Illinois uses a modified comparative negligence rule which allows you to recover damages even if you are partly to blame for the accident, provided that you were less than 50% responsible.
Cook County, where Chicago is located, is the deadliest for Illinois drivers. In 2020, for instance, almost 30% of fatalities in car accidents registered in the state, occurred in and around Chicago. 361 people were killed, not to mention the thousands of people injured. The victims and their families go through a lot of pain and many are faced with huge medical bills, lost wages, not to mention their totaled cars. If you were recently injured in a car accident, you’re probably wondering how much your claim might be worth. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question as each accident is unique. If you want to get an idea, the best thing you can do is schedule a free consultation with a dedicated Chicago car accident attorney. The amount of damages you get depends on how hard your lawyer will fight for your rights. And it’s not an easy battle as the insurance adjuster will try anything to minimize the value of your claim, especially if you have sustained severe injuries and need a lot of money.
Is Illinois a comparative negligence state?
Illinois uses a modified comparative negligence rule which allows you to recover damages even if you are partly to blame for the accident, provided that you were less than 50% responsible for what happened. For instance, if a drunk driver ran a red light and slammed into your car, but you were a little over the speed limit at the time, you will be found some 10% to blame. This means that the total damages you deserve will be reduced by 10%.
You will need a very skilled accident lawyer to negotiate with the insurance adjuster. The adjuster in charge of your case will try to say that your share of the blame was actually higher, like 30 or 40%, so your damages will be reduced accordingly.
To maximize your chances of successful personal injury claim, do not give any recorded statement to your insurer before you seek legal counsel from a seasoned Illinois accident lawyer. Remember that anything you say can and will be used against you.
What damages can you recover for a car accident in Chicago?
You will have to file a claim with your insurance company. According to the law you are entitled to get both economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are calculated by adding up all your medical bills, including prescription medications and medical equipment for at-home care. You can also be compensated for any rehabilitation treatment you might need. The economic damages should also cover your lost wages, past and future. If you have sustained severe injuries, you might not be able to return to work for a long time.
Non-economic damages are also referred to as pain and suffering damages. This includes both your physical pain and your mental suffering. In Illinois there is no cap on pain and suffering damages, so it really depends on your lawyer’s ability to present your case in such a way as to get you a sizable compensation.
If your lawyer decides you should also get punitive damages, you will have to file a lawsuit. There is no cap on punitive damages in Illinois, but your lawyer will have to prove that the other driver acted with gross negligence or malicious intent.