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.
Negotiating damages for a personal injury case can be an incredibly daunting task, and navigating personal injury claims—and the variety of potential damages a plaintiff may be owed—can be extremely difficult without a practiced personal injury lawyer who understand Illinois law and knows well the full terrain of liability and damages in personal injury cases. Lawyers like the personal injury attorneys at Panio Law Offices are able to evaluate your case and file a claim for the highest possible award to compensate for injuries, pain and suffering, lost wages and more.
If you have questions about filing a personal injury claim, call (312) 313-0305. We can help.