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Comparative negligence as applied to bike accidents in Illinois

Being involved in a bike accident as a cyclist can mean that you are subject to significant injuries and material damages. As a result, you have the opportunity to engage in a negligence claim against the party that you believe is responsible. In order to be successful in gaining back damages after an accident, you will need to show that the other party was at fault, or in other words, that they acted in a negligent way.

All parties who are accused of liability have the right to defend themselves, just as in any other case. It has previously been common for defending parties in Illinois, usually the drivers of vehicles who have been involved in an accident with a cyclist, to defend themselves through showing contributory negligence on the part of the plaintiff.

This means that the driver of the vehicle attempts to show that the cyclist also took actions that were negligent, and therefore that they contributed to the causation of the accident and the associated damages. However, contributory negligence in Illinois was considered too harsh, and as a result, it was replaced with combative negligence.

The following is an overview of how comparative negligence can be applied by defending parties to bike accidents in Illinois.

Comparative negligence in the pure form

Comparative negligence can reduce the plaintiff's recovery amount by showing that they were at least partially at fault for the causation of the accident. For example, if a collision between a cyclist and a driver occurred because the driver was looking at their phone but the cyclist was on the wrong side of the road, it's likely that comparative negligence will be applied.

The court has adopted the pure form of comparative negligence in Illinois. This means that the plaintiff is awarded a percentage of the damages for which the defendant is responsible. If it's determined that the cyclist was 20% at fault for the accident and the driver was 80% at fault, the cyclist will receive 80% of the total damages.

If you have been involved in an accident as a cyclist in Chicago, it is important that you take swift action to understand how the law applies to you and to gain back the damages that you deserve.

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