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Can I pursue damages if I was partly at fault for an accident?

One of the most important steps people can take in the wake of a car accident is to determine who was at fault. Insurance companies, police officers, bystanders and other drivers often have some statement to make in terms of what they believe was the cause of a crash, but the statements that can matter most to victims are those that are presented in court.

Establishing fault and negligence following a car accident can be crucial. Not only can it get victims the answers they deserve, but it can also play a vital role in determining if and how much a victim may pursue in legal damages. In the state of Illinois, damages can be awarded to victims but only if the victim is not more than 50 percent at fault for the accident.

Under Illinois laws and contributory fault standards, a person can be barred from receiving damages if he or she was more than 50 percent at fault for an accident. After a car accident, victims need to prove that other parties or factors were more than 50 percent at fault for the proximate cause of the damages or injuries suffered.

What our readers can take away from this is that it is certainly possible to pursue recovery for damages even if the victim was partially to blame for an accident, as long as he or she is not more than 50 percent at fault.

Any financial award will be decreased in proportion to a victim's percentage of contributory fault. So, a person who contributes 40 percent fault to an accident will receive a smaller portion of an award than a person who contributes just 10 percent.

With all this information in mind, it should be clear that legal representation in claims for compensation can be crucial. These cases require not only that negligence be established, but also that fault be assigned properly. Other parties will try to minimize their contributory actions or try to redistribute blame to others, including the victim, and facing this situation alone can be overwhelming. However, working with an attorney can help injured parties level the playing field and fight for the compensation they may deserve.

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