Chicago Car Accident Lawsuits and Settlements

This page will discuss Chicago car accident lawsuits. Our Chicago auto accident lawyers will explain some of the main points of law that apply to auto accident injury cases in Illinois. We will also look at the average settlement payout value in Chicago auto accident lawsuits by examining recent verdicts and reported settlements.

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Auto Accidents in Chicago

Chicago is the 3rd biggest city in the U.S. with a population of 2.7 million. The greater Chicago metropolitan area has a population of over 5 million which is within Cook County, Illinois.

In 2021 there were a total of 159,395 police-reported vehicle accidents in Cook County. 29,430 of those accidents involved physical injuries to the drivers, occupants or others. Of the 41,061 individuals who suffered injuries in Cook County vehicle accidents, 14,334 of those injuries were categorized for severity as Level I (minor), 22,770 were considered Level II (moderate), and 3,957 were listed as Level III (serious). There were 423 fatal accidents resulting in the death of 460 people.

Illinois Auto Accident Laws

Chicago auto accident cases are governed by Illinois law. Illinois has its own unique traffic laws, insurance regulations, and body of tort law that is applicable to Chicago car accident lawsuits. Below is a short outline of the key Illinois laws as they relate to auto accidents.

2-Year Statute of Limitations for Chicago Car Accident Lawsuits

If you are seriously injured in a Chicago auto accident, you will have a limited amount of time to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. This is because Illinois has a statute of limitations that imposes maximum time deadlines on how long plaintiffs in injury cases can wait before filing suit.

The statute of limitations for a car accident injury lawsuit in Illinois is 2-years (ILCS 5/13-212). The 2-year period starts running on the date that the accident occurred. This means that you must file your injury lawsuit within 2-years of the accident. If you don’t get your case filed before then it will be legally barred.

Illinois Follows Modified Comparative Negligence Rule

In many auto accident cases, both drivers are guilty of some degree of negligence in causing the accident. These are called shared fault cases. When shared fault is present, Illinois follows a modified comparative negligence system. This means that the amount of money a plaintiff is awarded for their accident case may be reduced based on their percentage of fault contributing to the injury. If a plaintiff is found to be more than 50% at fault, they are barred from recovering any damages. However, if the plaintiff is found to be 50% or less at fault, their damages will be reduced proportionally by their percentage of fault.

Compensation in Chicago Car Accident Lawsuits

Damages are a legal concept that determines how much compensation a plaintiff is entitled to receive in a Chicago auto accident lawsuit. The law recognizes certain types or categories of damages resulting from an auto accident for which successful plaintiffs are entitled to receive financial compensation.

Illinois does not currently have any statutory caps or maximum limits on the type or amount of damages available to personal injury victims. This means that if you are seriously hurt in a Chicago car accident that was not your fault, you can get compensation for all legally recognized categories of damages.

Medical Bills / Expenses: plaintiffs can get damages for any and all medical bills and expenses that they incur as a direct result of the car accident.  This includes not just medical expenses that you have already incurred, but also estimated medical expenses that you are going to incur in the future. Damages are awarded even if these costs were covered by health insurance.

Lost Income / Wages: if your injuries in the car accident cause you to lose income or wages because you can’t work or run your business, you legally entitled to collect damages for that lost income. Just like with medical expenses, you can damages for both past and future lost income.

Pain & Suffering: Illinois law allows damages to be awarded for mental pain and suffering related to injuries sustained in a car accident. The more severe and painful the injury, the more compensation a plaintiff can get for pain and suffering. The judge or jury determines pain and suffering damages if a case goes to trial.

How Much are Chicago Car Accident Lawsuits Worth?

The settlement value of a Chicago car accident injury lawsuit is determined by a variety of factors. The most impactful factor that drives settlement value more than any other is the nature and severity of the plaintiff’s injuries. More serious injuries involve more medical expenses and more pain & suffering, which equates to a higher settlement value. The chart below shows the average settlement value range of Chicago car accident cases based on the severity level of the plaintiff’s injuries.

LEVEL I  (minor) $19,000 – $41,000
LEVEL II  (moderate) $58,000 – $152,000
LEVEL III  (severe) $180,000 – $490,000


Chicago Car Accident Settlements & Verdicts

Below are summaries of recent settlements and verdicts in Chicago car accident lawsuits. These summaries are provided only for informational purposes and they cannot guarantee similar outcomes in your own case. Most of the summaries below do not include descriptions of the plaintiffs’ alleged injuries because the Illinois verdict summaries do no include those.

$50,000 Settlement (2023): The plaintiff claimed to suffer a laceration to her face resulting in a scar when the northbound vehicle she was a passenger in, driven by her father, collided with a southbound vehicle attempting a left turn, operated by the defendant.

$5,025,000 Verdict (2023): The plaintiff, a 71-year-old female, reportedly was stopped in traffic at or near an intersection, facing north, when her vehicle was struck head-on by the defendant. The plaintiff allegedly suffered a left hip comminuted acetabular fracture and left hip dislocation with left total hip replacement surgery recommended. The verdict included $1.4 million for pain and suffering and $3.6 million for “other compensatory” damages.

$6,460 Verdict (2023): The plaintiff claimed that the defendant failed to yield when pulling out of a driveway and caused a collision. She alleged “unspecified” soft-tissue injuries. The case went to trial and the jury was clear very unimpressed with the plaintiff because not only did they only award $6,460 for only past medical expenses, they also found her 50% at-fault so the award was reduced to $3,230.

$33,268 Verdict (2023): The plaintiffs (driver and passenger) were struck in their vehicle when the defendant veered across the center line and hit them head-on at low speed. The driver was awarded $16,527 for past medical expenses and $3,500 for pain & suffering. The passenger got $10,011 for medicals and $3,500 for pain & suffering.

$160,000 Verdict (2023): The defendant ran a stop sign and struck the plaintiff’s vehicle from the side. The plaintiff alleged various unspecified physical injuries resulting from the collision, but the defendant disputed both liability and the nature and extent of the alleged injuries. The defendant also alleged that the plaintiff was speeding. The jury awarded $160,000 in damages but found that the plaintiff was 20% at-fault for the accident, which reduced the award.

$134,916 Verdict (2023): The plaintiff was stopped at a red light when she was rear-ended by the defendant, resulting in unspecified physical injuries. The verdict included $38,916 for past medical expenses, $26,000 for future medical expenses, $30,000 for past pain & suffering, and $40,000 for future pain and suffering.

Hire a Chicago Car Accident Lawyer

If you have a Chicago car accident lawsuit, contact our injury lawyers today for a free consultation at 800-553-8082, or contact us online.

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