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Your Right to Recover Damages According to a Personal Injury Attorney in Chicago

02nd June 2010
By Attorney - Hoag in Personal Injury
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Chicago, Illinois law allows you to recover for your personal injury. Examples of personal injury include, a slip and fall on an unnatural accumulation of ice and snow (pretty common in this city), injuries sustained in a car accident or on the job. What you are entitled to recover in law are known as the elements of your damages. This article concerns the injury to your body. Damage to your car or other personal property is termed 'property damage', and is not covered in this article.

The first is your medical bills. After you sustain a personal injury, you may have soft tissue injuries to your neck and back. You may have broken bones or cuts and scrapes. You may have emotional injury. In the worst cases of course, there may be even be death or dismemberment. You may incur medical bills because of these injuries. The medical bills are part of your claim of injury or your damages. These medical bills are often referred to as ‘specials' within the insurance industry. Medical bills are part of your potential recovery against the wrongdoer. The amount of these bills may be used as basis to determine value of your claim.

A second element of potential recovery is lost wages or lost time from work. This includes salaried employees and those that work for an hourly wage. When you have sustained a personal injury, if you have to miss work or work part-time, you may be able to recover these damages against the person that caused the accident. You may be required to prove that you lost time. However, if you are salaried and were paid while you were injured, you may still be entitled to other compensation.

Each element is a separate multiplier. A third element is called 'pain and suffering'. Pain and suffering is more amorphous than medical bills or lost wages. It is not an exact amount. Medical bills and lost wages are the portion of your personal injury claim that are easy to calculate because each involves numbers that can be summed up. This is not to say that an insurance company will agree to pay all of your medical bills. But, they are easy to add up.

Pain and suffering may be a multiple of the medicals bills or other number assigned arbitrarily by an insurance adjuster. Whatever the methodology, pain and suffering is an attempt to compensate you for the time that you are in pain after an accident. The term "pain and suffering" is used to describe how your life was affected by the accident and your ability to carry out your activities of daily living. Activities of daily living include shopping, taking care of children, driving, getting dressed and caring for yourself, by way of examples. It may include the fact that you missed an important event, like a graduation or family reunion, because you were hospitalized or incapacitated from your injuries.

There is another difficult to quantify element called "loss of normal life". This element is sometimes called disability. Loss of normal life is the temporary or permanent diminished ability to enjoy life.

In more severe cases there may be the element of permanency to the case. Do you have a permanent injury diagnosed by a doctor? Will you continue to suffer pain years after the accident caused your injury? Maybe you have a permanent scar or deformity. These injuries may be compensable as permanent.

This article was written by Lynette Simmons Hoag of the Hoag Law Group, LLC. She is a personal injury lawyer in Illinois.

Lynette Simmons Hoag

Hoag Law Group, LLC

3727 N. Kedzie Ave.

Chicago, IL 60618

Telephone: (312) 878-7000

Fax: (312) 878-7001
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