Calculating Damages in an Illinois Personal Injury Lawsuit

Calculating Damages in an Illinois Personal Injury Lawsuit


Understanding how to calculate damages in a personal injury lawsuit is crucial for anyone involved in such incidents in Illinois. This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide on this topic, considering the specific laws and regulations of the state.

damages in illinois personal injury lawsuit

Personal Injury Defined

Personal injury refers to harm (physical or emotional) caused due to another party’s negligence. The types of personal injury cases commonly seen in Illinois include:

  1. Car accidents
  2. Trucking accidents
  3. Motorcycle accidents
  4. Pedestrian accidents
  5. Premises liability cases

Below, we provide some Illinois-specific statistics on personal injury cases:

Year Number of Personal Injury Cases(approx.)
2020 15,000
2019 13,800
2018 13,000

In Illinois, personal injury laws provide the basis on which damages are calculated. The statute of limitations – 2 years – is the time period within which you can file a claim. Furthermore, Illinois follows a comparative negligence rule – your compensations can be reduced according to your percentage of fault in the incident.

Types of Damages

When calculating damages, they are generally divided into three categories:

  • Economic Damages: These are the tangible, out-of-pocket expenses as a result of the injury, such as medical bills or property damages.
  • Non-Economic Damages: These include subjective, non-monetary losses like emotional distress or loss of consortium.
  • Punitive Damages: Illinois grants these in special cases where the conduct of the defendant was particularly outrageous.

Calculating Economic Damages

Determining economic damages involves adding all incurred and expected future expenses related to your injury. It typically includes items such as:

  • Past, Present, and Future Medical Expenses.
  • Lost wages and future earning capacity.
  • Property damage.

For each item listed above, we have a detailed breakdown for you.

Medical Expenses: Ranging from emergency room visits, surgeries, physical therapies, and more, these should be thoroughly documented.

Lost Wages and Future Earning Capacity: Calculate the income lost during your recovery and the potential future earnings impacted by long-term disabilities.

Property Damage: This covers the cost to repair or replace any property damaged in the incident, such as your vehicle in a car accident.

Calculating Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are often more challenging to calculate due to their subjective nature. They include:

  • Pain and Suffering: This considers the physical pain and emotional distress endured due to the injury.
  • Emotional Distress: This focuses on the psychological impact, such as anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Loss of Consortium: This applies when the injury affects the victim’s relationship with their spouse or family.

Punitive Damages in Illinois

Punitive damages are awarded to punish the defendant and deter similar behavior in the future. In Illinois, these are only awarded in cases where the defendant’s conduct was intentional or grossly negligent.

The Role of Insurance in Damage Calculations

Insurance plays a significant role in personal injury cases. Your claim’s success often depends on dealing effectively with insurance companies. Understanding the insurance claims process in Illinois is crucial to ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve.

Working with a Personal Injury Attorney

Choosing the right attorney is crucial. They not only help calculate damages but also negotiate with insurance companies, represent you in court, and guide you through the legal maze. Their fee structures and payment options should be transparent and discussed upfront.


Calculating damages in a personal injury lawsuit in Illinois can be complex. It involves understanding various types of damages, dealing with insurance companies, and navigating through legal procedures. Having a competent personal injury attorney by your side can make this process smoother and more successful.

Please note that this article is intended to provide general information and should not be considered legal advice. For specific advice related to your case, please contact our team.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. For personalized legal advice regarding your injury case, please consult with a qualified attorney.


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