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How Much Can I Collect After Being Injured in a Car Accident?

How much can I collect for my car accident injuries in Illinois?

Arlington Heights Auto Crash Attorneys

At Newland & Newland, LLP, we represent victims who have been injured in car accidents in Cook County and throughout Northern Illinois. Under Illinois law, a negligent party may be held financially liable for any injuries or damages caused as a result of the negligent action or inaction. When this idea is applied to car accidents, it means that a driver who causes an accident due to negligence is responsible for covering the losses sustained by any and all victims.

While this may sound simple enough, many of our clients come to us with one important question: How much can I collect for my injuries? With more than 60 years of combined personal injury experience, our attorneys realize that the answer to this question depends on many factors.

Economic Damages

The amount of compensation you can collect after a car accident in which you were injured will generally start with your measurable financial losses, also called economic damages. These damages include all of the losses that can be calculated directly in dollars and cents, such as:

  • All of your accident-related medical expenses, including ongoing treatment, equipment, medical modifications to your home due to your injuries, and medications;
  • The total cost of repairs to your vehicle or any other damaged or lost property; and
  • Wages for work that you missed as a result of your injuries, including long-term or permanent disability.

Economic damages can range from several thousand dollars for a relatively minor injury up to millions of dollars for life-changing, traumatic injuries.

Noneconomic Damages

The second piece of the compensation puzzle is considerably more subjective than the first. Noneconomic damages refer to any compensation that is awarded for considerations that cannot be assigned an objective value. For example, if your accident resulted in the amputation of your left hand, you are entitled to compensation for the negative effect on the quality of your life, but the amount of compensation is difficult to measure. Noneconomic damages generally include:

  • Quality of life concerns, including loss of companionship or affection;
  • Considerations for pain and suffering;
  • Reimbursement for scarring or permanent disfigurement; and
  • Compensation for emotional distress.

Awards for noneconomic damages are determined based on the individual circumstances of each case, as well as legal precedents set in previous cases that might be similar in nature. Our attorneys can help you understand what you might expect to receive in noneconomic damages.

Modified Comparative Negligence

The law in Illinois recognizes that car accidents can occur for a variety of reasons, and in some cases, more than one party may share in the responsibility for the accident. Illinois uses a system called "modified comparative negligence," which allows you to collect compensation for your injuries even if your own negligence was partially to blame for the accident, as long you were not more than 50 percent at fault. Your compensation, however, will be reduced by your percentage of fault for the accident.

For example, if you were injured in an accident for which you were found to be 33 percent at fault, you could only collect 67 percent of the total damages. If your economic and noneconomic damages were found to be $150,000, you would only collect $100,000 using the modified comparative negligence model.

Contact Us for Help With Your Case

If you have been injured in a car accident, an experienced attorney at Newland & Newland, LLP can help you understand how much your case might be worth. Contact our office for a free consultation and case evaluation today. Call 847-797-8000 to schedule an appointment. We serve clients in Arlington Heights, Rolling Meadows, Cook County, and the surrounding areas.

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