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Can I Collect Compensation for a Car Accident If I Was Partly at Fault?One major misunderstanding about personal injury lawsuits is believing that the issue of fault is usually cut and dry. In reality, determining who is to blame for an injury-causing or fatal accident is often the hardest and most time-consuming part of an injury suit. Sometimes, the person at fault for an accident is obvious. However, many personal injury suits involve situations in which several parties share fault for the injury-causing accident. Fortunately, you can still receive compensation for your damages even if you were partially at fault for them. Doing so, however, requires an understanding of Illinois’ “comparative negligence” laws.

Modified Comparative Negligence Basics

Illinois courts rely on a doctrine known as “modified comparative negligence.” This means that you may be able to recover compensation for your losses even if you are partially to blame for the situation in which your losses occurred. As long as you were not more than half at fault for the accident or incident that caused your injuries, you can still pursue compensation.

For example, if you were hit by a drunk driver, it may seem obvious that the driver of the other vehicle is to blame. However, what if you were speeding when the accident occurred? In situations like these, the courts will assign a percentage of blame to each party involved in the incident. The amount of compensation you can receive will be reduced according to your percentage of fault. However, if you are found to be 51 percent or more to blame for the accident, you cannot recover anything.

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comparative negligence, Crystal Lake personal injury attorneyNegligence is a straightforward concept that forms the basis of most car accident lawsuits, but all too often it can go unexplained. The basic explanation of negligence closely tracks what the word means in daily life. It is a lawsuit based on another person's carelessness. However, the legal definition is a bit more precise.

What is Negligence? 

Proving that a driver in a car accident was negligent requires the injured party to show four elements of negligence. They are often summed up as duty, breach, cause and harm.

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comparative negligence, Crystal Lake personal injury attorney, distracted walkers, distracted walking, pedestrian accident, traffic accidentWhile the dangers of distracted driving are well known by now, fewer people appreciate the dangers associated with distracted walking. According to statistics compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 4,000 pedestrians died in accidents in 2012 and 76,000 more suffered injuries. While distracted walking was not to blame for all of this, it certainly plays a part. This is especially true in light of the increasing and increasingly constant use of smartphones. Pedestrians paying attention to their phones rather than their surroundings are at greater risk for a pedestrian accident. This can be problematic for pedestrians involved in a car accident because it may end up reducing their ability to recover as a result of a doctrine known as comparative negligence.

The Dangers of Distracted Walking

Although the dangers of distracted walking appear obvious when people stop to think about them, all too often pedestrians do not consider the consequences of their actions. Pedestrians who are using their cellphones rather than paying attention to their surroundings place themselves at increased risk for an accident in a variety of ways. For instance, people using cell phones are more likely to exhibit dangerous crossing behaviors like failing to look both ways at the intersection or crossing against traffic signals. Additionally, it takes distracted walkers longer to cross the street, which puts them at greater risk for traffic injuries. In fact, distracted walking injuries increased by almost a factor of six between 2005 and 2010, according to a study by Ohio State University

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