Gori Julian & Associates, P.C.
Free Consultations 618-307-4053 888-779-6064
Menu Contact

Personal injury case settlement is a new record for Illinois

A 26-year-old woman recently settled her injury lawsuit against Chicago's insurance carrier for a $115 million. That's the largest award in a personal injury case for a single victim in Illinois history.

Unfortunately, it's not really a cause for celebration. The victim is paralyzed from the waist down and will need that money to meet her needs in the future. In her comments, she stated that she hopes the money will also help her parents -- who have become her caretakers since the accident that robbed her of her autonomy.

In 2015, the victim's back was broken and her spinal cord severed when a pedestrian shelter pulled loose in a storm and fell on her.

After an investigation, it was found that the shelter that hit her was missing safety bolts that should have kept it tethered. Many other shelters in the area were also found to be damaged or missing key pieces necessary to make them safe.

The young woman, a former dancer and student, was awarded $148 million after a trial by jury. The insurance company promptly filed an appeal against the amount of the verdict before the two sides agreed to a lesser amount.

Appeals against large personal injury awards aren't unusual -- which is something victims should be aware of when going into trial. Juries often hit defendants with a large award for damages when the victim is especially sympathetic or the defendant's actions were particularly negligent. When that happens, insurers will usually try to get the damages lowered through an appeal or by compromise.

Compromising on a lawsuit by taking a settlement -- either before you get to trial or after -- isn't a sign of weakness. Instead, a compromise can often help you move on emotionally from an injury that's marred your life. As long as the lawsuit is going on, that can't really happen.

By the same token, it's also important not to settle for too little. The odds are good that the victim in this case had many opportunities along the way to settle the case for less. Her needs for the future, however, made it important to fight the case out and use the jury's verdict as leverage.

If you've been injured by someone's negligence, don't allow an insurance company to push you into a quick settlement. That's usually to their advantage, not yours.

Source: Daily Herald, "Woman paralyzed by collapsed shelter at O'Hare wins $115 million settlement," Tierney Darden, Jan. 16, 2018

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

John J. Hopkins: From Working Iron To
Representing Those Who Work

ALTON —Like any successful trial lawyer, John Hopkins knows the importance of preparation. But he usually doesn’t write out the questions he plans to ask witnesses in depositions or in court.

View Article “I like to react to what the witness is saying—not only what they’re saying, but how they’re saying it,” Hopkins says.

Email Us For A Response

Get The Legal Representation You Need - And DeserveFill Out The Form Below To Get A Free Case Review

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Office Location

Alton Office
500 6th Street
Alton, IL 62002

Toll Free: 888-779-6064
Phone: 618-307-4053
Fax: 618-655-9690
Map & Directions

Edwardsville Office
125 North Buchanan
Edwardsville, IL 62025

Phone: 618-659-9833
Phone: 618-659-4469
Fax: 618-655-9690
Map & Directions

Back To Top