It can be difficult to remain calm immediately after a car accident, but that time is crucial when trying to determine who is at fault. Without the proper information, you or a loved one could risk losing deserved compensation because you are unable to prove that the majority of the fault lay with the other driver. The statute of limitations on personal injury cases is two years in Illinois, making it critical for you to get in touch with a car accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident. While every accident is unique, it is important to heed the following guidelines when determining fault:
Common Forms of Car Accidents and Who Is At Fault
Illinois is an “at fault” state, which means that both drivers in a car accident can try to make an argument that the other driver was more at fault. The court may then use percentages to determine where fault resides, and the party who is most at fault may be required to pay damages to the other party. If you were involving in any of the following types of accidents, you and your attorney can use a variety of forms of evidence to demonstrate that the other driver was at fault:
Turning Vehicle: If one driver was turning and the other was not, the former would typically be at fault, since it is their responsibility to make sure that it was safe to turn in the first place. On the other hand, if the non-turning driver was speeding, ran a red light, or broke another traffic law, they could be found at fault.
Rear-Ender: Usually, the driver who rear-ended another will be at fault, since traffic laws suggest that drivers are responsible for leaving enough room between them and the vehicle ahead. If you were the one who was rear-ended, you will likely be able to recover damages from the driver who struck you.
Sideswipe: In most cases, a driver who collided with another vehicle while changing lanes will be at fault, since it is their responsibility to check their blind spot before moving. However, each case may be treated differently in court based on the unique circumstances of the accident.
What if Both Parties Are at Fault?
Under Illinois law, drivers must only prove that the other driver in an accident was more at fault than them. However, the amount of compensation a person can receive can vary depending on their own percentage of fault. For example, if the party who will be awarded damages is determined to be 25% at fault for the accident, then the amount of damages they are awarded would reduced by 25%. If a driver is 50% or more at fault, they cannot receive any damages, and they will most likely be required to pay damages to the other driver.
Contact a Barrington Car Accident Attorney
Even if your car accident follows a predictable pattern like those described above, it is still important to work with an experienced attorney who can help you demonstrate that the other driver was at fault and ensure that you can recover compensation for any and all of the damages you have suffered. Our Barrington Injury Attorneys are a team of Cook County personal injury lawyers who are committed to getting you the compensation that you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call 847-381-8700.