legal blog

Should You Get a Lawyer for a Car Accident Even if You Weren’t At Fault?

Written by Jared Staver

Read Jared's Bio

Jared Staver is a Personal Injury Lawyer based in Chicago, Illinois and has been practicing law for over 20 years.

Jared Staver

CATEGORY: Auto Accidents, Insurance

After a car accident, you may be ready to fight to hold the liable party accountable. If you are sure the other driver is responsible for causing your injuries, you may be prepared to move forward with your case without the help of an attorney.

However, having a car accident lawyer on your side could significantly impact your opportunity to pursue your case and the amount of compensation you could be awarded. If you hope to ensure a fair and reasonable payout, there are specific steps you can take to protect yourself, which often begins with hiring a car accident attorney to handle your case.

What is Fault?

When you have been involved in a car accident, proving fault will be essential. Even if you know you were not responsible for causing the accident, there are multiple reasons why you need an attorney’s help. First, you can expect the defendant to attempt to blame you for causing the accident.

Even if they were under the influence, distracted, drowsy, or engaging in any other type of unsafe driving, if they can argue you are partially to blame for the injuries you sustained, you may find your injury settlement reduced according to Illinois modified comparative negligence laws.

Furthermore, in civil court, liability must be proven based on a preponderance of the evidence. This means your attorney will need to introduce powerful evidence to prove to the court that the defendant is more than likely to blame you for your damages. Due to your injuries, gathering the necessary evidence to meet this burden of proof may be difficult or impossible.

Negligence must be proven for your lawsuit to be successful. The elements of negligence in a personal injury claim include:

  • Duty of care – The liable party must have had an obligation to ensure your safety
  • Breach of duty – The liable party must have decided or failed to make a decision that breached their obligation to ensure your safety
  • Causation – The liable party’s actions or inactions must have been the cause of your car accident
  • Damages – The car accident must have resulted in substantial damages, either physically, financially, or emotionally

While you may be under no legal obligation to retain a car accident attorney to represent you, doing so could be your best hope of navigating the personal injury claims process as efficiently as possible.

No-Fault Versus At-Fault States

There are two primary ways states handle auto insurance claims after an accident. The way Illinois handles claims is different from Florida. For example, Illinois is a fault state for insurance purposes. When you are involved in an accident, you will file a claim with the liable party’s auto insurance provider.

However, suppose you live in the state of Florida, or any other no-fault insurance state, instead of filing a claim with the liable party’s insurance company. In that case, you will file a claim with your own insurance provider. This is because you will have purchased personal injury protection (PIP) coverage as part of your auto insurance coverage. This is designed to provide you with certain protections when you are involved in an accident, no matter who is responsible for causing the collision.

Because Illinois is a fault state, you will need to file a claim with the liable party’s insurance company unless you purchase your own no-fault insurance coverage when you are involved in a car accident within the state of Illinois.

What Evidence do You Need to Prove Fault?

There are a wide variety of types of evidence that could be used to prove fault in a car accident. Proving negligence and liability will be critical if you hope to maximize your compensation.

Examples of evidence that could be used to prove fault in your Illinois car accident claim include:

  • Crash forensics
  • Photos of your car accident injuries
  • Video of the collision
  • Affidavits from witnesses
  • Testimony from experts
  • Reports from accident reconstructionists
  • Police and crash reports
  • The liable driver’s chemical blood alcohol test results
  • The liable driver’s cell phone records
  • Safety inspection logs
  • Vehicle maintenance records

How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help Your Case?

Having an experienced Chicago personal injury lawyer advocating for you could make all the difference in your ability to pick up the pieces of your life after a car accident. While you heal from your injuries, our team can work behind the scenes to demand justice. When you go with Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., you can rely on us to:

  • Establish cause and fault for your damages
  • Gather evidence and other support for your claim
  • Determine how to present your case before the insurance company or in court
  • Ensure every loss is considered when calculating the value of your claim
  • Protect you from false accusations of shared liability

Call a Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer for Help

Even if you are not responsible for causing the accident, having a car accident attorney on your side as you navigate the claims process could make all the difference in your ability to recover total compensation for your suffering. Protect your settlement.

Contact an experienced Chicago car accident lawyer at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., for a free case review today. You can reach us by phone at (312) 236-2900 or through our online contact form to get started.

Free Consultation
(312) 236-2900
(312) 236-2900
Skip to content