In a compensable accident, there are various types of damages you can recover. One of those types of damage is pain and suffering. Unfortunately, determining the amount you should receive for pain and suffering isn’t as simple or straightforward as determining the compensation for other types of damages. For example, the process of determining damages for medical expenses is relatively straightforward. However, there’s no objective way to determine the value of your pain and suffering. Accordingly, a judge or jury must consider several factors when determining a pain and suffering award.
Given the complexity of personal injury cases, it’s prudent to retain an experienced personal injury attorney to ensure that your case is successful and that you receive full personal injury compensation in Illinois. At Drake & Collopy, P.C., we have decades of experience representing accident and injury victims and can provide you with the effective representation you deserve.
What’s Considered When Determining Pain and Suffering Damages in Your Personal Injury Claim?
Some of the factors that are considered when determining pain and suffering damages in a personal injury claim include:
- The severity of your injuries
- Your age and health
- The amount of time it takes to recover from your injuries
- Whether you make a complete recovery from your injuries
- The overall cost of your medical treatment and care
- Whether your injuries will cause pain and suffering in the future
- The impact the injuries had (and will have) on your life and daily activities
Usually, the more serious and severe your injuries are, the more damage you will receive for pain and suffering. Also, if you experienced pain and suffering over a long period of time, you are likely to receive a larger award.
The Process of Calculating Damages for Pain and Suffering
As stated, damages for pain and suffering in a personal injury case in Illinois aren’t easy to quantify. There is no universal pain and suffering calculator. This type of compensation falls under the umbrella of non-economic damages which aren’t designed to provide you with compensation for your financial losses. Instead, they are created to compensate you for the subjective hardships that result from your injuries. Each case is unique, and that’s why each of the specific factors above must be considered.
Using the Multiplier Method
In less severe injury cases, in order to simplify the complex process of calculating pain and suffering, one method commonly used is called the multiplier method. This method uses a multiplier of the total medical expenses to determine pain and suffering damages. That multiplier is typically between 0.5 and 2.0.
An example would be if you are involved in a car accident and sustained injuries. If the jury decides that you suffered $5,000 in medical expenses and then applies a multiplier of one, your pain and suffering damages will be $5,000 (in addition to the medical expenses damages of $5,000).
Factors That Impact the Multiplier Method
It’s important to understand that the multiplier method in pain and suffering is highly simplified and represents the starting point in determining pain and suffering damages. Using this method, the first consideration is what multiplier should be used in a particular case. Unlike your medical costs, there are a number of things to be considered when determining what multiplier to use.
The nature and extent of your injuries will impact the multiplier to be used. The more severe and long-term your injuries are, the higher the multiplier will be. Some of the other factors considered when determining a multiplier include the factors listed above. Additionally, the location of the accident and the specific county in which the case is located are highly relevant in determining a multiplier. Some counties, like Cook County, are far more plaintiff-friendly and use higher multipliers to determine pain and suffering. Other counties, like the suburban collar counties, are well known to favor defendants and therefore use a lower multiplier.
Understanding the Per Diem Method for Determining Pain and Suffering Damages in Illinois
Another method that may be used to determine the amount of pain and suffering damages you are entitled to is called the “per diem” method. This method works by determining a dollar amount for every day you are suffering from accident-related injuries. This method is once again highly subjective and generally depends on the nature and extent of your injuries and the other factors listed above.
Let Our Attorneys Help You Maximize Your Pain and Suffering Damages
When it comes to calculating pain and suffering, there are different methods used and more than a few factors to consider. Our legal team at Drake & Collopy, P.C. is ready to fight for your rights and help you receive the compensation you deserve. The first step is to get in touch with our team to schedule a free consultation. We are your partners in recovery, and we will fight aggressively on your behalf to maximize your pain and suffering as well as all other types of damages.