Lawsuit Info Center / Car Accident Settlement Guide / Illinois Car Accident Settlements

Illinois Car Accident Settlements

Illinois Car Accident Settlement

Being involved in an auto accident can be a traumatic experience, and the aftermath of a car accident can be overwhelming. Fortunately, those injured in auto accidents in Illinois can seek compensation for injuries caused by another person’s negligence. Understanding these rights is vital to getting the compensation you deserve after an auto accident.

Car Accident Settlement

This article discusses car accident settlements in the state of Illinois. It details the most critical auto accident laws and regulations you can use to ensure a fair car accident settlement. 

For example, knowing about accident liability in Illinois can help you maximize the amount of your car accident settlement. Also, it is beneficial to know how to deal with insurance companies, law enforcement, and more.

What To Do After A Car Accident In Illinois to Ensure a Fair Settlement

If you have a car accident in Illinois, it is crucial to stay at the scene and call the police. Ensure you get as much information about the car accident as possible while it is fresh in your memory. When speaking with the police, give them details of what happened without admitting fault or saying anything that might make you look like you caused the car accident. If asked if you are injured, say that you’re unsure and seek medical attention right away because minor injuries may become more serious later on. You can also get a copy of the police report, speak to witnesses, and take down their contact info before leaving.

Also, report the accident to your insurance company. It would be best to do this immediately, or at most within a few days of the accident.

It is imperative to seek medical attention following an accident, even if you feel all is well. Head injuries are common after an auto accident and may show symptoms days or weeks following the accident. The more time it takes to see a doctor, the more likely the insurance company will argue that you did not sustain any injuries from the accident.

It is good practice to see a doctor for medical examination and treatment where applicable.

What is the Average Settlement for a Car Accident Settlement in Illinois?

No two accidents are the same; the average car accident settlement in Illinois can vary significantly, depending on the details of the accident and any resulting injuries. Car accident settlements in Illinois typically cover medical expenses, property damage, and lost wages. Additionally, car accident victims may be eligible for compensation for pain and suffering damages.

However, since Illinois follows a comparative fault negligence system, the car accident victim’s recovery may be reduced depending on their degree of fault. Under this system, if you have been involved in a car accident, you can receive compensation if you are less than 50% at fault for the accident. However, the amount of compensation you will recover is reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you are eligible to receive $100,000 in settlement and are found to be 25% at fault for the accident. The final amount you receive will be $75,000. On the other hand, if you are more than 50% at fault for the accident, you are no longer eligible for compensation.

How Long Does it Take to Settle a Car Accident Claim in Illinois?

When a car accident occurs in Illinois, the fault driver’s insurance company is typically responsible for paying out any car accident settlement. The time it takes to settle a car accident claim in Illinois depends on how complex the case is and how long negotiations take. Generally speaking, car accident settlements are usually concluded within 3-6 months after an incident. However, it could take less time (a matter of weeks) or longer if substantial evidence needs to be collected or if there are disputes over who was at fault.

How Can I Maximize My Car Accident Settlement in Illinois?

If you have been in an auto accident in Illinois, there are a few steps to follow to get the most money from your car accident settlement:

  1. Call the police and seek medical attention if you need help.
  2. Keep records of all expenses related to the accident, such as medical bills and lost wages related to the accident. Then try to collect evidence that shows who was at fault, like pictures of the damage, expert reports, police reports, and statements from witnesses. You may also obtain the contact information of witnesses on the scene.
  3. Consider speaking with a personal injury attorney who can guide you through the car accident claim process to ensure you receive fair compensation.

Illinois Auto Insurance Laws And Regulations

  • Bodily injury liability coverage to pay for another person’s injuries if you cause an accident (minimum of $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident),
  • Property damage liability coverage to pay for any property damage you may cause. (minimum $20,000 per accident)
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage pays for your injuries if someone else causes an accident and they don’t have enough insurance ($25,000 per person/$ 50,000 per accident).

Car Accident Negligence Laws In Illinois

Illinois uses a tort system with modified comparative negligence to determine who pays damages in a car accident case. This means if you cause an auto accident, you are liable for damages you cause. On the other hand, if you are a victim of someone else’s negligence, you are eligible for compensation only if you are less than 50% at fault for the accident, as we have explained earlier.

Another thing worthy of note is that your settlement amount is reduced by your percentage of fault in the accident. Because of this, insurance companies will try partially fault you for the accident to minimize the insurance pay. In this case, having a car accident attorney look out for you and ensure you receive a fair settlement is beneficial.

It is also mandatory to have underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage in Illinois.

Auto Accident Settlement Process In Illinois

Auto accident settlement in Illinois may involve various legal issues and procedures. In the event of an auto accident, the first step is typically to file a formal insurance claim. The claim should include all relevant information about the auto accident, such as the date and time of the incident, names of all parties involved, insurance policy numbers, contact information, and any photos or other evidence you may have.

The auto insurance provider will investigate the accident and decide on compensation for the injuries. Illinois auto accident settlement process usually involves negotiations between attorneys representing the two parties to reach an agreement. If a settlement cannot be reached, the matter may need to be decided in court.

Illinois Auto Accident Settlement Taxes

Car accident claims processes differ by state, and taxes do so too. Therefore, knowing federal and state laws about car accident settlement taxes for your state is essential.

Any fund you receive in a lawsuit or settlement for medical expenses is entirely tax-free. However, additional payment for emotional distress, pain, and suffering may be taxable. To remove tax liability, your attorney must prove that your pain and suffering is directly related to your physical injuries.

Settlement for lost wages is taxable according to federal and state tax laws. 

Is Illinois A No-Fault State For Car Accidents?

No, Illinois is not a no-fault state. In a no-fault state, liability for an accident doesn’t play a role in your ability to recover damages. This is true for most accidents. Instead, after the crash, each driver makes a claim with their own insurance for compensation. This is regardless of who is at fault.

However, the state of Illinois has a fault-based system in car accidents. This is also known as tort liability. This means the person who is responsible for the accident must pay for the damages.

For instance, if a distracted driver hits you at a red light in Chicago, you will be able to make a claim against that driver’s policy. But imagine you were partially or entirely responsible for the accident. The other driver may try to hold you liable.

In a fault-based system, it is vital that your auto accident attorney investigate the accident thoroughly. Fault for accidents isn’t always as clear as we think.

It’s even more important to get to the bottom of the fault question in Illinois. Because, this state has a comparative negligence standard. This means that your settlement could reduce based on your percentage of fault for the accident.

For instance, your damages are $10,000 and the insurance company says you were 40% at fault. If so, your settlement will be only $6,000. If you are more than 50% at fault or the accident, you cannot receive a settlement for your damages in Illinois.

Proving Accident Liability In Illinois

Car accident claims in this state come down to figuring out who was negligent. To hold another driver liable, you must show that their negligence caused your injuries. There are four parts of an Illinois negligence claim:

  • The liable party owed you a duty of care to drive safely.
  • They failed to follow this duty of care in the accident.
  • The breach of duty caused the accident.
  • You have damages from the accident and the breach of duty.

What Is The Statute Of Limitations In Illinois For A Car Accident?

In Illinois, there is no time limit on how long you have to file a claim with your insurance company. However, you have only two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit.

However, an insurance company may not offer you a fair settlement. In this instance, you may need to file a personal injury lawsuit in your auto accident case. Or, if the other driver’s insurance limits were too low to pay for all of your damages.

Make sure you give your attorney a lot of time to file a personal injury lawsuit. It will need to happen well before the two-year limit so you can get the compensation you deserve.

Car Accident Settlement

You also have only one year to file a wrongful death lawsuit, and the clock starts on the day the person died. Wrongful death lawsuits are complex. So, it also is important to initiate the lawsuit well before the statute of limitations expires.

You generally are eligible for these types of damages in a personal injury lawsuit in Illinois:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost earnings
  • Out of pocket costs
  • Pain and suffering
  • Property damage

If your accident only involves property damage, you have five years from the date of the accident to file a claim.

If a government employee on duty caused your car accident, you only have a year from the date of the accident to file a claim. It is even more important in this case to get an attorney working on the case right away.

Do You Have To Call The Police After A Minor Car Accident In Illinois?

Illinois auto accident laws require reporting most car accidents to law enforcement. Unless there are no injuries and the damages were less than $1500, you need to call the police.

It’s smart to contact the police after any Illinois car accident. It shields you from criminal prosecution for not reporting an accident. Also, the police will write a report that may contain critical information that can help with your claim.

If the police do not arrive at the crash scene, you should provide your contact and insurance information to other drivers involved in the crash. Then, proceed to the nearest police station and report the accident. You don’t want to face hit and run charges, so reporting the accident in all cases protects you.

Illinois Dram Shop Law

This state has a Dram Shop Law. This means you can file a lawsuit against a social host, bar or restaurant that serves alcoholic beverages to people who were obviously intoxicated and then got in a car accident.

This allows the injured party to potentially get more money for their injuries and damages. This is because most commercial establishments must carry much more insurance than individuals.

If you are injured by a drunk driver who was overserved, you should contact a skilled attorney right away. Any commercial establishment will have attorneys working for the insurance company that will try to deny your claim if possible.

Car Accident Lawsuit

Illinois Car Accident Settlement Examples 

Various factors, including the severity of injuries, recovery time, pain and suffering, and extent of property damage, determine the settlements for each case. Here are some real-life examples of Illinois car accident settlements:

In one case in DuPage County, a rear-end collision victim was awarded $78,000 after he suffered soft tissue neck and back injuries due to the crash, lost wages, and pain and suffering caused by the crash. The client underwent physical therapy after treating her injuries.

In another case in Dupage County, a woman was involved in an intersection collision and sustained severe auto accident whiplash and back injuries. She was awarded $40,000 in settlement.

Another victim received $98,000 after being rear-ended. He suffered significant head and lumbar spine injuries. He also underwent extensive physical therapy for months following the accident This personal injury settlement included medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering due to the accident.

In Cook County, the victim’s family received $1,600,000 in settlement in a wrongful death claim following an auto accident.

These examples demonstrate how settlements in Illinois car accident cases can vary widely for several reasons.

It is good practice to speak with an experienced car accident attorney if you have been involved in an accident and want to file a claim for car accident settlement.

Picking The Right Defendant In An Illinois Auto Accident Case

One of the most important things in your Illinois car accident case is deciding who to sue. This is important because some defendants have more money than others. If you are in an accident caused by several other drivers, you will want to sue the person with the most money.

Here are some other factors to consider when deciding who to sue in your Illinois car accident case:

  • Was the at-fault driver the owner of the car? If the driver was using a borrowed car, then you may sue the owner. You need to determine that the owner of the vehicle allowed the driver to operate the vehicle. If the driver was acting in the course of his employment, you will need to prove that to file a lawsuit against the company. Also, if you loan your car to a family member and they get in an accident, you could face a lawsuit for liability in Illinois.
  • Did the car owner entrust the vehicle to the driver negligently? The supreme court in this state has found if a car owner gives the vehicle to the driver and knows he or she could harm others, then the car owner could be liable. Negligent entrustment includes unlicensed or intoxicated drivers.

Caps On Damages In Illinois Car Accident Lawsuits

There are no caps on damages in these car accident lawsuits. However, if a jury awards you punitive damages, the judge may decide whether the damages are excessive. If decided, the judge can reduce the amount of punitive damages to what he thinks is reasonable.

Get Legal Help With Illinois Auto Accident Laws

If you are in a car crash, it is highly upsetting and stressful. But you will be more prepared with all the information on this page about Illinois car accident laws.

Please remember, if you are in a Illinois auto accident, you should stay at the crash scene until law enforcement arrives. If the police do not show up at the crash scene, you should exchange contact information with the other driver and report the accident at the closest police station.

Importantly, always seek medical attention immediately. You also should get in touch with your auto insurance company as soon as possible.


The process of seeking justice and obtaining fair compensation for auto accident victims is often complicated, particularly if you are unfamiliar with the laws and regulations. Now that you know critical rules and regulatory guidelines, you are better prepared to seek compensation for your or your loved one’s injuries.

Car Accident Settlement

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