After a car crash or an injury stemming from unsafe facilities or dangerous products, you may find yourself dealing with a variety of financial consequences. Missed work, medical bills and decreased quality of life are all common consequences of serious personal injuries.

When someone else causes a situation that leaves you injured and suffering financial consequences, Illinois law allows you to bring a personal injury claim against the responsible party in civil court.

Negligence, illegal or questionable actions, and criminal acts can all provide legal grounds for a personal injury lawsuit against an individual or a business. If you find yourself considering such a claim, understanding what compensation you might be able to get can help you determine is pursuing a claim is worth your time and effort.

You can seek compensation for any provable financial losses you suffer

Despite the urban legends you may have heard about ludicrous personal injury lawsuit settlements where the damages awarded are wildly out of proportion to the injuries suffered by the victim, you generally need to have verifiable financial losses to successfully bring a personal injury claim against a person or business.

Medical costs and lost wages are some of the most common kinds of compensation sought in personal injury lawsuits. Future lost wages due to disability and your pain and suffering can also increase the amount of compensation you seek. Putting a price on your pain and on the impact of a disability is hard. You need to consider the impact of the injury on your career and your personal life.

In some cases, you can ask for punitive damages as well

When the amount of compensation awarded to a plaintiff exceeds the practical, provable financial impact of the injury, the discrepancy is typically the result of the courts awarding punitive damages. Punitive damages are a form of punishment, which means that the court may award more punitive damages in cases where someone openly broke the law or acted with intentional malice.

Seeking punitive damages may require more evidence, but it can be a viable option for those dealing with property damage or serious personal injury due to fraud, negligence or wrongful behavior on the part of the defendant.

Far from being frivolous, personal injury lawsuits are often the only real tool available to those left hurt or financially impacted by the decisions of others. They can provide justice and protection for the plaintiff in many cases.