How Is Pain and Suffering Calculated in Illinois?

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There is no one-size-fits-all answer to how much pain and suffering damage is worth, as it can vary greatly from case to case. In Illinois, a personal injury lawyer, insurance company, or jury will consider many factors in the calculation of pain and suffering damages including the severity of injuries, impact on daily life, emotional distress, length of recovery, and degree of fault.

What Is Considered Pain and Suffering?

Pain and suffering refers to the physical discomfort, emotional distress, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life experienced by an individual due to an injury caused by another party’s negligence or intentional actions.

It is considered a type of non-economic damages, meaning it cannot be quantified by bills or receipts like economic damages such as medical expenses and lost wages.

What Factors Are Considered when Calculating Compensation for Pain and Suffering?

What Factors Are Considered When Calculating Compensation for Pain and Suffering?

When determining the amount of compensation for pain and suffering in Illinois, the court will consider the following factors:

  1. The Severity of the Injury: The more severe the injury, the more pain and suffering a person may experience. For example, a broken bone would likely result in less compensation for pain and suffering compared to a permanent disability or chronic condition.
  2. Impact on Daily Life: The court will also consider how the injury has affected the victim’s daily life. This includes activities they can no longer do, such as hobbies or work, and the impact on their relationships with family and friends.
  3. Emotional Distress: In addition to physical pain, an individual may also experience emotional distress such as anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following an injury. The court will take this into account when calculating compensation for pain and suffering.
  4. Length of Recovery: The length of time it takes for a person to recover from their physical injuries can also impact the amount of compensation for pain and suffering. A longer recovery period with extensive physical therapy may result in higher damages as the individual has endured more pain and suffering over an extended period.
  5. Comparative Fault: Illinois follows a comparative fault system, meaning if the victim is deemed partially responsible for their injury, their compensation for pain and suffering may be reduced. For example, if the court finds that the victim was 20% at fault for the accident, their damages would be reduced by 20%.

What Is the Multiplier Method?

The multiplier method is a pain and suffering calculation used by a jury to assess a fair amount of compensation for physical and emotional pain and suffering in a personal injury case. Though compensation for pain and suffering is different from compensation meant to cover medical bills, the cost of your medical bills is used to determine a multiplier, usually between 1 and 5, which is then used to determine the pain and suffering damages. The more serious the injuries, the higher the multiplier that is assigned, and the higher the award for pain and suffering.

An Example Pain and Suffering Calculation with the Multiplier Method

For example, let’s imagine that a motorist sustains injuries in a car accident with a negligent driver on Lake Shore Drive. During the trial, the jury’s initial task is to assess the total medical expenses incurred by the injured individual. Then the jury must then determine the suitable multiplier to be applied in order to calculate pain and suffering damages.

In the event that the jury concludes that the injured motorist incurred $10,000 in medical expenses and applies a multiplier of two, they will then award an additional $20,000 for pain and suffering damages.

How Do Juries Decide what Multiplier to Use for the Multiplier Method?

Typically, a jury has the discretion to adjust the multiplier applied in the computation of damages for pain and suffering based on the severity of your injuries. The more significant your injuries are, the greater the likelihood of a higher multiplier being applied.

In addition, the more your pain affects your ability to enjoy life or make a living, the greater the multiplier is likely to be. The same idea applies to the long-term effects your injuries have on your ability to live your life comfortably.

Example Factors Considered by Juries

Some examples of various factors the jury will take into consideration to determine the appropriate multiplier are:

  • Injuries – how bad are they?
  • Impact of injuries on day to day life activities
  • Impact of bodily injury on your ability to work and lost wages
  • Permanent disabilities or disfigurement
  • Age and health
  • Emotional distress and mental anguish
  • Loss of consortium (companionship)

What is the Per Diem Method?

Per diem is Latin and translates to “per day.” Under this method, a predetermined dollar amount is allocated for each day that you experience the effects of your injuries. Justifying the daily rate can be challenging, as it can encounter resistance from the insurance company or their defense attorneys. This is why it is important to have an experienced personal injury lawyer advocating for you in pain and suffering settlements and in court.

Limitations on Pain and Suffering Damages

Certain states impose strict limits on the amount of compensation for pain and suffering that can be obtained in a personal injury pain and suffering settlement. These limits may be applicable solely to medical malpractice cases in some states, while others extend them to all types of personal injury lawsuits.

No Limit in Illinois

Fortunately, under Illinois personal injury law, there is no limit to the amount of compensation available in a pain and suffering claim. The fact finder in personal injury cases, usually a jury, holds the ultimate authority in calculating pain and suffering compensation that you are entitled to recover. This means that you could potentially receive a substantial sum of money beyond what covers your medical bills.

How to Find Out What Your Pain and Suffering Is Worth

The best way to find out what your pain and suffering damages may be worth in your personal injury claim is to discuss the specifics of your case with a personal injury lawyer. A pain and suffering calculator won’t provide the same kind of detailed analysis you can get when discussing your injuries and the impact it has had on your life with a pain and suffering lawyer. Call The Kryder Law Group, LLC Accident and Injury Lawyers today.

How Is Pain and Suffering Calculated in Illinois?
The attorneys at The Kryder Law Group, LLC can help you determine what your pain and suffering damages may be worth in your personal injury claim.

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