How much is your personal injury case worth in Virginia, and how can you get a fair deal?
If you have been injured through someone else’s negligence, how much your case is worth will depend on several factors. There’s no such thing as a “personal injury loss calculator” — every case is different.
What types of damages can you claim?
The two main types of damages in a personal injury claim are economic and noneconomic (pain and suffering) damages:
- Economic damages: This category includes past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and loss of future earning potential. Personal injury attorneys use formulas to assess economic damages.
- Noneconomic damages: This includes losses such as physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, and diminished quality of life. In many cases, the amount awarded for pain and suffering exceeds the amount awarded for economic damages. Although insurance companies may have programs for calculating pain and suffering compensation, judges and juries are under no obligation to follow them.
What are the major factors considered in valuing a claim?
Extent of injuries suffered and amount of insurance coverage are major factors. Victims who suffer catastrophic injuries with life-altering consequences can receive more compensation than victims who suffer less serious injuries. Spinal cord injury resulting in paralysis or severe traumatic brain injury lead to more medical bills, loss of earnings, and pain and suffering than a strain or sprain. Catastrophic injury victims may need lifelong care.
Available insurance coverage is also a factor. If you are injured by someone carrying minimum insurance, there’s less money available for your claim.
How is liability determined in different types of losses?
Different types of damages are calculated in different ways:
- Property damage: You should be made whole for any damage to your personal property caused by the negligence of another. This figure is based on the amount required to repair or replace your property.
- Medical expenses: Expenses for medical care and/or hospitalization are totaled after an injury to arrive at a dollar amount. For serious injuries, the cost of ongoing medical care should be factored in.
- Lost wages or earnings: This sum can be easily calculated by adding the income lost because of your injury. Benefits such as sick leave or personal time off are also factored in, but you can still recover for your lost wages even if you received paid time off at your job for sick leave or personal leave
- Loss of future income: This type of loss is most common after serious injuries. Calculation involves a projection of how much income you are likely to lose in the future because of your injuries.
- Pain and suffering: Insurance companies typically work with multiples of one and a half to three times your medical costs in calculating pain and suffering. Factors that warrant a higher multiplier may include severe pain, permanent injuries, prolonged recovery time, ongoing pain, permanent consequences such as scars, disfigurement, disability, or cognitive problems due to brain injury.
- Diminished quality of life: Serious injuries can prevent a victim from participating in activities he or she previously enjoyed. In this case, loss of enjoyment should be factored into noneconomic damages.
Can I get a fair deal from an insurance company after I’ve been injured?
Insurance companies calculate damages using methods designed to minimize their payouts. Without the help of skillful lawyers, you are at the mercy of large insurance companies and their formulas. Having worked for large insurance companies in the past, I understand how they operate and how to respond to their tactics.
At GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys, we can assess the full extent of your losses, negotiate skillfully with insurance companies on your behalf, and fight for the compensation you deserve in court, if necessary. Let us put our expertise and experience to work for you.
Call us at (804) 413-6777 if you have suffered serious personal injury.
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Prevention, empathy, and diligence are hallmarks of everything we do at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys. Our community can see these ideals lived out in our work to prevent personal injuries from happening.
- Safety Education
GibsonSingleton launches a “Texts=Wrecks” campaign to reduce the number of people injured or killed by distracted drivers.
- Annual Coat Drive
During the fall, our team works to distribute coats to people in need in our community.
- Hands-on Service
John and Ken join the Gloucester Point Rotary Club in cleaning up the community.
- Supporting Local Schools
The Gibson family participates in Gloucester’s Botetourt Elementary Shuffle fundraiser.