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Non-Economic Damages for Personal Injury

If you, or someone you care about, has suffered a personal injury, you may be wondering how to go about recouping what has been lost due to the incident. Often, the loss incurred is not limited to loss of property or bodily injury. While monetary compensation for some types of injuries may not seem adequate, the courts do allow the victim in a personal injury case to collect compensation for non-economic damages in order to help them cope with the difficulties they are subjected to.

What are Non-Economic Damages?

Unlike economic damages (i.e. loss of wages, medical bills, car repairs), which have a dollar amount that can be easily calculated, non-economic damages do not have an inherent assigned value. Of course, these are much harder to calculate since there is no corresponding record or bill that assigns a price to the injury. Although some states have limits on how much an injured party can recover for non-economic damages, Illinois currently has no cap in place.

Types of Non-Economic Injury:

Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering, which is a typical type of non-economic injury, refers to the pain incurred from the injury. This not only refers to the initial pain, by pain suffered throughout the treatment process.

Emotional Anguish 

Emotional pain and mental anguish is another form of pain. However, this type of injury can be more difficult to assess due to the fact that every person is an individual and handles every situation differently. The court will need to determine if there is sufficient emotional pain or anguish to warrant compensation. Examples of this type of injury are depression, emotional distress, anxiety, and insomnia.

Loss of Consortium

Personal injuries not only affect the injured person, they also impact that person’s relationships, especially with their family. Loss of consortium is the legal term used to refer to any strain on family relationships due to an injury. Typically claimed by the spouse of the injured party, this is another example of non-economic injury.

Disability or Disfigurement

The effects of an injury can last years after medical treatment has been completed. These injuries often impact a person’s daily life, causing both emotional and physical difficulties. In the case of disability or disfigurement, non-economic damages are awarded for any condition that permanently alters the victim’s appearance or physical function.

Loss of Enjoyment of Life

Injuries sustained in any accident often have far-reaching consequences. These consequences may affect many aspects of the person’s life, including how they spend their free time. For example, if a victim were to permanently injure their back in an accident, it may make it impossible for them to engage in activities they once enjoyed, such as hiking or playing basketball.

Consult with an Experienced Chicago Personal Injury Attorney

It goes without saying that this type of injury makes it difficult to calculate damages. While you cannot place a price tag on suffering or loss, the courts will do their best to calculate fair compensation based on the evidence provided. Factors the courts will consider are the severity and permanency of the injury, recovery time, and the disruption to your daily life.

Because is necessary to prove that any damages are the direct result of the accident, it is very important to consult with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney in regards to non-economic injuries. Every case is different, and any pre-existing condition that is exacerbated by the situation will need to be carefully presented to the court to ensure you receive fair compensation.

At Shea Law Group, our Chicago personal injury attorneys have handled thousands of personal injury cases, many of which involved non-economic injury. Reach out to us today for your free, no-obligation consultation and let us help you determine the right course of action for you.