Understanding What You May Be Entitled to in Illinois: Noll Law Office Explains the Types of Compensation in Springfield Car Accident Claims
Motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of personal injuries and death in the United States. According to statistics, there are over 43,000 people killed, and roughly 2.5 million people injured in traffic accidents each year in our country. Each year in Illinois there are almost 300,000 motor vehicle accidents, with 20% of them resulting in personal injuries (almost 61,000 injury-causing crashes) and 1% of crashes being fatal (1,217 fatal crashes). The experienced car accident lawyers at the Noll Law Office know that victims and their families often face significant losses as a result of these catastrophic and fatal motor vehicle crashes. Fortunately, Illinois law provides certain types of compensation in Springfield car accident claims to help offset these damages.
The types of compensation that victims and their families may be entitled to depend on a variety of factors. Despite these different categories and rights under Illinois law, it is an unfortunate truth that some insurance adjusters and defense lawyers will not fully explain your rights or offer you the compensation that you both deserve and are entitled to under the law. This is to help protect their bottom line by not fully paying you. It also indirectly protects dangerous drivers that could injure others on the road.
That’s why victims and their families should contact a Springfield car accident lawyer who will fight back, like one of those at the Noll Law Office. Unlike other personal injury lawyers in Illinois, the Noll Law Office handles cases in-house. They do not refer cases out or sub-contract with other law firms using younger and newer lawyers – who are cheaper – to handle your case. Rather, their partners at the Noll Law Office handle your case right in your community, representing you and your family against leading insurance companies and defense law firms. To learn more about the types of compensation in Springfield car accident claims that you may be entitled to, call their bodily injury law firm by dialing (217) 414-8889.
Understanding Compensation in Personal Injury Cases: The Basics
A plaintiff is a person bringing a lawsuit, and a defendant is the person responding to the lawsuit. Generally, the plaintiff in a personal injury case is the victim of a car accident. A plaintiff bringing a lawsuit seeks “relief” from a court. Relief is what the court can give a party. For instance, in a divorce action, the relief is the dissolution of the divorce and distribution of assets. Whereas in a contract action, the relief might be specific performance (do as the contract said), compensatory (reimburse me for my losses), expectancy (give me the profit I would have had if the contract had been fulfilled), and many other types of relief). The goal is to make the plaintiff “whole” again.
Unfortunately, in personal injury cases sometimes a victim cannot be made whole again. Indeed, some injuries are permanent and disabling, whereas truly catastrophic accidents can result in the loss of a loved one. Given this, personal injury victims and their families are often awarded “damages” for their losses. Damages are typically awarded by a court as monetary compensation. There are many different types of compensation in Springfield car accident claims that victims and their families may be entitled to with the help of an experienced motor vehicle accident lawyer.
The most common types of compensation that the experienced legal team at the Noll Law Office may be able to obtain for you include the following:
Pain and Suffering
The main type of compensation in Springfield car accident claims and other personal injury cases throughout Illinois are for pain and suffering. The term pain and suffering refers to a victim’s conscious pain that is felt due to the accident. This includes the soreness, agony, distress, and other harm caused by a broken leg, head injury, or lacerations causing bleeding or other trauma. Not only does this include the accident itself, but also the healing process, surgeries, and any permanent disability.
Two types of pain and suffering could be awarded in a car accident or personal injury case. These include:
- Past pain and suffering – this is the agony that a victim sustains from the date of the accident until the date that the case is settled or a verdict is rendered
- Future pain and suffering – this is the reasonably expected agony that a victim will likely suffer for the rest of his or her life, after being paid in a settlement or verdict
To demonstrate the level of pain and suffering, a victim will need to prove both their subjective complaints and how they affect his or her life. This can be done with witness testimony or experts, as well as through documentary evidence such as medical records. Sometimes a very severe and catastrophic case will require something known as a “day in a life” video to show how a victim’s life has drastically changed from pre-accident to post-accident. A victim will also need to establish objective complaints. This is also primarily achieved through expert testimony, which can explain the injuries, procedures, and disability or pain that a victim has sustained and will continue to suffer in the future.
Victims and their families may also be entitled to their out-of-pocket medical bills. This includes copays, deductibles, and other surgeries or procedures that were not covered by insurance. Medical equipment and supplies can also be included here, as is over-the-counter pain medication.
When a victim is unable to work due to an accident, injuries, appointments, disability, or other factors related to a car accident, they may be entitled to the lost wages that they would have earned. This includes more than just right around the accident, but also months or even years after the accident if there is proof that a victim was not able to work because of the crash. An example is that a victim needed spinal surgery a year after the accident, and resultantly missed two months of work. Even though it was a year after the crash, a victim may still be entitled to these lost wages.
Lost Future Earnings
If a victim is unable to work in the same job and most take a lower paying job or work fewer hours, the reduction in earnings can be compensated. This is measured by subtracting the two wages and multiplying it by the number of years that the victim would have likely worked before retirement. There are also complicated adjustments for taxes and inflation, which means that victims need to rely on an experienced Springfield car accident lawyer who has reliable and skilled economic, vocational, and accounting experts.
Victims and their families may be entitled to other types of compensation in Springfield car accident claims. Some of these include the following:
- Loss of consortium
- Home or vehicle modifications
- Punitive damages
- Property damage
- Medical assistance devices
- Nursing care, including in-home or nursing home facilities
- Wrongful death damages, including burial costs and funeral expenses, and
- Other compensation that an experienced personal injury lawyer like one of those at the Noll Law Office could recover for you.
Did You Suffer Personal Injuries in an Illinois Car Accident? Call the Noll Law Office and Learn About the Types of Compensation in Springfield Car Accident Claims
If you or a loved one were seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident in Illinois, call the Noll Law Office. They are fifth-generation lawyers who have dedicated their careers to helping the community that their family has lived in and represented for years. Their compassionate legal team delivers dedicated services to victims and their families, assessing cases and advising what legal options a victim has during a free consultation. To learn more about the Noll Law Office and the types of compensation in Springfield car accident claims that may be available to you and your family, contact them today to schedule your free and no-obligation case evaluation.