How much money can we expect to receive froma car accident in which a victim suffered injuries?

UPDATED: Jan 28, 2011

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How much money can we expect to receive froma car accident in which a victim suffered injuries?

Back in November, my parents and I were in an accident in which someone T-boned us. We were told by the officers that the person who crashed us may have been speeding, ran a red light, and may have been drunk. The crash was quite severe seeing how my dad had to be extricated from the car and how he suffered 5 pelvic fractures, and couldn’t walk for 2 months. Should we speak to a personal injury attorney? In Cook County, IL

Asked on January 28, 2011 under Personal Injury, Illinois


Mike Harvath / Harvath Law

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

     Hi.  I am sorry to hear about this serious accident that you and your parents were in.  The person who ran into you should probably have not even been on the road.

     I came across your posting while browsing, as I do try to offer my assistance and experience when I can find the time, which, lately, has been primarily on weekend evenings.

     I am an Illinois-licensed personal injury attorney that focuses my practice almost exclusively on cases involving serious injuries, particularly, auto accident cases.  I handle claims involving vehicle collisions in all parts of the state, and am also licensed in the state of Missouri.

     Have you obtained a copy of the police report involving the accident?  I routinely obtain and review all police records.  This would allow us to determine if the other driver received any tickets, and also whether the other driver has any pending criminal charges.  Additionally, it would allow us to determine whether the driver was intoxicated at the time of the accident, and what his/her exact level of intoxication was.

     The amount that you and your parents are entitled to from this accident could be large, and it can be much larger if an attorney is able to collect punitive damages.  Punitive damages are a type of compensation which can be collected when the other party is highly reckless, such as if they were under the influence of alcohol, or even speeding.

     The statistics indicate clearly that injured people who have attorneys assist with their claims receive 2-3 times the amount of compensation than those who attempt to deal with the insurance company alone.  There are many tricks that the insurance company can use to try to pay you much less than your claim could be worth.  You absolutely should speak to an attorney.

     Also, there are deadlines and specific steps that need to be taken immediately in your claim in order to be sure you preserve the rights to collect against the appropriate insurance companies in the future.  There may actually be multiple insurance policies that you and your family could collect against.  You generally should not speak with an insurance adjuster with this type of serious accident until you speak with an attorney who handles auto accident cases.

     An estimate of the value of the case could be determined, although some additional details would be needed to provide an accurate assessment.

     I can be reached, for your convenience, by e-mail at, or by phone at (314) 471-5585.  Evenings and weekends are perfectly acceptable, and I routinely give consultations on weekends, as well as weekdays.  Our office website address is:  Thank you.

NOTE: This answer is for educational purposes and does not constitute legal advice.  The use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship or privilege between the user and the attorney responding.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Speak to a personal injury attorney RIGHT NOW. It is likely that you and your parents could recover a sizeable amount of money, as long as the other driver had decent insurance and/or has enough assets or income to pay a judgmement against him or her. Here's the types of things you could sue for:

1) The property damage to the car, to the extent not paid by insurance.

2) Medical costs, which could be very large with multiple pelvic fractures, to the extent not paid by insurance. This includes doctors, tests, x-rays, hospitals, medicine, nurses, therapists, walkers or wheelchairs, etc.

3) Lost wages, from not being able to work while recoverinig.

4) Reduced future earning potential, if someone can't work at the same salary in the future due to injuries.

5) Pain and suffering from a serious injury.

6) Cost of having to get housekeeping or household assistance.

7) Other out of pocket, to the extent of not otherwise paid by insurance (e..g renting a car to get around or taking mass transit).

This is the sort of case many PI attorneys will take on contingency, so they only get paid if you get paid. Good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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