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Shay & Associates

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Who is responsible if I’m hurt in a rear-end crash?
Timothy Shay

You were just wrapping up running errands on a Saturday afternoon. After finishing grocery shopping, you are on the way home when you have to stop for a sudden red light. However, the driver behind you doesn’t slow down. In a second, the driver plows into your car.

You know instantly after the rear-end crash that your back and neck hurt – a lot. You also feel dizzy and have a terrible headache. You may have a concussion too. After calling 911 and making a police report for the accident, you seek medical treatment. But you’re worried. Who is going to pay to treat your injuries? What if you have to miss work for a few days while you recover?

Illinois and at-fault insurance

Illinois is at at-fault auto insurance state. That means the insurance company of the driver at-fault for causing the accident will pay toward an injury or lost wages claim. To determine who is at fault in an accident, insurance companies will review the police report and any accident evidence. If another driver hit your vehicle in a rear-end accident, that driver is most likely at fault. However, if more than one vehicle was involved in the crash, another party could be at fault (perhaps the driver of a car that pushed another vehicle into yours).

In Illinois, as in many other states, drivers can be only partially at fault for an accident. So, if a driver is 80% at-fault for an accident, their insurance should cover 80% of any injury costs.

Getting compensation for injuries

It’s not uncommon for insurance companies to delay covering your injury costs. Or to claim that a pre-existing condition is the reason for your injury or your injury isn’t as severe as you reported. When you have serious injuries after an accident, you need to consult a personal injury attorney. An attorney can review your situation and help ensure you get maximum compensation for injuries.