When a person is injured in an accident or incident caused by the actions of another party, Virginia law says they can file a personal injury claim for financial compensation for those injuries. This compensation is often referred to as “damages.” The purpose of these damages is to make the victim whole again after the injury. The law says this can be done by removing the financial burden and emotional burden the injury has caused the victim.
Damages can be awarded for many different types of expenses the victim has incurred because of the injury, as well as for future expenses that the injuries may cause.
In many personal injury cases, damages are awarded for past expenses the injury caused, such as medical treatment expenses and loss of wages the victim sustained from being unable to work while they recovered. These types of damages have an exact dollar amount that the victim’s Virginia personal injury attorney can show.
There is another type of damage that a victim may be entitled to collect which may not be as easy to calculate. This type of damage is for future expenses the victim may suffer because of the injury. Victims who have suffered a catastrophic injury or one that has left them with long-term or permanent disabilities often face years of recovery and ongoing medical treatments.
Future damages can not only cover these future medical expenses, but they can also cover the loss of future income the victim will suffer because they are no longer able to work at their old job or they may be physically unable to work at all.
Many victims are also able to collect future damages for the pain and suffering, scarring, or disfigurement they will endure for the rest of their lives.
Calculating future damages can be complex and requires the skill and experience of a professional Virginia accident attorney. In many situations, the attorney will work with an accountant or other financial experts to project what those future medical expenses and lost income will be, as well as the financial value of pain and suffering.
Each type of future damage is calculated differently and uses different factors to determine the final dollar amount the victim deserves. In Part II, we will examine how Va. accident attorneys calculate those amounts.