How to Calculate Damages for Your Personal Injury Lawsuit - The Chicago Personal Injury Law Blog

The Chicago Personal Injury Law Blog

How to Calculate Damages for Your Personal Injury Lawsuit

If you have been injured in an accident that was the fault of someone else, you will want to know how to calculate damages in a potential personal injury lawsuit.

There are many different types of damage amounts that you will want to consider. These can include much more than damage caused to any of your personal property or even your medical bills.

By properly calculating your injuries, you will be better prepared as you take steps to file a lawsuit and possibly collect for the harm caused.

Compensatory Damages

The most common type of personal injury damages are compensatory damages. This type of damage is meant to compensate the injured victim and to help make him whole financially. Some major types of compensatory damages include:

  • Medical Expenses. This can include the cost of your hospital bills and medical treatment. This can also include costs associated with follow-up visits and any ongoing therapy you receive. This type of damage amount is usually easy to determine as you have medical bills and other receipts.

  • Property Damage. If you were injured in a car accident, you may have auto repair bills and other estimates for property damage. Similar to medical expenses, this type of damage amount is typically easy to determine.

  • Lost Wages. If injuries or follow-up treatment cause you to miss time at work, you may be entitled to seek lost wages. Lost wages can include both the money you already lost as well as the wages that you may lose in the future from not working. You will need to calculate how much time you already missed and make a reasonable estimate of how much time you may need to miss in the future.

  • Pain and Suffering. Besides financial harm, you may also experience pain, suffering, and other emotional injuries. This can include emotional distress, psychological harm, and even the loss of enjoyment that you may have from pursuing your hobbies or spending time with your loved ones. As you can imagine, this can be difficult to quantify.

Punitive Damages

Along with compensatory damages, you may also be able to seek additional punitive damages. Punitive damages may be awarded when a defendant's conduct is particularly willful, wanton, malicious, vindictive, or oppressive. Punitive damages are awarded not as compensation to the victim, but as punishment to the wrongdoer.

To learn more about what types of damages you should seek in your case, and what you'll have to prove in court, you may want to contact a Chicago personal injury attorney for guidance.

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