How Much Can Someone Sue for a Car Accident?
May 16, 2023
When you get injured in a wreck that is someone else’s fault, you have the right to sue for a car accident under Illinois law. While there are several aspects to filing a lawsuit (or filing an auto insurance claim, which is the first step in most cases), one of the most important aspects is understanding how much you are entitled to recover.
So, how much can you sue for a car accident in Illinois?
The short answer is that you can sue for the full amount of your accident-related losses. Unlike some other states, Illinois does not have a cap on the damages you can recover after a car accident. No matter how much the accident costs you, and no matter how much it impacts the rest of your life, you can seek the full compensation you deserve based on your individual circumstances.
Determining How Much You Can Sue for a Car Accident
There are several steps involved in calculating your losses after a car accident—and, don’t forget, you only get one chance to seek the compensation you deserve. As a result, you need to take the process of calculating your losses seriously, and you need to work with an experienced lawyer who can help ensure that you file an appropriate claim for damages.
When you hire a lawyer to handle your car accident case, your lawyer will consider several factors in order to determine how much financial compensation to seek on your behalf. These include factors such as:
- Out-of-Pocket Costs to Date – When you have a claim for a car accident that was someone else’s fault, you are entitled to recover all of your out-of-pocket costs to date. This includes medical bills, repair bills, prescription costs, and any other costs you incur as a result of the accident.
- Future Medical Treatment, Therapy, and Prescription Needs – In addition to recovering the costs you have already incurred, you are entitled to damages for your future costs as well. If you have ongoing needs, these future costs could far exceed the costs you incur through the date of your settlement or verdict.
- Other Future Out-of-Pocket Costs – If you will need to pay for home modifications (i.e., a wheelchair ramp or other accessibility modifications), if you will need to pay a caregiver or landscaper, or if you will need to incur any other costs as a result of your injuries, you are entitled to recover these as well.
- Lost Earnings (Present and Future) – If you are unable to work as a result of your injuries, you are also entitled to damages for your lost earnings. The amount you can recover for your lost earnings (both present and future) is based on your occupation, income, how much time you will miss from work, and other factors.
- Severity of Your Injuries – In addition to financial losses, Illinois law allows car accident victims to sue for their non-financial losses as well. When calculating these damages, the severity of your injuries is a key factor. Generally speaking, the greater the severity of your injuries, the more you are entitled to recover.
- Potential Long-Term Complications – If your injuries are likely to have long-term complications, this will increase the amount you are entitled to recover. This includes not only your recovery for your future medical care, but also for your future pain and suffering.
- Your Injuries’ Day-to-Day Effects – What are your daily pain levels? What activities and events do your injuries force you to miss? Are you struggling with symptoms of anxiety or depression? Are you struggling to find enjoyment in your life? These are all factors that are highly relevant to your claim as well.
- Your Injuries’ Impacts on Your Relationships with Friends and Family – Illinois law allows car accident victims to sue for damages for their loss of consortium, companionship, and society. By proving your injuries’ impacts on your relationships with friends and family, your lawyer can help maximize the amount of your settlement or verdict if your case is successful.
As you can see, all of these factors are unique to you. No two car accident lawsuits are alike, and no two victims’ losses are the same. So, while you might have questions about things like average settlement amounts or the “value” of a specific type of injury, determining how much you can recover requires an in-depth assessment of your case.
Were you injured in a car accident in Illinois? Are you wondering how much your case is worth? If so, we encourage you to get in touch.
Contact Coplan + Crane today online or at (708) 358-8080 for a FREE case evaluation. We serve clients throughout Illinois, including Chicago, Oak Park, Rockford, and other areas.