Car accidents in DuPage County frequently lead to serious personal injuries and substantial property damage. In addition to costing injury victims thousands of dollars (and sometimes much more) in medical bills and auto repair costs, those victims also lose thousands of dollars in lost wages due to the inability to work after suffering debilitating injuries. Generally speaking, if you are injured in an auto accident in Lombard, Illinois, what types of damages can you expect to receive and how do courts make decisions about these damages awards?
Different Types of Damages in a Motor Vehicle Crash in Illinois
In most car accident claims, Illinois law allows a plaintiff to seek compensatory damages, which are supposed to compensate the plaintiff for losses in the auto accident. The statute clarifies that compensatory damages are the combined total of both economic and non-economic damages. These two types of damages are defined as follows:
Economic Damages: The statute defines this type of damages or losses as those which are “tangible, such as damages for past and future medical expenses, loss of income or earnings and other property loss.”
Non-economic Damages: The statute defines this type of damages or losses as those which “are intangible, including but not limited to damages for pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, loss of consortium, and loss of society.”
In some particularly egregious cases, a plaintiff in a car accident case may be able to seek punitive damages. Unlike compensatory damages (also known as “actual damages”), punitive damages are not designed to compensate a car accident victim for her losses. Instead, they are designed to punish the defendant for particularly harmful conduct.
Determining Damages Amounts in a DuPage County Car Accident Case
How are damages decided? If you are seriously injured in a motor vehicle crash and your car is also heavily damaged, jury instructions will tell the members of the jury to take into account the specific facts of your case in deciding the total damages award that you should receive. Before the jury can award damages, it must first determine that the defendant is indeed liable. Once the defendant has been deemed liable based on the evidence presented in the case, then the jury can consider damages.
Specifically, the damage instructions provided by the Illinois Courts state the following:
“If you decide for the plaintiff on the question of liability, you must then fix the amount of money which will reasonably and fairly compensate him for any of the following elements of damages proved by the evidence to have resulted from the negligence . . . of the defendant, taking into consideration the nature, extent and duration of the injury and the aggravation of any pre-existing ailment or condition.”
In other words, it is up to the jury, based on the specific facts of the case, to determine an appropriate amount for a damages award.
Seek Advice from a Lombard Auto Accident Lawyer
Were you recently injured in a motor vehicle crash in DuPage County? You may be able to seek financial compensation for your losses, and a passionate DuPage County car accident lawyer can help. Contact Mevorah Law Offices LLC for more information about how we assist injury victims.
Whether you are going through a divorce, injured in an accident, need to file a workers' compensation claim, charged with a crime, immigrating to the United States, or need to file for bankruptcy, Mevorah Law Offices LLC can help. Our trial lawyers have over 35 years of experience helping clients throughout Northern Illinois from five offices in Lombard, Bloomindale, Joliet, St. Charles, and Chicago.
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