How is fault determined in a car accident?

| Jul 11, 2017 | car accidents

If you have been in a car accident in Illinois, one of your first thoughts was likely who was at fault. Obviously, it is best if someone else caused the accident because it will ensure you are not at risk for a citation or insurance issues. However, it may not always be so clear as to who was responsible. According to Zeiler Insurance, there are some situations where determining fault may require some investigation.

A good example is a rear end collision. It is often assumed if you hit another car from behind, you are at fault. This is based on the assured clear distance law where you are required to keep a safe distance behind other vehicles. However, if there were other factors at play preventing you from stopping, then you may not be found at fault or comparative negligence may come into play, reducing the percentage of your responsibility. This could lead to a lower liability and fewer damages you owe.  

Typically, though, fault is determined through the law enforcement investigation. This investigation will consider road laws and who was breaking the law when the accident occurred. Witnesses may be asked to provide their accounts of the accident, too. You will probably be asked for your version of the events, along with any other drivers and passengers involved. Most often, despite differences in perception, a clear picture of what happened emerges. Along with physical evidence, such as damage to the vehicles, roadway and nearby structures, the statements usually enable the law enforcement officer to make an educated determination of fault. This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.