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What Are Punitive Damages?

Written by Ankin Law Office

Personal injury damages are awarded to plaintiffs who successfully prove that the defendant is liable for his or her injuries. If a plaintiff shows that the defendant is liable due to his or her negligent or intentional misconduct, the court will next determine the amount of damages to be awarded to the plaintiff.

How Are Personal Injury Damages Calculated?

Personal injury damages are calculated by taking into account a number of factors, including the specific legal claim, the circumstances of accident, the victim’s injuries, whether the plaintiff was partly responsible for the accident, and the laws of the jurisdiction involved.  Personal injury damages may include the following compensatory damages:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future income
  • Household services
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Permanent disability
  • Disfigurement
  • Property damages

Compensatory damages are meant to reimburse an injured person for his or her losses, both financially and physically.

Conversely, punitive damages are intended to punish the wrongdoer and deter others from engaging in similar conduct in the future. Punitive damages are rare, but they are more likely to be awarded in cases where the defendant’s behavior was particularly egregious, such as tobacco litigation, toxic torts, or dangerous and defective products. When punitive damages are awarded, it is often because compensatory damages are inadequate to compensate the plaintiff for his or her injuries.

How Can an Illinois Personal Injury Lawyer Help?

A skilled Illinois injury lawyer like those at Ankin Law Office, LLC is essential to a personal injury claim. Not only can a personal injury lawyer help you get the appropriate medical attention and explain your legal rights, but we can also advise you of your legal options, ensure that statutes of limitations are met, file documents with the court, and advocate on your behalf in a court of law for maximum compensation – including punitive damages when appropriate.

The Chicago personal injury law firm of Ankin Law Office is a full-service accident and injury law firm devoted to protecting the rights of accident and injury victims and their families. We are well-versed in handling a variety of personal injury accidents, including auto accidents, trucking accidents, medical malpractice, slip and fall, and product liability claims. Our personal injury attorneys have the knowledge and skill necessary to assess the circumstances surrounding your accident to help you estimate what your personal injury claim might be worth.

If you have been injured in a personal injury accident, contact our office at (312) 600-0000 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Chicago personal injury lawyers to discuss personal injury damages.