Fair Compensation Justice StatueMany people have asked what we mean when we say that you are entitled to compensation for injuries sustained in a car accident or other injury.  In Illinois, an injured plaintiff is entitled to full and fair compensation for the nature and extent of her injuries.
This means that the severity of the injuries and damages must be balanced against the proposed compensation until the Jury believes the injured person has received “full and fair compensation”.   A Jury determines the amount of fair compensation by looking at the injuries proven by the evidence to have been caused by the accident, fall, dog attack or other incident.
An injured person, called the plaintiff, has the burden of proving what those injuries and damages are.   So we, as the plaintiff’s lawyers, must bring forth the evidence of what those injuries are.   We get that evidence from the medical testimony, in the first instance being the information found in the medical records.
When you think about that, you can understand how very important it is for you, the injured person, to tell your medical providers what’s wrong, where it hurts, how it hurts and how you feel.   For instance, if you tell your doctor that you are “better”, with no qualification, they will believe just that, that you are better.   But that word can easily be twisted.  Are you “all better”, and no longer suffering from your injuries, or are you just “better” than you were the last time you saw your doctor?
That may seem petty, but I have seen Juries make decisions on just that type of evidence, resulting in good people not receiving the compensation to which they would otherwise be entitled.
You also need to follow your doctor’s orders.   If the doctor prescribes a course of physical therapy and you decide not to do it, the presumption will be that you didn’t need it and therefore weren’t really hurt.   If you were, you would have followed the advice of your doctor.   The same goes for other treatment recommended by your doctors.
Lawyers are asked all the time during an initial consultation to estimate how much compensation an injured person should receive.    I don’t believe it is possible to accurately estimate total compensation at that initial consultation.   In order to do that, you must conduct a full investigation, which involves determining all the evidence surrounding the event causing the injury and knowing what the extent of the injury is.   Many times it is impossible to know a week after a collision, for example, what the true injury is.   Will the plaintiff need surgery?  Will they recover fully, and if so, how long will it take?  What permanent residual problems will there be, if any?   Will the plaintiff walk with a limp, have a scar, or need more medical treatment a year from now?   The only way we as lawyers can determine this is after the doctors have treated the injuries.
In layman’s terms, nature and extent of the injury means what kind of injuries were sustained and how bad were they or how long will they last?  As you might imagine, the bigger the injury, the bigger the compensation needed.   That goes for the length the injury takes to heal too.  Generally speaking, an injury that lasts a month will result in smaller compensation than an injury that lasts a year or a lifetime.
Much thought and investigation goes into determining the amount of fair compensation to which you are entitled as compensation for an injury.   An experienced lawyer knows how to maximize the amount of your compensation.   At MacCloskeyKesler & Associates, we have represented thousands of clients who have been injured in all manner of injuries.   That is personal experience.  And that matters.   If you’ve been injured in any manner of accident or dog attack, put that experience to work for you.   Call our office today at 815-965-2000 for a free consultation and put our experience to work for you.