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Are There Damage Caps for Personal Injury Cases in Illinois?

 Posted on May 27, 2022 in Personal Injury

Wheaton personal injury lawyerIf you or someone you know sustained a severe injury, you might research how to file for financial compensation. Compensation for injuries can be awarded to injured individuals due to the negligence or malice of another party. For example, an injured driver can sue for damages caused by a drunk driver that collided with their vehicle. In some states, damage compensation is capped depending on the injury and circumstance. In 2010, Illinois overturned damage caps for injury cases. 

What Are Damage Caps?

Damage caps are financial limitations created by a state that limits the amount of compensation awarded to an individual for an injury. In personal injury cases, many damages that arise in the case are non-economic, meaning they refer to bodily or emotional impairments. The United States government enforces damage caps for non-economic medical malpractice lawsuits at $250,000. However, all other damage cap limitations are up to each state to decide. 

Illinois issued damage caps for non-economic damages on personal injury cases. This limitation coincided with the Illinois constitution and was overturned in 2010. Today, Illinois leaves financial compensation for personal injuries up to the court's discretion, including the judge and jury. 

Types of Damages for Personal Injury Cases

When understanding damage caps and how financial compensation is awarded for injuries, it is essential to decide the two main types of damages in personal injury cases — economic and non-economic damage.

Economic damages refer to tangible elements that were affected due to the accident. These include:

  • Property damage
  • Financial wage loss resulting from the inability to work
  • Medical costs for treatment and rehabilitation
  • Expenses tied to the incident 

Non-economic damages include intangible damages such as:

  • Emotional or mental distress caused by the accident 
  • Long-term pain and suffering
  • Long-term disfigurement that occurred from the injuries sustained 

The Illinois Personal Injury Process

Illinois does not limit the number of damage reparations awarded to a victim for an injury. The amount of compensation awarded during a personal injury case is entirely up to the court following the personal injury process. 

The Illinois personal injury process includes three key steps. First, the victim must gather evidence that can clearly show an accident occurred due to a negligent party. Establishing fault through negligence is critical for a personal injury case. An individual can gather evidence by obtaining security camera footage, documenting photos, and referring to medical diagnoses and treatments following the accident. The next step is to file a personal injury suit in an Illinois court. An attorney can help obtain paperwork, file correctly, and represent a victim in court. A plaintiff must file a lawsuit within two years of the accident. The third step includes a trial and settlement where the compensation for damages could be awarded. 

 Contact a DuPage County Personal Injury Attorney Today

If you or a loved one sustained an injury in an accident that was not your fault, our DuPage County personal injury attorney might be able to help. At Law Offices of David W. Clark, P.C., we aggressively fight for our client's rights to financial compensation to cover damages from an accident. Please reach out to us at 630-665-5678 today to schedule a free consultation with our office. 



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