The Two Kinds of Damages Available in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Personal injuries affect you financially and emotionally. You wonder how you will cover the medical bills and living expenses that pile up during your time off work. You may also be in a lot of residual pain and wondering what measures can be taken to deter the at-fault party from being so careless with someone else’s well-being.

These are all questions and situations that can be addressed by personal injury damages, which can be divided into two categories: compensatory and punitive.


Compensatory damages are intended to compensate you for any losses you incurred due to your injuries. There are two types: economic damages, which arise from actual monetary loss and can be assigned a dollar value, and noneconomic damages, which are quantifiable losses that are not financial in scope.

Economic Damages

Illinois courts arrive at economic damages by adding up your financial losses. Examples of such damages include:

  • Medical expenses: This includes compensation for past, current, and future medical treatment.
  • Rehabilitative expenses: If your injuries require rehabilitation treatment, such as physiotherapy, you can claim past and future expenses.
  • Lost wages: This includes lost sick or vacation days in addition to time missed at work. If your injuries are so severe that you cannot continue working, the damages will be calculated over the course of your lifetime.
  • Loss of support: If you were killed or left permanently disabled by your injuries, your family can seek compensation for the resulting loss of financial support.

Noneconomic Damages

Noneconomic damages like pain and suffering are also sometimes referred to as ‘special’ damages. Examples include:

  • Pain and suffering: As the same suggests, this claim addresses the physical pain and emotional distress arising from your injuries.
  • Loss of consortium or companionship: This type of damage is intended to compensate family members for the loss of the relationship they had with you as a result of the injury. While loss of consortium claims (which relate to the loss of an intimate physical relationship) may only be made by your spouse, it is possible that children or parents may seek compensation for loss of companionship.


Punitive damages have a special purpose: to punish the party responsible for your injuries. If the defendant clearly showed a reckless disregard or complete indifference for your safety and well-being, the judge may allow your jury to include punitive damages in their decision.

If you have been injured and are facing months of rehabilitative treatment and medical costs, you deserve to have a strong and experienced attorney representing you. At Abdallah Law we understand how traumatic accidents and injuries can be, and will work to get you the settlement or award you need to get through such a difficult time. To schedule a consultation, contact us or call 636-946-6886 today.

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Abdallah Law

Abdallah Law has been a successful law firm serving the people of Chicago and the surrounding area for years. This success can be attributed to one thing: Our team. At Abdallah Law, protecting our clients’ rights and safeguarding their liberties is the driving force of everything we do.

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