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Illinois personal injury cases and comparative negligence

On Behalf of | Jun 25, 2021 | Car Accidents |

In Illinois, when a person is injured or a family has lost a loved one in an accident, the first thing they will likely think about is what will happen in the immediate aftermath. With injuries, the primary responsibility is to get the injured person the proper care so they can try to make a full recovery. After a fatality, there will be a litany of other issues – personal, emotional and financial – that will come to the forefront.

If the injuries or death occurred in a motor vehicle accident, people will immediately consider their options to recover compensation. This can cover for medical care and lost income while holding the other party responsible for their role in the incident. Because the law can be complicated, it is not a simple matter of all the blame for a crash falling on one party or the other. The case must be assessed to determine what the comparative negligence might be. Since this is a legal term, it is wise to have experienced advice when navigating a claim that could be influenced by the amount of fault placed on those involved.

Allocating responsibility based on comparative negligence after an accident

The idea behind this law is to avoid making a person who was in an accident in which another person was injured pay more than they should. Frequently, there is some level of blame for both sides. Not every auto accident involves a driver running a red light and crashing into a vehicle that had the right of way. There is more nuance and this must be factored in. There is a difference between “fault” and “contributory fault.” In the context of an auto accident, fault is if a person behaves in a way that shows negligence or wanton recklessness that leads to the accident and causes another person to be injured or killed. It can also refer to property damage. Contributory fault weighs how much responsibility the injured party has in the accident as they too might have had a role in suffering the injury or losing their lives due to reckless or negligent conduct.

Comparative negligence can limit a plaintiff’s recovery in a personal injury case

This is a vital aspect of a legal claim because it can limit how much an injured person or the loved ones of a person who died can recover in a legal claim. In fact, if the plaintiff is found to have contributed more than half of the cause of the accident, then they may get absolutely nothing in compensation. If it is less that 50%, then there can be recovery, but the total will be reduced based on how much fault the victim is deemed to have in the accident. In the past, people who were found to have some level of negligence could not recover anything at all. But that was changed to allow victims to be compensated within limits that will be assessed as the case proceeds.

Understanding how the law works after an accident is key

These terms are important in a personal injury claim because if the defendant and their legal representative try to call into question the level of responsibility and frame the case in such a way that the plaintiff was also at fault, it could severely reduce the award or eliminate any payout entirely. This law shows how crucial it is to have professional guidance. People who have been impacted by an auto accident and are trying to recover and families still dealing with the unexpected and untimely death of a loved one will need counsel. This is true for working people in Quincy and the surrounding areas of Illinois. From the beginning, it is useful to have professional assistance with how to move forward.