How Personal Injury Damage Awards Are Determined

On Behalf of | Apr 17, 2014 | Firm News


Establishing liability is just the first part of any personal injury lawsuit. Once liability is assessed against the defendant, the court must then determine the appropriate amount of damages. Personal injury damage awards are determined by taking into account a number of factors, such as the specific legal claim, the circumstances of accident, the victim’s injuries, 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

Additionally, some particularly egregious claims allow for punitive damages. Unlike compensatory damages, punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant and deter future wrongdoing. The calculation of general damages – which includes medical expenses and lost wages – is often fairly straightforward. On the other hand, the calculation of special damages can be a bit more challenging. Special damages include things like the impact of a permanent disability, the loss of household services, and pain and suffering. Because special damages and emotional injuries are more subjective, they are often more difficult to prove and quantify. Moreover, many accident and injury victims do not immediately seek medical attention for emotional injuries, which can make it difficult to provide adequate medical information to support the claim. While there is no set forth a formula for determining pain and suffering, some states impose a cap on the total amount of pain and suffering damages. If you were injured in a personal injury accident, it is highly recommended that you obtain comprehensive medical attention, including psychological medical attention, as soon as possible. You should also consult with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible so that you can begin taking the appropriate legal actions to preserve your right to bring a legal claim and assemble the necessary information to calculate the amount of personal injury damages. The Chicago accident and injury lawyers at Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish focus on representing accident and injury victims. We can help you find the appropriate medical attention, conduct a factual investigation of the accident, file the necessary legal documents, and advocate on your behalf to get you a full and fair personal injury damage award. Contact our office at (312) 445-9084 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Chicago injury lawyers.   Steinberg Goodman & Kalish  ( is dedicated to protecting victims and their families.  We handle medical malpractice, product liability, personal injury, wrongful death, auto accidents, professional negligence, birth trauma, and railroad law matters. Contact us at (800) 784-0150 or (312) 782-1386.


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