Damages – the money that at-fault defendants are ordered to pay plaintiffs in personal injury cases – are typically categorized as either economic or non-economic (or, in some cases, punitive). While economic damages refer to those that can readily be assigned a dollar value, non-economic damages are usually more subjective and difficult to quantify. One type of non-economic damages is pain and suffering. If you’re a personal injury victim, you need a lawyer who understands how to fight for this important form of compensation. You need Hale & Monico.
Medical bills, which fall into the economic damages category, are intended to compensate a victim for out-of-pocket medical expenses and other costs the victim would otherwise have to pay him- or herself. While this form of compensation is essential to any personal injury case, it has its limits. After an injury, the victim can expect serious pain and discomfort to last for a considerable time. That’s why Illinois law allows victims to demand pain and suffering damages.
What injuries qualify for pain and suffering damages?
Just about any personal injury can be serious enough to qualify for pain and suffering damages. Some of the most common ones include:
- Headaches and other pains suffered from a brain or head injury
- Herniated discs and other problems associated with back injuries
- Whiplash and associated discomfort, such as stiffness in the neck
- Ongoing and permanent nerve damage caused by pinched nerves
Car crashes, slips and falls, and many other accidents can lead to these and related problems. If you’ve been in one, let your physician know about any discomfort you experience at any point.
Trying to assign a dollar value to compensate a victim for pain and suffering is no simple task. There are a multitude of factors that will necessarily go into this valuation. Those may include:
- The severity of the accident
- Whether the victim had pre-existing injuries or past pain and suffering
- How the injury affects the victim’s daily life
- Whether the injury prevents the victim from engaging in activities he or she once enjoyed
- Whether the injury resulted in disfigurement
- Whether the injury is permanent
- Overall pain and discomfort
Also, it’s never easy to predict how long the victim will continue to suffer. Some pain and discomfort may last a matter of months, while for other victims, it could be years. Although the same injury will affect each victim differently, more severe ones will typically result in a higher amount of pain and suffering damages.
Contrary to what some people assume about the civil justice system, determining a reasonable dollar value of pain and suffering is more than just picking a number at random. The above factors, and others, go into consideration. Also, the defendant will be permitted to question the amount you demand. Hiring an expert witness will likely be necessary to try to quantify pain and suffering, and to rebut any testimony the defendant’s witness may give to contradict it. Our firm is experienced with all manner of pain and suffering personal injury cases, and we have a network of experts we call upon to assist.
Contact Hale & Monico Today
If you’ve suffered a personal injury, your goal is to get your life back to normal. Our goal is to fight for the compensation you need to do so. Call Hale & Monico today.