Hurt in a car accident and another person is at fault? Don’t stress. Whether you file a claim or lawsuit, you may be granted economic (and non) damages for your pain and suffering. There are no strict rules for putting a dollar amount on non-economic damages.
But in most cases, you should receive some form of compensation. A personal injury attorney experienced in Illinois pain and suffering damages can help ensure you receive a fair settlement. Justice will be served.
What Are Illinois Pain and Suffering Laws?
Illinois defines pain and suffering as the physical and emotional distress that resulted from a physical injury. While damages for medical bills, lost income and other out-of-pocket expenses directly tied to your injury fall under economic damages, pain and suffering falls under the category of non-economic damages.
In a car accident claim, non-economic damages are often problematic, because they are somewhat subjective, and not easily defined or numbered. However, in most personal injury cases, pain and suffering usually receives an amount.
While this amount varies depending on many factors, it is often the main part of your overall damage claim. The biggest piece of the pie.
Measuring Pain and Suffering Damages
Illinois pain and suffering laws operate under the state’s tort liability system, which governs how litigation of claims works. Basically, this system allows a jury to decide the amount of damages awarded. The jury evaluates the amount requested for each item listed in your claim and determines whether the amount is reasonable.
Often, cases settle outside of court and an insurance adjuster or defense attorney presents an offer to settle based on many factors. Having an experienced personal injury attorney that handled thousands of cases protects your interests and ensures a fair settlement.
Imagine you hurt your right arm in a crash and your livelihood depends on that hand. Your business suffers and your boss starts to put you on fewer shifts. Your bills pile up and you deserve justice. The stress builds.
While an evaluation may be pretty straight forward for economic damages, putting a dollar amount on your pain and suffering is hard. This task becomes harder, because of the lack of scientific formulas to utilize. Also, pain and suffering does not affect everyone the same way. Thus, a jury, or an insurance adjuster if you are settling out of court, may use relevant factors to assign a value to your claim, including:
- the nature of your injuries
- any impairment or permanent injury caused
- how your pain might affect your daily life
- any disfigurement caused by your injuries
- the impact on job performance
- loss of ability to perform your usual leisure activities
- the amount of medical treatment your injury required or may require in the future
- any lingering pain or discomfort you might suffer
- pre-existing conditions aggravated
Pain and Suffering Limits
There are no restrictions on who can file a personal injury lawsuit that may include pain and suffering damages, but there are certain limits within Illinois pain and suffering laws.
The biggest limit arises from Illinois’ modified comparative negligence rule, which states that if found to be more than 50% responsible for causing the accident, you are barred from seeking any form of recovery, both economic and non-economic; but not if you were less than 50% at fault.
However, unfortunately, any damage award you receive diminishes in proportion to your percentage of fault.
Some states also place limits on the amount of money you can receive for pain and suffering, but the Illinois’ Supreme Court ruled that caps on pain and suffering damages are unconstitutional. This was a big day. You can get justice.
Hire a Top Illinois Personal Injury Attorney
Every individual is unique in how they experience pain and suffering, it is inherently difficult to place a price on your non-economic damages. To ensure you receive a fair settlement, put your case in the hands of Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys. Our offices help every step of the way. You won’t be alone in your case. Our phones are always on.
We bring experience, skill and passion to your case and fully understand Illinois pain and suffering laws. We offer free consults and there is no fee, unless we win your case. In a wreck? Need a check?™ Visit our office from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., use our convenient LiveChat online or give us a call 24/7 at 708-222-2222.