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What damages can I recover in an Illinois car accident case?

After a typical car accident, victims commonly have significant expenses, costs, and losses.  They enter into a lawsuit in order to begin putting the pieces of their lives back together and often wonder how much and where they can do so in a court of law.  They ask what kind of things they can get back through a jury award or settlement amount.  Therefore, we put the following sections below to outline where your compensation might come from if you pursue car accident litigation in Illinois.

ECONOMIC DAMAGES AVAILABLE IN ILLINOIS AUTO ACCIDENT CASES

Economic damages are an amount of money awarded by a jury to a plaintiff for his or her injury, loss, or other detriment experienced as a result of someone else’s unlawful act.  They are also called compensatory or specific damages.  They are not supposed to be anything more than what the plaintiff actually lost in order to avoid rewarding the plaintiff; rather, they are meant to return the situation to as it was prior to the incident.  Here are some examples of economic damages:

  • Lost wages or investments
  • Hospital Bills
  • Property damage
  • Rehabilitation, medications, and medical devices

TYPES OF NON-ECONOMIC DAMAGES AVAILABLE IN ILLINOIS CAR ACCIDENT CRASHES

What can I recover in a car accident case?Non-economic damages is compensation given to plaintiffs for the intangible or non-monetary injuries, harms, or losses that they suffer because of someone else’s unlawful actions.  They generally relate to the reduction in one’s quality of life because of an accident.  Thus, they are normally harder to measure than economic damages.  They are also referred to as general damages or hedonic damages.  Here are some examples of common forms of non-economic damages:

  • Pain and Suffering
  • Loss of Normal Life
  • Disfigurement/Scarring
  • Disability

PUNITIVE DAMAGES AVAILABLE IN CERTAIN CAR-RELATED CRASHES

Punitive damages are used in extraordinary situations.  They are generally awarded not to compensate the victim but, rather, to punish the wrongdoer-to send a message to the rest of the community that this conduct is not acceptable.  However, they are often the largest source of recovery for plaintiffs.  Typically, they are reserved for acts that are so egregious that compensatory damages are not seen as sufficient.  They are also called exemplary damages and here are some examples of what would warrant them in car accident situations:

  • Drunk driving
  • Excessive speeding
  • Egregiously failing to monitor vehicle maintenance
  • Failing to yield to pedestrians/bicyclists

WRONGFUL DEATH DAMAGES AVAILABLE UNDER ILLINOIS LAW

If someone dies as a result of a car accident, then their spouses and loved ones (generally their spouses, children, and parents) can probably pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the person that wrongfully caused the death.  This kind of case raises the prospect of a unique kind of damages-wrongful death damages.  They are different than the others and exist solely to fill the void that the decedent left in dying.  Here are some common reasons why plaintiffs recover in wrongful death actions related to car accidents in Illinois:

  • Loss of income due to the death.
  • Loss of services due to the death.
  • Loss of companionship due to the death.

GET HELP NOW FROM ILLINOIS CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS

To understand exactly what recovery might be available to you following a car accident, call us today.  We can walk you through what might be possible to recover and how to best go about obtaining the compensation that you deserve.

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