Illinois Motor Vehicle Code | Staver
Car Accidents

How the Illinois Vehicle Code Can Help Your Car Accident Case

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What You Need to Know About the Illinois Motor Vehicle Code

You’ve been hurt in a car accident, but you’re not sure what comes next. How do you find a car accident lawyer? How do you get the repairs you need for your car? Most importantly, how are you supposed to prove that the other driver caused the crash?

The information you get at the scene of the crash can be very helpful. Most car accidents result in at least one citation, and in many cases, multiple citations. These citations lay the groundwork for establishing liability, allowing the victim to seek compensation.

The Illinois Vehicle Code is an excellent resource for victims and their attorneys, as many citations serve as evidence that the other driver is at fault. Examples are sorted into different categories below.

Commercial Drivers in Illinois

If you are involved in a crash with a truck driver, you know that you’re up against insurance companies, employers, and more. If the driver is charged with one of these violations, though, they may have committed an error that puts them at fault:

  • 6-526(a): texting while driving a commercial motor vehicle
  • 6-527(a): using a mobile device while driving a commercial vehicle
  • 6-507(b)1: driving a commercial vehicle while driving privileges are suspended, revoked, disqualified, or canceled. This may also put some liability on the employer or carrier for allowing a disqualified operator to drive.

Failure to Yield

Many accidents are caused by one party’s failure to yield the right of way. Several parts of the Motor Vehicle Code allude to this:

  • 11-305: disregarding a traffic control device
  • 11-306: disregarding a traffic control light
  • 11-308: disregarding a lane control signal
  • 11-309: disregarding a flashing traffic signal
  • 11-902: taking an improper left turn against oncoming traffic
  • 11-904: failure to observe a “stop” or “yield” sign


While many citations can be used to strengthen personal injury cases, some statutes refer specifically to accidents causing personal injury. These include:

  • 11-401: leaving the scene or failing to report an accident involving death or personal injury
  • 11-403: failing to stop and exchange information and/or provide aid after an accident that causes injury or death

Reckless Driving

The amount of statutes referring to activities that are considered reckless driving cannot be listed in their entirety here, since reckless driving is such a broad category of driving behaviors. However, any citation relating to a driver failing to take proper care or acting in a careless way may support your case. Examples include:

  • 11-503: reckless driving
  • 11-601(b)(01): driving 1-10 MPH over the speed limit
  • 11-601(b)(03): driving 11-14 MPH over the speed limit
  • 11-601(b)(05): driving 15-25 MPH over the speed limit
  • 11-601(b)(07): driving 25 or more MPH over the speed limit
  • 11-601.5(a): driving 26-34 MPH over the speed limit
  • 11-601.5(b): driving more than 35 MPH over the speed limit
  • 11-710: following too closely

Pedestrians and Bicyclists

Many statutes refer to driving unsafely around pedestrians and bicyclists since they are at serious risk of death or severe injury in a crash. Relevant statutes include:

  • 11-703(d): improper passing of a bicycle or person
  • 11-703(e): driving too close to a bicyclist or pedestrian
  • 11-903: failure to stop or yield right of way to a pedestrian at an intersection or crosswalk
  • 11-1002(a): failure to yield right of way to a pedestrian at a crosswalk that does not have a traffic control device
  • 11-1002(d): passing a vehicle that is stopped for a pedestrian
  • 11-1003.1: failure to exercise due care for a pedestrian or bicyclist

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is one of the biggest problems on Illinois roads. Statutes that apply in this situation include:

  • 12-604.1(a): abuse of use of a video device that results in personal injury
  • 12-610.1(b): person below the age of 19 using a cell phone while driving
  • 12-610.1(b-5): person under age of 19 engaging in aggravated cell phone use and causing personal injury

Impaired Driving

If the driver that caused your injury was impaired, they may be charged with one of the following statutes:

  • 11-501(a)1: driving while BAC is above .08%
  • 11-501(a)2: driving while under the influence of alcohol
  • 11-501(a)3: driving under the influence of intoxicating compounds
  • 11-501(a)4: driving under the influence of a drug or combination of drugs

Why You Need a Personal Injury Attorney

These are not the only statutes relevant to personal injury cases. Furthermore, the statutes are highly nuanced and technical, requiring the help of a legal professional. Your personal injury attorney in Chicago can look over the accident report, learn more about the citations given to each party, and figure out how those citations can be used to build a case. Instead of trying to delve into dense legal jargon on your own, you can just provide the evidence to your attorney and let them take over.

At Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., we are dedicated to helping accident victims get the compensation they deserve. We believe that victims shouldn’t be left paying for stacks of medical bills and property damage when they did nothing wrong. For help with your personal injury case, call us at (312) 236-2900 or contact us online.

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