Passengers and pedestrians should feel free from danger when travelling on and around public transportation, such as the Chicago CTA or Metra, even in the face of accidents, as safety precautions and infrastructure should be in place to protect them. The same should go for the cars we drive, and passengers and drivers trust that their cars will keep them from serious personal injuries or death, even upon a collision. However, that was not the case for three victims of a New Year’s Day car accident on Lake Street in Chicago.
According to the Chicago Tribune, two individuals died and one other was critically injured when a car crashed into the steel “L” support column. The accident occurred in the West Garfield Park neighborhood off of Lake Street. The car of the two deceased victims crashed into the steel support column and burst into flames. The victims became trapped in the front seats of the car, unable to escape, and died on the scene of the accident. Early reports did not indicate what factors may have caused the accident.
Motor vehicles contain flammable liquids for fuel, such as gas and oil. Fuels that leak in motor vehicle accidents are combustible and can easily ignite. According to the United States Fire Administration, from 2008-2010, one in seven fires responded to by fire departments across the nation is a highway vehicle fire. 61% of these fires occurred in passenger vehicles, like the one in the above mentioned accident. The leading factor, 44%, of vehicle fires was a mechanical failure.
According to reports, the victims in the above mentioned accident were trapped in their vehicle and could not escape. However, if your vehicle catches fire, it is imperative to try to get out of the vehicle as quickly as possible. If you are in a moving vehicle, pull over to the side of the road, and get yourself and other passengers out. Do not attempt to put out the fire yourself (as the fuel is a combustible), and call emergency services.
Our attorneys have helped accident victims seek justice since 1992, and we understand the physical and emotional toll that accidents can have on the individuals involved and their loved ones. When accidents occur because of reckless behavior, such as speeding, texting or driving, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, victims have the right to seek compensation for their injuries. If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident due to another driver’s mistakes, take action to protect your rights. Lawsuits not only help victims recover compensation for the harms caused to them. They also bring public awareness to the dangers of negligent driving which may lead others to think twice before acting carelessly or dangerously when they get behind the wheel. These actions send a message that driver negligence will not be tolerated or go unpunished.