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Comparative Negligence in Illinois

Posted on in Car Accidents

Illinois personal injury lawyer, Illinois wrongful death attorney, Illinois car accident lawyer,One person’s negligence can have serious dramatic effects for another person’s life. Some of the most serious incidents of negligence occur when a person is behind the wheel of a car.  Driving negligently can have devastating effects not only on the driver (who will likely be held accountable for his or her actions), but even more-so, perhaps, to the person who didn’t cause the accident. Negligence while driving can result in debilitating injury, such as a traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury—which have long-lasting effects on a person’s life well past the incident itself. Not all car accidents are the sole responsibility of one driver, however.

According to the Illinois State government Department of Insurance, Illinois has comparative negligence laws to determine how responsibility will be shared between two responsible parties. An example of this is if one driver is speeding, and another driver makes a left turn in front of the speeding car. Both drivers in this incident are guilty of having contributed to the accident through their own negligence: one because she wasn’t obeying the speed limit; the other because he didn’t appropriately look before pulling out.

Illinois has also adopted laws that regulate modified comparative negligence. With this stipulation, a person injured in a car accident can only recover damages if he or she is less than 50 percent at fault for the incident that resulted in injury. The “blame percentage” will be determined by insurance companies, based on the police report filed immediately following the accident and any other supporting evidence. If the insurance companies involved decide that one driver was 70 percent at fault for the accident, the injured party may recover damages, because she was only 30 percent at fault. Under Illinois state law, however, the guilty party’s insurance company can opt to only pay, in this example, 70 percent of the damages.

If you disagree with the insurance company, you can file a complaint with the Department of Insurance. Regardless, the most important first step in a situation in which you think comparative negligence may be a factor is to seek the counsel of a legal professional. Do not go through it alone. Contact an experienced Lake County accident attorney today.

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