Pedestrian Accident Attorneys
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.
Types of Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents can occur for any number of reasons. Some of the most commonly seen types of pedestrian accidents that we see include:
- Work/play accidents - These types of accidents occur when a child is struck while playing or a working professional is struck while on the job.
- Backing vehicle - A pedestrian is struck by a vehicle backing up in a driveway or parking lot due to low visibility.
- Off-road accidents - These occur when a car is somewhere it shouldn’t be, such as on a sidewalk and usually involve driving under the influence.
- Roadside accidents - Pedestrians that are walking along the side of the road and not on a sidewalk or shoulder are at greater risk for being struck by a motor vehicle.
- Pedestrian highway crossing - These occur when a pedestrian attempts to cross the lanes of a highway.
- Intersection crossing - Intersection crossing can be especially dangerous, and pedestrians are often struck by vehicles going both straight through the intersection and making a left-hand turn.
- Failure to yield - These accidents occur when a driver is acting negligently and fails to yield to a pedestrian crossing at a crosswalk.
- Multiple threat accidents - These occur when a pedestrian walks between two stopped vehicles and into the next lane where oncoming vehicles may not see them.
- Mid-block dart and dash - When a pedestrian attempts to cross in front of a moving vehicle while not at a crosswalk. Often these cases are contested.
- Mailbox/Midblock accidents - These types of accidents occur when a pedestrian is struck while getting their mail or interacting with a stopped vehicle.
- School bus crossing accidents - It is the law that all vehicles stop when a school bus is dropping off students. When a driver attempts to pass a stopped school bus, the results can be deadly.
Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
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:
- Jaywalking - When a pedestrian is attempting to cross a street while not in a crosswalk, they run the risk of being hit by a car. In jaywalking accidents, a driver may not be found completely liable.
- Speeding - A speeding driver does not have adequate time to stop their vehicle, putting pedestrians at risk for serious injuries and wrongful death.
- Reduced visibility - The NHTSA estimates that 70% of pedestrian accidents occur at night and 26% of fatal pedestrian accidents occur between 6pm-9pm when drivers have a more difficult time seeing them. When weather conditions are poor, this only increases the chances of an accident.
- Traffic density - A busier street is much more dangerous, especially with multiple cars, pedestrians, and cyclists.
- Driving under the influence - Drunk and drugged driving is consistently a leading cause of motor vehicle accidents. Anyone that gets behind the wheel while under the influence of any mind-altering substance needs to be held responsible for their negligent and dangerous actions.
Pedestrian Accident FAQs
- Do you have to stop for pedestrians waiting in a crosswalk?
- Do pedestrians always have the right of way?
- Is a driver always at-fault for hitting a pedestrian?
- Can I sue if I was hit by a car?
- Can I be found partially at-fault in a pedestrian accident?
- If the driver who hit me was working, can I sue his employer?
- What are the costs of hiring an attorney?
Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries
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:
- Bone fractures
- Soft tissue injuries
- Back/neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Wrongful death
Applicable Illinois Pedestrian Laws
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:
- The injured victim, who was legally disabled at the time of the accident, may file up to two years after recovering from the disability (735 ILCS 5/13-211);
- The victim who was under 18 at the time of the accident has two years from his/her 18th birthday to file (735 ILCS 5/13-211);
- If the negligent party leaves the state of Illinois after the accident but before a lawsuit could be filed, the defendant’s period of absence may not be considered part of the two-year limit (735 ILCS 5/13-208).
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 Injured in Pedestrian Accidents
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.
Understanding Insurance Companies
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.
Pedestrian Accident Compensation
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:
- Medical expenses - This can include both current and future medical expenses related to your accident, including medical transport, doctor’s visits, emergency room fees, medications, rehabilitation, surgery, and physical therapy.
- Lost wages - An accident victim may be eligible for wages that were lost due to the accident and any future lost income or related benefits because of your injuries.
- Disfigurement/disability - If you were left with permanent scarring, disfigurement, or a disability that severely impacts your life in a negative way, you could be eligible for compensation.
- Pain and suffering/emotional distress - These are non-economic damages that are awarded when a victim can prove that they were affected mentally and physically following an accident. This is subjective and often relies on testimony from the victim and their doctors.
- Punitive damages - If a motorist’s behavior was found to be egregious, a judge may award punitive damages to punish the driver for this reckless behavior and to dissuade others from following in their footsteps.
- Wrongful death - The Illinois Wrongful Death Act allows the next of kin of the deceased truck accident victim to be compensated for their losses, including funeral expenses, medical bills, loss of consortium, and loss of financial support.
Preparing for Your Pedestrian Accident Case
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:
- Collecting and analyzing police reports
- Contacting witnesses and collecting witness statements
- Collecting medical documents and reports
- Obtaining photographs of the accident scene, vehicle damage, and injuries
- Hiring accident reconstruction experts
- Meeting with physicians and medical experts and discussing the long-term effects of your injuries
- Communicating with the insurance companies and their representatives
Contact Us for A Free Review
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.
Cities We Serve
In addition to the Chicago area, Agruss Law Firm, LLC also serves the following cities in Illinois:
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