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If I Am Partly At-Fault For An Accident, Can I Still Seek Compensation?

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If I Am Partly At-Fault For An Accident, Can I Still Seek Compensation?

You will need to seek compensation from the other driver for your injuries and damages, but yet you were on your phone when the accident happened.

As you are driving home one day, your cell phone starts to ring. You know that it is dangerous to engage in distracted driving, and yet you notice that the street you are driving along is completely devoid of other drivers and pedestrians. Since no one is around, you figure it is probably safe for you to try and find your phone and answer it. The call might be important.

You find your phone, and just as you are hitting the button to answer the call another driver barrels into the side of your vehicle. You are not hurt very badly by the accident; you have a few scratches, your phone was damaged, and your car will need significant bodywork. You come to learn that the other driver is drunk, he was speeding, and he blew through a stop sign when he hit your vehicle and damaged it.

What do you do if a Chicago Car Accident is partly your fault?

You will need to seek compensation from the other driver for your injuries and damages, but yet you were on your phone when the accident happened. If you hadn’t been looking for your phone, and instead had been paying your full attention to the road and driving safely, you might have noticed the man’s erratic driving and been able to avoid him.

If you find yourself involved in an automobile accident for which you are partially at fault, you might be able to recover some of your damages, so long as the other party involved in the accident is more at fault than you are. Illinois is a comparative negligence state, meaning that if you are less at fault for an accident than the other party, you can receive compensation for your damages, but at a discounted or reduced amount.

Illinois is a Comparative Negligence State

Comparative negligence is a partial legal defense designed to attribute fault in proper proportion to the parties involved. When the case is brought to court, a fact-finder, such as the jury, will make a determination as to what extent the parties involved were each negligent. When deciding whether the victim, or suing party, is entitled to recover, the jury will weigh the victim’s own level of negligence against the degree of negligence of the other party, or against the combined negligence of the other parties involved.

Presuming that you were the victim of an accident, under comparative negligence theory, so long as the other party, or parties, are more at fault than you are for the accident, you can recover, but you will recover only a reduced amount. However, if you are more at fault for the accident than the other party, you will get nothing.

Comparative Negligence is Considerably Better Than the Alternative Legal Standard

Other states use a very strict negligence theory called contributory negligence, which requires that if the victim was even the tiniest bit negligent in causing the accident, he or she is completely barred from receiving any compensation from the party or parties who were more at fault.

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Over the past two decades, Mr. Willens and his team of Chicago personal injury lawyers have been instrumental in obtaining numerous million-dollar-plus recoveries on behalf of clients in a wide variety of injury cases. One of the personal injury verdicts he was involved in was recognized by The National Law Journal as one of the Top 100 Verdicts in the country in the year in which it was tried. One of the verdicts he helped secure set a state record.

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