The type of negligence system your state follows for determining fault in a personal injury claim will have a large impact on your case. There are two basic types of negligence; comparative and contributory. Illinois follows the comparative system. A Chicago personal injury lawyer will know the differences and be able to work within Illinois’ modified comparative negligence laws to help you file an Illinois personal injury claim.
Comparative vs. Contributory
Negligence is a major factor in determining liability in an Illinois personal injury claim as it determines who is at fault for your injuries and how to fairly apply compensation. The two major types of negligence, comparative and contributory, have distinct differences in how a party is found to be at fault.
Contributory negligence states that any degree of fault from the injured party negates them from being able to claim damages. Comparative negligence, which is practiced in Illinois, allows for the injured party to have some degree of fault in their accident and still recover reduced damages, usually in respect to their own percentage of fault.
The 3 Types of Comparative Negligence
There are 3 levels of comparative negligence law being used in various states:
- pure comparative negligence;
- modified comparative negligence (50% bar rule); and
- modified comparative negligence (51% bar rule).
Pure comparative negligence involves the judge or jury assigning each party a degree of fault in the accident that caused your personal injury. Depending on your percentage of fault, your compensation will be reduced in comparison. So if your case settles for a $100,000 award and you were found to be 20% at fault, you will be awarded $80,000.
The modified comparative negligence system, as used in Illinois, also looks at the degree of fault as a percentage. However, there is a threshold of fault, that when surpassed, automatically renders a not-guilty verdict for the defense. In Illinois, if you are found to be more than 51% responsible for your accident during the course of your Illinois personal injury claim, your case is settled in favor of the defense.
Continue reading to find out how fault is commonly determined and how a Chicago personal injury lawyer can help you prove you were under the Illinois modified comparative negligence threshold.
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