Virginia Beach Car Accident Damages
Virginia Beach car accident damages can cover any financial losses resulting from a collision as well as intangible losses like a decrease in quality of life and pain and suffering. Depending on the situation, you may also be able to collect compensation that is meant to punish the responsible party’s behavior. To learn what damages may be available in your case, it may be beneficial to consult a well-versed car accident lawyer who can help you.
Damages Available in a Car Accident Claim
The exact damages a person may be able to recover following a crash may vary. However, a person should expect to recover all medical expenses related to the injuries they suffered in the vehicle accident. They could also recover lost wages as a result of being unable to work. The injured party may receive compensation for noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering. Finally, in rare circumstances, someone may be able to recover punitive damages if they are injured by a driver who was drinking and driving or engaged in outrageous conduct.
Economic damages are compensation for expenses resulting from an accident. The damages have a defined dollar value, such as medical bills, physical therapy fees, or an ambulance bill. Economic damages also include the injured party’s lost wages when they are too injured to perform their job or are unable to work because of their injuries.
Economic damages could also include lost future wages or lost earning capacity which is the diminished ability to earn money in the future they would have had but for the accident. A common example is someone with a physical job such as a longshoreman. Because of a back injury suffered in a vehicle accident, they can no longer perform that job. Instead, they must work at a job that earns far less money. The difference in earnings can be claimed as a part of a personal injury case.
Non-economic damages include the individual’s pain and suffering. The person could be compensated for scarring resulting from their injuries, inconvenience, mental anguish, fear, and emotional damages they suffered as a result of the injuries they incurred in the accident. Often, the non-economic damages someone claims following an injury exceed the economic damages.
The calculation of non-economic damages is difficult because it is hard to put a value on pain, anxiety, and anguish. To calculate these damages, the lawyer engages in intensive negotiations or explains their client’s situation to the insurance company to reach a fair settlement. If the insurance company does not value the non-economic damages appropriately, a judge or a jury could determine the value of the non-economic damages following a trial.
Punitive damages may be awarded in limited circumstances to punish the wrongdoer for egregious conduct that was intentional or willful and wanton. Punitive damages are designed to warn and educate the public that the behavior of the wrongdoer is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. The most common circumstances in which punitive damages are awarded are if the accident involved a drunk driver with an extremely high blood alcohol content or someone with other intoxicants like drugs in their system.
Who is responsible for paying in Virginia Beach?
The at-fault driver is responsible for paying for the damage. When the at-fault driver has liability insurance coverage including coverage for property and property damage, the insurance company may cover up to the limits of coverage for any property damages the driver caused. Property damage includes damages to the vehicles involved as well as personal property within the vehicle. For example, it is not advisable to use a child car seat after an accident. Those should be replaced, and the insurance company should be required to pay for the replacement car seat.
The minimum limits in Virginia are $25,000. However, a commercial vehicle may carry a $1,000,000 of insurance coverage. An attorney can examine the specific circumstances to determine who would be responsible for paying.
Speak to an Attorney About Virginia Beach Car Accident Damages
When you are injured because of the actions of another party, you have the right to collect compensation for your injuries. To discuss the damages that may be available following a Virginia Beach car accident, call us today for a free consultation.