In personal injury accidents, victims are often entitled to compensation for the injuries they sustain. This compensation is known as damages. There are economic and noneconomic damages that may be awarded in civil lawsuits. Economic damages include compensation for lost wages, future lost earnings, medical bills, and other costs with a clearly quantifiable amount. The noneconomic category includes compensation for pain and suffering. The following information is an explanation of pain and suffering, as it relates to personal injury compensation.
What is Pain and Suffering?
Your pain and suffering is the physical and mental distress you have suffered as a result of your injuries. Because these are noneconomic damages, the amount of compensation awarded is extremely subjective and varies widely between cases. Courts will often look at a variety of factors, including the severity of your injuries, the length of recovery time, and any potential long term consequences of your accident.
Are There Limits on the Recovery?
Illinois has a tumultuous history when it comes to awarding compensation for pain and suffering. In 1995, the state imposed a $500,000 cap on noneconomic damages in a variety of civil cases. These included strict liability and negligence cases involving death, bodily injury, and property damage. The law was overturned by the Illinois Supreme Court after the court determined that the law violated the state constitution. In 2005, legislators again tried to set a limit on damages for pain and suffering, though this time it was only for medical malpractice cases. In 2010, the Illinois Supreme Court again found that the cap on a victim’s compensation violated the Illinois Constitution.
Have you been injured in a personal injury accident? The attorneys at Shea Law Group can help you navigate the Illinois Court system. We will advocate for your rights and help you get the best compensation possible. Call our Chicago office at (773) 365-0040 to schedule a consultation.