category: Car Accidents,Illinois Personal Injury Lawyers,Personal Injuries
How does the state
determine who's at fault?
Understanding Comparative Fault
Before we explain how insurance companies and the police assign liability in an accident, it is important to explain the concept of comparative fault. This is a legal principle used by 46 states—including Illinois—in personal-injury lawsuits such as car crash cases. Under comparative fault, the degree of liability is determined and those responsible for a certain percentage of an accident have to pay damages proportional to that percentage.
It should be noted that there are differences even within in the comparative fault system. Some states use a pure comparative fault model, which means that if, for instance, someone was only 5% responsible for an accident, even though they were not very liable they still can have their settlement or award reduced by 5% to pay for damages to another party. Illinois operates under the modified comparative fault system, and even then there are two different ways to calculate that fault. Illinois uses the "51/49" standard, where only those who were more than 50% at fault for an accident are liable for damages.
Call A Southern Illinois Car Accident Lawyer To Help Determine Fault
After an accident, insurance companies and the police look at all aspects of a car crash to determine liability. Factors like reckless behavior (such as using a phone while driving), negligence (careless driving acts like speeding or not using a turn signal), and witness statements are all taken into consideration. Insurance firms then use complex mathematical formulas to figure out who was responsible for how much of your Southern Illinois car accident. These conclusions are often disputed, which is why it is all the more important to hire an experienced Illinois car accident lawyer to be on your side and take on the insurance companies.
For more than 70 years, the attorneys at Hassakis & Hassakis have helped Southern Illinois accident victims get the compensation they deserve after an accident. Our attorneys will examine your case from all angles to help you find who was at fault, how much they were responsible for your accident, and prepare a legal strategy designed to obtain the best possible outcome. Call 800-553-3125 now or talk to us online to speak with an attorney and schedule a free review of your Illinois car accident case.