Am I Entitled to Interest in a Jury Verdict?

Although about 95% of car accident claims in the United States are settled without the need to go to court, in cases where the insurance company refuses to make a fair settlement offer, your Hampton personal injury attorney will have to take your case to trial. When this happens, they can help you secure both the pre-judgment and post-judgment interest you are entitled to, which can have a considerable impact on the total amount of financial compensation you receive. If you were injured in a car accident and would like to speak to a qualified attorney regarding interest on your potential jury award or have any other questions about your claim, call the personal injury law firm of Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp to schedule a free case review. 

What Are Pre-Judgment and Post-Judgment Interest?

In Virginia, pre- and post-judgment interest perform similar functions. Pre-judgment interest both compensates the victim for the loss of the use of their money and forces the at-fault party to forfeit any advantage it gained by retaining the money owed to the victim in the interim. 

Post-judgment interest serves as compensation to the victim for the deprivation of the value of principal damages from the day the judgment is entered up to the day they actually receive payment. Therefore, pre- and post-judgment interest fulfill the same goal, but for different periods of time. They both make the victims whole after being denied the use of the principal. You are only eligible for pre-judgment and post-judgment interest in your Hampton personal injury case if it goes to court and is decided in your favor. You are also not entitled to interest if a settlement is reached during litigation.  

Virginia’s interest rate for these is set at 6% annually and is calculated according to the total compensation awarded to you by a jury. 

How Can I Get Interest on My Personal Injury Jury Verdict?

Post-judgment interest will be awarded after the jury finds in your favor. Interest will be calculated by the court. It will be based on the total verdict and how many days pass until it is paid.  

You will have to take specific actions in order to receive pre-judgment interest. They include:

  • Making a complaint: You must specifically request pre-judgment interest. Failure to do so will preclude you from collecting any should your case go to trial.
  • Jury instructions: Your Hampton personal injury attorney will include pre-judgment interest in their instructions to the jury. The judge will ask the jury to take interest into account when determining their award.
  • Verdict form: The verdict form will instruct the jury to award any pre-judgment interest apart from other compensation. Your attorney should make sure this requirement is included in the form given to the members of the jury. 
  • Closing arguments: Your attorney will also remind the jury to consider pre-judgment interest during their closing arguments.  

A pre-judgment award is discretionary. The jury could opt not to grant it even if they agree with your total compensation request. By following the above-listed steps, you can increase your odds of obtaining pre-judgment interest, which can increase your total compensation by a significant amount, particularly if it has taken more than a year for your case to be resolved.  

Talk to a Hampton Personal Injury Attorney

The Hampton personal injury attorneys at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp have been litigating major personal injury cases since 1985. If you were injured through no fault of your own, we can ensure you understand your rights, gather evidence, prove liability, and fight to make sure you receive full and fair financial compensation. Using our decades of training and experience, we achieved a $46 million verdict for a client who was severely and permanently injured by a derailed Norfolk Southern train. The jury also awarded our client interest beginning from the day the accident occurred, bringing the total settlement to $60 million

To schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team, call (833) 997-1774 or fill out our contact form online. To better serve our clients, we have offices in Hampton, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Virginia Beach.