How Do Traffic Citations Affect the Outcome of Illinois Car Accident Injury Cases?

Car accidents occur most often because of the negligence of one or both of the people involved. The occurrence of an accident is not negligence in and of itself, and although there are circumstances when an accident is no one’s fault, the overwhelming majority of car accidents happen because somebody made a mistake. 

If the crash is severe enough, a police officer will take a report and perform an investigation. If the accident involves a pedestrian, bicycle rider, or severe injury or death, then accident investigators might take a more in-depth examination into the facts and circumstances of the crash. No matter how thoroughly the police investigate a crash, they have an obligation to cite a driver who violated the law.

Police officers have the authority to give a citation to motorists or arrest a driver, who for example, ran a red light, did not stop at a stop sign, speed, drove carelessly, had improper or malfunctioning safety equipment, failed to yield, failed to remain within marked lanes, drove while distracted, or drove while intoxicated. If one or more of these civil or criminal violations caused your car accident, then you might be able to use the evidence to your benefit.

In most instances, a motorist who pleads guilty to or accepts responsibility for a motor vehicle offense, whether civil or criminal, loses the right to contest his or her role in causing the accident in a subsequent lawsuit for personal injuries that occurred because of the car crash. The plaintiff has the upper hand in that case. Illinois law requires a plaintiff in a car accident lawsuit to prove that the defendant caused the crash, and the injuries were related to the crash caused by the defendant. Taking responsibility for behavior that caused the crash relieves the plaintiff of half of the burden of proving his or her case.


Stein & Shulman, LLC has over 45 years of combined experienced in Illinois Personal Injury Law. You can receive a free and instant case review by calling our office at 312.422.0500.

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