Each year across the U.S., thousands of traffic accidents that involve pedestrians result in serious injuries and deaths. A major study done by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that pedestrian accident deaths have increased dramatically each year. In 2010 there were approximately 4,300 pedestrian fatalities nationally (or one death every two hours), with 6,476 deaths reported in 2017.
Illinois pedestrians are especially at risk. Between 2008-2017, 1,300 pedestrians lost their lives and in 2016 alone there were 5,500 pedestrian injuries with 136 fatalities across the state. At Agruss Law Firm, LLC, we have helped thousands of clients to seek justice and compensation for personal injuries, and you won’t owe us a penny for our services unless we win your case. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident due to negligence, contact our office today for a free consultation.
Pedestrian accidents can occur for any number of reasons. Some of the most commonly seen types of pedestrian accidents that we see include:
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 70,000 pedestrians are injured and over 4,000 people lose their lives yearly in pedestrian accidents.
Pedestrians, due to their lack of protection and vulnerability against motor vehicles, are at a much higher risk of catastrophic injuries and death than motorists, cyclists, and motorcyclists.
Distracted driving is a large cause of pedestrian accidents, especially with so many people relying on their cellphones to check for social media posts, phone calls, and text messaging. Distracted driving is as dangerous as driving under the influence and negligent drivers need to be held responsible for their actions. Pedestrians are not off the hook, however. Someone out walking needs to be aware of their surroundings, especially around traffic, and unfortunately, pedestrians are often distracted by their cellphones as well.
Distractions are not the only cause of pedestrian accidents. Some other major causes of pedestrian accidents include:
As a pedestrian, you are at the mercy of motorists, and without any physical protection, injuries are almost always inevitable. Pedestrian accident injuries can be severe and carry with them extensive, ongoing medical expenses. Some of the most common pedestrian accident injuries include:
Illinois has various laws related to keeping pedestrians safe. According to the Illinois Vehicle Code 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1: “…every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian, or any personal operating a bicycle or other device propelled by human power and shall give warning by sounding the horn when necessary and shall exercise proper precaution upon observing a child or any obviously confused, incapacitated or intoxicated person.”
Additionally, Illinois states the following regarding pedestrians’ right-of-way at crosswalks (625 ILCS 5/11-1002) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 11-1002) Sec. 11-1002:
(a) When traffic control signals are not in place or not in operation the driver of a vehicle shall stop and yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling, or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.
(b) No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a moving vehicle which is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.
(c) Paragraph (a) shall not apply under the condition stated in Section 11-1003(b).
(d) Whenever any vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk or at any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass such stopped vehicle.
(e) Whenever stop signs or flashing red signals are in place at an intersection or at a plainly marked crosswalk between intersections, drivers shall yield right-of-way to pedestrians as set forth in Section 11-904 of this Chapter.
Illinois also has laws regarding pedestrians that do not cross at crosswalks and the right of way. (625 ILCS 5/11-1003) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 11-1003) Sec. 11-1003 states:
(a) Every pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.
(b) Any pedestrian crossing a roadway at a point where a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing has been provided shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.
(c) Between adjacent intersections at which traffic-control signals are in operation pedestrians shall not cross at any place except in a marked crosswalk.
(d) No pedestrian shall cross a roadway intersection diagonally unless authorized by official traffic-control devices; and, when authorized to cross diagonally, pedestrians shall cross only in accordance with the official traffic-control devices pertaining to such crossing movements.
(e) Pedestrians with disabilities may cross a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk where the intersection is physically inaccessible to them, but they shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.
One of the most important laws to keep in mind following a pedestrian accident is Illinois’ statute of limitations. For filing a personal injury claim, the state of Illinois offers a timeframe of two (2) years from the date on which the accident occurred. This can be found in 735 Illinois Compiled Statutes Section 5/13-202.
There are some rare exceptions to this time-limit, which include:
Illinois also follows a system known as “modified contributory fault” for pedestrian accidents. This means that a victim’s compensation can be reduced by their percentage of fault for an accident. For example, if a pedestrian is struck by a car and was deemed 20% at-fault for the accident, they would only be rewarded 80% compensation. If a victim is determined to be 50% or more at-fault for a pedestrian accident, they would not be awarded any compensation under this model.
Children are among the most vulnerable to injury and death in a pedestrian accident and according to the NHTSA, pedestrian accidents are the fifth-leading cause of death for children aged 5 to 19. If your child was injured, or tragically killed, due to a pedestrian accident, you, as their parent or legal guardian, may be able to file a personal injury claim on their behalf for their damages.
Typically, a personal injury claim has a two (2) year statute of limitations under Illinois law, however for personal injury cases involving children, an extra two years are given when they turn 18. Children under the age of five (5) are not legally capable of comparative fault, which allows parents or legal guardians to file a claim on their behalf.
In most cases, the driver who struck your child can be found liable for their injuries, however, it is still important to ensure that your children understand basic traffic laws and safety precautions, especially when crossing the street, while on their bicycle or while playing, and when exiting and crossing in front of the school bus.
If you’ve never been involved in an accident before, you may not have had to deal with an insurance company in this capacity. It is important to remember that insurance companies are a business and they are not on your side. It is their goal to pay you, the victim, as little as possible or to find loopholes in your case to deny your claim completely. This is why the assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer is essential to ensure that you are fully compensated for your injuries and damages.
Pedestrian accident victims that attempt to negotiate their claim on their own have a slim chance of full compensation and run the risk of having their claim dismissed fully, without any compensation. Also, those victims that attempt negotiations without proper representation are often tempted to take the first settlement offered by the insurance company. This can be risky as this number may not cover all your expenses, currently and in the future.
A personal injury lawyer understands the negotiation process and can help determine how your injuries will not only affect you today, but long term. Having experience on your side ensures that the insurance company does not try to lowball you and that you receive full compensation for your losses, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident due to the negligence of a motorist, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses by filing a personal injury claim. Each personal injury case will be unique, but the lawyers at Agruss Law Firm, LLC can review your case for free and determine what you may be entitled to.
Some of the most common types of compensation a pedestrian accident victim could receive include:
Most personal injury cases are settled with the insurance company before they even reach a courtroom. However, each case we undertake at Agruss Law Firm, LLC is thoroughly prepared for the possibility of a trial and our clients are consistently rewarded with larger settlements.
Some of the steps you can expect the lawyers at Agruss Law Firm, LLC to take in your accident case include:
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident due to negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses. Contact Agruss Law Firm, LLC for a free consultation. We are an Illinois statewide-based injury law firm representing individuals (and their families) who have been injured in an accident. 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, we are not paid attorneys’ fees unless we win your case. Our no-fee promise is that simple. There is no risk when you hire us – only the opportunity to seek justice.
In addition to the Chicago area, Agruss Law Firm, LLC also serves the following cities in Illinois:
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