Pain and suffering can be a significant portion of a plaintiff’s non-economic damages. Calculating these damages can be tricky since they do not come at a monetary cost.
Pain and suffering are very subjective experiences, and it can be hard to figure exactly how much money these damages should be worth. Generally, lawyers and courts use one of two methods to calculate pain and suffering. First is the per diem method, where a dollar amount is assigned to each day you experience pain and suffering. Next is the multiplier method, where your total non-economic damages are calculated by multiplying your economic damages by a certain multiplier figure. Pain and suffering are broad terms that consist of various negative experiences. Although there are no statutory limitations on pain and suffering, some factors might reduce your potential compensation.
Pain and suffering might apply in numerous cases, and our personal injury attorneys can help you calculate these damages. For a free case review, call the Rhatigan Law Offices at (312) 578-8502.
Methods of Calculating Damages for Pain and Suffering in Illinois
Pain and suffering are rather broad categories of non-economic damages. They are often available in personal injury cases, although they can come up in various other cases too. Since pain and suffering do not exactly come with a price tag, calculating these damages can be challenging. Our Illinois personal injury attorneys can help you fight for the greatest compensation possible.
Per Diem Method
One method we can use is the per diem method. Using this method, we can assign a monetary value to each day you experience pain and suffering. The longer your pain and suffering endured, the greater your damages should be. For example, suppose we determine that each day of your pain and suffering is worth $100. Next, suppose that you have endured this pain and suffering for 6 months, or about 180 days. Using the per diem method, your pain and suffering would be estimated at $18,000.
Determining the specific dollar amount assigned to each day and the duration of your pain and suffering must not be arbitrary. We cannot simply pull a number out of thin air. Our Lincoln Park personal injury attorneys are familiar with various kinds of accidents and cases, and we can help you figure out how to assign a dollar amount to each day.
On top of that, calculating the amount of time you experienced pain and suffering must also be based on evidence and reasoning. For example, we can calculate this time beginning on the day you were injured and ending when you are determined to reach maximum medical recovery.
Another way we can calculate pain and suffering is by using the multiplier method. This method calculates the value of non-economic damages, including pain and suffering, by multiplying your economic damages by a designated multiplier factor. Generally, the multiplier factor is a number from 1 to 5. The greater your pain and suffering, the higher the multiplier might be.
Pain and suffering are very subjective. Our Chicago personal injury lawyers can argue for a higher multiplier, but the defense will likely argue in favor of a lower one. To support your claims and our arguments for a greater multiplier, we need evidence demonstrating the extent and severity of your pain and suffering. Things like medical records about your injuries, records of losses, and witness testimony can be very helpful.
What is Considered a Part of Pain and Suffering in Illinois?
As discussed, pain and suffering are broad categories of non-economic damages that encompass highly subjective personal experiences. As such, they are inherently difficult to quantify or assign a dollar value to. Our Evanston personal injury attorneys can help you review your circumstances to determine the extent of your pain and suffering.
A big component of damages for pain and suffering is physical pain from bodily injuries. This is especially important in personal injury cases where the plaintiff has severe injuries or long-term medical complications. Since everyone experiences and deals with physical pain differently, a good way to assess these damages is to examine how the pain impacted your daily life. If you were in so much pain that you could not go to work, get out of bed, leave your house, or do other things you normally could, your damage should be significant.
Mental or emotional suffering is another important aspect and is just as tricky to evaluate. Injuries often come with a great deal of trauma, especially when accidents are frightening or otherwise severe. For example, people have been known to experience things like PTSD or depression after serious accidents and injuries. It is a good idea to be evaluated by a mental health professional if you are experiencing any emotional or mental anguish. If you are diagnosed with a mental condition or disorder, we can use this information to support your claims for damages.
Other non-economic damages and losses might be wrapped up in your overall pain and suffering. Courts may award damages for things like the loss of consortium, disability, and disfigurement. These losses are often significant factors in a plaintiff’s pain and suffering.
Limiting Factors When Calculating Pain and Suffering in Illinois
In the past, certain non-economic damages were limited by statute, but this was declared unconstitutional by the Illinois Supreme Court. Now, there are no statutory caps on non-economic damages, including pain and suffering. However, there might be other factors that might limit your overall damages award.
Perhaps the most common reason plaintiffs’ damages are limited or reduced is comparative negligence. According to 735 I.L.C.S. § 5/2-1116(c), Illinois follows a modified comparative negligence or fault rule. Under this rule, the plaintiff’s damages are reduced proportionally to their share of the blame for the accident. If the plaintiff is more than 50% to blame, they are barred from recovering anything.
Call Our Illinois Personal Injury Attorneys for Help
Pain and suffering are often difficult to evaluate, but they might constitute a large portion of your damages under certain circumstances. Call our Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys for a free case review. Call the Rhatigan Law Offices at (312) 578-8502.