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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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personal injury compensation, Crystal Lake Personal Injury AttorneyCar accidents and other incidents leading to injuries are not always a clear cut case of one person's fault. Sometimes the injured person may have taken some action, no matter how slight, that might have contributed to the incident. Regardless of this, an injured person may still seek compensation for injuries sustained. Whether the injured party can recover for those injuries ultimately depends, in part, on to what degree his or her actions can be said to have contributed to the accident.

Illinois is a “fault state” that follows what is called modified comparative negligence when it comes to recovery in personal injury lawsuits. Following modified comparative negligence, a plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit cannot recover damages if he or she is found to be 51 percent at fault in the incident that resulted in his or her injuries or property damage. Therefore, if a plaintiff is found to be more than 51 percent at fault, he or she is likely to be responsible for all medical bills and other related costs.

If the plaintiff is found to be below 51 percent at fault, he or she can recover damages, although these are likely to be paid in accordance with the defendant's determined percentage of fault. Therefore, if the defendant is found to have been 90 percent at fault, the plaintiff can recover 90 percent of his or her costs.

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