The Chicago pedestrian accident lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC are committed to securing the most favorable outcome for pedestrians injured in Illinois via insurance claims and litigation. Our law firm regularly represents men, women, and children who have been hit by cars and trucks in downtown Chicago and surrounding areas.
Given the severity of most pedestrian accidents, you understandably want a pedestrian injury lawyer in Chicago who has experience with high-stakes injury cases. On numerous occasions, our attorneys have secured seven-figure recoveries for injured pedestrians. One of our recent settlements involved a $3 million recovery for a disabled man struck by a turning garbage truck.
If you or a family member was seriously injured or killed in a pedestrian accident, contact our office today for a free review of your legal rights and options for recovery. All of our pedestrian accident cases are handled on a contingency fee basis where there is never a fee charged unless we win a settlement for you.
Significant Injuries & Fatalities Resulting from Pedestrian Accident in Chicago, IL
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 130,000 pedestrians were treated in emergency rooms for crash-related injuries in 2017. During the same year, 6,476 people were killed in incidents involving vehicles.
Closer to home, the Illinois Department of Transportation reported that 5,006 pedestrians were injured and 167 pedestrians were killed across Illinois in 2018. In breaking these statistics down further, urban areas such as Chicago, were particularly dangerous accounting for over 77% of the state's pedestrian accident injuries.
Injuries Handled by our Chicago Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
In a study conducted by the Division of Trauma in Los Angeles, CA, more than 5,800 pedestrian accidents were reviewed, and the study found that the most common type of severe injury to pedestrians was head injuries, followed by injuries to the chest, abdomen, and extremities. The study linked both the vehicle speed and the age of the pedestrian to the severity of the injury and the survival outcome.
- At 20 mph, the chance of fatality is 5%.
- At 30 mph, the chance of death increases to 45%.
- At 40 mph, the chance of fatal injuries skyrockets to 85%.
Due to the nature of auto v. pedestrian accidents, very serious injuries result from the event. They frequently create lifelong disabilities. Among the injuries commonly incurred in pedestrian auto accidents are the following:
- Fractures: Even at relatively low-speeds, the force of vehicle colliding with a pedestrian can result in a fracture to legs and arm due to the impact as well as if the pedestrian is pushed to the pavement.
- Brain injuries: Traumatic brain injuries (TBI's) are an unfortunate result of pedestrian accidents and frequently result in lifelong disability. Negligent drivers can be held accountable for rehabilitation and medical treatments related to a TBI sustained in a collision with a pedestrian.
- De-gloving injuries: Despite being relative uncommon de-gloving injuries occur when vehicle run over a person on a street or sidewalk and shear skin and muscle away from the bone. De-gloving injuries require extensive medical treatments and likely require extensive orthopedic and plastic surgeries to repair.
- Injuries to internal organs: Internal injuries to organs may not be readily apparent after a collision, but may be diagnosed by emergency room physicians via an MRI or CT scans. Possible internal injuries may be related to internal bleeding or blunt force trauma to the liver, lungs, kidneys or even the heart.
- Joint injuries: Most auto crash injuries to pedestrian occur to the lower extremities including the legs or hips when the bumper of a vehicle comes into contact with the person. The impact can damage the medial and lateral ligaments, the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), medial collateral ligament (MCL) and lateral collateral ligament (LCL). Unfortunately, many of these injuries require surgical intervention and physical therapy rehabilitation.
- Paralysis: The impact from colliding vehicle can cause damage to the spinal cord. In some situations, and depending on the location of the damage to the spinal cord, paralysis or quadriplegia can result. The most common sources of paralysis are injury to injuries to the cervical spine at levels C3-5, the thoracic spine at (T9-12) and lumbar spine at (L4-5).
- Fatalities: The family of of a person killed in a pedestrian accident, may be able to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the individual or company the driver was employed by. A wrongful death lawsuit can provide financial support for lost wages and the loss of emotional support.
Why Chicago Pedestrians are at a Heightened Risk of Injury
The majority of pedestrian accidents happen in urban areas, like Chicago. In fact, the National Safety Council estimates that 85.7% of non-fatal pedestrian accidents happen in cities.
In a study released by the Chicago Department of Transportation in 2017, the following types of driver behavior were shown to be behind a substantial number of incidents involving pedestrian injury within the city limits.
- Drivers Failing to Yield: 48% of these accidents were attributed to drivers not yielding. This was the most common cause of pedestrian accidents in Chicago.
- Hit-and-Run Collisions: 33% of all of the accidents studied were hit-and-run. These also made up 40% of the fatal pedestrian accidents, double the national average. There was an average of two hit-and-run pedestrian accidents per day over a five-year period in Chicago.
- Turning Vehicles: More than 50% of the accidents involved a turning vehicle. Turning left accounted for more than double the turning accidents compared to turning right.
Compensation Available in Pedestrian Injury and Fatality Cases Under Illinois Law
Pedestrians can recover financial compensation based upon the following types of damages recognized under Illinois law.
- Medical Expenses: All past and future medical expenses related to your injuries may be included, such as costs for an ambulance, doctors, surgery, hospitalization, physical therapy, MRIs, X-rays, injections, medications, and medical devices.
- Lost Wages: You can recover past and future lost wages if your injuries prevent you from returning to the employment you were engaged in prior to the accident.
- Pain and Suffering: All of the pain related to physical injuries and medical procedures is compensable.
- Disability: Financial recovery may be obtained for an injured person’s loss of the ability to participate in activities they enjoyed prior to the incident.
In a situation where a pedestrian was killed in an accident or died from injuries sustained in a crash, the Illinois Wrongful Death Act allows the family of the deceased to recover compensation for their loss of financial and emotional support as well as expenses related to the costs of the funeral. 740 ILCS 180/0.01
Pedestrian Accident FAQs
What Illinois Laws Protect Pedestrians?
Illinois has passed several laws to protect pedestrians. They reflect the danger that cars, trucks, and other vehicles pose. They also consider the grave toll these accidents would have on victims. The following summarizes the main rules from these laws.
- When must drivers stop for pedestrians? Drivers must stop when pedestrians are in crosswalks or on school days when they enter/leave a school zone. Drivers must also stop if doing so would prevent further injury or accident. 625 ILCS 5/11-801
- When must drivers yield to pedestrians? Drivers must yield when turning at a red light or intersection; when pedestrians are on their side of the road; when pedestrians have the right of way; when pedestrians are already in the crosswalk when the light turns green; when pedestrians are leaving a driveway, alley, private road, or building; and when yielding would prevent an injury or accident. 625 ILCS 5/Ch. 11 Art. IX
- When are vehicles allowed on the road? Drivers can only use Illinois roads to safely enter, merge, start, or stop with traffic. All unauthorized use of roads, highways, shoulders, alleys, or other avenues is strictly prohibited. 625 ILCS 5/11-709.1
- How must drivers operate their vehicles? In Illinois, drivers must use all due care in order to avoid accident with pedestrians and other vehicles. It is incumbent on them to operate their cars or sound their horns in order to prevent incident. 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1
This summarizes the main rules of the road in Illinois. The onus is on drivers to avoid accident. When incidents arise, the assumption is that the driver caused it. These laws protect pedestrians and penalize drivers.
Does Illinois Law Protect Pedestrians in Crosswalks?
Yes. Illinois has granted broad protections to pedestrians in the form of rules imposed on motor vehicle drivers. Generally, the law puts the onus on those operating cars, trucks, and other motorized vehicles to avoid colliding with persons traveling on foot in most circumstances.
Illinois statute requires motorists to "exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian" (625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1). The state legislature has further refined the responsibilities of drivers when they encounter a pedestrian at a marked crosswalk, where they must yield to the pedestrian. This means they must slow, stop completely, or do whatever necessary to allow the person to go through the crosswalk.
Here is what Illinois law specifically says about pedestrians' right-of-way at crosswalks:
- 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.
- 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.
- Paragraph (a) shall not apply under the condition stated in … (b).
- 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.
- 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.
(625 ILCS 5/11-1002)
There are other ways in which Illinois law protects pedestrians, but this is the overall framework: Drivers must exercise care when walkers are present and yield to them where appropriate.
The law also imposes some responsibility on pedestrians to avoid being struck. Pedestrians must obey traffic signals, yield the right-of-way to vehicles when crossing a road outside of a marked crosswalk or intersection, and must not cross intersections diagonally unless permitted by traffic-control devices (625 ILCS 5/11-1003).
Can I File a Lawsuit on Behalf of my Child if They Were hit by a Vehicle?
Yes, parents can sue on behalf of their children for injuries related to a pedestrian accident. Consider Illinois' rules on negligence to see if you have a case. To sue for a negligence, you must show that the driver acted unreasonably and caused your child's damages. 720 ILCS 5/4-7. If that person shows that your son or daughter was responsible for the crash, then you might lose. 735 ILCS 5/2-1116. However, children under five generally cannot be held liable. If you can successfully demonstrate these points, then you will be able to recover for all your child's economic and non-economic damages. Also, remember to bring the action within the appropriate statute of limitations. 735 ILCS 5/13-212.
Can I File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit if my Family Member was Killed in a Pedestrian Accident?
Yes. After a pedestrian accident death, Illinois law allows the decedent's next of kin to pursue a wrongful death claim for damages including medical and burial expenses, lost financial support, and loss of companionship. The law generally applies to immediate family members such as spouses, parents or children.
The Illinois Wrongful Death Act allows the family members of the deceased to recover compensation for: the costs of the deceased person's medical care (if applicable), their burial or funeral expenses, and other out-of-pocket costs that resulted from the death.
Second, the law allows plaintiffs to recover for the financial support they would have received but for the death. This usually applies to spouses or minor children of the decedent. For instance, if the decedent was working at the time of the accident or had investments, plaintiffs can be compensated for expected future income that is lost.
Third, the law allows plaintiffs to plead and prove that the death caused them intangible injury in the form of emotional distress and loss of companionship.
How Long do I Have to File a Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit in Illinois?
In Illinois, injured pedestrians have two years to file a lawsuit for their injuries. 735 ILCS 5/13-212. This statute of limitation prevents plaintiffs from filing cases long after the accident. That reduces court resources and makes it difficult to ascertain the truth of the matter. However, that also means victims of pedestrian accidents must move swiftly. They need to investigate the facts, build a case, and file suit in a short time frame. Additionally, the statute of limitations may be different if the incident involved a defendant such as a municipality. Consequently, any questions about the applicable state of limitations should be discussed with an attorney who can review the details of your situation.
What are Some Examples of Illinois Pedestrian Accident Settlements?
Below are some examples of Illinois pedestrian accident verdicts and settlements to give you a flavor as to how these cases are handled from a verdict and settlement perspective. Of course, should you have questions about your situation, contact our office for a free case review.
$278,311 AWARD; PEDESTRIAN HIT-AND-RUN ACCIDENT; COOK COUNTY ILLINOIS
Antonio Cazarez was walking along a road in Rolling Meadows, Illinois when a car came over the curb and hit him. Then, the vehicle drove off into the night leaving Antonio with serious bodily injuries. The driver had been drinking at a local restaurant and was significantly intoxicated while operating the car. Cazarez sued the restaurant and the driver in Cook County for civil damages. His claims against the driver revolved around negligence and willful and wanton conduct. His claims against the restaurant centered on the Dram Shop Act. Both defendants denied all charges but a jury found the store responsible and awarded the plaintiff $278,311 in expenses and suffering.
$65,000 AWARD; PEDESTRIAN AND TRUCK ACCIDENT; ILLINOIS
Out of nowhere, the plaintiff here was hit by a Fed Ex truck when it turned into his path and hit him. He sustained numerous injuries including a herniated disc, back pain, and head contusions. He sued the company and the driver to recover for these harms and the expenses that resulted but the trial just turned into a whole lot of finger pointing. Both sides argued that the other was negligent and caused the incident. The jury was tasked with deciding fault and damages. It found in favor of the jogger and awarded him $65,000 in damages for pain and suffering and medical bills.
$900,000 AWARD; PEDESTRIAN AND VAN ACCIDENT; ILLINOIS
Here, an elderly man was hit by a minivan then dragged by a truck for a significant amount of time. Eventually, he died as a result of the injuries he experienced. His estate sued. It contended that both drivers were negligent. However, the defendants shot back that the old man was not paying attention and was as much responsible for his injuries (or even more) than they were. The jury found that the defendants were 75% responsible for the crash and the decedent was 25% responsible for the crash. The family (the man had three surviving family members) received approximately $900,000 in compensation from the lawsuit.
$2,000,000 SETTLEMENT; PEDESTRIAN AND CAR CRASH; COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS
A cop car went through a crosswalk and slammed into a child scarring his liver and puncturing his bowels in Chicago. The mother of the child watched it happened and suffered severe emotional distress. Both the mom and the kid brought suit against the City of Chicago for the injuries they sustained because of this incident. In their complaint, they claimed that the cop was negligent and caused the collision. Rather than go through the ordeal of trial, the defendants decided to settle. They gave the child $1,600,000 and the mother $400,000 in damages.
$134,263 AWARD; PEDESTRIAN SLIP ACCIDENT; ILLINOIS
Here, an elderly woman was walking around the town of Glenview when she slipped over some unpaved sidewalk debris. She sued the city for negligence. Her complaint contended that the city should have maintained the walkway better. The jury agreed with her in part. It awarded the city 63% of the responsibility for the incident and the woman with 37% for the incident. The plaintiff received $134,263 in compensation for pain, suffering, hospital bills, and other damages.
What can I do if the Driver who Hit Me did not Have Auto Insurance?
If you are a pedestrian injured in an accident with a driver who did not have auto insurance, you may make an un-insured motorist (UM) claim under your personal automobile insurance policy. When pursuing a UM claim, you can recover the same elements of damages as the law would allow you to recover as if you were pursuing a case against the at-fault party. There are some procedural requirements with un-insured motorist claims involving injured pedestrians, so it is advisable to have a lawyer review your auto insurance policy to determine the best course of action.
If I was Partially at Fault for my Pedestrian Accident, can I Still Pursue a Claim for my Injuries?
Yes. You may recover compensation for your injuries in Illinois even if your actions contributed to your pedestrian accident, but your damages will be reduced.
Illinois applies the doctrine of comparative fault to all personal injury and other tort cases. Comparative fault furthers the principle that a plaintiff's financial recovery should be reduced by the degree to which the plaintiff (injured person) contributed to their own damages. Negligence on the part of the plaintiff is one of the most common defenses that defendants in Illinois accident cases use. Under the comparative fault system, fault for an accident is apportioned between the plaintiff and defendant, and the plaintiff's percentage of fault is figured into whatever financial recovery they are entitled to. Under Illinois' "modified" comparative fault law, the plaintiff—or pedestrian in this case—must be 50 percent or less at fault for their accident in order to recover anything at all. If they are deemed to be more than 50 percent responsible for causing it, they are barred from any recovery. See (735 ILCS 5/2-1116)
Can I Recover Compensation for Future Medical Treatments?
Yes. Illinois law allows an injured pedestrian to recover compensation for both past and future medical care.
The variety and extent of financial compensation available to injured pedestrians in Illinois might surprise some people. If injured through the negligent actions of another party, you can sue them for all out-of-pocket expenses related to your injury, including not only medical bills but lost wages, travel costs to receive medical care and therapy, and more. You can also recover for your intangible losses such as pain, suffering, diminished quality of life, disability, and even scarring.
The overriding concern of our clients who have been hurt in a pedestrian accident, however, is medical bills. For example in the case of leg fractures suffered by a pedestrian, you can recover for past, current, and anticipated future medical costs, so it is important to carefully document the surgeries and treatments you have already undergone and accurately estimate the care you will need in the future in order to claim damages for them. One of the benefits of retaining legal counsel experienced in litigating pedestrian accidents is that we can help you do this more efficiently because we have done it for other clients in circumstances like yours.
How can a Pedestrian Accident Attorney Protect my Case?
A pedestrian accident attorney can ensure that you recover damages from the driver who caused the incident. Like in all accident cases, as the party injured, you have the burden of establishing that the negligent conduct of a driver resulted in the collision and your injuries. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC knows the law related to Illinois accident cases, and when you hire us, a pedestrian accident lawyer in Chicago can immediately get to work assembling the most favorable case for clients involved in these situations. This will help you obtain a pedestrian car accident settlement.
Our attorneys regularly take the following steps on behalf of our pedestrian accident cases.
- Ordering medical records and bills
- Obtaining witness statements
- Consulting with treating physicians to appreciate the significance of the injury
- Calculating wage loss information related to injuries
- Seeking court intervention in order to secure video footage of an incident
- Photographing the scene of an accident
- Communicating with insurance carriers for drivers involved
- Communicating with medical insurance companies to seek subrogation payment from a case
We are deeply committed to the success of your case and feel strongly that these steps are necessary to obtain full and fair compensation.
If you have suffered a pedestrian-related traffic injury in Chicago, you might have legal rights to recover damages for the injuries sustained. The Chicago pedestrian accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC represent pedestrians in all types of personal injury matters, including car accidents, hit-and-run drivers, and collisions with commercial vehicles. Our legal consultations are free, and a pedestrian accident attorney will give you a candid evaluation of your case. While we are headquartered in Chicago, our office serves all of Illinois in pedestrian injury and fatality lawsuits, and we only get paid when your case is resolved.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is committed to providing people injured in an auto/pedestrian accident with information needed to help make decisions about their case. Contact our office today for a Free Consultation.
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