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


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