Advocating for the Rights of Accident Victims
If you have been hurt as a result of someone else's careless conduct, you can take legal action to pursue compensation for your harm. Generally, you will need to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant owed you a duty of care, the defendant failed to abide by the duty of care, you would not have been hurt but for the defendant’s carelessness, the accident was reasonably foreseeable, and you suffered actual injuries and losses.
Illinois’ Comparative Negligence – Who is at Fault?
Illinois follows a modified form of comparative negligence. If both a plaintiff and a defendant may have contributed to an accident, the jury may be asked to determine the plaintiff's damages and also assign a percentage of fault to both parties. Under 735 ILCS 5/2-1116, a victim still may recover damages despite acting carelessly, as long as he or she was less than 50% responsible for the accident. For example, if the defendant ran a stop sign and is found to be 75% at fault, but the plaintiff was speeding and is found to be 25% at fault, the plaintiff may be able to recover three-quarters of the total costs associated with the accident from the defendant.
Consult an Attorney as Soon as Possible
If you can establish the defendant’s liability, you can potentially recover compensation for medical bills, lost income, lost enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, and other elements of economic and non-economic damages. It is important to consult an attorney as soon as possible so that you can gather all of the necessary evidence to build a persuasive case.