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Quantifying Pain and Suffering for Personal Injury Damages

Posted on in Personal Injury

Quantifying Pain and Suffering for Personal Injury DamagesIt can be difficult to measure how much your personal injury has cost you in terms of money. However, that is what you need to do when filing a personal injury lawsuit. There are two types of damages in personal injury cases: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are tangible costs from your injury, including medical bills, property damage and lost wages. Non-economic damages are the intangible costs, most commonly referred to as pain and suffering. You and your personal injury attorney must determine the value of your pain and suffering when requesting damages.


Your personal injuries can cause you anguish in ways that a medical bill does not reflect. As a result of your injury, you may be:

  • Permanently disabled or disfigured;
  • Suffering from lingering pain;
  • Traumatized by the injury event and your rehabilitation; and
  • Unable to enjoy the same quality of life as before your injury.

Your attorney will ask you to carefully consider how your injury has affected your happiness and fulfillment in your daily life. The amount of pain and suffering you are experiencing can make a difference in the damages you are awarded.

Calculating Value

Determining how much money to request for pain and suffering is largely subjective. Illinois law does not have a cap on the value of the damages you can receive from individuals and private entities. In fact, the Illinois Supreme Court determined that such caps are unconstitutional. Attorneys commonly use the multiplier method to calculate the damages for pain and suffering. The value of the economic damages are added up and then multiplied by 1.5 to 5 times. You can use a higher multiplier, depending on:

  • The severity of your injuries;
  • How long recovery took;
  • Whether there are long-term effects; and
  • How egregious the defendant’s fault was in the incident.

If you are not suffering long-term effects from your injury, you can use a per diem method to calculate your pain and suffering. You are essentially requesting compensation for every day you spent recovering from your injury. Attorneys typically use your daily work pay as the daily rate.

Debating Damages

Whether in court or in a settlement, defendants and their insurers will try to minimize the extent of your injuries and your suffering. It is important to be able to prove that you suffered severe injuries in the incident that are continuing to affect you on a daily basis. A McHenry County personal injury attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster can argue for your right to damages for pain and suffering. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.



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