No two Illinois injury claims are the same, which means there’s no benchmark for how much any particular case is worth. Your injury settlement is dependent on several factors and can change drastically during the course of your claim. Not even the most experienced Chicago personal injury lawyer can give a completely accurate estimate of the value of your Illinois injury claim – and be wary if they do.
When determining an injury settlement in your Illinois injury claim there are 3 major factors that help assign value to your accident: liability, the nature of the injury, and damages. The following explanations assume your case has not gone to trial and injury settlement is coming from the insurance company decision alone.
Liability in Your Illinois Injury Claim
The insurance company looks at the details of your accident and determines which party was liable for your injuries. At this point, the degree of “comparative negligence” is examined, where the insurance company determines a percentage of fault for each party. For Illinois injury claims, if your percentage is more than 51%, the claim is usually dismissed, as you were more at fault for your injury than the other party.
If the insurance company believes you are mostly liable for your injuries they may choose to drop the case completely. They also may see it as an opportunity to offer you a low injury settlement, figuring you wouldn’t have a case that would hold up in court. If your claim is denied before even given a chance, you may want to consult with a Chicago personal injury lawyer.
The Nature of Your Illinois Injury Claim
The type of injury and the related impact it has on your life is also of concern when determining your injury settlement. Generally, the more severe an injury is, the higher your injury settlement will be. The insurance companies will try to obtain past medical records to make sure that the injury was new and not the result of a pre-existing condition or previous injuries.
If your Illinois injury claim is found to involve ailments that were previously affected by other medical issues, or if it seems related to a pre-existing condition, this can decrease the amount offered in your injury settlement. One of the tactics some companies have employed is the hiring of “medical experts” of questionable ilk that will dispute your own medical records and pin your injuries on other factors besides the accident.
If you find yourself being undermined by the insurance company and their “experts” you may need the help of a Chicago personal injury lawyer in order to justify your claims. Your Chicago personal injury lawyer also can help you document and analyze the damages you can claim in your injury settlement.
Damages You Claim Impact Your Injury Settlement
Illinois law allows an injured person to claim the following damages in their Illinois injury claim:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Current and future wage loss
- Current and future pain and suffering
- Disability (“loss of normal life”)
- Emotional distress
While the first two are fairly easy to calculate since they have tangible dollar values, the other damages are not so black-and-white. It takes careful documentation and evidence to prove how much you and your family have suffered from your injury. A Chicago personal injury lawyer can help you properly explain and prove the impact your injury has had on your life.
Things to Know About Injury Settlement
Not all Illinois injury claims go to trial. Many injury claims are settled out of court, and some are dismissed entirely because of lack of evidence, pre-existing conditions, or a high degree of fault.
There is no time frame for when an insurance company must make a settlement offer. Some Illinois injury claims can take months or even years before a settlement is offered, even if the claim goes to trial.
There’s no “standard” for an injury settlement. You cannot look at similar cases to determine your settlement, either. With all the factors involved, even if your injury took place at the same place and time, there will still be critical differences between your accident and someone else’s.
Bad publicity isn’t always a threat. Some people think that when suing a high-profile person or company for an injury settlement that they’ll settle quickly and high to avoid bad press. This isn’t always true and you shouldn’t rely on it for a large settlement.
Hiring a Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer
You should never trust a Chicago personal injury lawyer that guarantees a settlement amount. There’s no way they can predict how the insurance companies will think, and this tactic is only good for getting you in their door with false hopes.
When you have the help of a trusted Chicago personal injury lawyer from the Law Offices of Barry G. Doyle, P.C. you’ll get experienced advice with a realistic look at your Illinois injury claim. Contact us today for a free case evaluation – (312) 263-1080