Three people were killed on I-94 near Michigan City, Indiana during near-whiteout winter conditions.
A huge collision involving more than 40 semis and cars resulted in a pileup that left 20 people with injures and three dead, the Chicago Tribune reported. The blizzard-like conditions contributed to the slick roads and low visibility.
Even though poor weather contributed to this traffic calamity, injured parties may have legal remedies in court.
In car accident lawsuits, negligence laws will govern. Generally, drivers must exercise reasonable care when operating their vehicles to avoid injuring others. Drivers are likely negligent if they cause an accident by disobeying traffic signs, driving above the speed limit, or disregarding weather or traffic conditions.
For the drivers involved in the I-94 pileup, Indiana police officials reported to the Chicago Tribune that a sudden burst of heavy snow cut visibility to about 10 feet. The rapid change in weather caused several cars to slide around and hit their brakes. Although unpredictable weather was a significant contributing factor to the fatal accident, drivers who failed to slow down and contributed to the pileup could be liable in a personal injury lawsuit.
For the three people who were killed in the accident, each family may hire an attorney to file a wrongful death lawsuit for their deceased loved one. Wrongful death lawsuits can be filed when a person dies due to another person's negligence or misconduct. For instance, if there's evidence that drivers failed to reasonably account for the inclement weather leading to a fatal accident, then close family members of the deceased can likely sue for wrongful death.
Winter Driving Safety Tips
Winter weather can be inevitable, but winter driving accidents are avoidable. Here are a few tips to keep you safe on the road.
- Leave at least 20 feet between your car and the one in front of you, especially if the roads are slick.
- Replace old wiper blades before the snowy season begins.
- Slow down. In bad weather conditions, drivers are expected to drive as slow as they need to in order to avoid accidents.
- Only drive when absolutely necessary. As the recent whiteout proves, there's no telling when a huge storm will hit, so try to stay off the roads as much as possible.
Although snowy weather in January is no surprise for people living in the Midwest, the tragic accident on I-94 should serve as a reminder for drivers to be extra cautious when driving in the winter.
- Eastbound I-94 Reopens, After Massive Pileup That Killed 3 (CBS Chicago)
- Top 5 Ways to Tune Up Your Car for Winter Driving (FindLaw's Common Law)
- Weather a T'giving Storm With 5 Winter Driving Tips (FindLaw's Injured)
- Icy Roads: At Fault Even When Driving Speed Limit? (FindLaw's Injured)