What Types of Compensation Can I Receive in an Illinois Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit?
Anyone injured in an Illinois motorcycle crash as a result of another motorist’s negligence can pursue the at-fault party in a civil action to recover financial compensation for medical bills, lost income, and property damage, and often also for pain and suffering and other noneconomic damages.
As the injured plaintiff, you bear the burden of proving that the defendant motorist’s negligent acts were the cause of your motorcycle accident injuries. After proving causation, you can seek compensatory damages for costs associated with your injuries and future physical disabilities arising from the accident.
While the specific amount of compensatory damages vary from plaintiff to plaintiff, they usually consist of economic and non-economic damages—for medical and other expenses incurred immediately following the accident as well as ongoing and anticipated future expenses.
Economic Damages Available in Illinois Accidents
Economic damages—sometimes called pecuniary damages—comprise your tangible costs. These typically include charges for:
- Ambulance transfer to a hospital
- Emergency room treatment
- Medical care provided by orthopedists, radiologists, neurosurgeons and other specialists
- Hospital room
- Physical therapy
- Lost wages for the duration of time you are unable to work
- Special modifications to your home or automobile to accommodate your accident-related disability
- Property damage to your motorcycle
- Car rental expenses
- Attorneys’ fees charged by your personal injury lawyer
(735 ILCS 5/2-1115.2)
Non-Economic Damages Available Under Illinois Law
Though somewhat more difficult to quantify, you may also recover compensation for the non-economic damages, or intangible losses, related to your motorcycle accident. In addition to facing significant medical bills, a person seriously injured in a motorcycle crash often must adjust to the reality of a life that is very different from the one they formerly lived.
You may have to cope with chronic pain and may no longer be able to engage in activities you once enjoyed, including riding your motorcycle. You often have to surrender a large degree of freedom and independence you once took for granted. Noneconomic damages are the legal system’s way of attempting to compensate injured persons for having their lives turned upside down through no fault of their own.
Noneconomic damages usually include compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress/mental anguish
- Loss of normal life
- Loss of consortium (for the injured person’s spouse)
- Loss of society (in the case of a fatality where the family of the deceased has brought a wrongful death action)
(735 ILCS 5/2-1115.2)
Punitive Damages (Available in Some Circumstances)
In some cases, in addition to compensatory damages, motorcycle accident plaintiffs may be awarded punitive damages from the defendant. Punitive damages are generally applied only in cases where the defendant’s conduct crossed the line from mere negligence, or carelessness, to recklessness or even more outrageous conduct, including criminal (drunk driving being a prime example). They are designed to punish the behavior and deter future similar behavior.
Our Experienced Illinois Motorcycle Accident Lawyers can Maximize the Value of Your Case
Like other motor vehicle accident cases, motorcycle crashes involving serious injuries are best resolved with the services of a skilled accident attorney who can maximize the full value of your case and obtain rightful compensation on your behalf. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC has helped hundreds of clients recover the financial compensation they were entitled to following an Illinois motorcycle accident.
We take cases on a contingency-fee basis, meaning there is never any up-front cost to hire our firm and you don’t pay us until we win recovery for you. Call us today for a free, no-obligation review of your case.