In the state of Illinois, if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, you should know that you might be entitled to receive compensation from the guilty party or parties that will cover your economic, non-economic, and/or punitive damages.
Accident victims who have sustained injuries and suffered any type of monetary loss due to the negligence of another might be entitled to what are known as economic damages. Such damages can include compensation for medical bills, lost wages, loss of employment and/or business opportunities, costs related to the repair or replacement of damaged goods, and the economic value of services. What’s important to note with economic damages is that they can be easily identified, and if your losses are considerable, your Decatur personal injury attorney might employ the services of an economist who can testify regarding the losses.
Non-economic damages can cover the pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of consortium that might be experienced as an accident victim. The main thing to keep in mind with non-economic damages is that they are more personal or subjective in nature. That said, it is often quite hard to calculate the value of your emotional distress or pain and suffering, and the amounts awarded will typically depend on how sympathetic the jury is at the time of trial.
Punitive damages generally act as a punishment for the defendant. They are non-compensatory damages that are given to plaintiffs who are involved in lawsuits that arise from the cruel or wanton wrongdoing of the defendant. Such damages are separate and in addition to any compensatory damages awarded. The key thing to remember here is that these damages are meant to punish a wrongdoer, such as in the case of a drunk driver who injures a plaintiff in an accident. You should not expect to receive punitive damages if you got hurt after slipping in a grocery store because even if the defendant was neglectful, the actions of the store were not malicious in nature.
If you have questions about the amount of damages that might be possible in your case, and you are not currently represented by a Decatur personal injury attorney, please call John Cannon at 1-800-373-6050 for a free consultation.