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Pedestrian Accidents Caused by Distracted Drivers
Chicago Pedestrian Accident Lawyers: Holding Distracted Drivers AccountableChicago is a bustling metropolis in which pedestrians and motor vehicles are in close proximity to each other on a daily basis. At any given moment, thousands of people are going from place to place in the city, and a safe commute depends on everyone following traffic laws and paying attention to their surroundings.Unfortunately, distracted driving is a common occurrence in Chicago, often resulting in serious accidents between pedestrians and cars, trucks, and motorcycles—and, not surprisingly, the pedestrians involved are typically the ones who are seriously injured.The attorneys of Abels & Annes regularly represent pedestrians who have been injured by distracted drivers, and have the knowledge and skill required to hold drivers liable for the losses they cause. To schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers, call Abels & Annes, P.C., today at (312) 924-7575 or send us an email through our online contact form.Common Types of Distracted DrivingThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines distracted driving as any activity that takes a driver’s attention away from driving a vehicle. The agency categorizes driver distractions as follows:
Manual Distractions – Manual distractions require drivers to remove their hands from the wheel.
Cognitive Distractions – These distractions occur when drivers think about something other than driving.
Visual Distractions – Whenever drivers look at something other than the road, they are visually distracted.When many of us think of distracted driving, smartphone use immediately comes to mind. While it is certainly true that texting, talking on the phone, checking email, or browsing the internet are certainly distractions, driver distractions can be significantly more low tech.
Driver distractions that do not involve smartphone use include:
Reading a map
Talking to passengers
Adjusting the radio
Looking for items in the vehicle
Using a GPS device
Under Illinois law, using a cellphone while driving is the only type of distracted driving that is specifically against the law. That said, distracted drivers often break the law by speeding, running stop signs, failing to yield the rights of way to pedestrians in crosswalks, or failing to avoid hazards. In any event, distracted driving is typically negligent driving, which means that victims of accidents caused by distracted drivers are generally able to recover compensation.Chicago Pedestrian Accidents Can Cause Extremely Serious InjuriesWhen pedestrians are struck by motor vehicles, the injuries they sustain can be extremely serious and even life threatening. Common injuries that pedestrians sustain when they are involved in accidents with motor vehicles include:
Traumatic Brain Injuries – TBIs can occur when a pedestrian's head hits the ground, the vehicle that struck the pedestrian, or another object. Mild TBIs, also called concussions, can require weeks or months of rest and rehabilitation. In more severe cases, victims may develop cognitive or physical limitations that can affect them for the rest of their lives.
Broken Bones - The impact between a 2,000-pound vehicle and a pedestrian can easily result in broken bones. In addition, even if the initial impact does not result in fractures, the secondary impact between the pedestrian and the ground often does. Broken bones can take months to heal and often require surgery to correct. In addition, in some cases, victims may be left with scars and permanent disfigurement.
Spinal Cord Injuries – Spinal cord injuries occur when the spinal cord is damaged or severed. Because the spinal cord allows the brain to communicate with the rest of the body, SCIs can cause extremely serious complications. Incomplete spinal cord injuries often result in muscle weakness, numbness, tingling, or poor coordination. In complete injuries, victims are typically left paralyzed below the site of the injury.The Benefits of Retaining a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in ChicagoIf you have been injured in a pedestrian accident and have already been offered a settlement by an insurance company, you may wonder whether it is worth your time to retain an attorney. But a lawyer can help you, even if your case is not contested.Insurance companies invariably try and settle their cases for as little as possible, and often engage in tactics intended to get claimants to inadvertently admit partial fault for the accident in which they were involved. An attorney, however, will handle all communication with the insurance company for you, ensuring that you do not say or do anything that will hurt your chances of recovery.An attorney will thoroughly evaluate your case and determine how much your case is worth. While it may seem easy to calculate things like medical expenses and lost income, how do you put a price on your pain and suffering? A lawyer familiar with Illinois personal injury law will be able to determine what a fair settlement offer would be in your case and will attempt to negotiate a successful resolution with the insurance company. If the insurance company refuses to settle, your lawyer may file a lawsuit against the driver that hit you to ensure you recover from your losses.Call Abels & Annes, P.C., Today to Speak to a Chicago Pedestrian Accident LawyerWhen distracted drivers cause pedestrian accidents, victims are typically entitled to compensation for the losses they sustained, including medical bills, lost income, lost of quality of life, and physical and emotional pain and suffering. The lawyers of Abels & Annes, P.C., are available to analyze the facts of your accident at no cost to you and will advise you as to how you may proceed.To schedule a free case evaluation with one of our injury attorneys, call our Chicago office today at (312) 924-7575, or send us an email through our online contact form.