How your Level of Fault for your Accident can Impact your Personal Injury Claim

How your Level of Fault for your Accident can Impact your Personal Injury Claim

When a victim is injured by another party’s negligence, he or she has the right to file a personal injury claim to seek compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance provider. If both parties were injured, the party whose negligence caused the accident cannot recover this same type of compensation – unless both parties were somehow at fault.

In Illinois, it is possible for an at-fault party to recover compensation for injuries sustained in an accident as long as he or she was less than 50 percent responsible for the accident. Parties who hold some, but less than half, of the fault for an accident can recover a reduced amount of compensation for their damages. How much their total compensation amount is reduced depends on their level of fault. For example, an individual who is 30 percent at fault for his or her accident can only recover up to 70 percent of the total amount of compensation he or she seeks.

Illinois’ Modified Comparative Fault Law

The law described above is Illinois’ comparative fault law. Many states have this type of law in place, but each has unique language. In some states, an individual can recover compensation if he or she is 50 percent or less at fault for an accident. In others, such as Illinois, the party seeking compensation must be less than 50 percent – so at most, 49 percent – responsible for an accident in order to recover compensation for his or her damages. This can seem like a minute detail, but how much of the fault a personal injury claimant is deemed to hold can mean the difference between recovering some compensation and having to fund his or her losses out of pocket.

If you were Partially at Fault, you Need Solid Evidence to Support your Claim

Demonstrating your level of fault for an accident requires you to make effective use of the evidence you have to support your claim. Talk to your lawyer about how to make the most of the body of evidence you have, which will likely include some or all of the following:

  • Photographs of the accident;
  • The official accident report;
  • Eyewitness testimonies;
  • Video surveillance of the accident; and
  • Your doctor’s comments about your injury and its prognosis.

Your lawyer may take steps to obtain additional evidence to support your claim and show the other party’s fault for the accident, such as a digital reconstruction of the accident.

Work with an Experienced Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer

If you were injured in a car accident or another type of preventable accident, you could be entitled to recover compensation for your damages through a personal injury claim. To learn more about all aspects of the personal injury claim process, including how your level of fault will play into your settlement, contact our team of personal injury lawyers at Michael T. Friedman & Associates PC today to schedule your free legal consultation with us.



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