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How Could Illinois’s Comparative Negligence Law Affect My Car Accident Claim Payout?

Posted on in Car Accident

Arlington Heights car accident attorneysIf you were hurt in an auto accident caused by the negligent, careless, or wrongful actions of another party, a personal injury claim may enable you to recover compensation for your damages. Many people who are interested in bringing an injury claim after a car accident worry about how their own actions may influence the viability of their claim. Fortunately, it may be possible to bring a successful Illinois injury claim and recover financial compensation even in cases involving shared fault.

What If I Contributed to My Own Injuries?

Some people assume that an injured person cannot bring an injury claim and collect damages if he or she worsened his or her injuries in some way. For example, a person who sustains a severe head injury in a car accident may assume that he or she does not have a valid injury claim because he or she was not wearing a seatbelt or was speeding at the time of the accident.

Illinois law allows injured claimants to bring a claim for partial damages as long as their contributory fault is 50 percent or less. This doctrine is known as “modified comparative fault” or “modified comparative negligence.” However, the claimant’s percentage of fault does reduce the damages he or she may be entitled to by the same percentage. For example, if you are found to be 10 percent at fault for your injuries, the amount of compensation you could recover is reduced by 10 percent. If your property damage, medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages amounted to $100,000, you could recover $90,000. If your fault is greater than 50 percent, you are barred from recovering compensation.

How Do Courts Determine Percentage of Fault?

There are almost countless ways that the court may determine how much fault to assign to the defendant and the plaintiff in a personal injury claim. The court may consider evidence from event data recorders, dashcams, red light cameras, and photos and videos of the accident scene. Physical evidence such as skid marks and vehicle debris may also be used to determine exactly what happened during the accident. Input from experts such as accident reconstructionists may also be used to establish liability.

Contact a Schaumburg Car Accident Lawyer

If you or a loved one were hurt in a car accident, contact a skilled Palatine personal injury attorney at Newland & Newland, LLP to discuss your options for pursuing financial compensation. Our experienced legal team knows how to handle complex car accident injury cases and will fight determinedly to get you to the compensation you need. Call 847-797-8000 today and schedule your free, no-obligation phone consultation.

 

Source:

https://courts.illinois.gov/CircuitCourt/CivilJuryInstructions/IL_IPI_Civil.pdf

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