personal injury victim with broken bone injury

How Much Is Your Case Worth? It Depends On Your Economic And Non-Economic Damages

In the 1800s, Scottish historian Thomas Carlyle started calling economics “the dismal science.” It was a dig at the fact that economists boil the whole world down to supply and demand, turning people into the numbers. The phrase soon took on a life of its own, as everyone dumped on economists who made depressing predictions about the future. 

Today, economics has permeated our world. We rely on principles and mathematical formulas pioneered by economists to craft important policies and make day-to-day decisions. We are all living in a dismal science world. 

In personal injury cases, we use economic data and models to make important calculations about compensation. How much your case is worth depends a great deal on economics. 

Our laws are supposed to give accident victims enough money to put them in the position they would have been in if their accident had never occured. The worse you were injured, the more money you can recover. Laws, however, are not magical. No amount of money is going to make the physical and emotional scars left by a serious accident actually disappear. What we do instead is rely on economics. 

In Illinois, accident victims are able to seek compensation based on their economic and non-economic damages. 

Economic damages are damages we can actually calculate. We can gather evidence that explicitly enumerates your: 

  • Medical expenses;
  • Lost income;
  • Decreased future earnings; and 
  • Property damage.

But the law also allows you to seek compensation for things that are a bit harder to put a dollar amount on. Things like:

  • Physical pain;
  • Emotional anguish;
  • Permanent disfigurement or disability;
  • Loss of consortium; and 
  • Loss of enjoyment of life.

These harder-to-price damages are known as non-economic damages. It is a little bit of a misnomer though because we use economic formulas to put a price on them. We consult experts, look at actuarial tables, see what happened in other cases, and if the case goes to trial, ask the jury to put a dollar amount on these things. 

In order to maximize your compensation, we gather evidence that tells a compelling story about your accident and the damage it has done to your life. While it may be painful to relive the trauma that caused your injury, you will not be compensated for damages you do now prove exist. This is one of the reasons why working with an experienced personal injury attorney is critical. 

If you have suffered a serious injury in the Chicago area, and are wondering if it would be worthwhile to file a lawsuit or otherwise seek compensation, the Stein & Shulman team is here to help. We have recovered millions of dollars for injury and accident victims in the Chicago area. After hearing your story, we can estimate how much your case may be worth so you can decide if seeking compensation is worthwhile. To begin the process, please contact our office to schedule a free consultation