If you were involved in a slip/trip-and-fall, car accident or other incident where you might be partially at fault, Illinois laws say you may still be able to receive fair compensation for your injuries. Since the details of every case are different, please contact an attorney at Law Offices of Mathys & Schneid to discuss your case and learn about your recovery options.
Illinois has a “comparative negligence” system which analyzes the percentage of fault each party had in causing the injury. Usually the judge or jury will determine the percentage of fault for each party. In Illinois, a personal injury victim can generally still recover on a claim if he or she was less than 50% at fault for causing the incident. However, the recovery will be reduced by the percentage of the victim’s own fault. If a judge or jury determines that the victim was 51% or more at fault, the victim cannot recover anything at all.
Comparative fault was a big issue in a trip and fall case I won against Menards years ago. My client went to the store the day after Thanksgiving to look for some shelving. He didn’t find what he wanted so he tried to leave the store without buying anything. All of the checkout lanes were filled with customers and carts so my client could not get through. One lane was empty but Menards strung a low hanging chain across the lane to show that it was closed. Menards’ policy required an empty shopping cart in a closed lane with a chain strung through the cart and across, but all the carts were being used for the busy shopping day. My client saw the closed lane as his only way out of the store. He saw the chain in the lane and carefully tried to step over it when his coat bumped the chain. The chain then caught his foot and caused him to fall and break his hip. Videotape showed dozens of other people stepping over the chain in the hour prior. I recommended to the jury that my client bear some responsibility for the incident, but not as much as Menards. The jury found against Menards but found my client 35% at fault, which reduced his verdict from $200,452 to $130,294. It was a fair recovery under the circumstances.
Insurance adjusters and defense attorneys will blame the victim for the incident in order to avoid responsibility or reduce the verdict. It is always best to contact us early after your injury so we can help protect your claim under Illinois laws and deal with any comparative fault issues before it is too late.
Law Offices of Mathys & Schneid continues to handle all types of slip/trip-and-fall cases, car, motorcycle and truck accident cases along with wrongful death and other personal injury cases for clients in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Will, and Kendall Counties, including Chicago, Wheaton, Joliet, Geneva and the entire of the Chicagoland area.