A car accident between two vehicles can cause serious injury and damage. However, the more vehicles involved increases the risk of additional injury and damage. Multiple vehicle collisions (MVCs) can also make it more difficult for the injury victim to recover damages after the crash.
There may be more at stake after a multi-vehicle accident so make sure you understand your rights before talking to the other drivers’ insurance companies. If you were involved in an accident with multiple vehicles in Aurora or the Chicago area, contact the Cullotta Bravo Law Group today.
Multiple Vehicle Accidents in Illinois
A multiple vehicle accident is a traffic collision involving three or more vehicles. A multi-vehicle accident can occur just about anywhere. However, multi-car collisions are more common on high-speed and high-capacity freeways and highways. Causes of multi-vehicle collisions include:
- – Low visibility
- – Road hazards
- – Ice storms or blizzards
- – Black ice
- – Snowy conditions
- – Heavy rain
- – Speeding
- – Tailgating
For example, in the early morning on a Saturday, a family is driving out to Starved Rock State Park on I-80. Suddenly, a thick fog begins rolling in across the highway, making it more difficult to see. The driver slows down but not in time to stop before running into a stopped vehicle on the shoulder of the road. Because of the low-visibility, a chain-reaction causes four other cars to be involved in the accident.
On April 15, 2020, snowy and slick road conditions led to 54 vehicles crashing on the Kennedy Expressway. Fourteen people were taken to the hospital for injuries and the road was shut down for more than five hours.
Injuries in a Multi-Vehicle Accident
The injuries in a multi-vehicle accident can be more complicated and more severe because the victims may experience multiple accidents in succession.
For example, if a passenger is in a car that crashes into the rear of another vehicle, they will experience the type of injuries common in front-end collisions. Another vehicle may then crash into the vehicle from behind, turning the vehicle sideways and causing rear-end collision injuries. Another car may then collide, causing T-bone or side-impact collision injuries. Injuries in a multi-vehicle accident can include:
- – Broken bones
- – Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- – Back injury
- – Neck injury
- – Internal injuries
- – Facial injuries
- – Burns
- – Puncture wounds
- – Lacerations
Some multi-vehicle accident victims are able to get out of their vehicle to try and get away from the wreck but may be hit by another vehicle. Another complication with multi-impact accidents is that safety devices like airbags may deploy on the first collision but will no longer protect the driver or passengers in a second or later impact.
Delayed Treatment in Multi-Vehicle Accidents
The amount of time between an injury accident and receiving medical treatment can have a big impact on the severity of an injury. Multi-vehicle accident may crush a car, making it more difficult to get the injury victim out of the vehicle. The fire department or emergency services may require specialized equipment to extricate the victim in a car crash.
In a multi-vehicle accident, the fire department, paramedics, and other emergency response may need to triage injury victims. This means treating certain patients before others, based on the seriousness of the injury and the likelihood of survival.
As injury victims in a car crash wait to receive treatment, other possible complications may increase, such as leaking fuel igniting and causing burn injuries or death.
Liability in a Multiple Vehicle Crash
There may be multiple causes of multi-vehicle accidents. The parties responsible for causing the accident may be held liable for damages. However, fault and liability get more complicated with more parties involved in the accident. Even if a driver does not think they did anything wrong, they may be found liable for driving too fast for the road conditions or not leaving enough space to avoid an accident.
In Illinois, any contributory negligence chargeable to a plaintiff diminishes proportionately the amount awarded as compensatory damages. This is known as pure comparative negligence. A plaintiff’s negligence will not necessarily bar them from recovering damages, but it may reduce the award of damages based on their level of fault.
For example, Drivers A, B, and C all get into an accident. Drivers B and C are fine, but Driver A suffers a serious injury. Driver A files a personal injury claim against Drivers B and C. A jury finds all drivers were partly negligent, as follows: Driver A 10% negligent; Driver B 40% negligent, and Driver C 50% negligent. Driver A could still recover damages from Drivers B and C, but any award may be reduced by 10% based on Driver A’s contributory negligence.
In general, the parties responsible for causing the accident will not admit they were at fault. The insurance companies for all drivers will get involved and try and show someone else was responsible in order to avoid paying out any damages. The more drivers involved in an accident; the more insurance claim adjusters will be involved. Each insurance company may be pointing the finger at the other, leaving injury victims dealing with the injury, medical bills, loss of a job, and pain.
Filing a Multiple Vehicle Accident Lawsuit in Illinois
Instead of putting everything into the hands of the insurance company, contact an experienced auto accident lawyer who understands what it takes to get you compensation after an injury accident.
The insurance company may try and get you to say something they will later use against you. The insurance company may offer a small settlement in exchange for giving up your legal rights to sue. Before talking to the other driver’s insurance company, call your lawyer.
Your Illinois personal injury lawyer will be able to deal with the insurance company, let you know your rights and your options, and help you fight to get the maximum compensation after an accident. Damages in a personal injury lawsuit may include:
- – Vehicle repair or replacement,
- – Medical expenses,
- – Future medical treatment,
- – Lost income,
- – Loss of future income, and
- – Pain and suffering.
Aurora and Chicagoland Multiple Vehicle Accident Lawyer
If you were injured by a car accident involving multiple vehicles in Aurora, Chicagoland, or DuPage County, you need an experienced Illinois personal injury lawyer. Contact an injury attorney with a proven track record of success. Contact the Cullotta Bravo Law Group today at 630-898-7800 to schedule your free consultation.