In the past, there was a premise that a person who was “thrown clear” of an auto accident scene was likelier to survive than someone who stayed inside the vehicle during a crash. But there have been mountains of studies over the years which have disproved this notion; and with the advances in automotive safety that have been made, drivers and passengers are safer than ever.
Actually, people are more liable to suffer serious injuries or death if they are ejected from a vehicle during an accident than if they are belted into the vehicle. And a tragic weekend wreck in Chicago clearly demonstrates this axiom.
Early Saturday morning around 1am, a car was traveling at a high rate of speed through the Little Village neighborhood on the Southwest Side of Chicago. The car ran off the roadway near the intersection of 31st Street and Kedzie Avenue, which is about a quarter mile west of the Cook County Department of Corrections. The car lost control, struck a pole, and ejected all six occupants from the vehicle. A man and two women were pronounced dead at the scene, while a teenaged woman died later at a nearby hospital. The other two occupants were transported to area hospitals with very critical injuries.
Investigators are still trying to figure out what caused the auto accident, and it’s unclear at this time who was driving. But since Illinois law calls for drivers to be responsible for the safety of their passengers, it appears that the driver will be held liable for all of the adverse health consequences suffered by his or her passengers. As a result, the two injured passengers could file personal injury lawsuits against the driver (or his or her estate), who could also be named as a defendant in wrongful death lawsuits filed by the family members of the people who died in the crash.