Any person injured in an auto accident in Illinois may pursue the at-fault party to recover for his or her physical or emotional injuries, as well as property damages. As with other personal injury cases, a plaintiff (injured person) has the burden of proving that the driver's negligence is the cause of his or her injuries.
After proving causation, an injured person may seek monetary damages for ailments and future injuries arising from the accident. While the specific amounts of damages may vary from person to person, damages are usually thought to consist of economic and non-economic damages—both for situations incurred shortly following the incident as well as those expenses that are likely to be incurred in the future.
Examples of economic damages may include anything that is tangibly related to a loss, including charges for:
- Emergency room treatment
- Appointments with specialized physicians such as: orthopedists, neurologists, radiologists, neurosurgeons
- Physical therapy
- Lost income
- Handicapped accommodations to home and vehicles
- Property damage
- Attorney's fees
- Car rental expenses
Though more difficult to ascertain, an injured person may also recover compensation for the intangible losses (non-economic damages) related to an auto accident including:
- Punitive damages (with economic/compensatory damages)
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of normal life
- Loss of society (in the case of a fatality) (740 ILC5 180/1)
Usually, the specific amounts of each of these elements of damages are only determined in situations when a jury is hearing the case, in which case, the jury determines the amount. Schaffner v. Chicago & North Western Transp. Co., 161 Ill. App. 3d 742, 749 (Ill. App. Ct. 1st Dist. 1987). In most Illinois car accident settlement cases, a global settlement is usually reached. A global settlement agreement includes all types of damages in the settlement amount without naming a specific amount for each portion of damages sought.
Get Help From Experienced Car Accident Lawyers to Ensure the Value of Your Case is Maximized
Many people injured in Illinois car accident cases believe that they can handle their case on their own. While this may be true in a case where damages are minimal, auto accident cases involving serious injuries generally require the work of a lawyer in order for the value of the case to be maximized. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC has helped thousands of people recover the financial compensation they are entitled to following a car accident. All of our cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, meaning there is never any out-of-pocket cost to hire our firm.
For additional information see the following pages:
- Do I need to give a statement to an insurance company following an auto accident where I was injured?
- How long do you have to file a lawsuit for personal injuries related to a car accident arising in Chicago, IL?
- How long does it take to settle an Illinois car accident case involving injuries?
- How much does it cost to hire a lawyer to represent me in a personal injury case arising out of an Illinois auto accident?
- I don't understand why my car insurance needs to pay for injuries I sustained when another person caused the accident
- I was told the driver of the vehicle I was involved in an accident with had full coverage. What does that mean?
- I was unable to work for several months following my car accident; can I recover my lost wages?
- If the car was owned by a company, is the company responsible for paying my personal injuries?
- Is car insurance mandatory for drivers in Illinois?
- My health insurance company said they have subrogation rights related to my auto accident case. What does that mean?
- Can I pursue a claim on behalf of my son against my husband?
- My surgeon wants to put a lien on my car accident case. What is he doing?
- The driver I was involved in an accident with pleaded guilty in traffic court. What does that mean?
- The driver of the vehicle who caused my Chicago car accident was arrested for DUI. Can a claim be pursued for punitive damages?
- Why is the car insurance company denying my claim for property damage and medical expenses?