What Are the “Damages” in a Personal Injury Claim?

If someone’s actions or lack of action has recently injured you, navigating the aftermath can feel overwhelming. You might’ve heard of “damages” but don’t know what that means, especially when it comes to your claim. Regardless of the type of personal injury claim you have, the kinds of losses you’ve suffered will fall into one of two categories.

Understanding Damage Types in a Personal Injury Claim in Illinois

“Damages” in the context of personal injury law refer to the financial compensation an individual can pursue in their claim. This compensation addresses the harm, expenses, and losses you suffered due to the negligence or wrongful actions of the at-fault party. 

There are two main categories of damages in personal injury claims: 

  • Economic damages that cover tangible losses
  • Non-economic damages that cover intangible losses

Each type aims to compensate for different losses you might’ve experienced and their impact on your life.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are compensation for financial losses directly resulting from the injury. These are typically quantifiable and can be calculated based on bills, invoices, receipts, and other financial records. Economic damages normally include: 

  • Medical Care and Expenses – Your claim can include hospital stays, surgeries, doctor visits, medications, rehabilitation, and other care expenses related to your injury. 
  • Lost Wages and Earning Capacity – You’ll calculate the income you’ve lost due to your injury. You may be able to include benefits, bonuses, or promotions in your lost wage calculations. 
  • Loss of Future Earning Potential – If your injury affects your ability to work long-term, you might include the loss of future earning potential by demonstrating that your injury hinders your ability to perform critical elements of your job or maintain stable employment at your pre-injury rate of pay. 
  • Property Damage – Your claim can include expenses for repairing or replacing personal property damaged in the incident. Not all personal injury claims involve property damage.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages compensate an injured person for non-monetary losses. These are subjective and difficult to quantify as it can be challenging to consider the injury’s impact on your life. Non-economic damages commonly include: 

  • Pain and Suffering – This compensation addresses the past and future physical pain and mental stress resulting from the injury.
  • Emotional Distress – This encompasses the injury’s impact on mental and emotional health, including any anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) caused or aggravated by the injury. 
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life – This compensation accounts for the inability to participate in hobbies, recreational activities, and other previously enjoyed interests due to the injury. 

How an Illinois Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You Recover Damages

Determining your injury’s impact on your life can be intimidating, and you’ll need help objectively evaluating your losses. Personal injury lawyers can help you pursue damages as part of your claim. They can:

  • Assess your losses and assign fair value
  • Gather evidence to support your claim, like medical records and witness statements
  • Fight for fair compensation during negotiations with an insurer or in court

Contact an Experienced Illinois Personal Injury Lawyer

An experienced personal injury attorney can answer questions about your claim and potential available compensation. At Tess, Crull & Arnquist, we help personal injury victims on their road to recovery. Our attorneys serve Rochelle, Illinois, and handle several types of personal injury claims. We’ll fight for the compensation you deserve to move forward.

Contact us today for your free consultation.