The cause of a car accident is not always obvious. It is also not necessarily just one person’s fault. For example, Joan ran into a pedestrian who had been crossing the street. The pedestrian, George, had been crossing against the light and did not check traffic before entering the street. Joan, however, failed to yield right of way to George because she did not see him. Joan immediately felt the accident was her fault and wondered what she should do next.
Illinois is an at-fault state
In Illinois, the drivers involved in a car accident have to prove that the other party was at fault. However, Illinois also uses modified comparative fault or modified comparative negligence to help determine compensation in auto accident cases.
This means that a party seeking compensation from another party must be less ‘at fault’ than the other driver. Generally, a party found to be 51% to 100% at fault receives little or no compensation.
For example, George sues Joan for the injuries he suffered in the accident. The case goes to trial, where the jury awards George $100,000. However, they also find that George was 51% at fault because he did not obey traffic laws or check before stepping out in front of Joan. George probably will receive 0% of the $100,000 award.
One of the worst things you can do after an accident is tell people at the scene that you caused the accident. Be honest, but do not apologize or take the blame. At that point, you may not know exactly what happened.
Also, you need to report your accident to your insurer. At some point, you may even have to talk to the other driver’s insurance company. Consult with an attorney before you talk to anyone about the accident, especially if you feel at fault.
We can help
We’re here to help you through the aftermath of your auto accident. Schedule a free initial consultation with Osvaldo Rodriguez, a lawyer with over 20 years’ experience representing people like you. Just call us at 708-716-3441 or fill out the Contact form on our website.
Mr. Rodriguez is fluent in both Spanish and English.
We represent clients throughout the state of Illinois, including Cook, DuPage, Will, and Kane Counties.