Here at Mike Agruss Law, we are proud to serve the people of Waukegan in personal injury cases, including when you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a pedestrian 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 receive full financial compensation for all injuries and losses resulting from the accident, including medical expenses, property damage, lost income, and pain and suffering, and you won’t owe us a dime for our services. Contact our pedestrian accident attorneys for a free consultation today.
Accidents involving pedestrians and motor vehicles can result in catastrophic injuries. According to statistics, about 72% of pedestrian 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. More recent statistics are available from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).
Common situations in which motor vehicle drivers accidentally strike pedestrians include:
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.
Unfortunately, some studies show that forms of driver negligence such as distracted driving are 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.
A pedestrian can take as many as 20 seconds to cross a wide, three-lane road, but a vehicle moving at 50 m.p.h. moves a long way 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.
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.
Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Most of us are pedestrians in auto-traffic areas at some point of each day, and no human body is a match for a heavy motor vehicle. If you’ve been seriously injured in a pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to significant compensation for your lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering via a personal injury lawsuit.
Here are some of the more serious injuries which can be sustained by pedestrian accident victims:
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 – It’s unfortunately common that pedestrian deaths occur when a vehicle strikes a pedestrian, 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.
Pedestrian Accident Cases
If you’ve suffered a pedestrian accident injury due to someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible to recover compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress in a personal injury litigation, and loss of consortium may be claimed for your spouse, if applicable. Speak with our experienced personal injury attorneys today.
Pedestrian accident lawsuits come in many forms and may incorporate all sorts of legal issues. Here are a few common factors for most pedestrian accidents and resulting lawsuits:
As with other personal injury claims, such as for a car accident or traumatic brain injury, a pedestrian accident case must sufficiently demonstrate that the other party’s negligence directly caused or contributed to the accident which resulted in your injury. While presenting this evidence is necessary, gathering it can be a complicated process in itself – especially in cases involving a hit and run driver – and may require witness interviews, obtaining opinions and analyses from accident-reconstruction experts, and obtaining documents such as police reports and medical records.
Comparative fault claims
In pedestrian accident claims, the negligent party may claim you were partially responsible for the accident in order to limit his/her own liability. These are accusations of “comparative fault,” and our attorneys know how to defend against them and keep the story straight.
Proving the extent of the losses you suffered ties in closely to proving you deserve the damages you are seeking in your pedestrian accident lawsuit. Common forms of damage include past and future lost wages and benefits, past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, emotional distress, short-term or permanent disabilities, and lost capacity for enjoyment of life. Thanks to pay statements and medical bills, calculating past financial losses is relatively simple. Calculating future losses can be more difficult, however, and may require the assistance of medical or economic experts.
How We Help
If you’ve been in a pedestrian accident involving a negligent driver, you may be unsure of how you will resolve the situation. After you’ve received medical attention, consulting with our attorneys will help you in many ways. Your attorney will:
Advise you of your claim’s potential
Not all pedestrian accident victims will be eligible for compensation in a personal injury case, even for a serious injury; when an individual is entirely at fault for his/her own accident, for example, no one else can be held accountable. On the other hand, if the accident was caused at least in part by the negligence of another person or entity, it is likely that you have a solid and viable claim. Your attorney may also interview witnesses or conduct certain forms of investigation to find evidence of negligence.
Review your options
Some injured pedestrians may expect to file an immediate lawsuit, march into court, and be awarded a large chunk of money from the jury, but this is rarely how the legal process occurs. There are ways to earn your compensation without this type of litigation, and the few cases which do go to trial usually involve very serious injuries. Our personal injury lawyers will negotiate with the insurance company to obtain the best possible settlement for your losses, which is likely to end in your favor without the need for a jury trial.
If or when these negotiations are ineffective for the injured party, there are always other options, such as filing personal injury claims in civil court or pursuing “alternative dispute resolutions (ADRs)” such as mediation and arbitration. Your attorney will advise you regarding these potential options and what will be best for your case.
Investigate the accident and gather evidence
A legal claim will, of course, require evidence that the defendant’s negligence caused your accident and resulting personal injuries. This may involve multiple investigations, including:
Obtaining video surveillance footage of the accident, if possible;
Reviewing safety records and related documents;
Obtaining medical records and police reports;
Consulting accident-reconstruction experts;
Conducting depositions or other legal discovery methods.
Determine the value of your case
Pedestrian injury claims, as with claims for car accidents, require a specific requested amount of compensation for your injuries and losses, which must be calculated based on past losses incurred as well as estimated future losses, such as lost wages and present and future medical expenses. Personal injury victims may also seek to recover compensation for “non-economic” losses, such as pain and suffering and emotional distress.
Represent you in court
In the unlikely event that a reasonable settlement cannot be reached, a trial will be necessary and you simply cannot afford to do it alone. Under the attorney client relationship, your Waukegan personal injury lawyer will fight for you until the very end to earn full and fair compensation.
Statute of Limitations
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 maximum compensation.
Contact us Today!
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or wrongful death in an accident in the Waukegan area, you need an experienced personal injury attorney. Contact Mike Agruss Law for a free case evaluation. 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 take care of the insurance company, your medical treatment costs, your property damage, and your lost wages under the attorney client relationship. 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, Mike Agruss Law works on a contingency fee basis and is not paid attorneys’ 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.