Illinois sits smack dab in the heart of the Midwest. Home to a large population center it also serves as an important station of commerce between other states as well. This responsibility brings a lot of traffic with it. Thus, we see and hear the rumbling of planes, ships, trains, and trucks carting food, equipment, natural resources, and other items from one place to another. In the midst of this transportation, numerous accidents result and when the cause is a commercial truck then there can be quite a lot of corresponding damage and injury. If you, a loved one, or a friend has been the victim of an Illinois trucking accident, you might wonder what you can recover for in a subsequent lawsuit. Here is a quick overview of the categories of damages that are generally available in litigation for these kinds of cases.
Typically the most obvious and immediate damages in Illinois truck accidents, economic damages are the out-of-pocket costs that you incur because of the incident. But what exactly do they look like? First, and arguably the most important, are the medical bills that you suffer because of the injuries associated with the affair. For example, you might be rushed to the hospital, prescribed medications, referred to rehabilitative care, and so on. Second, you might also very well sustain property damage because of the accident. Your car could be impacted, personal property within the car could be affected, or tools and equipment could be impaired due to the truck crash. Finally, the third most common form of economic damages found in Illinois truck accidents are lost wages and income. These account for the loss in funds that result from being away from work or investments due to the accident. There are other forms of economic damages but these are the most prevalent and they can be recovered in court with successful litigation strategies.
While often unseen, non-economic damages are frequently the most felt injuries of Illinois truck accidents. Truck crashes, collisions, sideswipes and other incidents can leave your body disfigured and disabled and render you unable to do what you used to or look the way you used to. This can result in tangible losses of money as well as intangible losses of self-esteem and quality of life, both of which are recognizable in an Illinois court of law. Another related and very common non-economic damage that might arise from a truck accident is pain and suffering. This occurs when an injury leaves you with persistent pain or suffering well after the actual date of the incident. Plaintiffs are compensated for having to deal with this discomfort and you should be too if you have to deal with any of these things.
In certain circumstances, conduct is deemed to be so severe, so reckless, and so damaging that juries and judges are permitted to award punitive damages to plaintiffs in Illinois truck accident cases. The aim of this category of compensation is to punish-to disincentive others from acting in a similar manner. What actions warrant punitive damages in these kinds of lawsuits? Here is a list of things that normally trigger these awards:
- Drinking and driving.
- Driving at an egregious speed.
- Driving into a crowd of people.
- Recklessly failing to check or inspect your truck.
Punitive damages can drastically increase your prospects for recovery. Often times, they double or triple the amount of economic or other damages that are awarded. The one caveat is that a judge is allowed to employ what is known as a remittitur. This allows judges to lower a jury’s award if they feel like it was excessive or irrational.
WRONGFUL DEATH DAMAGES
When victims die in Illinois truck accidents, their spouses and families undergo special hardships and losses. The law respects these injuries and compensates those who suffer them. They take many forms but normally relate to the lost income that the decedent may have provided, the lost companionship the decedent may have offered, or the lost support the decedent may have given. These damages mirror economy and non-economic damages but they are unique and normally acquired when truck accidents turn deadly.
THE FACTS MATTER IN EACH ILLINOIS TRUCKING ACCIDENT CASE
Every case is different. Every case is decided by the facts so lawsuits are as varied as the myriad of ways in which the truck incidents arose in the first place. Your compensation will depend on how you were harmed and how it affects your life prospectively. If you call someone from our office, we can explain to you what kind and amount of compensation could be available to you through a lawsuit.
For more information on questions related to Truck Accidents please visit the following pages: