Chicago is the third most populous city in the United States. More people equals more drivers – and more drivers equals more accidents. Vehicle collisions can happen for a million different reasons, from driver error and recklessness to weather conditions and infrastructure lapses.
The vast majority of vehicle collisions are attributed to human error – and most are preventable.
How many vehicle collisions occur each year in Illinois?
Annually, there are roughly 300,000 car crashes on Illinois roadways – almost 1,000 of which are fatal. Nearly all accidents involve injuries, either minor or major.
The severity of car accident injuries may not be clear immediately after the crash. It can take hours (or days) to feel the effects. Medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and emotional anguish adds up – and the at-fault party should be held liable for every penny.
In this post, we discuss the nature of vehicle collisions in Chicago, common types of accidents, their causes, and what you can do if you’ve been injured. Let’s get into it.
Types of Vehicle Collisions
Every vehicle collision is a bit different. The most common types of car accidents we see in Chicago include:
Head-on vehicle collisions are typically the most devastating. These happen when one vehicle swerves into the oncoming lane and the front bumpers strike. In these types of car accidents, passengers in both vehicles normally suffer injuries.
These accidents occur when the front or back of one vehicle strikes another from the side. T-bone collisions typically happen when a driver runs a red light or a stop sign – or doesn’t pay attention when crossing an intersection. When a vehicle gets hit from the side, it’s common for windows to shatter and the frame to bend – which can lead to lacerations, broken bones, internal injuries, and more.
Rear-end collisions involve one vehicle striking another from behind. These commonly happen when the at-fault driver doesn’t slow down in time or is not paying attention to the vehicle in front of them. Even at lower speeds, rear-end vehicle collisions can be very dangerous. This is because the victim is not expecting the accident and their body is thrust forward – resulting in whiplash.
Roll-over accidents can occur from slippery roads, collisions, or lapses in judgment that result in a car rolling on its side or back. Drivers and passengers in these types of car accidents commonly suffer traumatic injuries from the force of the rollover.
Low-speed collisions are very common. They occur in parking lots, driveways, at stoplights, etc. Even though there isn’t a high rate of speed involved, these vehicle collisions can result in injuries and property damage.
Hitting a pedestrian with a vehicle creates an extremely high risk of injury – even at low speeds. The weight and force of the vehicle can easily cause serious injuries or death.
Most Common Causes of Vehicle Collisions in Chicago
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that roughly 94% of motor vehicle accidents are due to human error. Car accidents in Chicago are extremely common – and most can be traced back to these causes:
Speeding is the leading cause of vehicle collisions in Chicago. Due to congestion on the city’s roadways, exceeding the speed limit significantly increases the risk of accidents and injuries. This is especially true for vulnerable roadway users – including pedestrians and bicyclists.
Distracted driving is a problem drivers face across the world. Thanks to smartphones, it’s only getting worse. This problem is exacerbated in densely populated cities like Chicago. Distractions can easily lead to rear-end vehicle collisions, head-on crashes, pedestrian accidents, and more.
The state of Illinois prohibits the use of cell phones, texting, and using other electronics while driving. If you were a victim in a car accident due to distracted driving, you have many options to seek compensation with a vehicle collision lawyer.
Drug and/or Alcohol Impairment
Statistics show that over 30% of traffic fatalities on Illinois roadways are due to drug or alcohol impairment. These types of car accidents are judged very harshly in the court systems. If you were injured by an intoxicated driver, you will likely be entitled to substantial compensation – with the help of a skilled car accident injury lawyer.
Fatigued driving (or drowsy driving) is just as dangerous as driving under the influence. When you’re tired, your reaction times are slower, coordination is not as sharp, and concentration is difficult to maintain. All of these factors pose a serious risk on the road.
We all get angry behind the wheel from time to time.
Road rage is a big problem in cities – especially Chicago. When a driver takes out their anger on the road, the risk of a vehicle collision skyrockets as judgment is impaired and drivers tend to make riskier maneuvers. Aggressive driving can lead to extreme injuries or death.
Now, proving road rage in vehicle collisions is not easy. You will need a fair amount of evidence and the assistance of a car accident attorney in Chicago.
Failure to Yield
Failing to yield is a very common traffic violation in Chicago. This typically happens at intersections and driveways. Fortunately, the city does a great job of providing proper signage indicating who needs to yield the right of way.
Pedestrians and bicyclists are common victims of failure-to-yield accidents – and are likely entitled to compensation from the at-fault driver.
Chicago – being located in the heart of the Midwest – is no stranger to inclement weather. Heavy snow, ice, rain, wet leaves, and freezing temperatures are common throughout the year and play an enormous role in vehicle collisions. Moreover, the city’s harsh weather creates potholes and other roadway hazards – all of which increase the risk of vehicle collisions.
Driving in poor weather conditions is unavoidable in The Windy City. However, it’s common knowledge to adjust speed and distance from other vehicles – especially when changing lanes.
To reiterate, the vast majority of vehicle collisions are due to driver error. However, some can be attributed to manufacturing defects, including problems with the vehicle’s steering, engine, braking systems, and so on.
If a product defect caused a vehicle collision, the automaker may be held liable. Speak with an experienced Chicago car accident lawyer to learn more.
Most Common Injuries in Vehicle Collisions
The potential for injuries in a vehicle collision is practically endless. Some of the most common types of injuries we see in car accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Soft tissue damage
- Arm and leg injuries
- Spinal cord Injuries: back and neck
- Broken Bones
- Chest injuries
- Internal injuries
It’s very important to understand that injuries are not always apparent immediately after an accident. Some take hours – or days – to show symptoms. Moreover, you may be in shock from a vehicle collision and not feel any pain. Even if you don’t notice anything, it’s essential to get examined by the medical staff at the scene – we cannot stress this enough.
These professionals are trained to spot the early signs of injuries. Refusing a medical examination may impact compensation in a car accident injury case.
When Should You Contact Vehicle Collision Attorney?
If you are dealing with ANY injury that requires medical treatment following a vehicle collision, you need to contact a car accident lawyer. Victims of car accidents should not face financial ruin due to another driver’s carelessness or error on the road.
The goal in a car accident injury case is to recover compensation for every damage suffered from the collision. This includes (but is not limited to):
- Medical/hospital bills
- Future medical treatment
- Property damage
- Lost wages
In addition to these monetary losses, you can also seek compensation for more ambiguous struggles, including:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Loss of companionship
- Reduced quality of life.
These damages – referred to as non-economic damages – are much more subjective than the other ones listed above. A vehicle collision lawyer will work with you to place a value on these damages and negotiate for them in a personal injury case.
Speak to an Expert Vehicle Collision Attorney in Chicago Today
The next steps after a vehicle collision may not be clear. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources to understand your next best move. If you’re located in The Windy City, start by calling a Chicago car accident lawyer.
Most of these lawyers know you’re in this situation for the first time – and will be happy to answer your questions in a FREE consultation, even if you don’t have a valid claim.
Additionally, car accident injury attorneys work on a contingency fee agreement. This means they make their fees in the form of a percentage of the total settlement after they win the case. In other words, it won’t cost you anything upfront to hire a reputable vehicle collision lawyer.
For any questions or concerns about vehicle collisions, contact an experienced Chicago car accident attorney from Midwest Injury Lawyers today. We’re happy to point you in the right direction and help you understand your options. Give us a call at 312-786-5881, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or request a consultation online.