DGAA bLAWg

How Courts Determine Damages

Web Admin - Friday, February 27, 2015

personal injury damages, Schaumburg personal injury lawyerThe ultimate goal of personal injury law is to make injured victims whole again. In theory, the law would like to allow people who suffer injuries to collect full compensation for all of the physical, economic, and emotional harms that an accident imposes on them. Of course, there are practical difficulties with doing this, such as accurately measuring emotional harms. Still, the fact that full compensation is the goal of the law is helpful for people's understanding of what damages are available to them in personal injury lawsuits.

What Damages Are Available

The law makes a wide variety of damages available to injured parties. Some of the most straightforward ones to understand are special compensatory damages. These are damages related to specific, easily calculated harms that a person suffered as a result of an accident. For instance, in a case arising out of a car accident, a person could receive special compensatory damages from the person who caused the accident to cover their medical bills and the repair bills for their car. The damages can also work based on prospective harms. For instance, if a victim can prove that their injuries prevented them from returning to work or lowered their ability to earn money, then they can also recover for those sorts of losses.

Courts can also award victims general compensatory damages. Rather than being tied to specific, calculable harms, general compensatory damages are supposed to compensate victims for the emotional harms that they suffer. Theoretically, these damages should be related to a person's pain and suffering, but as a practical matter they tend to be related to the special compensatory damages that a jury awards.

Additionally, courts have the option of awarding punitive damages. These damages are a special class of damages that are only given out rarely. Rather than the other types of damages, which focus on ensuring that victims are paid back for the harm they suffered, punitive damages exist to punish the defendant. The idea is that courts may impose these extra damages to punish defendants for particularly heinous conduct.

Comparative Negligence

Once the court calculates the full amount of the damages, there is another step. The court must determine whether the injured victim was at all responsible for the harms that they suffered. Illinois law reduces the amount of money a victim can recover by the amount of responsibility that they bear for the accident. For instance, if a pedestrian is crossing against a light and gets struck by a drunk driver, the court may find them responsible for some amount of their own injuries. Suppose the court decides that the pedestrian was responsible for 10 percent of their harm; here they can only recover 90 percent of their total damages.

Traffic accidents can lead to life changing injuries. Fortunately, the law gives people options for how to handle these situations. If you were injured in a traffic accident and want to learn more about your rights, contact an Illinois personal injury attorney today. Our firm represents victims in many northwest suburban towns, including Schaumburg, Inverness, and Barrington.

Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.


Recent Posts


Tags

Detainer Actions personal injury, auto accident injuries, delayed injuries, serious injuries, Des Plaines personal injury attorneys workers compensation benefits digital media accounts, estate planning, Arlington Heights estate planning attorney, marijuana business litigation FMLA Mount Prospect elder law attorney anesthesia errors comparative negligence condo association Crystal Lake business law attorneys Barrington workers compensation attorney Schaumburg personal injury attorney suspended license nursing home negligence Barrington criminal lawyer food poisoning Palatine trusts lawyer real estate leasing unpaid assessment Illinois real estate lawyer Illinois car accident attorney Barrington litigation attorney insurance claim dispute attorney traffic violations defense Illinois insurance claim attorney Schaumburg traffic lawyer real estate driving insurance claim Crystal Lake bike accident lawyer elder law Schaumburg injury lawyer pedestrian injuries, pedestrian fatality loopholes Schaumburg civil litigation attorney Chicago estate planning lawyer Arlington Heights injury attorney employment law liability workplace sexual harassment Inverness accident lawyer Barrington drug crime attorney Mt Prospect Attorney jet ski accidents denied insurance claims residential real estate holiday statistics South Barrington real estate lawyer Illinois elder law attorney Illinois Sales Representative Act estate planning, digital assets, Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, Illinois digital assets, Illinois estate planning, breathalyzer test car accident icy parking lots DMV underfunded trust construction accidents living trust vs will Schaumburg corporate attorney Rolling Meadows traffic attorney Illinois criminal defense attorney privacy employee discrimination employment attorney Colin H. Gilbert Inverness civil lawyer Palatine drug lawyer Inverness estate planning lawyer caretaker rights Illinois rollover accident lawyers Illinois motorcycle accident lawyer Rolling Meadows medical malpractice lawyers Rolling Meadows litigation lawyer Deer Park DUI lawyer pizza emoji Illinois Smoke Detector Act traumatic brain injury car crash injuries Forcible Entry foreclosure Barrington business law firm Barrington injury attorney Illinois wrongful termination lawyer ken apicella digital information cell phone tower data dram shop law Inverness personal injury attorney Deer Park personal injury lawyer Illinois speeding lawyer Long Grove real estate lawyer personal injury accidents Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorneys blended families drug crimes Rolling Meadows real estate attorney Family Medical Leave Act medical malpractice compensation Barrington Traffic Lawyer boating DUI Illinois trucking safety DUI attorney CAM internet Des Plaines personal injury attorney Crystal Lake will lawyer DGAA preventing accidents medical malpractice, missed diagnosis, delayed diagnosis, medical mistake, Deer Creek medical malpractice lawyers landlord tenant law Crystal Lake car accident attorney accidental death benefits criminal record Crystal Lake car accident lawyer Illinois workplace discrimination attorney insurance agents Barrington civil litigation attorney Class A misdemeanor disability benefits FSLA employment lawyer meal breaks Crystal lake insurance dispute attorney employment contract car collision Schaumburg criminal law attorney defective products lawyer Crystal Lake law firm taxes estate planning, death tax, succession plans, business estate plans, Barrington estate planning lawyers hands free device Illinois estate planning law firm Des Plaines criminal attorney pay when paid contract Inverness elder law lawyer Illinois insurance claims lawyers first degree murder Illinois medical malpractice lawyers insurance agent negligence child safety investment property Des Plaines pet law attorney Chicago trucking accident attorney Rolling Meadows employment law attorney drug crime Palatine insurance lawyer bicycle dooring accidents mass shooting Illinois employment law attorney Palatine Attorney Illinois DUI attorney Schaumburg estate planning lawyer Rolling Meadows business lawyer Illinois probate lawyer rent to own real estate contracts Des Plaines collections attorney Illinois employment law attorneys installment contracts llinois Real Estate Lawyers Association life insurance lawyer Arlington Heights medical malpractice lawyer pet law Crystal Lake medical malpractice law firm spinal cord injury Palatine estate planning lawyer employment law, meal breaks, rest breaks, hotel employees, Des Plaines employment law attorneys work unions Crystal Lake employment lawyer slip and fall accidents Long Grove estate planning attorney Des Plaines civil attorney construction contracts Des Plaines personal injury lawyer Illinois jet ski accident lawyer severance agreements Rolling Meadows employment attorney Rolling Meadows criminal attorney Illinois estate planning attorney Illinois medical malpractice case Illinois workers compensation attorney Fair Labor Standards Act Crystal Lake personal injury lawyer Illinois red light cameras TBI estate planning Illinois estate planning fiduciary rule delay personal injury claims Illinois insurance lawyer clemency Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorney whistleblower protections trusts hiring employees Inverness real estate lawyer Illinois personal injury insurance dispute attorney Illinois personal injury attorney civil litigation attorney Deer Park traffic lawyer Crystal Lake pet attorney Attorney Ken Apicella Chicago employment attorney bicycle accidents Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act dealing with problem employees Rolling Meadows insurance lawyer pedestrian accident Palatine probate lawyer college kids Palatine injury attorney Super Mario problem employees power of attorney for healthcare defective products Crystal Lake tax lawyer wills Palatine civil attorney advance healthcare directive products liability Arlington Heights employment law attorneys DUI defense fatal car accidents Arlington Heights traffic attorney back injuries revenge porn Rolling Meadows accident lawyer Chicago insurance law firm Deer Park traffic accident attorney Schaumburg Attorney Illinois workplace lawyer Joliet general practice lawyers job lawyers Schaumburg construction accident lawyer Crystal Lake insurance lawyer distracted driving accident victims unpaid overtime DNR unfunded trust employment contract, employment law, employment at-will, Deer Park employment law attorneys, contract, Des Plaines Traffic Lawyer distracted driving accidents Illinois traffic laws living trust benefits motorcycle accident Arlington Heights criminal lawyer Arlington Heights insurance attorney Jay Andrew Chicago estate planning Long Grove estate planning Schaumburg real estate lawyer Palatine corporate law attorneys Chicago will attorney life insurance Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyers Illinois LLC creation traffic deaths Illinois lawyer Illinois small business Illinois traffic ticket lawyer Schaumburg Schaumburg employment attorney Palatine employment law lawyer Rolling Meadows estate planning attorney gift taxes LLCs sexual harassment Illinois business lawyer agent landlord Inverness DUI lawyer Rolling Meadows tax attorney Home Sale Contingencies reckless homicide insurance claim denials Illinois workers compensation lawyer Illinois collections attorney car crash trench injuries Des Plaines insurance attorney uninsured motorist Buffalo Grove probate lawyer Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers liability claims probate fees real estate zoning senior citizens Schaumburg estate attorney Illinois will lawyer IRA benefits natural gas explosion Buffalo Grove traffic lawyers trauma after an accident Whistleblower Claims Buffalo Grove insurance claim dispute lawyers insurance claim dispute Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyers owner responsibility cell phone accidents personal injury lawyer social media after death Crystal Lake injury attorney Barrington personal injury attorney insurance claims Des Plaines injury law firm insurance adjusters personal injury car accidents construction accidents, personal injury, wrongful death, Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys, workers' compensation medical malpractice right to work boating under the influence estate planning trusts tax attorney fiduciary rule digital assets Illinois bicycle safety trust payments Barrington employment law firm traffic crimes Rolling Meadows corporate lawyer commercial leasing low-ball insurance settlement texting while driving Illinois traffic attorneys Schaumburg personal injury lawyer marijuana crimes attorney Des Plaines drug lawyer insurance denial appeals South Barrington real estate attorney condo brain injury changes to mortgage law speeding Rolling Meadows DUI lawyer Barrington personal injury lawyer Deer Park real estate law firm Inverness insurance attorney privacy laws trustee traffic tickets IRS rest breaks Fourth of July underage DUI Employment Discrimination Law Illinois traffic accident lawyer Palatine employment attorney Schaumburg personal injury lawyers truck collisions deadly crashes Barrington Illinois estate planning lawyer Illinois wills and trusts attorneys BAC corporate law dog bites Schaumburg elder law lawyer unauthorized overtime Illinois personal injury lawyers drunk driving Exclusions Illinois real estate Home Remodeling Repair Act rumble strips jet ski Chicago attorney DUI penalities estate tax Chicago biking tips real estate closing Illinois employment laws GM ignition switches traffic laws Arlington Heights accident attorney insurance disputes, Illinois insurance disputes, Illinois insurance dispute attorneys, denied insurance claims, Arlington Heights insurance dispute attorneys workers compensation living wills Buffalo Grove employment lawyer trucking accident lawyers estate planning attorney probate lawyer institutional trustee slip and fall BAIID digital assets, digital fiduciary, estate planning, digital content, Long Grove estate planning lawyers natural gas startup company in terrorem provision car accident lawyers traffic accidents forming a corporation in Illinois real estate attorney hit and run accident Illinois Crystal Lake accident attorney Crystal Lake pedestrian accident lawyer ACA Schaumburg drug defense lawyer Buffalo Grove personal injury attorney pain and suffering Crystal Lake estate planning lawyer new real estate form financial advisors Palatine real estate lawyer bike accident Des Plaines motorcycle accident attorney Illinois job attorney Rolling Meadows criminal lawyer Des Plaines accident attorney Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers, insurance dispute car crashes appealing an insurance claim involuntary manslaughter Illinois attorney Crystal Lake personal injury attorney Transfer on Death Instrument insurance claim denial underinsured motorist Chicago employment lawyer Barrington attorney Buffalo Grove car accident lawyer Des Plaines personal injury lawyers life insurance claims Crystal Lake employment law attorney head on collisions Des Plaines license reinstatement Affordable Care Act breach of contract Illinois Probate Act of 1975 Illinois corporate lawyer Illinois trusts attorney real estate attorneys gift tax exemption, estate planning, estate planning strategies, Illinois estate planning, South Barrington estate planning attorneys Illinois tax attorney capital gains tax Des Plaines real estate attorney Barrington criminal defense lawyer pedestrian-automobile accident Crystal Lake medical malpractice attorneys Colin Gilbert Illinois Human Rights Act golf accidents Buffalo Grove corporate attorney sole proprietorship license revocation Crystal Lake traffic lawyer drugs insurance attorney Illinois insurance attorney federal crimes Riverwoods estate planning lawyer insurance negligence denied insurance claim license digital evidence Chicago car accident lawyer workers comp manufacturing Rolling Meadows marijuana attorney drunk driving statistics Self-Directed IRA Accounts liens murder Chicago lawyer Arlington Heights tax lawyer Policy Cancellation swimming pools Arlington Heights personal injury lawyer vacation home controlled substance employment law, Illinois employment laws employees Arlington Heights car accident lawyer spinal cord injuries creditors Inverness corporate attorney School Visitation Rights Act Chicago will attorney, social media platforms, Illinois estate planning lawyer, murder charges car accident lawyer healthcare claims Deer Park accident attorney Rolling Meadows car accident lawyers Illinois personal injury lawyer Food and Drug Administration's Food Safety Modernization Act Palatine workers compensation lawyer Illinois registered agent minimum wage caregiver Palatine elder law attorney medical malpractice claims contracts overtime violations PTSD Barrington employment attorney Palatine traffic lawyer Crystal Lake criminal defense attorney Buffalo Grove medical malpractice lawyers traumatic brain injuries Barrington medical malpractice lawyers insurance disputes insurance denials bad faith insurance claims medical research blood alcohol content Barrington employment law attorney Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyer field sobriety test Illinois driving without license ObamaCare Illinois boating accident lawyer premises liability Buffalo Grove criminal defense lawyer guardianship attorney irrevocable trust elder abuse Long Grove real estate attorney Schaumburg estate planning attorney Rolling Meadows boating crash lawyer probate process insurance dispute, insurance dispute lawyers, insurance claim denial, insurance claim delays, Rolling Meadows insurance dispute attorneys real estate lawyer Chicago insurance claim attorneys Palatine personal injury lawyer Crystal Lake medical malpractice lawyer Rolling Meadows insurance attorney Illinois mortgages Deer Park criminal attorney commercial real estate Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyer Des Plaines drug crimes lawyer employee misclassification wrongful death IRELA Mount Prospect real estate lawyer Arlington Heights employment attorney automated cars Illinois home inspection Illinois employment law Chicago corporate attorney deed transfer Inverness probate lawyer commercial leases Schaumburg wrongful death attorney criminal law Rolling Meadows traffic law firm living trust filing a medical malpractice claim Illinois employment law firm foreclosed rental property consent to a search Legal Info home inspection lawyer independent contractor pedestrian accidents Deer Park employment law attorney Buffalo Grove personal injury lawyer personal injury attorney sexual images auto accidents personal injury claim Rolling Meadows employment law attorneys civil litigation wage theft Kenilworth estate planning attorneys comp time Schaumburg medical malpractice lawyer Rolling Meadows personal injury attorney texting and driving fault based insurance estate planning lawyer traffic offenses Rolling Meadows Attorney Rolling Meadows Deer Park workers compensation lawyer Chicago traffic lawyer Illinois pedestrian accident attorney Arlington Heights estate planning attorney BUI operating agreements Schaumburg car accident attorney Illinois employee rights attorney. Thanksgiving Rolling Meadows drug defense attorney Inverness injury lawyer probate claims process Long Grove wills and trusts attorneys Illinois civil litigation lawyer loss of consortium Illinois medical malpractice claim Illinois law Illinois living will Palatine business attorney Illinois defective products attorney federal regulations for LLCs real estate contract Retaliatory Discharge Palatine construction attorney expungement Illinois insurance disputes trucking accidents Illinois construction accident attorney preventable medical errors employee rights no contest clauses Illinois wills and trusts DUI Barrington estate planning lawyer Landlord Tenant Ordinance Rolling Meadows probate lawyer Palatine traffic accidents Crystal Lake civil litigation lawyer Barrington real estate lawyer Arlington Heights personal injury attorney medication errors surgical mistakes Palatine employment lawyer wrongful termination, employment law, whistleblower protections, Illinois employment laws, discrimination in the workplace Illinois employment attorneys POA Rolling Meadows Traffic Lawyer homestead rights Illinois pet lawyer rollover car crashes wrongful termination income distribution deducation Des Plaines real estate lawyer estate attorney insurance claim delay license suspension murder defense Arlington Heights real estate lawyer Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission Schaumburg criminal attorney insurance dispute Illinois medical malpractice attorney Inverness traffic law firm medical marijuana Illinois injury lawyer drug crimes lawyer pregnant women Illinois business law atorneys vacation home fines Long Grove estate planning attorneys boating accidents Crystal Lake employment attorney compensatory time small business Arlington Heights trucking lawyer Des Plaines tax law firm Liquor Control Act modern family estate planning dynasty trusts traffic violations estate plan paid sick leave Illinois Transfer on Death Instrument overtime pay Buffalo Grove real estate attorney special needs trust product liability eluding a police officer Arlington Heights Attorney Arlington Heights lawyer Barrington estate planning attorney Palatine corporate attorney Mount Prospect wills and trusts lawyers Palatine punch death Illinois employment lawyer criminal defense Inverness real estate attorney criminal Des Plaines claims law firm subcontractor Kenilworth estate planning lawyer Palatine civil litigation lawyer mortgage Des Plaines DUI attorney personal injury law firm Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyer Arlington Heights pedestrian accidents rollover accidents Do Not Resuscitate crossover accidents motorcycle accident lawyer Palatine criminal defense lawyer probate Schaumburg probate attorney Schaumburg insurance lawyers Illinois insurance dispute lawyers Schaumburg employment law attorneys Des Plaines medical malpractice attorney Barrington boating accident attorney Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyers pet bites Buffalo Grove traffic attorney drug possession Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act denial of life insurance civil rights violation Arlington Heights car crash attorneys Buffalo Grove law firm wills and trusts Arlington Heights TBI attorney estate planning for college students probate claims Buffalo Grove injury lawyer Deer Park medical malpractice attorney healthcare Illinois traffic attorney Kenilworth estate planning attorney cell phone attorney fees life insurance policy power of attorney Palatine law firm health insurance dispute IRA trust transfer Crystal Lake traffic attorney Deer Park motorcycle accident lawyer Arlington Heights Traffic Lawyer

Archive