Have You Been Injured in a Chain Reaction Crash?
On a warm summer evening a young couple loaded their three small children into their van and headed out to visit friends. As the family traveled on a busy street, a drunk driver traveling two cars behind them lost control of his vehicle and caused a chain reaction collision. This ultimately caused the couple’s vehicle to spin, flip onto its side and burst into flames. In this scenario, a Chicago chain reaction accident lawyer could help those accident victims.
Multi-car crashes, also known as chain reaction accidents or pile-ups, can occur for a number of reasons. All it takes are vehicles travelling close together in heavy traffic. Then, a driver suddenly hits the brakes, whether for a pot hole or to avoid another driver veering out of his or her lane.
What results is a series of collisions with vehicles plowing into each other. This type of collision becomes increasingly dangerous as motorists are hit with multiple impacts and drivers attempt to exit their vehicles. According to the National Safety Council, motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of occupational fatalities. Further, they are the leading cause of death for people ages 2-39 and ages 50-72.
What Are Common Causes of Chain Reaction Accidents?
Chain reaction accidents can occur in low visibility conditions, such as fog and rain. Here, drivers may have little warning and simply don’t have enough time to stop.
These accidents are also common in Chicago when there is snow and ice on the roads. Often, motorists drive too fast for conditions. If someone breaks in front of them, they might not be able to stop in time. And the vehicle behind them won’t have time to reach either, causing a chain reaction involving 3 or more vehicles.
With more and more drivers on the roads every year, even good drivers are at risk of being involved in a serious automobile accident. In 2018, Illinois had an average of 874 vehicle crashes per day with injuries to just under 11 people per hour. That same year there were 1,035 fatalities as a result of vehicle crashes.
What Should I Do After a Chain Reaction Accident?
- Police Report. If you are able, you should contact the police department and remain at the scene of the accident until the officers tell you that you can leave.
- Exchange Information. Get as much contact information on the other drivers as you can. Write down their insurance information, make note of the location of the incident and the police report number.
- Take Photos. Try to take photographs of the scene of the occurrence and damage to any of the vehicles. Be sure to include license plate numbers in your photographs. Gathering this information will help you move your case forward.
- Medical Treatment. Seek medical attention if needed. Even if you are not in extreme pain, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Sometimes injuries are more serious than you realize.
- Injury Lawyer. Reach out to a car accident attorney for guidance. Do this before talking to an auto insurance carrier, including your own.
What Are Possible Injuries From a Chain Reaction Accident?
Fortunately, in the case of the young couple, the family escaped the burning vehicle with seemingly only minor injuries. They refused ambulance service thinking that everyone was okay, but over the next few days the couple began experiencing pain and stiffness in their necks, shoulders and backs.
Injuries from automobile accidents are not always readily apparent and symptoms may not appear right away. Sometimes it’s strains and sprains of the neck, commonly referred to as “whiplash”. This is caused by the head and next being thrown into hyperextension at the time of impact. The muscles and ligaments are pulled by this motion and can cause chronic and debilitating pain.
Whiplash symptoms can include:
- Neck pain
- Back pain and stiffness
These symptoms don’t always present themselves immediately following the collision. It could be a couple days following the accident. If you’re feeling any pain, you should always seek medical attention following a collision, especially in the case of head trauma.
Of course, there are many other possible injuries from chain reaction accidents, such as:
- Broken bones, some requiring surgery
- Disc herniations
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Ligament injuries, such as a torn rotator cuff or meniscus tear
Should I Take a Quick Settlement?
In the case of the young couple, an insurance company contacted them a day or so after the collision. The adjuster made a quick settlement offer which the family made the mistake of accepting. At the time they didn’t know the extent of their injuries. They didn’t know that they would suffer with neck and back pain for the next several months. Or, how difficult it would be to go to work and take care of their three small children.
They didn’t really know who to blame for the accident so they took the first settlement offer that came to them. They never thought of pursuing the matter any further. The settlement was for just over the cost of their vehicle and didn’t take into account the medical bills.
After a crash, you should contact a chain reaction collision attorney in Chicago as soon as practicable. Otherwise, mistakes can be made at great financial cost to an accident victim.
Who is Liable For a Chain Reaction Car Crash?
With multi-car pile ups, the risk of injury and/or death is not the only issue. There is also the added problem of trying to determine who is liable for the accident.
The liability issues stemming from chain reaction car collisions can be very complex. Weather conditions, road conditions, drivers’ negligence and contributory negligence can all be factors to consider in determining the cause of an accident. A driver can simultaneously be at fault for hitting the vehicle in front of him and possibly be the victim of a collision where he is hit from behind. There might be only 1-2 at fault drivers but numerous people with injuries.
Insurance coverage may come from several sources such as:
- The at-fault drivers insurance
- The at-fault driver’s employers insurance (under certain circumstances)
- Your own insurance in instances where the at fault driver either did not have insurance or did not have enough insurance
Determining the cause of these types of collisions and who is responsible for the damages is sometimes difficult. It can require extensive investigation. The multi-car collision attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. are dedicated to working through all aspects in this type of case and can assist you in reaching a settlement.
Contact a Chicago Chain Reaction Accident Lawyer
The young family we’ve been telling you about didn’t get a fair settlement. They never hired an attorney. Unfortunately, we often receive calls from people who agreed to a settlement too soon and without a legal consultation. Don’t make the same mistake. Call the personal injury lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. today for a free consultation.
With our many years of experience in handling complex automobile accident cases the lawyers at our office can assess your claim and help you bring it to a satisfying conclusion. There is no fee unless you win, so make the call today. Call (855) LAW-CHICAGO. You can also contact us online. We welcome the opportunity to help you.