How Much Is My Car Accident Injury Worth?

Knowing the worth of your car accident injury helps you focus on obtaining enough compensation for your injuries, losses, and other expenses. Recovery amounts in Chicago, Illinois, often depend on various factors, including type and extent of your injuries, liability, extent of recoverable damages, available insurance coverage, and quality of evidence.

Rescue worker tending to patient at back of ambulance. Car accident injury

Auto accident lawyers with a history of successfully resolving car accident cases know the numerous factors that affect recovery amounts in car accident claims. They know how to leverage those factors to maximize your claim value when negotiating with an insurance company or arguing your case in court.

Find out the value of your car accident injury claim by scheduling a free case evaluation with our auto accident lawyers at Shindler & Shindler Injury Attorneys. Call us today at 847-933-4448.

Factors That Determine the Value of a Car Accident Injury Claim in Illinois

A variety of factors work together to determine the value of your car accident case, including:

Injury Nature and Severity

Motor vehicle accidents in Illinois often cause serious injuries. In 2021, the state recorded 9,423 serious injuries related to motor vehicle accidents. This figure represents 9.2 severe injuries for every 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT).

The nature and severity of injuries you suffer in an auto accident claim will greatly impact the worth of your claim. Life-threatening injuries like spinal cord damage, amputation, and traumatic brain injury (TBI) involve lengthy and costly treatment procedures. Medical bills can add up quickly when you are dealing with such injuries.

Severe injuries may also force you to miss work for a longer time. The outcome is higher lost wages, which can raise your claim value. Injuries that lead to permanent impairments or lifelong consequences are worth more than less serious ones.


Liability refers to fault for personal injuries arising from accidents or incidents caused by an individual or entity. Liability will influence how much your auto accident case is worth. Your payout will increase if you show that the other party was 100% responsible for your injury.

Sometimes, the injured party may hold some percentage of liability. In such cases, your recovery amount may be reduced in proportion to your liability. You will not get any settlement or compensation if your liability goes beyond 50%. This rule of determining damages when the victim is partially liable is called comparative negligence.

Extent of Recoverable Damages

The extent of financial and non-financial damages will also influence the value of your car accident injury claim. The claim must include medical bills resulting from medical care and treatment of your injuries. These bills may include emergency room visits, ambulance fees, doctor’s consultation fees, diagnostic test bills, hospital stay fees, and physical therapy charges. A settlement or compensation should also account for future medical expenses you may incur.

You will be entitled to lost wages or income in a successful car accident injury claim or lawsuit if your injuries force you to stop working. You may also receive compensation for reduced earning potential if your injuries force you to work in a lower capacity and earn less than you did before the crash. Your claim value should include current and future lost income.

Non-economic damages will also affect how much you can receive after winning a car accident case. They include pain and suffering, psychological trauma, loss of enjoyment of life, and permanent scars and disfigurements.

Insurance Policy Limits

Every driver must meet auto insurance coverage minimums. Bodily injury coverage must be at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per crash. These coverage amounts, however, cannot adequately cover accidents resulting in catastrophic injuries.

Some drivers opt to operate vehicles on Illinois roads without the required insurance coverage amount. Others have no insurance.

The insurance policy limit of the liable driver can impact your settlement value. The settlement cannot go above the liable party’s coverage limit, regardless of the injury severity and extent of losses incurred.

Quality of Evidence

Quality of evidence is another factor affecting recovery amount in car accident cases. The stronger the evidence you present, the higher your odds of getting maximum compensation. Evidence in a car accident injury case can be police reports, accident pictures or videos, witness statements, and medical records.

How to Calculate the Value of Your Car Accident Injury Claim

The first thing to consider when calculating the value of your car accident injury claim is your medical expenses. This includes the cost of the treatment you are currently receiving and additional treatment you may receive. Medical bills and a consultation with your treating doctor will be essential for determining your medical costs accurately.

Lost wages are another important consideration. Here, you need to determine how much you have lost while recovering from your injury and what you may lose if your injuries are likely to keep you from working forever. Wage statements and testimony of a vocational rehabilitation professional will be essential in calculating your lost income.

Ensure your total claim value accounts for your pain and suffering. You may need to use the multiplier or per diem method to quantify your pain and suffering damages.

How Your Lawyer Can Help With Your Car Accident Injury Claim

A skilled car accident lawyer is an invaluable asset in the success of your car accident injury claim. Your lawyer can advise you on what you should do after a Chicago auto accident, thoroughly examine your case, discuss its merits, and outline your legal options. The lawyer can then take appropriate steps to strengthen your claim and maximize recovery. These steps include:

Assembling the Evidence Required to Prove Liability

A case review will give your lawyer valuable insights into the type and quality of evidence required to prove liability. Pictures you took at the crash scene may be helpful, but they are not enough.

Your lawyer may need to gather evidence and information that may not be immediately obvious. Perhaps there is a surveillance camera near the scene that may have captured the entire accident. Or maybe there are skid marks and signs of poor road conditions not captured in pictures or videos. You can count on your lawyer to uncover helpful evidence at the accident scene.

The lawyer will obtain a copy of the accident or police report and seek clarification from the investigating officers. He or she will also contact key witnesses and meet with them to record their statements.

Your lawyer will also compile all medical documents arising from the treatment of your accident-related injuries. These documents are not always easy to obtain. You must submit a request that complies with the procedures of the relevant hospital or doctor’s office. Sometimes, you may have to follow up several times with the responsible staff at the facility before getting those documents. Your lawyer saves you from all that trouble, giving you the time and peace you need to heal from your injuries.

On top of obtaining these documents, your lawyer will thoroughly review them to determine whether they indicate causation and the severity of your injury or disability. If not, the lawyer will request your medical provider to write a special report that states that your injury or disability resulted from the car accident. The report should also mention how your injuries have affected and will continue to affect your life.

Determining the Value of Your Claim

Your lawyer will determine all compensable losses in your case. This determination may involve obtaining all bills, receipts, and financial documentation of losses and expenses arising from the accident and ensuing injuries. A consultation with professionals like doctors, vocational experts, and financial officers may also be necessary to determine future accident-related expenses.

The lawyer will sum up all those losses and expenses to arrive at the total amount to pursue from the at-fault driver or the at-fault driver’s insurer.

Handling Insurance Adjusters

The at-fault insurer will assign an adjuster to your claim soon after you file it. The adjuster may request you to answer a couple of questions about the car accident over the phone. Your lawyer will guide you on how to respond to such requests without hurting your claim.

The lawyer may advise you to give only basic details regarding the crash. Alternatively, the lawyer may ask you to courteously refuse to respond to the questions and inform the adjuster that you have a lawyer responsible for handling all issues regarding your case.

Conducting Settlement Negotiations and Advocating for You in Court

An experienced auto accident lawyer knows all laws related to auto accident claims and will skillfully conduct settlement negotiations to secure an acceptable settlement amount for you. The lawyer will also ensure the settlement agreement is properly written to avoid unexpected setbacks in the future. Your lawyer will fight for you in court if a trial is necessary to resolve your case.

You can count on Shindler and Shindler to help you recover all your damages and losses from your car accident injuries. Contact us for a free case review.

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Keith & Robert Shindler

Keith & Robert Shindler are partners at the personal injury law firm of Shindler & Shindler, Attorneys at Law. The brothers focus their practice on protecting the rights of injured victims throughout the Chicagoland area. They take pride in handling every case personally, and delivering top-notch legal services to the people of Illinois.

Years of Experience: More than 65 years of combined experience
Bar & Court Admissions: Active

Bar & Court Admissions: Illinois Wisconsin United State District Court, Northern District Illinois United State District Court, Central District Illinois