Car Accident Liability: Who Pays for a Car Accident Lawsuit?

Learn more about Car Accident Liability and how Car Accident Lawyers can help you secure an adequate settlement.

Car Accident Liability Information and Overview

Question: Who pays for a car accident lawsuit?

Answer: Car accident liability depends on several factors, so it’s best to consult a legal professional to discuss your exact situation.

That being said, typically, the at-fault driver and their insurance company are responsible for covering the damages in a personal injury claim.

The amount they pay depends on the degree to which they were at fault.

On this page, we’ll discuss this question in further depth, what to do after you’ve been in a car accident, who qualifies to file a car accident lawsuit, and much more.

Car Accident Liability; Car Accident Lawsuit; Car Accident Claim; Car Accident Lawyer; Car Accident Attorney; Car Accident Settlement Amounts; Car Accident Lawyers

Intro to Car Accident Liability

Car accidents can happen to anyone, and when they do, the question of who’s at fault and who pays for the aftermath becomes a pivotal concern.

Who pays for a car accident lawsuit?

How do we determine car accident liability?

If your accident was no fault of your own, it’s the at-fault driver and the driver’s insurance company who should pay for the damages.

How much your accident settlement will be depends on the degree to which the other driver was at fault.

Knowing this, you must enlist the services of an experienced car accident lawyer.

An experienced car accident lawyer can prove that the other driver was responsible for the accident, enabling you to claim 100% of the settlement in your car accident claim.

We are here to help you get the most out of the car accident settlement process.

Contact TorHoerman Law for a free consultation.

You can also use the chatbot on this page to find out if you qualify for a car accident lawsuit instantly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Typically, the at-fault driver and their insurance company are responsible for covering the damages in a personal injury claim.

However, the amount they pay depends on the degree to which they were at fault.

Negligence refers to a failure to act with a reasonable degree of care.

If a driver fails to adhere to traffic regulations or shows recklessness that results in an accident, they are considered negligent.

Negligence-based liability focuses on a driver’s failure to act according to the standard of care, often related to traffic rules.

Strict liability, on the other hand, can involve other parties like car manufacturers and is based on the inherent danger or defect of a product or action, regardless of negligence.

Comparative negligence considers the fault of all parties involved.

If you’re found partly at fault, your compensation may be reduced by the percentage of your fault.

Some states follow a modified version, where if you’re more than 50% at fault, you might not be entitled to any compensation.


Pure comparative negligence allows for a reduction of settlement based on your fault percentage.

Meanwhile, modified comparative negligence has a threshold (often 50%) beyond which you cannot claim any compensation.

Proper evidence, such as eyewitness testimonies, police reports, dash-cam footage, and medical records can provide clear insights into the circumstances of the car crash.

This can be pivotal in determining liability and maximizing your settlement to compensate for all damages, including serious injuries, lost wages, and more.

Car accident claims can be intricate, and insurance companies might try to minimize payouts even if victims have severe injuries.

An experienced attorney will protect your rights, gather necessary evidence, negotiate with insurance adjusters, and, if required, represent you in court to ensure you get a fair settlement.

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You May Be Eligible To File a Lawsuit if Your Accident Was Due to Another Driver's Negligence

Sometimes, your adherence to road regulations cannot prevent an accident caused by another driver’s negligence.

This is a classic example of a situation in which you may be eligible to initiate a car accident lawsuit.

If your accident was due to another driver’s carelessness or recklessness, you can file a personal injury claim against the other driver.

However, doing this requires proving the other driver’s negligence.

Negligence is the failure to act in alignment with a reasonable degree of care.

By being negligent, drivers can cause car accidents that  harm other motorists and bystanders, making them liable to compensate victims who file car accident lawsuits.

Types of Liabilities in Car Accident Cases

Not all liability is the same.

Understanding the different types can make all the difference when it comes to determining car accident liability.

In car accident lawsuits, there are two types of liability:

  1. Negligence-based liability
  2. Strict liability

Negligence-Based Liability

Negligence-based liability is the more traditional approach to determining car accident liability.

Negligence is the result of a driver’s failure to act based on the minimum standard of care.

Drivers can be deemed negligent if they fail to operate their vehicles based on standards.

Standards can include traffic rules.

By failing to observe traffic rules, negligent drivers place other motorists and pedestrians in harm’s way — something no reasonable driver in the right frame of mind would do.

Proving negligence is key if you’re filing a lawsuit seeking damages.

However, in some states like Illinois and Missouri, you can recover only a percentage of compensation if you’re found to have the slightest fault in your accident.

This is where the concept of comparative negligence comes in.

Strict Liability in Car Accident Claims

In car accident cases, there may be different parties involved besides the driver.

Sometimes, the party to blame isn’t the other driver; it’s the manufacturer of the defective vehicle that caused the accident.

In this scenario, the car manufacturer is liable based on strict liability.

Strict liability is a legal concept that holds a party liable for damages or injuries caused by their actions or products, regardless of their degree of fault or negligence.

Unlike the standard negligence-based approach, strict liability imposes responsibility based on the inherent danger of certain activities or products.

In the context of car accidents, strict liability may come into play when a defective vehicle component — such as brakes or tires — contributes to the accident.

In such cases, the manufacturers or distributors of the faulty party may be held strictly liable for the resulting damages.

They will still retain car accident liability even if they can demonstrate that they took reasonable precautions and care.

Comparative Negligence in Car Accident Lawsuits

At a glance, it’s easy to see why a reckless and negligent driver should pay for all your damages.

However, by Illinois state law (and Missouri’s), fault isn’t binary — it’s presumed to be the result of both the injured driver (you) and another driver.

In this case, the settlement amount is determined and awarded based on the concept of comparative negligence.

Comparative negligence is a legal principle used to determine liability in cases where multiple parties share responsibility for an accident or injury.

Unlike strict liability — which focuses on the inherent defect or dangerousness of a product or activity — comparative negligence assesses the degree to which each party contributed to the incident.

This concept recognizes that accidents often result from a combination of factors, and it aims to apportion responsibility based on each party’s level of fault.

There are two forms of comparative negligence:

  1. Pure comparative negligence
  2. Modified comparative negligence

Pure Comparative Negligence: Recovering a Portion of Your Settlement Even if You Were Partly At-Fault

Under this system, each party’s degree of fault is calculated, and their compensation is adjusted accordingly.

For instance, if one driver is deemed 70% at fault and the other 30%, the driver found 70% responsible would be entitled to 30% of the total damages.

Missouri is a pure comparative negligence principle state.

This means that in Missouri, you still get to keep some a portion of your settlement even if you were partly at fault for your accident

Modified Comparative Negligence Principle

On the other hand, some states like Illinois will disqualify you from recovering compensation if you’re more than 50% to blame for your car accident.

This is because Illinois follows the modified comparative negligence principle.

The modified comparative negligence principle has a threshold beyond which a party is barred from seeking compensation.

Often, the limit is 50%.

If a party is 51% at fault, that driver or individual would be completely ineligible to receive any compensation.

By comparison, a party found 49% at fault could still seek compensation, but it would be reduced to account for their degree of fault.

Critical Elements for Determining Car Accident Liability

The car accident lawsuit process is all about establishing an at-fault driver’s liability.

To this end, you and your car accident attorney must prove the presence of several elements to shift all liability to the other party and the party’s insurance adjusters.

To recover a fair settlement, you need the following:

  1. Evidence
  2. Duty of care
  3. Causation
  4. Damages

Evidence in Car Accident Claims

Evidence should show the details of what happened during the incident.

Pieces of evidence that you will need include eyewitness testimonies and the police report.

These pieces of evidence will detail the circumstances of the accident.

They will also be critical in showing how the other part was at fault in your auto accident.

It is highly recommended that you purchase a dash-cam, as they come in handy when determining liability in car accident claims.

Duty of Care in Car Accident Cases

Proving negligence requires you and your attorney to show that the other driver violated standards of care.

In the context of your accident, the standards of care are traffic laws.

By showing what violations the other driver committed, you place as much liability on the other driver as possible.

This sets you up for a maximized car accident settlement.

Causation in Car Accidents

Not all forms of negligence will warrant a lawsuit.

For you to be eligible for a lawsuit, you must prove that the other driver’s negligence caused the accident and the resulting injuries you’ve suffered.

Proving causation can be tricky during a car accident lawsuit.

This is why you need an experienced personal injury lawyer representing you in your auto accident settlement claim.

Damages in Car Accident Lawsuits

Lastly, you must show that your car accident injuries led to several damages.

Damages can be economical or non-economical.

Economical damages include the following:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Rehabilitative expenses
  • Property damage like vehicle repairs

On the other hand, non-economic damages are intangible.

This means they are emotional and psychological losses or injuries suffered following your car accident.

Here are some of the non-economic damages your claim may include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of companionship (especially if someone died during the accident)

Calculating damages will be tricky.

This is why hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer is critical to recovering compensation for your medical expenses, property damages, legal fees, and non-economic damages.

The Importance of Hiring an Experienced Car Accident Attorney

Car accident claims can be lengthy and complex and will necessitate expert legal representation and guidance.

If you find yourself in the middle of an auto accident lawsuit, you need to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer.

An experienced car accident attorney will carefully look into the details of the accident, collect important evidence, and talk to witnesses.

By doing so, your attorney will work hard to figure out who’s responsible, ensuring that you remain entitled to as much of the car accident settlement as possible.

When dealing with insurance companies, they’ll use their expertise in determining liability to make sure your rights are upheld and you get a fair settlement.

If negotiations don’t work out, your lawyer will be ready to take your case to court, fighting for what you’re entitled to in front of a judge and jury.

If you need an attorney to fight for your rights in and out of court, look no further.

Contact TorHoerman Law for a free legal consultation.

You may also use the chatbot on this page to find out if you have a car accident case instantly.

Maximize Your Settlement With the Top Car Accident Law Firm in the Midwest: TorHoerman Law

As you navigate the period of time after a car accident, you will need experts guiding you and advocating for your rights every step of the way.

That’s where we come in.

Our personal injury lawyers have recovered significant amounts of money in lawsuits seeking damages, compensating victims for wrongful death of a loved one and catastrophic injuries by establishing driver liability and driver negligence.

Our track record is a testament to how aggressively we fight for every client’s rights in and out of court.

Ensure that you get the most out of your car accident lawsuit.

Contact TorHoerman Law for a free consultation.

You can also use the chatbot on this page to find out if you qualify for a car accident and personal injury lawsuit instantly.

Tor Hoerman

Tor Hoerman

Owner & Attorney - TorHoerman Law



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TorHoerman Law is an extraordinary law firm – a firm that truly makes the client’s best interests the primary concern. Their team of personal injury lawyers are experienced, personable, and well versed in a range of litigation areas. They are supported by a dedicated team of staff that are as equally friendly and helpful. I would recommend TorHoerman Law for any personal injury litigation needs.

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