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What Are Pain and Suffering Damages?

Sep 29, 2014 | Firm News

“Pain and suffering” are two words you often hear together in the context of a motor vehicle collision or other accident. If you have been hurt in a car crash or other incident, you probably know all too well that personal injuries can leave you with a great deal of pain. They also take a toll on various other aspects of your life. In a personal injury case, these types of damages have a very specific meaning and are an important component in the total compensation awarded by the court or agreed upon in a settlement.

To understand pain and suffering damages, it is helpful to gain a general knowledge of the two types of damages most frequently awarded in personal injury cases: economic and non-economic.

Economic Damages

Also known as pecuniary damages, economic damages include losses that can be easily quantified. These types of damages include things like hospital bills, medical equipment costs, and lost wages. If you went to the physical therapist after your accident, you were probably billed for it. The invoice or statement shows exactly how much you paid, which makes it an economic damage.

Non-economic Damages

By contrast, non-economic (or non-pecuniary) damages are more difficult to calculate. Unlike economic damages, they are not accompanied by receipts or billing statements. Non-economic damages can include emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and pain and suffering. The spouses of injury victims can also frequently make a claim for the loss of their injured spouse’s companionship. Just because these damages don’t come with a definite price tag, however, does not make them any less costly. In catastrophic injury cases, for example, pain and suffering damages can comprise a large portion of a victim’s compensation.

Courts calculate non-economic damages based on several factors, including the severity of the injury, the victim’s prognosis, and his or her lifestyle. For example, an avid marathon runner who sustains a devastating spinal cord injury will almost certainly suffer emotional losses as a result of his accident. Calculating the personal cost of these types of injures demands experience and skill, which is why it’s important for accident victims to work with a knowledgeable attorney.

Chicago’s Premier Personal Injury Law Firm

If you have suffered an injury that prevents you from enjoying life the way you did before your accident, you deserve to be made whole. Although money can’t completely restore you to the way you were before your injury, it can relieve some of the stress and burdens of your recovery. In Illinois, injury victims can receive money damages for past, present, and future pain and suffering caused by another’s negligence. The attorneys at Anesi, Ozmon, Rodin, Novak & Kohen, Ltd. represent personal injury victims throughout Chicago, Naperville, Aurora, and the surrounding areas. Call today at (312) 372-3822 to talk about your case.

This website has been prepared by Anesi, Ozmon, Rodin, Novak & Kohen, Ltd. for informational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

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