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Determining Fault in an Illinois Traffic Accident

Traffic accidents are just that. They are not caused intentionally but instead, by someone else’s negligence, carelessness, or recklessness. However, just because a person does not intentionally cause an accident does not mean they should not be held liable after a crash. Determining fault in an Illinois traffic accident is sometimes fairly straightforward, while other times it becomes much trickier. If you have been hurt in a crash, an Illinois traffic accident lawyer can help you determine which parties hold liable for paying the damages you deserve.

The Police Report

It is always important to call the police to the scene of an accident, particularly if it resulted in serious injury or death. When the police arrive, they will evaluate the scene and write a report. Within that report, an officer may also indicate which driver was at fault for the crash. If an officer issued a ticket at the scene, that could also be used to determine liability.

Determining Fault Based on the Type of Accident

Sometimes, the very nature of an accident can help determine fault. These types of accidents include:

  • Rear-end accidents: After a rear-end accident, it is almost always the driver who hit the vehicle in front of them that is found at fault. There are exceptions to this, such as if the driver in front made a sudden stop. Even then, it is usually found that the driver in the back should have given themselves enough time to stop.
  • Turning vehicles: Accidents commonly happen in intersections, and many of these involve a driver who turned into another vehicle that was traveling straight. In these instances, the turning driver is typically found liable because they should have checked to ensure the way was clear.
  • Sideswipe accidents: Sideswipe accidents usually happen when a driver does not change lanes properly. In these instances, it is usually the driver who sideswiped another that is found liable.

The type of accident does not always determine fault, but in some situations, it may.

Contributory Negligence in Illinois

Another important concept when determining liability is that of contributory negligence. Contributory negligence plays a role in accident claims when more than one party is at fault. If the accident victim caused or contributed to the crash, it will greatly affect the amount of damages they are entitled to claim. In Illinois, accident victims can still claim damages if they were less than 50% at fault for the accident. However, any compensation they are awarded will be reduced by the same percentage.

When determining fault in an Illinois traffic accident, it is important to defend against claims of contributory negligence so you do not forfeit your right to full damages.

Call Our Car Accident Lawyers in Illinois Today

If you have been hurt in a crash, our Illinois car accident lawyers can help you determine which party is responsible for paying you damages. At Brassfield, Krueger & Ramlow, Ltd., our skilled attorneys will collect the evidence necessary to prove your claim, so you recover the fair settlement that will cover the cost of your injuries. Call us today or contact us online to request a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.

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