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Where’s My Money? Determining Damages in Personal Injury Lawsuits

Champaign Injury Lawyers Koester & Bradley

Not this Kind of Damages

If you’re considering filing a personal injury lawsuit, one of the first questions you may have is “how much is my case worth?”. That’s a common question that does not have a simple answer.  Each case is different, however  calculating the amount revolves around a common word: Damages.  We are not talking about the Gelnn Close television show either. Damages are determined by how much physical, mental and emotional damage was done as a result of the injury, the overall personal injury that constitutes your initiation of a lawsuit.  Each personal injury lawsuit filed in Illinois must have a handful of elements in order for the plaintiff to recover.  In the next few blog posts, each element will be outlined in reverse order beginning at the end with damages: Duty, Breach of Duty, Causation, and Damages.

Personal injuries can result from car accidents, a slip and fall accident, or any situation where you become injured because of another party’s negligence.  Recently in the news has been stories of the defective products brought to market by Johnson & Johnson which ended in massive verdicts in metal on metal hip cases.  There is far more behind the number than one would think and getting to a large verdict or settlement often takes years of analysis and work by attorneys and experts.

While there are websites that help you calculate how much your injury is possibly worth, those calculations don’t reflect differences in each case and are never to be trusted or taken seriously.   These are nothing but marketing tools for personal injury attorneys.  None of the figures take into account the assets of the defendant, the time of the incident and the length of the overall settlement period or, importantly, the permanency of the damages.

Injury cases in Illinois are evaluated individually since each plaintiff has different injuries, different professions for the use of lost income calculations, and different levels of comparative fault for the plaintiff.  Additionally, there are geographic elements that are necessary to determine when calculating a value of a case.  For instance, a case bearing the same or similar facts can be worth more in larger cities such as Chicago than in smaller venues such as Champaign-Urbana.

You also need to take into account that Illinois is a comparative negligence state. This means that the dollar amount of any potential reward is reduced by the percentage you are found to be at fault for the accident or your injuries. For example, if it’s determined the value of the damages is $10,000, and you’re found to be 30 percent at fault for the accident, your award is reduced to $7,000.  Keep in mind though that over 50% liability for the plaintiff will result in no recovery.

Calculating damages is a difficult process, as there’s so much that goes into the meat of a personal injury case.  Attempting to avoid hiring an attorney and going up against an insurance company on your own is a dangerous proposition as insurance companies and insurance adjusters are skilled at manipulating victims to minimize damages.   Contact an experienced and local attorneys if you need to sit down and learn more about the damages in a case.


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  1. Kevin says:
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    After getting an injury and meeting right personal injury lawyer always worth your money and your costing. No matter the amount how much you are spending, but you must need to choose a right lawyer.

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Illinois Plaintiffs Lawyer by Koester & Bradley