Out of nowhere, you could be thrust into the center of a premises accident. A fire could start; a balcony could collapse; a flood could erupt. In the wake of the destruction, your life could be completely turned upside down. You might be unable to work. You might have significant disfigurement. You might even have long-term pain and suffering. To understand for what and why you could recover if you filed a lawsuit against the people or entities that caused your harm, read the following sections:
Special damages are also referred to as economic damages and compensatory damages. Think of these as the out-of-pocket expenses that you experienced because of the accident. The major premise (no pun intended!) of the legal system is that it is a place for people to recover what was taken wrongfully from them. In this context, special damages attempt to repay you for the costs and injuries that an incident caused you.
What kind of special damages arise in premises accidents? Some of the most common are medical bills including ambulatory trips, ER visits, rehab, medications, and any medical devices you needed. You might also be unable to work on a short- or long-term basis following the event. If that is the case, then the wages or investment opportunities you missed while in recovery would be something that you could seek reimbursement for in court.
Another common category of losses sought is property damages but remember every case is different and whatever out-of-pocket damage you suffered would be something to try and recover through litigation.
Sometimes premises accidents cause you specific injuries that you can point to-like a medical bill or broken bone. If that is so, then you should sue for special damages. However, sometimes premises accidents fundamentally change your life.
For instance, they can leave you with profound pain, a decreased quality of life, or complete inability to do what you used to be able to do. In this case, you will want to sue for general damages. They are also known as non-economic damages and account for the intangible injuries you suffer from these kinds of incidents. Common examples of general damages are pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, and loss of normal life.
Wrongful Death Damages
Actually considered its own cause of action, wrongful death damages try to make up for the absence of a loved one or spouse. All too often, premises accidents led to untimely deaths. After the death, you might find yourself left with burial expenses, loss of income, lack of support, and many other losses because of the decedent’s passing. In these times, you should strongly consider making a claim for this type of compensation because it is a commonly-recognized category.
Courts save their most severe punishment for punitive damages. Generally, these are not meant to compensate or reimburse plaintiffs as much as they are meant to punish defendants. Additionally, courts hope this will stop others from acting similarly in the future. Therefore, they are normally utilized only when defendants’ conduct is more than merely unreasonable; rather, it typically must be considered very egregious, reckless, or otherwise extreme. In the context premises accident cases, here are some examples of actions that might warrant punitive damages:
- Wanton disregard to fix broken stairs.
- Failure to place required pool safety mechanisms in place when children are present.
- Lack of fire extinguishers.
- Allowing more customers in than the allowed capacity in commercial buildings.
- Allowing wild animals in the premises without anyone to control them.
- Impartially clearing snow and other impediments.
- Not properly storing chemicals or toxins.
- Allowing violent people or known offenders onto premises.
Collecting Damages After An Illinois Premises Accident
All of this discussion on compensation might be very informative and very appealing but if you cannot collect on it then it is meaningless. You need to do a few things in order to ensure that you will be able to collect damages for your Illinois premises accident injuries. First, file a complaint before the appropriate statute of limitations has expired. Second, join and serve the wrongful party that caused your damages. Third, conduct a thorough investigation to collect and organize all relevant facts, laws, and witnesses that support your claims for relief. Fourth, and finally, hire a competent law firm to fight for your rights in court.
Concerned About Your Premises Accident Recovery?
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers can explain exactly where you will be able to recover in court for your premises accident injuries and then we can represent you so that you do recover what you should. Plus, we can do all of this at no cost because we work on contingency so that you only pay if you get the award you need. Just call us today to get the process started!
If you would like to know more about premises accidents in Illinois, please read the following articles: