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What Factors Make My Recovery Higher After a Car Accident?

Wed 31 Jan, 2024 / by / Car Accidents

Every year in Illinois, there are a few hundred thousand car accidents. Many of these accidents result in injuries, which can be incredibly costly to the victim. Car accident victims may be looking at costly hospital bills, car damage, time off of work, and pain, to name a few harms. Fortunately, the law allows car accident victims to file a lawsuit to recover damages that cover some or all of the losses that they have incurred as a result of the car accident. However, not every car accident victim will receive the same verdict or settlement. A variety of factors will impact this. Below are some of the biggest factors that will influence how much money you recover following your car accident.

Extent of Injuries

Perhaps the largest factor impacting your recovery after a car accident is the extent of your injuries. If you have suffered a broken arm, while serious, it is not as severe as having been paralyzed. Some of the difference between these cases has to do with the long-term impact. Broken arms heal, but paralysis is often permanent. A person who is paralyzed may need long-term assistance, might be unable to work ever again, and undergo a number of procedures. All of these things are associated with high costs. A person who has suffered a broken arm will have medical bills and may miss some work, but the cost is likely going to be less for that person. Remember, a verdict or settlement resulting from a car accident is meant to make the person “whole.” That is, the car accident victim should be back in the position he was in before the car accident ever occurred or close to it. Therefore, those who have suffered greater injuries due to the car accident will need more money to be whole again.


The more evidence that you have that shows your side of events–and the stronger it is–the better it is for your case. Put differently, stronger and In order to show what happened in your car accident, your attorney will rely on evidence. Evidence could be anything from tire marks, reports about the weather, eyewitness testimony from people who witnessed the accident, surveillance cameras, and more. Your attorney will strive to prove that you suffered injuries and that those injuries were caused by a driver who breached a duty of care to you. In other words, the driver did something that they should not have that put you in danger. For instance, if the other driver was texting when they hit you, they broke the law and breached a duty of care towards you because texting while driving is inherently dangerous. If there is evidence that the other person was texting or using their phone at the time of this accident, this can help to establish that they were liable. On the other hand, if the evidence is inconclusive–that is, it could show that either you or the other driver was responsible for the accident–then that could impact your total recovery.

Your Contribution to the Accident

Illinois follows a rule called “contributory negligence.” What this means is that, in Illinois, as long as your negligence is fifty percent or less, then you are allowed to recover for damages stemming from a car accident. Any higher level of negligence will prevent you from being able to recover any damages. Even if you are allowed to recover damages, however, that number will be reduced depending on how much you contributed to the accident. Suppose someone does not yield and hits you in the middle of an intersection. You can bring a car accident lawsuit against that person. Suppose, however, that you were texting while the car accident happened. The total amount that you can recover might then be reduced by what you have contributed. For instance, if you could have recovered $1 million, but you contributed to thirty percent of the accident, then you would only recover $700,000.

Attorney Selection

One of the biggest factors impacting your recovery stemming from a car accident is your choice of attorney. Many attorneys will put a bullet point on their resume or law firm webpage that they represent clients who have been in car accidents. This does not mean that they are equipped to represent you.

Car accident cases are not always straightforward. Suppose, for instance, you were in an accident with a car driven by a rideshare driver, or a car driven by someone who was an employee working his job at the time of the accident. This could impact who you file a lawsuit against or who you can recover from. If you do not serve the correct person, you could have the lawsuit thrown out or recover less.

Even if the case is totally straightforward, a qualified attorney can help you recover the maximum amount. Your case will turn on the evidence, and a good attorney will not only identify the evidence that needs to be tracked down but will actually track down that evidence. They will file the case against the correct party and will include all parties who may be liable. The attorney will ensure that you file the lawsuit on time, serve the correct people and comply with process procedures. They will also give you an idea of what dollar amount you can expect to recover and let you know if a settlement offer is too low.

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney

When you are injured in a car accident, the last thing you want to do is fumble around with forms, filing papers, and gathering information. An experienced car accident attorney can do these tasks for you, present the strongest case on your behalf, and get you the maximum settlement or verdict.