When a car hits another vehicle, the occupants of both vehicles are protected by a number of safety features. However, when a car hits a pedestrian, the pedestrian victim may suffer serious injuries or even death. Pedestrian accidents in Illinois can be caused by any number of reasons but often involve the fault of the driver.
There may be an increased risk to pedestrians when a driver is speeding, not paying attention to the road, or driving while impaired. The accident victim may be able to file a claim against the negligent driver to get money damages.
If you are injured in an accident or were hit by a car in Aurora or Chicago, contact the Cullotta Bravo Law Group today.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics in Illinois
According to government data, the number of pedestrians killed in 2018 was the highest since 1990. An estimated 6,227 pedestrians were killed in 2018 in the U.S. In Illinois, the number of pedestrian deaths between 2017 and 2018 increased 19 percent to 67 fatal pedestrian accidents.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that children under the age of 15 and adults 65 and older are at a higher risk of pedestrian deaths. Almost half of all fatal pedestrian accidents involved alcohol and the driver or passenger.
There were almost 129,000 emergency department treatment cases in 2015 for non-fatal pedestrian accident related injuries. Unfortunately, many of these accidents were preventable and could have been avoided through safer driving.
Who is at Fault in a Pedestrian Accident?
When filing a personal injury claim against a driver, the party at fault for the accident may be liable for the damages. The driver may claim that the accident was unavoidable or try and blame the accident on the pedestrian but there are a number of ways to show the driver was at fault for the accident.
Negligence in a car accident requires showing the defendant had a duty of care to others on the road, the driver breached that duty, which caused harm to the pedestrian. Negligence often involves a driver who is violating a traffic law or rule of the road. Common causes of driver negligence can include:
- Failing to stop at an intersection
- Failing to yield for pedestrians
- Failing to stop for a school bus
- Driving too fast in a school zone
- Texting and driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Failure to maintain the vehicle.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) provides a number of driving tips for drivers to help avoid pedestrian accidents. These tips include:
- Use extra caution when driving in hard-to-see conditions, including at night or in bad weather.
- Slow down and be prepared to stop when entering a crosswalk.
- Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.
- Stop far back enough from a crosswalk to allow other vehicles to see the crossing pedestrians.
- Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk.
- Be cautious when backing up, especially in parking lots.
When to File a Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit
After a pedestrian accident, the injury victim and the victim’s family are focused on medical care and recovery. However, it is important to understand that there is a limited amount of time to file a personal injury claim in Illinois. In most pedestrian accidents, the injury victim has 2 years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit.
If the injury victim files a lawsuit just one day late, the claim may be denied. To make sure you can recover damages after a pedestrian accident, contact your Illinois personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer will review your case and make sure your claim is filed in time to get you compensation.
Pedestrian accident injuries can be severe, even for a low-speed collision. Drivers and passengers have the protection of airbags, seat belts, and safety glass in an accident. Pedestrians have no additional protections in an accident and are often knocked to the ground landing on vulnerable parts of the body, including the head or back.
Common injuries in a pedestrian accident include:
- Head injury
- Neck injury
- Back injury
- Broken bones
- Internal injury
- Facial trauma
- Cuts and bruises
- Crushing injuries
- Hip fracture.
Many of these injuries can take months or years for recovery or result in permanent damage. As a result of these injuries, the victim may be unable to go to school or work, suffer chronic pain, or be unable to walk or take care of themselves. The driver who caused these serious injuries should be held liable for the damage.
Damages in an Illinois Pedestrian Accident
Damages in a personal injury accident include the financial and non-economic harm that resulted from the accident or injury. Damages in a pedestrian accident can include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income from work
- Loss of future income
- Future medical care
- Pain and suffering.
Aurora and Chicago Pedestrian Injury Attorney
If you were injured in a pedestrian accident in Aurora, Chicago, or DuPage County, you need an experienced Illinois personal injury lawyer. Contact the Cullotta Bravo Law Group today at 630-898-7800 to schedule your free consultation.