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Common Recoverable Damages in an Illinois Personal Injury Case

Posted on in Personal Injury

Crystal Lake IL personal injury attorneyIf you have been injured in any type of accident where someone else is at fault, you have likely thought about how much money is necessary to compensate you for your injuries. While no one can fully restore your health or erase the pain you have felt, monetary damage awards can certainly help to make you whole again.

The ultimate goal of any personal injury suit is to help the victim return to a life as close as possible to his or her life before the accident occurred. In order to achieve this goal, Illinois law recognizes several types of damages that may be awarded in such a lawsuit. The two most common types of damages are “economic damages” and “non-economic damages.” Together, these two types of damages comprise what Illinois law calls “compensatory damages.”

Economic Damages for Personal Injury Victims

Economic damages are those out-of-pocket expenses that are tangible and can be documented. For example, medical bills are economic damages because a medical provider invoice can be used to prove how much the treatment costs. Another example of economic damages is property damage. With this type of damage, a repair shop’s invoice can be used as evidence of how much property damage was caused by the accident.

While many economic damages are fairly straightforward because a receipt or invoice can be used as proof, some can be harder to prove. For example, future medical costs may require the use of an expert to estimate what medical treatment may be needed in the future. These kinds of costs typically come up in cases where the accident victim was severely injured and requires medical treatment that will continue long after the trial concludes or a settlement is reached. For example, there might be a recognized need for future surgeries or care in a nursing home. In these circumstances, both sides will likely use experts to estimate the amount of money needed for ongoing treatment and care.

Once the trial concludes or a settlement is reached, it is nearly impossible for an accident victim to request additional money for future medical treatments. Thus, it is critical that this part of the damage award is properly considered.

Non-Economic Damages in a Personal Injury Case

Non-economic damages refer to the types of losses that cannot be easily quantified. Examples of non-economic damages are pain and suffering, disability, and loss of consortium. It can be very difficult to place a dollar amount on a person’s suffering or decreased quality of life. At trial, doing so is the job of the jury, who will make the determination after hearing requests and evidence presented by both sides. In settlement negotiations, a knowledgeable attorney familiar with prior damage awards for similar cases in the same county can use these amounts as a starting point for negotiations.

Contact a McHenry County Injury Attorney

An appropriate damage award should be determined by an experienced personal injury lawyer. In many cases, an attorney will recognize that an expert is required to calculate and contextualize the amount needed to compensate accident victims. This calculation is not a guess or a rough estimate. Rather, the amount is determined after extensive research and calculations that are best handled by professionals. If you have questions about damages in your personal injury case, contact an experienced Crystal Lake personal injury attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC. Call 815-338-3838 for a free consultation today.





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