Nine Factors That Determine How Much to Expect From a Car Accident Settlement

Navigating the aftermath of a Chicago car accident can be overwhelming, especially if you are offered a potential settlement. Determining whether your settlement is adequate for your injuries and losses is difficult. Many wonder, “What determines how much I should expect from a car accident settlement?”

A car accident attorney can help you further understand the factors that determine how much to expect from a car accident settlement. The nine main factors include:

1. The Severity of Your Injuries 

The extent and severity of your injuries from the accident are among the most influential factors in determining settlement value. Generally, the more severe your injuries, the greater your compensation. Injuries that cause long-term effects or permanent disabilities can be valued highly. This is because they have profound effects on your quality of life. 

2. Your Medical Expenses

Medical expenses you incurred from the car accident will be factored into the settlement. This includes ambulance services, hospital bills, surgery costs, medication, and physical therapy. A settlement should also consider future medical care you may require. The more extensive and costly your treatment, the higher the potential settlement.

3. Lost Wages and Earning Capacity in Chicago, Illinois

Injuries from your accident may prevent you from working. If your injuries prevent you from going to work, you may be compensated for lost wages in a settlement. This extends to diminished earning capacity if your injuries prevent you from returning to work at the same level as before your accident. A settlement should account for your current and future lost earnings.

4. Pain and Suffering

Injuries from car accidents can be devasting. Many car accident victims sustain pain and suffering that can be accounted for in settlement. Pain and suffering includes physical pain and emotional distress after an accident. The severity of your injury and its impact on your daily life will significantly impact how much your settlement value is affected by pain and suffering.

5. Property Damage

Personal property may have been damaged in your car accident. This includes your vehicle but also other personal property. The extent of damage to your vehicle and other property should be considered in a settlement. A settlement’s value should account for the cost of repairing or replacing your damaged property. High repair costs or a total loss will increase your settlement value.

6. Liability and Comparative Negligence in Illinois

Your settlement value will be heavily influenced by liability. This is the legal term for who is responsible for your car accident. Your settlement value will likely increase if the other party is entirely at fault. However, you may share some responsibility, too.

In these cases, settlements may be reduced proportionally to your degree of fault. This is known as comparative negligence. Your settlement offer may be revoked completely if you are determined to be more than 50 percent at fault. 

7. Insurance Policy Limits

Every Illinois driver is required to have certain mandatory insurance minimums. These pay for bodily injury and property damage after your car accident. However, some people choose to have more than the minimum – or illegally have no insurance. 

Your settlement offer will be influenced by the insurance coverage available from the at-fault driver. No matter your injuries or expenses, an insurance settlement generally cannot exceed the limits of the liable party’s policy.

8. The Quality of Evidence

Evidence is important for your car accident case. Strong, objective evidence can bolster your claim and settlement value. Examples of valuable evidence include police reports, witness statements, accident photos, and medical records. Evidence of the other party’s liability will also enhance settlement value.

9. Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer in Chicago, Illinois

An experienced Chicago car accident lawyer can dramatically impact your settlement amount. Skilled personal injury lawyers know how to negotiate high-value settlements with insurance companies and ensure fair compensation. They can also take your case to trial to fight for your rights if necessary.

Understanding these nine factors can help you know how much to expect from a car accident settlement in Chicago, Illinois. However, it is important to remember that each case is unique, and the settlement amount can vary based on the specifics of your car. A Chicago car accident lawyer can help you pursue a fair car accident settlement.  

Contact Our Chicago Car Accident Law Firm For Help Today

If you’ve been injured in an accident in Chicago, Illinois, and need legal help, contact our experienced car accident lawyers at Attorneys of Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation today.

We proudly serve Cook County and its surrounding areas:

Attorneys of Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers
134 N La Salle St #2160
Chicago, IL 60602

Phone: (312) 929-2884