Rear-end collisions may colloquially be referred to as fender-benders. This playful term could negate the severity of the injuries that might result from such an impact.
Oftentimes, individuals who have been through a car accident speak with an insurance adjuster before the symptoms of their injuries have actually developed. This might seriously limit the amount of compensation they may be able to receive if more serious complications manifest later on.
If you have suffered injuries from a rear-end collision, you may be better served by speaking to an Oak Lawn rear-end car accident lawyer before talking to insurance representatives. A dedicated attorney could work on your behalf to protect your right to pursue fair compensation for medical treatment and lost wages.
How Fault is Determined in a Rear-End Collision
The determination of liability in a rear-end car accident could depend on who is—or how many people are—considered negligent. Motorists might be considered negligent if their actions fall short of what a reasonable driver may or may not have done under similar circumstances.
Proving that a motorist was negligent in such a situation may necessitate proving that a duty to exercise reasonable care existed and was breached. Drivers could breach their duty in a number of ways, including:
- Failing to stop within a reasonable time
- Failing to pay attention to the road and look out for hazards
- Failing to yield
- Failing to follow at a safe distance
Illinois has specifically addressed the issue of fault in rear-end collisions with its traffic control laws, providing a presumption of fault against the rear driver in such crashes. While the law does not automatically find the rear driver to be at fault in all cases, the rear driver is typically presumed to have caused the crash, unless evidence—or a dedicated Oak Lawn rear-end car accident lawyer—proves otherwise.
In some cases, the driver of the car that gets rear-ended may be considered negligent as well. If a driver reverses unexpectedly, stops suddenly to execute a dangerous turn, or does not engage the vehicle’s hazard lights after a flat tire, they may be considered negligent for any ensuing wreck. The legal impact may depend on how much the driver’s actions contributed to the car accident.
The Impact of Fault Laws
Illinois follows a “tort” system that employs modified comparative negligence when it comes to determining the damages a plaintiff could receive after a car accident. In practice, this typically means the at-fault party’s insurance company would pay for any damages their client causes, but plaintiffs could also file a car accident lawsuit directly against a liable driver without any restrictions if they so choose.
Comparative negligence means that the plaintiff may be entitled to financial recovery up to the percentage of fault placed on the other driver. For instance, if the other party is deemed 70 percent at fault in a rear-end accident while the plaintiff is deemed 30 percent at fault, the injured plaintiff may be entitled to seek compensation for 70 percent of their total damages.
This compensation may be sought directly from the other party or through their insurance carrier. Either way, assistance from a rear-end car accident lawyer in Oak Lawn may be necessary in order for a plaintiff to receive appropriate compensation for their injuries and losses.
How an Oak Lawn Rear-End Car Accident Attorney Could Help
Gross negligence could result in serious injuries in a variety of circumstances, including in so-called “fender benders.” If you are suffering from any type of medical issue due to your accident, you may be eligible to seek recovery for lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering.
An experienced Oak Lawn rear-end car accident lawyer could help you explore all your legal options and fight to pursue the compensation to which you may be entitled. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call today.