What is a Reasonable Amount for a Personal Injury Settlement in Chicago?

One of the first questions that injury victims often have when considering a personal injury claim is how much their case is worth.  Even people with serious injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering often only want reasonable payments for their injuries.  But calculating these damages can be more complex than you might expect.

There is no way to determine what damages are reasonable for an injury case without examining the specific facts of your case.  In general, a personal injury settlement is reasonable if it covers all of your expenses – anything short of that might not be a reasonable settlement at all.  The best way to know whether the offer you received is a good offer is to discuss it with an injury lawyer.

For help with your personal injury case, call our Chicago personal injury lawyers at the Rhatigan Law Offices today.  Our phone number is (312) 578-8502.

What Damages Can You Claim in a Personal Injury Settlement in Chicago, IL?

After being injured in a car accident, the law allows you to claim any and all reasonable expenses and costs caused by your injuries.  This means that any damages that result from the accident could reasonably be included in your claim for damages.  Whether these damages make it through into the insurance company’s settlement offer or not will help you judge whether the offer you received is reasonable or not.

Medical Expenses

The cost of treating your injuries and helping to restore you to the state you were in before the accident is one of the major costs your settlement should include.  Our Streamwood personal injury lawyers will typically look through the damages offered in a settlement to make sure that they cover not only the cost of emergency medical care you may have needed but also the cost of ambulance rides, follow-up appointments, visits to specialists, and the cost of medical devices and equipment you need (such as crutches).  Any settlement that fails to cover all of these damages in full is typically unreasonable.

Lost Wages

If the injuries you received in an accident prevented you from returning to work, you should be entitled to those full costs.  To determine the value of past lost wages, add up all of the time that you were out of work and multiply that by your normal hourly wages.  If your injuries still have you out of work, you may need to estimate how much time, overall, you will end up missing at work.

If the injuries caused you to need to take a less physically demanding job with lower pay, you can claim the difference in your old and new pay.  If your injuries will affect your wages going forward, keeping you from promotions and raises or putting you on permanent disability, our injury lawyers might need to hire financial experts to calculate your damages.

Pain and Suffering

Mental anguish, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other “non-economic damages” should also be included in your settlement.  Many insurance companies undercut these damages and are unwilling to compensate them in full.  They may also use calculation methods that fail to fit your situation, reducing how much they offer you.  Fighting to get you full compensation for pain and suffering is one of the areas that our Illinois personal injury lawyers will focus on when fighting your claim.

What to Do with Unreasonable Settlement Offers in Chicago

If the insurance company or the defendant made you a settlement offer for your injury case that you suspect is too low to cover your needs in full, it can be hard to say no.  Many injury victims end up accepting settlements that are too low because they need money now to cover things like rent/mortgage payments, groceries, and other day-to-day expenses.  Saying no to a settlement can be difficult, but you should never accept a settlement offer that does not cover your needs.

This is why it is important to always have an attorney review your settlement offer and give you advice on your next moves.  Depending on how low the offer was, there may be a few paths to take to get the damages you need:

Revise Your Claim

If there were damages that you failed to ask the insurance company for, they are not going to pay them voluntarily.  In many cases, our Rockford personal injury lawyers can recalculate your damages, accounting for damages you might have missed the first time, and resubmit your amended claim.  If everything goes well, simply asking for the rest of your damages might get them paid.

Negotiate with the Insurance Company

Many times, insurance companies will provide a low initial settlement offer with the hopes that you will take it and ignore the fact that it is too low.  This can often be fixed by having your lawyer negotiate with the insurance company.

Once the insurance adjuster sees that you have a lawyer and your lawyer is serious about getting you the damages you deserve, they might be more willing to negotiate and increase your settlement offer.  Especially once our Chicago personal injury lawyers have had the time to go over your case, we will be able to collect evidence and calculate damages in full.  If the insurance company sees the weight of the evidence against them, they may be more willing to agree to a fair, reasonable settlement.

Take the Case to Court

If negotiations fail or the insurance company is still unmoved by the evidence against their insurance customer, a lawsuit might be what’s needed to get you fair compensation.  Settlements can still take place at any point until the case is decided by the jury.  This gives our Chicago personal injury lawyers additional tools to pressure the insurance company into a fair settlement by putting the weight of a lawsuit against them.  If they still refuse to settle for a fair amount, we can fight to get you the damages at trial in front of a judge and jury.

Call Our Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers Today

For help with your injury case, call our Naperville personal injury lawyers at (312) 578-8502 today.  At the Rhatigan Law Offices, we offer free case evaluations.