Some people are eager to lay the blame on anyone else after a collision. Others feel like everyone involved may have played a minor role or think that fault doesn’t matter nearly as much as minimizing the consequences for the people involved.
Regardless of someone’s philosophical stance on personal responsibility and blame, there is little question that fault is an important consideration after a motor vehicle collision. The police officer responding to the crash will take statements from the drivers involved in an attempt to determine who was responsible for the wreck. Why is accurately establishing who is at fault for a crash so important?
Fault determines who has financial responsibility
Driving a car is dangerous not just because people can get hurt but also because they can hurt others. A momentary lapse in judgment might mean that someone causes a crash that puts someone else out of work for the rest of their life. They could also damage someone’s brand-new imported vehicle, which is why liability insurance is so important.
Liability coverage will protect the person who is at fault for the crash by compensating those who incurred financial losses. Fault matters for the purpose of Illinois insurance claims, and it also matters for the purpose of a civil lawsuit. One party seeking compensation will need proof that the other was negligent or perhaps violated traffic laws. Police reports, witness statements, video footage and even professional crash reconstructions can help people accurately establish fault after a wreck, even if the other driver lies.
Even partial fault could affect civil proceedings
Comparative negligence can play a role in a civil lawsuit related to a crash. In Illinois, a defendant can claim that the plaintiff is partially to blame for the wreck. If the courts agree, they can determine their percentage of responsibility for the wreck. That percentage will influence how much compensation the plaintiff receives if the courts rule in their favor.
Those who know they were not to blame for a crash often need to assert themselves when interacting with the police and insurance companies to protect their rights. Understanding why fault is so important to the outcome of a motor vehicle collision and seeking knowledgeable legal support can help those who experience a wreck more effectively protect themselves.