Vehicle Collision Settlements in Chicago
How Long Will It Take To Receive a Settlement For My Car Accident Case?
There are many factors that must be taken into consideration such as: What happened in the accident? What is the nature of the injuries? What insurance company are we dealing with? There are many more questions that need to be taken into account. However, even in the most routine car accident cases, there are at least three things must happen.
The Client Finishes Treatment or Reaches Maximum Medical Improvement
First, the client has to either (1) fully recover and need no further treatment, or (2) reach maximum medical improvement, which means that while the client may need additional treatment, this is as good as the client is likely to get. If future surgery or other medical procedures have not yet been performed, an accident lawyer can ask a doctor to give an estimate of what the costs of the future treatment will cost. Doctors will usually honor such a request albeit for a rather large fee.
All of the Clients Medical Records, Bills and Wage Loss Information Have Been Obtained
If a case is going to be settled without a lawsuit for top value, an Illinois car accident lawyer will need to obtain all of the medical records, bills and wage loss information for the client. Even if treatment is complete, sometimes the medical facilities that we order records and bills from move slowly. It is not uncommon for one of these facilities to take a month or more to respond to our requests even though we are constantly calling. However, getting the records and bills are essential: for settlement before a lawsuit the accident claims are fought based on the client’s medical records. How these records reflect the injuries is – at this stage of the game – the most important variable the insurance companies use to determine value.
The Demand Package: Waiting for a Response
After a settlement demand letter is sent with all of the relevant medical records, bills, wage loss information and other information necessary to resolve the claim, it takes the insurance company time to evaluate the claim. It should not take more than a month for most insurance companies to evaluate a claim, but it often does, and your Chicago car accident lawyer needs to be following up with the insurance company to keep your case at on top of the pile.
If after negotiations your case does settle, your Chicago car accident lawyer needs to continue to nip at the insurance company’s heals to get you your money to you as soon as possible. Some insurance companies drag their feet after settlement has been reached. It is important that Chicago car accident lawyers stay on top of the insurance companies to get you your settlement check as soon as possible.
Don’t be too anxious to get your car accident case settled without knowing the extent of your injuries. Once your case is over, it’s over. For instance, let’s say you injured your back in a car accident. Anxious to get your case settled, you or your car accident lawyer accepts an offer from an insurance company that seems reasonable. A few months later, after more back pain, your doctor informs you that you need surgery. Now, you determine that the settlement you received hardly seems fair. Therefore, you call your car accident lawyer to re-open your case. Your lawyer will tell you, “Sorry. There’s nothing that can be done.”
Next, insurance companies can often sense weakness. If you are trying to get your car accident case settled shortly after an accident, you may be sending messages to the insurance company. One message you may be sending is that your injuries are minimal. After all, someone trying to settle their car accident case a couple of months after a car accident is obviously not very injured. Another message you may be sending to the insurance company evaluating your car accident claim is that you or your car accident attorney is desperate for money and will settle short of full value to get quick dollars. It’s not uncommon for our Chicago personal injury law firm to receive phone calls from our car accident clients during the holiday season looking to settle their car accident cases before settlement discussions are appropriate. As experienced Chicago car accident lawyers, we explain to our clients the reasons why their cases might not be in a position to settle, for full value that is. We explain that we would like to bring their car accident cases to conclusion sooner rather than later as well since we do not get paid until they do. We then go over our main goal which is to achieve a settlement that is full and fair. Sometimes the timing matters – don’t hesitate before calling a car and trucking accident lawyer in Chicago.
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Featured Chicago Car Accident Verdicts and Settlements
$3,000,000 Chicago Car Accident Wrongful Death Settlement
This was an out-of-court settlement that was reached on behalf of a 20 year old woman. Her mother was driving down a suburban street when a car driving the other way crossed the center line and crashed head on into her vehicle. The accident killed the plaintiff’s mother. A wrongful death lawsuit was filed for the deceased’s daughter. While many lawyers would have allowed a case like this one to drag on for years, Mr. Willens would not. The case was settled in less than a year from the time of the accident.
$2,250,000 Truck Accident Wrongful Death Settlement
This was an out-of-court settlement that was reached on behalf of a husband and his two minor children. The husband lost his wife and the children lost their mother when a truck lost control on a highway in Indiana and struck the woman’s car, killing her instantly. The case, which was filed in Indiana, settled at a mediation in Indiana.
$1,500,000 Truck v Pedestrian Accident Wrongful Death Settlement
An employee for the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) was in the process of removing reflectors from an Illinois Tollway – I-294. There were several IDOT vehicles behind the IDOT employee which was designed to protect him and his co-workers from traffic on the road. A truck had passed the IDOT vehicles and began to cut over when he struck and killed one of the employees. A lawsuit was filed on the victim’s family’s behalf in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois. The defense lawyers vigorously contested liability. The victim was 26 years old, unmarried and had no children. After extensive litigation, the case settled at mediation for $1,500,000. Initially the defense offered $350,000 to settle which Willens said “no way” to and the family agreed. The proceeds of the settlement went to the deceased’s parents and sisters.
$510,000 Chicago Truck Accident Settlement
A 45 year old male truck driver was driving a semi-tractor trailer northbound on I-94 in Chicago when he was rear-ended by another semi-tractor trailer in snowy conditions. The defense asserted that the plaintiff was to blame for the collision because he suddenly moved his truck in front of the defendant’s. Plaintiff suffered a low back disc herniation requiring surgery. The defense contested damages as well and hired an expert orthopedic surgeon to contest the opinions of the plaintiff’s surgeon. The defendant’s expert was of the opinion that the accident at issue did not cause the plaintiff’s back herniation, that any injuries the plaintiff had pre-existed the subject truck accident. After extensive litigation, the case settled just prior to trial at a pre-trial settlement conference presided over by Magistrate Judge Maria Valdez. This particular case took place in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
$500,000 Richmond, IL Motorcycle Accident Settlement
A 51 year old man was driving his motorcycle in Richmond, Illinois when he was broadsided by an elderly man driving an automobile. The motorcyclist suffered major trauma to his right leg, initially undergoing below-the-knee amputation and later (when it was determined that his knee could not be saved) above-the-knee amputation. The case took place in McHenry County, Illinois and though liability was contested, it was brought to conclusion within approximately one year of the accident for full insurance policy limits. With the proceeds of the settlement, the plaintiff was able to buy a prosthetic of his choice rather than the uncomfortable one dictated to him by his health insurance company.
$500,000 Glenview, IL Car Accident Settlement
A 67 year old man was a front seat passenger in an automobile that was making a left turn from Willow Road to I-294 in Glenview, Illinois, when the defendant ran a red light and t-boned the vehicle that the plaintiff was a passenger in. As a result, the plaintiff suffered an exacerbation of pre-existing injuries to his lower back resulting in surgical intervention. The surgery consisted of removing hardware from a previous surgery and extending the fusion from previous surgeries. Plaintiff collected policy limit settlements from both the at fault driver’s insurance company and from his own underinsured motorist (UIM) policy.
$491,863 Evanston, IL Car Accident Verdict
The plaintiff, a 34 year old woman was driving her car southbound on McCormick at the intersection of McCormick Blvd. and Golf Road in Evanston, Illinois. At the same time, the defendant was heading eastbound on Golf Road at the same intersection. A collision occurred in the middle of the intersection. Each driver claims to have had the green light. The plaintiff suffered a right lacerated kidney requiring removal. She made an excellent recovery and all of her medical treatment was completed ten days after the accident. She incurred about $35,000 in medical bills and missed eight weeks of work as a nanny. Her lost wages totaled $1,600. The plaintiff demanded $100,000 policy limits from Allstate. Allstate made no offer. After a two day trial, the jury found in favor of the plaintiff and awarded her $491, 863 broken down as follows: $175,000 pain and suffering; $259,000 loss of a normal life; $20,000 disfigurement; $35,763 past medical; $1,600 lost wages. The verdict was paid in full.
$460,000 Barrington, IL Car Accident Award
The plaintiff, a 70 year old woman was driving her car northbound on Route 59 near the intersection of Route 59 and Eaton Road in North Barrington, Lake County, Illinois. The defendant, who was driving the opposite direction crossed the center line and caused a head on collision. The plaintiff’s main injury was a fractured knee cap requiring surgical repair. After less than one year of litigation, the insurance company for the defendant driver paid its policy limits of $250,000. The plaintiff then filed an underinsured motorist claim against her own insurance company, who had offered her an additional $30,000 to settle the case. The plaintiff rejected the $30,000. The case went to arbitration and the three arbitrators awarded $460,000. The plaintiff got an additional $210,000, seven times more than what her own insurance company offered. The gross amount received by the plaintiff is $460,000, $250,000 from the defendant’s insurance company and $210,000 from her own insurance company under her underinsured motorist coverage (UIM insurance).
$450,000 Chicago, IL Bus Accident Settlement
A 52 year old man was driving his vehicle home from a Chicago Bears game when he was struck by a PACE Bus. As a result, he re-injured his lower back. The plaintiff did not seek medical treatment for quite some time because he was already treating for a shoulder condition unrelated to this accident. When he finally did seek medical treatment for his lower back, it was determined that he needed surgery to alleviate his pain. As the Cook County trial date approached, the case settled out of court.
$405,000 Glenview, IL Bicycle Accident Settlement
A 74 year old retired cardiac surgeon was driving his bicycle in Glenview, Illinois when he was bumped by the defendant’s vehicle knocking him to the ground. The plaintiff suffered a bimalleolar right ankle fracture which required surgery. The surgical wounds then became infected. Liability was contested throughout the litigation. Eventually, the case settled at a mediation presided over by Judge Casciato (retired).
$374,340 Chicago Bus Accident Verdict
The plaintiff, a 41 year old man was a passenger on a CTA bus on his way to work. As the bus traveled westbound on Adams Street between Wacker Drive and the Chicago River Bridge, it drove over a bump in the road which threw the plaintiff slightly into the air while he was walking to the rear door. The plaintiff landed on his right heel, sustaining a Type 2 comminuted displaced calcaneus fracture (fracture of the heel bone). While the plaintiff claimed that the bus driver drove in an unsafe manner under the conditions present, the defense contended that the bus driver was driving slowly when he went over the bump and that the plaintiff should have held on to the available handrails. The defense also hired an orthopedist to contest the nature and extent of the plaintiff’s injuries. As a result of the injury, plaintiff incurred medical bills in the amount of approximately $31,000. Prior to trial, the plaintiff demanded $225,000. The defense offered $75,000. After a one week trial in Cook County, the jury awarded the plaintiff $734,000 reduced by the plaintiff’s comparative negligence of 49%. The jury awarded $60,000 for past and future medical expenses; $292,000 for past and future pain and suffering; and $382,000 for past and future loss of a normal life (sometimes referred to as “disability”).
$350,000 Chicago Taxi Accident Settlement
A 21 year old woman sustained a herniated disc in her lower back when the taxi in which she was riding struck a light pole near Navy Pier in Chicago. Though the impact was considered light, her injury necessitated surgery. Full insurance policy limits were tendered to the plaintiff in this case which was litigated in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois.
$350,000 Chicago Car Accident Settlement
Plaintiff, a 34 year old female photographer/re-touch specialist, was rear-ended by a taxi cab while travelling southbound on I-90 near Kimball Avenue in Chicago, Illinois. The damage to the plaintiff’s vehicle was minimal and initially her neck and back injuries were treated conservatively with chiropractic treatment. However, eventually she had an MRI which showed herniated discs. She came under the care of an orthopedic doctor and eventually had surgery on both her neck and back. Full insurance policy limits were tendered to the plaintiff in this case which was litigated in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois.
$300,000 Chicago Motorcycle Accident Settlement
A 28 year old male was operating his motorcycle westbound on Ontario Street near Orleans Street when a cab driver veered into his lane striking the plaintiff with his vehicle. The cab driver denied any wrong doing. Since Willens Law Offices was hired soon after the accident, we were able to secure video tape footage from a nearby police surveillance camera. We were also able to interview an eye-witness to the accident. The video, along with the witness statement, showed that the cab driver was at fault. The plaintiff suffered a left intraarticular distal tibial pilon fracture with associated distal fibula fracture. The injuries required surgical repair. This case was litigated for only one year in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois before settlement.
$275,000 Highland Park, IL Bicycle v Pedestrian Accident Settlement
A 41 year old female school teacher was assisting in staging a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois. The defendant bicyclist, an employee of a local bike shop, participating in the parade, collided into her. Plaintiff suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament of her right knee requiring surgery. The litigation took place in Waukegan, Lake County, Illinois.
$250,000 Lake County Car Accident Policy Limit Settlement
A 70 year old woman was operating her car in Lake County, Illinois when a drunk driver crossed the center line and struck her vehicle head on. Plaintiff suffered a broken knee requiring the surgical placement of plates and screws. Eventually, the hardware needed to be removed. The defenadant’s insurance company paid its full insurance policy limits of $250,000.
$250,000 Schiller Park, IL Bicycle Accident Settlement
A 59 year old man was driving his bicycle when a car made a left hand turn in front of him. The plaintiff struck the car and flew off of his bicycle, broke his nose and injured his neck. The defendant’s insurance company paid its policy limits without litigation. The plaintiff’s insurance company also paid its policy limits under the plaintiff’s underinsured motorist (UIM) policy he had for his vehicle.
$234,409 Effingham, IL Car Accident Verdict
Plaintiffs, two brothers, were travelling westbound on Fayette Avenue through a controlled intersection at 3rd Street in Effingham, Illinois. An oncoming truck turned into the path of the vehicle that the two plaintiff brothers were in. As a result of the accident, one brother suffered from lateral epicondylitis of the right elbow and right shoulder impingement syndrome and the other brother suffered ulnar neuritis in the left elbow, traumatic chondromalacia of the left knee and a soft tissue neck injury. Defense argued the truck driver was making his turn on a protected arrow and that the brother who was driving failed to keep a proper lookout and was going too fast for conditions. The defense further contested damages and hired an expert orthopedist to dispute both of the brothers’ injuries. Prior to trial, plaintiffs demanded $250,000. The defense offered $150,000. After a one week trial in Kankakee County, Illinois, the jury awarded a net verdict of $234,409 – $190,330 to one brother and $80,143 to the driving brother. The jury determined that the driving brother was 45% at fault and therefore reduced his award to $44,079. The gross verdict was $270,473.
$175,000 Deerfield, IL Car Accident
A 48 year old man was a passenger in the defendant’s tow truck with his disabled vehicle in tow in Deerfield, Illinois. The tow truck driver applied his brakes, causing plaintiff’s disabled vehicle to rear-end the tow truck. As a result, plaintiff suffered from chronic lower back pain though his injury did not require surgery. Damages were highly contested and this case did not settle until the first day of trial. This case was litigated in Waukegan, Lake County, Illinois.
$150,000 Chicago, IL Bus v Pedestrian Accident
A 65 year old man was standing just outside the driver’s side of his vehicle while waiting to pick up someone at O’Hare Airport. A bus came toward him when he was forced to evade it. The bus struck the car but not the plaintiff. While trying to get out of the way, plaintiff suffered a tear to his medial meniscus eventually requiring surgery. The case was litigated in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois and was eventually brought to a conclusion at a mediation.
$140,000 Chicago Car Accident Settlement
A 53 year old female music teacher was the passenger in a vehicle driven by her daughter. The vehicle was cut off by the defendant’s vehicle, a flower delivery van, and forced into a median. As a result of the car accident, plaintiff suffered the aggravation of left shoulder acromioclavicular degenerative joint disease requiring arthroscopic surgery. Plaintiff also suffered from a cervical strain. The case was litigated in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois.
$132,885 Chicago Bicycle Accident Settlement
A 31 year old male was driving his bicycle eastbound on North Avenue in Chicago, Illinois. The defendant turned her vehicle right from North Avenue onto Orchard in front of the plaintiff causing him to run into the passenger side of her vehicle. Plaintiff suffered from a deviated septum which required surgery. The case was litigated in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois.
$130,000 River Forest Pedestrian Accident Settlement
A 50 year old male counseling therapist was walking through a parking lot in River Forest, Illinois when he was struck by defendant’s backing vehicle. Though the impact was light, it was enough to make him lose his balance and fall to the ground. He suffered a fracture of his left wrist which required surgery. The litigation took place in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois.
$125,000 Barrington Car Accident Settlement
A 50 year old female IT employee was driving her vehicle in Barrington, Illinois when she was struck by the defendant’s vehicle which had reversed into her vehicle while leaving a parking spot. The plaintiff twisted her knee while braking and suffered a torn meniscus requiring arthroscopic surgery. She also had some steroid injections. The original offer was approximately $56,000 as defendant contested damages alleging that the plaintiff’s symptoms were due to aging and arthritis, not the subject car accident. As the case approached trial, the defense requested a pre-trial settlement conference in front of the Honorable Judge Lynn Egan. After two pre-trial sessions, a settlement was reached.
$110,000 Elgin Car Accident Settlement
A 53 year old male food salesman was driving northbound on Randall Road near the entrance to I-90 in Elgin, Illinois when the defendant rear-ended the vehicle behind the plaintiff’s causing a chain collision. The impact caused the plaintiff to develop left-sided cervical radiculopathy, necessitating a foraminotomy – a surgery that increases the opening in the neck where nerve roots leave the spinal canal. Since the impact was light, the defense disputed the nature and extent of the plaintiff’s damages but eventually requested a pre-trial in front of the presiding Judge. The case was litigated in Geneva, Kane County, Illinois.
$100,000 Logan County Car Accident Settlement
A 20 year old male was driving his vehicle in Lincoln, Logan County, Illinois, when a vehicle coming the opposite way turned left in front of his causing a collision. The plaintiff suffered a fractured ankle requiring surgery. The defendant’s insurance company paid full insurance policy limits prior to a lawsuit being filed.
$100,000 Chicago Pedestrian Accident Settlement
A 45 year old male teacher sustained a mild traumatic brain injury when he was hit by defendant’s vehicle while crossing Belmont street in Chicago, Illinois. Plaintiff made an excellent recovery and has no permanent residuals. The defendant’s insurance company paid its full insurance policy limits and the plaintiff’s insurance company paid the full amount of his underinsured motorist insurance (UIM) limits.
$100,000 Chicago Bicycle Accident Settlement
A 39 year old window salesman was driving his bicycle in Chicago when he was hit by defendant’s vehicle. He suffered a fractured patella requiring surgery. The defendant’s insurance company tendered its full insurance policy limits prior to a lawsuit being filed.
$100,000 Calumet City Pedestrian Accident
A 60 year old female custodian was hit by defendant’s left-turning vehicle while she was in the crosswalk at an intersection in Calumet City, Illinois. She suffered a left pelvis fracture. The defendant’s insurance company paid its full insurance policy limits prior to a lawsuit being filed.
$100,000 North Chicago Car Accident Settlement
A 40 year old female dental assistant was rear-ended on Route 41, in North Chicago, Illinois. As a result of the accident, she suffered a Grade II AC joint separation requiring arthroscopic shoulder surgery. The litigation took place in Lake County, Illinois and the defendant’s insurance company eventually paid its full policy limits prior to trial.
$100,000 Lake County Car Accident Settlement
The defendant pulled his car out of a gas station near Sheridan Road and Beach Road in Lake County, Illinois directly into the path of the plaintiff’s vehicle, causing a collision. The plaintiff, a 55 year old male plumber sustained a fractured sternum, broken ribs, a bruised heart and knee strains. The defendant’s insurance company paid its full policy limits prior to a lawsuit being filed.
$100,000 Du Page County Car Accident Settlement
The defendant turned left in front of plaintiff’s vehicle causing a collision in Addison, Du Page County, Illinois. The plaintiff, a 63 year old retired mechanic, suffered a sternum fracture, three broken ribs, a punctured lung and strained hand ligaments. The defendant’s insurance company paid its full insurance policy limits prior to a lawsuit being filed and the plaintiff’s insurance company paid the full amount of his underinsured motorist insurance (UIM) limits.
$100,000 Des Plaines Pedestrian Accident Settlement
The defendant valet driver struck the plaintiff as he walked across the driveway in front of Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Des Plaines, Cook County, Illinois. The plaintiff, an 82 year old man, suffered a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI). In addition to the $100,000 settlement, the defendant hospital waived all of the medical bills
$100,000 Chicago Bus vs Pedestrian Accident Settlement
Plaintiff was bumped by a CTA bus while she was walking in front of it at the Jefferson Park Bus Terminal in Chicago, Illinois. Plaintiff, a 67 year old woman sustained a fractured pelvis from the bus accident.
$100,000 Kankakee Pedestrian Pedestrian Accident Settlement
The defendant turned left in front of plaintiff’s vehicle at the intersection of Chestnut and Harrison in Kankakee, Illinois. The 28 year old plaintiff sustained a right patellar fracture which did not require surgery. After litigation which took place in Kankakee County, Illinois, the defendant’s insurance company paid its full policy insurance limits.