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Proving liability in car accidents

Motor vehicle accidents often result in significant expenses. These can include the money needed to repair or replace a vehicle, medical bills and other long-term health care costs and increased insurance premiums if a driver is found at fault. Illinois residents who have been involved in car accidents and do not believe they are at fault may be interested in some of the ways to determine and prove accident liability.

One of the best sources of information is the police report. Though officers are not always called in the event of an accident, they are usually called to the scene of wrecks that involve significant damage or injury to the drivers. When called to an accident, the police will write a report which includes the officer’s observances at the scene such as his or her opinion of whether a car was speeding (based on skid marks and other indicators), any traffic tickets issued and thoughts about which driver was responsible for the accident. It may be helpful to ask the officer at the scene how to obtain a copy of the report.

Another source of information that can support liability claims is the vehicle code or state traffic laws. These are the “rules of the road” and can usually be found online or at the local DMV office. Liability can be more easily proved with knowledge of these laws, along with the backing of the police report.

Finally, it is important to know that certain kinds of accidents are almost always the fault of one of the drivers involved. These include wrecks such as rear-end accidents and left-turn collisions. In these cases, one of the drivers is generally always considered liable for damages, and insurance companies rarely argue about complicity.

Though small car accidents are usually resolved by exchanging insurance data, some minor wrecks can result in major injuries. Those in Illinois facing these situations often seek the advice of an attorney. An attorney who is experienced in personal injury litigation can assist in assessing a client’s case, gathering the necessary information to prove liability and helping a victim find financial reparation after an accident.

Source: FindLaw, “Car Accident Liability: Proving Fault in a Car Crash“, Accessed on Nov. 10, 2016