Illinois law gives injured people the right to seek financial compensation for their injury-related costs when an accident is caused by another party’s actions. In many cases, injured individuals are also entitled to compensation for the non-financial losses they suffered as a result of their injury. These losses are often referred to as “pain and suffering” damages. If you or a loved one were hurt in a car crash, fall, work accident, or another incident, read on to learn about how non-financial damages are calculated in Illinois personal injury cases.
Understanding Economic and Non-Economic Damages in a Personal Injury Case
Economic damages are financial losses that a person experiences because of a personal injury. For example, a truck accident victim may be faced with a massive hospital bill and ongoing medical expenses for physical therapy and medication. He may be unable to work during his recovery and forced to deplete his paid time off days. His vehicle may be totaled or in need of significant repairs. Calculating the total cost of these financial losses is usually straightforward.
However, it is much harder to put a price tag on non-financial losses caused by an accident. Consider an accident victim who loses sight in both eyes because of a defective airbag. Can we really put a price tag on an individual’s ability to see? What about the physical pain that a person suffers due to a preventable accident?
Non-economic damages vary, but Illinois law specifically states that injured victims may be entitled to compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of society
Calculating Non-Financial Damages
There is no one way to calculate non-financial damages in a personal injury claim, but most insurance companies use a multiplier to determine the total amount of non-financial damages. The economic damages a person suffered are multiplied by a rate between 1.5 and 5 to calculate the cost of non-financial damages. For example, a victim who sustained $100,000 in medical bills and other economic damages may be entitled to $150,000 – $500,000 for non-financial damages. However, the total award or settlement that a victim receives may be influenced by many different factors, indulging the severity of the injuries and whether any permanent disability resulted from the injury. Someone who suffers permanent loss of functioning would likely be entitled to greater compensation than someone who will eventually recover from his injuries, however, each case is different.
Contact a Springfield Personal Injury Lawyer for Help
If you or a loved one were hurt in an accident caused by another party’s actions, contact a Champaign personal injury lawyer from Kanoski Bresney for help. Call 888-826-8682 for a free, confidential case assessment today.