When police are called to the scene of an auto accident in Illinois, they often are met with two (or more) different versions of how the accident occurred. So they must use their investigative skills to determine not only what actually happened, but also which party is at fault.
One incident in the state capital last week illustrated this “he said, she said” phenomenon in collisions. On Friday morning around 8:45am, a 64-year old Fancy Prairie woman was driving north on Walnut Street in Springfield. Her vehicle was struck by a westbound vehicle on Jefferson Street about a block northwest of Springfield High School. That westbound vehicle was being driven by a 41-year old woman who lived less than a mile away from the auto accident site. That woman’s vehicle was rear-ended by a third vehicle that was being driven by a 34-year old woman.
The Fancy Prairie woman told Springfield Police that she had a green light. But the other two drivers insisted that the traffic light on Jefferson was green. The story doesn’t say whether police interviewed other witnesses or had access to camera footage either at the intersection or from nearby businesses. But the police officers did decide to cite the 64-year old woman with running a red light.
Both the 41-year old woman and the Fancy Prairie woman were injured and were taken to different hospitals for treatment. But given that the 64-year old woman was issued a ticket, she will likely be held responsible for the crash and the injuries to the 41-year old woman. That means that the 41-year old may choose to file a personal injury lawsuit against the Fancy Prairie woman. A jury may order the defendant to reimburse the plaintiff for medical expenses, compensate her for any unearned wages from time lost at work due to the accident or the victim’s subsequent recovery, and perhaps even pay out monetary damages for pain and suffering.