Calculating pain and suffering damages in Illinois is not as straightforward as calculating other types of financial compensation. Unlike with damages like your medical expenses, there is no objective way to determine what a pain and suffering claim is worth. This means that a judge or jury will need to consider a wide range of factors when awarding damages in a personal injury claim.
Some of the things that will be considered in this aspect of an injury claim include:
The severity of the injuries sustained
The duration of the pain and suffering
The impact the injuries have had on the victim’s life
The victim’s age and health
The defendant’s culpability or negligence
Generally, the more severe the injuries, the higher the damages awarded for pain and suffering. Additionally, if the victim has experienced a great deal of pain and suffering for an extended period of time, they are likely to receive a larger award.
Damages might be subjective, but calculating them relies on some set factors like the cost of your medical care. A personal injury lawyer from our law firm could help you pursue fair compensation for the physical pain and emotional pain you suffered. The right attorney client relationship could make a world of difference to your recovery.
Calculating Pain and Suffering Damages Is an Inexact Science
There are certain types of damages available in personal injury claims that are simple to calculate. Known as economic damages, this form of compensation can be measured down to the exact dollar you deserve to recover. The most common example of economic damages is the medical bills accrued for your medical treatment.
Proving the amount of your economic damages requires documentary evidence. You could use anything from medical bills and medical records to pay slips that show lost wages to auto repair estimates to show the jury what it would take to make you financially whole.
Damages for pain and suffering, on the other hand, are not so easily quantified. There isn’t a universal pain and suffering calculator. This type of compensation falls into a category known as non-economic damages. These damages are not designed to replace your financial losses stemming from an injury. Instead, they are designed to provide compensation for the subjective hardships that can result from a car accident. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to how much this type of damage is worth, as it can vary greatly from case to case.
What Is the Multiplier Method?
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This method starts with an objective look at your medical expenses. The cost of your medical care is only a baseline, as other factors could increase or decrease the extent of your physical pain.
Once the full amount of your medical expenses is set, the next step is to use a multiplier to calculate pain and suffering damages. This multiplier could be between the numbers 1 and 5. More severe pain could result in a higher multiplier, while lower multipliers could be available for less pain.
An Example Pain and Suffering Calculation with the Multiplier Method
Consider the following example. A motorist is injured in a collision with a negligent driver on Lake Shore Drive. At trial, a jury must first determine the amount of medical bills the injured person is facing. Next, the jury must determine the appropriate multiplier.
If the jury determines that the injured motorist suffered $10,000 in medical expenses and applies a multiplier of two, they will assess $20,000 in pain and suffering damages as well.
Different Factors Can Impact Your Compensation
The multiplier method is only a starting point for calculating pain and suffering settlements. Before a jury can calculate the exact amount of compensation necessary for damages from pain and suffering, they must decide what multiplier to use. Unlike the total cost of your medical care, this part of the calculation is variable. To set this amount, juries will consider a wide range of factors.
In general, a jury could increase the multiplier used for calculating pain and suffering based on the extent of your injuries. The more severe your injuries are, the higher the multiplier might be. This concept can extend to other areas of your life. The greater the impact your pain has on your ability to enjoy life or earn a living, the higher the multiplier is likely to be.
Another important factor is the long-term implications of your injury. If you are dealing with permanent disfigurement or chronic pain, it could increase the multiplier used in calculating your damages from pain and suffering.
Examples of factors the jury will take into consideration to determine the 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)
The Per Diem Method
“Per Diem” is Latin for “per day.” With this method, a dollar amount is decided on for you to receive each day you suffer from your injuries. Justifying the daily rate could be difficult as it may be met with resistance from an insurance company or defense attorney. However, your lawyer can argue why your rate is reasonable.
Our firm wants you to receive the compensation you are entitled to. Your lawyer will determine the best way for your pain and suffering to be calculated and advocate for you. You may be facing a long road to recovery, but you don’t have to face it alone. We are here to help. Our attorneys are experienced in personal injury cases and are ready to fight for your pain and suffering settlement.
There Are No Limitations on Pain and Suffering Damages in Illinois
In some states, there is a hard limit on the amount of pain and suffering compensation you can recover in a personal injury settlement. Some states only apply these caps to medical malpractice cases, while others apply these limits to every type of personal injury lawsuit.
Thankfully, there is no cap on pain and suffering compensation under Illinois law. The finder of fact in your case—typically a jury—has the final word on determining what compensation you are entitled to recover. This means that you may be able to receive a significant amount of money to help cover both economic and non-economic costs associated with your injuries.
Talk to Us Today About Your Personal Injury Case
If you were hurt in an accident, our firm could advise you on how pain and suffering is calculated in Illinois. While there is no way for your attorney to guarantee a specific amount of damages in your case, our firm could inform you of what a possible outcome might look like.
Call today to speak with an experienced attorney who can:
Help you understand your rights under Illinois law
Estimate how much your case is worth and how much you might get for pain and suffering
Answer any questions you have about personal injury lawsuits
Represent you in negotiations with the insurance company or in court if necessary
We understand that this time may be difficult for you, and we are here to help. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.
The Kryder Law Group, LLC is prepared to help you pursue all the compensation you deserve, from pain and suffering to lost wages and every point in between. If you are ready to get started with your case, call for a free consultation.
What You Get in Your Free Consultation
When you call The Kryder Law Group, you will speak to a knowledgeable personal injury attorney and you can expect to have:
A comprehensive evaluation of your case and your serious injuries.
Advice on how pain and suffering is calculated in Illinois, as well as an estimate of what you might be able to recover for your physical injuries and emotional suffering.
Insider tips on how to negotiate with the insurance company or take your case to court if necessary.
Answers to any questions you have about the process.
Representation by a skilled personal injury lawyer who will fight for your rights.