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How does fault affect an Illinois car accident case?

On Behalf of | Jun 26, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

women kneeling on side of road after a car accident

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, over 295,000 motor vehicle accidents happened in the state in 2021. That is a whopping 810 crashes every day.

Car accidents can cause distress, resulting in physical injuries, emotional turmoil and financial strain. If you were in a car accident in Illinois, you likely wonder who is responsible financially for the crash. So, it is helpful to understand how fault influences your case.

Establishing fault

In car accidents, fault refers to the party responsible for causing the collision. Determining fault involves assessing the actions and behavior of each driver involved. Fault is important as it affects liability allocation and financial responsibility for damages.

To establish fault, you must gather evidence such as police reports, eyewitness statements, photographs of the accident scene and medical records. Acting promptly after the accident is essential to collect as much evidence as possible to support your claim.

Comparative negligence

Illinois follows a comparative negligence system for car accidents. This system assigns fault to each party based on their degree of negligence. Even if you bear partial fault, you can still seek compensation under comparative negligence. However, the amount of compensation will reduce proportionally to your assigned percentage of fault.

Effect of fault on compensation

Fault significantly impacts compensation in an Illinois car accident case. If you are 50% or more at fault, you may not recover any compensation. However, if your assigned percentage of fault is less than 50%, you can still pursue compensation. In such cases, the compensation awarded to you will reduce by your percentage of fault. For instance, if authorities find you 20% at fault and the total damages amount to $10,000, you would be eligible to receive $8,000 (80% of the total damages).

When you understand Illinois laws, you can advocate for your rights and get the compensation you deserve after a car accident.