When you’re hurt in an auto accident, the person at fault for your injuries should pay for the damage you’ve suffered. In general, the funds to pay for this harm will come from the insurance company that covers the at-fault or negligent driver, but the process can be long and might require a bit of a fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Learn what to expect during an auto accident case, including the negotiations, compensation, and how a Chicago auto accident attorney can help.
Proving Fault and Negligence
Illinois is a “fault” state for auto accidents. This means that one driver is generally held responsible for the accident, based on the idea that they have been behaving in a negligent manner. Sometimes proving fault is very clear and easy—someone clearly broke the rules and caused an accident. If someone rear-ends another driver because they were going too fast and not paying attention, and several people witnessed the accident, for example, it’s usually pretty clear cut.
If the answer isn’t so clear, you will need to prove three things in court to demonstrate negligence. The first of these is that the other driver owed you a duty of care on the road. This is easy enough to establish; all drivers owe all others a legal duty to operate your vehicle responsibly and with reasonable care. Second, you need to demonstrate that the driver breached that duty—they were not careful or responsible. Finally, you need to demonstrate that their breach of duty is what led to the injuries you suffered.
In some cases, both parties share the blame for the accident. In such situations, the compensation can be lowered (sometimes significantly) based on the balance of comparative fault. This means that you can collect damages from those who are more at fault but only up to the percentage of which they have been found at fault. Thus, if your injury is worth $100,000, but it is found that the other party is only 70% at fault for your injury, you can only collect $70,000 (70%) of the total damages.
This can make negotiating auto accidents very complicated. No insurance company likes to pay out for damages. They will try their best to prove that you were not the one at fault, and they may even try to turn the tables in such a way that opens the door for their client to sue you instead.
Hiring a Chicago Auto Accident Attorney
This is why, if you’re in such an accident in Chicago, you need to hire a competent, qualified and experienced Chicago auto accident attorney. Injury lawyers know exactly how to prove fault, fight back against insurance companies, protect your rights, and get you the maximum compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Any time you’ve been in an accident, your best bet is to talk to a lawyer first. Never volunteer information or sign anything without legal advice. At Disparti Law Group, we’ve helped many auto accident victims in Chicago get compensated for their injuries. We can help you as well. Just give us a call to talk about your case at no cost or obligation today.