Multi car accidents can happen anywhere and anytime. Often, multi car pile ups occur on the expressways and major roads in and around Elgin and the greater Chicagoland area. Due to the number of people and cars involved, they can cause significant physical injuries. Lawyers can help you to solve the hassle of dealing with multiple insurance companies and holding the correct people responsible for your injuries.
What is a Multi Car Accident?
A multi car accident is a crash which involves more than two cars. Multi-car accidents can involve as few as three cars or involve a large number of vehicles. Typical scenarios for these types of accidents are:
- Rear end accidents, where one car hits another from behind. The car that was hit may be pushed into the car in front of it, which may then hit the car in front of that one, causing a chain reaction of cars all hitting the one in front of it.
- Intersection accidents, where someone may run a red light or turn in front of another car, causing an accident. Because of the number of cars in an intersection at any given time, the surrounding cars might not have time to react, causing cars from all directions to pile up around each other.
- Lane change accidents, where an unsafe lane change causes an accident. This might cause another car to then try to swerve into another lane or into oncoming traffic, causing surrounding cars to get hit. Those cars might then be pushed into other vehicles on the roadway.
Chicago and Multi Car Accidents
The Kennedy Expressway has been known to be one of the most dangerous expressways in the Chicago area. Many cars go too fast and cannot stop or maneuver when needed so they collide with others which leads to Multi Car Pile-ups. Chicago expressways are often either so congested or allow for such high rates of speed, that multi car crashes are not at all uncommon.
When one expressway merges into another, drivers who are not paying close attention run the risk of causing an accident or being hit. This is very common around the Chicago area, as there are so many expressways, highways and tollways connecting different parts of such a large city and its suburbs.
Finding Fault in Multi Car Accidents
Because of the number of cars involved, determining fault can be difficult. Often, no two people will tell the same story in terms of what they remember. With conflicting versions as to how the accident happened, the lines of fault become blurred. Car accidents usually happen in just a matter of seconds, making it harder for people to digest how they experienced the event. Car insurance companies will also put their own spin on what happened. It is no wonder that assigning fault to a particular driver in a multi car accident becomes so difficult.
Sometimes, multi car crashes can be the fault of more than one driver. In a rear end crash, often the car who is all the way at the end of the chain- the driver who started the accident, is blamed. But the car in front of the end car might have been distracted and didn’t react fast enough as a result. This means that both cars could be responsible for the injuries of the people in the car in front of the second one.
Factors such as the roadway, weather, speed, maneuvers such as swerving or braking, distances and the relative location of each car will be carefully examined in order to help determine what really happened. The evidence becomes very important in determining the fault for accidents involving more than one car.
In Illinois, the issue of modified comparative negligence is often a factor in multi car crashes. This means that according to the law, a driver who is more than 50% at fault for an accident cannot recover any money. However, if a driver was less than 50% at fault, their percentage of fault will reduce what they may have otherwise been awarded. For example, let’s say that driver #2 in a multi car accident would have been awarded $40,000.00 if without blame. However, driver #2 is found to be 20% at fault for causing the accident. The $40,000.00 award will be reduced by 20%, down to $32,000.00. If that same driver were found to be 51% at fault, he would get zero.
What to do after a Multi Car Collision
Individuals who find themselves in Multi Car Collisions should know their rights and how to cope with Multi Car Accidents. A Multi Car Accident is a terrible event. The resulting injuries often cause pain and suffering. Many accident victims also suffer from significant financial losses in the form of medical bills and time lost from work. The insurance companies have their own agendas, adding confusion and further stress to an already bad situation.
It is important for individuals who have been involved in Multi Car collisions to know what to do after the accident. In the immediate aftermath, people should pull over to a safe spot and check on the people inside of their car, in case an ambulance or immediate medical aid is needed. People should also call 911 if someone appears hurt, as medical personnel will arrive faster and check up on who has been injured. On an expressway, it is often unsafe to get out. Insurance information should be exchanged, if possible, once it is determined safe to do so. The police will often assist with this.
If you were hurt after a multi car accident, it is important to be checked out right away since injuries may be mild at first but could worsen after a few hours or days of being left untreated. It is entirely reasonable to visit the emergency room or your doctor if you don’t feel right after the accident. Be sure to let the doctor know that you were in a car accident and let them know everything that hurts.
Legal Help after a Multi Car Accident
If you were hurt in an accident involving more than one car, remember that the insurance companies are not on your side. It is a good idea to speak confidentially to an attorney who can help you to better understand what avenue of recovery might be available to you. Your options will depend on all of the circumstances. Ideally, this conversation should happen before you speak to anyone else’s insurance company or sign any form. You need to understand your rights before you can make a decision on how to best move forward after a car accident, especially one involving multiple vehicles. Give us a call at 630 250-8813 if you were hurt a multi car accident. There is no obligation and all information will be kept confidential. Our office is located on McLean Blvd in Elgin, IL but we also offer phone consultations and meetings by Zoom.