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IL injury lawyerPersonal injury claims are used to pursue compensation for a person who has been injured due to the wrongful or negligent actions of another party. The other party may be an individual or it may be an organization such as a manufacturing company or business. The term “damages” is used to describe the harm for which a personal injury plaintiff receives compensation. In some cases, additional compensation called “punitive damages” is awarded.

Reckless Indifference to a Risk of Harm

Typical damages in a personal injury claim include medical expenses, lost income, reduced future earning capacity, and pain and suffering. Punitive damages are above and beyond compensatory damages and are intended to punish the at-fault party for behavior that is especially reprehensible. Illinois law states that a plaintiff may be awarded punitive damages if he or she can prove that the defendant’s actions were with “evil motive” or reckless disregard for the safety of others. Punitive damages are referred to as “exemplary” damages because they are designed to “make an example” out of the defendant and discourage other parties from acting similarly.

Obtaining Punitive Damages in an Injury Claim

Punitive damages are not recoverable under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act or in medical malpractice cases. However, punitive damages may be available in cases involving product liability, car accidents, premises liability such as “slip and fall” injuries, and other types of injuries. In order to obtain punitive damages, your attorney will need to show “clear and convincing” evidence that proves the egregiousness of the defendant’s actions. The court will consider factors including the duration and frequency of the plaintiff’s misconduct, the type of harm suffered by the plaintiff, whether the defendant attempted to conceal the reckless or dangerous behavior, and the overall facts of the case. In Illinois, the amount of money that may be awarded in the form of punitive damages cannot exceed three times the amount of compensation awarded for economic damages.

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Posted on in Whiplash Injury

Illinois personal injury lawyer, Illinois wrongful death attorney, Illinois car accident lawyer,Whiplash is one of the most common injuries that can occur in a motor vehicle accident, especially a rear-end collision. There are an estimated 3 million cases of whiplash reported in the U.S. alone every year. The injury may not manifest until a few days after the accident, which is why is it important to ensure that as soon as the pain begins you are working with a legal professional on the case.

The longer that you wait to file a claim against the person whose fault the accident was, the more difficult it may be to prove your claim. You can file a legal claim against someone who causes a motor vehicle accident to cover medical bills, compensate for present and future lost wages, punitive damages for pain and suffering, and for any other costs associated with the whiplash; some cases may be so severe as to require physical therapy, for example.

But what is true whiplash? Stereotypical depictions of the injury often allude to the fact that it can be easy to pretend: in the event of a minor car accident, it is not uncommon for people to claim that they have suffered whiplash, when in fact it is not true. True whiplash is a serious condition, however. While commonly used to describe motion of and injuries to the neck, its medical definition describes a motion traveling down one’s spine, and does not, in fact, refer to neck motion.

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