The early Wednesday morning snow was more than an inconvenience for dozens of Chicago-area drivers. At about 5:00 a.m., a traffic accident involving more than 50 cars shut down parts of the Kennedy Expressway. Attending to a large number of drivers and passengers in a tangle of damaged vehicles is never easy, and first responders faced special challenges because this multi-vehicle accident occurred during a pandemic. That meant special precautions were required as they assessed everyone who might have been injured in the crash.
Ultimately, 45 people were assessed at the scene and 14 of them were sent on to area hospitals.
For those who were injured in the crash, the complications likely aren’t over. The process of determining who was responsible in a large-scale accident like this can be daunting, and often requires the assistance of experts.
Multi-Vehicle Accidents in Illinois
Studies confirm that traffic congestion contributes to multi-vehicle accidents. That’s not a surprise, when you consider that heavy traffic often means that vehicles are following too closely and that it’s difficult or impossible to change lanes quickly when evasive action is required. Throw another risk factor into the mix, like Wednesday’s unseasonable snow, and the danger increases.
But, it’s important to remember that the risk of conditions like wet roads and decreased visibility is reduced when driver’s take proper precautions. Even under adverse conditions, driver negligence usually plays a role in a traffic accident. Some examples include:
● Driving too fast – either exceeding the speed limit or driving too fast for conditions
● Following too close – most rear-end collisions can be avoided by maintaining a safe distance between vehicles
● Distracted driving – turning attention away for just a few seconds can mean the difference between a quick lane change and a collision
● Fatigued driving – some studies suggest that driving without adequate sleep can slow reaction times as much as driving under the influence
In a multi-vehicle accident, it can be difficult to determine who is responsible for your injuries. Even if it is clear who initially triggered the accident, other parties may have played a role in continuing the chain reaction and ultimately involving you and your vehicle in the accident.
For simple illustration, imagine that you are passing through an intersection when a vehicle runs a red light and hits you from the side. As your car starts to spin, the driver who was behind you traveling in the same direction slams into your car. At first glance, it might seem that the fault lies entirely with the driver who ran the red light. The second driver wouldn’t have hit you if the first collision hadn’t occurred. But, it’s not necessarily that simple–and the second driver to hit you may share responsibility. Perhaps he was following too close, or was looking down at his phone, and therefore missed an opportunity to brake or swerve in time to avoid hitting you. If so, the second driver may be partially responsible for your injuries.
Of course, this analysis gets more complex as more vehicles and more drivers are involved in a pile-up. That’s one reason it’s important for anyone who has been seriously injured in a multi-car accident to speak with an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible after the accident. An investigation may be required in order to protect your right to recover damages, and the sooner your attorney can begin collecting evidence, the better. Over time, evidence may be lost or destroyed, witnesses may be hard to find, and memories may fade.
Schedule a Free Consultation
The attorneys at Cassian & Carter LLC put their skills and knowledge to work for injury victims every day. They understand that the aftermath of a serious car accident can be difficult in many ways, and that the last thing you need is the added burden of arguing with insurance companies and wondering how your medical bills will get paid.
We offer free, no obligation consultation to Illinois injury victims, so you can avoid pitfalls and get the information you need to make educated decisions about how to move forward. It’s easy to get started: just call 815-714-9903 or fill out our quick online form.