PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENTS ATTORNEY IN CHICAGO, ILLINOIS
According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were 3,311 Illinois pedestrian accidents in 2020, and of these, 172 were fatal. These tragedies occur far too often in Chicago, Illinois, Lake County, McHenry County, DuPage County, Grundy, and other areas. The victims are the ones left to suffer from the injuries and trauma. If you were a pedestrian hit by a car or if you’re representing a loved one who was in a pedestrian accident and need to file a wrongful death lawsuit, call us at the Law Office of Anselmo Duran P.C. We’re committed to aggressively defending your rights and getting you the compensation and closure your family needs.
The first concept to understand when pursuing a personal injury claim is that of liability. Liability in a pedestrian accident is largely determined by Illinois's Vehicle Code. (625 ILCS 5/11-1001 through 11/1010). This law states that in general, pedestrians have the right of way in a marked crosswalk or a school zone, but cars must also yield to pedestrians in several other instances such as when a pedestrian is trying to cross at an unmarked crosswalk on the driver’s side and there are no traffic signals, or when turning at an intersection. The pedestrian also has the responsibility to obey all traffic signals and signs, yield the right of way to cars when crossing at an unmarked crosswalk, and not suddenly leave the curb when trying to cross. Both cars and pedestrians have an obligation to take reasonable care when on the road and sidewalks, especially when hazardous conditions are present like construction or severe weather.
Once the details of the incident are made clear, you must now determine fault in a pedestrian accident. Illinois is what’s known as a modified comparative fault state, which means that fault can be shared between two parties. For a pedestrian accident, this means that both the driver of the car and the pedestrian can be held liable for the accident happening, and they will only be responsible for their percentage of the compensation.
For example, let’s say a car makes a legal right turn at a red light but neglects to check for pedestrians and hits someone who was crossing. But, it was discovered that the pedestrian was crossing at an unmarked intersection and jumped out in the middle of the street without checking to see if any cars were coming. In this case, the driver may be found to be 70% at fault and the pedestrian 30% at fault, and the final compensation for the pedestrian will be reduced by 30%. If the pedestrian is found to be more than 50% at fault, then they can’t seek any damages from the driver.
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim in Illinois is two years. And while this may seem like a long time, it shouldn’t be used as an excuse to wait. In accidents like this, you’ll first have to deal with insurance providers (and this could mean both the other driver’s and your own). You’ll have to negotiate back and forth until you reach a settlement and this can take a long time especially if you sustained serious injuries that require ongoing medical treatment. If, after this stage is complete, you are still left with outstanding expenses, you will then need to work with a pedestrian accident attorney to gather evidence about your case and start filing a lawsuit.
The damages you’re able to seek will be highly dependent on the specifics of your case and how much fault (if any) you were found to be responsible for. In general, you can seek both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are anything you have to pay out-of-pocket for like medical bills but can also cover lost wages due to time off work. Non-economic damages cover losses like pain and suffering, disfigurement, loss of quality of life, or loss of consortium. In cases where the driver was found to be egregiously reckless or intentional, you can also seek punitive damages.
WHAT STEPS SHOULD I TAKE NEXT?
Whenever you’re in an accident, you should always make sure that your medical needs are taken care of first—so make sure you go to the doctor. Not only is your health and safety your number one priority, but going to the doctor also helps protect you for insurance reasons. Sometimes, pain doesn’t hit you for quite some time, and it’s important you get the help you need as soon as possible.
You should also contact the police so they can make a formal report, exchange information with the driver and any witnesses, and take photos or videos of the site of the incident. Next, you’ll want to contact a personal injury attorney to consult with about your next steps. Working with an assertive and experienced lawyer can make sure you’re pursuing the compensation that’s fair and that truly covers the damages incurred because of the accident.
If you’re seeking a wrongful death claim on behalf of a loved one, you will also need to contact an attorney as soon as possible. In addition to being a fervent advocate for your family’s needs, they can also help ease the burden of the tragedy by handling much of the day-to-day business including any negotiations so you can focus on your healing.
PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENTS ATTORNEY SERVING CHICAGO, ILLINOIS
If you’re in the Chicago, Illinois, area and would like to speak with a qualified personal injury attorney, reach out to us at the Law Office of Anselmo Duran P.C. We also serve those in Lake County, McHenry County, DuPage County, and the surrounding areas. Contact us today – we are prepared to work with you.