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What Are Compensatory Damages in a Personal Injury Case?

What Are Compensatory Damages in a Personal Injury Case?

If you’ve been injured by the actions of a negligent person, business, or government entity, you may have grounds to file a personal injury claim. If your lawsuit is successful, you may be entitled to compensatory damages that facilitate your recovery process and mitigate your injury-related debts.

There are two types of compensatory damages: economic and non-economic. At The Law Offices of Daniel J. Miller, our Virginia Beach personal injury attorney can investigate your case, develop a litigation strategy that aims to maximize your claims, and even negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf to make sure you receive a beneficial settlement. If necessary, we can also take your case to court and aggressively fight for a verdict that awards both economic and non-economic damages.

Understanding Economic & Non-Economic Damages

Economic damages refer to verifiable monetary losses that can be calculated by evaluating medical bills, receipts, lost wages, and other injury-related financial records.  For example, an attorney can look at a plaintiff’s past W-2s and income statements to calculate their overall loss of earning potential.

Economic damages can include:

  • Existing and projected medical expenses
  • Physical rehabilitation and psychological therapy costs
  • Lost Wages
  • Loss of earning potential
  • Property damage

Non-economic damages are intangible losses that are far more difficult to quantify. To secure damages, your attorney needs to prove to the court that your injuries have impacted your physical, emotional, and mental well-being. The court also needs to consider the circumstances that led to your injury, the degree of negligence involved, and if your injury prevents you from holding gainful employment.

Non-economic damages can include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional and mental distress
  • Loss of enjoyment in life
  • Loss of society
  • Physical impairment or disability
  • Lost opportunity

Unlike other states, Virginia doesn’t cap economic or non-economic damages in personal injury lawsuits. However, there is one exception: claims involving medical malpractice are capped at $2 million in Virginia.

The Statute of Limitations

According to Va. Code § 8.01-243(A), a plaintiff has 2 years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim against the negligent party. If the plaintiff exceeds this deadline, the court may refuse to hear their case, or the defendant will request a case dismissal per the statute of limitations. In either scenario, the plaintiff loses their opportunity to secure compensatory damages. Of course, there are nuances and exceptions to this policy, so it’s crucial that you discuss your case with a lawyer before taking legal action.

Schedule a Consultation to Explore Your Legal Options

If you’re ready to file a personal injury claim, contact The Law Offices of Daniel J, Miller today. Our Virginia Beach personal injury lawyer can review the details of your case and negotiate for compensatory damages that reflect your financial and legal objectives. You can rely on our legal team to manage the legal aspects of your case so that you can devote your time and attention to recovering in peace.  

We’re available 24/7. Contact The Law Offices of Daniel J. Miller at (757) 517-2942 to schedule a free consultation.

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