When you seek a personal injury claim, there are different types of damages or losses for which you can seek compensation. Whether you have suffered an injury, property damages, wrongful death, or any other kind of loss, you have a right to seek compensation. There are two types of damages that Chicago courts award in personal injury claims: compensatory and punitive damages.
Generally, compensatory damages are meant to reimburse you for all the harm you have suffered from the accident. They are common in all personal injury claims, including slips and falls, medical malpractices, and car accidents. Judges also award compensatory damages in wrongful death lawsuits, but these damages are unique and not associated with other cases.
In contrast, punitive damages only apply to a small number of personal injury cases. They are not linked to the harm you suffered from the accident but are awarded to punish the defendant for some despicable behavior. For instance, if a driver was drunk and driving, causing an accident, the court may award punitive damages to punish the driver for the despicable act of drunk driving.
Here is a deeper look into the type of personal injury damages you may be awarded in a personal injury claim.
Special compensatory damages
Special compensatory damages reimburse you for monetary expenses you have incurred due to the accident. they help recover out of pocket costs, including:
- Medical bills.
- Future medical bills.
- Loss of wages.
- Loss of future wages.
- Expenses associated with canceled plans and trips.
- Household expenses.
There is no limit to the special damage claims you can make or the amount you can claim because it depends on the nature of your injuries. Calculating a reasonable figure of special compensatory damages can be challenging, which is where a Chicago personal injury lawyer comes in.
General compensatory damages
These compensate you for the non-monetary damages resulting from the accident. any personal injury victim suffers some form of general harm, including:
- Pain and suffering.
- Trauma or mental anguish.
- Loss of consortium or companionship.
- Reduced quality of life.
Since there is no monetary attachment to this kind of damages, you may need the help of an experienced personal injury attorney to quantify them.
Wrongful death damages
A wrongful death lawsuit seeks to recover damages for the surviving family and loved ones. The damages include:
- Pre-death medical expenses.
- Funeral expenses.
- Loss of companionship and consortium.
- Emotional distress due to the loss of a loved one.
- Loss of financial support.
- Loss of other services and support.
As earlier mentioned, punitive damages are awarded when the defendant’s actions are reprehensible. This is when the defendant is found guilty of malicious acts or wanton, for instance, sexual assault, drunk driving, aggravated battery, or fraudulent behavior causing financial harm.
Once a settlement amount has been reached, whether through an award in court or out of court arbitration, you are entitled to the compensation. Your personal injury attorney can help collect the damages, especially when the defendant is unwilling to pay or satisfy the whole award. If they have liability insurance, the insurance company will settle the amount without a hassle, especially after a court damages award.