Whenever an Illinois auto accident takes place in Illinois, it’s always a relief to see occupants of the vehicles involved standing or walking on or near the road. That it itself means that they survived the crash and may even be okay. But it is important to remember that just because someone is walking around after an accident does not mean that he or she is uninjured.
Take the case of an elderly man in Springfield last week. On Friday afternoon shortly before 3pm, a 79-year old man was driving his Jeep Liberty north on Ninth Street when he stopped and signaled his intention to turn left into the parking lot of an auto parts store just south of Enos Avenue. But a 57-year old woman driving behind him was unable to stop in time and slammed into the back of the Jeep. Reports indicate that although the man was seen walking around his Jeep after the crash, he requested that he be taken to a hospital for examination. So he was transported to St. John’s hospital, which is only a couple of blocks away from the crash site. The woman was cited for failing to reduce speed.
It is possible that the elderly man sustained only minor injuries (if any). But in a rear-end collision, it’s entirely possible that the victim could have suffered whiplash, traumatic brain injury, or many other types of injuries even though he was able to walk shortly afterward. That’s because these injuries often don’t manifest themselves for hours or even days after a traumatic event like an auto accident.
If this turns out to be the case, the man would have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit against the 57-year old woman, who will be held responsible for the collision. The man could be eligible to seek reimbursement for medical expenses and/or physical therapy.