Traffic collisions are among the leading causes of serious injuries in Illinois. According to data collected by the Illinois Department of Transportation, nearly 75,000 people are injured in accidents in our state each year. After a crash, victims may be entitled to financial relief to pay their medical treatment, cover their lost wages, and compensate them for their pain and suffering.
An abstract concept, pain and suffering is a legal term used to describe the physical and emotional stress that a victim was forced to endure during/after an accident. You may be wondering: How are pain and suffering damages calculated?Here, our Rockford car accident attorneysanswer the question by highlighting the most important things you need to know about the claims process.
Non-Economic Damages: No Bright Line Standard
Pain and suffering are an intangible (non-economic) damage. It is inherently challenging to put a specific dollar figure on an intangible concept such as a person’s “pain” or their “suffering.” Of course, these damages are no less real or no less valid. The pain and suffering that occurs after a car accident can be downright traumatic. Injured victims deserve full and fair compensation for their pain and suffering damages.
Illinois law instructs judges and juries to grant pain and suffering damages that are “reasonable” given the totality of the circumstances. In effect, this means there is no clear bright line legal standard for calculating pain and suffering damages after a car accident in Illinois. These damages will always be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
Pain and Suffering and the Multiplier Method
While there is no bright line standard, Illinois courts do have a method to calculate pain and suffering damages. As a rule, they will employ the multiplier method to determine how much pain and suffering compensation is appropriate in any given case. With this method, pain and suffering damages are calculated as a ‘multiple’ of the victim’s actual economic losses.
As an example, imagine you were injured in a distracted driving accident in Rockford. In the crash, you sustained $15,000 in medical bills and $5,000 in lost wages for a total of $20,000 in economic damages. You may be entitled to additional compensation for pain and suffering. If a pain and suffering multiplier of ‘2’ is selected, then your pain and suffering damages would be valued at $40,000. The proper pain and suffering multiple will depend on many different factors, including nature and severity of the injuries and the extent to which the crash disrupted the victim’s life.
Contact Our Rockford Car Accident Lawyers for Immediate Assistance
At Fisk & Monteleone Ltd., our Illinois auto accident attorneys fight aggressively to help victims maximize their financial recovery, including pain and suffering damages. For a free consultation, please call us at 815-962-0044 or contact us directly online. With an office location in Rockford, we represent car accident victims throughout Northern Illinois, including in Winnebago County, Stephenson County, DeKalb County, and Ogle County.