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What is 51% negligence for a car crash?

On Behalf of | Aug 18, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Car crashes leave much carnage in their wake. Few may express sympathy towards a negligent driver responsible for fatal car crashes on Illinois roads. Who is to say there aren’t two negligent drivers responsible for the accident? One driver might be more at fault for the collision than the other, but both parties share the blame. Such instances could impact lawsuits and insurance claims.

51% of the negligence

Negligence statutes are not uniform in each state, and Illinois utilizes a modified comparative negligence doctrine for negligence lawsuits. Under this statute, someone can only be entitled to receive damages when 50% or less at fault. Accordingly, someone who bears more than half of the fault for an accident cannot recover.

How does the law affect litigants? One driver may follow the law without committing any moving violations. Another driver may be highly intoxicated, travels far above the speed limit, goes through a red light and hits the safety-conscious driver. The victim then suffers terrible injuries. However, the victim was not wearing a seat belt. A jury might feel the victim was 10% responsible for his or her injuries and reduces the award by 10%.

Conflicting reports at an accident scene

Motor vehicle collisions may present conflicting claims of fault. One intoxicated driver might crash a vehicle into another intoxicated driver. Questions about who was at greater than 50% at fault for the accident would likely arise. Investigators, attorneys, and juries may then look at the evidence for an answer.

Eyewitness accounts, police reports, photographs and video footage may reveal details about negligence.