Motorcyclists can suffer devastating injuries when they are involved in a collision with cars, trucks, SUVs, etc. Head and spine injuries are particularly common in motorcycle accidents because the motorcyclist has virtually no protection and routinely takes the brunt of the damage in the impact. These injuries can require a lifetime of therapy, and even then, life may never be the same.
If you were the victim of a serious motorcycle accident in Hampton, Virginia (VA) you may be entitled to damages to compensate you for your injuries and losses. While it’s impossible to know exactly how much a potential claim is worth, our Hampton motorcycle accident law firm can assess the facts in your case to arrive at an educated estimate.
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Compensatory damages fall into two categories: economic and non-economic. Economic damages include medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. Calculating economic damages is fairly easy because you will have documentation of the bills and wages with specific dollar amounts. Accident victims who are permanently disabled and unable to work at their old job – or work at all – can include lost future wages in the claim. Calculating lost future wages is a matter of taking an educated guess based on our Hampton law firm’s extensive experience with motorcycle accident cases. It’s impossible to know exactly how much would have been made and how many years the person would have worked, but there are many factors we consider in reaching an estimate, including the age and pre-accident health of the victim.
Non-economic damages provide compensation for physical and emotional anguish, commonly called pain and suffering. Damages for pain and suffering depend in part on the severity of the injuries and whether the victim will require long-term care. This is not to say that victims who fully recover aren’t entitled to compensation for pain and suffering. The emotional injury caused by a motorcycle accident often lasts well beyond the physical injury.
Unlike other damages that are meant to compensate a victim for losses, the purpose of punitive damages is to punish the driver and deter others from acting in the same manner. Many people think punitive damages are available in every case, but that’s not true in Virginia. Punitive damages are only available if the at-fault driver was very intoxicated or acting with a willful disregard for others’ safety at the time of the crash.