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The Impact of Comparative Negligence on Personal Injury Claims in Illinois

| Legal Info

Comparative negligence is a legal concept that can make a difference when seeking compensation for an injury. In this article, we will explore how it affects personal injury claims in Illinois and how it applies in cases of accidents and physical harm.

What is Comparative Negligence?

Imagine this scenario: You’re crossing the street at a pedestrian crossing, obeying all the rules, when suddenly, a cyclist zooms by and crashes into you. The cyclist is at fault, right? Well, only sometimes. This is where comparative negligence comes into play.

Comparative negligence is a legal concept that weighs the percentage of fault each party has in an incident that resulted in an injury. In other words, it’s like apportioning responsibility for what happened. Therefore, even if another person’s actions caused the incident, your actions (if any) could still be considered to decide who is responsible and how much compensation you are entitled to.

Types of Comparative Negligence

  • Pure Comparative Negligence: In some states, even if you’re found 99% at fault, you can still recover 1% of damages. It’s a “no matter how much at fault you are, you can still get something” deal.
  • Modified Comparative Negligence (the 50% rule): Many states follow this rule. You can only recover if you are 50% or less at fault. If you are 51% or more at fault, sorry, but you’re out of luck.
  • Modified Comparative Negligence (the 51% rule): Similar to the 50% rule, but you can only recover if you are 49% or less at fault. Once you cross the 50% mark, no dice.

Impact on Personal Injury Claims

The application of comparative negligence significantly affects how liability and compensation are determined in personal injury cases. For example, in a car accident where both drivers share responsibility, the court will assign a percentage of fault to each party. The outcome of a comparative negligence assessment can significantly impact the compensation you receive. It’s about fairness: if you’re partially at fault, it’s fair that your compensation is adjusted accordingly.

In Illinois, comparative negligence is crucial for victims of personal injuries. Understanding its pieces can make a big difference in an injury claim. It’s about more than who’s right or wrong; it’s about finding a fair balance regarding compensation.

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