Personal injury plaintiffs could seek additional claims for lost wages for yourself and a caregiver
By Aaron Novasic
Any injury you sustain as a result of an accident, that is no fault of your own, entitles you to recover medical expenses as well as past pain and suffering, future medical expenses, and permanency, which are injuries that have long-lasting effects.
Plaintiffs in such personal injury cases, who are expecting compensation from a settlement or winning an Illinois court case, may not know they also could be eligible for additional claims. These include your lost wages, consortium, and even lost wages for a spouse or other family member who takes care of you.
This compensation relates to more than a motor vehicle accident or slip-and-fall case. Other examples of cases can include but are not limited to: construction accidents, injuries sustained at work, food poisoning, mass torts, such as the Roundup cancer lawsuits, injuries related to the exposure of asbestos, and DRAM Shop accidents, which are claims filed against the bar where a drunk driver was drinking and then decided to drive when the accident occurred that resulted in injuries or death.
There are a variety of situations in which victims can seek more compensation. For example, let’s take a look at someone who solely relies on the help of a spouse after an accident. If an elderly woman falls at a store and breaks her right arm and requires surgery and she is right hand dominate, she then must rely on her husband to help her eat, bathe, dress and do other activities of everyday living while she recovers and/or does therapy to improve the use of her left hand and recover with her right arm. In this case, the husband is entitled to a claim under loss of consortium.
Also, the victim’s lost wages can be claimed in any personal injury case, regardless of how big or small the case. As long as the injured person missed time from work, and was not paid, that person is entitled to 100% of their wages that they normally would make.
This does not mean the case would seek millions of dollars, which often make the headlines. Some cases settle for $500,000 and some settle for $500. No set amount is expected in order to pursue a matter to compensate someone for their losses. All clients are represented in the same exact way, whether it is a $1 million case or a $100 case.
But be cautious. Insurance companies often are quick to reach out to an injured person and attempt to settle with them soon after the accident. Sometimes this amount looks good. But you never know what the future holds. If you accept an amount of money from an insurance company, you waive your right to pursue any more action against them. If you wake up the day after you sign that release and experience severe pain related to the injuries from that accident, the insurance company will not give you any more money. You would just be out of luck and out of pocket.
To better document your case, especially if you are pursuing more compensation beyond pain and suffering, we recommend to take and save photographs. This is one of the biggest pieces of evidence you will have. While it is very hard to think about taking pictures right after you are injured, and at times, we would not even think about clients taking pictures. But a case often comes down to a he said/she said debate, and we must rely on evidence to prove the case. Those pictures really do speak a thousand words.
If you need guidance on a potential personal injury case or a workman’s compensation case, contact Gardi & Haught for experienced insight and results. Click on our free case evaluation button below.