Sustaining an injury in an accident can leave victims not only in pain, but also struggling to pay medical bills and other expenses. Fortunately, there are potential avenues available to accident victims to help them recover their losses, so if you suffered an injury to your person or property in an accident, please call an experienced Schaumburg personal injury attorney who can evaluate your case and explain your legal options.
In most accident cases, an injured party can only recover damages if he or she is able to prove that another person or entity was responsible for their injury. Generally, this requires a showing of negligence, which means that an injured party must provide evidence to the court demonstrating that:
In most cases, courts assess whether a defendant’s actions were comparable to those of a reasonably prudent person when determining whether he or she was negligent. If it is decided that the actions were not reasonable in light of the circumstances, the injured party can collect damages to cover the cost of medical expenses and lost wages, although the recoverable amount could be reduced if the plaintiff is also found to be partially responsible for the accident. Only when their own percentage of responsibility exceeds 50 percent, however, will an individual be completely barred from recovery.
An injured party’s goal in a personal injury lawsuit is to recover damages for the at-fault party’s negligent or reckless conduct. Damages represent monetary compensation for the physical, financial, and psychological stress suffered by a plaintiff as a result of injuries sustained in an accident. There are two main types of damages that a plaintiff can recover in Illinois: actual damages and punitive damages. Actual damages, which are also referred to as compensatory damages, compensate plaintiffs for specific personal and financial injuries. This could include compensation for lost wages incurred when an injured party was forced to take off work, as well as compensation for medical treatment. In serious cases, courts are even willing to award injured parties compensation for the pain and suffering they endured as a result of the accident. Punitive damages, on the other hand, are not recovered for a specific damage. Instead, they are awarded as punishment in order to discourage the defendant and others from similar behavior in the future. In Illinois, punitive damages can only be awarded if:
When a court decides that punitive damages are appropriate, it could award the injured party an amount that is tripe the amount of the actual damages.
It’s important to keep in mind that injured parties are only eligible to collect compensation for injuries suffered in an accident if they file a claim within a certain time period. In Illinois, plaintiffs have two years from the date of the injury to file most personal injury claims. If the injuries lead to the victim’s death, however, the statute of limitations is reduced to one year, while claims for damage to property must be filed within five years.
To discuss your own case with an experienced Schaumburg personal injury attorney, please contact the SAM LAW OFFICE LLC at 847-255-9925.