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 spend the time and effort involved in filing and resolving lawsuits. However, it does not mean that valuing a case is easy. In fact, it requires a careful analysis of many factors including:
- 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 injuries caused by the accident?
Crashes involving herniated disc present similar types of questions because they normally are accompanied with significant personal injuries, extended medical care, and ongoing absences from work. The following data reveals the possible financial recovery you could receive if you were involved in a car accident and suffer from a herniated disk. The information contains a breakdown of the financial amounts that Illinois plaintiffs have received over twenty years between 1994 and 2014:
Illinois Plaintiffs' Recovery in Car Accidents Involving Herniated Disks (1994-2014)
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 financial recovery in approximately 12% more cases compared to the national average as only 20% of those cases 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 were 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 won a jury award instead of settling.
- The average recovery of Illinois car accident plaintiffs with herniated disks was $602,553.
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. In 100 percent of the cases in the data, 8% of Illinois herniated disk cases were in Cook County and had no recovery.
Case Summaries and Highlights
Below is a list of case summaries revealing why some plaintiffs were more successful than others in obtaining recovery:
CASE NAME: PEGGY BURSE v. ROLAND R. JOHNSON
RECOVERY: $1,020,000 Jury Award
Recovery Kind: Compensatory
The 40s-something female plaintiff in this case, Peggy Burse, was driving on 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 moving and crashed into her vehicle. Burse sued the male defendant and claimed that his negligence caused her injuries that included herniated discs and a torn scapula.her injuries forced her to undergo surgeries that were not successful in alleviating the intense injury-related pain and suffering. 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 continue. However, the jury found for the plaintiff and awarded her $1,020,000.
CASE NAME: Clawson v. RDA Towing
RECOVERY: $111,000 Jury Award, lowered to $57,000 by judge
Recovery Kind: Pain and Suffering
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 repossess the vehicle, Mr. Clawssom parked a golf cart behind the vehicle so they could not take it and then ran around both automobiles to obstruct their recovery. Undeterred, the tow driver continued to recover the vehicle and in the process backed into the cart, causing the plaintiff's 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 equal to 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
- Past Wages:
- Pain and Suffering:
The plaintiff, in this case, was proceeding through an intersection in northern Illinois when the defendant driver ran a red light and t-boned the plaintiff's car. The defendant quickly admitted fault. The only question, then, was what was the extent of the damages? It was soon discovered that the plaintiff was now suffering from a herniated disk and this would have serious implications on his career as a personal trainer. The plaintiff eventually sued the defendant for negligence for failing to keep a lookout and noticing the red light, and for failing to slow down to avoid hitting him. The jury found for the plaintiff and awarded him $279,000 in compensatory and punitive damages.
CASE NAME: PRZESTRZELSKI v. ELZEY
- Past Wages:
- Pain and Suffering:
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 into his car causing the vehicle to hit him. This chain reaction accident seriously injured the plaintiff who now suffers from a herniated disc, concussion, and fractured coccyx. While the defendant bemoaned that the entire event was inescapable, the plaintiff claimed the defendant was negligent and could have maintained a proper distance if she kept a better lookout. The jury agreed and awarded the plaintiff $458,000.
CASE NAME: O'KEEFE v. ARRINGTON
- Past Wages:
- Pain and Suffering:
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: the plaintiff suffered a herniated disc in 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, nor the unknown driver, the jury placed all responsibility for the accident on the defendant and awarded the plaintiff $1,155,000.
CASE NAME: HAMM V. RUSSELL
COUNTY: Rock Island
RECOVERY: $450,000 Settlement
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 van 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 look out 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.