With bone chilling temperatures setting in and snow covering the city, there is no doubt that winter is in full swing here in Chicago. The snow can be quite beautiful, but it can also be a challenge to those who drive in the city or who use the roadways to travel.
Every year over 116,000 Americans are injured due to car accidents caused by winter weather. In the blink of an eye, a winter storm can turn a perfectly safe highway into dangerous roadway. Heavy snowfall, which is especially common in Chicago due to our proximity to the lake, can make driving conditions quite difficult. Not only does the snow affect visibility but also fast accumulation can make traveling impossible. In addition, the freezing temperatures can make roads slick and hazardous.
Almost 25% of all vehicle crashes nationwide are weather-related. But while snow and ice are major contributors to winter accidents, negligence is also a contributing factor. Some drivers are in too much of a hurry to use caution, driving too fast, or following other cars to closely, which can easily cause accidents. Due to the icy roads it is much more difficult for drivers to control their vehicles, especially when sudden stops are necessary. The snow and ice often cause drivers to slide or spin out, which can result in even the most experienced drivers to panic and overcorrect. Thus, if another driver is ignorant to perilous winter conditions they can easily put others on the road at risk.
A driver going too fast on a slick and icy road will not have enough time to stop if the vehicle in front of them stops suddenly or hits a patch of ice and begins to slide causing a collision. If there is heavy traffic this can result in a multi-vehicle collision or highway pile up which are incredibly common during the winter months.
If another driver’s negligence is the cause of your winter accident, even if snow or ice played a role, you still have the potential to recover for injuries that occurred as a result of the collision. Many victims are quick to blame the winter conditions for a collision without considering the possibility that someone else’s carelessness could be the true cause of their injuries. If negligence is to blame, you or your injured loved ones should not have to handle potential financial burdens alone. It is important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible following an accident so that evidence and witnesses from the accident are not lost.
Typical claims can help victims recover for the medical expenses they have and will incur due to the collision, lost wages that were missed from work while a victim recovered, and pain and suffering endured due to the crash. The particular facts of any collision and the resulting harm will determine whether you have a valid claim and if so, what relief you may be entitled to receive if you have been involved in a car accident in Illinois.
Prior Blog Entry:
Reducing Chicago Pedestrian Accidents by Eliminating Distractions, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, published December 1, 2016.