What Are Economic Damages in Illinois?

Personal injury claims are all about making injured plaintiffs whole again after being hurt by the defendant. Injuries and losses are assessed as damages, and many are measured economically.

Common economic damages include hospital bills, the value of lost or destroyed property, lost earnings, and various other monetary expenses. We need to thoroughly review your losses and expenses from your accident and injuries to evaluate your economic damages. Depending on your case, this might involve a deep dive into your financial records. It is crucial that your economic damages are accurately calculated before we file your case. If damages are left out of the initial complaint, we might not be able to go back and revise it to include those missing damages. Your economic damages are not just important for getting back the money you lost because of an accident. They might also factor into non-economic damages calculations, depending on how the jury decides those damages.

Arrange for a free, confidential review of your case by calling the Rhatigan Law Offices at (312) 578-8502 and speaking with our Illinois personal injury attorneys.

Typical Examples of Economic Damages in Illinois

Economic damages are measured in how much money they cost the plaintiff. While some damages are more obvious, others might go unnoticed and slip through the cracks when you draft the initial complaint. While you should always consult an attorney about your potential economic damages, certain damages will likely arise.

Hospital bills are common in many personal injury cases. Even if you do not believe your injuries are severe, you should still get medical treatment, if only to establish medical records of your injuries. Medical bills are infamously expensive, even for people with health insurance. You should claim these costs and make the defendant pay for them. You can claim the cost of reasonably anticipated future medical care if you need long-term medical care.

Another common example of economic damages is property damage. It is typical for injurious accidents to cause a fair bit of damage to property or personal belongings. For example, a car accident victim might claim the cost of repairing or replacing their vehicle. They might also claim the value of personal items lost or destroyed in the crash, such as phones, laptops, or even jewelry.

You can also claim numerous other costs connected with your accident or injuries. For example, if you had to travel for medical care, you can claim travel costs like plane tickets, gas, hotels, and other expenses. A thorough review of all your expenses since you were injured can help our Chicago personal injury attorneys determine the extent of your economic damages.

How to Evaluate Your Economic Damages in Illinois

Evaluating economic damages is harder than it sounds. On the one hand, calculating economic damages is simple. We only must tally up all your bills, invoices, receipts, and other records of costs and expenses. However, the trick is to make sure no expenses, no matter how small, are overlooked.

As mentioned earlier, we should take into consideration larger expenses like hospital bills or property damage. Often, these are the expenses that people cannot handle alone and need financial compensation for. We should make sure that every bill is accounted for. If you saw multiple doctors or made multiple trips to the hospital, each visit should be factored into your economic damages.

It is not unusual for plaintiffs to forget to keep track of certain expenses. Perhaps you are dutifully recording your hospital bills but not the money you spend on gas to travel to hospitals that are very far away. While having receipts of expenses is ideal, it is not required to calculate damages. We can use the price of gas and the number of trips you made to the hospital to come up with an accurate idea of how much you spent on gas. We can make similar calculations with other expenses.

Claiming Economic Damages in Illinois

A key component of your damages is making sure you claim them. Damages may be claimed in your initial complaint. The complaint is the legal document that kick-starts the lawsuit. Damages and details about how you were injured must be spelled out in the complaint. If damages are left unaccounted for, you might not be able to get any compensation for those damages.

To claim your economic damages, we must identify the damages in your complaint and state their worth. For example, we should state how you were injured, what kind of medical treatment you received, and how much that medical treatment costs to properly claim your damages. Forgotten costs might not be compensated. For example, if we forget to include the cost of vehicle repairs after a car accident, you might lose valuable compensation.

It might be possible to revise the complaint to include forgotten damages, but nothing is guaranteed. If we have a good reason for leaving out the damages, the court might be more willing to cut us some slack and revise the complaint. For example, if certain damages were unknown until after the complaint was filed, we might be permitted to revise. However, human error or simply forgetting to include damages is often unacceptable, and courts may not permit you to revise.

Why Economic Damages Calculations Are Important in Illinois

Economic damages are important for more than just compensation for debts and unpaid bills. Non-economic damages are often evaluated using economic damages calculations. Since non-economic damages often have no monetary cost, evaluating them can be difficult. Often, jurors use economic damages as a guide. The higher your economic damages, the higher your non-economic damages might be.

One possible method of calculating non-economic damages is to multiply economic damages by a number ranging from 1 to 5. The more severe your injuries and damages, the higher the multiplier number. As such, maximizing your economic damages by thoroughly reviewing all your expenses might also help maximize your non-economic damages.

Call Our Illinois Personal Injury Attorney About Your Damages

Schedule a free, private review of your case by calling the Rhatigan Law Offices at (312) 578-8502 and speaking with our Evanston, IL personal injury lawyers.