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Seeking Damages After A Serious Personal Injury

What Are The Different Types Of Damages You Can Seek In A Personal Injury Claim Or Case Involving Severe Injuries?

When talking about above and beyond the medical bills, we look at pain and suffering, inconvenience, permanent disability. Sometimes you have loss of consortium and/or loss of association with a spouse. There may be Loss of quality of life considerations. For example a musician suffers from tinnitus as a result of a head injury. Tinnitus causing interference with his music, may be a compensable.

Would Punitive Damages Ever Apply? If So, Under What Circumstances?

Punitive damages are an interesting breed in and of themselves. When a plaintiff sues someone for hurting him, whether intentional or not, tort law allows the plaintiff to recover for losses, including medical costs, unearned income due to missed work, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. All of these damages are based on how much the plaintiff has suffered and the amount he needs in order to resume life as it was before he was hurt.

The purpose of punitive damages is to deter others from committing back acts and to punish the wrongdoer. Ordinarily, there are limits on recovering punitive damages and Courts will engage in a rigorous analysis to determine if punitive damages are justified. Courts often compare the amount of damages sought with the amount actually suffered, along with similar punitive damage awards balanced by the level of bad acts by the Defendant. There is usually no insurance coverage for punitive damages and courts have held that punitive damages must be reasonable and proportionate, unless the case is especially egregious.

Are There Any Caps On Personal Injury Claims In Illinois?

There have been a number of attempts in the past, but generally speaking in the area of personal injury, they are not. There may be areas outside of tort law where there would be caps but currently, there are none.

What Determines The Amount Of Damages? Is It The Severity Of The Injury, Actual Loss Of Limbs Or Something Else? Does That Result In A Higher Settlement?

In general, a person responsible for an accident must pay an injured person for:

  • medical care and related expenses
  • missed work time or other lost income
  • pain and other physical suffering
  • permanent physical disability or disfigurement
  • loss of family, social, and educational experiences, and
  • Emotional damages resulting from any of the above.
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Although it seems simple to add up the money spent and money lost, there is no precise way to put a dollar figure on general damages; such as pain and suffering, and on missed experiences and lost opportunities. Several things determine which end of the damages formula to apply to the special damages in your claim.

  • The more painful the type of injury you suffered, the higher the end of the formula you use.
  • The more invasive and longer-lasting your medical treatment, the higher the formula.
  • The more obvious the medical evidence of your injury, the higher the formula.
  • The longer the recovery period from your injuries, the higher the formula.
  • The more serious and visible any permanent effect of your injury, the higher the formula.

For example, if you have an artist who is a right handed person who loses his right hand, can you really apply a formula to it and say that he lost $100,000 or $200,000? Probably not.

Do The Damages Include Future And Past Medical Expenses?

There is no strict formula to forecast what an injury could potentially cost. Most insurance companies and injury attorneys try to calculate past medical expenses based on what they can connect to a particular accident. We then look to medical experts to forecast the need and type of medical care a plaintiff may need in the future, which then has to be assigned a present cash value. This is true for a bodily injury claim in a car accident case, a slip and fall injury claim, or any other personal injury case. Take a hip replacement as an example. If a Plaintiff needs a hip replacement, but for whatever reason is unable to get one in the near future, we try to calculate the cost of surgery, rehabilitation, future lost time from work, and potential limitation; which we then adjust those figures to come up with a present cash value.

How Do Insurance Companies View These Cases?

Insurance companies often rely on databases in evaluating a case. Among other things, they factor in claimant’s history of claims made, severity of the accident, potential for a jury verdict, and potential monetary exposure.

Get Information on How to Seek Damages in a Personal Injury Case Involving Serious Injury or call the Ghantous Law Offices for a FREE Initial Consultation at (309) 340-1798 and get the information and legal answers you’re seeking.

Ghantous Law Offices

Get your questions answered - call me Call for a free case evaluation at (309) 340-1798.

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