Pedestrians cross streets and walk down sidewalks every day in Chicago and other Illinois cities. When they do so, they may be unwittingly putting themselves at risk of serious injury. Motorists who fail to drive carefully can get into accidents involving pedestrian victims. If you or a loved one were in a pedestrian accident, you’re probably wondering what steps you should take next.
Let the pedestrian accident attorneys of Hale & Monico advise you or your legal rights. We represent personal injury victims who have been injured because of negligent and reckless drivers. When you retain our law firm, you have a trusted and knowledgeable advocate who will take the stress out of your accident claim.
How Do Pedestrian Accidents Happen?
Motorists – everyone from large truck drivers to motorcyclists – are required to drive safely. Failure to do so could put others at risk, and not just other motorists. Pedestrians have the right to walk sidewalks and cross streets without having to worry that a negligent driver is going to put their lives at risk.
Unfortunately, not all motorists are responsible. Accidents involving pedestrians occur for a number of reasons, such as:
Distracted driving. Texting while driving, using the cell phone, or otherwise not paying attention to the road can cause a motorist to strike a pedestrian. Any driving behavior that takes away from a motorist’s focus can be considered distracted driving.
Disregard for a pedestrian’s right of way. Pedestrians have the right of way in certain instances, such as when they enter a crosswalk before the traffic signal has changed. Failure to heed the right of way is a leading cause of pedestrian accidents.
Impaired driving. Operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal. It can also make the at-fault driver liable for damages in a civil lawsuit. Pedestrians who are injured because of impaired driving have the right to seek compensation from the driver.
Turning at intersections. Drivers do not always pay attention to the path their vehicles take when they turn. Intersections are common sites of pedestrian accidents for this reason. Left turns in particular can lead to a collision.
Impatience. Some drivers simply don’t want to wait for a pedestrian to finish crossing the street. Many of them attempt to drive around the pedestrian, which can put lives at risk. There is no excuse for impatient driving that causes injury to others.
Pedestrian Injuries Are More Serious
Compared to injuries involving only vehicles, pedestrians tend to suffer far more serious injuries. The simple reason is that they lack the steel frames, airbags, and other safety features of vehicles. Against a vehicle that could weigh thousands of pounds, pedestrians are far outmatched.
Pedestrians can suffer these and other injuries during an accident:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Neck injury
- Cuts and abrasions
- Spinal cord damage
- Bone fractures
- Internal organ damage
These injuries can mean substantial medical bills in the form of hospitalization, surgery, physical therapy, and much more. They may also mean the inability to work or even to return to a promising career. Sadly, many pedestrians succumb to their injuries and die. Their surviving family members may have a wrongful death claim against the responsible driver.
Steps To Take After A Pedestrian Accident
If you or a loved one are hurt in a pedestrian accident, quick action is key to both your health and your ability to pursue compensation for your injuries.
First, call 911 and seek immediate medical attention. Law enforcement will create a police report of the incident, which will be helpful when you pursue civil damages. Also, you may need to call police if the driver has fled the scene, which is common in pedestrian accidents. See a doctor or go to a hospital right away, even if you think your injuries are severe or you think you don’t have any injuries. Failure to do so could be detrimental to your health and may jeopardize your accident claim.
Next, if possible, try to collect evidence related to your accident. Make notes about the time, place, and other details, including what you and the at-fault driver were doing immediately before the collision. If there were witnesses to your accident, get their names and contact information. Write down a description of the driver and vehicle. Take photos and record video of the accident scene if you can.
Finally, contact a skilled attorney with experience handling Illinois pedestrian accidents. Your lawyer should understand how to make a compelling claim for the compensation you deserve, both inside the courtroom and in discussions with the insurance company.
The Hale & Monico Difference
Our law firm has earned a reputation of defending the rights and interests of our pedestrian accident clients. We are not only thoroughly experienced in personal injury law, we know how to assess the value of our clients’ injuries. This means accounting for not only your past damages, like medical bills, but future ones such as your inability to work. We have a network of trusted expert witnesses who help explain to juries how the accident happened and what sort of compensation is fair.
We also know how to take on the insurance companies and attorneys who will work hard to deny you the payment you need. Insurers are in the business of limiting payouts as much as possible, and do not have your best interests in mind. Your attorney will negotiate with them and their lawyers to demand a settlement that truly accounts for your injuries. We will settle your case out of court if possible, but if necessary, we will take your case in front of a jury.
Contact Our Chicago Pedestrian Accident Attorney
At Hale & Monico, we understand the challenges you’re facing if you or a family member have been injured in a pedestrian accident. Let us show you what it means to have a dedicated and compassionate attorney working on your behalf. Reach out to us to schedule your confidential consultation today.