Have you been injured in a pedestrian accident? Over 70,000 Americans are injured every year in pedestrian accidents and over 4,000 die every year from these accidents. This means every seven minutes, one pedestrian is involved in a pedestrian-car accident. Although not all pedestrian accidents are fatal, some victims sustain broken bones, spinal cord injuries, and pain and suffering.
Here at CCAL, we protect the legal rights of car accident victims and their families, including pedestrians who sustain bodily injuries because of negligent drivers. Our team of experienced pedestrian accident lawyers has secured over $1.5 billion in verdicts and settlements on behalf of car accident victims across Illinois. If you or your loved one has sustained injuries in a pedestrian accident, we can help you get fair compensation. Contact us today at (312) 300-2515, or chat with us online for a free consultation with a knowledgeable Chicago pedestrian accident lawyer.
How Does A Pedestrian Accident Happen?
Careless driving is devastating, especially for pedestrians. The common causes of pedestrian accidents are:
- Distracted driving
- Design defects in crosswalk locations, including ignoring upstream and downstream traffic flows.
- Car and motorcycles not giving way to pedestrians at crosswalks.
- Turning at intersections without looking both ways.
- Ignoring the posted speed limits.
- Driving while intoxicated.
Pedestrian accidents occur mostly in urban areas than in rural areas, however, fatal accidents also happen on country roads. High speeds and winding roads with limited visibility create a perfect environment for pedestrian-car accidents.
What Should I Do If A Car Hits Me When I’m Walking?
Getting help from an experienced Chicago pedestrian accident attorney is the most crucial step you should take after being hit by a car while walking. Here at CCAL, we offer a free case evaluation. After a pedestrian-car accident, you should also do the following things:
- Seek medical treatment immediately. Get medical attention as soon as possible because waiting long to see a doctor will only delay your recovery. Some injuries, such as traumatic brain injury, are difficult to treat and only a doctor can examine you correctly and conduct the right tests.
- Collect a copy of your accident report. After a pedestrian-car accident, contact the law enforcement agency that prepared the accident report, including the Chicago Police Department, or you can order your copy via the Illinois State Police.
- Gather evidence. Collect and hold on to crucial evidence from the accident scene, including accident scene photos, witness names and contact information, insurance company letters, and receipts from all accident-related costs, such as medical bills.
- Keep a journal. Summarize what you remember about the accident and keep track of how your injuries affect how you do your work and other activities.
- Contact your auto insurance company. Notify your insurer about the accident, especially if you wish to file a claim with the insurance company. For example, if you were injured in a hit-and-run accident, file an uninsured motorist (UM) claim later.
- Refer the at-fault party’s insurance company to us. While you focus on your recovery journey, your attorney from CCAL can help you pursue the at-the fault party’s insurer. Talk to your car accident attorney before you give any statement to the insurance company and before you accept any settlement offer.
How Can a Chicago Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Help?
Pedestrian accidents can become complicated quickly because you will deal with insurers and even legal teams that want to make a low-ball settlement. However, a Chicago pedestrian accident attorney can make sure you get fair treatment throughout the entire process. A Chicago pedestrian accident lawyer will:
- Get all the evidence from the accident scene. This includes police reports, photos from the scene, video surveillance, and eyewitness accounts.
- Make sure a trusted medical professional evaluates you and attests to the cause and severity of your injuries.
- Calculate your total economic losses by getting your medical bills, proof of lost income, and the needed home and car repair bills.
- Calculate your total non-economic losses, such as loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, pain and suffering, and mental trauma damages.
- Negotiate with the involved parties to reach a fair settlement, and will be ready to go to trial if need be to secure the compensation you deserve.
What are the Compensations Available in Pedestrian Injury and Fatality Claims?
If you have been involved in a pedestrian-car accident, you can recover compensation for the following damages as recognized under Illinois law. The insurance company pays for many of these damages on behalf of the at-fault driver.
- Medical Costs. You are eligible for all past and future medical costs related to your injuries, including costs of an ambulance, surgery, doctors, hospitalization, MRIs, X-rays, injections, medications, physical therapy, and medical equipment.
- Lost income. You can recover past and future income if your injuries prevent you from going back to the job you did before the accident.
- Disability. You can get compensation if you lose the ability to take part in the activities you enjoyed before an accident.
- Pain and suffering. Any pain and suffering related to physical injuries and medical procedures are compensable. If your quality of life has been compromised in any way, you are due fair compensation.
If the person dies in an accident or dies from the severe injuries sustained in a pedestrian accident, the Illinois law permits the family of the deceased to get compensation for their loss of financial and emotional support and funeral expenses (740 ILCS 180/0.01).
How Long Do I Have To File a Lawsuit After a Pedestrian Accident?
According to Illinois law, you have limited time to file a pedestrian accident claim following the incident. This is called the statute of limitations. Typically, you must file your claim within two years after the accident, or within two years after the death of a loved one.
Failure to meet these deadlines means you could lose the right to pursue compensation. So, it’s crucial to see an attorney as soon as you’re ready to file a claim.
Which Illinois Laws Protect Pedestrians?
Illinois has several laws that protect people from crossing streets and those near vehicle traffic. These laws reflect the dangers vehicles, cars, and trucks pose to pedestrians. Also, they consider the grave repercussions accidents have on victims and their families. Here’s a summary of these laws:
- According to 625 ILCS 5/11-80, Drivers must stop for people in crosswalks or during school days when they enter school zones. Also, drivers must stop if doing so would prevent further injuries or accidents.
- According to 625 ILCS 5/Ch. 11 Art. IX, drivers must yield to pedestrians when turning a red light or intersection; when people are on their side, when foot traffic has right of way, when pedestrians already have right of way, when the lights turn green, when pedestrians are leaving a driveway, private building, alley, or building, or when yielding would prevent an accident or injury.
- According to 625 ILCS 5/11-709.1, drivers can only use Illinois roads to merge, enter, start, or stop with traffic safely. This law prohibits any unauthorized use of highways, roads, shoulders, alleys, or other avenues.
- According to 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1, drivers must observe due care to prevent accidents with pedestrians and other vehicles on the roadway. They must operate their cars and sound their horns to prevent accidents.
Illinois Pedestrian Laws
Illinois’ right-of-way laws stipulate who may proceed first in an intersection and crosswalks. To be safe and avoid breaking traffic rules, you must understand who has the right-of-way in certain circumstances.
In Illinois, a driver must stop and yield:
- When pedestrians are in marked crosswalks.
- During school days when children are near a school zone crosswalks.
- Drivers must yield to pedestrians:
- When pedestrians are walking on unmarked crosswalks on the driver’s side of the road and there no traffic control signs.
- When turning at an intersection.
- When making a lawful turn on a red light after a complete stop.
- After a complete stop at a stop signal or flashing red light at an intersection.
- When pedestrians enter crosswalks before the traffic light changes.
- When there’s a green light or a walk signal.
- When pedestrians are leaving or entering an alley, building, driveway, or private road.
Also, pedestrians have legal responsibilities in Illinois. For instance:
- Pedestrians must obey traffic signals, use crosswalks, and observe walk lights.
- Pedestrians must not suddenly leave safe places and walk or run into the path of a moving vehicle in a way that creates immediate danger.
- Pedestrians must give way to drivers when crossing a road at any other place other than marked or unmarked crosswalks.
- Pedestrians must not walk on roads unless there's no sidewalk or shoulder next to the roads. Under these conditions, pedestrians should walk facing oncoming vehicles as far away from the outside edge of the road as possible.
- Pedestrians must not walk on a highway when intoxicated.
- Pedestrians must obey bridges and railroad gates and other barriers.
- In Illinois, hitchhiking is illegal.
- Pedestrians aged 18 years or older can skateboard on public roads if the posted speed limit is 45mph or less from sunrise to sunset, as long as they don’t impede vehicle traffic.
Can a Pedestrian Be at Fault for A Motor Vehicle Accident?
It’s the driver’s responsibility to stop for people crossing the streets and drive carefully when pedestrians are nearby. Also, pedestrians have some responsibilities. For instance, pedestrians are expected to use crosswalks and wait for the walk sign at busy intersections. Thus, if you’re injured in an accident, the insurance company may argue you’re partially to blame for the accident. Illinois law recognizes contributory negligence when resolving these kinds of claims and this determines how much compensation you get.
Pedestrian-Car Accident Statistics in Illinois and Nationally
The Illinois Department of Transportation reports that in 2009 alone 111 pedestrians were killed in car accidents in Illinois. Pedestrian accidents occur mostly on Thursdays and teenagers between the ages of 15 and 18 are more likely to be involved in pedestrian accidents.
Additionally, the Illinois Department of Transportation reports in 2016 there were 2,712 pedestrian accidents in Chicago and there were 4,741 pedestrian accidents in Illinois, of which 4,501 led to bodily injuries and 141 were fatal accidents. The National Safety Council reports that 90% of all pedestrian accidents occur in urban areas.
Further, data from the National Highway Safety Administration shows alcohol caused 47% of fatal pedestrian accidents in the US in 2017.
Contact A Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today!
If you have sustained injuries in a pedestrian accident or lost a loved one, you may be eligible for compensation through a personal injury suit. Such lawsuits can help you recover money for medical expenses, lost wages or earning potential, pain and suffering, and wrongful death.
Here at CCAL, we understand you need a lot of support as you recover from your injuries or the loss you have suffered. Our Chicago personal injury lawyers and car accident lawyers are committed to using our expertise and resources to help innocent victims of pedestrian accidents recover fair compensation. For a free initial consultation, call our law firm today at (312) 300-2515, or chat with us online. Don’t wait! Contact us today!