Can I bring a car accident claim if I was partly at fault?

Illinois is not a “not fault” state for car accident lawsuits. That means that a plaintiff is not barred from bringing a personal injury plaintiff if he or she was partially negligent. In the event of a recovery, the plaintiff’s award of damages will be reduced by the proportion to which he or she was contributorily negligent.

The defense of contributory negligence illustrates the importance of telling all relevant facts to your attorney, even the “bad” ones. Besides, since the defendant’s insurance carrier likely is working with its own investigator, such facts will likely be unearthed in discovery.

Proactively Crafting A Trial Strategy

As a law firm that focuses on car accident claims, we have the experience to assess the litigation merits and hazards of your situation. It is better to understand the entire context surrounding an accident in advance of trial. That way, we can proactively craft a strategy that highlights the defendant’s negligence and anticipates any negative facts.

Contributory Negligence Affects Liability

The determination of contributory negligence varies by jurisdiction. A contributory negligence defense may allege something as basic as driving too fast for the road and/or weather conditions, various forms of distracted driving, or violation of a traffic rule. The important thing to remember is that this defense only goes toward determining the portion of the defendant’s liability. For this reason, a plaintiff is not penalized for failing to wear a seat belt in Illinois, even if it increased the severity of his or her injuries. To learn more about our approach to Illinois car accident claims, check out our personal injury website.

Source: FindLaw, “Car Accidents – FAQ,” copyright 2019, Thomson Reuters