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How is Liability Determined in Car Accidents in Illinois
Until you’re involved in a car accident, it’s impossible to understand the complexity of property damage, medical bills, and most importantly, who pays for all of it. Determining liability is essential in any personal injury case, but proving which party—or parties—caused an accident can be a time-consuming, painstaking process for those without experience in this area.
That’s why it’s so important to have an experienced Chicago car accident attorney fighting for your best interests and working to prove the other party’s liability. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, get the help you need and call Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. at (312) 236-2900.
The Role of Liability in Car Accidents
Liability is the cornerstone of a personal injury case. When someone is seeking compensation, it’s not enough that someone is injured. They must also prove that another person’s actions caused their injuries and that those actions were negligent.
Both sides are able to do their own research to determine liability. However, both parties may look at the same evidence and come to vastly different conclusions. When this happens, it’s often not in good faith. This often occurs because one side is massaging the figures to limit their own financial losses.
That’s why, as a victim, it is essential that you have an experienced personal injury attorney who can cut to the heart of the matter, prove the other side’s fault, and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Determining Liability in Chicago
There are many tools that attorneys, insurance adjusters, and investigators may use to determine liability in an accident. An important piece of evidence is the police report. When police report to the scene of an accident, they often issue citations to one or both parties for apparent or admitted errors. These citations are valuable to victims. For example, if you are T-boned by someone who ignored a red light and that person receives a citation for failing to adhere to traffic signals, the citation is clear evidence that they erred.
Physical evidence is also important. The shape your car is in after an accident can give clear hints as to how the accident occurred, which evasive actions you took to protect yourself, and how fast both parties were driving at the time of the collision. An investigator might also look at skid marks on the road or damage to structures.
Photo and video evidence can be extremely helpful in determining liability. Many cars have dash cams now, and dashcam footage can provide indisputable proof of the facts of the accident. Photos taken after an accident highlight damage to vehicles, damaged public property, and personal injuries.
The extent to which you need to prove liability depends largely on the complexity of the accident. A rear-end accident, for example, is often fairly cut-and-dry. Liability is almost always put on the driver who hits the car in front of them. However, other accidents are more complicated and may lead to multiple parties being found liable.
Car Accident Types and Who is Liable
While each accident is unique, the general type of accident you are in may indicate who is likely liable.
- Rear end. In a rear-end accident, the rear driver is almost always entirely liable for the crash.
- Lane change. When a sideswipe accident occurs, the driver who changes lanes is usually the liable party. It is their responsibility to ensure that the lane is clear and safe to merge into before changing lanes.
- Turning vehicle. If a crash occurs because of a turn, the party initiating the turn is often found to be liable. The person traveling in the other lane is generally assumed to have the right of way, and the turning individual is expected to make sure they can complete the turn safely before beginning it.
- Head-on. Head-on crashes often occur because of one person driving the wrong way. In these situations, the liable party is obviously the party driving the wrong way.
Just because these general rules exist does not mean that you can safely assume liability in your car accident. No matter how clear your case appears to be, you can expect the other party’s attorney or insurance company to fight you tooth and nail. The only way to avoid getting taken advantage of is to have your own legal counsel.
How Having a Car Accident Attorney Can Help
When you choose an attorney with extensive experience in car accident cases, you can feel confident that they know what it takes to prove liability and protect your right to claim compensation. Your attorney will know what type of evidence is necessary to solidify your case and how to get that evidence.
A lot is at stake when you are injured in a car accident; do not try to take on the insurance company on your own. Choose an aggressive, client-focused attorney who will do whatever it takes to get clients the compensation they deserve after an accident.
Contact Our Car Accident Liability Attorneys Today
The team at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. has a long history of taking on insurance companies to help car accident victims get the money they deserve. Your injuries are not your fault, so why should you be the one who has to pay for them? We believe in holding negligent drivers accountable.
To discuss your car accident and personal injury claim, reach out to us online or call us at (312) 236-2900. No win, no fee.