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Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer | Panio Law Offices

What is My Personal Injury Case Worth?

If you’re ever injured in an accident, be it an automobile accident or a slip and fall case or even health related difficulties as a result of a defective product, recovering from your injuries can be an expensive pursuit. Medical bills can quickly pile up. Time taken off from work to recuperate can mean a loss of income. The costs can be unimaginable. Damages in personal injury claims are meant to compensate you for losses when another party is at fault for your injuries.

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Kinds of Personal Injury Damages

When a person is awarded damages in a personal injury case, there is, of course, a distinct rationale behind the monetary award given. In most cases, the intent of monetary damages is to compensate the plaintiff for loss and/or damaging effects that result from an accident.

The defendant, or their insurer, is made to pay the award to the plaintiff (either by a court order or through negotiations) in an effort to make them "whole" of their loss as a result of the accident.

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Dog Bite Damages

When someone suffers a dog bite, the owner may bear the responsibility of covering the damages for that act and the cost can be hefty. A person injured by a dog attack can be entitled to medical damages, loss of income, and in some cases, pain and suffering and damage to property.

And in some cases where the owner's actions were particularly egregious, punitive damages may be applied.

Medical expenses are the most common damages an injured party can expect to receive as a result of a dog bite. These may range from simple visits with your physician to plastic surgery, hospital services, medication and even therapy. And because the law basically mandates that a person is responsible for any injuries that flow from their actions, pre-existing conditions that are aggravated by dog bite attacks are fair game also.

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Personal Injury Damages

While, financial compensation or monetary awards cannot always adequately address the full scope of injury suffered when one is harmed as a result of another's actions (whether through negligence or illicit intent), Illinois law provides for a variety of compensation or "damages" in personal injury cases meant to make the injured "whole" in the eyes of the law. Of course, no amount of compensation can make "whole" those who suffer certain injuries or circumstances, but what Illinois law attempts to do is return the injured party—as much as is possible—to the state they enjoyed preceding the injury.

As such, there are seven distinct types of damages provided for by Illinois personal injury law. They are:

Reimbursement for Medical Costs: Awards for medical costs seek to compensate the injured party for any medical treatment related to the injury. That includes past, present and future medical costs related to your injury.

Disability/Loss of a Normal Life:  In Illinois, disability/loss of a normal life is defined as the temporary or permanent diminished ability to enjoy life. This includes a person's inability to pursue the pleasurable aspects of life (i.e. hobbies, day-to-day routines, etc.) even if for a short period of time.

Disfigurement:  To put it plainly, disfigurement typically involves an injury that leaves the individual with some sort of aesthetic defect   (i.e. scarring, missing limbs, etc.), which also falls under disability. These types of monetary damages can be especially high since many disfiguring injuries are permanent in nature.

Emotional Distress: When the injured party suffers emotional distress (including anxiety attacks, post-traumatic stress syndrome, sleeplessness and fear) as a direct result of their injuries, Illinois law provides for compensation for that aspect of the injury. Damages for emotional distress are not meant to simply compensate the injured party for medical treatment of emotional distress, but for the emotional distress itself (which they would never have suffered but for the injury).

Lost Wages: Illinois law provides that an injured party may be eligible to receive compensation to cover past, present and future wages lost as a result of the accident, injury, related medical treatment and diminished earning potential as a result of disability or disfigurement resulting from the accident or incident.

Property Damage: Under Illinois law, an injured part may recover damages for repair or replacement of property damaged or destroyed as a result of the accident. Again, the law seeks to make one whole of the damage done to return the injured party, to their state prior to the incident.

Punitive Damages: Though less common in Illinois, state law does allow for punitive damages in personal injury claims. As the name implies, punitive damages seek to punish the defendant for egregious negligent or actions with illicit intent.

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