legal blog

How Is Personal Injury Compensation Calculated?

Written by Jared Staver

Read Jared's Bio

Jared Staver is a Personal Injury Lawyer based in Chicago, Illinois and has been practicing law for over 20 years.

Jared Staver

CATEGORY: Personal Injury


The formula for calculating a personal injury settlement is not as complicated as you might think. However, choosing what numbers you’ll plug into that formula can be tricky, and many factors need to be taken into consideration.

Most often, personal injury attorneys will multiply your special damages by a general damages multiplier to calculate your total compensation.

For assistance determining the personal injury compensation you are entitled to, contact our Chicago personal injury attorneys at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C.. Our attorneys can take all of your expenses and damages into consideration and help you seek the compensation you deserve. For a no-cost, no-obligation consultation, call us at (312) 236-2900 today.

What Are Special Damages?

Special damages, or economic damages, include the items that can be calculated. This category includes:

  • Medical bills
  • Property damage
  • Lost income
  • Hospital bills
  • Extended medical treatment (physical therapy or counseling)
  • Medication prescribed as a result of the injury
  • Future income if you are unable to return to work
  • Future medical bills (even though these are speculative, they are still economic and thus fall into the special damages category)

Arriving at your special damages number could take some time and usually the more complex the injury or loss, the longer it takes. An experienced and compassionate Chicago personal injury lawyer can help you assess your claim and determine your losses.

What Are General Damages?

The subjective piece of your personal injury claim is general damages. These are noneconomic; for example, pain and suffering is a general damage. Whether you suffered a minor sprain or a catastrophic loss, it is likely you have some general damages. This category includes:

  • Disruption to your daily routine (i.e., you can no longer shop for your groceries)
  • Stress brought on by the incident
  • Worry associated with your loss and how it affects your life now and in the future
  • Loss of consortium

What is the General Damages Multiplier?

Since pain and suffering is noneconomic, you can’t necessarily place a dollar amount on those types of losses. That is where the general damages multiplier or GDM comes in. This number, ranging from 1.5 to 5, is assigned based on the nature and extent of your injuries and losses. For example, the more painful and long-term your losses are, the higher your GDM is.

A Personal Injury Attorney From Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. Can Help You

Our Chicago personal injury attorneys have helped numerous clients receive the compensation they are entitled to after an accident caused by someone else. We wholly believe that you should not have to suffer as a result of another’s carelessness. Let our legal team at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. help you calculate and pursue the personal injury compensation you deserve.

Contact (312) 236-2900 right away to schedule a no-cost case evaluation.

Free Consultation
(312) 236-2900
(312) 236-2900