A serious car accident can leave you with debilitating injuries, and if you intend to file a claim for damages from the negligent driver or from an insurance company, you may encounter the complicated process of proving fault or liability. In most cases, you will need to establish negligence in order to file a successful claim.
This article will explain a few factors that the courts may consider when determining who is at fault:
Most car crashes are by definition an accident, but that does not mean that at least one individual was negligent or careless. Under these circumstances, liability becomes an issue. According to the Illinois Department of Insurance, many people have liability insurance to cover themselves in these situations.
While some accidents are the result of more than one driver behaving carelessly, in most cases, one motorist is typically more negligent than the others. Usually that individual will be responsible for covering the damages of the collision.
Most courts will determine liability using a combination of the following five elements:
Injured Person’s Location
The court will consider the location of the injured person when determining liability, according to the Illinois Vehicle Code. If the victim was in a place where he or she should not have been or where the at-fault driver would not have reasonably expected him or her to be, the court may rule that there was no duty to be cautious toward the victim.
Carelessness on Behalf of the Injured Person
The jury may reduce the compensation if the injured person was also careless. The jury will typically determine how careless the injured person was and reduce the claim amount accordingly. Illinois.gov defines this process as comparative negligence.
The employer of the motorist who caused the crash is usually responsible for any injuries or property damage.
If a jury agrees that a defective product caused the accident, the product manufacturer may be liable for the damages. In this situation, an expert witness may need to prove that the product was defective in order for the claim to proceed.
Poorly Maintained Property
If a property owner does not adequately maintain his land or property, a jury may decide that he or she is responsible for the accident and any subsequent damages.
Do you need help with an automobile accident?
If you were in a serious Illinois accident, a Chicago accident attorney may be able to help determine liability in the crash, as well as file a claim for lost wages and medical expenses. Call us today at (800)-985-1819 to schedule a free consultation or submit an inquiry through our confidential Contact Us Today web form.