Chicago is a wonderful place to visit if you are looking for a wide variety of entertainment options, restaurants, and nightlife. However, with the large amount of traffic in the greater Chicago area comes the risk of serious pedestrian accidents, especially at intersections, crosswalks, and in local parking lots and garages.
In fact, according to recent data, 7,508 pedestrians lost their lives in traffic accidents in one year. This was the highest number of pedestrians killed since 1981.
In addition, forty percent of fatal pedestrian accidents that took place in Chicago were hit-and-run accidents in which the at-fault driver fled the accident scene. In addition, about 80 percent of fatal pedestrian accidents happen within 125 feet of a Chicago intersection.
Most of the time, pedestrian accidents happen when people drive in a distracted, intoxicated, or careless manner. If a driver speeds or fails to watch the road near a traffic intersection or in a parking lot or parking garage, they might fail to see a pedestrian and bring about a serious accident.
When a large, heavy motor vehicle hits a pedestrian, and the pedestrian falls on the ground, they are likely to suffer permanent injuries and sometimes fatalities.
If you or someone you love recently suffered injuries in a Chicago pedestrian accident, you must have an experienced Chicago pedestrian accident attorney advocating on your behalf throughout every step of the proceedings.
Your personal injury lawyer can discuss your pedestrian accident with you, investigate the accident circumstances, and determine your eligibility for filing a personal injury claim.
Then, your lawyer may begin gathering police reports, witness statements, medical records, and other potential evidence to use in your case.
After submitting a settlement demand package to the insurance company adjuster handling your case, your lawyer can aggressively negotiate on your behalf and pursue a favorable settlement award.
If the insurance company will not make you a fair settlement offer, your lawyer can pursue litigation through the state court system.
Every step of the way, your attorney will keep you aware of any updates in your case and will fight for your right to recover the monetary compensation you need and deserve for your pedestrian accident injuries.
Common Locations for Chicago Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents in Chicago can happen anywhere that walkers and motor vehicles are present together. The most common locations for pedestrian accidents in Chicago include crosswalks at traffic intersections, sidewalks, parking lots, parking garages, alleyways, and driveways.
An intersection crosswalk is one of the most common locations for Chicago pedestrian accidents. Traffic intersections in the downtown area frequently see a large volume of traffic.
How Do Pedestrian Accidents Frequently Occur in the Chicago Area?
In most instances, Chicago pedestrian accidents happen when drivers are careless and reckless under the circumstances, especially in areas where pedestrians tend to be present.
One of the most common causes of Chicago pedestrian accidents is traffic law violations, such as speeding, especially near busy intersections. A pedestrian accident may also occur when a driver fails to yield the right-of-way to an individual lawfully present in an intersection crosswalk.
Pedestrian accidents may also happen when drivers exhibit road rage or reckless driving in parking lots, garages, or near traffic intersections. For example, an aggressive driver may speed, attempt to pass another vehicle at a traffic intersection, or drive erratically.
Unfortunately, a reckless driver may inadvertently cause a vehicle to strike a nearby pedestrian, bringing about serious injuries or fatalities. Some drivers are so reckless that they may actually cause their vehicle to jump a curb and hit a pedestrian on a sidewalk, bringing about serious injuries.
Another common cause of pedestrian accidents is distracted driving, where a driver fails to watch the road attentively. Instead of paying attention to the road and their surroundings, a driver might be texting, listening to loud music, or putting a destination in their GPS device.
Alternatively, they might be roughhousing with vehicle passengers or disciplining young children sitting in the backseat. All these activities may cause a driver to lose focus and take their eyes and attention off the road, bringing about a pedestrian accident.
Finally, some pedestrian accidents occur when drivers are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Alcohol intoxication can severely affect a driver's ability to drive carefully and safely.
For example, an intoxicated driver may experience various mental symptoms, including lack of concentration, confusion, and disorientation. They may also experience blurred vision, dizziness, impaired judgment, delayed reflexes, poor muscular coordination, and delayed reaction time.
All these symptoms may prevent a driver from seeing a pedestrian or reacting in time to avoid hitting a pedestrian.
Upon suffering injuries in a pedestrian accident, you always retain an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer in your area as soon as possible.
Your lawyer can review all of your legal options with you and take the necessary steps to recover monetary compensation on your behalf, such as filing a personal injury claim with the at-fault driver's insurance company or pursuing litigation in the court system.
Common Injuries in Chicago Pedestrian Accidents
Unlike the occupants of motor vehicles, pedestrians do not have an outer shell that surrounds them in a pedestrian accident. Rather, they are directly exposed to the ground and their surrounding environment. If a motor vehicle hits them, and they fall on the ground, the chances are good that they will suffer a very serious and sometimes fatal injury.
The force involved and the surface on which the pedestrian lands will usually affect the nature and extent of their injuries in an accident. Some of the most common pedestrian accident injuries that individuals suffer include broken bones, soft tissue injuries, rib fractures, road rash injuries, spinal cord damage, complete and incomplete paralysis injuries, internal bleeding, internal organ damage, traumatic brain injuries, and permanent cognitive impairments.
If you suffered one or more of these injuries in a recent pedestrian accident, you should consult a medical provider in your area as quickly as possible. That provider can also refer you for additional follow-up treatment, such as with a neurologist, orthopedic doctor, or other medical specialist.
Treating continuously for your injuries and refraining from lengthy treatment gaps will significantly increase your chances of making a full recovery and obtaining the compensation you need for your injuries.
While you focus on making a full recovery, your pedestrian accident attorney will start handling the legal components of your case and aggressively advocating for your legal interests.
Proving a Pedestrian Accident Claim or Lawsuit in Illinois
To recover monetary compensation in an Illinois pedestrian accident claim or lawsuit, the injured pedestrian must satisfy several legal elements of proof. First, they must demonstrate that the driver owed them a legal duty of care, which they subsequently violated.
Drivers have a duty to drive in accordance with all traffic laws and in a generally safe and responsible manner, especially in areas where pedestrians may be present. When drivers violate traffic laws or drive while intoxicated or distracted, they breach the legal duty of care they owe to a pedestrian.
Next, the injured accident victim must establish that their pedestrian accident directly resulted from the driver's careless or reckless act and that they suffered one or more physical injuries due to the pedestrian accident.
To establish the legal burden of proof in a pedestrian accident case, your pedestrian accident lawyer can retain several experts in your case, including a medical expert and/or an accident reconstructionist.
A medical expert can establish that your injury or injuries are directly related to the pedestrian accident (and/or that you suffered a permanent injury in your accident). A certified accident reconstructionist can identify the responsible driver and determine exactly how your accident happened.
Compensable Monetary Damages in a Chicago Pedestrian Accident Case
There is no disputing that pedestrian accident victims frequently suffer extremely serious injuries. Fortunately, these individuals may be eligible to recover various types of monetary damages, either by accepting a favorable settlement offer from the at-fault driver's insurance company or successfully litigating their case to a conclusion in the state court system.
The overall monetary compensation that a pedestrian accident victim receives will likely depend upon the nature and severity of their injuries. The type of medical treatment they underwent and the total cost of their medical treatment may also affect the monetary damages that the accident victim recovers in their case.
First, pedestrian accident victims may be in a position to receive economic damages, including compensation for their medical expenses and lost earnings. Additionally, if their injuries prevent them from working at the same job, and they must switch job duties (often at a lower pay rate), they can pursue a claim for loss of earning capacity.
Next, injured pedestrian accident victims can pursue monetary compensation for their intangible losses, including monetary damages for related pain and suffering, lost quality of life, inconvenience, loss of use of a body part, mental distress, loss of spousal consortium, permanent disability or disfigurement, scarring, and long-term or lifetime care costs.
A knowledgeable pedestrian accident lawyer in Chicago can review the circumstances of your accident with you, as well as the extent of your medical treatment and injuries, and ballpark the likely settlement or litigation value of your case.
Your attorney will then do everything they can to maximize the total monetary award you recover in your case via a favorable settlement offer or litigation result in Illinois courts.
Talk with an Experienced Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in Chicago Right Away About Your Legal Matter
Sometimes, people might think they cannot afford a lawyer. When it comes to personal injury cases, this is not true.
Nearly every personal injury lawyer works on what people call a contingency basis. This means the lawyer will collect a fee from whatever damage award their client receives. This means the client nearly always has no out-of-pocket costs when hiring an attorney for their personal injury case.
If you recently sustained injuries in a pedestrian accident in the greater Chicago area, you have legal rights and options that you can consider. However, following a pedestrian accident, time is of the essence. According to the state statute of limitations, pedestrian accident victims have only two years from their accident to file a lawsuit.
If the accident victim fails to file their lawsuit promptly, then absent some extraordinary circumstance, they will be unable to recover monetary damages for their pedestrian-accident injuries.
A personal injury lawyer in Chicago can handle all the legal steps of your case so that you can focus on making a full medical recovery.
In addition to investigating the circumstances surrounding your pedestrian accident, your lawyer may file a claim or a lawsuit on your behalf, negotiate with insurance company representatives, and/or litigate your case to an efficient and favorable resolution in the court system.
Finally, your lawyer can represent you at a civil jury trial or during one or more alternative dispute resolution (ADR) proceedings, such as mediation or binding arbitration, if necessary for a fair outcome.
Seek your free case evaluation from a pedestrian accident attorney in Chicago today.