Abels & Annes

Red Light Car Accidents Often Lead to Pileups in Chicago

6716(3)Making a mistake or an error while driving can easily lead to a car accident regardless of where you are driving. If you fail to heed Illinois traffic laws, you may place your vehicle in the same location as a secondary car, leading to an impact that could cause a range of damages including injuries to those involved.

One of the most dangerous activities a driver can do while behind the wheel is to ignore a red light. Running a red light is a traffic violation in Chicago and is particularly dangerous as it can lead to a blind collision. Unlike accidents where a motorist can see an impact coming, often a red light collision involves cars traveling at right angles to one another colliding. This means that a victim rarely has enough time to anticipate a crash to take evasive action or to brake, leading to a collision with significant force.

But beyond the initial impact comes another very real possibility: the chance for a pileup or a multi-car crash. Unfortunately, the act of running a red light puts a vehicle against the flow of traffic in an intersection and often affects several cars nearby.

Pileups following a red light car accident may take one of two primary forms: the vehicle running the light may strike several other cars or the vehicle running the red light may strike one vehicle which in turn strikes other cars. Either way, a pileup or multi-car collision results.

If an offending vehicle strikes multiple vehicles, it can be easy for responding police to sort out the facts of the collision. The officers on the scene may be able to conduct a cursory review immediately following the accident and determine that the victims do not bear legal responsibility but rather that the individual running the red light is the sole one to blame. If, on the other hand, an offending motorist strikes only one car in an intersection and that car proceeds to collide with others, a review of the incident may be more complex and may take additional time as the scene may require reconstruction efforts.

Regardless of the form taken in a multi-car collision, it is important for victims of these incidents to understand their rights. First, it is always a good idea to report the collision to local authorities and to give those same authorities your version of events. The information you provide to an officer will be used in creating a police report and that report may provide significant evidence of liability. Second, if you are injured, make sure you obtain immediate medical help as injuries tend to worsen as time passes. With some regularity, personal injury attorneys encounter potential clients whose damages are worse from a collision because they failed to get immediate medical care. Do not make this mistake; instead, seek help if you suspect you are hurt and let a medical professional help you get well again.

Finally, know that you may be entitled to bring a civil claim for your damages against the individual or individuals responsible for the collision whether they are an at-fault driver, the owner of a car, a company or corporation employing the driver, or even a city or municipality. Yet regardless of the option to recover for medical expenses and pain and suffering, it is still best to avoid collisions whenever possible and therefore prevent harm before it manifests itself.

Prior Blog Entry:

Endoscope Cleaning Tools May Be Spreading Superbugs to Patients, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published June 3, 2016.