A number of research studies and statistical reports indicate that pedestrian accident injuries are rising, both across the country and in Illinois. Pedestrians are totally unprotected from cars and trucks, so victims often suffer severe injuries. If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident due to another person’s reckless or negligent conduct — or if you’ve lost a loved one who was an injured pedestrian — you may be entitled to recover compensation. At Modestas Law, we have the experience and knowledge to help you and your family receive the financial payment you deserve.
Illinois Pedestrian Accident Laws
Illinois statutes protect pedestrians, especially from reckless or negligent conduct of motor vehicle operators and bicyclists. The law states that drivers are required to exercise due care to avoid striking pedestrians. Generally, drivers are required to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, giving the pedestrian the right-of-way. There are specific provisions regulating the conduct of drivers and pedestrians at crosswalk and intersections.
In Illinois, the person or persons at fault for an accident are legally responsible for compensation of injured victims. The standard is negligence, or lack of reasonable care that causes the victim’s injuries. Illinois uses a modified comparative negligence standard, which means that an injured person may recover only when the victim is less than 50 percent at fault in an accident. We include more details about Illinois Accident Liability Laws on our auto accident page.
Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Especially when a pedestrian is struck by a car or truck, the victim often suffers very severe injuries. Pedestrians are completely exposed and unprotected, so the injuries can affect any part of the body. They are frequently both external and internal and can include:
- Brain injury
- Fractures of arms, legs, neck, back, and head
- External soft tissue injuries on extremities
- Internal spine and neck soft tissue injuries
- Severe lacerations
- Internal organ damage
Pedestrian accident injuries can result in permanent disability and impairment of future earning ability. When those injuries were the fault of another person, the compensation should take all those factors into account. Modestas Law has the experience and skill to ensure that all relevant factors are accounted for in the compensation you receive.
Responsibility in Pedestrian Accidents
There are many potential causes for pedestrian accidents. Many involve a driver failing to yield the right-of-way as required by law. Distracted drivers using cell phones and drivers impaired by alcohol or drugs are also common causes of pedestrian accidents.
One reason pedestrian accident cases are difficult is that often there is more than one other vehicle involved in the accident, so there may be more than one other person who caused the accident. Sorting through the facts and evidence is a critical part of analyzing a pedestrian accident case. All persons who are potentially responsible must be identified, because each person who was at fault represents a potential source of insurance coverage.
There are other reasons that pedestrian accidents are more complicated than other motor vehicle accidents, including the fact that the pedestrian may not be covered by insurance. In addition, pedestrian accidents often involve hit-and-run drivers, so that the driver and his or her insurance company may not be identified. In that situation, it is possible that the victim may be able to recover under uninsured motorist / underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage in his or her own policy or the policy of a household or family member.
UM/UIM claims require special procedures. They involve more than just filing a claim with the insurance company. It is in your best interest to have skillful legal counsel in asserting a UM/UIM claim. At Modestas Law, we have experience with UM/UIM claims and understand the special attention they require.
Additional details about Illinois UM/UIM Claims are included on our auto accident page.
Compensation for Pedestrian Accident Victims
If you’re seriously injured and entitled to recover compensation from one or more persons who were at fault for your accident, you can recover both economic and non-economic damages. In Illinois, there is no monetary limit on the amount of damages that can be recovered in an accident lawsuit. Economic damagesinclude:
- Medical expenses paid
- Future costs for medical treatment
- Lost income or wages
- Other out-of-pocket expenses
Non-economic damages include items such as pain and suffering and compensation for disfigurement or disability resulting from your injuries.
Following a pedestrian accident, there is a limit on the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit to recover for your injuries, called the statute of limitations. In Illinois, the time limit for a legal action for personal injuries is two years. Because of that limitation and for even more important reasons, like availability of evidence, it is very important not to wait to consult with an attorney if you’ve been seriously injured and someone else may be at fault.
In addition to an injured victim being entitled to recover damages if a pedestrian accident was someone else’s fault, family members who lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident may be able to file a lawsuit under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act if another person caused the accident.
Contacting an attorney at the earliest opportunity following an accident is very important. It is especially critical to contact a lawyer before you talk with any insurance company representatives of individuals who may be at fault in the accident.
Contact an Illinois Pedestrian Accident Attorney to Schedule a Consultation
At Modestas Law, we handle pedestrian accident cases on a contingent fee basis, which means you do not pay any attorney fees unless damages are recovered. We will take the time to fully understand your injuries, as well as your family and work situations, which are all important in determining the full amount of compensation you deserve for your injuries.
We also focus intently on delivering a high level of client service and strive to make our clients feel that they receive the best possible representation and counsel throughout the entire process. We serve Illinois clients in Chicago, Cook County, DuPage County, and Will County. Our office is located in Burr Ridge. If necessary, we can meet with you in a medical facility or at your home.
Contact us to schedule an initial consultation. We look forward to serving your Illinois pedestrian accident legal needs.