“Damages” are what can be paid to a victim in a case, and include medical expenses, pain and suffering, wage loss, etc., as determined by Virginia Code § 8.01-52.
In a personal injury case, there are no caps on economic and non-economic damages. This means that the entire value of a case can be recovered without the judge having to order remittitur. In many states, even if a jury awards $2 million to a plaintiff, the judge must lower the award, which is called remittitur, so that the award is in compliance with that state’s statutory cap on damages. In Virginia, this is no worry.
While economic and non-economic damages have no cap, punitive damages do. Punitive damages are issued to punish a defendant for outrageous conduct and to deter others from acting in a similar way. Virginia’s cap for punitive damages is $350,000.00. Virginia Code §8.01-38.1
Medical malpractice cases, in contrast to personal injury cases, do have a damages cap. The cap for medical malpractice cases where the act of malpractice occurred in 2020 is:
July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020 $2.40 million
July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021 $2.45 million
Medical Malpractice caps change yearly according to when the act of malpractice took place. These caps are determined by Virginia Code § 8.01-581.15.
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