Lake County Personal Injury Awards, Settlements & Case Values

LAKE COUNTY, ILLINOIS PERSONAL INJURY LITIGATION

While studying the mechanics and trends of litigation at the state-level in Illinois might be helpful, it is just a starting point. As a practitioner, you must be versed and familiar with the ins and outs of local jurisdictions as well. As a plaintiff, you will want a more refined understanding of how your case might develop at trial. Lake County remains one of the most frequent settings for personal injury litigation in Illinois. 

Therefore, we have compiled some Lake County personal injury and medical malpractice verdicts and settlements to give you a flavor of how these cases are evaluated in this jurisdiction. The information below reviews procedural requirements, compensation statistics, and case outcomes to address these issues. Of course, if you have additional questions on any of these matters, contact us right away. Someone from Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers would be happy to speak with you!

LAKE COUNTY COURT PROCEDURES

Though known for its placid lakes and sleepy towns, Lake County’s rate of litigation, especially in personal injury cases, makes it a highly contentious area as well. If you are caught in a dispute in this jurisdiction, it will be critical to understand the procedural requirements it places on litigants. First of all, for all disputes involving claims between $10,000 and $50,000, Lake County Courts require arbitration proceedings. 

Furthermore, even if the claim is worth less than $10,000, the Court will require arbitration if a jury demand has been filed. If the dispute does go to court, all attorneys of record must make an appearance prior to the commencement of the trial. If you cannot attend, you must send another attorney with an affidavit stating the reasons for your absence. 

When presenting motions in limine, they must be given to the Court prior to voir dire in jury case and prior to opening statements in bench cases. They must be written and signed by the attorney. However, the Court might accept motions in limine after these times if the Court determines that good cause or new circumstances warrant their acceptance. Prior to voir dire, plaintiffs’ attorneys must prepare a statement of the case to be read by the Court. It must include the circumstances of the incident, the parties involved, and all relevant witnesses. 

Opposing counsel can suggest amendments to this statement. At the close of trial, plaintiffs’ attorneys must also submit two sets of jury instructions to the Court (as well as one for each juror): one unmarked and one marked with its underlying legal authority, instruction number, and a label of either “Given”, “Objected” or “Refused.” For more information on Lake County Court rules, as well as to view the Court’s calendar, visit the Lake County Court’s website: www.19thcircuitcourt.state.il.us/

LAKE COUNTY COURT CONTACT INFORMATION

Address:
Nineteenth Judicial Circuit
Court Admin, 1st Floor
18 N County Street
Waukegan, IL 60085-4359

Phone: (847) 377-3600
TDD: (847) 360-2975

Contacts by Divisions
Frequently Called:
- Juror Info (847) 249-5879
- Circuit Clerk (847) 377-3380
- Law Library (847) 377-2800

Sheriff’s Office:
25 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue
Waukegan, IL 60085
847-377-4000

LAKE COUNTY STATISTICS RELATED TO RECOVERIES ON PERSONAL INJURY & MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CASES

While statistics alone should never dominate your estimate of what an Illinois personal injury case may be worth, they still can be a good signpost when used effectively. They are even better when categorized by accident and injury type. Look at the following returns (jury award and settlement amount) for Illinois plaintiffs. They are broken down by accident type and their corresponding injuries.

LAKE COUNTY MEDICAL MALPRACTICE AWARD RANGE
AWARD RANGE
$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
% OF PLAINTIFFS
44%
22%
0%
3%
0%
6%
3%
19%
3%

LAKE COUNTY CAR ACCIDENT AWARD RANGE
AWARD RANGE
$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
% OF PLAINTIFFS
8%
62%
12%
4%
2%
2%
2%
4%
4%

LAKE COUNTY TRUCK ACCIDENT AWARD RANGE
AWARD RANGE
$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
% OF PLAINTIFFS
4%
48%
9%
17%
4%
9%
0%
9%
0%

LAKE COUNTY BIKE ACCIDENT AWARD RANGE
AWARD RANGE
$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
% OF PLAINTIFFS
14%
57%
10%
7%
2%
2%
3%
2%
3%

LAKE COUNTY MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT AWARD RANGE
AWARD RANGE
$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
% OF PLAINTIFFS
10%
49%
10%
13%
6%
6%
6%
0%
0%

LAKE COUNTY DOG ATTACK AWARD RANGE
AWARD RANGE
$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
% OF PLAINTIFFS
12%
54%
15%
15%
0%
0%
2%
0%
2%

LAKE COUNTY NURSING HOME NEGLIGENCE AWARD RANGE
AWARD RANGE
$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
% OF PLAINTIFFS
40%
21%
0%
0%
11%
17%
11%
0%
0%

LAKE COUNTY PRODUCTS LIABILITY AWARD RANGE
AWARD RANGE
$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
% OF PLAINTIFFS
30%
29%
1%
12%
12%
2%
6%
6%
2%

LAKE COUNTY PROFILE

In this section, we want to give you some important statistics that should help to illuminate the profile of Lake County courts. They are not exhaustive but they should give you a sense of the nature of plaintiffs’ recovery and what might be possible for you.

MEDICAL MALPRACTICE
  • Median recovery for medical malpractice victims in Lake County was approximately $15,000.
  • Compared to the state average, these victims recovered a little under half as much-about 40%.
  • Lake County had 3% of all Illinois medical malpractice cases
  • Within these Lake County medical malpractice cases, approximately 28% settled.
  • Compared to the state average for settlement, these cases settled at a rate of about 20% less.

View Case Summaries

CAR ACCIDENTS
  • Median recovery for car accident victims in Lake County was approximately $33,000
  • Compared to the state average, these victims recovered approximately 10% less.
  • Lake County had 6% of all Illinois car accident cases
  • Within these Lake County car accident cases, approximately 62% settled.
  • Compared to the state average for settlement, these cases settled at a rate of about 14% more.

View Case Summaries

TRUCK ACCIDENTS
  • Median recovery for truck accident victims in Lake County was approximately $50,000.
  • Compared to the state average, these victims recovered approximately 50% less.
  • Lake County had 7% of all Illinois truck accident cases
  • Within these Lake County truck accident cases, approximately 74% settled.
  • Compared to the state average for settlement, these cases settled at a rate of about 36% more.

View Case Summaries

BIKE ACCIDENTS
  • Median recovery for bike accident victims in Lake County was approximately $32,000.
  • Compared to the state average, these victims recovered approximately 3% more.
  • Lake County had 4% of all Illinois bike accident cases
  • Within these Lake County bike accident cases, approximately 62% settled.
  • Compared to the state average for settlement, these cases settled at a rate 34% more.

View Case Summaries

MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS
  • Median recovery for motorcycle accident victims in Lake County was approximately $42,000.
  • Compared to the state average, these victims recovered approximately 5% more.
  • Lake County had 5% of all Illinois motorcycle accident cases
  • Within these Lake County motorcycle accident cases, approximately 50% settled.
  • Compared to the state average for settlement, these cases settled at a rate 18% more.

View Case Summaries

DOG ATTACKS
  • Median recovery for dog attack victims in Lake County was approximately $31,000
  • Compared to the state average, these victims recovered approximately 7% less.
  • Lake County had 12% of all Illinois dog attack cases
  • Within these Lake County dog attack cases, approximately 63% settled.
  • Compared to the state average for settlement, these cases settled at a rate 17% more.

View Case Summaries

NURSING HOME
  • Median recovery for nursing home victims in Lake County was approximately $48,000.
  • Compared to the state average, these victims recovered approximately 63% less.
  • Lake County had 4% of all Illinois nursing home cases
  • Within these Lake County nursing home cases, approximately 65% settled.
  • Compared to the state average for settlement, these cases settled at a rate 18% more.

View Case Summaries

PRODUCTS LIABILITY
  • Median recovery for product liability victims in Lake County was approximately $43,000
  • Compared to the state average, these victims recovered approximately three-times less than their statewide counterparts.
  • Lake County had 3% of all Illinois product liability cases
  • Within these Lake County product liability cases, approximately 63% settled.
  • Compared to the state average for settlement, these cases settled at a rate 21% more.

View Case Summaries

LAKE COUNTY, IL CASE SUMMARIES
  • 2001; MEDICAL MALPRACTICE; $525,000 SETTLEMENT:

A young man in his mid-thirties went to the doctor’s office when he suddenly began to experience back and chest pain. The physician instructed him to go to the emergency room immediately. At the ER, the doctor failed to notice a mass developing when he studied the x-ray results. 

However, the next day, the presiding radiologist did identify the tumor growth but did not mention it to the doctor. Their combined failure to notify the patient led to an additional two years of tumor growth without treatment. Due to the lack of care, his condition eventually resulted in bronchiectasis that led to multiple pulmonary infections. He sued the doctors for not diagnosing and treating the issue. They settled out of court for $525,000.

  • 1995; MEDICAL MALPRACTICE; $1,225,000 SETTLEMENT:

This case dynamic was rather counterintuitive. While staying at a hospital, a patient set himself on fire. Then, he turned around and sued his doctors and the facility for medical malpractice. He argued that he had a mental illness and that his healthcare providers did not take proper precautions to protect him, even from himself. 

The doctors refused these allegations and said that the man’s actions were premeditated. Thus, he had no one to blame but himself. The judge agreed partially with the defense and dismissed the hospital on a summary judgment motion. However, the treating physicians remained so they decided to seek a settlement. They offered and the plaintiff accepted a $1,225,000 settlement.

  • 2012; MEDICAL MALPRACTICE; $4,000,000 SETTLEMENT:

The plaintiff in this case was a 57-year-old female patient. She went in to have a knee replacement and thought it went fine as far as she could tell. Little did she know that the split her popliteal artery during the operation and did not inform her of this. This caused an improper blood flow the result of which was that she had to have an amputation just above her knee. 

She sued her treating physicians for negligence. Her lawsuit complained that they failed to meet the proper standard of care required for the operation. They replied that they had but this was beyond their control. They showed signs of resolve and even entered trial but a few days into jury selection they caved and offered the woman a combined $4,000,000 settlement. She accepted it.

  • 2008; MEDICAL MALPRACTICE; $2,351,517.76 JURY AWARD:

This medical malpractice action involved a birth injury. During the delivery, the baby was not coming out as expected because of the child’s position within the mother. To compensate for this difficulty, the doctor used downward traction to remove the baby. 

In the subsequent lawsuit, the plaintiffs alleged that this force caused a brachial plexus injury and sought damages for pain, suffering, disfigurement, loss of normal life, and medical expenses. The doctors denied all responsibility for the child’s injuries so the case went to trial. The jury sided with the plaintiffs and awarded the plaintiffs $2,351,517.76 for the following items:

  • Medical:
  • Disfigurement:
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Loss of Normal Life:
  • Lost Wages:
  • Total:
  • $851,517.76
  • $500,000
  • $250,000
  • $500,000
  • $250,000
  • $2,351,517.76

  • 2013; CAR ACCIDENT; $1,570,000 SETTLEMENT:

The plaintiff in this case was a 59-year-old woman. At the time of the incident she was working as a school crossing guard. She tried to instruct a bus to pass through the intersection safely but it clipped her as it passed. The collision threw her to the ground and she landed on her head. She suffered a brain hemorrhage as well as various fractures and lacerations across her body. 

To recover for these damages, she sued the bus driver and the driver’s employer. The lawsuit alleged that both were negligent and caused her injuries, which included, among other things, over $200,000 in medical expenses and almost $100,000 in lost wages. While not admitting liability, both defendants offered the woman a generous settlement of $1,570,000 and she accepted it.

  • 2009; CAR ACCIDENT; $33,210,919.00 JURY AWARD:

This tragedy started off as a bit of youthful indiscretion that went terribly. Four minors, all friends, were hanging out and drinking. Two of them decided to leave the party so they hopped in a car and left. Unfortunately, at some point while driving away, the driver lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a utility box. The passenger suffered a spinal cord injury and was paralyzed below the chest. He sued the driver and the driver’s parents. 

The lawsuit alleged that the driver was negligent in operating the vehicle while intoxicated and willfully and wantonly operated it after drinking. Furthermore, the suit alleged that the parents negligently supervised their child and entrusted the vehicle to him. The defendants could not agree to any of these claims. They replied that the plaintiff was drunk too and knew what he was getting into-that he assumed the risk and should accept the consequences. 

Various settlements occurred prior to trial, so when the jury deliberated it only considered the claims against the driver. They returned a stunning verdict: $33,210,919.00. Here was the damages breakdown:

  • Past and Future Medical:
  • Lost Wages:
  • Pain and Suffering:
  • Disfigurement:
  • Loss of Normal Life:
  • Total:
  • $11,210,919
  • $2,000,000
  • $7,000,000
  • $3,000,000
  • $10,000,000
  • $33,210,919

  • 1996; TRUCK ACCIDENT; $185,000 JURY AWARD:

A truck driver spilled gravel all over the road and was attempting to clean it up when a motorcyclist came upon the scene. He could not maintain his bike and lost control sliding off the street. The motorcyclist suffered three rib fractures, a tibia fracture, and a separated shoulder due to the incident. 

He sued the truck driver for these injuries. His suit alleged that the defendant should have maintained better control of his truck and cleaned the area better so that the accident never happened. The defendant truck driver denied these allegations and claimed that the plaintiff should have kept better control of his motorcycle. The jury sided with the victim for $185,000 for the following damages categories:

  • Medical:
  • Lost Wages:
  • Pain and Suffering:
  • Punitive:
  • Total:
  • $85,000
  • $35,000
  • $25,000
  • $40,000
  • $185,000

  • 1995; TRUCK ACCIDENT; $280,000 SETTLEMENT:

Two people were injured in this incident: a 37-year-old waitress and a 40-year-old machinist. They were both harmed when a truck veered into their lane as they rode home together. The machinist suffered a herniated disc and the woman suffered head and neck injuries. 

They sued the truck driver for negligence because he failed to signal his lane change, keep control of his vehicle, and prevent the accident. Settlement came quickly because the defendant knew he did not have many other options. They received a combined amount of $280,000.

  • 1995; BIKE ACCIDENT; $100,000 SETTLEMENT:

A 14-year-old was the victim and plaintiff in this bicycle accident. He was riding around on his bike in Lake County, Illinois when a car slammed into him. He was sent flying off of his bike and sustained a tibia fracture, compression fracture, brain contusion, and an epidural hematoma. 

Furthermore, he was in coma for almost half of a week. He sued the driver for negligence and said that the defendant was driving too fast and not keeping a proper lookout. The suit sought almost $200,000 in past medical expenses among other things but settled for only $100,000.

  • 2010; BIKE ACCIDENT; $1,717,000 SETTLEMENT:

The bicyclist in this case was crossing an intersection when a motorist turned right on a red light and hit her. The victim was a real estate agent and travelling to a meeting at the time of the incident. She thought the driver would yield to her but he did not and, thus, a collision ensued. The woman sustained wrist and ankle fractures among other injuries and required extensive medical treatment and rehabilitative care. 

When she sued the driver for negligence, she sought damages for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, the defendant eventually agreed to most of the admissions contained within the complaint so a trial was unnecessary. They settled out of court for $1,717,000.

  • 2012; MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT; $516,576.88 JURY AWARD:

A man and his wife were out for a drive on their Harley Davidson when another motorist failed to yield to them as they turned into his lane. A crash soon followed. Both the man and woman suffered injuries due to the collision. They sued the other driver for negligence and that man countersued them. 

Both parties alleged that the other was negligent in failing to yield, slow down, or keep watch. This case came down to a question of the facts over who had the right of way and the jury decided that the couple did. They awarded them a combined amount of $516,576.88 for their damages related to medical expenses, lost wages, and suffering.

  • 1997; MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT; $1,039,738 JURY AWARD:

This chain of events started when a man left a bar after having a few drinks. He got in his car and turned out of the parking lot. Then, he made a left turn into the motorcyclist’s lane and hit him head-on. The motorcyclist died from injuries related to this crash. 

His estate sued the other driver and the restaurant that he had just attended. The suit alleged he was negligent by drinking and driving and that the restaurant was negligent as well under the Dram Shop Act. The jury returned the representatives of the decedent $1,039,738 for these damages:

  • Pain and Suffering:
  • Punitive:
  • Total:
  • $30,000
  • $1,009,738
  • $1,039,738

  • 2013; DOG ATTACK; $75,575 JURY AWARD:

An adult male was playing with a dog when it suddenly attacked and bit him multiple times. He suffered extraordinary pain and injuries from this attack. Eventually, doctors recommended and performed surgery to fix some of the issues that resulted from the incident; however, he still sustained several scars and endured long-term pain. 

He sued the dog’s owners for negligence under the Animal Control Act but they responded that he assumed the risk of any injury when he voluntarily began to play with it. Ultimately, the jury compromised: they awarded the man $75,575 but also 25% of the responsibility for the incident so this was reduced accordingly. Here were the damages for which he received compensation (before the 25% reduction):

  • Medical Costs:
  • Lost Wages:
  • Pain and Suffering:
  • Other/Punitive:
  • Total:
  • $17,597
  • $978
  • $978
  • $38,000
  • $19,000
  • $75,575

  • 2013; DOG ATTACK; $1,125,000 SETTLEMENT:

This dispute involved a dog named Kong that weighed over 100 pounds. One day, the animal climbed through a hole underneath his owner’s fence and chased and caught a boy on his bike. He ripped the child off the bicycle and proceeding to viciously attack him. The boy received multiple bite wounds, lacerations, and similar injuries. 

He was taken to a hospital and underwent several surgeries. His parents sued the dog’s owner for negligence under Illinois’ dog bite laws. The suit alleged that the owner negligently controlled the animal and that, in particular, he knew about the hole underneath his fence that the dog used to escape. 

As a result of this misconduct, they asked for several kinds of damages including over $100,000 in medical bills but also lost wages, disfigurement, loss of normal life, and pain and suffering. Prior to trial, both parties agreed to settle the matter for $1,125,000.

  • 1996; DOG ATTACK; $70,000 SETTLEMENT:

The plaintiff in this case was a 37-year-old bus driver. He was going about his regular route one day when he stepped off the bus for just a moment. In that time, a pack of dogs ran up and attacked him. He could merely defend himself and not particularly well given that he was outnumbered. 

The dogs left him seriously injured and he had to be taken to the hospital to address several lacerations and bite marks. Doctors were later forced to perform plastic surgery on him to try and reduce some of the scarring and alleviate the wounds. He sued the owners of the dogs for negligence and the latter could not mount a serious defense. Thus, settlement came quickly. He received $70,000.

  • 2007; NURSING HOME; $650,000:

This controversy began when a woman in her middle sixties entered a nursing home for care after undergoing spinal surgery. According to her later contentions, she maintained that the home did not check her for pressure sores upon her arrival or develop any plan to deter their growth during her stay. As a result, pressure sores did emerge on her body and became infected with osteomyelitis

To address these issues, doctors recommended surgery and an extended stay at the same nursing home. She promptly sued for these developments and to recover for her expenses and injuries. Not seeing an easy path at trial, the defendants suggested and agreed to settle for $650,000.

  • 1996; NURSING HOME; $900,000 SETTLEMENT:

Employees of this nursing home were metaphorically in a bit of hot water when they placed one of their residents in actual hot water. One evening they prepared a man for his daily bath. They undressed him and helped him get into the tub. The only problem was that the water was at scalding hot temperatures. The man suffered burns to nearly 20% of his body. 

The man sued the Illinois nursing home and the employees that cared for him because, according to his allegations, they were negligent by not testing the water prior to placing him in the tub. Without admitting any negligence, the defendants agreed to give the man $900,000 to settle this dispute.

  • 2006; PRODUCTS LIABILITY; $2,080,226.60:

A couple hired a contractor to install a lighting system and transformer near their deck. Unfortunately, shortly after the installation, a fire broke out within the lighting system. The couple sued the manufacturer of the system under a products liability claim. They claimed the product was unreasonably dangerous and that they suffered damages because of it, primarily property damage. Due to the strict liability nature of this action as well as the material facts of the case, the plaintiffs did not have any problem speedily winning this action and the jury awarded them $2,080,226.60.

Take Action Now On Your Lake County Personal Injury Case

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers regularly represents people injured in accidents occurring in Lake County, Illinois. We invite you to contact our firm for a free review of your case with attorneys who know the real value of your case. As with all of our serious injury matters, we only charge a legal fee when there is a financial recovery for you. We encourage you to take action today as there are strict statute of limitations for pursuing claims and your failure to initiate a claim can forever bar a recovery.

If you are looking for information on how personal injury and wrongful death cases are evaluated in other counties look below.

For information on Lake County cities, please review the following:

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