What is Pain & Suffering in Illinois?
Illinois defines pain and suffering as the emotional and physical distress that occurs from a physical injury. In any personal injury claim, you have economic damages (e.g., medical bills and lost wages) and non-economic damages (e.g., pain and suffering and loss of normal life).
During a personal injury case, the insurance company will make an offer for your pain and suffering, but oftentimes plaintiffs wind up rejecting it. This is because the insurance company will deliberately lowball the settlement offer and hope that you will not know the value of your suit.
For Illinois plaintiffs, the good news is that there are no caps (limits) on pain and suffering. When you or your loved one have been the victim of a personal injury, your attorney can help you calculate the adequate recompense for the pain and trauma you have experienced.
Economic Damages vs. Non-Economic Damages
One of the most crucial aspects in any personal injury case is calculating damages, which are usually split into two groups: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are calculated with relative ease because they are often documented. If somebody gets into a car crash, for instance, it’s easy to track the monetary damages such as car repair costs, medical bills, etc. Here are some examples of other economic damages that are factored into personal injury cases:
- Lost wages
- Property damages
- Household services (such as if the plaintiff becomes incapacitated and needs caregivers)
- Future lost earnings (if the injured will not be able to work for the foreseeable future)
- Medical bills (both hospital stay and followup treatments)
- Mental health treatment bills
Non-economic damages have no paper trail associated with them, but they are still calculated relatively simply. A seasoned trial attorney will know how to help a jury to put a value on things like pain and suffering, loss of normal life, disfigurement, grief, sorrow, etc. The inability to enjoy the normal aspects of life, like taking your child to the park, going on a road trip with friends, or graduating college, are examples of someone’s non-economic damages. A person who has suffered life-altering injuries must be compensated for their loss.
A quality trial attorney will also get to know his/her clients intimately so it can be determined how much the client has lost. Understanding a client’s life on a personal level helps everybody to understand the value of pain and suffering or loss of normal life because most of the time, it’s relatable.
Punitive damages are worth mentioning here. They are not applicable in every case (e.g., medical malpractice cases), but they can be significant in many personal injury cases. Punitive damages are meant to penalize or punish the at-fault party. They are also meant to deter others from the same or similar conduct. Punitive damages can include substantial monetary fines and/or other disciplinary measures. They are rarely, if ever, covered by insurance, so defendants have to pay these damages out of pocket.
Hire Brian Lewis, Illinois Personal Injury Attorney
Non-economic damages like pain and suffering, loss of normal life, grief and sorrow, etc. are a key part of personal injury cases.
To make sure you receive the settlement you deserve, please call the lawyers at The Lewis Law Firm. We have extensive experience with Illinois pain and suffering laws, so we will bring expertise and passion to your claim.
We will help you navigate the pitfalls of a personal injury suit and get appropriate compensation for you. If you or someone you love has been harmed by a negligent individual or company, reach out to Lewis Law firm today.