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What are Damages in an Illinois Personal Injury Case?

If you were involved in an Illinois auto accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you might be wondering who will pay for your medical treatment, time off work, and the repairs to your vehicle? The financial compensation you are looking to recover is known as “damages.” Damages can be divided into two main categories — economic and non-economic. 

Calculating damages in an auto accident is not an exact science, and no two cases are identical. You can have two very similar accidents, but the settlement amounts can vary widely based on a number of different circumstances. If you were injured in an accident, it is important to contact a skilled Rockford car accident attorney right away.

Types of Damages 

As previously mentioned, there are two main categories of damages. In very limited cases, there may be a third type of damages, which are called punitive damages. Here is a look at the characteristics of each.

  • Economic Damages: Economic damages are ones that relate to quantifiable financial losses. In other words, these are financial losses that can be measured. These can include medical expenses, lost time from work, repairs to your vehicle, future medical treatment, and expected time off work, etc.
  • Non-Economic Damages: Non-economic damages are more subjective and difficult to measure. They include things like pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life. Non-economic damages are also called general damages in many cases. This type of financial compensation recognizes that someone has suffered in more than just the ways economic damages are designed to compensate a victim.
  • Punitive Damages: Punitive damages are different than economic and non-economic damages. Their purpose is not to compensate the victim. They are designed to punish the negligent party who caused the accident and deter anyone from acting in the same manner going forward. These are awarded in select cases where the defendant’s conduct was particularly egregious. Defendants who were driving drunk or drag racing are often made examples of by an award of punitive damages.

Calculating Damages in an Illinois Car Accident 

Calculating damages can be difficult, depending on the circumstances of the accident. Before you can even calculate damages, you have to prove the other party was at fault for the accident. Without liability confirmed, the defendant’s insurance company is not going to make a settlement offer of any kind. 

When it is time to calculate damages, there are a number of factors that are used when coming up with a number. Some of these include:

  • What the physical damages are
  • Extent of injuries
  • Medical expenses to date
  • Physical damage repairs to vehicle
  • Future medical expenses
  • Injured party’s age
  • Plaintiff’s present and future earning capacity
  • Disability
  • Emotional injuries
  • Pain and suffering
  • Potential punitive damages

Contact an Illinois Personal Injury Attorney 

Even in accidents where liability is clear, the defendant’s insurance company will argue that you were at fault or will try to make a lowball offer in hopes of getting you to settle right away. This is why it is so important to have an attorney on your side. If you were injured in an auto accident due to someone else’s negligence, contact Brassfield & Krueger, Ltd. today to schedule an initial consultation.

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