Vehicle Accident Liability

Published on June 8th, 2022

Vehicle accidents can be incredibly complex. What caused the accident? Who is at fault for the accident? When did the accident in a lawsuit occur? Questions like these are common and need to be answered to determine if a party is liable for an accident.

Let’s look at the most common factors and questions that need to be answered in a vehicular accident case. Each section will focus on a specific type of vehicle accident, as there are differences between accidents depending on the vehicles or pedestrians involved.

As with any accident, you should talk to a lawyer before making any decisions with other involved parties, insurance companies, and other accident-related issues or agreements. This article is intended to help people understand who may or may not be at fault.

Vehicle Accident Liability

Liability in car accident cases does not always determine that one party is 100% at fault. Illinois is a comparative fault state, meaning the assignment of liability boils down to who was more at fault. Percentages of fault can be calculated by many different factors.

Comparative fault law is related to modified comparative negligence laws in Illinois. Modified comparative negligence law states that a plaintiff who is ruled to be 49% liable for an accident can seek compensation from a defendant who is liable for the other 51%.

Complicated vehicle accidents, including multiple vehicle accidents and accidents caused by infrastructure or property negligence, can assign percentages of faults to multiple parties depending on the details of the accident.

The first thing most attorneys will do in a vehicle accident lawsuit is determine liability. Determining and proving liability is the most important factor when it comes to deciding whether or not a lawsuit seeking compensation will be successful.

Common Types of Vehicle Accident Liability Lawsuits

  • Personal Injury
  • Compensation (loss of productivity)
  • Punitive Damages
  • Wrongful Death

Learn more about how to legally move forward from an accident from our article on Car Accident Lawsuits & Injuries.

Motorcycle Accident Liability

Motorcycle accident lawsuits function similarly to car accident lawsuits, but there is an important difference. Motorcycles offer less protection than a car or truck, making determining fault for specific injuries very difficult in lawsuits that go to a jury hearing.

This can make motorcycle lawsuits difficult to navigate because jury bias affects how much insurance claims payout. Insurance companies are aware that jury bias for motorcycle accidents exists and have even put lower settlement values on them in some cases.

Lawsuits, where a plaintiff is looking to recoup medical fees, can be contested by arguments involving things like how much personal injury could have been avoided if the plaintiff was in a car. Situations like that illustrate how much jury bias can potentially affect motorcycle accident lawsuits.

Learn more about how to legally move forward from an accident from our article on Motorcycle Accidents & Injuries.

Truck Accident Liability

Lawsuits determining truck liability can become very complex for several reasons.

  • Who owns the truck?
  • Who owns the trailer or cargo?
  • Is liability on the truck, the cargo, or the driver?

Truck accident lawsuits often involve more than one party when liability is being determined. Many truck drivers do not own the trucks they are driving and are therefore more likely to be unaware of potentially dangerous issues with the vehicle they are operating. Truck accidents involving multiple vehicles can be extremely hard to determine who was at fault. Multiple trucking companies and contract drivers can lead to extremely complex legal situations.

It is recommended to contact a lawyer as soon as possible if you were involved in an accident with a truck. This is especially true for truck drivers who don’t own their truck–even if the accident was not your fault, insurance companies may look to you for damages after speaking to your employer or contractor.

Learn more about how to legally move forward from an accident from our article on Truck Accident Lawsuits & Injuries.

Bus Accident Liability

Bus accidents are different from other common vehicular accidents in that they involve government vehicles most of the time. City, county, state, and federal busses are all on the road and can have very different legal liability issues based on where the bus is from.

Public transportation bus accidents are the most common type but, even if a city bus is involved in an accident with a driver from the same city, can still be complicated. Public transportation buses, especially school buses, have certain laws that only apply to them.

Ignorance of the law does not grant immunity from repercussions. It is legally required to stop behind buses in certain situations, many of which the average driver is not aware of.

If you were involved in a bus accident, you need to seek legal counsel as soon as possible. Knowing what you may or may not be liable for in the case of an accident with a government vehicle can keep you from getting hit with potentially damaging fines or settlements.

Learn more about how to legally move forward from an accident from our article on Bus Accident Lawsuits & Injuries.

Pedestrian Roadway Accident Liability

It is imperative to get counsel from a lawyer in an accident situation where a motor vehicle and a pedestrian were involved. Liability will almost always be put on the driver in these types of situations, as drivers are responsible for being aware of their surroundings.

There are rare cases where a pedestrian may be at fault for an accident with a vehicle. These situations can be very hard to litigate and require the full attention of a lawyer or legal team. If you think you are being wrongly accused of injuring a pedestrian while driving and had nothing to do with why the incident occurred, contact a lawyer immediately.

Learn more about how to legally move forward from an accident from our article on Pedestrian Roadway Accident Lawsuits & Injuries.

Bicycle Roadway Accident Liability

Unlike motor vehicle accidents with pedestrians, people on bicycles are often liable for accidents they are involved in. Many cities, counties, and states require bicyclists in the road to follow all traffic laws and know what to do in specific situations while riding a bike on or near the road.

Bicycle laws can vary from city to city, so consulting with a lawyer is imperative if you are implicated in an accident lawsuit. Determining liability in any type of accident typically determines the outcome of a lawsuit–making sure you aren’t at fault in a bicycle accident situation can be tricky, so get the help you need.

Learn more about how to legally move forward from an accident from our article on Bicycle Accident Lawsuits & Injuries.

Contact an Accident Attorney Today

If you or a loved one has been injured in a vehicle-related accident due to the negligence of another person, our experienced attorneys can help you receive compensation for the damages you have suffered. There is no fee unless we obtain compensation for you.

Get a free case review by calling 866-699-3339or‌ ‌complete‌ ‌the‌‌ ‌case‌ ‌request‌ ‌form‌.‌

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