The Chicago pedestrian accident attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers represent the needs and interests of countless victims of motorist negligence. We feel that the most effective ways to reduce the number of accidents occurring throughout the city of Chicago and its greater metropolitan area are to hold negligent drivers accountable and to educate the public on the many different types of accidents. Understanding how these accidents occur is the first step we can all take toward learning how to prevent accidents in the future— both while behind the wheel and when walking through city streets as a pedestrian.
The Twelve Most Common Types of Pedestrian Accidents
Our Chicago pedestrian injury lawyers understand that every accident is unique and may have been the result of special circumstances. Most pedestrian accidents fall within the following categories, however, which can help us determine when we may be at greater risk of causing or being involved in an accident.
- Backing vehicle pedestrian accident— these accidents commonly occur at parking lots or on streets where driveways offer limited visibility to drivers who are backing onto the road. It is the responsibility of drivers to be aware of their surroundings and back up slowly enough to be able to react if a pedestrian enters their path.
- Work or play accidents— whenever children play in residential areas, there is the chance that they will run into the street after a ball or while chasing another child during a game. Construction workers may also need to perform work on roadways that require them to stay in the middle of the street. Speed is a factor in this type of accident because drivers should always reduce their speed in residential areas and work zones.
- Pedestrian crossing a highway— pedestrians who cross limited access highways or on and off ramps are at an elevated risk of being struck by high moving vehicles. While it is ill advised for anyone to attempt to cross these roads, some people may feel it necessary in the event of a broken down vehicle or accident. The best place for anyone to remain is in his or her vehicle, which his or her hazard lights on.
- Off road accidents with pedestrians— these accidents take place off of the road, such as when a vehicle leaves the road and strikes a pedestrian on the sidewalk, when a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle leaving an alley or when a vehicle strikes a pedestrian standing close to the edge of the road, such as someone waiting at a bus stop or near a disabled vehicle. Alcohol can also play a role when a drunk driver leaves the road and hits someone who is standing or walking on the sidewalk.
- Pedestrians walking on the side of the road— whenever pedestrians need to walk along busy streets, they should make every effort possible to use sidewalks. There are instances where a sidewalk is not present, however, and pedestrians may walk on the far right side of the road instead. If drivers do not see these pedestrians due to nighttime conditions or inclement weather, it can result in an accident.
- Through vehicle at an intersection— this type of accident occurs when a pedestrian is crossing an intersection and is hit by a vehicle traveling straight through the intersection. It may occur due to the willful decision to run a light or stop sign, a malfunctioning traffic signal or the lack of any traffic control devices. These accidents are usually the driver’s fault and he or she may be held liable for damages.
- Turning vehicle at an intersection— these accidents are primarily the result of poor visibility or lack of driver attention to pedestrians on the road. The driver strikes the pedestrian while turning either right or left while the victim is crossing the street. In most cases, the driver is at fault for this type of accident, but factors such as whether the pedestrian was crossing the intersection legally or wearing dark clothing at night may allow the defense to argue for comparative liability.
- Failure to yield at a crosswalk— there are crosswalks located at every busy intersection, but others also exist between intersections on busy thoroughfares in order to allow pedestrians to get to where they need to go more efficiently. The law requires drivers to stop for anyone choosing to cross the street at these intersections, but impatient drivers and those not paying attention may strike an unsuspecting pedestrian attempting to cross.
- The midblock dart and dash— this type of accident is primarily the fault of the pedestrian, but the driver can contribute to its likelihood and severity. The pedestrian enters the street from the side of the road and crosses the path of the vehicle just before impact. While the act of crossing without the protection of a crosswalk does put the pedestrian at fault, the driver may be liable as well if he or she was speeding.
- The multiple threat accident— this type of accident is similar to the dart and dash, except the pedestrian walks between two vehicles that are stopped and into the next lane where he or she is struck by a vehicle whose driver never saw him or her. Once again, there can be comparative liability depending on how fast the driver was going at the time of the accident.
- Mailbox or midblock vehicle— this type of accident occurs when a pedestrian is hit while checking his or her mail or while interacting with a vehicle on the side of the road, such as an ice cream truck. The driver can be held completely liable if he or she was distracted and or speeding immediately prior to the accident.
- School bus crossing accident— drivers who are always in a hurry value their own time over the safety of others. This is especially true of those who overtake stopped buses with their lights on and those drivers should be held liable for their careless and irresponsible actions.
While most pedestrian related accidents fall into the above categories, our Chicago pedestrian injury lawyers would like to point out that every accident is unique. If you have been injured, it is important to speak with a qualified attorney in order to determine your rights and what options you have available to be able to recover the financial compensation needed to pay for your medical bills and out of pocket expenses and to cover your lost wages and pain and suffering.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers is a leading personal injury law firm with a comprehensive legal team that is equipped to ensure you have the greatest chance of recovering the maximum amount of compensation the law provides. Our network also relies on access to quality medical professionals and social workers in order to help connect you with the rehabilitative therapy you need to recover physically.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our award winning Chicago pedestrian accident attorneys so that we can gather the information we need to investigate your case, answer any questions you may have about our services and the legal process and review your legal options with you so that you can make an informed choice on how to proceed. Our lawyers work solely on a contingency basis, so you are also assured that unless we recover compensation on your behalf, our services will be absolutely free of charge.