Car accidents are the leading cause of major accidental injuries in the Commonwealth. As reported by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), more than 65,000 people were hurt in car accidents in Virginia in 2019 alone. If you were hurt in a crash in Fairfax, you may be trying to answer the question: Can I get financial compensation for my pain and suffering? The short answer is ‘yes’—but, unfortunately, it is not always easy to do so. Here, our Fairfax auto accident lawyer highlights the most important things you should know about getting financial compensation after a traffic collision in Virginia.
You Have the Right to Seek Financial Support for Pain and Suffering
In Virginia, victims of car accidents have the right to hold the at-fault party legally responsible for the full extent of their damages. Among other things, compensation can be recovered for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. As stated simply in the official Virginia Model Jury Instructions, a Commonwealth jury is instructed to award a car accident victim full and fair financial compensation for the “physical pain” and “mental anguish” sustained in the accident. Although the concept of pain and suffering is somewhat abstract, the trauma that accident victims are forced to deal with is very real.
How Pain and Suffering Compensation is Determined After a Virginia Car Crash
Getting access to complete compensation for pain and suffering is notoriously difficult. As it is an intangible loss, there is, by definition, no single specific figure that a plaintiff can point to as a basis for the value of their damages. Sadly, large insurance companies try to take advantage of the ambiguity. They are well-known for undervaluing pain and suffering damages. In a Virginia personal injury claim, the ‘multiplier method’ is often used to determine the value of pain and suffering. Here is how the multiplier method works for calculating pain and suffering compensation after a car accident in Virginia:
- Imagine that you were hurt in a crash with a distracted driver in Northern Virginia. In the wreck, you sustained $12,000 in medical bills and suffered $6,000 in lost wages for a total of $18,000 in economic damages. The multiplier method calculates the pain and suffering sustained in the crash as a ‘multiple’ of the economic damages. If a multiple of ‘2’ is selected, then pain and suffering for this accident would be $36,000.
There is no specific formula for figuring out what multiplier is appropriate. Instead, it depends on the nature and severity of the victim’s injuries. Ultimately, pain and suffering is a case-specific issue. Do not let defendants or insurance companies undervalue your damage. A top-rated Fairfax car accident lawyer will make sure that you follow all of the rules and requirements to bring a strong claim that puts you in the best position to maximize your recovery. As an example, you must comply with Virginia’s statute of limitations (Code of Virginia § 8.01-243) to pursue financial compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Call Our Fairfax, VA Car Accident Attorneys for Help
At Leary Law, P.C., our Virginia auto accident lawyers are standing by, ready to help you and your family get justice and full financial compensation. If you or your loved one was hurt in a traffic collision, we can help. Contact us now for a free, no obligation review of your case. From our offices in Fairfax and Manassas, we represent car accident victims throughout Northern Virginia, including in Arlington, Alexandria, Chantilly, Falls Church, Sterling, Leesburg, and Ashburn.