Every driver fears ice on the road. Many of us can relate to driving during a dangerous weather condition. Once your tires make contact with the frozen surface, the ability to control your car is diminished. Then the feeling of relief that was felt when it was over. As an experienced Chicago personal injury lawyer, I understand that hazardous weather conditions such as ice on the roadways increase the probability of a car accident from occurring.
Frank Caruso survived an icy highway accident on the Eisenhower Expressway this weekend. He was killed minutes later as he sat safely in a parked Illinois State trooper's patrol car. An alleged drunk driver rear-ended the state trooper's parked car. Prior to the fatal rear-end crash, Caruso was able to move his disabled car to the shoulder of the expressway. He was then approached by an Illinois State trooper who offered him shelter in his squad car. It was reported that the trooper used his car and lights to block two lanes of traffic. Caruso and the trooper waited inside the patrol car for a tow truck to arrive.
As they sat in the trooper's patrol car, another vehicle rear-ended the patrol car. This crash killed Caruso and seriously injured the trooper. The driver of the second vehicle, Daniel Clark, of Chicago was charged with two counts of aggravated driving under the influence. According to reports, Clark admitted to having five glasses of wine before driving on the expressway. His blood alcohol level was .249, greater than three times the legal limit.
As an experienced Chicago personal injury attorney knows, often times a rear-end accident is referred to as a fender-bender. The term fender bender makes one think that it was not a serious car accident. It often times negates the severity of the injuries that can result from a rear-end accident. In many rear-end accidents, severe injuries can cause life-long permanent injury or death. If you are a driver or a passenger in a car that is involved in a rear-end accident even at a slow speed, your body can lunge forward quickly and cause catastrophic injuries. These severe injuries could be to the neck, head, upper torso, shoulder region and spine.
Passengers involved in a rear-end collision have the right to seek compensation for their injuries. Typically in a rear-end accident, the driver in the rear is found to be at fault for the car accident. When this occurs, the driver's insurance company may contact you immediately and offer you a settlement. The settlement may appear to be a large amount of money. In some cases, accident victims will be tempted to take the settlement offer and avoid contact with a lawyer. When a car accident victim accepts a settlement from an insurance company, they forfeit the right to seek future compensation. This may not be in the victim's best interest, as many times injuries can be more serious than they appear, requiring additional surgery or medical treatment.
Car accident victims should take the time to meet with an experienced Chicago car accident attorney. They can give you an in depth explanation of the insurance claims process in Illinois. They can also help you determine the value of the case.