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How to Determine Who Is at Fault for an Accident in Illinois?
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Car accidents are a part of everyday life. More than 800 traffic crashes occurred daily in Illinois in a recent year, according to a report of the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). Understanding who is at fault for these incidents is paramount to ensure justice and fair compensation for accident victims.

Is Illinois an at-Fault State?

Illinois is an at-fault state, which means that the driver who caused the car accident may be liable for any losses that result, including medical expenses, lost income, vehicle damage, and other costs.

Illinois’ Modified Comparative Negligence Law

Deciding fault in a car accident can be difficult, particularly if more than one driver contributed to the accident. Illinois follows a modified comparative negligence law, which means drivers can recover damages if they are not more than 50 percent responsible for the accident. Any damages awarded may be reduced proportionately to their percentage of fault.

In practice, this means that if you are involved in an accident in which the other driver is 80 percent at fault, and you are 20 percent at fault, the damages you collect will be reduced by 20 percent. Thus, if your damages are $100,000, you would receive $80,000.

Evidence Considered in Determining Fault

Determining who is at fault for an accident involves a thorough investigation into the accident. Several factors influencing the fault determination include:

  • Police Crash Reports – A police officer writes an official account of the accident scene, describing the accident location, the vehicles involved, and the officer’s impression of who was responsible.
  • Witness Statements – Eyewitnesses to the accident can shed light on what happened.
  • Traffic Violations If a driver violated a traffic law, like running a red light, the driver may be at fault.
  • Vehicle Damage The location of the vehicles’ damage can also shed light on the collision. Generally, if a driver rear-ends your car, and there’s visible damage to the back of your car, that driver will be at fault. If your car is hit broadside (t-boned) at an intersection where another vehicle had a stop sign, but you didn’t, the other vehicle’s driver likely ran the stop sign and is at fault. 
  • Photos Images from the accident and video surveillance can clarify what happened.
  • Skid Marks – The length and visibility of skid marks can indicate how fast a vehicle was going before impact.
  • Driver Behavior – If a driver is distracted, reckless, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, that driver will likely be at fault.
  • Road Conditions – A driver may be at fault for failing to adjust to poor road conditions, such as rain, snow, or ice. 

Call a Car Accident Attorney Today

If you have been injured in an auto accident in Illinois, the experienced car accident attorneys at Bonifield & Rosenstengel, PC, will help you to pursue the full and fair compensation you deserve for your losses. We’re here to handle the legal process and allow you to focus on healing. Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.