Being injured in an accident that was not your fault can take an extreme physical, financial, and emotional toll. This is especially true for those who sustain serious injuries that require hospitalization, painful treatments, and the need to take weeks or even months off from work. Fortunately, in Illinois, accident victims are not forced to bear the cost of these burdens on their own, but can hold the responsible party accountable by filing a personal injury claim in court. Successful plaintiffs stand to collect compensation not only for their economic expenses, such as medical bills and lost wages, but also for more intangible losses, such as emotional distress or pain and suffering.
Filing personal injury claims is a complex process, so if you were injured in an accident, you should strongly consider consulting with an experienced Mount Prospect personal injury lawyer who can help you seek compensation for your losses.
In Illinois, accident victims can collect compensation for their losses by filing a claim against the responsible party in court. A plaintiff will only be successful, however, if he or she can provide evidence demonstrating that the defendant’s negligence or recklessness was responsible for the accident. This in turn requires proof that although the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty to use ordinary care, he or she breached that duty by behaving unreasonably or unlawfully, which resulted in the plaintiff’s injury. This can be difficult to prove, so it is important for injured parties to speak with an attorney who has the resources and experience necessary to conduct a thorough and exhaustive investigation into the accident. Someone who was involved in a car crash, for instance, would need photos from the scene of the accident, a copy of the responding police officer’s report, statements from eyewitnesses, footage from nearby recording devices, and medical records demonstrating the extent and cause of their injuries.
Plaintiffs who are able to prove that another person’s negligence caused their injury can collect economic damages, which compensate victims for medical bills incurred as a result of hospital stays, doctor’s appointments, treatment, prescription medications, rehabilitative care, and special medical devices or equipment. In addition to recovery for medical expenses, injured parties may also be able to collect compensation for any wage loss they experienced as a result of having to take time off from work, as well as compensation for property damage.
Unlike economic damages, non-economic damages represent compensation for the emotional distress and physical pain suffered by the plaintiff as a result of his or her accident and usually cover costs related to physical impairment, disfigurement, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and inconvenience. Although putting a price on this type of intangible loss is difficult, courts do regularly award injured parties for their pain and suffering, especially in serious accidents. However, before doing so, they will take a number of factors into consideration, including the nature and extent of the plaintiff’s injury, the age and pre-accident physical health of the victim, and whether the injured party has access to medical treatment that could help relieve their pain. In some cases, juries are even willing to award plaintiffs punitive damages, which are intended to punish the defendant and prevent similar conduct in the future.
Call the SAM LAW OFFICE LLC at 847-255-9925 to speak with an experienced and compassionate Mount Prospect personal injury lawyer today.