Types of Personal Injury Damages in Illinois
Personal Injury - January 14, 2021
If you or somebody you care about sustains an injury caused by the negligent or wrongful actions of another individual, company, or entity, you may have the right to recover compensation for your injuries and other losses.
However, understanding what type of compensation you can receive can be complicated. After a personal injury claim has been filed, it may be possible for a victim to receive economic, non-economic, and punitive damages for what happened. Here, we briefly define what each of these means and discuss the importance of working with a Chicago personal injury attorney to help navigate the claims process.
Compensatory damages in an Illinois personal injury case
In general, the types of compensation awarded in a personal injury case will be classified as “compensatory,” and they will be broken down into what are called economic damages (special damages) and non-economic damages (general damages).
- Economic damages. These damages are going to revolve around the type of expenses that are fairly easy to calculate after a personal injury case occurs. Typically, this will be done by gathering medical expenses, proof of out-of-pocket expenses, proof of lost wages, etc. The most common types of economic damages a personal injury victim receives include the following:
- Coverage of medical expenses
- Coverage of lost wages
- Out-of-pocket costs
- Property damage losses
- Non-economic damages. These damages are not as easy to calculate as the economic damages mentioned above. That is because these damages are meant to compensate a victim for things that are not as calculable and do not come with direct bills or receipts that can be totaled. We often hear of these damages referred to as “pain and suffering,” and this is often hard to define. This can include:
- Physical pain and suffering damages
- Emotional and psychological trauma
- Loss of quality of life damages
- Loss of enjoyment of life damages
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of consortium for a spouse
When calculating the economic damages mentioned above, an attorney will add up all of the calculable expenses. To calculate non-economic damages, an attorney will often use a “multiplier method,” which means they will take the total economic damages and multiply that by a set number, often ranging from 1.5 to 5. When they have both the economic and non-economic damage totals, they will add the two together to reach their valuation of the case.
Punitive damages an Illinois personal injury case
Punitive damages are not awarded in every case, and Illinois law only allows a plaintiff to seek these damages if they sustain a bodily injury, sustained physical damage to their property, or are injured due to a defective product. Punitive damages are reserved for instances where the conduct of the defendant was grossly negligent or particularly reprehensible. These damages are meant to punish the defendant while also send a signal to other individuals or companies that the behavior displayed in the case is not acceptable.
Speak to an attorney as soon as possible
If you or somebody you care about is injured due to the careless or negligent actions of another individual, contact an attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can use their resources and legal expertise to conduct a complete investigation into your case, file the claim for you, negotiate with every party involved, and help obtain maximum compensation on your behalf.