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Can I Be Compensated If I Did Not Wear a Seatbelt in a Car Accident?

 Posted on June 26, 2024 in Accident Liability

Lake County, IL car accident lawyerIf you want to be compensated for injuries you received in a car crash, you will need to follow a certain process. One of your first steps in that process is to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, which you should do with the help of an Illinois car accident lawyer. The insurer will investigate the crash and seek to answer the main question: who is at fault?

The person who is at fault — or negligent — in the car accident is usually the one who is liable to pay for damages. In Illinois, however, more than one person can be at fault for a personal injury, including the victim. A victim can be at fault in certain cases, like if he or she fails to wear a seatbelt. This is because Illinois follows a modified comparative negligence law.

What Is Modified Comparative Negligence?

Modified comparative negligence is an Illinois law that says you can only claim compensation for damages if you are less than 50 percent at fault. If you contributed to an injury by half or more, then you will not be compensated for it.

The other part of the modified comparative negligence law is that your compensation will be reduced by the amount of fault you have. For example, if the other driver was found to be 60 percent at fault and you were determined to be 40 percent at fault, your compensation will be reduced by 40 percent. This is referred to as your “contributory fault” — you contributed to 40 percent of the injury.

What Are Some Examples of Contributory Fault?

Some examples of contributory fault include:

  • You were hit by a car but you were partly at fault because you were texting while driving. 

  • You were hit by a car and it was totally the other driver’s fault. However, you were not wearing a seatbelt, which contributed to the seriousness of your injury.

  • You suffered an injury at work that was the company’s fault. However, you were supposed to be wearing safety equipment at the time, and not doing so contributed to your injury.

  • You developed lung cancer after breathing in the asbestos your company failed to protect you from. However, you also smoked for years, which contributed to your cancer.

Contact a Lake County, IL Car Accident Attorney

Insurance companies want to pay you as little as possible for your injury. Therefore, they will leave no stone unturned in trying to prove that you have contributory fault. Hire a sharp Waukegan, IL car accident attorney to craft a strong legal case. 

At Salvi & Maher, LLP, we understand how to use modified comparative negligence. We also know all the tricks insurance companies use to try to place blame on the victim. Our smart, aggressive attorneys have recovered over $300 million for our clients, and we are ready to fight hard for you too. Call 847-662-3303 for a free consultation today.

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Contact a Lake County Vehicle Accident Attorney Who is Ready to Help You

If you or a member of your family has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact our office. Call 847-662-3303 to set up a free initial consultation at one of our four convenient locations. There is no risk because we only collect fees if you collect compensation. With offices in Libertyville, Waukegan, Richmond, and Chicago, we represent clients in Lake County, Cook County, DuPage County, and McHenry County.

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