I Was Hurt in a Car Accident That I Caused; Now What?

I Was Hurt in a Car Accident That I Caused; Now What?After a car accident, you may feel overwhelmed and anxious, especially if you think you caused the crash.. This is normal as your adrenaline is most likely pumping, which can cause your mind to start racing. While this is expected, it is important to know that there could be several circumstances involved that you are unaware of, meaning that you could not be as at fault as you think you are.

What does it mean to be at fault?

Being at fault means that you behaved negligently, causing the crash. Negligence could include actions like driving carelessly or recklessly, speeding and weaving in and out of traffic, which led to the collision. As a driver, you have a duty of care to uphold, meaning you must act responsibly to prevent harm. If you breach this duty of care and cause a car accident, you can be considered at fault.

Is Illinois a comparative negligence state, and what does this mean?

Yes, Illinois follows  comparative negligence laws. This means you can recover compensation if you are less than 50% at fault for the accident. If you are found to be 60% at fault, you cannot claim compensation. However, if you are 25% at fault, you can still receive compensation, but it will be reduced by 25%.

How is fault determined in a car crash?

Fault for a car accident is typically determined by insurance companies through an investigation. They assess whether a party acted negligently.  A person is considered negligent when they behave or fail to behave in a certain manner that a reasonable person usually would or would not. If it is determined that you acted negligently in any way, you may be at least partially to blame for the accident. Here are some examples of negligence that could result in fault being assigned:

If the fault is unclear, consulting a lawyer can help. They will investigate the crash details and determine if you contributed to the accident.

What are my options if I am at fault for the accident?

If you are more than 50 percent at fault for a car accident, you cannot sue the other driver. However, you may be able to file a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) claim with your own insurance company. No matter what degree of fault you had in the accident, PIP is a type of insurance coverage that will pay for your medical bills and lost wages after you are involved in a car accident. It ensures that you are able to obtain the medical treatment that you need as soon as possible, making it very beneficial to both car accident victims and at-fault drivers.

You may also have Medical Payments (Med Pay) coverage. This is another type of coverage that will cover your medical bills if you are injured in a crash. Just like PIP, it does not matter whether you are at fault for the accident; you can still choose to use Med Pay to pay for your medical expenses.

However, since it is not mandatory to have PIP or Med Pay in Illinois, many people opt out of these helpful insurance options to save money. Therefore, it is a good idea to reach out to your insurance company, review your insurance policy, and ask whether you have PIP or Med Pay at your earliest opportunity. If not, or if your expenses exceed the coverage limit, you may still have options. A lawyer can investigate further and potentially find that you are less at fault than initially thought, helping you seek compensation.

Should I tell my insurance company that I caused the accident?

No, you should not admit fault to your insurance company. Avoid making statements that suggest you are to blame, such as “I did not see her” or “I was distracted.” Instead, let the insurance company investigate while you consult with a lawyer to protect your interests.

The car accident attorneys at Glisson Law are experienced, skilled, and knowledgeable in all types of car accidents. Therefore, we know and understand how easy it is to get caught up in your head and thoughts after a crash. It is human nature to feel guilty and point fingers at yourself. However, our team is here to let you know that even if you contributed to an accident, you may still be able to obtain compensation to pay for your medical bills, property damage, lost income, pain and suffering, and more. To begin going over your accident and finding out your legal options, please call our office or complete our contact form today. We are based in Alton but proudly serve clients in Belleville, Edwardsville, Springfield, St. Clair and Madison Counties, all of Southwestern Illinois, and Missouri.