How Is Pain and Suffering Calculated in an Illinois Personal Injury Case?
In a personal injury case in Illinois, “pain and suffering” refers to the physical and emotional distress a person experiences due to an injury. This term covers not only the actual pain and discomfort someone feels from their physical injuries but also the emotional and mental impact the injuries have on their life.
For instance, after a car accident, a person might suffer from back pain that makes it hard to sit or stand for long periods. This physical distress is certainly a part of their pain and suffering, but so is the emotional struggle they face due to the injury. This could include anxiety, depression, or even a fear of driving, which can significantly disrupt their daily life.
In Illinois, when someone files a personal injury lawsuit, they can seek compensation for their pain and suffering. This compensation is over and above any reimbursement for economic losses like medical bills or lost wages. It aims to provide some relief for the hardships the claimant has endured because of their injury.
How Pain and Suffering Compensation Is Calculated
There are two main methods for calculating how much compensation you are owed for pain and suffering: the multiplier method and the per diem method.
The Multiplier Method
This approach starts by adding up all your economic losses resulting from the injury – dollars-and-cents things such as medical bills, property damage, and lost income. Then, you must choose an appropriate multiplier, usually between 1.5 and five, based on how painful your injury is. More severe injuries warrant higher multipliers.
Next, you multiply this number by the total value of your financial losses. For instance, let’s say you incurred $20,000 in medical bills and income losses, and your injuries were severe enough to qualify for a multiplier of three. In that case, you would multiply $20,000 by three to get $60,000. This figure represents the estimated total value of your claim.
The Per Diem Method
With this method, you assign a daily (or per diem, in Latin) rate to your pain and suffering. Many people use the amount they earn in a given day at work as their per diem rate. Then, you count every day from the day of your injury to the day you fully recover and multiply it by your per diem rate.
Let’s say you earn about $100 per day at work, and it takes 365 days for you to fully recover. In that case, you would multiply 365 days by your daily rate of $100, giving you $36,500. This total aims to compensate you for each day you lived with pain, faced emotional stress, struggled to perform everyday activities, or felt any discomfort due to your injury.
Speak to an Illinois Personal Injury Lawyer Now
If you know or suspect you have a pain and suffering claim in Illinois, you need and deserve a lawyer’s help. A lawyer can thoroughly assess your situation to determine the most suitable method for calculating this compensation, whether that’s the multiplier method or the per diem method. Then, they can meticulously gather and present evidence to support your claim and negotiate effectively with insurance companies to maximize your payout.
The personal injury lawyers at Cook, Bartholomew, Cook & Jones, LLP are here to get you the compensation you need after an unexpected injury. We’ve recovered over $1 billion for clients like you, and we know how to assess pain and suffering appropriately. Contact us now to learn more in a free case review.