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Roundabout Accidents

Roundabouts are increasingly being installed in the Chicago area as well as throughout Illinois. 
Various transportation agencies have written about roundabouts and how to navigate through these traffic areas.  These agencies include the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) as well as the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT.)
According to transportation authorities, these roundabouts have various benefits.  However, motorists are at risk for roundabout accidents and injuries under certain circumstances.  This is especially so if a motorist doesn't follow driving instructions for navigating through the roundabout.

Characteristics of Roundabouts

Among the characteristics of roundabouts include the following:

  • Traffic moves in one direction (counterclockwise)
  • Can be one lane or multilane
  • Allow for lower-speed driving
  • No stop signs or stop lights
Benefits of Roundabouts

Among the benefits of roundabouts according to these and other traffic authorities is the following:

  • Due to their design, reduce the possibility of accidents, especially serious accidents
  • Improve traffic flow and increase the capability of the area to accommodate more traffic
  • In many cases cheaper to install and operate than traditional intersections
  • Environmental benefits when compared to traditional intersections
Crashes In Roundabouts

However, despite the claimed safety benefits of roundabouts, there is still a possibility that accidents can occur.  There are rules for safely navigating roundabouts; if a driver fails to follow the rules, the possibility of a crash can substantially increase. These crashes often occur for various reasons, including the following:

Driver enters roundabout at excessive speed

One of the reasons that roundabouts can be safely driven through is that the speed limit approaching the roundabout is usually low.  This low speed allows for drivers to safely drive through the roundabout.  Roundabouts are circular in nature or otherwise have curves, so driving at a safe speed is imperative.

Driving at a lower speed also allows for more reaction time for drivers, so they can accurately assess the traffic flow and yield if necessary.

Failure To Yield When Entering Roundabouts

Inherent in the safe operation of a roundabout is that drivers need to yield in certain instances.  The primary reason that a driver would be required to yield is when the driver is about to enter the roundabout, and there is already traffic within the roundabout.

If Hurt In An Accident

If one is hurt in an accident, there are various steps that should be taken.  Generally speaking, these steps help protect the injured person's health.  They also help maximize the person's ability to get injury compensation if the crash was not their fault.  

The "10 Steps You Should Follow After An Auto Accident" discusses various recommended actions to take if you have been involved in an accident.

Included in these steps is to "get a medical exam" as well as "talk to a lawyer," as further discussed below:
Steps To Take To Protect Health

As soon as possible after being hurt in an accident, the injured person should - as soon as possible - get relevant medical treatment as well as get a comprehensive medical exam.  This medical exam is typically conducted at a hospital in the emergency room.  This medical exam seeks to identify all injuries, not just those that are readily apparent to the injured person.  There can be serious injuries that may not be obvious to the injured person.  Among these injuries are severe traumatic brain injuries as well as internal bleeding.  If these serious injuries are not promptly and properly treated, they may, in certain circumstances, develop into a life-threatening situation.

Once the comprehensive medical exam has been completed, a proper course of medical treatment can be administered.  The type of medical care required will depend on various factors, including the type and severity of the injuries.

This medical care can include hospitalization; procedures; one or more surgeries; testing; medications; and rehabilitation.

Given that this medical care - as well as possible future medical treatment - can be very expensive, there is likely a substantial need to get compensation for these costs.

As well,  when someone is injured there can be various other costs and financial issues that arise.  For instance, if the person is unable to work during the injury recovery period, there may be lost income.

In order to get the proper amount of injury compensation, most people opt to file a personal injury lawsuit.  Such a suit can seek compensation for a variety of issues, including but not limited to past, present, and future medical costs; pain & suffering; lost income; loss of function; and (if applicable) ambulance costs.

Tony Elman, Lead Trial Attorney of the Elman Joseph Law Group, offers a free initial legal consultation to those who have been injured due to the fault of another person.  He can be reached at any time at 773-392-8182 or via email at

The Elman Joseph Law Group has been handling Illinois personal injury lawsuits for over 25 years.  Over this period, the firm has won many notable settlements and court awards for its clients.  Due to this success, the firm's lawyers have achieved performance designations and awards.
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