How To Prove You Are Not At Fault In A Car Accident
Being involved in a vehicle accident is a scary experience. The most important thing that anybody can do after a crash occurs is to seek medical care for any injuries they may have sustained. However, after the initial emergency subsides and the dust has settled, fingers will likely begin pointing in all directions.
What we mean by this is that there may be a dispute between the parties involved in the crash about who caused the accident. Unfortunately, car accidents often delve into “he said, she said” scenarios. Here, we want to discuss how you can prove that you were not at fault for an accident.
This is important, particularly if you need to secure compensation because of the actions of the other driver involved. If they can place all or even most of the blame on you, it could hinder your ability to recover the compensation you need.
The evidence you need to prove you were not at fault in a car accident
Car accident victims who have been accused of being at fault for a crash can use various types of evidence to prove otherwise. We always recommend that crash victims use a phone or another device at the scene of a crash to take photographs of vehicle damages, causes of the crash, injuries, traffic and weather conditions, and anything else that may be relevant.
However, this is not the only evidence that could be used to prove you were not at fault. Other types of evidence that you, or your Chicago car accident lawyer, can work to uncover include the following:
- Any video surveillance from nearby cameras
- Statements from eyewitnesses
- “Black box” data from all vehicles involved
- The police report
We strongly encourage that all crash victims work with a skilled personal injury attorney who can walk them through this entire process. An attorney will have the resources necessary to fully investigate the case and properly determined liability.
Illinois is a fault-based car accident state
The state of Illinois operates under a fault-based system concerning car accidents. This means that the person who caused the crash (their insurance carrier) will typically be responsible for paying compensation to the other party or parties involved. This can include covering medical bills, property damage losses, lost wages, pain and suffering damages, and more.
Some other states across the country operate under a no-fault system where any party involved in a crash will turn to their own insurance carrier for compensation, regardless of which party caused the crash. Illinois is not a no-fault state.
Illinois and modified comparative negligence
One critical aspect that any person involved in a vehicle accident needs to know is that Illinois operates under a “modified comparative negligence” system. This means that any person who is found to be more than 50% at fault for an incident will be unable to recover compensation.
Furthermore, any person who is less than 50% responsible for an incident will see their compensation reduced based on their percentage of fault.
For example, if a crash victim sustains $100,000 in medical bills but was 20% responsible for a crash, they would receive $80,000 in compensation instead. If a crash victim is 55% responsible for a crash, they will receive no compensation at all.