There are thousands of motor vehicle accidents in the Chicago area every year. A majority of these accidents are caused by the negligence of one or more drivers. When a negligent driver causes an accident and causes another driver or passenger injuries, he or she may be liable for damages.
Drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles in a manner that is reasonable under the circumstances. This means abiding by traffic laws, following traffic signals, and driving carefully in adverse weather conditions.
When a driver follows another vehicle too closely or tailgates, that driver is increasing the risk of being involved in an accident. The risk for a rear-end collision significantly increases if a car is less than two seconds away from another vehicle. Drivers should wait for the car in front of them to pass a landmark, such as a street sign, and then count two seconds. The driver should pass the same landmark after the count to two. This ensures that there is plenty of space between the two cars.
Tailgating accidents are especially common when traffic is congested, when there are distractions on the road, and in road rage incidents. These accidents may quickly lead to multicar pileups.
Prevailing in a Tailgating Lawsuit
To prevail in a tailgating lawsuit, three elements must be proven:
- The at-fault driver had a duty to the accident victim
- The duty was breached
- Due to that breach, the victim suffered injuries
Each of these elements must be proven for a claim to be successful. Without one of the elements, the claim will fail.
Proving that the at-fault driver had a duty to the victim is usually simple: if the driver was operating a motor vehicle on a public roadway, then the driver owed the victim the duty to act reasonably under the circumstances described above. Tailgating or following too closely is a breach of that duty.
As for damages, the burden is on the victim to prove that his or her injuries were directly caused by the accident. To establish damages, the victim, though an attorney, will provide documents such as:
- Medical records
- Medical bills
- Prescription records
- Employment records
- Accident reports
- Driving records
- Witness statements
These are just a few of the records that may be provided to support an injury claim.
The Claims Process after a Tailgating Accident
After a tailgating accident, a victim’s attorney will engage in settlement negotiations with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If the insurance company will not make a reasonable settlement offer to close the case, the attorney may file a personal injury lawsuit on behalf of the accident victim.
Contact our Tailgating/Following too Closely Accident Attorneys Today
If you were injured in an accident that was caused by tailgating or following too closely, contact the attorneys at Stein & Shulman to discuss your legal options in a free consultation. Our attorneys have over forty-five years of combined legal experience. For your free auto accident case review, call us today at (312) 422-0500.