Briskman, Briskman, and Greenberg - Chicago personal injury lawyers
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How much is my case worth?

If you’ve been injured because of someone else’s carelessness and are considering filing a lawsuit, you’re probably asking yourself: “How much is my case worth?”

As explained below, there are two basic types of damages for which injury victims can be awarded monetary compensation – “compensatory damages” and “punitive damages” – and two potential limitations on these damages.

Types of Compensation

1. “Compensatory” damages. Compensatory damages are, as its name implies, damages that compensate you for your injuries and related financial loss. Depending on the nature and extent of your injuries, you may be entitled to recover the following compensatory damages:

  • Medical bills. You are entitled to recover the total amount of your medical bills incurred as a result of your injuries. You are also entitled to recover the cost of future medical care, if any, you require as a result of your injuries.
  • Lost wages. If you are unable to work because of your injuries, you are entitled to recover your current and future lost wages.
  • Pain and suffering. You are entitled to recover damages to compensate you for your physical discomfort and distress, as well as your mental and emotional trauma. In some states, such as Wisconsin, there are limits on the amount you may recover for pain and suffering.
  • Loss of normal life. If your injuries prevent you from enjoying the pleasurable aspects of life, such as hobbies, exercise, and the like, you may recover damages for what is referred to as “loss of normal life.”
  • Other damages. In addition to the common categories of compensatory damages listed above, other damages may be applicable depending on the nature of your injuries. These include loss of consortium, disfigurement, increased risk of future harm, shortened life expectancy, and future care-taking expenses.

2. “Punitive” (or punishment) damages. Punitive damages refer to a sum of money, often very significant, that goes above and beyond compensating you for your injuries. Punitive damages are intended to punish the guilty party for extremely reckless or intentional behavior. Examples include a car company that leaves faulty brakes in a car model rather than issuing a recall, or a doctor that intentionally performs an unnecessary surgery. Punitive damages are reserved for only the most extreme cases of reprehensible conduct. An attorney will be able to tell you if your case may qualify for punitive damages.

Potential Limitations on the Extent of Your Monetary Recovery

There are two major factors that can affect the extent (maximum or partial) of your monetary recovery:

1. Who is at fault for your injuries? The extent of your monetary compensation will depend, in part, on who is at fault for your injuries. If someone else is entirely at fault, then you are entitled to receive all of your compensatory damages. If you are entirely at fault, then you are not entitled to recover any compensatory damages.

But what happens if you are partially at fault and someone else is partially at fault for your injuries? That depends on the law in the state where your injuries occurred. Illinois is a “comparative negligence” jurisdiction, which means that a judge or jury will examine the facts of your case and assess each party’s relative fault. As long as you are no more than 50% at fault for your injuries, you are entitled to recover compensatory damages. Your damages will, however, be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you were awarded $1 million in damages, but were found to be 30% at fault for your injuries, then your damages would be reduced by 30%, or $300,000, and your total recovery would be $700,000.

2. Did you attempt to “mitigate” your damages? When you’ve been injured because of someone else’s carelessness, you have an obligation to “mitigate” your damages, which means you must avoid aggravating your injuries. Generally, an injured party must attempt to minimize his or her injuries by seeking prompt medical attention and following through with the medical provider’s instructions.

To schedule a free consultation about your case, call us toll free at 1-877.595.HURT (4878), or send us an e-mail using the contact form below and one of our Personal Injury Attorneys will respond promptly.

Briskman Briskman & Greenberg
351 West Hubbard Street #810 ChicagoIL60654 USA 
 • (312) 222-0010

How long will my case take?

If you’ve been injured because of someone else’s carelessness and are considering filing a lawsuit, you’re probably asking yourself: ”How long will my case last?”

Each case is unique. However, several factors can have a marked affect on the length of your case. In general, straightforward cases can be resolved in as little as six months, while complex cases can take two or more years to resolve. At Briskman Briskman & Greenberg, we don’t rush to accept the first settlement offer an insurance company makes because it’s often mediocre. We’re prepared to dig in our heels and negotiate a more just settlement or try the case before a jury. It is critical, therefore, to be patient throughout the whole process to give you the best chance for success.

4 Key Factors Affecting the Length of Your Case

1. The Nature of Your Injury

It’s important to understand that you only have one opportunity to sue for your pain and suffering, medical bills, and other financial burdens you have encountered. Once a settlement is accepted or a verdict is issued at trial, your case is over. In our legal system, you only get one bite at the apple. If you settle too early and your condition worsens, and other medical bills pile up months and years down the road – from surgery, hospitalization, physical therapy, and medical treatments – you will not be able to go back and sue for more money. Based on the nature and extent of your injury, an experienced attorney may advise you to wait before initiating your lawsuit. This delay, while undoubtedly frustrating and potentially burdensome, may prove critical in obtaining maximum compensation for your injuries. Filing suit or settling your case too soon can cost you tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.

2. The Opposing Insurance Company’s Level of Cooperation

During the various stages of a lawsuit, your attorney will be interacting frequently with an insurance company, either directly or through opposing counsel. If the insurance company responds to your attorney in a timely fashion, your case will move along at a quicker pace. At times, however, insurance companies are less than fully cooperative, taking weeks, if not months, to respond to your attorney. This will delay your case. A skilled personal injury attorney will keep your case moving forward through the legal process as quickly as possible and keep you abreast of significant developments in your case.

3. Whether Your Case Can Be Resolved Without a Trial

Most personal injury lawsuits are settled and do not go to trial. Should your case go to trial, it can sometime take months to get the trial date set in court. Trials then take two days to two weeks typically. On occasion, an appeals court will be asked to review the trial proceedings, adding to the length of your case.

4. The Complexity of Your Case

Simple, straightforward lawsuits can often be resolved in a matter of six months or so. An example is a car accident case in which one party admits fault, and the insurance company readily agrees to pay the other party fair compensation for his or her injuries. On the other hand, complex cases can take two or more years to resolve. An example is a multi-car collision involving many injured parties, disputes over who was at fault, complicated insurance issues, and lengthy court battles. Most personal injury lawsuits involving medical malpractice, wrongful death, slip-and-fall (unsafe property), and defective products involve some degree of complexity and may take an extended period of time to resolve.

To schedule a free consultation about your case, call us toll free at 1-877.595.HURT (4878), or send us an e-mail using the contact form below and one of our Personal Injury Attorneys will respond promptly.

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The Chicago Illinois personal injury law firm of Briskman Briskman & Greenberg represents injured people throughout Illinois, including Chicago, the Chicagoland area, Joliet, Waukegan, Cicero, Evanston, Arlington Heights, Wheaton, Bolingbrook, and Naperville, as well as other cities within Cook County, Will County, DuPage County, Lake County and McHenry County.
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