastrophic injuries. People can have concussions if they hit their head on the windshield, a window, or the steering wheel.

Those are all pretty common unfortunately and sometimes people die at the scene of an accident. It depends on a lot of different factors but if you are ever driving a vehicle or a passenger in a vehicle you always need to wear your seatbelt. That can save your life and it can limit your injuries. So that’s something that you should always do. Defensive driving and distraction-free driving are also paramount in preventing accidents.