Mark W. Mathys | July 18, 2023 | Car Accidents
Car accidents can be challenging, especially when you are responsible for the collision. Understanding the factors that determine fault is critical to the outcome of your situation.
If you are at fault for a car accident in DuPage County, IL, you should protect yourself by understanding your insurance coverage and hiring a lawyer.
What Steps Should You Take After a Car Accident in Illinois?
Car accidents are stressful, and causing the accident adds to the pressure, but you must remain calm and take the following steps if you can:
- Ensure everyone’s safety by checking for injuries and calling emergency services.
- Gather information while on the scene by exchanging contact and insurance details with the other people involved.
- Document the scene by taking photos, noting the location, and collecting witness information.
- Report the accident. Notify law enforcement and your insurance company.
- Contact a lawyer. If you believe you are at fault in a car accident, having someone on your side who can assess the situation can be crucial to the outcome of your case.
It’s best to consult an attorney before speaking with an insurance adjuster, if possible. An attorney can guide you and tell you what to say (and not say).
What if You Were Only Partially at Fault for the DuPage County Car Accident?
Determining fault in an accident relies on various factors, including state laws. Illinois recognizes modified comparative negligence (51% rule). With modified comparative fault, you may receive damages if you are less than 51% at fault; however, the damages will be reduced.
Being partially at fault does not automatically negate your ability to seek compensation. Even if you bear some responsibility, you may still be eligible for a part of your damages. Thus, it’s important to consult a legal professional who can assess your case and provide guidance.
Your Auto Insurance Coverage
Understanding your insurance policy is paramount, especially when you are at fault for a collision.
Here are some things to consider:
- Liability coverage is required in Illinois. Liability coverage assists with paying for damages and injuries you cause to others due to the negligent operation of a vehicle. The coverage may also pay for a legal defense if you are sued because of the accident. Liability insurance is categorized by bodily injury and property damage.
- Collision coverage is not required in Illinois. But, if you have collision coverage, it may help cover repairs caused by an accident with another vehicle or fixed object.
- Deductibles and limits. Familiarize yourself with your policy’s deductibles and coverage limits. Understanding your coverage will be a significant part of your case if you are at fault in an accident.
You can get precise and up-to-date information on Illinois insurance laws and regulations by reviewing the Illinois Compiled Statutes (ILCS) and contacting an attorney who can provide specific guidance tailored to your situation.
Should I Hire a Lawyer After a Car Accident in DuPage County, Illinois?
Considering there may be significant ramifications if you are at fault for a collision, it’s encouraged that you seek the expertise of a skilled attorney who can provide invaluable help in the following ways:
- Case evaluation. An experienced lawyer reviews the details of your case and suggests the best course of action.
- Investigate the details. After a crash, lawyers will investigate the facts to determine who’s at fault and who should pay.
- Gather evidence. Attorneys gather evidence by including footage of the crash, pictures of the scene, medical records, accident reports, and witness statements.
- Analysis. Lawyers will analyze critical components of your case alongside respected experts and specialists.
- Negotiations. Negotiating with insurance companies is a large part of the value an attorney will bring to your case. Lawyers can handle communication and negotiation with insurance companies on your behalf. Attorneys have experience defending against claims that you are responsible for the collision.
- Litigation support. If your case requires going to court, a lawyer can provide solid legal representation and help protect your rights.
Hiring a DuPage County car accident lawyer depends on your circumstances and personal choice. However, seeking legal representation is generally advisable. Most personal injury lawyers in Illinois offer a free initial consultation, so there’s no harm in seeking advice.