Convention wisdom says that driving on rural roads and highways is safer than driving on interstates.
As the argument goes, people are able to drive faster on interstates because of the higher speed limit, and there are generally more vehicles on interstates than on highways. But that doesn’t mean that serious crashes can’t occur on highways and roads. In fact, one such Illinois auto accident happened last weekend on a highway that sits in the shadow of an interstate.
On Saturday afternoon shortly after 4:45pm, a couple from Kentucky was driving their Mercedes Benz south on U.S. 45 in Ford County about a mile south of Paxton and less than half a mile east of I-57. A westbound Ford F-150 pickup truck on East 200 North Road came to the intersection with the highway, but the 16-year old boy behind the wheel ran a stop sign in an effort to cross the roadway. The pickup struck the car and careened into a ditch before rolling over onto its top. The Mercedes’ driver, a 59-year old man, had to be extricated from the vehicle, while the 56-year old woman in the passenger seat also suffered serious injuries. Both victims were transported to an Urbana hospital, where they remained for more than three days.
The teen driver of the pickup was cited by Illinois State Police for failing to yield at an intersection. As a result, the Kentucky couple could choose to file personal injury lawsuits against the 16-year old. Even though the victims live in Kentucky, the lawsuit would be filed in Ford County where the Illinois auto accident occurred; also, the defendant(s) named in the suit would be the parent(s) of the teen because he is a minor.
A personal injury lawsuit could allow the couple to get reimbursed for their lengthy hospital stay, which likely racked up a bill in the tens of thousands of dollars (if not more). A jury may also award damages for pain and suffering as well as compensation for unearned wages for any time the victims missed at work due to their hospitalization.