Damages for Pain and Suffering in Illinois Injury Cases | Staver

When someone else is to blame for the debilitating injuries you suffered, you have the right to seek compensation for your economic and non-economic damages. There are a few types of both, but one of the most meaningful losses you could recoup is your pain and suffering. But what does pain and suffering encompass, and how is it valued?

Our no win no fee injury lawyers at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. can help ensure your pain and suffering are fairly compensated. Contact us for a free consultation to learn more about your case’s worth.

Pain & Suffering Defined

There is no one size fits all approach to defining pain and suffering. When you hear a lawyer mention “pain and suffering,” we are referring to not only the physical pain you have experienced due to the accident you were involved in or the injuries you sustained, but also the physical pain and discomfort you might experience.

For example, you might need to go through medical treatment, experience depression or anxiety, have nightmares or have trouble sleeping, and experience substantial emotional trauma and mental anguish from the accident. Collectively, this is your pain and suffering.

The degree to which you have experienced pain and suffering can vary widely on a case-by-case basis. However, the more substantial your injury, the more likely you will be compensated for your resulting non-economic damages, including pain and suffering.

Common Types of Pain and Suffering in Chicago

Many people have concerns that their injuries may not be severe enough to warrant compensation for pain and suffering. However, some injuries have more potential for pain and suffering than others. Examples include:

Although any significant injury can result in pain and suffering, these conditions produce chronic pain that can be debilitating and long-lasting.

Emotional Pain and Suffering

You also have the right to be compensated for the emotional pain and suffering you endured due to your injuries. Some types of emotional pain and suffering include:

  • Mourning or grief
  • Nightmares or insomnia
  • Psychological trauma
  • Cognitive defects
  • Unexplained anger or rage
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Anxiety and excessive worry
  • Extreme fear
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Loss of Consortium

You could also be compensated for what is commonly referred to as loss of consortium. This is a type of pain and suffering the injury victim’s family might experience due to their loved one’s injuries. Examples of loss of consortium that could be awarded as part of your injury claim are:

  • Spousal intimacy
  • Care and support
  • Affection and love
  • Guidance and protection
  • Household services

How to Convey Pain and Suffering in a Claim or Lawsuit

If you are hoping to convey the extent of your pain and suffering accurately, you need to document your condition in detail. By obtaining your medical records and going into detail with your mental health counselors about how your life has been affected by your injury in the accident, you are creating the evidence needed to prove pain and suffering in your case.

Factors Considered When Calculating Pain and Suffering

Various factors will be considered when your attorney calculates the value of your pain and suffering. Since every person’s life will be affected differently by their unique pain and suffering, there are multiple elements to evaluate, so you are compensated fairly and fully.

Some of these factors include:

  • The impact your injuries have had on your daily living activities
  • The type and extent of your injuries
  • The effect your injuries have had on your career
  • Whether you will require future medical care or treatment
  • Whether your injuries are temporarily or permanently disabling
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Your physical pain and discomfort

Generally, the more debilitating the injury, the more likely you’ll be awarded compensation for your pain and suffering. However, even a seemingly minor injury can be deceivingly impactful. After reviewing your damages in further detail, your attorney can give you a better idea of how much you could be awarded for pain and suffering in your case.

Proving Pain & Suffering

If you hope to recoup compensation for your pain and suffering, you must prove that the amount warrants what you experienced. Some types of evidence that could be used to prove pain and suffering in a personal injury claim include:

  • Medical records
  • Witness statements
  • Expert testimony
  • Photos of your injuries
  • Your personal journals detailing what you went through
  • A log of details relating to the accident, such as days where your physical symptoms flared up, where you were unable to work, where you experienced insomnia or nightmares, and other relevant details
  • Reports and notes from your mental health counselor or therapist

The more the judge, jury, and insurance company can see that your life has been turned upside down by the physical and emotional damages you endured, the more likely you will be awarded fair compensation for your pain and suffering.

How Much is Pain & Suffering Worth?

What is impactful to one person may not be to another. For example, someone who experiences a broken leg may not find their injuries debilitating if their broken leg heals correctly.

However, someone who runs marathons may find a broken or fractured bone devastating, mainly if it will prevent them from being able to continue running. After examining your unique situation, your attorney can give you a better idea of how much your pain and suffering are worth.

How Are Pain and Suffering Calculated?

There are multiple ways in which pain and suffering can be estimated, but again a lot depends on the facts involved. Your attorney will help calculate the value of your pain and suffering, but two typical methods used are:

  • The per diem method — a specific dollar amount will be assigned for every day from the date of the accident until the injury victim reaches their maximum medical improvement.
  • The multiplier method — the victim’s actual damages are multiplied by a number based on the severity of the victim’s injuries, usually between one and five. The more severe the injury, the higher the multiplication.

Can I Sue for Pain and Suffering?

You may not always be able to tell whether you can sue for pain and suffering. However, you may have the right to financial compensation if you have experienced substantial physical or emotional trauma because of an accident caused by negligence.

Speaking with an attorney about the extent of your injuries and what you’re going through can be eye-opening and give you an idea of what to expect if you move forward with your injury claim.

Does Pain & Suffering Apply to Every Injury Case?

Pain and suffering will not necessarily apply to every personal injury case. However, most individuals who have been through a catastrophic event will experience critical or life-altering physical or emotional damages.

Contact an attorney if you are unsure whether you qualify for pain and suffering. Most personal injury lawyers will be willing to speak with you about the details of your case for free and may be willing to work with you on contingency.

Call a Personal Injury Lawyer in Chicago Today

If you hope to get the most out of your claim and ensure you are compensated fairly for your pain and suffering damages, make sure you have a dedicated legal advocate.

Contact an experienced Chicago personal injury lawyer at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. We will review your legal options for free and advise your next steps. Schedule your no-cost, risk-free consultation today by calling (312) 236-2900 or contact us online.

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