Car accidents are often caused by a “perfect storm” of events. One driver may be busy changing the radio station or checking text messages while the other is traveling above the speed limit. It might be raining. The road may be filled with potholes. Countless issues can lead up to a serious collision. When someone is hurt in a car accident involving shared fault, can they still recover compensation? Who is responsible for medical bills, car repair costs, and other damages?
You Can Still Get Compensation If You Were Partially at Fault
Personal injury laws vary from state to state. In some states, an injured person may not recover monetary damages if their actions contributed to the injury-causing even in any way. Fortunately, Illinois personal injury lawsuits are subject to a legal doctrine called modified comparative negligence or modified comparative fault. This doctrine allows an injured person to recover financial compensation as long as their share of fault is less than 51 percent. In other words, an injured person is able to pursue damages as long as their actions did not contribute to the injury more than the other parties’ actions. Consequentially, you may be able to recover financial compensation for car accident injuries even if your own behavior contributed to the crash.
How Is an Injury Settlement or Award Affected by Comparative Negligence?
If you are found to be partly at fault for a collision, the amount of damages that you may recover is reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you were found to be 20 percent at fault for a crash but the other driver is 80 percent at fault, you can still recover 80 percent of your damages.
Most personal injury cases, including car accident cases, are brought against an insurance company. The insurance company is highly motivated to reduce the payout offered to injured claimants as much as possible. A skilled personal injury attorney can gather evidence of the other party’s negligence and build a compelling case. Your lawyer’s job is to negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and pursue the highest settlement possible. If the insurance company will not offer a reasonable settlement, your case may go to trial. At this point, it is up to your lawyer to present evidence and compelling arguments to the judge. The court will then issue a verdict.
Contact an Aurora Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one were hurt in a car accident, you may be able to get compensation for medical expenses, lost income from missed work, damage to your vehicle, pain and suffering, and more. Contact Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur P.C. to learn more. Our experienced Kane County car accident attorneys will do everything we can to obtain a favorable settlement that adequately covers your damages. However, if a settlement is not possible, we are fully prepared to fight for you at trial. Call 630-907-0909 for a free consultation.