If you or a loved one have been injured in a Chicago pedestrian accident and you were treated at a hospital and have missed work because of the car accident, then you may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries and losses. Given how severe these types of traffic accidents are, you will need the help of an experienced Chicago pedestrian accident attorney who will represent you in front of the insurance company for your personal injury lawsuit.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), most fatalities occur at night. They also reported that in 2019, U.S. pedestrian deaths declined by approximately 1% compared to the prior year. This may seem like a step in the right direction, but there has been a 55% increase in pedestrian deaths between 2009 and 2018. Twenty-seven states in the U.S. saw a rise in pedestrian fatalities, and three states had no change in their numbers.
The nationwide surge in dangerous driving habits such as speeding, intoxicated driving, or distracted driving is the most common reason why more pedestrians died in vehicle-related crashes in 2020 and 2021. Additionally, infrastructure issues, such as not providing safe and well-lit walkways and sidewalks, have contributed to this increase in pedestrian accidents. Another trend GHSA saw an increase was in motorist preferences: more motorists want and have bought trucks rather than passenger vehicles as their private car. These vehicles are a lot heavier than passenger vehicles and thus injure more innocent victims.
Common Injuries in Pedestrian Accident Cases
An injured pedestrian can suffer from primary injuries due to the initial blunt force of being struck at the accident scene. Secondary injuries tend to come with severe primary injuries, such as infections resulting from burns or hypoxia after a traumatic brain injury.
Broken bones and fractures are common among accidents involving pedestrians. Fractures in the hands, arms, wrist, shoulders, and back may require surgery and certainly will require physical therapy to help the victim regain their mobility. Chicago pedestrian accidents usually affect the lower extremities, especially the knee, because the knee joint is about the same height as the bumper of most cars, so victims are often struck at that level on their legs. Weakness in the joints can last for years if not treated right away by a physical therapist, creating life-long mobility problems for victims.
Injuries to the Face, Neck, and Head
The most severe injuries affect the body from the shoulders up, including the brain and brainstem. Injuries can also affect the teeth, jaw, skull, ears, and eyes. Among the most common include:
- Jaw fractures
- Vertebrae injuries
- Dislocated shoulder
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
Researchers discovered that the impact speed of the vehicle at the time of the accident, the shape of the front of the car, and the pedestrian’s age affected the type of skull fracture, focal brain injury, concussion, and other head injuries sustained that the victim was diagnosed with upon arriving at the ER.
Types of Compensation
There are two types of compensation you may be able to recover: economic damages and non-economic damages. Compensation for your economic damages can help ensure your future and well-being if you are unable to work, if you will continue to have health issues related to your injury or if you need to modify your home to accommodate for your injury-related disability. Compensation for the emotional distress endured as a result of a pedestrian accident are non-economic damages.
One of the most common types of damages after car accidents are lost wages, which can be recovered in a personal injury claim if you are unable to work due to your injuries. Lost wages include the time you have missed from your job and compensate you if your future earnings have been affected by a permanent disability caused by the accident.
Immediately after being involved in an accident, it is highly recommended that you go to the nearest emergency room and be evaluated for injuries. If you went to the emergency room and the doctors had to perform surgery, specialized tests, or other intensive services, then the insurance company is going to argue hard not to pay those exorbitant medical fees. Mike Agruss Law has decades of experience fighting on behalf of victims of vehicle accidents to get the total compensation that they deserve.
Negligent drivers whose actions lead to fatal accidents cause great anguish to the surviving family members. In the state of Illinois, a wrongful death claim can be filed by a personal representative of the estate of a victim who is killed in a pedestrian accident, which is usually their spouse, parent, or their children. The survivors of the decedent can file a wrongful death claim if they would have had a legitimate personal injury case from their pedestrian accident had they lived. The wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date of their loved one’s death. Damages for wrongful death in a pedestrian accident can include the burial and funeral expenses, the loss of companionship and support, the mental suffering and grief that their survivors experienced as well as the economic losses of the past and future.
What are the leading causes of pedestrian accidents?
A car accident involving a pedestrian is typically due to a negligent driver.
Driving while drunk is illegal and can impair your judgment. A drunk driver is much less likely to be able to see a pedestrian, even if the pedestrian is using a legal crosswalk. Drunk drivers often veer off the road, speed, and make very wide turns, all of which can put pedestrians at risk. Ultimately, their recklessness causes pain to the victim and their families.
Even if a driver is sober and abiding by the speed limit, they can cause a pedestrian accident if they are not watching out for pedestrians. When drivers are looking at their cell phone or talking on the phone, they are less likely to pay attention to what is happening on the road and will not see pedestrians even if the pedestrian has the right of way to cross the street
Wearing bright colors at night makes pedestrians more visible to cars, but dark clothing makes them blend into the night darkness. Although wearing dark clothing won’t prevent you from recovering compensation in your personal injury case, if the driver argues that they could not see you due to your clothing, then that could reduce the amount of damages that you receive.
Dangerous Weather Conditions
Rain, snow, and fog reduces visibility and makes it difficult for both drivers and pedestrians to see. This is why you should avoid going out in bad weather, but if you absolutely must, then you should pay extra close attention to the road. Slick conditions also make it harder for drivers to brake when a pedestrian is crossing the street.
Jaywalking is defined as crossing the road outside of a marked or unmarked crosswalk and is illegal in many cities in the United States. It is very dangerous to cross the road outside of a crosswalk and dramatically increases your risk of being hit by a car.
Unmarked crosswalks do not feature a visual warning to drivers that pedestrians could be crossing the road. Even though pedestrians have the right to cross the road at these areas, they should look both ways for oncoming traffic before entering the unmarked crosswalk.
Failure To Stop
Drivers are to yield the right of way to pedestrians, but when they do not slow down or come to a complete stop for a pedestrian when they should, it could lead to a pedestrian accident.
Before the accident, the speed a driver was traveling significantly impacts a pedestrian’s risk of severe injury or death. When a driver is speeding, they are unable to react with enough time to slow down for a pedestrian, even if the pedestrian has the right of way. The risk of severe injury increases the faster that a driver is traveling.
What Mike Agruss Law Can Do For You
A pedestrian accident lawyer can help determine who is at fault for your accident, and negotiate a settlement on your behalf. If a settlement cannot be reached, then they can represent you in court. If you have been seriously injured, you may not be able to handle your personal injury case independently and will need legal assistance. Mike Agruss Law handles your legal matters for you so that you can focus on your recovery.
The insurance company may argue that your accident wasn’t the driver’s fault and that you may be partially responsible for your accident, which can reduce how much you receive in damages. We conduct a thorough investigation into pedestrian accident cases to establish liability and ensure that you get the maximum compensation possible for your injuries and damages.
No Fee Until We Recover Compensation
Many people delay seeking legal advice for their personal injury claim because they are afraid that a pedestrian accident lawyer will cost too much. In fact, the attorneys at Mike Agruss Law offer a free pedestrian accident case evaluation and work on a contingency fee basis. That means that your Chicago pedestrian accident attorney from our law firm gets paid a percentage of the overall award they win for you, usually about 30 percent. We cover all of your upfront fees, such as court fees and the costs associated with investigating your claim.
It’s imperative that you call us right away so that you don’t wait too long and have your claim denied by the courts as well as the auto insurance company. According to Illinois law, an injured person must file their Chicago pedestrian accident claim within two years after suffering injuries in an accident or after a fatal pedestrian crash. So call Mike Agruss Law today to set up your consultation. We also recommend that you bring the following:
- Photos and videos you or witnesses took at the scene of the accident
- A list of witnesses, if you have any
- Your medical bills and diagnoses
- The police report