When you file an Illinois car accident claim, the main issue at hand is which party is at fault for the accident. If one driver can be found to be completely at fault for the accident, you should be able to settle rather quickly and without hassle, because there is very little to question. However, if the Illinois car accident was partially your fault, your Chicago car accident lawyer will be able to help you with the more involved process of proving the degree of fault.
Illinois Negligence Laws
The state of Illinois follows a modified comparative fault 51% rule. This means that both parties involved in an Illinois car accident can be found to have been negligent and caused part of the accident to occur. As the plaintiff, you cannot be found to be more than 51% at fault for the cause of the accident, or the defense will be found not guilty and your claim will be denied.
Determining the Degree of Fault
Your Chicago car accident lawyer will be able to help you gather and evaluate the necessary evidence to support your Illinois car accident claim. You must present adequate evidence to show the judge or jury that you were less than 51% at fault for the accident or you risk losing your chance to recover damages for your injuries and losses.
Evidence you should be gathering from the moment the accident occurs includes:
- Photographs of the accident scene, vehicles involved, and your injuries;
- Police reports;
- Witness statements, names, and contact information;
- Medical reports and bills associated with the accident; and
- Correspondence with the insurance companies.
The more evidence you have to support that you were less negligent in causing the accident than the other driver, the lower your degree of fault will be.