How Much Is Pain and Suffering Worth in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Web Admin - Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Schaumburg personal injury attorney pain and sufferingWhen you or a family member has suffered a personal injury as the result of someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, you have probably suffered serious financial losses as well. Even if you had good health insurance, or the person who caused the accident had insurance that paid some or all of your medical bills, there are almost always uncovered costs.

Your uncovered losses may include: 

- Medical costs for treatment of the injury when it occurred.

- Costs to buy special equipment or even to modify your home to accommodate a disability.

- Costs for rehabilitation services which could be needed for months or even years.

- The cost of round-the-clock, long-term care provided in your home or at an assisted living facility.

- Costs for mental health treatment.

- Loss of income the person would have earned had they not been injured.

- Costs for your family to travel and visit the injured person.

- Non-economic costs, which are often lumped under the broad umbrella of “pain and suffering.”

Measuring the Non-Economic Costs of an Injury

An attorney can tally up the financial costs listed above, make future projections, and come up with an appropriate figure as compensation for those losses. However, the calculation of the value of non-economic losses is much more difficult. Some of the specific factors that need to be weighed include: 

- Is the person permanently disfigured or physically impaired, such as by an amputation or paralysis?

- Will they have to suffer through numerous surgeries over the years to try to restore their appearance and/or function?

- Is the injury such that it results in long-term pain to the victim? This is often the case in spinal cord injuries or when a part of the body, such as a leg, suffers multiple fractures or fragmentation.

- Has the person suffered severe emotional distress, perhaps from seeing friends or family killed in the same incident?

- Has the victim suffered from severe insomnia, nightmares, anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder?

- Are there beloved hobbies or activities that the person can no longer participate in as a result of the injury?

- Have family members of the victim suffered loss of consortium or companionship due to the victim’s injuries?

The more of these factors that you can prove, the more non-economic damages you may be able to recover. Documentation will be important to prove that these factors are real, including physician reports, medications prescribed, and your own personal documentation, such as a diary noting how the victim was feeling from day to day.

An attorney who has handled many personal injury cases will likely have developed their own formula, or chosen useful formulas developed by others, to translate these non-economic costs into a dollar figure to cite in the lawsuit. One common method is to apply a multiplier to the total financial damages. For example, if the victim and family’s financial losses totaled $500,000, you might triple that figure and claim an additional $1.5 million for non-economic losses. The multiplier, of course, would depend on the severity of the injury suffered and the extent of the non-economic losses. 

Is There a Legal Cap on “Pain and Suffering” Damages in Illinois?

The Illinois legislature passed a law in 2005 to limit awards for non-economic losses in medical malpractice cases to $500,000 for physicians and $1,000,000 for hospitals. However, in 2010, the Illinois Supreme Court subsequently ruled that law unconstitutional. Thus, Illinois currently places no limit on the amount of compensation that can be awarded for non-economic losses.  

Consult a Rolling Meadows Personal Injury Attorney 

If you are wondering whether you should file a personal injury lawsuit, consult an experienced Palatine personal injury lawyer. The attorneys of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC will determine the best legal strategy for your case and fight aggressively to see that you are compensated for your losses. Contact us at 847-934-6000 to schedule a no-cost, no obligation consultation.

Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.


Pain and Suffering in Personal Injury Cases

Web Admin - Tuesday, April 14, 2015

pain and suffering, Rolling Meadows personal injury attorneyWhile advances in technology have greatly improved vehicle safety, severe injuries still occur in automobile accidents. When an individual’s injuries are the result of the fault of another person, it is possible for that individual to file a personal injury lawsuit. A difficult, but important, part of a personal injury damage award to determine is an individual’s pain and suffering.

What is Pain and Suffering?

Pain and suffering is a form of non-economic damage, which means, unlike a person’s medical bills, for example, it is not readily quantifiable. Pain and suffering may be requested as part of a personal injury claim, in addition to other claims, such as medical expenses. Critically, an individual has two years from the time of the accident to file a lawsuit, which is known as the statute of limitations. There are two forms of pain and suffering: physical and mental. Physical pain and suffering involves a person’s actual physical injuries, like pain or discomfort.

Mental pain and suffering involves the negative emotions that are connected with physical pain or the trauma associated with the accident and the injuries that result. These emotions may include, but are not limited to, mental anguish, emotional distress, fear, anger, humiliation, or anxiety. If the mental pain and suffering is severe enough, it may result in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Calculating Pain and Suffering

Because pain and suffering is subjective, it can be difficult to value. Different individuals will respond differently to injuries and trauma they experience. As a result of the subjective nature of valuing pain and suffering, it is common that the judge will not have specific guidelines to give to the jury. In Snover v. McGraw, the Supreme Court of Illinois held that, “an award for pain and suffering is not as readily calculable…and jurors must draw on their real-life experiences in making an award.” As a result, it is critical to present as much evidence as possible to best convey to the jury the pain and suffering endured.

One way to determine the value of pain and suffering is to multiply the total medical bills and lost earnings (known as actual or special damages) by some factor, usually between 1.5 and four. For example, if an individual’s actual damages are $50,000 and the multiplier is two, the pain and suffering award would be $100,000. The multiplier is usually determined after considering various factors, such as the severity and long-term health consequences of injuries sustained.

There are some other factors that can affect a plaintiff’s pain and suffering award, including:

  • - Whether the plaintiff is credible and likeable;
  • - Whether the plaintiff’s testimony relating to his or her injuries remains consistent; and
  • - Whether the opinion of the plaintiff’s physician supports the plaintiff’s claims of pain and suffering.

An accident can be a frightening ordeal, even if no injuries result. If you have been involved in an accident caused by another person that resulted in harm to you, contact an experienced Illinois personal injury attorney today. Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC provides representation to individuals located in the northwest suburbs, including Rolling Meadows, Palatine, and Barrington.

Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.

Recent Posts


Illinois LLC creation Deer Park criminal attorney Rolling Meadows boating crash lawyer Palatine employment lawyer Palatine employment law lawyer pain and suffering probate fees Des Plaines injury law firm Barrington criminal defense lawyer most common reasons for life insurance claim denials DUI penalities Illinois workers compensation attorney Rolling Meadows business lawyer new real estate form cell phone tower data Self-Directed IRA Accounts Inverness personal injury attorney probate claims process Long Grove estate planning attorney Illinois job attorney Illinois traffic laws insurance claim delay trust payments unpaid assessment Mount Prospect real estate lawyer South Barrington real estate attorney Arlington Heights Attorney Inverness real estate lawyer condo association Arlington Heights personal injury attorney healthcare Deer Park medical malpractice attorney healthcare claims Illinois trusts attorney Illinois tax attorney Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyers traffic laws Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission contracts Rolling Meadows DUI lawyer Illinois insurance disputes Schaumburg civil litigation attorney underage DUI taxes Schaumburg employment law attorneys no contest clauses guardianship attorney car collision Illinois workplace discrimination attorney Schaumburg traffic lawyer Rolling Meadows Attorney Liquor Control Act medical marijuana dynasty trusts pet bites Crystal Lake pedestrian accident lawyer Barrington drug crime attorney product liability Barrington Traffic Lawyer life insurance claim denial, denial of life insurance claim Illinois Transfer on Death Instrument traumatic brain injury traffic accidents food poisoning Policy Cancellation Chicago insurance law firm senior citizens construction accidents, personal injury, wrongful death, Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys, workers' compensation Illinois trucking safety PTSD caregiver Illinois medical malpractice case Illinois medical malpractice claim employee misclassification Forcible Entry denied insurance claims Barrington criminal lawyer premises liability Thanksgiving Rolling Meadows Traffic Lawyer social media after death car accident lawyers Schaumburg estate attorney Crystal Lake bike accident lawyer controlled substance pizza emoji bicycle accidents Illinois elder law attorney murder defense Illinois employment attorneys Rolling Meadows employment attorney personal injury accidents Inverness corporate attorney paid sick leave back injuries Buffalo Grove real estate attorney real estate lawyer Arlington Heights car crash attorneys traffic violations defense Buffalo Grove corporate attorney Inverness elder law lawyer Illinois estate planning attorney Fair Labor Standards Act Crystal Lake will lawyer underfunded trust ACA Schaumburg criminal attorney expungement forming a corporation in Illinois Illinois defective products attorney Illinois boating accident lawyer mass shooting Illinois mortgages suspended license Barrington employment law firm wills and trusts liability claims Inverness real estate attorney Inverness accident lawyer estate planning lawyer Crystal Lake employment lawyer drugs IRS Palatine corporate law attorneys living trust IRELA Chicago life insurance attorney Colin Gilbert dram shop law Crystal Lake estate planning lawyer fiduciary rule insurance claim dispute attorney insurance negligence GM ignition switches breathalyzer test Des Plaines personal injury lawyers car accidents Illinois rollover accident lawyers capital gains tax Deer Park real estate law firm estate plan Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act IRA trust transfer Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorneys Buffalo Grove criminal defense lawyer Des Plaines eluding a police officer special needs trust Kenilworth estate planning attorneys Schaumburg personal injury attorney blood alcohol content DUI attorney criminal defense Barrington estate planning lawyer liability agent consent to a search Do Not Resuscitate Rolling Meadows corporate lawyer accidental death benefits uninsured motorist Palatine business attorney drug crimes lawyer Crystal Lake medical malpractice lawyer criminal record head on collisions Illinois personal injury medical research slip and fall BAIID School Visitation Rights Act life insurance policy Illinois red light cameras job lawyers Deer Park personal injury lawyer Arlington Heights real estate lawyer trustee Illinois wills and trusts Family Medical Leave Act Illinois Sales Representative Act Schaumburg personal injury lawyers Buffalo Grove traffic attorney spinal cord injury Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act Illinois Transfer on Death Instrument Deer Park workers compensation lawyer Illinois Probate Act of 1975 Illinois personal injury lawyer brain injury Illinois criminal defense attorney Inverness insurance attorney Kenilworth estate planning attorney Illinois personal injury lawyers Retaliatory Discharge life insurance claims anesthesia errors home inspection lawyer Arlington Heights traffic attorney Schaumburg employment attorney foreclosure real estate contract Arlington Heights employment law attorneys whistleblower protections landlord tenant law Home Remodeling Repair Act South Barrington real estate lawyer civil litigation Des Plaines civil attorney rollover accidents dog bites real estate zoning power of attorney Palatine injury attorney Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyers Des Plaines collections attorney trucking accidents personal injury claims lapse in policy how to avoid common denials of life insurance claims real estate closing Affordable Care Act sexual images insurance claim denial Illinois Trust Code Inverness civil lawyer operating agreements Barrington employment law attorney modern family estate planning Palatine civil attorney drug possession Crystal Lake pet attorney Arlington Heights personal injury lawyer Illinois bicycle safety workplace sexual harassment Long Grove real estate attorney Schaumburg wrongful death attorney estate tax Illinois employee rights attorney. vacation home fines pedestrian accident fault based insurance commercial leasing Illinois employment law firm Palatine corporate attorney Barrington employment attorney wrongful termination, employment law, whistleblower protections, Illinois employment laws, discrimination in the workplace elder abuse Schaumburg Chicago employment lawyer Barrington personal injury lawyer Crystal Lake traffic lawyer Chicago estate planning car crash Rolling Meadows traffic law firm Chicago biking tips attorney fees Arlington Heights TBI attorney loss of consortium severance agreements Chicago employment attorney Kenilworth estate planning lawyer caretaker rights traumatic brain injuries medical malpractice compensation insurance claim denials subcontractor Schaumburg car accident attorney bicycle dooring accidents natural gas explosion Illinois traffic attorney Rolling Meadows drug defense attorney Chicago car accident lawyer license suspension Illinois home inspection deadly crashes Schaumburg criminal law attorney Long Grove wills and trusts attorneys Home Sale Contingencies Illinois injury lawyer Palatine probate lawyer corporate law denial of life insurance distracted driving accidents startup company Barrington medical malpractice lawyers Illinois will lawyer DMV Rolling Meadows accident lawyer Jay Andrew revenge porn murder Illinois driving without license Rolling Meadows personal injury attorney denied insurance claim homestead rights small business advance healthcare directive automated cars Buffalo Grove traffic lawyers slip and fall accidents medical malpractice claims coronavirus wage theft Illinois business law atorneys Buffalo Grove life insurance attorney auto accidents dealing with problem employees minimum wage insurance claim probate process POA texting while driving insurance denials business litigation Palatine personal injury lawyer Rolling Meadows medical malpractice lawyers employee discrimination Illinois insurance lawyer medical malpractice Barrington Illinois estate planning lawyer work unions Rolling Meadows life insurance claim denial attorney Chicago lawyer institutional trustee Exclusions traffic crimes car crash injuries trucking accident lawyers real estate probate lawyer reckless homicide traffic deaths Rolling Meadows employment law attorneys BAC Schaumburg injury lawyer DUI defense Arlington Heights lawyer Arlington Heights car accident lawyer in terrorem provision Arlington Heights medical malpractice lawyer Employment Discrimination Law Schaumburg insurance lawyers insurance disputes, Illinois insurance disputes, Illinois insurance dispute attorneys, denied insurance claims, Arlington Heights insurance dispute attorneys Illinois probate lawyer Des Plaines Traffic Lawyer Legal Info involuntary manslaughter condo income distribution deducation Illinois insurance dispute lawyers Illinois wrongful termination lawyer Illinois lawyer motorcycle accident fiduciary rule delay Des Plaines claims law firm Illinois corporate lawyer Palatine traffic accidents Illinois speeding lawyer beneficiary complications liens Rolling Meadows Riverwoods estate planning lawyer wills Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers Buffalo Grove medical malpractice lawyers Illinois employment lawyer Crystal Lake employment law attorney traffic violations Illinois civil litigation lawyer Chicago estate planning lawyer swimming pools Illinois estate planning landlord traffic offenses privacy laws Buffalo Grove law firm Buffalo Grove insurance claim dispute lawyers Des Plaines personal injury lawyer insurance agents Illinois Smoke Detector Act Illinois Human Rights Act Palatine employment attorney employment law, meal breaks, rest breaks, hotel employees, Des Plaines employment law attorneys Barrington life insurance lawyer commercial leases Crystal Lake car accident lawyer insufficient documentation holiday statistics preventable medical errors Long Grove estate planning attorneys FSLA insurance adjusters Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyer Schaumburg corporate attorney Crystal Lake injury attorney Arlington Heights criminal lawyer top life insurance claim denials Rolling Meadows traffic attorney Whistleblower Claims Barrington workers compensation attorney Arlington Heights trucking lawyer license reinstatement Illinois business lawyer Palatine workers compensation lawyer sexual harassment Illinois estate planning law firm Barrington real estate lawyer employment lawyer overtime pay Crystal Lake business law attorneys gift tax exemption, estate planning, estate planning strategies, Illinois estate planning, South Barrington estate planning attorneys unfunded trust Rolling Meadows criminal attorney car accident lawyer fatal car accidents Illinois small business hit and run accident first degree murder Inverness estate planning lawyer Barrington civil litigation attorney real estate attorneys insurance dispute medication errors meal breaks motorcycle accident lawyer bike accident Crystal Lake medical malpractice law firm deed transfer Mount Prospect elder law attorney Barrington injury attorney Illinois insurance claims lawyers insurance dispute, insurance dispute lawyers, insurance claim denial, insurance claim delays, Rolling Meadows insurance dispute attorneys insurance agent negligence estate planning trusts criminal FMLA denial of insurance claim investment property compensatory time Arlington Heights accident attorney Crystal Lake tax lawyer Super Mario Rolling Meadows employment law attorney DGAA icy parking lots Arlington Heights pedestrian accidents employment contract Illinois medical malpractice attorney field sobriety test material misrepresentation Rolling Meadows tax attorney elder law Illinois attorney Des Plaines pet law attorney Inverness injury lawyer insurance dispute attorney federal crimes medical malpractice, missed diagnosis, delayed diagnosis, medical mistake, Deer Creek medical malpractice lawyers Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyer Des Plaines criminal attorney commercial real estate civil rights violation Buffalo Grove probate lawyer Crystal Lake employment attorney defective products driving living wills Rolling Meadows insurance attorney Des Plaines personal injury attorney Schaumburg personal injury lawyer pedestrian injuries, pedestrian fatality Deer Park traffic accident attorney Palatine drug lawyer pedestrian-automobile accident pay when paid contract Schaumburg life insurance attorney Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers, insurance dispute real estate attorney Crystal Lake insurance lawyer unauthorized overtime Palatine estate planning lawyer Detainer Actions llinois Real Estate Lawyers Association Arlington Heights estate planning attorney personal injury claim rent to own real estate contracts DNR hands free device Illinois jet ski accident lawyer low-ball insurance settlement probate comp time Palatine Attorney Schaumburg estate planning lawyer Palatine trusts lawyer Crystal Lake medical malpractice attorneys trauma after an accident Illinois wills and trusts attorneys Illinois employment laws problem employees independent contractor Crystal Lake car accident attorney Schaumburg elder law lawyer Long Grove real estate lawyer Fourth of July Des Plaines medical malpractice attorney jet ski irrevocable trust Rolling Meadows marijuana attorney Palatine real estate lawyer employees bad faith insurance claims Inverness traffic law firm DUI loopholes Crystal Lake civil litigation lawyer Illinois employment law attorney health insurance dispute Mount Prospect wills and trusts lawyers Palatine civil litigation lawyer blended families Schaumburg estate planning attorney employment law, Illinois employment laws foreclosed rental property Landlord Tenant Ordinance Schaumburg drug defense lawyer Chicago trucking accident attorney creditors insurance claims Deer Park employment law attorney employee rights drug crimes Illinois living will Barrington estate planning attorney child safety Barrington business law firm Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyer Buffalo Grove employment lawyer right to work residential real estate changes to mortgage law texting and driving estate planning for college students Palatine criminal defense lawyer internet Illinois medical malpractice lawyers financial advisors LLCs cell phone estate planning Deer Park motorcycle accident lawyer gift taxes Illinois workers compensation lawyer disability benefits digital assets, digital fiduciary, estate planning, digital content, Long Grove estate planning lawyers Palatine construction attorney workers compensation Mt Prospect Attorney traffic tickets CAM digital assets insurance attorney license revocation Rolling Meadows criminal lawyer drunk driving crossover accidents jet ski accidents Illinois real estate Des Plaines tax law firm murder charges preventing accidents workers comp Rolling Meadows estate planning attorney Palatine traffic lawyer Illinois construction accident attorney Crystal Lake accident attorney Crystal Lake traffic attorney life insurance car crashes Chicago insurance claim attorneys pet law Schaumburg real estate lawyer estate planning, digital assets, Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, Illinois digital assets, Illinois estate planning, Des Plaines DUI attorney boating DUI Inverness DUI lawyer Palatine punch death digital evidence Rolling Meadows real estate attorney estate attorney estate planning attorney personal injury lawyer manufacturing license college kids Crystal Lake criminal defense attorney Chicago will attorney Inverness probate lawyer comparative negligence civil litigation attorney wrongful death marijuana crimes attorney insurance denial appeals Rolling Meadows car accident lawyers living trust vs will Long Grove estate planning golf accidents Illinois collections attorney employment law cause-of-death exclusions Des Plaines accident attorney personal injury, auto accident injuries, delayed injuries, serious injuries, Des Plaines personal injury attorneys nursing home negligence Des Plaines real estate lawyer owner responsibility ObamaCare Food and Drug Administration's Food Safety Modernization Act marijuana Deer Park accident attorney Illinois personal injury attorney Rolling Meadows insurance lawyer insurance disputes Illinois traffic attorneys trench injuries Illinois pet lawyer Illinois registered agent Des Plaines real estate attorney Rolling Meadows litigation lawyer employment contract, employment law, employment at-will, Deer Park employment law attorneys, contract, natural gas drunk driving statistics pedestrian accidents Palatine insurance lawyer overtime violations Barrington boating accident attorney Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyers Palatine life insurance lawyer Illinois insurance claim attorney probate claims installment contracts Class A misdemeanor tax attorney Illinois traffic accident lawyer Arlington Heights employment attorney Crystal lake insurance dispute attorney Arlington Heights injury attorney Buffalo Grove car accident lawyer Crystal Lake personal injury lawyer power of attorney for healthcare truck collisions Chicago attorney Rolling Meadows probate lawyer underinsured motorist clemency unpaid overtime boating accidents real estate leasing drug crime Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorney Crystal Lake law firm spinal cord injuries TBI personal injury Barrington attorney Deer Park DUI lawyer Buffalo Grove injury lawyer privacy life insurance lawyer Illinois DUI attorney boating under the influence Chicago will attorney, social media platforms, Illinois estate planning lawyer, Joliet general practice lawyers workers compensation benefits Colin H. Gilbert insurance claim dispute Attorney Ken Apicella Chicago corporate attorney distracted driving accident victims car accident surgical mistakes Arlington Heights Traffic Lawyer breach of contract Palatine law firm Barrington personal injury attorney Schaumburg Attorney Des Plaines insurance attorney trusts Illinois law employment attorney Illinois insurance attorney Illinois workplace lawyer BUI Palatine elder law attorney personal injury law firm Des Plaines drug crimes lawyer pregnant women Illinois employment law attorneys personal injury attorney defective products lawyer filing a medical malpractice claim Deer Park traffic lawyer Arlington Heights insurance attorney federal regulations for LLCs hiring employees digital information Schaumburg probate attorney mortgage cell phone accidents Chicago traffic lawyer Crystal Lake personal injury attorney products liability rest breaks ken apicella Schaumburg construction accident lawyer criminal law estate planning, death tax, succession plans, business estate plans, Barrington estate planning lawyers appealing an insurance claim Buffalo Grove personal injury attorney Barrington litigation attorney Des Plaines motorcycle accident attorney Schaumburg medical malpractice lawyer wrongful termination Arlington Heights tax lawyer living trust benefits Illinois traffic ticket lawyer Illinois motorcycle accident lawyer vacation home sole proprietorship speeding Des Plaines drug lawyer digital media accounts, estate planning, Arlington Heights estate planning attorney, Illinois real estate lawyer IRA benefits construction accidents Illinois pedestrian accident attorney rumble strips Illinois car accident attorney Illinois employment law construction contracts Buffalo Grove personal injury lawyer rollover car crashes