According to news reports, five people were injured last Friday in a rear-end car crash on I-57 near Peotone, including a four-year old boy from Champaign. The boy had to be airlifted from the scene of the accident and was admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn. Reports from the state police indicate that the boy was a passenger in the car that was struck from behind by another driver who failed to slow down, resulting in the highway construction zone accident.
There are a few points that come from this news story:
1. With the changing of weather, road construction season is upon us again. All drivers need to be aware of construction zones and the need to slow when approaching them and while inside them. This is for the safety of both the workers inside the construction zone and other motorists.
2. This child was obviously seriously injured, and he and his family should be entitled to compensation for his injuries and medical expenses. When there are serious injuries like this, careful investigation is required to make sure that all of the potentially liable parties are identified. Some of the questions I have just from reading this news story are:
- Was the other driver drinking? If so, there may be a basis for a Dram Shop Act case.
- Was the other driver doing something work-related? If so, his employer is also responsible for the child's injuries.
- Did the construction contractor make errors in setting up the construction zone that set the stage for this accident?
These are important questions which an experienced Chicago personal injury attorney would address for this child and his family.
3. The driver who hit the vehicle in which this child was riding is clearly at fault for the accident, and in light of the number of people injured in this accident and the severity of the injuries to the child, there may be a basis for the other passengers in that vehicle to pursue Illinois underinsured motorist claims through their own policies or the policy of the vehicle in which they were riding.
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