What Are Economic Damages?

When you are involved in an accident, you may sustain physical injuries. You also may incur financial losses and emotional distress. Illinois personal injury law allows injured parties to seek monetary awards for their losses. 

Economic damages represent the financial losses you sustain because of a personal injury or accident. If you are not partially at fault for causing your injury, you can demand compensation for the total of your financial losses. However, you must prove the other party caused your injury before you are entitled to any money for your damages.

Common Economic Damages in a Chicago Personal Injury Case

Common Economic Damages in a Chicago Personal Injury Case

Accident victims often incur significant bills, expenses, and losses because of another party’s negligence or intentional torts. You can seek numerous types of economic damages for a personal injury claim. Examples of economic damages include:

Property Damage 

Property damage claims are common in Chicago car accident cases. However, property damage claims can be filed as part of any personal injury case.

Typically, the insurance company for the at-fault party wants to settle the property damage claim quickly. Be careful when signing documents and accepting property settlement funds. You could inadvertently release your personal injury claim. 

It is wise to have a Chicago personal injury lawyer review all applicable documents before you sign them. 

Medical Bills and Expenses 

It is imperative that you seek immediate medical treatment for your injuries. Medical records help prove that the at-fault party’s actions caused your injuries. The records also establish the types of injuries you sustained and their extent.

Initial medical bills you might incur include:

  • Ambulance bills
  • Emergency room costs
  • Hospitalizations
  • Physicians and medical providers
  • Diagnostic tests and lab work
  • Surgeries
  • Rehabilitation therapies 

The types of medical expenses you incur depend on your injuries. If you sustain a permanent impairment or disability, you can also seek compensation for your future medical bills.

Loss of Income 

You might be out of work while you recover from your injuries. If you lose income because of the accident, you can demand reimbursement for all lost wages. Loss of income can include, but is not limited to:

  • Wages and salaries
  • Overtime pay
  • Bonuses
  • Commissions
  • Self-employed income
  • Income from a second job
  • Benefits, such as PTO, vacation time, and sick time
  • Tips 

You may also be entitled to compensation for future lost wages or diminished earning capacity if you sustained a permanent disability or impairment. Our lawyers work with skilled, top-rated experts who can accurately estimate the cost of future loss of income for a personal injury case.

Out-of-Pocket Expenses 

Other financial losses are generally grouped together in out-of-pocket expenses. These expenses include, but are not limited to:

  • Assistance with the activities of daily living (personal care), such as bathing, eating, dressing, and more. 
  • Household services and childcare
  • Travel expenses to and from medical appointments
  • Medications, medical supplies, and medical equipment
  • Modifications to your home and vehicle, if necessary, because of a permanent disabling condition
  • Long-term skilled nursing care

Many victims overlook out-of-pocket expenses because the expenses are paid as they are incurred. However, out-of-pocket expenses could total thousands of dollars. Our legal team helps you document these damages to ensure they are included in your settlement demand. 

How Does Comparative Fault Impact Economic Damages in a Chicago Personal Injury Case?

Illinois has a modified comparative fault law. If you are more than 50% to blame for causing your injury, you cannot recover damages from the other party. 

If your fault is less than 51%, you can seek compensation for damages. However, your compensation will be reduced by your level of fault.

Suppose jurors decide you are 25% to blame for your Chicago slip and fall accident. The amount of damages the jury awards is reduced by 25 percent. You would only receive 75% of the amount the jury decides your personal injury case is worth.

What Is the Deadline for Filing a Claim for Economic Damages in Illinois?

The Illinois statute of limitations for most personal injury cases is two years after the accident date. A judge could dismiss your personal injury lawsuit if you file the lawsuit after the statute of limitations expires. 

However, exceptions to the statute of limitations can alter the deadline to file a lawsuit. The parties involved in the case, the type of personal injury case, and when you discover the injury are a few reasons why the deadline for lawsuits and claims might change.

You do not want to give up your right to pursue a claim for damages against the party who caused your injury. Therefore, seeking legal advice as soon as possible after an accident or personal injury is always wise. 

Call Us for a Free Consultation With a Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer

Our lawyers at Zayed Law Offices Personal Injury Attorneys diligently pursue all sources of compensation, including punitive, economic, and non-economic damages. We fight to recover full compensation for all damages for our clients. Contact our Chicago personal injury law office for a free case evaluation at (312) 726-1616 with an experienced Chicago personal injury attorney.