Pedestrians are highly vulnerable to motor vehicles, which are significantly larger and move with enough velocity to cause serious injuries and even death. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident as a pedestrian, we at Agruss Law Firm are here for you every step of the way to ensure that your rights are protected and you are fully compensated for your injuries and losses, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact our attorneys today for a free consultation.
According to pedestrian accident statistics, about 72% of these accidents occur at night, and a whopping 78% – nearly four in five accidents – occur in urban areas. Crossing busy streets, even at crosswalks, can be quite dangerous, especially for the elderly and those with disabilities. A common problem is turning right on red while failing to recognize and yield to any pedestrians, and distracted driving can also create accidents in these situations. Slower pedestrians, including those who are older and even mothers with small children, may get caught in the middle of divided or undivided roads when the “walk” sign has timed out or underestimate the speed of approaching vehicles while trying to beat the flashing light.
Common situations in which motor vehicle drivers accidentally strike pedestrians include:
- Blind driveways – Accidents may occur when a building or other obstruction blocks the driver’s view as they back out of their driveway, and they sometimes cannot see the sidewalk until they’ve already backed into it. This also occurs when backing out of parking lots in retail stores.
- Distracted driving – Unfortunately, some studies show that distracted driving is on the rise, due in large part to the use of mobile phones. There are three types of distracted driving: manual, referring to the driver’s hands; visual, referring to the driver’s eyes; and cognitive, referring to mental distractions. Texting is now considered among the most dangerous forms of distracted driving, as it combines all three.
- Failure to yield – Although pedestrians in marked crosswalks generally have the right of way, meaning that drivers must yield to them, obstructed views either of pedestrians or street signs and other distractions may lead to accidents at these crosswalks.
- Speeding – A pedestrian may take 20 seconds to cross a wide, three-lane road, but a vehicle moving at 50 m.p.h. travels a whole quarter-mile in the same span of time. Underestimating the speed or distance of a vehicle down the road, perhaps due in part to darkness or inclement weather, can be very dangerous, especially when drivers on the road are distracted.
- Drunk driving – Of course, driving while intoxicated creates a range of impairments, including slower reaction times and poorer judgment, which increase the risk of an accident involving a pedestrian.
Here are some of the more serious injuries which can be sustained when a pedestrian is struck by a motor vehicle:
- Head injuries – These include skull fractures and blunt force trauma as well as traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Pedestrians can be seriously injured if the head strikes the vehicle or ground following the impact, and concussions and/or brain trauma can be caused by the brain striking the inside of the skull. These injuries can result in loss of cognitive or motor skills and may become lifelong complications in serious cases.
- Back, neck, and spinal injuries – Injuries in the back and spinal cord include bruising, damage to vertebrae, whiplash, and even permanent paralysis. Many spinal cord injuries require surgery to prevent further complications, and temporary paralysis can also occur following an accident, requiring hospitalization and extensive rehabilitation.
- Injuries to extremities – The impact from a vehicle can cause broken bones and, in severe cases, the loss of a limb.
- Emotional trauma – Though this type of trauma can be more difficult to gauge, it is indeed real and can have lasting impacts on a victim’s mental and emotional stability, possibly requiring counseling, medication, or other remedies.
- Death – The risk of death when a vehicle strikes a pedestrian is due not only to the clear size and force of the vehicle, but also the pedestrian’s total lack of protection. In 2013 alone, there were more than 4,700 pedestrian fatalities in traffic accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and it’s important to note that pedestrians are also among the few groups suffering an increase in traffic-related fatalities.
Remember: under Illinois law, injury victims have up to two (2) years to file a personal injury claim. However, it is imperative to speak with an attorney as soon as possible following the accident to determine your case’s worth and how to earn full compensation for your injuries and losses, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
We at Agruss Law Firm are proud to serve our fellow citizens in personal injury cases, especially when you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, and we are fully committed to protecting your rights and ensuring that the other party is held legally accountable when negligence occurs. We will fight until the very end to ensure that you are fully compensated for all injuries and losses resulting from the accident, and you won’t owe us a dime for our services.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in an accident as a pedestrian, contact Agruss Law Firm today for a free consultation. We are a Chicago-based personal injury law firm, and helping our clients is about counseling, advocating, and ultimately solving problems. With years of experience successfully representing the people and not the powerful, we will file your claim and take care of the insurance company, the bills, and the lost income. We will handle your case quickly and advise you every step of the way, and we will not hesitate to go to trial for you. Lastly, our personal injury lawyers are not paid attorney fees unless we win your case. Our no-fee promise is that simple. You have nothing to risk when you hire us – only the opportunity to seek justice.