Across the United States, a pedestrian is fatally injured in an accident every two hours—24 hours per day, every day of the year. In addition to pedestrian fatalities, many other pedestrians are seriously injured in collisions with negligent drivers. At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, we represent individuals and families in Chicago pedestrian accident cases involving injuries and fatalities. Below are some of pedestrian accident FAQ’s prepared in response to requests from our clients. Should you have any additional questions or require a consultation, you can call our office anytime for a consultation with an attorney.
- Do Illinois drivers owe pedestrians any special duties of care under Illinois law?
- Can I file a wrongful death lawsuit if my family member was killed in a pedestrian accident?
- Can I pursue a bicyclist that hit me to recover compensation for my injuries if I was jogging on a marked bike path?
- What can I do if my child was injured in a pedestrian accident?
- I was told that I was partially at fault for my accident. Can I still pursue a claim for my injuries?
- Are there any Illinois laws to protect pedestrians in crosswalks?
- How long do I have to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation for injuries sustained as a pedestrian?
- I broke my leg in a Chicago pedestrian accident; can I recover compensation to pay for future surgeries?
- Will I need to pay any money up front for an attorney to represent me in a Chicago pedestrian accident case?
Yes. The Illinois Legislature recognizes the great dangers vehicles pose to pedestrians and requires them to exercise care in their presence. Furthermore, according to Illinois Vehicle Code 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1, “…every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian, or any personal operating a bicycle or other device propelled by human power and shall give warning by sounding the horn when necessary and shall exercise proper precaution upon observing a child or any obviously confused, incapacitated or intoxicated person.”
Yes, Illinois law allows the decedent's next of kin to pursue a claim for damages including medical expenses, lost wages and loss of companionship. The law still requires that the family establish that the death was causally related to the accident and that the driver was responsible for causing the collision.
What can I do if the vehicle that hit me did not have sufficient liability insurance to cover the amount of my injuries?
Unfortunately, many drivers in Illinois carry the state minimum coverage of $20,000 per person per collision. In these situations, an injured pedestrian can only recover $20,000 for their injuries—regardless of their severity or the amount of medical expenses they have.
In situations where an injured pedestrian’s injuries have a value in excess of the coverage provided by the driver, they can pursue an under-insured motorist case against their own automobile insurance company (assuming they have auto liability coverage in excess of the party that hit them.
For example, if a pedestrian is crossing the street and is hit by a car with $20,000 and the pedestrian has serious injuries requiring surgery with medical expenses well in excess of the amount of coverage on the driver, they could file an under-insured motorist claim with their company. If they had $100,000 in under-insured coverage, they could potentially recover an additional $80,000 from their policy.
In the case of a driver who did not have any liability insurance, an injured pedestrian could pursue an uninsured motorist case for their injuries.
Yes. In Chicago, we are fortunate to have extensive bicycle paths across the city and along the lakefront. Unless marked otherwise, these are mixed use paths and are intended for both bicyclists and joggers/walkers. Particularly during weekends when the paths become congested, there are episodes where bicyclists have struck pedestrians causing injuries.
While these collisions are different from most pedestrian injury cases in that there is no automobile insurance coverage available, an injured pedestrian can pursue a cause of action against the negligent cyclist. In situations where the bicyclist owns a home, an injury claim may be asserted against the homeowner insurance company.
Just as you would contact the police for a pedestrian accident involving a vehicle, the police should be contacted when a pedestrian is struck by a cyclist in order to document the incident and so the injured pedestrian can obtain necessary medical care.
The parents of a minor child can pursue a claim or lawsuit to recover compensation for injuries that their child may have sustained in a pedestrian accident. Illinois law generally holds that a child under five years of age is incapable of comparable fault. In the cases involving children over five, the law looks at how a similarly aged child would act in that circumstance. Given the unpredictable nature of children, drivers who see children in the vicinity need to exercise a heightened level of care to avoid hitting them.
Yes. Even if you contributed to a pedestrian accident in Illinois, you may recover compensation for your injuries. Perhaps you entered the roadway without a walk sign or started to cross the street between two parked cars—while looking back on the situation, it may not have been a good decision—you still may make a claim for your injuries against the responsible parties.
Illinois applies comparative fault to ‘tort’ cases such as pedestrian accidents. Under a comparative fault system, the pedestrian’s percentage of apportioned fault is figured into a recovery that they are entitled to. Under comparative fault law of Illinois, the pedestrian must be less than 50% at fault in order to recover. If a pedestrian is deemed to be more than 50% responsible for causing an incident, they are barred from any recovery.
In application, if a pedestrian is injured in an accident with a driver and has $100,000 in recoverable damages, but is determined to be 25% responsible for causing the incident, he could be able to recover $75,000.
Yes. The Illinois legislature has enacted legislation to protect pedestrians. While the law states that drivers ‘shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian.' 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1.
The legislature has further refined the responsibilities of drivers when they encounter a situation where a pedestrian is at a crosswalk.
625 ILCS 5/11-1002 Pedestrians’ Right-of-way at crosswalks
(a) When traffic control signals are not in place or in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall stop and yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling, or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.
(b) No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a moving vehicle that is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.
(c) Paragraph (a) shall not apply under the condition stated in Section 11-1003 (b).
(d) Whenever any vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk or at any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass such stopped vehicle.
(e) Whenever stop signs or flashing red signals are in place at an intersection or at a plainly marked crosswalk between intersections, drivers shall yield right-of-way to pedestrians as set forth in Section 11-904 of this Chapter.
Illinois has a two-year statute of limitations for accident cases such as pedestrian accidents. In situations where a minor is injured in an Illinois pedestrian accident, the law extends the statute of limitations for two years past the date of their majority or more succinctly until their 20th birthday.
Failure to comply with a statute of limitations is a complete bar to recovery. Consequently, an injured pedestrian should consult with an attorney as soon as feasible to determine who the responsible parties are and what the applicable statute of limitations is.
Yes. Illinois law allows an injured pedestrian to recover compensation for both past and future medical care. In order to recover damages for future medical care or surgery, the injured pedestrian must present testimony from a treating physician as to the medical necessity for the care and what the costs will be.
No. Our Chicago personal injury lawyers represent injured pedestrians on a contingency fee basis. Our office advances all costs (for medical records/bills, court costs and any investigation) related to your case. We only recover these costs and earn a legal fee when there is a recovery for the client. If there is not a recovery for your case, you do not owe our office a penny.