When you are injured in an accident due to the negligence of another, money damages can be paid to you by the person or company responsible for the accident. A damage award can either be agreed upon after a negotiated settlement, or it can be ordered by a judge or jury after a court trial. In order to determine how much your personal injury claim will be worth, the monetary value of what your injuries have cost you both physically and mentally will need to be determined.
How do insurance companies calculate damages?
Most personal injury damages are meant to compensate the victim for any losses incurred due to his or her injuries, which entails placing a monetary value on the injuries. In a personal injury claim, the injured party will typically seek damages for medical expenses, lost income, loss of earning capacity, property loss or damages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment and loss of consortium. While it is easier to place a dollar value on medical expenses and lost wages, other types of injuries, such as pain and suffering or loss of consortium, are harder to quantify.
An adjuster who works for the insurance company of the responsible party will have a formula in order to calculate your damages. The adjuster will factor in all the medical expenses related to your injuries. Depending on the severity of your injuries, the adjuster will then multiply that number by anywhere from 1.5 to 5. To this number, the adjuster will then factor in any income you lost as a result of your injuries. The resulting number will be what the insurance company offers you, but you are under no obligation to accept it. This number can be a starting point from which you and your attorney can begin negotiations.
What if I am partially at fault for an accident in Chicago?
The insurance adjuster will also factor in any percentage of fault you have for the accident. If you are at fault, even just a little bit, it will be reflected in your damages award. The state of Illinois uses a modified comparative negligence system. If you are a certain percentage at fault for your accident, that percentage will be deducted from your damages award. However, if it is found that you are 51% or more responsible for your accident, your case will be settled in favor of the defense.
If you are in an accident in Illinois, whether you are partially at fault or not, it is important to speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. If there is any question that you contributed to your accident, you need to work with an attorney who can help you prove that your contribution was low enough to recover damages. The personal injury lawyers from Nemeroff Law Offices in Chicago have experience with all types of personal injury cases and know how to prove your degree of fault in court and how to protect your rights against insurance companies that are only looking after their bottom line.
For more information regarding personal injury claims, contact the Nemeroff Law Offices today – 312.629.8800
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