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How do courts calculate pain and suffering damages?

Virginia readers of the Northern Virginia Personal Injury, Business, Family Law, Consumer and Estate Blog may be aware that when someone is injured in a car accident caused by someone else's negligence, they may be entitled to receive compensation. This compensation, known as damages, covers various facets. The most commonly known damages are those that cover medical expenses and vehicle repair costs. However, damages also include compensation for the pain and suffering that resulted due to the crash.

Damages are typically divided under two heads-special damages and general damages. Special damages are associated with specific economic harm, such as medical expenses, damages to vehicle and lost wages. These are easily calculated, either by showing a quote from an auto repair shop or receipts for medicines.

General damages on the other hand, include noneconomic damages. These include pain and suffering, potentially shortened lifespan, loss of companionship, emotional distress and mental anguish. It is difficult to assess how much pain and suffering one has gone through following a car accident, as it is highly subjective. Though there is no clear cut guideline or standard for proving it, courts have developed some factors that they consider in determining pain and suffering, such as severity of injury, recovery time needed, potential for ongoing consequences and personality and charisma of the injured party.

Courts also use various methods to calculate pain and suffering, and an experienced attorney may be able to help accident victims gather the necessary documentation for their case. It is not possible to quantify the injuries someone sustains in an accident, but it may be necessary to determine how much compensation they rightfully deserve.

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