This is the next post in our series on the handling of Peoria, Illinois car accident cases. My previous post discussed what to expect if an auto wreck case is not settled and proceeds to trial. The litigation process can seem overwhelming. Depending upon the number of defendants, the nature of the victim’s injuries and damages, and the facts of each case, trials often involve complicated legal theories and evidence. An attorney with experience in such matters will understand how best to communicate such issues to the jury in an understandable and effective way while also complying with the strict rules of procedure and evidence. It is important, therefore, to select a personal injury attorney with the necessary trial practice skills. In this article, we will discuss how damages are calculated in car accident cases. If you or a loved one have been injured in a crash, contact my office to schedule a consultation.
Individuals who suffer damages as a result of a car accident caused by another person are entitled to compensation from the responsible party for their damages. Damages may include a variety of elements, including but not limited to past and future lost wages and medical bills for treatment already provided and for additional anticipated treatment. Depending upon the severity of the injuries, it may be difficult to quantify these amounts immediately following the accident. In some cases, expert witnesses such as physicians, physical therapists, economists, and vocational specialists may be required to ascertain the total amount lost. Furthermore, a victim’s family members may be entitled to recover damages to the extent they have been impacted by the event. Loss of companionship, emotional distress, or costs associated with ongoing caregiving may be included in some cases.
Consider the following example. A young father suffers a spinal cord injury in a car accident and is permanently paralyzed as a result, losing the use of his limbs. Prior to the crash, he was employed as a foreman at a manufacturing plant and was training to become a plant manager. As a result of the accident, his physicians and a vocational specialist have determined that he will no longer be able to work. To calculate his damages, an economist reviews his compensation at the time of the accident and extrapolates the amount of wages he would have earned over the course of his career had the accident not occurred. If he were able to work in another field, such amounts may be subtracted from the future lost wages. Given the severity of his injuries, the young man’s bills for his immediate medical care are extensive, which are included in the damage calculations. More difficult to understand, however, are the potential expenses for future treatments. An expert in the treatment of such injuries estimates that he will require specialized medical equipment throughout this life, several more surgeries, ongoing physical therapy, and more. The costs of these future medical needs will also be included in the damage calculation. In light of the extreme reduction in the victim’s quality of life and ongoing physical pain as a result of the accident, he may also be entitled to recover damages for his pain and suffering.
My office has experience representing victims and their families in serious injury cases related to car accidents and I am ready to assist you. Contact our Peoria, Illinois office to speak with an attorney. I also serve clients in the Illinois cities of Bloomington, Eureka, Galesburg, Morton, Normal, Pekin, Springfield, and Washington.