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Recovering Non-Economic Damages from Car Accidents

Posted on in Personal Injury Lawsuits

Illinois personal injury lawyer, Illinois wrongful death attorney, Illinois car accident lawyer,As explained in a previous post, victims of motor vehicle accidents can file claims for both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include lost wages and medical expenses, while non-economic damages involve the pain and suffering the victim has had to live with since being injured in the accident.

Pain and suffering is not only the physical pain a car accident victim endures from their injuries, but can also include the psychological and emotional pain the victim is struggling with. This can include symptoms such as anxiety, depression, fear, and insomnia.

It is very unlikely a victim could receive pain and suffering damages if they have not sought any medical treatment. This is why it is important to see a medical professional immediately after an auto accident. Victims should also keep a log documenting their symptoms, as well as any medical treatment they receive.

Unlike economic damages, where calculations are based on concrete numbers, the calculations for determining pain and suffering can vary. The two most common methods are the multiplier method and the per diem method.

When using the multiplier method, the total amount of the economic losses is multiplied by a number between one and five in order to determine how much the pain and suffering damages should be. One is for minor injuries and five is used for severe injuries.

The per diem method is taking the number of days a victim has suffered with their injuries and multiply that by a daily rate. Typically, that daily rate is based on what the person’s daily employment wage would be. For example, a person who earns $15.00 per hour would have a $120.00 per diem rate. For a victim who earns a salary, the annual salary can be divided by 250 days to determine that amount. A victim who earns $50,000 per year would have a per diem rate of $200.00.

Just as a victim needs to provide documentation for economic damages, they also need to provide proof for non-economic damages. These items should include:

  • All medical reports;
  • All medical bills, including those for ambulance transportation, emergency room visits, hospital stays, physical and/or occupational therapy, and mental therapy;
  • Prescription and over-the-counter medication receipts;
  • Proof of lost time from employment or school;
  • Photos of the injuries; and
  • Log documenting all medical treatments, loss of activities, and pain.

If you have been injured in an auto accident, you are entitled to recover damages for your non-economic damages. Contact an experienced Lake County injury attorney to find out which calculation method would be more beneficial for your case.



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