Pedestrian accidents happen more often than one thinks, and in a city like Chicago, the amount of pedestrian traffic is more than in most other places in the country. Pedestrian accidents are, therefore, more likely and can lead to catastrophic consequences.
Local and state governments work daily to implement road designs and perform maintenance intended to make sidewalks, intersections, and roadways safer for all who use them. These redesigns also keep pedestrian traffic in mind.
But whether it is through a traffic study or innovative engineering, while these attempts help, they have not been able to entirely eliminate pedestrian accidents.
If you are injured in a pedestrian accident, The Fakhouri Firm Accident and Injury Lawyers is here to help. Our team of legal experts is familiar with Chicago traffic law and can represent you as you navigate the process of filing a claim.
To schedule your free initial case review with a pedestrian accident attorney, simply call 312-999-9990 or submit our online form. One of our team members will reach out to you to schedule your appointment.
How a Chicago Pedestrian Accident Attorney Can Help Your Case
Accidents involving pedestrians are more common than you may think. Americans use roadways almost every day, whether it is to drive to work, walk to the bus station, or make their way to the L.
All of these paths to arrive at your destination will involve other modes of transportation that, while convenient to get from one place to another, also pose a significant risk when it comes to accidents.
Chicago had a 2022 report of pedestrian accident data by the non-profit Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) shows that Chicago had 172 pedestrian fatalities from 2019 – 2021. The report also estimated that there were approximately 200 such fatalities across Illinois throughout 2022.
If you are in a pedestrian accident, you do not need to go through this process alone. Finding the right team to have your back is essential. They will help you create a solid case seeking all available compensation, including the costs of any future care or long-term reduction in income.
At The Fakhouri Firm Accident and Injury Lawyers, our team focuses on building cases that involve evaluating evidence, conducting an investigation, medical bills, and other documentation that supports your case.
Our legal services include:
- Care and counsel throughout your case
- Legal guidance and strategy based on specific state, local, and federal laws
- Collection of all available evidence, including accident-scene findings, eyewitness accounts, and expert witness interviews
- Representation and negotiation on your behalf throughout the claims process
- Calculation of loss of wages because of time needed off work to address medical needs
- Calculation of all medical costs stemming from injuries related to the accident, including projected future costs
If you or a loved one were injured in a pedestrian accident, you should seek immediate legal advice from an experienced attorney to help build your case. With the support from the right legal team, your case will have the best chance of receiving the compensation you need to move on after your devastating incident
Pedestrian Accidents Can Lead to Serious Injuries
Victims of pedestrian accidents face brutal injuries. Pedestrian accidents can involve collisions with trucks, cars, and even bicycles. These are all much larger objects that are inherently moving at a much faster speed than a human.
When both collide, the results can be severe, even fatal.
Depending on the speed of the initial collision, victims can find that their bodies make multiple impacts before the accident is over. Injuries can take months, if not years, to heal from, and some injuries are so bad that they are life-altering for the victim.
These injuries can lead to inability to work, brain damage, loss of limb function, nerve damage, and other permanent disabilities. Because of consequences like these, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated in 2007 that the global economic impact of pedestrian accidents totaled over $500 billion.
In cases where a pedestrian survives an accident, the road to recovery will be a long one. Victims will likely need to attend extended doctor appointments and physical therapy sessions to begin healing and work their way toward their previous level of function.
Types of Injuries Sustained in a Pedestrian Accident
The kinds of injuries that a victim can experience after a pedestrian accident are many. Those who survive these accidents face multiple fractures and breaks, especially in their wrists, arms, shoulders, legs, and even spines.
Victims frequently experience multiple musculoskeletal injuries and brain injuries, like TBIs, after being hit in a pedestrian accident. Compound fractures can lead to bone breaks that cause punctures in the skin.
Victims of pedestrian accidents often require airlifting to the nearest hospital to be treated for their injuries as soon as possible.
To make matters worse, pedestrian accidents can easily lead to death because of the nature of the injuries sustained from the collision. It is possible for victims can pass away even if the EMT arrives promptly, depending on the circumstances of the accident.
The road to recovery in these cases can be fierce, with months of possible doctor appointments, prescriptions for pain medication, surgeries, and physical therapy sessions, not to mention the loss of working hours for many that can carry significant financial impacts on their family’s lifestyle and stability.
Most Common Types of Pedestrian Accidents in Chicago
Injuries caused by pedestrian accidents are usually the result of one of these three accidents. There are three main types of pedestrian accidents that are mostly seen in Chicago:
- Parking lot accidents.
- Hit-and-run accidents.
- Crosswalk accidents
Crosswalks allow pedestrian traffic to cross safely in a designated area that is supposed to clearly indicate to cars that pedestrians have the right of way. But, even with this design, cars sometimes do not stop on time, roll into the crosswalk area, or choose not to stop at all. They may even roll through red lights or stop signs.
These accidents also frequently happen when a car turns left or right from a center lane, often while the driver looks for vehicle traffic but fails to consider that pedestrians might be crossing along their path.
In these cases, the driver likely did not see the pedestrian in the right-of-way and accelerated while the victim was on or headed into their path.
Parking Lot Accidents
Cars bumping into each other or backing into each other in a parking lot is a common accident. But when cars are speeding or not paying attention to their surroundings, a parking lot can become significantly more dangerous.
A parking lot can have all the elements needed to create a perfect situation for an accident: speeding, running stop signs, backing up without looking, and more. All of these careless behaviors can lead to someone getting seriously injured in the process
Hit and Run Accidents
Hit-and-run pedestrian accidents are all too common and often highlighted by the media. These kinds of accidents often occur at high speeds and lead to injuries that may take victims years to recover from.
To make the case more complicated, the aggressor leaves the accident scene without a thought for the person they hurt and left behind.
By Illinois law, any driver involved in a car accident cannot leave the scene until it is investigated by police. Whether it is out of fear of prosecution or ignorance of the degree of the collision, leaving the scene of an accident is illegal, and the driver will likely face severe legal consequences for their mistake.
Pedestrian Accidents Can Form the Basis of a Personal Injury Claim
Injuries sustained in a pedestrian accident are part of personal injury law. In Illinois, the law allows for the victim no more than two years after the event that caused their injuries to file a lawsuit in the courts. This limited time period is called the Statute of Limitations.
The statute of limitations is placed to prevent cold cases from moving forward in the courts. If damages were sustained, the victim should be able to file a lawsuit no later than two years after the incident happened.
However, the law does make room for some exceptions. Usually, these exceptions are made for minors who are under the age of 18 or if the defendant has left the state.
The statute of limitations will resume when:
- The minor has turned 18 years old.
- The defendant has returned from out of state.
Since personal injury cases are limited to a two-year window, victims must contact an attorney as soon as possible to begin their claim. Personal injury cases, especially pedestrian accident cases, can have complications throughout the claims process.
While a qualified attorney will do their best to settle outside the courts, it is not always possible. A lawsuit may need to be filed, and the case may proceed to discovery and, eventually, a jury trial.
Giving your legal team ample time to negotiate can work in your favor to reach a satisfying settlement before scrambling to file a complaint and prepare for a possible trial.
A Chicago Pedestrian Accident Attorney Knows that Costs Start to Accumulate Quickly
Injuries sustained in a pedestrian accident are already bad, but facing increasing medical bills makes matters even worse. Medical bills are notorious for financially hamstringing families, especially when paying out of pocket.
Worse, doctors’ appointments and therapy sessions can easily require you to take additional time off of work. The time needed for medical appointments can require victims to use their PTO and sick leave if they have that benefit through their employer or go unpaid altogether.
Losing hours of paid work — or being unable to work completely — can be difficult for most families, as they are unprepared to face these kinds of financial complications. To make matters more complicated, the loss of income can compromise the ability to put food on the table or even keep a roof over their heads.
Because of these financial challenges, it is vital for all pedestrian accident victims to begin exploring sources of possible compensation as early as possible.
Common Damages Available in a Pedestrian Accident Case
While every pedestrian injury case is different, most will involve some or all of the following types of damages:
- Recovery of medical expenses, including all past costs and projected future costs
- Lost wages, encompassing the reduction in income experienced by the victim because of the accident, including a possible permanent reduction in earnings potential
- Out-of-pocket expenses related directly to the accident and injury, including transportation to/parking at medical appointments or the cost of renting a vehicle
- Pain and suffering and other non-financial damages that nevertheless have a negative impact on the victim’s quality of life
- Punitive damages may be awarded in cases that proceed to trial and where the liable party displayed gross negligence, reckless disregard, or intentional malice
Government Initiatives to Improve Roadways Are Too Late
Like many other cities, Chicago is implementing a “Vision Zero” plan to reduce pedestrian and bicycle accidents to zero within a set timeframe. Policies implemented include increased enforcement of proper traffic flow and public road designs that encourage safe walkability, especially in heavy-foot-traffic areas like downtown, Millenium Park, and the “Mag Mile.”
It is good to hear that local governments and the state of Illinois are ready to make some changes to improve roadways with pedestrian safety in mind, but for many victims of pedestrian accidents, it is too late.
By the middle of the summer of 2022, there were over 30 pedestrians killed in Chicago due to injuries related to a pedestrian or cyclist accident. This is significantly more than when Chicago hit an all-time low back in 2009, with only 34 pedestrian deaths in the entire year.
Multiple agencies and organizations are requesting that local governments leverage more funding into programs and projects aimed at improving pedestrian safety to bring these incidents back down to 2009 levels.
Reach Out to a Proven Chicago Pedestrian Accident Law Firm Today
Working with the right legal team after a pedestrian-related accident can be the difference between receiving the compensation you deserve and missing out.
Our legal experts are here for you each step of the way to provide guidance and representation as your claim is processed. Other pedestrian accident attorneys might settle if it keeps them out of the courts, but at The Fakhouri Firm, our attorneys are ready to fight for you when needed.
Starting the process of filing a claim is easy. Initial consultations can be requested by phone or when completing our online form. Call 312-999-9990 today to get started.
And remember, acting quickly after a pedestrian accident is best to start the process of creating a claim. The Fakhouri team is ready to be here for you. All you need to do is give us a call.