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What is comparative negligence after an auto accident?

On Behalf of | May 26, 2023 | Auto Accidents

When there is an auto accident in Illinois, people will think about the future and their financial and personal recovery. They might not be aware of how responsibility is legally shared among those involved. It is in these situations where it will be important to understand the law of comparative negligence.

Comparative negligence is used to decide how to allot blame

Although in some cases, one person is solely responsible for an auto accident, many split the blame. Comparative negligence is used to assess how much responsibility is given to each driver.

An example might be if a driver cut in front of another driver who happened to be checking their cellphone at the time. Each party did something reckless, playing a role in the collision. Under comparative negligence, there will be a percentage of responsibility doled out to each driver.

Illinois uses its own form of this concept. It is referred to as modified comparative negligence. This means that if a person is determined to be less than 50% responsible, they can recover damages. The amount will be lowered proportionally meaning those who are found to be less than half at fault in these auto accidents will only collect based on the level the other person is at fault. If it is 75%, then that is what the insurance company is likely to offer as compensation.

People have options if they disagree with comparative negligence

If a person does not think the comparative negligence assessment is fair, they have options to dispute it by complaining to the Department of Insurance. Those who have been in a crash and do not think they are getting a reasonable amount for medical costs, lost income, property damage and more can seek what they think is a fairer result.