Accident victims can pursue compensation for non-economic damages, financial losses, and emotional injuries caused by a defendant. These are broad categories and there are a number of expenses stemming from each type of injury. When pursuing a claim, a personal injury lawyer in Chicago can help identify which types of compensation a plaintiff is entitled to pursue.
While damages for financial losses that have already occurred are generally easy to calculate, unrepresented accident victims often underestimate the value of:
1. Future Medical Expenses
Medical expenses don’t end when a case is settled. Many injuries require long-term care and therapy to heal. Long-term recovery can require surgeries, physical therapy, medication, etc. Individuals can pursue an estimated cost of these expenses as part of their personal injury claim. It is imperative to thoroughly estimate these costs otherwise individuals can be “on the hook” for any expenses beyond those covered in the settlement.
2. Nursing Home Care/Home Health Care
Many individuals who suffer catastrophic injuries require placement within a nursing home or long-term care facility. Some may require the assistance of home health care providers. These services help preserve the individual’s quality of life and perform basic tasks such as shopping, cleaning, cooking, etc. For many, it is vital to include these costs as part of a compensation package otherwise the costs fall upon the victim.
3. Loss of Earning Capacity
Traumatic brain injuries, limb amputations, and other serious injuries can diminish an individual’s earning capacity. Often, individuals are required to start new careers in other fields to support themselves and their families. Accident survivors can pursue compensation to cover lost income, loss of earning capacity, and any costs associated with training and education expenses related to establishing the individual in a new career.
4. Punitive Damages
Many accidents involve willful and reckless disregard for safety. For instance, when someone drives while texting or a habitual drunk driver causes a crash, that person could face allegations of gross negligence. Punitive damages are designed to deter similar behaviors in the future. In Illinois, individuals who can establish fraud, malice, or oppression were factors in the accident can pursue punitive damages.
5. Property Damage & Diminished Value
Accident victims often pursue compensation for damaged property. However, few also pursue damages for diminished value. Because a damaged car, for example, loses considerable value even if it is properly repaired and restored to its pre-accident condition, victims may be able to recover a portion of their loss.