When personal injuries happen (through a car crash, slip-and-fall or medical malpractice), it is crucial to determine who is at fault so the injured party can claim the damages they are entitled to. Fault is the foundation of every personal injury claim. So, how is it determined?
Every state has specific laws that govern how fault is determined and, thus, damages awarded in a personal injury claim. In Illinois, this statute is known as modified comparative negligence. But what does it mean and how will it impact your damages?
Understanding modified comparative negligence
If someone is 100 percent responsible for the accident that resulted in your injuries, you can hold them fully responsible for the resulting economic and non-economic damages such as the cost of treating your injuries, lost income, property damage and any other expense that may result from the accident. But what if you played a role in the accident? Well, this is where modified comparative negligence comes in.
Modified comparative negligence states that you will only be eligible for damages if your role in the accident that resulted in your injuries was less than 50 percent. In other words, you can only be eligible for damages if your contribution to the accident was 49 percent or less. And even so, your damages will be reduced based on your degree of fault.
How do you strengthen your case?
To win your personal injury claim and receive the damages you deserve, you need to present evidence that clearly faults the other party. This can include:
- Your medical records
- The police report
- Photos and videos of the accident scene
- Witness statements
Personal injuries happen every day. If you are hurt as a result of someone else’s unlawful actions, you need to learn more about Illinois personal injury laws so you can safeguard your rights and interests while pursuing damages.