Automobile accidents are not always cut and dry. Determining fault in some cases is simple. For instance, quite often when a rear end collision occurs, the driver of the car that initiated contact (the rear vehicle) is typically at fault. That is because in most situations, vehicles are required to maintain a safe distance from cars in front of them, and even if a car in front of you stops short in traffic, a safe distance (typically a single car length) will be quite enough for the oncoming car approaching at a safe speed to stop before impact).
But not everything about vehicular accident liability is as cut and dry. In some cases courts rule that both drivers are indeed at fault. And when that happens plaintiffs may have a fight on their hands.
That is because in the state of Illinois “Modified Comparative Negligence” (that is the term for shared negligence in accident cases) mandates that if a plaintiff bears 50% or more of the blame in a vehicular accident, they are not entitled to any damages in their case. Even if they are found to bear less than 50% of the blame, they are only entitled to the percentage of blame they share in their case. So defendants and their insurers will work overtime to prove that you bear at least 50% of the liability in causing the accident.
If they win, you get nothing for your injuries and any losses in your case.
For drivers looking to bring a personal injury claim against another driver, it becomes all the more important that key steps be taken when filing a personal injury claim in a case where there is a question of possible shared liability.
Drivers should document all of the circumstances around their accident claim: road conditions, sequence of events leading up to the collision, photos of the damage and conditions immediately following the accident and identification of possible witnesses and collection of their contact details, if available.
Drivers should also contact an experienced personal injury attorney who is skilled at negotiation in personal injury claims. The reason is many times, insurers will make a determination of their own regarding fault, and you can bet they won’t be lenient with blame if they can help it. After all, they escape all liability if they can successfully make the case that you are at least 50% at fault.
Seek an attorney who also has experience assembling expert testimony in these kinds of cases. Expert testimony can help utilize evidence collected at the scene of the accident to prove fault or dispute erroneous assertions by the defendant and their insurer suggesting you bear the brunt of the majority of the blame for the accident.
The attorneys at Bizzieri Law Offices in Chicago have a wealth of experience fighting for the rights of our clients in these kinds of cases. We understand the burden of proof, the importance of preserving evidence and pursuing expert testimony to prove your case and get you the highest awards to which you are entitled. Call us today at 773.881.9000 and speak to an attorney about your claim.