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Does Using a Cell Phone Amount to Contributory Negligence in an Auto Accident?

Written by Ankin Law Office

Auto accident lawsuits often involve complicated issues pertaining to contributory negligence and comparative negligence, which are legal standards that apply when more than one party is responsible for the auto accident in some way. Only a few states continue to follow the contributory negligence standard of liability; instead, most states follow the comparative negligence model.

Illinois law applies a “modified” comparative negligence standard, whereby an auto accident victim’s recovery is limited if the victim’s fault exceeds a certain level. For instance, in Illinois, an auto accident victim can only recover damages if he or she is less than 50% at fault for the accident and the amount of damages may be reduced in proportion to the degree to which the injured party was at fault. For example, if you were 30% at fault for the accident, you may still be able to collect damages, but the other driver’s insurance company may only pay 70% of your damages.

Distracted driving and cell phone use is just one of the types of conduct that can contribute to an accident. In fact, in 2009, more than 5,400 people died in traffic collisions that were reported to involve a distracted driver and about 448,000 people were injured in distracted driving accidents. Among those killed or injured in distracted driving accidents, nearly 1,000 deaths and 24,000 injuries involved cell phone use as the major distraction.

In other words, the use of a cell phone by a driver will likely affect the amount of financial recovery, even if cell phone use wasn’t the primary cause of the auto accident. The Chicago auto accident lawyers at Ankin Law Office, LLC are focus on representing clients who are injured in an auto accident due to the negligence of another. We are dedicated to getting full and fair financial recovery for our clients, and are well-versed at handling complex legal issues such as comparative negligence and distracted driving.

Contact our office at (312) 600-0000 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Chicago auto accident lawyers to learn more about the impact of cell phone use on liability assessment and financial recovery for an auto accident.

Categories: Auto Accidents