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Illinois Damage Caps

Posted on July 3, 2022

Many states around the country place limitations on how much compensation can be paid out for certain types of claims, including personal injury claims, wrongful death claims, medical malpractice claims, etc. If you are somebody you love is currently involved in a lawsuit against another entity or individual, then you need to know whether or not there are any damage caps in place.

What Are Damage Caps?

When a state decides that personal injury or property damage victims can only recover a certain amount of compensation for their losses, this is considered a damage cap. There are various damage caps in place across the US, and each state is allowed to set its own laws concerning these limitations. Additionally, the federal government also has damage caps in place for certain claims made against government entities and employees.

Does Illinois Have Damage Caps in Place?

Illinois does not currently have any damage caps in place. This was not always the case.

In 2005, Illinois enacted a law that placed limitations on how much compensation people could recover for non-economic damages, but only for medical malpractice claims. Non-economic damages are the more immeasurable losses that individuals suffer from after an injury, including physical and emotional pain and suffering.

However, in 2010, the court determined that the 2005 damage cap law violated the Illinois constitution. Since then, there have been no caps in place on personal injury or medical malpractice damages in this state.

You Still Need to Work With a Personal Injury Lawyer

If you or someone you love has been injured in an incident caused by the negligent actions of another individual or business, you need to contact a personal injury lawyer in Illinois as soon as possible. Even though there are no damage caps in place in this state, that is by no means a guarantee that you will recover full compensation for your losses. Insurance companies and at-fault parties have one goal in mind – to pay as little as possible for claims.

When you have a personal injury lawyer by your side, you will have an advocate who can handle every interaction with insurance carriers and other parties involved. Your lawyer will work with trusted economic and medical experts to properly calculate your expected losses and then negotiate vigorously on your behalf. If necessary, your lawyer will prep your case for a full trial by jury.

Your total compensation amount could be less than you think if you played any role in causing your injury. Illinois uses a “modified comparative negligence” system. This means that individuals cannot recover any compensation if they are more than 50% responsible for their injuries. Those less than 50% responsible for their own injuries can still recover compensation, though the total amount they recover will be reduced depending on their percentage of fault. If you face any allegations of fault from the other side, your attorney can work to prove their liability and shift fault away from you.

How much you recover after a personal injury will revolve around negotiations with insurance carriers or, if your case goes to trial, the discretion of the jury of the other party is found to be at fault.