Before we get started, we want to say that contributory negligence could be a factor in any personal injury case in Illinois. We have chosen to put the focus on commercial vehicle accidents in this blog post because they so often result in serious injuries.
If you don't already know, Illinois recognizes the possibility of contributory negligence in commercial vehicle accident cases. What this means is that if it is proved that the plaintiff contributed to his or her injuries, the amount of compensation awarded would be reduced.
As an example, let's say that a person is driving a car in the right lane on a four-lane highway. Suddenly, a semitruck comes along in the left lane, sideswipes the car and drags it down the roadway. The driver of the car suffers severe injuries and files a personal injury lawsuit. If the case goes to litigation, the defendant will naturally want to reduce or eliminate his or her fault in the commercial vehicle accident.
If the defendant's legal team can show that the injured victim contributed to the accident, it will lessen the damages ordered by the court. In a more specific example, the defendant may try to prove that the injured victim was distracted and drifted into the truck's lane, thereby at least partially causing the accident.
We say it all the time, but this is just one more reason why it is crucial to consult with an attorney about commercial vehicle accidents. Doing so can help victims avoid being blindsided by legal loopholes and other factors that may negatively affect the case. Our website contains a large array of articles and other information about personal injury cases of all kinds. We urge you to learn more by browsing our resources.