Thousands of pedestrians are killed every year in the United States as a result of traffic accidents. Furthermore, tens of thousands suffer injuries and many will never recover from the physical and emotional trauma. Similarly, Illinois experiences its fair share of casualties. In fact, thousands of pedestrian accidents occur each and every year throughout the state.
Cities like Chicago are particularly hazardous for individuals traveling on foot. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the vast majority (73 percent) of all pedestrian fatalities occur in an urban setting. Unfortunately, many people take their lives into their hands when they walk to school or work every day.
Quick Facts And Figures:
- Exactly 4,743 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in the U.S. in 2012.
- Traffic accidents led to an estimated 76,000 injuries in 2012 alone.
- Pedestrians account for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities. (1)
- The state of Illinois recorded over 6,000 auto-pedestrian accidents in 2006.
- Those crashes led to 5,532 pedestrian injuries. (2)
Leading Causes Of Pedestrian Accidents
There is a combination of factors that contribute to the vast majority of accidents involving pedestrians. While motorist error is responsible for many crashes, pedestrian negligence is also to blame in some cases. Some of the most common causes of auto-pedestrian accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Distracted walking
- Running red lights
- Low or poor visibility
- Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or prescribed medication
- Walking under the influence of alcohol, drugs or prescribed medication
To ensure that you avoid an accident or prolonged injuries if you do get hit by a car, you need to be aware of some pedestrian safety tips. Maintaining calm after being hit by a car is difficult. However, it can help should you need to pursue legal action later. Pedestrians struck by a motor vehicle should assess their immediate medical needs first. Then, seek medical attention should their injuries require a doctor’s aid.
If the accident causes only minor injuries, you should gather all the information you can. This includes the driver’s name, license plate number, insurance information, etc. Also, take as many photos of the accident scene as possible. Never consent to the driver leaving the scene or admit fault.
Following these pedestrian safety steps will aid your attorney. Plus, it will increase your chances of recovery if the matter proceeds to litigation. Even if you’re relatively unhurt by the accident, it’s still a good idea to visit an emergency room or doctor afterward. Many injuries are not immediately apparent.
A doctor’s examination can also come in handy should you need to pursue legal action. To learn more about pedestrian accidents and how you can protect your legal rights, check out this infographic from the Law Office of Marc J. Shuman & Associates.
What To Do If You’ve Been Injured In An Auto-Pedestrian Accident
It’s important to know what to do if you suffer injuries as a result of an auto accident. Consequently, as a pedestrian hit by a car, you may have a legal right to pedestrian accident compensation. Therefore, the key is learning how to obtain redress. Above all, contacting a personal injury attorney is critical to protecting your rights and ensuring a favorable outcome.
Understanding Negligence Laws
Whether or not you’ll be able to receive compensation for your injuries depends on who was at fault. That, in turn, is determined by a state’s negligence laws that apply to both the driver and the pedestrian.
Therefore, this means that if you walk out into the middle of an intersection while the Do Not Walk sign is flashing, you may not be able to bring a lawsuit against the motorist who hit you. If, on the other hand, a driver was texting on his or her phone, you’ll most likely be able to sue for damages. Consequently, if both parties are at fault, a court may only award damages on a partial basis. Under Illinois law, a pedestrian is only eligible for compensation if they are less than 50 percent at fault.3
Filing A Claim For Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Filing for a pedestrian injury claim will often require you to be free from fault. For instance, if you are found to have walked on the road, regardless of the absence of a red walking light, your application will be rejected.
It’s imperative to obtain all possible accounts of the accident from witnesses or even hire an investigator to gather and preserve all the evidence pertaining to the accident. Some of the common causes of pedestrian accidents include:
- Driving while distracted
- Driving recklessly
- Poor sidewalk maintenance
- Driving under the influence
- Lack of sidewalks
- Pedestrian inattention
- Parking lot defects
- Over-speeding and failing to adhere to the set limits on a particular road
You must find a witness who was present at the scene of the accident to testify that the accident in question occurred as a result of the motorist’s negligence or recklessness. You will have to collect a copy of the police report, proving that the said accident occurred at a particular place.
Get Medical Treatment As Soon As Possible
It’s also important that you get your injuries seen to as soon as possible. The medical discharge papers, receipt, and the doctor’s note will essentially provide the required proof that you sustained injuries as a result of the pedestrian accident and consequently, spent a certain amount of money on medical treatment.
In deciding the compensation amount due to you, the court will often take into account several factors. These include the condition of the road and the weather conditions at the time of the accident. The court will also review your medical records and decide on a sustainable amount of compensation. This will depend on the severity of the injury sustained.
In the event that you are found to have suffered from severe head injuries, neck injuries, back injuries, or permanent disability, you will be awarded maximum compensation. If you’re unable to continue working due to the injury, the compensation amount will include lost wages. You may also qualify to recover damages for pain and suffering, property damage, and emotional trauma.
IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW HAS BEEN INVOLVED IN A PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENT,
CALL (800) 722-9744 NOW TO Speak To An Experienced Injury Lawyer FOR FREE
Since 1996, the Law Offices of Marc J. Shuman & Associates have been helping Pedestrian Accident victims, all injured victims and their families, navigate the complex legal process. As experienced personal injury, worker’s compensation, and wrongful death attorneys, we can help you evaluate the facts, assess your options, navigate the legal challenges, and advocate on your behalf.
Marc J. Shuman & Associates have over 77 combined years of experience advocating for over 20,000 injury victims and their families and recovering, over 50 million dollars on their behalf. We advocate on your behalf, so you can focus on the task of recovery.