Determining Fault In an Illinois Car Accident
In Illinois, a driver found to be legally responsible for a car accident will be liable for all damages including car repairs, property damages, and medical bills for personal injuries.
Illinois Fault Laws
Illinois is an at-fault or “tort” state, which means the driver who causes a car accident is liable for the other driver’s property damages and medical bills. The at-fault driver’s insurance company is responsible for payments, unless the insurer denies the claim. In some cases, coverage may be denied based on investigations of accident details that show fault on the part of another driver.
Illinois drivers are required by law to carry the state’s minimum liability insurance coverage: $20,000 for property damages, and $25,000/$50,000 for bodily injuries. This coverage pays for claims filed by another driver, if the insured party causes the car accident. In addition, the insurance company will pay for the cost of an Illinois car accident lawyer, if the injury victim files a personal injury lawsuit. If a vehicle is financed, the finance company typically requires additional insurance coverage over the state’s minimum liability requirements.
When a car accident occurs, Illinois law requires all drivers involved in the accident to stop and call the police to report the accident. Police officers then respond to the accident scene and gather basic information from all parties including names, addresses, driver’s license numbers, and insurance information. The scene is also closely examined for pertinent evidence that determines fault for the car accident. Insurance companies use this evidence, as well as doing private investigations, to determine who’s at fault for the accident and who’s liable for damages.
In some vehicle accidents, more than one driver may be found responsible for the accident so liability for damages may be shared. One driver may be found to be 30 percent at fault, while another driver is found to be 70 percent at fault. Illinois has modified comparative negligence laws, which means if a driver is 50 percent or more at fault, he/she is not permitted to collect any compensation from the other driver for damages.
When Illinois car accidents involve multiple drivers and shared fault, insurance claims may become more complicated. A Chicago car accident lawyer can provide legal advice and deal with insurance companies to ensure the best outcome. If an insurer refuses to pay an injury claim, the car accident lawyer can pursue legal action through a civil lawsuit.