Every claim for personal injuries is different. You may have seen news about multi-million dollar awards, but many people never make the news and get settlements or jury verdicts that compensate them for losses they’ve incurred. Although every person making a claim will not recover millions, in order to obtain the maximum possible compensation, it’s crucial that you have an experienced attorney on your side.
Our Belleville personal injury lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC have years of experience representing accident victims and helping them recover what they deserve. Contact The Cates Law Firm, LLC at 618-277-3644 or online today to find out how we can help you.
What are Damages?
Personal injury damages are a measurement of the losses you’ve incurred due to the wrongful conduct of another person. Losses may include actual money spent as a result of an incident as well as physical injuries, emotional distress, and any other negative results. Damages are a monetary representation of those losses.
The Cates Law Firm, LLC will aggressively fight to help you obtain the monetary compensation you deserve for your losses. We will negotiate with insurance companies and fight for you in court, if necessary.
Potentially Recoverable Damages
The types of damages you can seek in a personal injury claim depend on the specific situation and the injuries you suffered. Damages may be either economic or non-economic. Many people are able to recover both types.
Economic damages are calculated from specific costs related to your injury. These are based on actual bills and receipts. This can also include the expectation of future expenses you will continue to incur. Your attorneys can calculate reasonable projections for any potential future damages.
Specific types of economic damages include:
- In-home care expenses
- Loss of earning potential
- Lost wages
- Mental health care to treat emotional trauma related to the accident
- Past and future medical expenses related to the injury
- Physical rehabilitation costs
- Real and personal property damage
- Renovations to a home or vehicle to accommodate a disability
You must provide evidence of these damages in court. Medical records, bills, receipts, expert opinions, and standard calculations all help prove your economic damages.
Noneconomic damages are intangible costs you have suffered. These damages are not related to a specific monetary expense you or your insurance had to cover. This type of recovery is meant to make you whole after suffering serious injury.
Types of noneconomic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of quality of life or loss of a normal life
- Loss of consortium, companionship, and services
In order to prove the value of non-economic damages, it is important to demonstrate the significance of these injuries on your life. An experienced personal injury lawyer can assist you in providing evidence of how your day-to-day life has been negatively affected, and the changes you must make going forward.
Punitive damages are meant to punish the wrongdoer – they are not compensatory. They are not meant to pay you back for your expenses. Punitive damages are only allowed in certain cases. You will need to speak with your attorney about whether punitive damages are possible in your situation.
Factors That Influence Recovery
Personal injury damages are influenced by a number of factors considered by juries and judges when determining the amount of the award in each case. Factors that can influence your recovery include:
- Severity of the accident: While the severity of the property damage in an accident is typically unrelated to the extent of your injuries, juries often look at major accidents as more damaging. This can be beneficial if your accident was significant; however, it can present a challenge if you suffered debilitating injuries in what appears to be a minor car accident. Your attorney will investigate all of the details of your accident and your resulting injuries so that the severity of the accident is properly presented to other parties and a jury.
- The type of injury: In some situations, the type of injury you suffer may significantly affect your award. Soft tissue injuries are harder to see, so you may get a lower settlement offer or jury verdict than if you received a brain injury or broken bones. However, our attorneys at The Cates Law Firm, LLC know that pain can’t be seen on an x-ray image. We will strive to prove all of the devastating effects of your injuries.
- The jury: Different juries will have different opinions about awards. The political, economic, and social viewpoints of the region where your lawsuit is filed can all subtly affect your recovery. It is not uncommon for juries in areas with a higher median income to award lower verdicts while juries in economically depressed areas make significantly higher verdicts. Our attorneys at The Cates Law Firm, LLC have experience with juries in nearby counties and will explain to you the likely outcome if you take your case to court.
Our Skilled Attorneys at The Cates Law Firm, LLC Can Help
Our Belleville personal injury lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC have a proven track record of success. We have been part of trial teams that receive million and multi-million dollar jury awards, including a landmark $95 million verdict in a sexual harassment case. We are members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, of which less than 1 percent of attorneys are members.