Car accidents in the Chicago area can be both physically and emotionally traumatic. When someone else causes your wreck, you may need to file a lawsuit to recover compensation for any injuries you’ve suffered; however, it’s difficult to know what steps to take if you shared responsibility in your accident. Thankfully, Illinois has a modified comparative negligence law that allows you to obtain compensation as long as you’re less than 50 percent at fault.
A Chicago car accident attorney can make it easier for you to determine your percentage of fault and identify other at-fault parties in your case. Knowing these factors before moving forward with your lawsuit can be helpful because it’ll give you an idea of the settlement you’ll walk away with. You’ll also want to know the value of your damages.
Determine How Much Fault You Shared
Your percentage of fault can be determined based on a variety of factors. For example, if you get in an intersection accident in Chicago, it may involve various people. If you were rear-ended, the person who rear-ended you may be 80 percent at fault, but if you slammed on your brakes at the stoplight, you may be 20 percent at fault.
The court will determine fault by looking at each driver’s negligence and the amount of damages each person has suffered.
Identify Other At-Fault Parties
It’s important to identify all other at-fault parties in your case if you hope to maximize your claim. Illinois’ modified negligence law allows you to obtain compensation for your damages if you’re less than 50 percent at fault, but there’s a catch.
The court will deduct your percentage of fault from your overall settlement. When there are more at-fault parties involved, you’ll have a higher settlement to deduct from. Investigating your case thoroughly can ensure you identify everyone liable in your collision.
Calculate Your Damages
Aside from the defendants in your case, you’ll also want to maximize your claim by accounting for all the damages you’ve suffered. Your damages can include both financial and non-financial losses.
Financial losses may include medical expenses, lost wages from missing work, and property damages. Non-financial losses may include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and scarring or disfigurement.
The court will take your damages into account and calculate your payout. For example, if your settlement equals $80,000 and your percentage of fault is 20 percent, you’ll ultimately receive $64,000.
Handling a car accident lawsuit can be complex when you’ve shared fault, but sharing fault shouldn’t stop you from fighting for the compensation you deserve. You can reach out to an experienced attorney for help if you have questions and concerns about your situation.