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How is fault proved in a car accident?

When a car accident happens in Illinois, determining who was at fault may be very important, especially when considering who is liable to pay financial compensation to the other driver. How is fault legally established after the wreck?

First off, the type of crash that happens may make a difference. In a rear-end crash, for example, the trailing car is usually at fault because the law states that drivers need to leave enough room between each other to stop if needed. Even if the front car stops unexpectedly and abruptly, it is up to that second driver to have enough room to stop as well.

In less clear-cut cases, the police are going to investigate. The first thing they'll look for is a sign that someone broke a traffic law. If one driver ran a red light and t-boned another driver, for example, the one who ran the light is clearly at fault.

After their investigation, the police are going to create a report stating what happened and who they believe to be at fault. The insurance company, among others, will then use this report to determine how things should work going forward. Drivers who are seeking compensation for their injuries may also use the report, which can be obtained from the police department, as proof that they were not at fault.

When a police is incorrect for some reason, it can be amended. The driver who wants this to be done simply has to show proof of the mistake that was made.

If you've been involved in a crash, you need to know how fault is established and what it means regarding your legal right to compensation.

Source: FindLaw.com, "Car Accident Liability: Proving Fault in a Car Crash," accessed April. 15, 2015

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