Shea Law Group Has Been a Family Owned Practice Since 1997

4 minutes read

What You Need to Know About Illinois’ At-Fault Laws

Published by Joseph Shea

Car accident Claims in Chicago

Driving through the bustling streets of Chicago comes with its set of risks, including the unfortunate event of car accidents. When such mishaps occur, understanding the nuances of Illinois’ at-fault laws is crucial for any driver, passenger, or pedestrian involved. Illinois follows an at-fault insurance system, which means that the driver who is responsible for causing the accident is liable for the damages.

The Basis of Illinois’ At-Fault System

The at-fault system is also known as a “tort” system. It differs from no-fault systems, where drivers turn to their own insurance coverage first, regardless of who caused the accident. In Illinois, the person who is at fault for the collision is, along with their insurance company, responsible for paying out compensation. This may include payments for medical bills, property damage, pain and suffering, and other costs incurred by the victims.

Determining Fault in Chicago Car Accidents

Determining who is the at-fault party in a car accident involves assessing negligence. In legal terms, negligence is the failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances. The determination process can involve traffic laws, eyewitness testimonies, vehicular damage, accident scene evidence, and police reports. Sometimes, it’s straightforward; other times, it may require extensive investigation and accident reconstruction experts.

Chicago’s congested roads often lead to complex accident scenarios, where multiple parties may share the blame. Illinois law acknowledges this through modified comparative negligence. This means that a car accident victim’s ability to recover damages is reduced by a percentage equal to their share of fault in causing the accident. However, if they are found to be more than 50% at fault, they cannot recover any damages from the other involved parties.

Insurance Claim Process in Illinois

After an accident occurs, the involved parties or their insurance companies will start an investigation to determine fault. It involves collecting statements from drivers, passengers, and witnesses; reviewing medical reports; and examining vehicle damages. Once fault is established, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will begin the compensation process.

Illinois requires drivers to carry minimum amounts of liability insurance: $25,000 for injury or death of one person in an accident, $50,000 for injury or death of more than one person, and $20,000 for damage to property. Unfortunately, these minimums may not cover all the damages in a serious accident, which is why many drivers carry additional coverage.

Challenges in Car Accident Claims

The process may not always be smooth sailing. Insurance companies are businesses, after all, and their profits depend on minimizing payouts. Adjusters may try to undervalue claims or dispute the extent of your injuries. They may also delve into the technicalities of the accident to reduce their policyholder’s liability by finding evidence of comparative negligence.

Legal Implications and Your Claim

For victims, this process can be daunting, especially when dealing with injuries, medical treatment, and financial strain due to lost work. Documenting everything from the accident scene, keeping track of medical treatment, and maintaining records of all expenditures related to the accident is essential.

The Importance of Legal Assistance

Understanding at-fault laws in Illinois is just the first step in navigating the aftermath of a car crash. An experienced personal injury attorney becomes an invaluable ally in this complex process. They can help establish the other party’s negligence, advocate for your full legal rights, and ensure that insurance companies respect your claim’s value. They’re also crucial in negotiating fair settlements and can take your case to trial if necessary to seek the compensation you deserve.

Working with an experienced Chicago car accident lawyer can be pivotal in your recovery journey after a car accident. They provide the legal expertise to navigate Illinois’ intricate at-fault laws and the dedicated representation needed to fight for your interests. With their knowledge and experience, you can focus on what matters most—your recovery and well-being—while they handle the legal burdens.

Remember, the road to recovery after a motor vehicle accident is both a physical and a legal path. Having a seasoned car accident attorney by your side can make all the difference in reaching a successful destination.

Recent Posts
Request a FREE Case Evaluation Now!

Our representation costs nothing until you recover compensation for your injuries. Please call us at 773-365-0040 or contact us online for a consultation to discuss your personal injury case.

    Client Testimonials

    "My Experience with Shea Law Group was excellent. Joseph Patrick Shea gave my case all the attention that was needed to be successful, the rapport and guidance was outstanding at all times, prompt, timely and open for calls and quick updates. Highly recommend their services, simply very professional from start to finish, also the whole legal team was very responsive, professional and empathic, thank you for your hard work, I couldn’t have asked for a better firm. Thank you again SHEA LAW GROUP." - Anna A.