ometimes, auto accidents are pretty straightforward in determining which driver is at fault. Then the victim gets compensated for damage to his or her vehicle and health by the person responsible for the accident (who is usually represented by an insurance company).
But other times, the liability issues aren’t quite as clear cut. This is more common when multiple vehicles are involved, or when each driver in a two-vehicle accident believes that the other is to blame. In these complex situations, how do we determine who is at fault in an auto accident?
In almost all cases, we turn to the law for guidance. The Rules of the Road are found in the section of the Illinois Motor Vehicle Code which governs what you can and cannot do on Illinois streets and highways. When looking at a wreck, whichever party broke the law is usually the one responsible for causing a collision.
Here are some of the most frequent traffic violations which lead to motor vehicle accidents:
• Speeding or driving too fast for road or weather conditions• Failing to stop at a red light or a stop sign• Following too closely (or failure to properly slow a vehicle to avoid a collision)• Failure to yield the right of way while making a left turn or at a posted yield sign• Failure to yield the right of way to a pedestrian• Failure to yield the right of way when exiting a driveway• Failure to stay in a single lane or making an unsafe lane change• Turning or changing lanes without signaling• Attempting an unsafe turn• Loss of control of the vehicle• Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
If both drivers commit one or more of these violations, then they both may be held partially liable for the crash. An example is if two vehicles both run a stop sign and collide in an intersection which is regulated by a four-way stop. However, there are certain scenarios where a driver who breaks the law may not be to blame for an accident. For instance, if a car runs a red light through an intersection, but then crashes into a pickup truck which is making an illegal U-turn in the roadway, the fault in the collision may lie solely with the pickup truck driver. That’s because the accident would not have occurred had the driver of the pickup obeyed the law.
A qualified Illinois auto accident attorney can help you determine who is to blame in a given accident scenario. A lawyer can also assist you in gathering evidence, contacting insurance companies, and even filing a personal injury lawsuit if necessary. So don’t hesitate to contact an attorney if you think that you have been victimized in an auto accident by someone else’s negligence.