Pain Compensation in Illinois?

by John
(Elgin, IL, USA)

My wife was rear-ended while driving home from work. The vehicle was towed and in the repair shop for about a week while she used a rental. She was taken to the hospital via ambulance and received an MRI after the accident.

She was diagnosed with whiplash and prescribed pain medication and muscle relaxers. She also saw a chiropractor for her neck pain for about 2 months. She missed a day of work as a teacher and struggled to teach her kids while in pain. After her accident and throughout her therapy, she was in constant pain.

Her hospital bills totaled around $9,000.00 and her chiropractor bill was about $900.00. What amount should we consider when negotiating a settlement? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Pain Compensation in Illinois?":

John (Elgin, IL, USA):

If your wife is represented by an attorney she should heed his or her advice and counsel. If not, there is a traditional manner of computing car injury settlements. Although simplified, many attorneys will take the entire amount of medical and chiropractic bills and multiply them by anywhere from 1 to 2x, 3x, 4x or higher.

The multiple depends on the type and severity of injuries. In your wife's case, her injuries would be considered "soft tissue." Soft tissue injuries are generally not considered serious by insurance company standards.

You wife might consider asking for 3 times the total of her medical and chiropractic bills, or approximately $27,000 dollars. It's unlikely she'll be offered close to that amount. It is though, a reasonable place to begin negotiations.

Generally for a whiplash injury, a multiple of 2x medicals would be considered reasonable. As a result, your wife probably doesn't want to settle for less than approximately $18,000. She should try and settle for any amount higher than that, and certainly not any less.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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