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Determining Fault in a Car Accident

Posted on in Personal Injury Lawsuits

Illinois personal injury lawyer, Illinois wrongful death attorney, Illinois car accident lawyer,One of the first questions that needs to be answered after an auto accident is whose fault was it? This is especially true if there were injuries incurred by any of the drivers and/or passengers in the vehicles at the time of the incident. The driver who is determined at fault is the one who is legally responsible for any of the accident victims’ injuries and/or property damage.

Once accident claims have been filed with the insurance company, an adjuster will make the determination of who is at fault. There are several ways he or she will do this. One of the most important pieces of evidence the adjuster will examine is the police report. This report can provide valuable information in what caused the accident, including whether or not any parties received citations or were arrested at the scene. It is also not unusual for the officer filling out the report to state who they think was at fault and why.

Another thing the adjuster will look at in determining fault is what type of accident it was. For example, in the majority of rear end collisions, it is the rear driver who is at fault. The school of thought is that even if the first driver braked suddenly, the other driver was following the vehicle too closely, causing the collision.

Drivers who are attempting to make a left-hand turn and get into a collision are also deemed to be at fault in the majority of cases. By law, the vehicles coming in the other direction have the right of way and the driver is not supposed to turn until traffic is clear on the other side.

Illinois also has comparative fault laws. This means that if it is determined that the injured party is somewhat at fault for the accident, their claim will be reduced by the same percentage they were determined to have contributed to the accident.

For example, one driver is traveling 10 miles over the speed limit when another driver suddenly pulls out of a parking lot. The first driver is unable to stop in time and the vehicles crash into each other. The second driver is the one who is the most at fault, but the insurance adjuster also determines the first driver contributed to the crash because they were speeding. The adjuster sets that contribution at 20 percent. That means that if the first driver receives an award or settlement for injuries and other damages, the amount received will be reduced by 20 percent.

If you have been injured in an auto accident, contact an experienced Lake County personal injury attorney to find out what legal recourse you have against the at-fault driver. Call the law firm of Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. at 847-662-3303 today to schedule a consultation.



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