Decatur Injury Lawyer Discusses Comparative Negligence Under Illinois Law
Whenever a negligence action is brought against a defendant, he or she might argue that the plaintiff (the injured individual) who brought the case was also at fault, and accordingly, he or she should bear some or all of the liability. And if the plaintiff actually was responsible to a certain degree for causing the accident, then the appropriate level of each party’s fault will need to be determined. This is the general idea behind Illinois’ comparative negligence laws.
Specifically, the way comparative negligence works is that if the defendant thinks that the plaintiff was partially to blame for the accident or his or her own injuries, then that point can and most likely will be raised. The actions of all parties will be taken into account, and a percentage will be calculated and assessed that represents each individual’s own fault in comparison with the others. Any compensation that the defendant(s) will owe to the plaintiff will then be lowered by the percentage of the plaintiff’s fault in the accident. However, if the plaintiff is deemed to be more than 50% at fault, then he or she will not be permitted to recover any money damages from the defendant.
Comparative Negligence Example
For instance, in a case that involves a negligence claim against a party to a car accident, Driver #1 decides to bring an action against Driver #2 for negligence after her car was hit by Driver #2’s vehicle. Driver #1 argues that Driver #2 was driving at a high rate of speed and as a result, he swerved into her lane. Driver #2, however, claims that Driver #1 was at fault, because she was not driving completely within her own lane. In such a case, Driver #1’s percentage of liability in the accident will be determined and used to lower the amount that Driver #2 might have to pay in damages.
Still, keep in mind, though, that the lowering of damages on the basis of comparative negligence will not come into play in cases that involve purposeful or deliberate conduct that was the cause of the plaintiff’s injury.
Call John Cannon for Assistance
If you need the assistance of a Decatur injury lawyer, or if you have additional questions about comparative negligence in Illinois, please call John Cannon at 1-800-373-6050 for a free consultation today.