Have you or someone you love been seriously injured after being struck by a car while walking? The trauma of your injuries may have a significant impact on your life. It is crucial to get the financial support you need so you do not wind up in financial ruin.
When pedestrian accidents happen, make sure you have an experienced pedestrian accident attorney in Illinois at Mike Agruss Law working for you. Contact our Illinois-based personal injury law offices for a free consultation today to learn more about how to identify the liable party, the value of your case, and what legal options you may have.
Illinois Pedestrian Accident Statistics
Pedestrian accidents occur somewhat frequently in Illinois. The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) has multiple stats available surrounding pedestrian accidents in Illinois. Here are some of the most notable:
- Pedestrian accident fatalities have increased by more than 55% over the last 15 years and 19% since 2019
- Speeding, drunk driving, and distracted driving accidents are the leading causes of pedestrian accidents in Illinois
- There has been a significant increase in the number of truck purchases, leading to more truck accidents and pedestrian injuries
Top Causes of Illinois Pedestrian Accidents
The majority of pedestrian accidents in Illinois are caused by negligent or unsafe driving. The negligent driver can be held accountable for your motor vehicle accident and injuries. Some of the most common types of negligent driving include:
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Reckless driving
- Failure to follow traffic signals
- Failure to yield to the pedestrian’s right of way
- Failure to stop or use a turn signal
However, negligent driving is not the only cause of pedestrian crashes. Pedestrians may share fault for their injuries if they failed to utilize crosswalks, jaywalk, or fail to wear reflective clothing if walking at night.
In some instances, drivers may find it impossible to avoid hitting a pedestrian. This might be because of wildlife, inclement weather, dangerous road conditions, or defective motor vehicle parts. In any case, your pedestrian accident attorney must conduct an in-depth investigation into how your accident occurred. This way, we can be sure we identify everyone who may have played a part in causing your accident.
Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries and When to Sue
Unfortunately, pedestrian and bicycle accidents are some of the most devastating types of accidents a person can be involved in. Pedestrians do not have the same protection that car passengers and other motorists do. When a pedestrian is hit by a car, they absorb the full force of the vehicle, which often leads to catastrophic and even fatal injuries.
The types of injuries pedestrians suffer are often permanent and long-lasting. The type of injury you are diagnosed with will not have an impact on whether you can pursue your case. However, it will affect the amount of compensation you can recover. Your ability to pursue your case is dependent on whether your injury has substantially affected your life. Nearly any type of injury has the ability to permanently alter the course of your life if the conditions are right.
With that in mind, some of the most common types of injuries we see in Illinois pedestrian accident claims include:
- Joint injuries
- Burn injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Penetrating brain injuries
- Bone fractures
- Shoulder injuries
- Hand injuries
- Back injuries
- Wrist injuries
- Knee injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck injuries
- Facial trauma
- Dental injuries
- Ear and eye injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
If you were diagnosed with another type of injury that was not included above, do not lose hope. Our pedestrian accident lawyers at Mike Agruss Law want to hear your story. Contact our office so we can learn more about how seriously your life has been affected by your pedestrian accident and subsequent injuries. From there, we can determine what legal options are most suitable for your case.
Available Compensation for Pedestrian Accident Victims under Illinois Law
With accidents involving pedestrians, victims may be interested to learn about how much compensation they could recover. After the trauma you went through, you need validation that your efforts are going to be worthwhile, as you are entitled to be made whole when someone else is responsible for causing serious injuries.
This means the liable party will be ordered to repay you for your losses in full. You have the right to recover both economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages describe monetary losses whereas non-economic damages will ensure you are compensated for the ways your life has been affected and how the trauma has impacted you emotionally. Here are some of the most commonly awarded types of damages in a pedestrian accident case:
One of the most expensive financial losses that come with pedestrian accidents are medical bills. With the cost of medical treatment in the United States being so high, even minor injuries can result in thousands of dollars in medical expenses.
It is not unusual for certain injuries to cost millions of dollars in medical treatment alone. Some of the most common types of medical expenses you can speak compensation for in your Illinois pedestrian accident claim include:
- Prescription medications
- Physical therapy
- Psychological treatment
- Surgical intervention
- Diagnostic testing
- Ambulance bills
- The cost of your hospital stay
- Future medical treatment
- Medical devices
- Accommodations to your home for medical devices and equipment
- Prosthetic limbs and other medical equipment
- Occupational therapy
Many pedestrian crash victims must take time off work so they can heal from their injuries. Thankfully, an injured pedestrian can recover compensation in a personal injury claim. These damages may include:
- Money lost when you took time off
- Your diminished earning potential
- Loss of potential bonuses
- Loss of anticipated salary increases
- Loss of contributions to your retirement savings or 401(k) from your employer
- Loss of employer-provided health insurance coverage
- Loss of paid time off, including vacation time, sick time, and holiday pay
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering is a type of non-economic loss. It does not have a set financial value, as it can impact each person’s life differently.
Pain and suffering can refer to not only the physical chronic pain you deal with every day due to your injuries but also the emotional distress and toll it has taken on your life, your inability to maintain relationships with friends and family, your ability to complete daily living tasks, and your reduced quality of life.
Fatal Pedestrian Accidents
These accidents often result in pedestrian fatalities. In the event of a fatal accident, the surviving family members may have the opportunity to pursue a wrongful death action against those responsible for causing their loved one’s death. Pedestrian deaths are commonly caused in traffic accidents where victims suffer injuries they cannot come back from.
However, only the decedent’s personal representative has the authority to file a wrongful death lawsuit. If you are not sure whether you have met the grounds needed to move forward with a wrongful death claim, make sure you discuss your concerns with our pedestrian accident attorneys.
Illinois Pedestrian Accident FAQ
Pedestrian accident cases can be complex. Multiple parties often share liability for the accident. We understand how overwhelmed you must be feeling and that you have many unanswered questions regarding the personal injury law and pedestrian accident claims processes.
We have answered some of the most frequently asked questions about pedestrian accidents and personal injury cases in Illinois below. If you have additional questions we do not cover here, be sure to contact a reputable personal injury attorney at our law firm to discuss your concerns further.
What evidence can be used to build a strong case?
The burden of proof in an Illinois personal injury lawsuit is based on a preponderance of the evidence. According to the law, for your pedestrian accident lawsuit to be successful, your lawyer must introduce evidence to the judge and jury that convinces them the defendant in your case is likely responsible for the severe injuries sustained.
The evidence we collect both at the accident scene and throughout the course of our investigation is instrumental in winning your case.
Some examples of the evidence that could be most helpful in proving liability and the value of your damages include:
- Video footage from traffic cams
- Data obtained from the event data recorder in the vehicle that hit you
- Copies of the cell phone records of the driver who hit you
- Chemical blood alcohol and field sobriety test results
- Reports from accident reconstructionists
- Police reports
- Photos of your injuries
- Copies of your medical records and physician opinions regarding your prognosis
- Personal journal entries that detail how your injuries have affected your life
- Witness statements
- Copies of the defendant’s driving history, including former citations or traffic violations
These are just a few of the types of evidence that could be useful as we fight for the compensation you deserve. You can learn more about which type of evidence you’ll need to obtain a verdict in your favor when you talk with your pedestrian accident attorney at Mike Agruss Law.
What should I do if I’m accused of sharing blame?
It is common for liable parties to try and shift the blame onto the injury victim in an effort to reduce how much they’ll have to pay in compensation. Fortunately, unlike in contributory negligence states that will bar you from recovering damages, Illinois practices a modified comparative negligence code under Illinois 735 ILCS 5/2-1116.
Here, if your portion of fault does not exceed 50%, you may still be entitled to compensation for your damages at a reduced rate. The amount of compensation that will be deducted from your settlement will correlate with your portion of the blame. For example, if you were jaywalking at the time of the accident and were struck by a drunk or distracted driver, the judge might determine you share 25% of the blame for your injuries. If the verdict in your case resulted in a settlement valued at $250,000, you could expect the court to deduct 25% of your settlement. This means you will only be entitled to 75% of your $250,000 award—or $187,500.
You must take action to protect yourself from unjust allegations of shared liability in your pedestrian accident if you hope to avoid losing out on maximum compensation. Your personal injury lawyer can go up against the liable parties that attempt to capitalize on Illinois’ shared fault laws so you can get the most out of your case.
What is the statute of limitations for pedestrian accident claims in Illinois?
Illinois personal injury laws under Illinois 735 ILCS 5/13-212 expressly prohibit claims from being filed more than two years from the date of the accident. However, there may be extenuating circumstances that apply in your case that could extend the deadline. However, there are also situations where you may have less time to file your claim.
For example, if you are filing an insurance claim, the auto insurance company can set a time and deadline for filing. If your claim is not filed before the insurance company’s deadline, you may miss out on the compensation you would have been entitled to. We understand how confusing this can be. Thankfully, when you have a knowledgeable pedestrian accident attorney working for you, you do not need to worry about a procedural error or missing essential deadlines that have an impact on your ability to maximize your financial compensation.
Get Help From an Experienced Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Today
Your pedestrian accident may be one of the most traumatic experiences of your life. Do not let the individual or entity responsible for causing your injuries get away with it. Hold them accountable to the fullest extent of the law. Contact our team of skilled pedestrian accident lawyers at Mike Agruss Law for a free, no-obligation consultation. You can reach out via our online contact form or by phone to get started on your claim today.