Most Cook County motorists don’t face the dangers police officers do. Many drivers also don’t give much thought to the harm thoughtless drivers can cause — unless an accident occurs. All crash victims have the right to file claims to recover compensation for injuries caused by another person’s negligence.
An Illinois state trooper stopped a driver on Interstate 64 that he suspected was driving while intoxicated. The arrested man was handcuffed and placed in the rear seat of the officer’s patrol car, parked on the shoulder, as the trooper tended to paperwork while sitting behind the wheel. Another vehicle suddenly crashed into the back of the squad car.
The accident occurred early on a Saturday morning in St. Clair County. The trooper crawled out the front passenger door and back through the rear of the squad car to retrieve the injured drunk driving suspect. The officer was only slightly hurt, but the arrested man and at-fault driver suffered more serious injuries, none of which were life-threatening.
Authorities later determined the crash was a drunk driving accident. The man the officer arrested and the driver who plowed into the patrol car were charged with alcohol-related offenses. Reports did not identify any of the parties involved, including the state trooper’s name.
According to report published by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, traffic-related accidents remain the leading cause of death for officers on duty. The risks of law enforcement officers being involved in a traffic accident are four times greater than civilians. Of 73 officers killed in 2010 traffic accidents, 16 were standing outside vehicles when they were struck and killed.
People who survive violent traffic accidents may recover physically more quickly than they overcome emotional trauma. Victims may be further distressed to learn the accident never had to happen. Cook County personal injury and wrongful death claims compensate injured parties for physical and emotional losses caused by at-fault drivers.
Source: Belleville News-Democrat, “DUI suspect slams into state trooper’s squad car on I-64” Beth Hundsdorfer, Mar. 08, 2014