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What if I am Partially At Fault for my Car Accident?

May 24, 2016

It is not uncommon for a car accident to have multiple causes. For example, a collision caused by a speeding driver might be made worse by the presence of ice on the roadway. It is also not uncommon for two or more of the contributing factors of a car accident to be human negligence. For example, one driver might run through a red light and collide with another driver who was text messaging while driving and could have avoided the crash had they not been using the phone. In this scenario, both parties contributed to their accident and may potentially be held liable for the other’s damages.

Illinois’ Modified Comparative Negligence Law

Many states have some type of comparative negligence law, which is a law that allows partially at-fault parties to receive compensation for their damages suffered in accidents. Each state is free to interpret this doctrine how it wishes, so the rules regarding the point at which an at-fault party is no longer eligible to recover compensation vary from state to state.

Illinois practices the doctrine of modified comparative negligence, which states that an at-fault party may only recover compensation if he or she was less than 50 percent at fault for the accident. Further, an at-fault party’s total compensation recovery may be reduced according to his or her level of fault. For example, an individual who is deemed to be 20 percent at fault for their accident at trial will have their jury verdict of $60,000 reduced by 20 percent, or $12,000, to result in compensation for $48,000 worth of damages.

Proving your Level of Fault

If you are adjudged to be 50 percent “at fault” for a car accident following a trial you will receive NO award., it is crucial that you maintain evidence that will lessen any fault attributed to you. This evidence may include:

  • Photographs of the accident;
  • Witness testimonies of the accident;
  • Video surveillance of the accident; and
  • The official police report for your accident.

These pieces of evidence can be used to demonstrate exactly how each driver involved in the accident acted negligently.

Work with a Chicago Car Accident Lawyer

If you were partially at fault for your car accident, it is important that you work with an experienced car accident attorney who can help you prove to the insurance provider that you were responsible for less than 50 percent of the accident. Otherwise, you might not be able to recover any compensation for your damages. To learn more about your options for pursuing a car accident claim, work with Chicago attorney Thomas A. Morrissey of The Law Offices of Thomas A. Morrissey. Contact our firm today to schedule your free legal consultation with Mr. Morrissey.













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