When you’re involved in a crash and have injuries, you may need support. You might not be able to work and may need expensive medical care to recover as much as is possible.
To get that compensation, it’s normal to file a personal injury claim. You might not be sure what to expect, but one thing that is certain is that you should have reasonable expectations.
Personal injury claims are often restricted by insurance policy limits, which means that seeking more than the other party’s insurance covers could mean taking the driver or others involved to court. Additionally, the actual severity of your injuries, as well as the time you’ve missed from work and may miss in the future, will largely dictate how much you can recover.
The Illinois Department of Insurance does remind drivers and those injured in crashes that the coverage limits required by law are quite low. The minimum amount of coverage a driver may carry is 25/50/20, which works out to:
- $25,000 per person
- $50,000 per accident for bodily injury
- $20,000 for property damage
That may not cover much, which is why victims may have to turn to their own underinsured or uninsured driver coverage or health insurance to help them cover their medical and personal expenses following a crash.
Understanding comparative negligence
Another thing to keep in mind is that Illinois is a comparative negligence state. What that means is that more than one person might be responsible for the crash, you included. If it’s determined that you are 20% at fault but the other driver is 80% at fault, then you should be able to make a claim. The insurance company might want to pay only 80% of your damages, though, since you’re technically also at fault.
These kinds of limits and rules are why it’s necessary to be realistic about your personal injury claim. It’s reasonable to negotiate for as much as possible, but don’t automatically assume that your case is going to be worth hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars without knowing that kind of coverage is available for your injuries.