In a Virginia personal injury case, compensation is limited to specific damages allowed by law. An injured person can recover for these elements of damage or injury. These are outlined in Virginia Jury Instruction 9.000. I have included the jury instruction below. Insurance adjusters consider these elements of damage in evaluating cases for settlement. If a case goes to trial and there is evidence on the element of damage, a jury may consider the evidence and award damages. If there is insufficient evidence to let the issue go to the jury, the judge will amend the instruction.

If you find your verdict for the plaintiff, then in determining the damages to which he/she is entitled, you shall consider any of the following which you believe by the greater weight of the evidence was caused by the negligence of the defendant:

1)         any bodily injuries he/she sustained and their effect on his/her health according to their degree and probable duration;

2)         any physical pain [and mental anguish] he/she suffered in the past [and any that  may be reasonably expected to suffer in the future];

3)         any disfigurement or deformity and any associated humiliation or embarrassment;

4)         any inconvenience caused in the past [and any that probably will be caused in the future];

5)         any medical expenses incurred in the past [and any that may be reasonably expected to occur in the future];

6)         any earnings he lost because he/she was unable to work at his calling.

7)         any loss of earnings and lessening of earning capacity, or either, thathe/she may reasonably be expected to sustain in the future;

8)         any property damage sustained.

Your verdict shall be for such sum as will fully and fairly compensate the plaintiff, for the damages sustained as a result of the defendant’s negligence.

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