Personal Injury 101: Understanding Negligence

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident or due to the negligence of another party, you may have the ability to win a personal injury claim. These types of claims, however, rely on the legal concept of negligence, which is somewhat more complicated than what it means in common usage. Understanding negligence will help you determine if you have a strong legal case, and how to best proceed.

What is Negligence

When considering a personal injury case, negligence is used to determine whose fault it was that an accident or injury took place. Not all injuries are the fault of anyone, and in these situations, there is no legal case to be had. For example, if you trip because your shoelaces came untied, this isn’t the fault of the person whose property you happen to be on. If, however, another party causes a car accident in which you were injured, they may be found negligent, which means a lawsuit is possible.

Modified Comparative Fault

In the state of Illinois, negligence isn’t just a black and white issue. This state has comparative fault laws, which means that the courts need to determine how much fault each party in the accident is responsible for. If you slip and fall because a property owner didn’t remove ice from their parking lot, they are clearly at some fault. The courts, however, may determine that you should have also taken precautions to walk more carefully. In this situation, the courts will assign a certain percentage of fault to both you and the property owner. If, however, you are found to be 50% or more at fault, then you can not file a lawsuit.

In a lawsuit, the court will then determine what, if any, financial compensation is due because of the accident. They will then require the defendant (or more likely, their insurance company) to pay a portion of that amount based on their level of negligence. If the court determines that you were 25% at fault and the defendant was 75% at fault, and the damages involved were $1 million, the defendant would have to pay $750,000.

Determining Negligence

The most important, and often most difficult, aspect of a personal injury case is showing that the defendant was negligent, which led to your injury. This is done by showing that the defendant either knew, or should have known, of the risks present that led to your injury, and they didn’t do anything to address them. Once this is shown, your attorney will work to maximize the level of negligence that will be placed on the defendant so you will be awarded the damages you deserve.

Work with an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

Personal injury cases are often far more complicated and nuanced than you would see in a movie or television show. Having an experienced Illinois personal injury attorney at your side will dramatically increase your likelihood of winning your case. If you or a loved one has been injured, please contact us to schedule a consultation where we can go over your case and help you determine what steps should be taken next.

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Abdallah Law

Abdallah Law has been a successful law firm serving the people of Chicago and the surrounding area for years. This success can be attributed to one thing: Our team. At Abdallah Law, protecting our clients’ rights and safeguarding their liberties is the driving force of everything we do.

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