Damages in an Illinois Personal Injury Case
A summary of types of damages available in an Illinois negligence claim
IntroductionIn Illinois, a person is liable for an accident in which that person was negligent. Where a person has been injured as a result of the negligence, the negligent person is obligated to make financial payment to the injured one. If the liable party is insured, the financial responsibility will likely fall upon the insurance company.
Damage categories and DescriptionsThe damages for which the negligent party is responsible fall into the following categories: 1) medical care and related expenses; 2) missed work time or other lost income; 3) pain and other physical suffering; 4) permanent physical disability and/or disfigurement; 5) loss of family, social, and educational experiences, (known as "loss of normal life"); and 6) emotional damages resulting from any of the above.
While it is fairly simple to add up the money spent and money lost for things like medical bills and lost income, there is no precise way to put a dollar figure upon the injured party's pain and suffering, or upon the value of missed experiences and lost opportunities. Damages of the latter types will vary, depending upon the age and family- and social-status of the injured party, as well as upon the demographics in the geographic area from where the jury pool will be selected.
Some counties are more (or less) empathetic than others in ascribing value to pain and suffering and loss of normal life. An experienced trial attorney will help the injured party in evaluating and calculating the value of their damages, based upon the specific facts of their case. This is crucial in responding to settlement proposals and, if settlement is not possible, in preparing the client and the evidence for trial.
If you have been seriously injured due to the negligence of another, it is important that you seek counsel from an experienced injury attorney.