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Anyone who has experienced the unfortunate event of being involved in a car accident knows firsthand just how stressful the aftermath can be. Regardless of who caused the collision or how minor or major the damage, navigating the insurance claim process, tending to any injuries, and dealing with vehicle damage is often downright overwhelming.
Who is at Fault?
Following an auto accident, many questions arise as you begin the process of assessing the damage, exchanging insurance information, filing a claim, and reporting injuries. One of the first concerns is typically who will pay for repairs and any medical bills that are incurred. While your insurance agency might be capable of explaining your policy, it does no good if you do not understand your rights or what that policy means in the first place. It is important to know who is at fault and who is responsible for what expenses.
Although auto insurance policies vary greatly in terms of coverage, the state of Illinois has certain laws that stand across the board, regardless of what insurance carrier you work with and what coverage you have. For example, the “comparative negligence” law (735 ILCS 5/2-1116) states that more than one person can be considered at fault for a car accident. If you are fifty percent or less at fault for the accident, you are eligible to collect damages. In general, each driver’s insurance company will investigate the claims, and then determine whether or not the drivers are responsible for any injuries or damages. A settlement may then offered, provided that you sign a release statement.
After the Claim
You might be asked to provide more than one estimate to your insurance company. There are no state laws that place a limit on estimates or restrictions in terms of where you take your car for the estimate. You may choose any repair shop you would like. Illinois state law also gives you the option to keep your car if it is totaled. However, you may only keep a totaled car if it is nine years old (or older).
Where Do I Turn for Help?
Thankfully, motorists in Illinois are required by law to carry certain levels bodily injury and property damage liability insurance to account for any damages they might cause in an auto accident. Should you be involved in an accident, a knowledgeable DuPage County personal injury attorney can help you understand your rights. Call the offices of Martoccio & Martoccio at 630-920-8855 to schedule your free initial consultation today.