Virginia joins most states in not limiting insurance settlements or jury awards for noneconomic damages for pain, mental anguish and disfigurement. The state does, however, impose a total cap of $2 million on awards for medical malpractice awards that covers economic, noneconomic and punitive damages.
Economic damages include medical bills and lost wages, while punitive damages are assessed as noncriminal fines for especially negligent, reckless or intentional acts. Note, too, that the cap is not a floor; most people who succeed with medical malpractice claims in Virginia receive far less than $2 million. A total award to a medical malpractice victim will reflect economic losses plus a multiplier for noneconomic damages. Few medical malpractice victims receive punitive damages.