Illinois Herniated Disc Car Accident Settlements

Overview and Statistics

Like other victims across the country, potential Illinois automobile accident plaintiffs want to know how much their cases are worth. This answer can decide if they put up with the time and effort involved in lawsuits. However, it does not mean they are easy to come to and require a careful analysis of many factors including the following:

  • Was any of your property damaged in the accident?
  • Did you receive any injuries and, if so, did you consequently see any doctors, undergo any treatments, or take any medications?
  • Did you have to stay home from work or were you unable to care for any of your accidents because of the accident?

Crashes where herniated disks are involved present similar types of questions because they normally are accompanied with significant personal injuries, extended medical care, and large absences from work. To give you an idea of possible recovery if you are involved in a car accident and experience a herniated disk, here is a breakdown of amounts that Illinois plaintiffs have gained over the last twenty years (since 1994):

Illinois Plaintiffs' Recovery in Car Accidents Involving Herniated Disks (1994-2014)
Amount Recovered
$0
$1-$49,999
$50,000-$99,999
$100,000-$199,999
$200,000-$499,999
$500,000-$999,999
$1,000,000-$1,999,999
$2,000,000-5,000,000
>$5,000,000
Percentage of Cases
20%
29%
12%
10%
12%
4%
8%
2%
3%

Takeaways from Illinois Accident Cases Involving Herniated Disks
  • Herniated disk injuries were less prevalent in Illinois cases than in others around the country; in the former, they occurred in roughly 4% of cases while they occurred in about 10% of cases nationally.
  • Illinois plaintiffs gained recovery in approximately 12% more cases than the national average as only 20% of them recovered nothing whereas the national norm was 32%.
  • Illinois plaintiffs had more success in obtaining large recoveries than those around the country as 8% of them gained sums between $1,000,000-$1,999,999 and 2% gained between $2,000,000-5,000,000 whereas the national figures where 5% and 3% respectively. Furthermore, Illinois victims received awards or settlements over $5,000,000 3% more than the national average which is striking considering these totals are in the single digits already.
  • Like similar cases across the country, Illinois car accident lawsuits involving herniated disks often went to trial and achieved a jury award instead of settling.
  • The average recovery of Illinois car accident plaintiffs with herniated disks was $602,553
County Breakdown

Below is a table that breaks down all Illinois car accident cases where a herniated disk was the main injury by county and award or settlement size. The number represents the percentage of cases with the associated award or settlement that each county had; thus, the total comes to 100 percent and, for instance, 8% of Illinois herniated disk cases where in Cook County and had no recovery.

Broken Bones Awards Table
Case Summaries and Highlights

Below we have listed some case summaries to give you an indication of why some plaintiffs were more successful than others in obtaining recovery:

CASE NAME: PEGGY BURSE v. ROLAND R. JOHNSON

COUNTY: COOK

RECOVERY: $1,020,000 Jury Award

Recovery Kind: Compensatory

SUMMARY:

The plaintiff in this case, Peggy, Burse, was a woman in her 40’s. She was driving along an interstate highway in Cook County, Illinois when traffic congestion compelled her to slow down. Instead of keeping a proper lookout and slowing down, the driver behind her kept going and crashed into her. Burse sued the man and claimed that his negligence caused her injuries including herniated disks and a torn scapula. These forced her to undergo surgeries but they were not successful in alleviating the pain and suffering that they caused. Additionally, due to the injuries from the incident, Burse could no longer continue her employment as an administrator at a hospital. The defendant claimed that her injuries were exaggerated and even used video evidence to argue that her pain and suffering did not continued. However, the jury found for the plaintiff and awarded her $1,020,000.

CASE NAME: Clawson v. RDA Towing

COUNTY: Madison

RECOVERY: $111,000 Jury Award, lowered to $57,000 by judge

Recovery Kind: Pain and Suffering

SUMMARY:

The defendants in this case were in the process of repossessing the plaintiff’s (Mr. Clawson) vehicle when the latter decided to put up a fight. Instead of peaceably allowing the company to obtain it, he parked a golf cart behind the vehicle so they could not take it and ran around both automobiles to obstruct their recovery. Undeterred, the tow driver continued to recovery the vehicle and in the process backed into the cart and caused the plaintiff injuries including a herniated disk. Pursuant to the underlying substantive law, the plaintiff won the case but the judge, following Illinois’ contributory negligence law, lowered the award by the amount of the plaintiff’s negligence as calculated by the jury. Therefore, the $111,000 award was lowered to $57,000 because the jury found he was 49% responsible for the incident. Interestingly, if the plaintiff was more than 50% responsible for the incident, he would not be able to recover at all.

CASE NAME: Romano v. Suchan

COUNTY: Cook

RECOVERY:

  • Medical:
  • Past Wages:
  • Pain and Suffering:
  • Punitive:
  • Total:
  • $6,000
  • $163,000
  • $50,000
  • $60,000
  • $279,000

SUMMARY:

The plaintiff in this case was proceeding through an intersection in northern Illinois when the defendant driver ran a red light and t-boned his car. The defendant quickly admitted fault. The only question, then, was what was the extent of the damages? It was soon discovered that he had a herniated disk and this would have serious implications on his career as a personal trainer. The plaintiff eventually sued the defendant for negligence by failing to keep a lookout and notice the red light, and for failing to slow down and avoid hitting him. The jury found for the plaintiff and awarded him $279,000 in compensatory and punitive damages.

CASE NAME: PRZESTRZELSKI v. ELZEY

COUNTY: Lake

RECOVERY:

  • Medical:
  • Past Wages:
  • Pain and Suffering:
  • Punitive:
  • Total:
  • $6,000
  • $163,000
  • $50,000
  • $60,000
  • $279,000

SUMMARY:

In this unfortunate Will County case, the plaintiff was standing outside his vehicle after he had already been involved in an accident when the defended crashed right into his car causing it to hit him. This chain reaction accident seriously injured him. He suffered a herniated disc, concussion and fractured coccyx. While the defendant bemoaned that the entire affair was inescapable, the plaintiff claimed she was negligent and could have maintained a proper distance if she kept a better lookout. The jury agreed and award him $458,000.

CASE NAME: O'KEEFE v. ARRINGTON

COUNTY: Cook

RECOVERY:

  • Medical:
  • Past Wages:
  • Pain and Suffering:
  • Punitive:
  • Total:
  • $6,000
  • $163,000
  • $50,000
  • $60,000
  • $279,000

SUMMARY:

In this case, the defendant’s tractor trailer was overturned on the highway. The plaintiff, a male in his 50’s, was driving in the opposite lane when a piece of debris from the trailer fell off and struck his car causing an accident. The toll of the incident was severe: he suffered herniated disk at the L5-S1 region on his spine, strained his back, and experienced chronic pain thereafter. To this, the defendant tried to establish that there was another driver who cut him off and that this forced his trailer to overturn. Thus, he tried to place the blame on some unknown driver. Finding no sympathy, or the unknown driver, the jury placed all of the fault on the defendant and awarded the plaintiff $1,155,000.

CASE NAME: HAMM V. RUSSELL

COUNTY: Rock Island

RECOVERY: $450,000 Settlement

SUMMARY:

In this case, the plaintiff ordered a van to drive him to an unknown location. Without incident, the van began to cross a bridge when out of nowhere the driver lost control of the vehicle and slammed into the railing. The plaintiff sued the driver and the driver’s employer for negligence. He claimed that the employer failed to adequately train and monitor its employees and that the driver failed to adequately lookout for and guard against an accident. He claimed significant damages, mostly relating to a herniated disk in the cervical area of his spine. Eventually, all parties settled for $450,000

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