Visitor Question

Back Injury from 13 Car Pile Up…

Submitted By: Brittany (Freeport, Illinois)

I was a passenger in a 13 car pile up. In the middle of a blizzard a lady decided to stop in the middle of the road and her car was very hard to see. We were car #7 out of 13 cars and we were rear ended three times. We were pushed into the car in front of us.

At that time the air bags deployed but I didn’t have my seat belt on. I went straight into the dash. I now need back surgery. I have two bulging discs L2 and L3.

Can I legally sue all 13 cars? I was the only passenger of all the vehicles and I’m suffering the worst. Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Brittany,

You can sue all 12 car owners and drivers. Doing so will be incredibly difficult. Depending upon the severity of your injuries you will have to decide whether to file suit in Small Claims court or in Civil Court.

The State of Illinois has the highest national jurisdictional Small Claims limit of $10,000 dollars. This means when filing a lawsuit in Small Claims court you can sue for up to $10,000 dollars. You’ll have to decide whether your injuries and medical treatment rise above that amount. If so you will need to retain a Personal Injury Attorney.

Almost all Personal Injury Attorneys accept personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. Contingency fee means the Attorneys will not charge the client any amount until and unless the case is successful.

In a 13 car pileup when a client is not very seriously injured the amount of pre-trial work an Attorney will have to do is astronomical. It’s doubtful you will find an Attorney who will accept your case under those circumstances.

You can represent yourself in Small Claims Court. If you decide to do so you will have to file 12 separate lawsuits. You also have to pay 12 separate filing fees. In Illinois filing fees vary from county to county according to the respective populations of each.

Call your local Small Claims court. They will tell you the filing fee for each lawsuit you file. Once in Court you’ll have to prove the proportionate amount of negligence for each driver.

The list of roadblocks goes on and on.

Although we would never tell you not to sue those who injured you, we must tell you that doing so will be infinitely difficult.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: August 21, 2011

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