What Does Comparative Negligence Mean in a Car Accident Lawsuit?

Web Admin - Monday, March 11, 2019
Barrington car accident attorney comparative faultThe question of comparative negligence--sometimes referred to as contributory fault--often arises in an Illinois personal injury lawsuit. If you are seriously injured as the result of another party’s negligence and awarded damages of $100,000, you would expect to receive $100,000. However, under Illinois’ modified comparative negligence law (735 ILCS 5/2-1116), the total amount of compensation you receive will be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to you, up to 50 percent. For example, if you are awarded $100,000 but found to be 25% at fault for the events which caused your injuries, your award will be reduced to $75,000. If you are assigned more than 50 percent of the blame, you are barred from receiving any compensation.

How Comparative Fault Is Determined Under Illinois Law

Fault is determined based on the evidence and the law. For example, if you are properly stopped at a red light and are rear-ended by a speeding driver, you did not do anything wrong. The driver behind you failed to obey the speed limit and to slow or stop to avoid a collision, so they would be assigned 100 percent of the fault. 

If, however, you were in the process of changing lanes when you collided with a speeding driver, each of you might be assigned part of the fault. You had a duty to make sure the lane was clear before moving into it. The other driver had a duty to obey the speed limit and to slow down to avoid a collision if possible. 

When fault must be apportioned, your attorney will thoroughly study the events leading to your injury. This effort may include reviewing physical evidence, interviewing witnesses, studying police reports, gathering medical records, and consulting with experts. Most commonly, your lawyer and the defendant’s lawyer will discuss the evidence and come to an agreement about the amount of damages and the division of fault. If no agreement can be reached through negotiation, you will have to go to court.

In a court trial, your attorney will argue that the defendant’s negligence was the primary or sole cause of the events that led to your injuries. Under Illinois law (735 ILCS 5/2-613(d)), the burden is on the defendant to show how your own negligence contributed to your injuries and to argue what percent of the fault should be assigned to you. The jury--or, in the case of a bench trial, the judge--will then decide how the fault should be apportioned.

Consult an Experienced Palatine Personal Injury Lawyer

If you have been severely injured in a car accident or other incident resulting from another person or company’s carelessness, consult a knowledgeable Schaumburg civil litigation attorney for advice. Call the law offices of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC at 847-934-6000. There is no fee for your initial consultation.

Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.


Recent Posts


Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorney home inspection lawyer Deer Park real estate law firm attorney fees unfunded trust taxes comparative negligence medical malpractice Riverwoods estate planning lawyer Rolling Meadows traffic attorney overtime violations dog bites Rolling Meadows insurance lawyer Arlington Heights criminal lawyer Palatine corporate law attorneys Palatine construction attorney Long Grove real estate attorney South Barrington real estate attorney Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers, insurance dispute startup company Barrington workers compensation attorney Illinois will lawyer Illinois defective products attorney suspended license license reinstatement Des Plaines real estate lawyer Palatine workers compensation lawyer life insurance lawyer Des Plaines accident attorney traffic accidents Rolling Meadows estate planning attorney federal crimes mortgage insurance dispute attorney Illinois personal injury Crystal Lake accident attorney Crystal Lake civil litigation lawyer Arlington Heights accident attorney problem employees driving Barrington estate planning lawyer Des Plaines drug lawyer Illinois employment lawyer owner responsibility Arlington Heights car crash attorneys eluding a police officer Barrington medical malpractice lawyers trust payments underinsured motorist medical malpractice claims institutional trustee healthcare Illinois jet ski accident lawyer anesthesia errors POA Illinois Probate Act of 1975 Crystal Lake personal injury lawyer in terrorem provision Rolling Meadows criminal attorney federal regulations for LLCs Illinois estate planning Schaumburg employment attorney probate fees Illinois job attorney criminal law new real estate form real estate leasing insurance adjusters insurance claim crossover accidents Illinois employment laws fiduciary rule mass shooting Schaumburg medical malpractice lawyer golf accidents Palatine Attorney digital assets natural gas explosion Illinois civil litigation lawyer pedestrian accident Home Remodeling Repair Act Illinois real estate PTSD wills and trusts Schaumburg construction accident lawyer Illinois insurance attorney Illinois premises liability Deer Park personal injury lawyer estate planning attorney personal injury law firm Buffalo Grove injury lawyer Des Plaines claims law firm Long Grove estate planning Deer Park accident attorney rest breaks Crystal Lake medical malpractice lawyer Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act Crystal Lake medical malpractice law firm Schaumburg personal injury lawyers Illinois traffic attorneys sexual harassment Arlington Heights real estate lawyer brain injury Des Plaines civil attorney Inverness injury lawyer drugs Chicago insurance law firm real estate zoning accidental death benefits Mount Prospect real estate lawyer icy parking lots Barrington litigation attorney Illinois employment law attorney estate planning lawyer vacation home head on collisions cell phone tower data Arlington Heights personal injury lawyer Exclusions Illinois tax attorney expungement Arlington Heights traffic attorney work unions liens traffic violations defense Rolling Meadows employment attorney pedestrian accidents slip and fall accidents Kenilworth estate planning attorney pet law living wills Illinois workers compensation lawyer Deer Park criminal attorney Deer Park employment law attorney fatal car accidents Crystal Lake estate planning lawyer privacy Crystal Lake employment lawyer Illinois speeding lawyer defective products lawyer denial of life insurance pay when paid contract first degree murder IRELA Arlington Heights employment attorney workplace sexual harassment revenge porn Chicago estate planning Illinois driving without license medical malpractice, missed diagnosis, delayed diagnosis, medical mistake, Deer Creek medical malpractice lawyers insurance claim dispute filing a medical malpractice claim loopholes small business Rolling Meadows Traffic Lawyer personal injury attorney probate claims medication errors civil litigation personal injury Thanksgiving Des Plaines personal injury lawyers changes to mortgage law Chicago will attorney, social media platforms, Illinois estate planning lawyer, unauthorized overtime pet bites Illinois medical malpractice attorney unpaid overtime DUI attorney distracted driving accidents Long Grove real estate lawyer employment law, meal breaks, rest breaks, hotel employees, Des Plaines employment law attorneys Palatine civil litigation lawyer Barrington boating accident attorney low-ball insurance settlement bike accident Colin Gilbert personal injury, auto accident injuries, delayed injuries, serious injuries, Des Plaines personal injury attorneys ken apicella motorcycle accident lawyer Illinois criminal defense attorney spinal cord injuries Illinois elder law attorney Crystal Lake bike accident lawyer Barrington criminal lawyer real estate Barrington attorney Rolling Meadows Inverness civil lawyer DMV Chicago estate planning lawyer IRS Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorneys employee misclassification Des Plaines medical malpractice attorney FSLA Rolling Meadows traffic law firm Inverness probate lawyer Des Plaines Arlington Heights injury attorney digital media accounts, estate planning, Arlington Heights estate planning attorney, marijuana crimes attorney Illinois DUI attorney vacation home fines financial advisors life insurance policy Rolling Meadows marijuana attorney Palatine insurance lawyer wrongful termination, employment law, whistleblower protections, Illinois employment laws, discrimination in the workplace Des Plaines real estate attorney Deer Park traffic lawyer Schaumburg probate attorney Rolling Meadows personal injury attorney involuntary manslaughter personal injury claim Transfer on Death Instrument medical marijuana estate planning trusts Crystal Lake law firm college kids irrevocable trust Crystal Lake traffic lawyer construction contracts preventing accidents Illinois rollover accident lawyers paid sick leave pain and suffering license revocation loss of consortium denied insurance claims insurance claim denial Long Grove estate planning attorney Arlington Heights employment law attorneys Crystal Lake traffic attorney Arlington Heights trucking lawyer construction accidents Barrington criminal defense lawyer Illinois real estate lawyer capital gains tax Do Not Resuscitate employment contract, employment law, employment at-will, Deer Park employment law attorneys, contract, Palatine trusts lawyer Palatine employment lawyer probate process Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyer llinois Real Estate Lawyers Association job lawyers Long Grove wills and trusts attorneys surgical mistakes appealing an insurance claim blended families Des Plaines Traffic Lawyer Long Grove estate planning attorneys gift taxes drunk driving estate planning for college students Buffalo Grove personal injury attorney Illinois registered agent Crystal Lake business law attorneys DUI penalities power of attorney for healthcare forming a corporation in Illinois Palatine elder law attorney Chicago corporate attorney Landlord Tenant Ordinance car accident Palatine injury attorney foreclosure Chicago employment lawyer Illinois collections attorney Illinois pet lawyer wage theft employment attorney Illinois bicycle safety Illinois Transfer on Death Instrument Rolling Meadows drug defense attorney gift tax exemption, estate planning, estate planning strategies, Illinois estate planning, South Barrington estate planning attorneys Schaumburg personal injury lawyer foreclosed rental property probate workers compensation insurance claims employee discrimination Illinois Human Rights Act Food and Drug Administration's Food Safety Modernization Act car crash injuries Illinois probate lawyer jet ski accidents Crystal Lake personal injury attorney Schaumburg civil litigation attorney agent field sobriety test Illinois estate planning law firm DUI defense pedestrian-automobile accident car accident lawyer automated cars Schaumburg traffic lawyer Inverness real estate attorney personal injury claims traffic offenses Rolling Meadows probate lawyer BAIID estate plan Schaumburg criminal law attorney landlord Mount Prospect elder law attorney Illinois business law atorneys Illinois employee rights attorney. Inverness DUI lawyer Chicago car accident lawyer drug crimes lawyer dynasty trusts car crashes pizza emoji dealing with problem employees criminal record special needs trust Attorney Ken Apicella condo Arlington Heights estate planning attorney IRA trust transfer Rolling Meadows car accident lawyers Illinois estate planning attorney landlord tenant law Illinois trucking safety Forcible Entry elder law Inverness accident lawyer traumatic brain injury Arlington Heights insurance attorney Illinois employment law insurance denial appeals child safety Schaumburg estate attorney Legal Info Rolling Meadows real estate attorney Schaumburg injury lawyer Illinois mortgages Illinois red light cameras Inverness corporate attorney texting while driving Arlington Heights lawyer digital information Inverness real estate lawyer spinal cord injury Arlington Heights car accident lawyer Illinois personal injury lawyers workers comp Retaliatory Discharge Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act Illinois traffic attorney Illinois corporate lawyer Illinois pedestrian accident attorney rollover accidents Palatine drug lawyer Schaumburg real estate lawyer bicycle accidents trauma after an accident preventable medical errors Schaumburg estate planning lawyer Arlington Heights TBI attorney commercial real estate Barrington estate planning attorney Illinois insurance claim attorney ACA Buffalo Grove traffic attorney senior citizens probate lawyer pregnant women whistleblower protections Rolling Meadows accident lawyer real estate attorneys GM ignition switches Joliet general practice lawyers Illinois construction accident attorney Chicago attorney Barrington employment law attorney slip and fall severance agreements insurance attorney motorcycle accident Crystal Lake car accident attorney cell phone natural gas Palatine law firm rollover car crashes Inverness personal injury attorney estate attorney Kenilworth estate planning lawyer Jay Andrew Chicago employment attorney drug crimes Barrington employment law firm Schaumburg insurance lawyers trustee Illinois injury lawyer product liability guardianship attorney auto accidents Barrington Illinois estate planning lawyer Illinois workplace discrimination attorney Liquor Control Act right to work Arlington Heights personal injury attorney Illinois employment law attorneys employee rights car crash Palatine corporate attorney IRA benefits privacy laws Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission car collision Buffalo Grove medical malpractice lawyers distracted driving accident victims trucking accident lawyers Deer Park motorcycle accident lawyer Illinois law Rolling Meadows employment law attorney employees insurance claim dispute attorney clemency Illinois insurance disputes Chicago insurance claim attorneys Barrington Traffic Lawyer Arlington Heights tax lawyer traffic violations insurance agents insurance disputes, Illinois insurance disputes, Illinois insurance dispute attorneys, denied insurance claims, Arlington Heights insurance dispute attorneys Rolling Meadows business lawyer corporate law Rolling Meadows insurance attorney Des Plaines criminal attorney controlled substance Schaumburg drug defense lawyer Illinois lawyer Illinois home inspection Deer Park traffic accident attorney South Barrington real estate lawyer Home Sale Contingencies civil rights violation Illinois workers compensation attorney Fourth of July deed transfer hit and run accident Kenilworth estate planning attorneys Mount Prospect wills and trusts lawyers Inverness insurance attorney Buffalo Grove corporate attorney Palatine punch death DGAA Illinois business lawyer Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyer School Visitation Rights Act Family Medical Leave Act Buffalo Grove traffic lawyers life insurance claims Crystal Lake tax lawyer real estate lawyer Arlington Heights pedestrian accidents Barrington business law firm Buffalo Grove real estate attorney medical malpractice compensation Crystal Lake injury attorney reckless homicide fault based insurance Barrington civil litigation attorney holiday statistics BAC Crystal Lake insurance lawyer insurance disputes manufacturing estate planning, death tax, succession plans, business estate plans, Barrington estate planning lawyers insurance claim denials Des Plaines personal injury lawyer Crystal Lake employment attorney bad faith insurance claims FMLA Chicago lawyer insurance negligence real estate attorney real estate contract Colin H. Gilbert Des Plaines personal injury attorney DUI Barrington real estate lawyer Chicago trucking accident attorney Detainer Actions Schaumburg car accident attorney Rolling Meadows employment law attorneys hands free device boating under the influence Des Plaines motorcycle accident attorney installment contracts Deer Park workers compensation lawyer Arlington Heights Attorney Arlington Heights Traffic Lawyer Schaumburg estate planning attorney Des Plaines pet law attorney Super Mario medical research Illinois motorcycle accident lawyer living trust hiring employees Arlington Heights medical malpractice lawyer rumble strips murder insurance agent negligence subcontractor trusts TBI Schaumburg personal injury attorney Chicago will attorney tax attorney Illinois medical malpractice lawyers Rolling Meadows medical malpractice lawyers power of attorney Des Plaines DUI attorney investment property murder defense Barrington employment attorney trucking accidents operating agreements Palatine traffic lawyer jet ski nursing home negligence no contest clauses traffic crimes Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers traffic laws wrongful death living trust vs will truck collisions caretaker rights license suspension Mt Prospect Attorney LLCs Crystal Lake will lawyer back injuries food poisoning products liability Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyers Barrington injury attorney insurance dispute murder charges car accidents employment lawyer Illinois LLC creation digital evidence Policy Cancellation insurance claim delay Palatine real estate lawyer life insurance denied insurance claim Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyers commercial leases social media after death sole proprietorship Fair Labor Standards Act civil litigation attorney Illinois wrongful termination lawyer personal injury accidents income distribution deducation Illinois Sales Representative Act Inverness elder law lawyer Des Plaines tax law firm Palatine personal injury lawyer Inverness traffic law firm swimming pools criminal liability claims Illinois workplace lawyer traffic tickets Crystal Lake criminal defense attorney Crystal Lake pedestrian accident lawyer criminal defense sexual images Des Plaines insurance attorney license bicycle dooring accidents deadly crashes Illinois Smoke Detector Act Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyer Illinois traffic ticket lawyer Crystal Lake medical malpractice attorneys Illinois wills and trusts attorneys Illinois traffic laws BUI uninsured motorist comp time personal injury lawyer car accident lawyers breathalyzer test health insurance dispute Crystal lake insurance dispute attorney Des Plaines drug crimes lawyer rent to own real estate contracts drug possession homestead rights estate tax marijuana Buffalo Grove probate lawyer Class A misdemeanor Illinois living will CAM Rolling Meadows DUI lawyer Buffalo Grove employment lawyer living trust benefits Buffalo Grove personal injury lawyer caregiver traffic deaths minimum wage Crystal Lake car accident lawyer modern family estate planning drunk driving statistics Buffalo Grove car accident lawyer boating accidents Illinois small business Schaumburg criminal attorney trench injuries Palatine employment law lawyer Schaumburg corporate attorney advance healthcare directive Illinois attorney Whistleblower Claims Illinois traffic accident lawyer texting and driving liability Illinois employment attorneys disability benefits Palatine traffic accidents Schaumburg Attorney Rolling Meadows criminal lawyer business litigation insurance dispute, insurance dispute lawyers, insurance claim denial, insurance claim delays, Rolling Meadows insurance dispute attorneys DNR pedestrian injuries, pedestrian fatality Inverness estate planning lawyer estate planning, digital assets, Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, Illinois digital assets, Illinois estate planning, Self-Directed IRA Accounts Illinois medical malpractice claim Illinois wills and trusts cell phone accidents Illinois insurance claims lawyers Illinois car accident attorney traumatic brain injuries blood alcohol content digital assets, digital fiduciary, estate planning, digital content, Long Grove estate planning lawyers Deer Park medical malpractice attorney Buffalo Grove law firm Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyers Buffalo Grove insurance claim dispute lawyers dram shop law Illinois insurance dispute lawyers Barrington drug crime attorney employment law internet Crystal Lake employment law attorney speeding Palatine probate lawyer Illinois boating accident lawyer Des Plaines collections attorney creditors Rolling Meadows boating crash lawyer workers compensation benefits unpaid assessment consent to a search Illinois personal injury lawyer Illinois employment law firm Illinois personal injury attorney independent contractor real estate closing drug crime contracts Chicago traffic lawyer underfunded trust commercial leasing wrongful termination Palatine employment attorney Buffalo Grove criminal defense lawyer breach of contract condo association defective products Rolling Meadows litigation lawyer Barrington personal injury lawyer estate planning employment law, Illinois employment laws Palatine estate planning lawyer Palatine business attorney Affordable Care Act Illinois trusts attorney Deer Park DUI lawyer fiduciary rule delay wills compensatory time Rolling Meadows tax attorney Rolling Meadows corporate lawyer residential real estate Schaumburg Palatine criminal defense lawyer ObamaCare Des Plaines injury law firm Schaumburg elder law lawyer Barrington personal injury attorney Illinois medical malpractice case insurance denials Crystal Lake pet attorney Employment Discrimination Law Palatine civil attorney meal breaks overtime pay construction accidents, personal injury, wrongful death, Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys, workers' compensation Schaumburg employment law attorneys Schaumburg wrongful death attorney probate claims process boating DUI Illinois insurance lawyer Rolling Meadows Attorney employment contract healthcare claims elder abuse Chicago biking tips underage DUI