It has often been said that “When you’re average, you’re as close to the bottom as you are to the top.” In the context of car accident settlements, this wisdom is important to keep in mind. Far too often, car crash injury victims hesitate to seek compensation because they either believe that their claim isn’t worth much or that the effort it’ll require will negate the value of that compensation. In reality, anyone who has been injured enough in an accident to warrant significant medical attention due to another’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional wrongdoing tends to be entitled to a compensation award that is closer to the “top” than they are to the “bottom,” as bottom-level settlements generally concern property damage only.
What the Statistics Say
When considering statistics, remember the context in which they’re presenting. You shouldn’t get discouraged if you learn that the average settlement in Illinois is far less than a recent accident may have cost you and your family. Remember, the average is just as close to the bottom as it is to the
With that said, a respected survey conducted by Martindale-Nolo indicates that the average settlement awarded to crash victims who have not sustained injury is $16,700. When crash injury victims do sustain injuries, their average award amount jumps to $29,700. Again, and this cannot be emphasized enough, just as many accident injury victims receive awards that exceed this amount as those who receive less substantial awards.
There are a number of different issues that influence how much a car accident settlement is worth. These factors impact both insurance claims and personal injury damage awards. When assessing the value of your case, our skilled legal team will carefully evaluate each of the following:
- The cost of your medical care to date.
- Anticipated future medical costs, including physical therapy.
- Any property damage affecting your vehicle or its contents.
- Whether you have suffered emotional trauma as a result of your crash.
- Lost wages for time taken away from your job to heal.
- Lost earning potential if you can no longer continue your career trajectory unimpeded.
- Disability considerations, if your condition requires modifications to your home, vehicle, etc.
Essentially, the more challenges you’ve suffered due to a crash caused by another’s actions or inactions, the more your compensation claim will be worth.
What About Comparative Fault?
If you’re hesitating to explore your legal options because you know or suspect that your actions may have contributed to the cause(s) of your wreck, know that Illinois honors a modified comparative negligence theory regarding auto accidents. This means you can still seek compensation from other at-fault parties if the percentage of fault assigned to you doesn’t exceed 50%.
If a percentage of fault is assigned to you, your total compensation award will simply decrease by that percentage. Say, for example, that your harm is valued at $500,000. The other driver involved in your crash was drunk and is assigned 40% of the blame. The manufacturer of a defective auto part is given an additional 40%, and you are given the remaining 20% for being distracted by your favorite music app at the time of impact. In this scenario, you’ll be able to seek $200,000 from the other driver, $200,000 from the manufacturer, and you’ll be held responsible for the remaining $100,000 of your costs. This example illustrates that even if you bear some financial burdens due to your role in the crash, it still may be well worth your while to seek compensation from other at-fault parties.
Seek Personalized Legal Guidance Today at No Cost
It can be difficult to know whether pursuing compensation after a crash is worth your while. This is one of the primary reasons why the client-focused team at Cullotta Bravo Law offers free legal consultations to crash victims. We believe everyone has a right to make informed decisions about their rights and options after suffering harm. To have your crash-related situation evaluated and to learn more about our team’s approach to representation, you can call our offices directly at 630-898-7800 or you can schedule your free consultation by contacting our team online.