Illinois Personal Injury Verdicts and Settlements

This page examines settlement amounts and jury awards in personal injury cases in Illinois. Our attorneys also offer an analysis of Illinois personal injury law.

As a personal injury victim pursuing a compensation claim in Illinois, it’s natural to want to understand the potential range of settlement payouts. After all, monetary compensation is ultimately the goal of a personal injury or wrongful death claim.

This page aims to explore how personal injury cases have been resolved in Illinois, allowing you to compare your claim with Illinois personal injury settlement statistics and examples of settlements and jury awards.

If you have a potential claim, it is easy to get sucked in with settlement statistics, example settlement amounts, and jury payouts in a similar case to yours. But you have to proceed with caution. Comparing two seemingly similar cases and expecting the results to be alike is fools’ gold. No two cases are identical, and sometimes the factors that drive the settlement payout of a case are not always apparent in a case summary.

Despite this, can reviewing comparable cases and statistics provide you with more information about the potential value of your injury claim? Absolutely. That’s why we present this information and why you visited this page, even considering all the warnings about the limited value of statistics, sample settlements, and verdicts.

Illinois Verdict Statistics

A Jury Verdict Research found that the median money damages award for personal injury lawsuits that go to trial in Illinois is $26,624. Plaintiffs receive damages in 51 percent of cases that go to trial. Unlike average jury verdict statistics, median jury verdict data blunts more significant cases, including the approximately 8% of jury verdicts in Illinois that were over $1 million.


illinois personal injury settlements

Illinois Settlement Amounts and Jury Payouts

Below are summaries of reported settlements and jury verdicts in various recent personal injury cases in Illinois. These cases provide a broad sample of the potential value of these cases in Illinois.

$12,208,790 Verdict (Fayette County 2024): A  pickup truck collided with the plaintiff, who was driving a tractor-trailer on I-70. The driver of the tractor-trailer, completing a route to Ohio, initially declined medical treatment and finished his route. Ten days later, he sought urgent care for headaches and neck and lower back pain. An MRI revealed a cervical syrinx at C4/C5, leading to surgeries, including a syrinx fenestration, C5-C6 fusion, and C4-C5 laminectomy and decompression. The defendant admitted negligence for the collision but contested the causation of the syrinx and subsequent injuries, arguing the impact was minor, and there was a delay in seeking treatment. The jury obviously saw it very differently.

$12,000,000 Verdict (Illinois 2024): A semi-truck driver suffered a spinal injury causing lifelong pain after being rear-ended by a pickup truck driver employed by a pipeline construction company. The incident occurred on July 30, 2018. The company admitted the driver was negligent but contested the cause and extent of the injuries claimed. After the crash, the plaintiff initially declined medical treatment but later experienced severe headaches and neck and lower back pain. An MRI three months later revealed a cervical syrinx, a fluid-filled cyst within the spinal cord, leading to permanent impairment. The jury awarded damages for mental pain, suffering, and medical expenses, acknowledging the significant impact on the plaintiff’s ability to continue his profession.

$5,500,000 Verdict (Illinois 2023): An 80-year-old woman with a life expectancy of only 6 months was admitted to a nursing home outside Chicago. She was supposed to be on continuous oxygen support, but the room was without power when her daughters came to visit, and she was not receiving oxygen and was in serious distress. Her daughters spent 20 minutes desperately looking for a nurse or someone at the facility to help them, but to no avail and their mother died from lack of oxygen. The nursing home admitted liability, and the case went to trial for damages.

$40,750,000 Verdict (Illinois 2023): A man employed as a pump operator was exposed to asbestos through products supplied by John Crane Inc. This exposure tragically led to his diagnosis and eventual death from mesothelioma. In the aftermath, his daughter hired an asbestos lawyer and filed a lawsuit, alleging that the asbestos in the company’s products was responsible for his illness. After deliberating less than a half hour,  the jury sided with the family, awarding them a substantial $40.75 million in damages.

$11,000,000 Settlement (Illinois 2023): A woman was delivering her son.  The fetal monitor displayed signs of distress before his birth, yet the defendant’s obstetrician chose not to proceed with a C-section. Instead, he waited for a natural birth process, which resulted in a delay of 30 minutes and oxygen deprivation to the now six-year-old child.  As a consequence, the plaintiff incurred hypoxic-ischemic brain damage. The plaintiff’s case was that the hospital’s obstetrician and the delivery nurses failed to deliver adequate care. Initially, the defendants rejected these accusations but later agreed to a settlement payout of $11 million.

$50,000 Settlement (Illinois 2023): The minor plaintiff was a passenger in a car driven by his father. The defendant allegedly made a negligent left-hand turn without yielding, causing the plaintiff’s father to collide with the defendant. The plaintiff suffered lacerations to his face resulting in facial scarring due to the accident.

$250,000 Settlement (Illinois 2023): Wrongful death action alleged that the defendant nursing home provided negligent care to an 89-year-old female resident. The woman developed pressure sores, suffered multiple falls and a right hip fracture, and eventually died from complications related to these injuries. The nursing home agreed to settle the case of $250k.

$490,000 Verdict (Illinois 2022): This was a premises liability case in which the plaintiff claimed to suffer injuries resulting in Complex Regional Pain Syndrome when, while in the checkout lane of a Lowe’s home improvement store, the cashier placed a metal down rod in his cart. The rod slid through the cart and struck the plaintiff on the right lower extremity. Lowe’s admitted liability, but causation and damages were disputed.

$35,201 Verdict (Illinois 2022): The adult male plaintiff allegedly suffered acute whiplash with cervical and lumbar sprain/strains when defendant Fiori Note rear-ended the vehicle he was driving east. Plaintiff Brown contended defendant Note drove negligently by failing to keep a proper distance and pay proper attention and by committing aggravated use of a communication device (i.e., texting while driving).

$145,000 Verdict (Illinois 2021): The plaintiff reportedly sustained injuries including a concussion leading to post-concussion syndrome with memory loss and migraine headaches; disc herniation at C5-C6 with resulting radiculopathy, sensory loss which required fusion surgery; disc herniation at L4-S1 leading to left hemi-body numbness which required surgical intervention and was left with residual left leg radiculopathy with weakness, as well as incontinence and erectile dysfunction, when the tractor-trailer he was operating was struck from the rear at 65mph by another tractor-trailer.

$300,000 Settlement (Illinois 2020): A woman twice slipped on ice outside her apartment in 48 hours. She suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage and three seizures. The woman was left with a seizure disorder. She could not drive for six months. The woman was eventually allowed to drive again and returned to work. However, she continued to experience memory problems. The woman alleged that the apartment owner’s negligence caused her injuries. She claimed they failed to remove the ice outside. This case settled for $300,000.

$16,000,000 Settlement (Illinois 2020): A 56-year-old motorcyclist was struck by an auto porter. He suffered a severe leg injury and bilateral shoulder tears. The man underwent a below-the-knee amputation and shoulder surgery. He alleged that the auto porter’s negligence caused his permanent injuries. The man claimed he failed to yield the right-of-way and maintain a proper lookout. He also made a vicarious liability against the auto porter’s employer. The auto porter contested liability, arguing that a traffic sign obstructed his view. This case settled for $16,000,000.

$2,000,000 Settlement (Illinois 2020): A 49-year-old woman was admitted to a hospital. She suffered pneumonia and pleural effusions. Her condition worsened after several weeks. The woman eventually went into cardiopulmonary arrest. She was left with severe brain damage. The woman died ten days later. Her family alleged that the hospital’s negligence caused her death. They claimed its staff delayed her treatments and provided substandard care. This case settled for $2,000,000.

$75,000 Settlement (Illinois 2020): A 46-year-old woman was sideswiped by a medical transport van. She suffered right knee contusions, sprains, lumbar strain, and right thumb sprain. The woman was eventually diagnosed with plica syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder, panic attacks, depression, and anxiety. She initially underwent physical therapy for her back and knee injuries. This treatment failed to resolve her injuries. Two years later, she underwent knee arthroscopy. She also saw a psychiatrist. The woman experienced panic attacks while driving. She now relied on her boyfriend for rides to work. She underwent driving exposure therapy. The woman could finally drive on her own two years after the accident. She alleged the van driver’s negligence caused her physical and psychological injuries. The woman claimed he negligently changed lanes. The van driver denied liability, arguing comparative negligence. This case settled for $75,000.

$1,000,000 Settlement (Illinois 2020): A 66-year-old woman with cardiac ischemia underwent several procedures. She died two days later. Her family alleged that the hospital staff’s negligence caused her death. They claim they provided inadequate care. This case settled for $1,000,000.

$2,375,000 Settlement (Illinois 2020): A 30-year-old mother presented to the emergency room with chest, back, and abdominal pain.  She was diagnosed with microscopic hematuria. The hospital staff prescribed several medications and discharged her. Five days later, the woman returned with chest pain and tachycardia. She was discharged without undergoing additional tests. Nineteen days later, the woman collapsed at home. She was brought to the hospital. The woman was diagnosed with disseminated intravascular coagulation and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. She died after being transferred to another hospital. Her family alleged that the initial hospital’s negligence caused her death. They claimed its staff failed to order additional tests, determine the hematuria’s cause, and evaluate her severe tachycardia. This case settled for $2,375,000.

$20,000 Verdict (Illinois 2020): A business invitee fell while walking up a damaged staircase. She suffered personal injuries. The woman alleged that the premises owner’s negligence caused her injuries. She claimed she failed to maintain the staircase, warn of the hazard, and adequately lit the stairwell. The premises’ owner denied liability, arguing comparative negligence. A Cook County jury ruled in the woman’s favor. They awarded $20,000.

$20,000 Verdict (Illinois 2020): A business invitee fell while walking up a damaged staircase. She suffered personal injuries. The woman alleged that the premises owner’s negligence caused her injuries. She claimed she failed to maintain the staircase, warn of the hazard, and adequately lit the stairwell. The premises’ owner denied liability, arguing comparative negligence. A Cook County jury ruled in the woman’s favor. They awarded $20,000.

$18,740 Verdict (Illinois 2020): A man was struck in a collision. He suffered undisclosed personal injuries. The man alleged that the at-fault driver’s negligence caused them. He claimed he failed to maintain a proper lookout and failed to slow down his vehicle. Following arbitration, the man received $11,428. He also received an $11,428 jury award.

$15,000 Settlement (Illinois 2019): A man was struck in a collision. He suffered undisclosed personal injuries. The man alleged that the at-fault driver’s negligence caused them. He claimed he failed to maintain a proper lookout and failed to slow down his vehicle. Following arbitration, the man received $11,428. He also received an $11,428 jury award.

$235,000 Verdict (Illinois 2019): A man operated a backhoe while working a construction job. He was hit by a Chicago Transit Authority bus. The man suffered undisclosed personal injuries. The man alleged that the bus driver sped excessively and failed to keep an appropriate distance. The Cook County jury awarded him $235,000, which would be reduced to $223,250 based on comparative negligence.

$5,500,000 Verdict (Illinois 2019): A 42-year-old subcontractor died after using an exploded pipe joint tester. Specifically, the explosion caused head trauma. He was hospitalized and died days after the incident. Their estate claimed the product was defectively designed because the air pressure was too high. The case settled for $5,500,000.

$8,500 Verdict (Illinois 2019): A man was rear-ended by another vehicle when he attempted to make a left turn. He suffered undisclosed personal injuries. The man alleged that the driver followed his vehicle too closely and failed to look for other vehicles. The Cook County jury awarded $8,500.

What Goes into Calculating Settlement Amounts in Illinois?

In Illinois, personal injury and medical malpractice cases are valued based on various factors. These factors determine the plaintiff’s compensation for their injuries or losses. Some of the critical factors that influence the valuation of personal injury and medical malpractice cases in Illinois include:

  1. Strength of Evidence: The starting point of determining the settlement amount in any personal injury case is the chance you will win. The strength of the evidence presented in the case will drive the valuation of any personal injury or medical malpractice claim in Illinois. Strong evidence supporting the plaintiff’s claims, such as expert testimony or documentation, can lead to a higher valuation. In contrast, weak or inconclusive evidence may lower the case’s potential value.
  2. Economic Damages: These are quantifiable financial losses that result from injury or malpractice. Economic damages include past and future medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and any other out-of-pocket expenses incurred due to the injury.
  3. Non-Economic Damages: These are non-quantifiable losses a plaintiff experiences due to injury or malpractice. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium. Unlike economic damages, non-economic damages are subjective.  The award is really what the jury thinks is the monetary compensation that is just.
  4. Jurisdiction: Jury payouts are generally higher for the same case in Cook County than in Gallatin County or Pope County. Illinois feels like many different states regarding how favorable each jurisdiction is to bring a personal injury lawsuit.
  5. The Defendant’s Financial Resources: The defendant’s financial resources – or the size of the defendant’s insurance policy – can make a difference if there are limited assets or insurance coverage. In an Illinois wrongful death car accident, some plaintiffs are tragically stuck with a $25,000 payout, Illinois’s minimum liability coverage requirement.
  6. Your Lawyer: Good lawyers with a history of success get better results. Period.

Illinois Personal Injury Law

Below are some of the most relevant portions of Illinois personal injury law for victims:

Illinois Personal Injury Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Illinois is two years. This means that a plaintiff must file a lawsuit within two years from the date of the injury or the date they discovered or should have discovered the injury. A claim may be permanently barred if not filed within this time frame. There are exceptions to this general rule, such as when the injured party is a minor or when the defendant is a government entity. So the deadline is two years for most tort claims in Illinois. But you do not want to assume this is your deadline – you should talk to an Illinois personal injury lawyer who will give you your deadline to file during a free consultation.

SOL in Illinois Sexual Abuse Civil Lawsuits

In addition to criminal charges, victims of sexual abuse and assault can file civil lawsuits against their abusers and the institutions that negligently allowed the abuse to occur (e.g., schools, churches, etc.). Plaintiffs can get monetary damages for the physical and emotional damage caused by the abuse. Under Illinois law, any unwanted sexual contact qualifies as abuse or assault.

Many other states have recently passed new laws extending or eliminating their statute of limitations for child sex abuse civil lawsuits. Illinois is not one of those states. Illinois sex abuse lawsuits are still subject to the general 2-year statute of limitations. When the victim is a child, when the abuse occurs, the 2-year SOL clock does not begin to run until they turn 18. So child sex abuse victims have until their 20th birthday to file suit. 735 ILCS 5/13-211.

In the recent case of Doe v. Lake Forest High School, an appellate court in Illinois dismissed a lawsuit alleging that the plaintiff was sexually abused by staff at his high school because he failed to file the case before his 20th birthday.

Illinois Wrongful Death Law

In Illinois, wrongful death law allows the survivors of a deceased person to file a lawsuit when their loved one’s death is caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another. A wrongful death action represents a distinct legal claim that arises only upon an individual’s death.

The legal basis for these claims is found in the Illinois Wrongful Death Act, which aims to provide financial compensation to the family members or next of kin for their losses. This includes losses like funeral and burial expenses, loss of financial support, and emotional suffering. The damages awarded are intended to cover both economic and non-economic losses resulting from the death. A wrongful death lawsuit in Illinois must be filed by the personal representative of the deceased’s estate, who may be named in the will or appointed by the court.

Conversely, the Survival Act enables a representative of the deceased to continue pursuing any legal claims the deceased person had accrued prior to their death. Under the 755 ILCS 5/27-6 (2024), the law extends beyond common law to include specific actions such as replevin and claims for personal injury damages.

Illinois Survival Action

A surivial action is the other key claim after a death caused by negligence. Under Illinois law, a survival action allows the estate of a deceased person to continue pursuing or initiate legal claims that the deceased had accrued before their death. This type of action is governed by the Illinois Survival Act, specifically detailed in statute 755 ILCS 5/27-6.

The primary purpose of a survival action is to recover damages that the deceased could have recovered if they had lived. These damages might include compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses incurred before death, and lost wages up to the time of death. Essentially, the survival action survives the death of the individual and can be brought by the victim’s estate.

This is distinct from a wrongful death action, which seeks to compensate the deceased’s family members or dependents for their losses due to the death, such as loss of companionship, emotional distress, and economic support. While a survival action seeks damages for injuries the deceased suffered before their death, a wrongful death action focuses on compensating the next of kin for their loss after the deceased’s death, addressing the impact of the death on the family rather than injuries to the deceased.

In practice, survival actions allow for the continuation of lawsuits that the deceased was involved in at the time of their death. They can also involve initiating a claim that the deceased had the grounds to file but had not yet started. This enables the estate to step into the shoes of the deceased and assert their rights and claims against others.

Illinois Malpractice Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims in Illinois is also two years. 735 ILCS 5/13-202. However, a medical malpractice claim cannot be filed more than four years after the date of the alleged negligent act.This is known as the statute of repose (four years – see below).

For minors, the statute of limitations is eight years from the date of the alleged negligence, but in no event can the claim be filed after the minor’s 22nd birthday. If you have a legal disability at the time of the harm, the time limit to sue doesn’t start until the disability is removed. If you develop a legal disability after the harm, the time limit is paused until the disability is removed.

Illinois Discovery Rule

The discovery rule in Illinois is an exception to the standard statute of limitations. It allows the statute of limitations to begin from the date the injured party knew or should have known of the injury and its cause rather than the date it occurred. This rule applies to both personal injury and medical malpractice claims.

Illinois Statute of Repose

A statute of repose is a law that sets an absolute deadline for filing a lawsuit, regardless of when the plaintiff discovered or should have discovered the injury. In Illinois, the statute of repose for personal injury claims is ten years from the date of the injury. For medical malpractice claims, the statute of repose is four years from the date of the alleged negligent act.

Illinois Malpractice Statute of Repose

As mentioned above, the statute of repose for medical malpractice claims in Illinois is four years from the date of the alleged negligent act. This means a claim must be filed within four years of the alleged negligence, regardless of when the injured party discovered the injury. This deadline is extended to eight years for minors but must still be filed before the minor’s 22nd birthday.

Comparative Negligence

Illinois follows a modified comparative negligence system, meaning that a plaintiff’s recovery may be reduced based on the percentage of fault contributing to the injury.

The doctrine of comparative negligence allows parties to recover damages proportionate to the fault of others involved in an incident. According to this principle, the fact-finder can decrease the damages awarded to a plaintiff by the percentage of the fault assigned to them.

Under this approach, the burden shifts. The party seeking to reduce the damages payout must prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, the critical elements of a negligence claim. Comparative negligence is applicable if the plaintiff’s negligence significantly contributed to their own harm and is considered a substantial factor in causing it, provided there are no legal restrictions limiting their liability for the damage.

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.

Collateral Source Rule

The collateral source rule in Illinois states that evidence of payments received by the plaintiff from sources other than the defendant, such as insurance or worker’s compensation, cannot be used to reduce the defendant’s liability. The rule provides that payments “made to or benefits conferred on the injured party from other sources are not credited against the tortfeasor’s liability, although they cover all or a part of the harm for which the tortfeasor is liable.”

This means that a defendant cannot benefit from the fact that the plaintiff has received compensation from another source.

Expert Required in Malpractice Lawsuit in Illinois

In Illinois, a plaintiff must submit an affidavit, along with their medical malpractice complaint, stating that they have consulted with a qualified healthcare professional who has determined that there is a reasonable and meritorious cause for the lawsuit. The affidavit must identify the expert, their qualifications, and the basis for their determination. The healthcare provider must be

  1. knowledgeable of the relevant issues involved in the particular action
  2. practices or has practiced within the last six years or teaches or has taught within the last six years in the same area of health care or medicine that is at issue in the particular action
  3. qualified by experience or demonstrated competence in the subject of the case.

After a review of the medical record and other relevant material involved in the particular action, the reviewing health professional must have determined in a written report that there is a reasonable and meritorious cause for the filing of such action.

This requirement is intended to reduce the number of frivolous malpractice lawsuits.

No Malpractice Damages Cap in Illinois

Thankfully, Illinois does not have a cap on the amount of damages that can be awarded in a medical malpractice lawsuit. In 2005, the state enacted a law that limited non-economic damages (e.g., pain and suffering) in medical malpractice cases to $500,000 for physicians and $1 million for hospitals. However, the Illinois Supreme Court wisely declared these caps unconstitutional in 2010, stating that they violated the separation of powers by allowing the legislature to interfere with the judicial process.

Illinois Informed Consent Law

Informed consent is a critical aspect of medical malpractice law in Illinois. Healthcare providers must obtain informed consent from patients before performing specific medical procedures, tests, or treatments.

In Illinois, for a malpractice action based on the doctrine of informed consent, there are four essential elements a plaintiff needs to establish:

  1. the physician had a duty to disclose material risks
  2. the physician failed to disclose or disclosed inadequately those risks
  3. the patient consented to treatment as a direct and proximate result of the failure to disclose, which she would not have consented to otherwise
  4. the proposed treatment caused injury to the plaintiff.

Illinois Product Liability and Mass Tort Cases

Under Illinois law, a manufacturer or seller of a product can be held liable if that product is defective and that defect causes injuries or harm. Illinois law acknowledges the three basic types of product defects as identified in the Restatement of Torts: manufacturing defect, design defect, and failure to warn.

There are several national mass torts or “class actions” that involve Illinois plaintiffs, including claims our law firm is handling across the country:

  • Hair relaxer lawsuit: recent evidence has shown that long-term use of chemical hair relaxer products (most commonly used by African American women) can cause uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine fibroids, and other conditions. This has prompted hundreds of women to file hair relaxer lawsuits. The national class action in this litigation is in Chicago and there is also a very active state court docket in Illinois in this litigation.
  • Camp Lejeune lawsuit: A new law allows individuals exposed to the toxic water at the Camp Lejeune Marine Corps base in North Carolina to file compensation claims.

Hiring an Illinois Personal Injury Lawyer

Our firm handles serious injury and wrongful death lawsuits in Illinois, working with trusted colleagues in Illinois who also have a history of maximizing how much personal injury claims are worth. Our law firm compensates your lawyers out of our attorneys’ fees. So you pay absolutely no additional contingency fees, and you have two law firms instead of one. Also important: you only pay nothing unless you get settlement compensation or a jury payout.

If you were hurt, believe you have a potential claim and want justice, click here for a free, no-obligation consultation, or call us today at 800-553-8082.


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