In an Illinois personal injury case, the determination of fault will play an important role in the amount of compensation an injured person can recover. This includes assigning a portion of the blame for the accident to the injured person.
Each state has its own way of weighing fault against the possible recovery in personal injury cases. In some states that follow a contributory negligence system, if a person caused or contributed to cause his own injuries in any way, he cannot recover compensation for those injuries. In other states that follow a comparative negligence system, a person’s potential compensation is reduced by the amount of fault placed on his own shoulders.
The systems of contributory negligence and comparative negligence allow juries to assign a portion of the blame for an accident to the plaintiff and to award compensation based, in part, on how much of the blame the plaintiff shares. Juries in contributory negligence states will award a plaintiff nothing if they find that he was at all to blame for the accident and his own injuries.
Comparative Negligence in Illinois
Illinois follows a system of comparative negligence, which means that a plaintiff can be found partly to blame for the accident and his own injuries while still recovering some compensation. The award will be reduced by the percentage of blame that rests with the plaintiff. For instance, if a jury finds that the plaintiff is 10 percent to blame for the accident, the award will be reduced by 10 percent.
However, there is a limit to the amount a plaintiff can be at fault and still recover. If a plaintiff in Illinois is found to be 51 percent or more at fault, he is not eligible for compensation for his injuries.
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