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Damages You Can Recover in an Illinois Car Accident Lawsuit

Posted in Car Accidents, Personal Injury on Tuesday, December 19th, 2017

A reckless driver traveling over 100 miles per hour on Butterfield Road in Wheaton crashed into a Honda, causing the vehicle to burst into flames. The occupant of the Honda was a young woman on the verge of graduating from Northern Illinois University, according to the Chicago Tribune. If that was not bad enough, the reckless driver tried to flee the scene of the accident and reportedly shoved a woman who was trying to assist after the horrific collision.

This was a horrific accident and, unfortunately, serious car accidents occur quite regularly in Illinois. If you or a family member is involved in such an accident, you may be able to pursue financial restitution through a personal injury lawsuit.

Illinois tort law allows a victim to pursue an array of monetary damages. The following are the most common types of damages that car accident victims usually seek in court:

Compensatory Damages

As the name suggests, compensatory damages are designed to compensate an injury victim for his or her injuries. The tort system is designed around compensation, and thus, this category of damages are the core damages that are usually recovered through a personal injury lawsuit. There are several types of compensatory damages, but the most commonly sought are:

  • Recovery of medical bills (including surgery, ER, ambulance, and physical therapy);
  • Lost wages and lost earning capacity (which means you can recover income you would have earned had it not been for the accident and future wages if you are partially or totally disabled); and
  • Pain and suffering damages.

Punitive Damages

Unlike compensatory damages, which are designed to help make the victim whole, punitive damages are designed strictly to punish the defendant. The policy behind punitive damages is that what the defendant did (or neglected to do) was so egregious that additional compensation is required both to reprimand the defendant and deter future wrongdoing.

Wrongful Death Damages

Illinois courts recognize that death is a special circumstance and allows close family members to sue on behalf of the deceased. Given the severe damages associated with the sudden loss of a loved one, additional damages are pursuable, including loss of companionship and loss of family financial support.

No Damage Caps

Some states have caps on the total amount of damages that can be awarded in a personal injury lawsuit. This is not the case in Illinois. Illinois used to have a cap on damages in medical malpractice cases, but that cap was struck down by the state supreme court as unconstitutional.

Experienced Illinois Car Accident Lawyer Can Assist You Today

If you or a family member suffered an injury in a car accident, truck accident, or other accident, our team of Will County personal injury attorneys is here to assist. Call or contact Sabuco, Beck, Hansen, Massino & Pollack, P.C. online today and request a consultation to discuss your case. With over 125 years combined experience, we can advise you on the types of compensation you may be entitled to.

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