While carefully reviewing and understanding the substantive law governing car accident cases is helpful and important, that is not what victims want or need to know the most following an Illinois car crash. They need to know what they can recover for and how much for it they can recover. This is why we compiled this resource: to inform you about what similar plaintiffs have achieved in court or settlement.
The following reviews and summarizes Illinois litigation (combing both jury awards and settlement amounts) involving knee injuries from car accidents since 1994. If you have been involved in a car accident and suffered an injury to your knee or other area of the body, call us today. We can give you a more tailored analysis of prior litigation and relevant case law so that you can see what recovery is possible in your circumstances.Illinois Plaintiffs' Recovery in Car Accidents Involving Knee Injuries (1994-2014)
Here are some major takeaways from accident cases involving knee injuries around Illinois:
- Knee injuries represented a sizeable chunk-about 8%- of car accident cases in Illinois.
- As was true in the national context, many of these cases went to trial instead of settling.
- The counties with the most amount of knee/car accident litigation were primarily Cook, Madison, St. Clair, Winnebago, Will, and Lake.
- The 25%-75% range of recovery for Illinois car accident plaintiffs with knee injuries was $1-$200,000.
Below is a table that breaks down all Illinois car accident cases where a form of knee injury was the main or significant harm 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, 4% of Illinois knee injury cases where in Madison County and had no recovery.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: GORLIKOWSKI vs. TOLBERT
RECOVERY: $1,500,000 JURY AWARD
This case involves a man who was injured while trying to fix his vehicle. Specifically, he pulled his tractor-trailer over onto the side of the road, put his flashing lights on, and went around to check his radiator. Then, the defendant, oblivious to the plaintiff’s vehicle, slammed into it as he attempted to go around the trailer. The force of the collision sent the trailer into the plaintiff and caused him to fall to the ground. In the process, his knee was severely injured and required multiple surgeries. The defendant claimed that the plaintiff was negligent in not pulling the trailer completely off the road or, in the alternative, not putting up cones to warn other drivers. The jury disagreed and awarded the plaintiff $1,500,000, less 5% for the plaintiff’s contributory negligence.
CASE NAME: EDWARDS v. ATCHISON, TOPEKA & SANTA FE RAILWAY CO.
RECOVERY: $450,000 JURY AWARD
The plaintiff in this case was his on the leg by a man driving a truck. Importantly, the driver of the truck was working for a railroad company at the time of the accident and was acting pursuant to his employment. Because of this fact, the plaintiff was able to sue both the company and the driver for the patently negligent conduct that caused him extensive knee damage including ACL and MCL tears. These injuries later forced him to undergo complicated surgeries and a knee replacement. For this, the jury awarded him the following damages:
- Past and Future Wages:
- Pain and Suffering:
CASE NAME: SOLIMINI v. R.C. TOPSOIL
RECOVERY: $2,450,000 JURY AWARD
This case was a series of unfortunate events. The defendant was driving down an Illinois highway when the vehicle in front of his suddenly got into an accident with another car. To avoid this crash, he slammed on the brakes and skidded over the centerline into the path of the plaintiff’s car. The two quickly collided. From this incident, the plaintiff incurred permanent knee damage to her ligaments and cartilage. The jury did not take long in finding that the defendant was clearly at fault and awarding the plaintiff $2,450,000. Interestingly, the fault was split between the driver and the owner of the vehicle the defendant was driving; therefore, each had to pay a portion of the damages.
CASE NAME: BROWN v. CMC INVESTMENTS INC.
RECOVERY: $432,000 JURY AWARD
This case involved a pedestrian and a taxicab. The pedestrian was walking along a road when the taxi veered off course and careened into the walker. Naturally, the pedestrian sued the taxicab driver as well as the taxicab company. He claimed that the driver should not have been driving that fast and should have kept a better lookout; additionally, he charged the company with negligent hiring, training, and supervision of its employee, the driver. The defendants responded that the plaintiff was overstating his injuries and that a later accident was the real source of his pain. While finding that the plaintiff was partially responsible, they jury still awarded him significant damages as follows:
- Pain and Suffering:
CASE NAME: HARRIS v. PACE
The plaintiff in this case sued after he fell from a Pace bus while exiting the vehicle. He claimed significant knee injuries including torn ligaments and argued that the company was negligent in its monitoring and management of its employees. The company replied that this was either the plaintiff’s mistake or, at the minimum, that this did not evidence negligence on its own part or on the part of the driver. The jury drew the line down the middle. It awarded the plaintiff $200,000 for medical bills and suffering but reduced that amount by half because it found the plaintiff was 50% responsible for the incident.