Proving Who Is at Fault
Most slip and fall cases have a certain amount of “he said, she said.” While the plaintiff (the injured person) says one thing, the defendant says something entirely different. No matter the details of the accident itself, this argument always comes down the same question: “Who is really at fault here?”
Take Aaron, for instance. Let’s say that Aaron is a walking through a hardware store, trips over a hose that is stretched out in the middle of an aisle, falls down, and breaks his wrist trying to catch himself.
At a glance, this case seems pretty cut and dry — the store left a piece of equipment laying around, and a customer got hurt because of it. Clearly, the store is complete to blame.
But what if it's not that simple? What if the security cameras reveal that it was another customer who stretched out the hose? What if witnesses claim that Aaron was texting rather than looking where he was going? What if Aaron had walked right past an “area under construction” warning sign?
When Both Parties Are at Fault
In Illinois, when it is not 100% clear who is to blame for a slip and fall accident, courts implement the comparative negligence rule. This term, “comparative negligence,” is just another way of saying that fault can be shared.
If you are found to be 50% or more at fault for your injuries, you cannot claim financial compensation. However, if you are found to be anywhere from 0%-49% at fault, you can claim anywhere from 51%-100% of what your claim is worth. How much you can claim correlates directly to how much fault you share in causing the accident.