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How pain and suffering is calculated in a personal injury case

On Behalf of | May 17, 2021 | Blog, Personal Injury

Pain and suffering damages associated with an injury claim help make the claimant financially whole. Also known as general damages, they are allowed based on the ongoing difficulties throughout the remainder of life for the victim with respect to coping with the injury. These are often damages that Illinois personal injury attorneys go after diligently when representing clients in injury lawsuits. General damages are calculated using two different methods.

Per diem

The per diem method is calculated based on a daily amount that is considered typical in association with the severity of the injury and potential rehabilitation. Many injuries will not be fully rehabilitated at any point, which can increase the total significantly. The designated amount is then multiplied by the number of days the claimant will deal with the injury. This method is commonly used in minor to moderate personal injury claims.

Multiplier method

The second method that is applied in most long-term injury cases is the multiplier method. This calculation is completed by taking the total amount of “special” damages associated with the claim and multiplying by a factor such as three or four. The multiplier number is negotiated by the respondent insurance company and the claimant’s personal injury lawyer.

The difficulty with this method is negotiating the most appropriate factor in reaching a whole damage amount. Injured passengers will rarely have a comparative negligence percentage tied to their claim value, but drivers who are 50% or less at fault for the collision will have their pain and suffering amount discounted by that percentage.

It is important for all injured claimant drivers to understand that those over 50% at fault for the accident will be denied any financial compensation for injuries in Illinois. In addition, insurance companies typically counter-claim using an algorithm method significantly lower than either the per diem or multiplier determination methods. Illinois personal injury attorneys typically focus on reducing their client’s comparative negligence percentage in a case negotiation as it is the most common defense for insurance providers.