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How much can I recover?

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Economic damages refer to compensation for objectively verifiable monetary losses. Economic damages, or “specific” damages, are designed to compensate for actual, measurable losses. These may include:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Loss of past and future earnings
  • Loss of use of property
  • Costs of repair or replacement
  • Economic value of domestic services
  • Loss of employment or business opportunities

Sustaining an injury in an accident can cause significant physical, mental and emotional pain and suffering. You may be looking at months of recovery, and possibly a lifetime of pain and suffering. Economic damages represent your financial losses related to your accident, including future anticipated losses. These damages make up a large portion of your case. A personal injury lawyer at Burger Law can help you get whole again and recover economic damages, as well as non-economic damages.

In determining negligence, a court will use a percentage system called “comparative fault,” dividing your total loss by the total fault. As stated in Missouri Revised Statute § 537.765, Missouri is a comparative fault state, meaning that people should take care of their own safety and welfare. An example would be: Jimmy runs a red light and collides with Fred’s car. Fred has $10,000 in damages. The court determines that while Jimmy did run a red light, Fred had sufficient enough time to try and avoid colliding with Jimmy. Because Jimmy is ruled to be 80 percent responsible and Fred is 20 percent responsible, Jimmy must pay $8,000 to Fred.

Under 735 ILCS 5/2-116, Illinois has a modified comparative fault rule. This rule allows you to collect damages as long as you are not more at fault than the defendant. If you are 51 percent responsible, recovery is barred. The damages collected are reduced by your percentage of liability. For example, if you are determined to be 20 percent responsible for a crash in which you sustained damages and injuries totaling $250,000, your recovery would be reduced by 20 percent. Only $200,000 would be collectible.

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