What's My Car Accident Case Worth?
Unfortunately, car accidents happen all the time, ranging from rear-end collisions to side-impact accidents and head-on collisions. In some of these cases, figuring out how much compensation you are owed is easy, while in other cases, it can be very complex. Since determining the dollar value of a car accident case can be challenging, it is important to seek guidance from a Schaumburg or Wheaton car accident lawyer who is familiar with this process. At Therman Law Offices, we have extensive experience in calculating damages in personal injury cases. You can rest assured that we can look into the circumstances of your case and help you determine the full scope of compensation that you should seek.Determining the Value of Your Car Accident Case
Motor vehicle accidents injure and kill a number of people in Illinois each year. In 2015, for example, there were 313,316 motor vehicle crashes, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). Of these, injury crashes accounted for 21 percent of these collisions, while fatal crashes accounted for less than 1 percent of these overall accidents.
In the vast majority of cases, one driver’s negligence is the cause of an accident. Negligence is a legal concept in personal injury law that is used to determine fault in a particular case. A person is negligent when an injury or death is a result of his or her failure to use reasonable care behind the wheel. Reasonable care is defined as how a prudent person would act in the same or similar circumstances. To win on a negligence claim, the plaintiff must prove the following points by a preponderance of the evidence:
- Duty: the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty to use reasonable care;
- Breach: the defendant breached this duty;
- Causation: the defendant’s breach was a direct cause of the accident;
- Damages: the plaintiff suffered quantifiable injuries or property damage.
Once each of these elements is established, a plaintiff can recover compensation. Placing a precise value on an accident claim can be challenging, since there is no clear-cut formula. Under Illinois law, however, there are certain kinds of compensation that a plaintiff can seek for their injuries. A plaintiff’s lawyer must establish these damages through certain types of evidence and records.
For instance, medical expenses may be shown through bills for hospital stays, visits to doctors, receipts for medications, bills for treatment such as physical therapy, and the cost of any assistive devices, such as wheelchairs. If you missed work, you may be able to recoup these wages by showing time sheets and pay stubs. If you are being treated for emotional distress, physiological trauma, or any anxiety, you may be able to make a claim for pain and suffering. If your accident has caused a partial or total disability, you may be able to demonstrate the impact that this has had on your life and claim compensation accordingly. If your accident scarred or disfigured you in some way, such as a serious scar, you may be able to claim compensation for the injury. In some extreme cases, such as those involving drunk driving, punitive damages may also be a possibility.
The exact dollar amount will depend on the degree of the harm suffered, which is demonstrated by evidence. When it comes to determining future expenses (such as future medical care or future lost wages), your attorney must present evidence that shows that you will need that compensation with reasonable certainty. It cannot be merely speculative.Discuss Your Situation with a Car Crash Lawyer in Wheaton or Schaumburg
While there are many aspects to a lawsuit, one of the central questions for a plaintiff is how much he or she can financially recover. At Therman Law Offices, our skilled car accident attorneys understand how to determine the value of your car accident case and help you seek the compensation that you deserve for your harm. We serve victims in Schaumburg, Wheaton, West Chicago, Lemont, Westmont, Oakbrook Terrace, Clarendon Hills, Downers Grove, Lisle, Darien, and Bolingbrook, as well as other areas of Cook County. Call us today for a free consultation at 312-588-1900 or contact us online.