Disputing Fault in a Car Accident Case
If you have been injured or sustained property damage in a vehicle accident in Chicago or throughout Illinois, you likely have various expenses that could become burdensome. If another person caused the crash, they should be responsible for paying your expenses. However, there are times when liability for an incident is disputed. It may even be the case that you were blamed for the accident. Here, our car accident attorneys want to discuss the steps that you need to take to dispute fault in a vehicle accident case so that you can recover the compensation you are entitled to.
Disputing Fault Means Proving The Other Driver Caused the Crash
If you have been blamed for a vehicle accident and you think that the other driver(s) was at fault, then you will have to provide proof of your claims. Determining fault can be tricky, but there are various types of evidence that can be gathered to help make her case.
Your number one goal will be to show that the other driver was negligent. Negligence behind the wheel occurs when another driver fails to exercise reasonable care to keep others around them safe. Typically, this means that another driver failed to follow traffic laws and caused an accident.
Some of the evidence that can be used to determine liability can be gathered at the scene of the crash by using a cell phone or another device to take photographs of:
- Vehicle damage
- Traffic and weather conditions
- Skid marks
- …and more
Additionally, if there were any eyewitnesses to the crash, their names and contact information should be gathered so that they can be contacted later on and asked about what they saw. Eyewitnesses can provide testimony to insurance carriers or a personal injury jury if necessary.
If another driver was issued a traffic citation or criminally charged for their actions in causing a crash, this could be used as evidence in a personal injury case to prove fault.
Some vehicle accident cases are more challenging than others. It may be necessary to work with accident reconstruction experts who can use the evidence that has been gathered, visit the crash scene, inspect the vehicles, and create complex digital 3D renderings of what happened.
What if You Were Partially At-Fault?
Even if it turns out that you were partially at fault for a vehicle accident, you may still be able to recover compensation for your losses. Illinois operates under a “modified comparative negligence” system. This means that drivers are able to recover compensation so long as they are less than 50% responsible for their own injuries. Any driver 50% or more responsible for a crash will not be able to recover compensation for their losses.
However, the total amount of compensation an injury victim receives will be reduced based on their percentage of fault for the incident. For example, if a driver sustained $100,000 worth of medical bills, but a jury determines that they were 30% responsible for the incident, then they would receive $70,000 instead of the full $100,000.
Working With an Attorney
If you or somebody you care about has been blamed for a vehicle accident that you think you did not cause, you need to work with a skilled Chicago personal injury attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can use their resources to gather all the evidence necessary to prove exactly what happened in the vehicle accident. An attorney will be able to handle all negotiations with insurance carriers, and they will be able to represent you at trial as necessary.