The majority of motor vehicle collisions can be pretty scary for those people who are inside the vehicles when the impact occurs. But auto accidents that take place on freeways are often more frightening because of the speeds and/or close proximity of the vehicles which get caught up in the wreck. And the “fear factor” increases even more when a tractor-trailer is involved.
That was the case on Friday night on I-94 in Chicago. About 11:15pm, a Ford Mustang was traveling in the southbound lanes of the Bishop Ford Freeway around the Cottage Grove Avenue exit (near Chicago State University). According to Illinois State Police, the Mustang changed lanes abruptly and then braked suddenly in order to avoid a collision. A Freightliner tractor-trailer traveling behind the Mustang was unable to slow down in time, and the 18-wheeler rear-ended the car before swerving sharply to the left and then overturning. The car wound up in a ditch on the right side of the freeway. The drivers of both the Mustang and the big rig were taken to area hospitals, but their injuries were non-life threatening.
Based on the information in this article, it’s difficult to determine who is at fault in this truck-car accident. It’s true that in most rear-end collisions, the driver of the vehicle which precipitated the impact (in this case, the tractor-trailer) would be held liable for the all of the injuries sustained in the crash. However, since the Mustang reportedly cut in front of the big rig and braked without warning, a case could be made that it was not possible for the heavy 18-wheeler to prevent a collision – which could mean that the Mustang driver was responsible for the wreck. And if the Mustang driver’s actions were taken to avoid a completely different collision, then perhaps the driver of another vehicle might share some of the blame for the wreck.
The truck rollover accident is still under investigation. But the determination of fault will have a major impact on which driver can file a personal injury lawsuit and receive compensation for any medical expenses that were incurred.