In the News: 4 Critically Injured after Minivan Crashes into Wall on Chinatown Feeder Ramp
In the morning hours of May 26, 2020, four people were critically injured in a single-car crash on the Chinatown feeder ramp to the Dan Ryan Expressway. Two men and two women were traveling in a minivan when their vehicle came in contact with the wall on the Chinatown feeder ramp. All four of the passengers were transported to hospitals in critical condition.
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Statistics for Accidents Involving a Single Motor Vehicle
Accidents that involve only one motor vehicle are more common than you may think. According to driving-tests.org, a driver education platform providing driving statistics:
- 48% of motorcyclists involved in single-vehicle crashes had been speeding. (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 2009)
- 42% of motorcyclists involved in single-vehicle crashes had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 0.08% (which constitutes legal intoxication in most states). (IIHS, 2009)
- 58% of police-reported fatal car accidents in the US involved only one vehicle. (SaferAmerica, 2019)
- In 2018, it was reported that 528 single vehicle accidents resulted in fatalities in Illinois (IIHS).
The Most Common Types of Accidents Involving a Single Vehicle
Single car accidents can include a variety of circumstances beyond the crash described above. Some single vehicle crashes are caused when a driver swerves to avoid an animal or object in the roadway and hits a wall or slams into a building. Some are caused when striking a pedestrian or bicyclist. Other single vehicle accidents happen when the vehicle itself malfunctions and puts the driver at risk when caught in Chicago’s heavy traffic. Depending on the circumstances of the collision, a potential personal injury claim may exist for the driver, passengers, or other injured parties.
Vehicle Malfunction Puts Drivers at Risk
Vehicles are recalled by the manufacturer every year because of defects and potential malfunction issues. All too often, the recalls happen after a tragic event occurs when a dangerous malfunction has resulted in a fatal accident. According to a report by the U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, crashes in 2015 related to vehicle issues were as follows:
|Vehicle Malfunction Critical Reason||Number of Crashes in the US|
|Tire or wheel related||15,000|
|Steering, suspension, transmission, or engine related||2,000|
|Other, unknown vehicle-related problems||17,000|
It is important to remember that a claim can be filed against the vehicle manufacturer or the person responsible for repairs made to the vehicle that resulted in a malfunction leading to a single vehicle crash.
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Single Vehicle Accident Caused by Driver Error
Crashes caused by driver error are even more frequent than single car crashes caused by faulty repairs or vehicle malfunction. According to the report by the U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, crashes in 2015 related to driver error accounted for 94% of the study. However, in none of these cases was the assignment of driver error intended to blame the driver for causing the crash.
|Driver Error Critical Reason||Number of Crashes in the US|
|Recognition Error (driver’s inattention, internal and external distractions)||845,000|
|Decision Error (driving too fast for conditions, false assumption of others’ actions)||684,000|
|Performance Error (overcompensation)||210,000|
|Non-Performance Error (sleep, etc.)||145,000|
Who can make a claim for personal injury when involved in a single vehicle accident?
- Individuals involved in single vehicle accidents may recover for their personal injuries just like individuals involved in two or more vehicle accidents.
- In a single vehicle accident involving passengers, the passengers may file a claim with the driver’s insurance company. Though there was only one driver, that driver still has to abide by the laws of Illinois and operate a motor vehicle in a safe and reasonable manner.
How does an insurance company investigate a single vehicle accident?
After a crash involving a single motor vehicle, the insurance company will conduct an investigation to determine whether the driver was responsible for the accident. The investigation will involve, but is not limited to, the following:
- reviewing the police report for the traffic crash;
- taking the driver’s statement;
- looking for mechanical issues with the vehicle;
- inspecting damage to the vehicle;
- reviewing weather conditions and lighting conditions, etc.
Once the investigation is complete and the driver is determined to be at fault for the accident, then the insurance company will consider any potential personal injury claims that result from the accident.
I’ve been injured in an accident involving one vehicle, how can I tell if I have a case?
Single vehicle accidents happen very frequently in a large metropolitan area like Chicago. Some of these accidents are caused by vehicle defects or malfunction, while others are caused by variables attributed to the driver. No matter the circumstances of your accident, it’s important to speak with an experienced Chicago car accident attorney to determine whether you have a case.
Please call the Kryder Law Group at 312-223-1700 for a free consultation to discuss your accident with one of our attorneys.