What If My Car Accident Was Partly My Fault?
In some accident situations, it is not as cut and dry as filing a case against the other person, the entirely at-fault party. Accidents can be confusing and can involve some level of error for multiple parties, which presents the question of whether you are eligible to receive compensation for your injuries even when an accident is partly your fault. In Illinois, you need to retain a lawyer
to represent your side of the story, even if you believe the other party may come after you for fault.
In Illinois, juries are given instructions regarding contributory and comparative negligence
. If the jury finds that the plaintiff was 51 percent or more responsible for the total fault of the accident, the plaintiff should recover nothing. If the contributory negligence of the plaintiff is 50 percent or less of the total fault, the verdict is reduced commensurate with the plaintiff's degree of fault.
In an Illinois accident case, all defendants found liable are both jointly and severally liable for a plaintiff's medical and medical-related expenses. Percentages determining fault are extremely important in these cases, since a defendant found less than 25 percent at fault is only severally liable for non-medical damages.
Comparative negligence is resolved partly by the insurance company, who will make the injured party an offer based on their perception of the insured's negligence. Part of this process can include interviews with involved parties (like witnesses) and reviews of pertinent details, such as the accident report.
If you were less than 50 percent responsible for the accident, you are also eligible to negotiate with the insurance company for your damages. If you were involved in a car accident that might have been partly your fault, it's important to retain legal representation as soon as possible after the incident. Contact the offices of Illinois accident lawyers