Can I Collect Damages if I Am Partially to Blame for My Car Accident?

Can I Collect Damages if I Am Partially to Blame for My Car Accident?Liability is easy to determine in many car accident situations. For instance, if you are driving in your lane according to the posted speed limit and another driver runs a stop sign and slams into the side of your car, that driver is highly likely to bear the responsibility for the accident and any injuries you sustained. However, some car accident cases are not so clear in terms of how much responsibility each participant to the accident should carry.

Shared liability for damages

If the driver running the stop sign mentioned above slammed into the side of your vehicle but you were also breaking the speed limit and/or texting while driving and failed to avoid the accident, you may bear partial liability for your own injuries.

Consider this scenario: a pedestrian jaywalks across the street and in the process is hit by a driver. After the accident is investigated, it is determined that the driver was not speeding, intoxicated, texting, or acting negligently in any other way. In this instance, the pedestrian would have no legal right to recover compensation for his or her injuries.

However, if the driver was distracted or driving even a few miles per hour over the speed limit, and it was demonstrated that he or she was more than 50 percent responsible for the crash, the pedestrian would have just cause to file a suit for damages. However, the compensation awarded to the pedestrian would be decreased according to the percentage he or she was determined at fault for the illegal act of jaywalking.

Another example for shared liability can occur when one driver was speeding but the other driver was also driving erratically or changing lanes suddenly. The degree of liability assigned to each party must be determined by the insurance adjusters or in a court of law.

Determining liability percentage

When more than one party bears responsibility for a car accident that results in bodily injury, the parties themselves – or the court (judge or jury) if the case reaches trial – determines what percentage of the responsibility rests with each party. Naturally, a party whose actions are determined to have contributed more to the crash will be considered more liable.

Adding to the above example, it may not be unreasonable to expect the driver who ran the stop sign to be assigned 70 percent liability for the accident, with the other party assigned 30 percent for his or her action of texting while driving, which is unlawful in the state of Illinois. Of course, these percentages are only speculative – the actual liability percentages would be determined based on all of the facts of the case.

Our Chicago car accident attorneys at Gainsberg Law are committed to helping injured car crash victims and their families secure the full compensation they deserve for their losses. We can also fight for you if you have suffered injuries due to the negligence of another driver. You may be able to obtain a financial settlement that includes damages for lost wages, medical bills, property damage, and pain and suffering. To arrange a free consultation, call our law office today at 312.313.1621 or fill out our contact form.

 

 

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M.S., Chicago, IL

"Neal Gainsberg represented me in a personal injury case after a vehicle struck a motorcycle that I was riding on. Neal made sure I understood my rights as an injured party, and that I was receiving the proper medical attention. He did a great job in negotiating a settlement with the insurance company and making sure all my medical bills were paid and that I was compensated for my injuries and loss time at work. I recommend Neal as a lawyer to anyone who unfortunately is injured in an accident."

M.S., Chicago, IL

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M.S., Chicago, IL

"Neal Gainsberg represented me in a personal injury case after a vehicle struck a motorcycle that I was riding on. Neal made sure I understood my rights as an injured party, and that I was receiving the proper medical attention. He did a great job in negotiating a settlement with the insurance company and making sure all my medical bills were paid and that I was compensated for my injuries and loss time at work. I recommend Neal as a lawyer to anyone who unfortunately is injured in an accident."

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R.P., Chicago, IL

"Neal Gainsberg is a smart and an aggressive lawyer. He did a great job on my case. He helped me with a money dispute with a former friend and obtained a judgment for me. Neal listened and paid attention to any question I had, answered my calls right away, and was there for me at every point during the case. He knew exactly what to do in court. If you are looking to get compensation, I highly recommend that you hire Neal."

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J.O., Indiana

"Neal Gainsberg at first represented me in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy case. He explained everything to me and developed a payment plan that I could afford. Whenever I had any questions, Neal responded quickly to any emails or phone calls. Unfortunately, I lost income during my plan, and Neal recommended that I convert the case to a Chapter 7 case. Despite my worries about my finances, Neal made everything easy for me, converted the case, and made sure that I received a fresh start. Neal was very knowledgeable about bankruptcy law, and I highly recommend him as a bankruptcy lawyer."

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J.T., Chicago, IL

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J.T., Chicago, IL

"Neal Gainsberg was a great lawyer. He represented me at a small claims trial and obtained a great result. Neal was there for me and answered all my questions even though my case was not that large."

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L.S., Chicago, IL

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L.G., Chicago, IL

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E.S., Chicago, IL

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E.S., Chicago, IL

"Neal Gainsberg represented me in my Chapter 13 case. He knew all the details about bankruptcy and my case, explained everything to me in the beginning, made every issue easy to understand, and provided the help I needed during the five years of the plan. As a result of Neal’s legal assistance, I was able to make all my plan payments and get a fresh start. I highly recommend that anyone considering bankruptcy to give Neal a call."

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M.T.G., Chicago, IL

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M.T.G., Chicago, IL

"Neal Gainsberg took my personal injury claim against large store after I fell on water and injured my knee and back. The store employees disputed that anything happened and the manager accused me and my son, who witnessed the fall, of making it up. Neal brought a lawsuit against the store, took several depositions of the store employees, and obtained a great settlement for me and my family. Neal fought hard on my case, and I was very pleased with the results."

N.S., D.S., Chicago, IL

"Neal Gainsberg was our lawyer in a car accident case. We were both injured in addition to our 16 month old daughter. Even though the other driver ran the red light and we had witnesses of her illegal conduct, her insurance company at first denied our claim and said it was our fault. We hired Neal and he fought the insurance company hard. Without having to go to court, he was able to convince the insurance company that it was their driver’s fault. Neal got a great settlement for us and our child within three months of the accident. We were very happy with Neal, he kept us informed about everything, and eased our stress from the accident. If you want an excellent car accident attorney, you need to hire Neal!"

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N.S., D.S., Chicago, IL

"Neal Gainsberg was our lawyer in a car accident case. We were both injured in addition to our 16 month old daughter. Even though the other driver ran the red light and we had witnesses of her illegal conduct, her insurance company at first denied our claim and said it was our fault. We hired Neal and he fought the insurance company hard. Without having to go to court, he was able to convince the insurance company that it was their driver’s fault. Neal got a great settlement for us and our child within three months of the accident. We were very happy with Neal, he kept us informed about everything, and eased our stress from the accident. If you want an excellent car accident attorney, you need to hire Neal!"

V.S.G. and M.G., Richton Park, IL

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V.S.G. and M.G., Richton Park, IL

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V.S.G. and M.G., Richton Park, IL

"Neal is a great attorney. He helped us with several legal issues, including obtaining a large settlement for us following a car accident. He worked very hard on our case from the start, answered all our phone calls and questions, and kept us continually updated. Since then, we have used Neal for other civil matters. We have known Neal for over 13 years, and call him whenever we have a legal question. We know Neal will be there to help us."

K.R., Chicago, IL

"After my former lawyer refused to continue with my auto accident case, Neal Gainsberg took over the case, and he was able to obtain a settlement for the other driver’s policy limits. He was actively involved in my case, returned all my calls, and explained any issue that I had during the case. After I spoke with Neal, he was able to resolve any problems or issues. Neal provided exceptional representation against the insurance company for the other driver. Since Neal settled my case, I have recommended him to my family members and friends. If you have a legal issue, you should call Neal and hire him to be your attorney."

K.R., Chicago, IL

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K.R., Chicago, IL

"After my former lawyer refused to continue with my auto accident case, Neal Gainsberg took over the case, and he was able to obtain a settlement for the other driver’s policy limits. He was actively involved in my case, returned all my calls, and explained any issue that I had during the case. After I spoke with Neal, he was able to resolve any problems or issues. Neal provided exceptional representation against the insurance company for the other driver. Since Neal settled my case, I have recommended him to my family members and friends. If you have a legal issue, you should call Neal and hire him to be your attorney."
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