There have been many recent Chicago-area and Illinois pedestrian accidents, some fatal. As seen in Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) crash reports, in the year 2014 there were 2556 pedestrian crashes, with 32 fatalities and 2,509 people injured, in Chicago. In Cook County, there were 3,320 pedestrian crashes in 2014, with 61 fatalities and 3,256 injured.
As seen on this site’s posts, there are many reasons for Chicago area pedestrian accidents. Walking in the Chicago area remains popular. However, it does include risks when done around traffic. This is especially so given the highly traveled roadways and recreational paths in the Chicago metropolitan area.
The Chicago Tribune article of May 30, 2016, titled “As pedestrian deaths rise, IDOT reiterates importance of paying attention,” discusses various aspects of the year 2015 pedestrian accident fatalities seen in Illinois. Two excerpts from that article:
Last year, 146 crashes resulted in 150 fatalities on roads across the state, up 18 percent from 2014 when there were 127 deaths, according to preliminary numbers from the Illinois Department of Transportation. Of those 150 pedestrians killed, nearly a third of the deaths — or 46 — occurred in Chicago, which also saw a 31 percent hike over 2014.
The Governors Highway Safety Association, a nonprofit made up of state highway safety offices, also indicated that distracted pedestrians and drivers may be partially responsible for an increase in pedestrian deaths between 2009 and 2013 after decades of a steady decline.
Pedestrians have little if any protection from impacts with vehicles, and as such accident injuries are often serious, if not life-threatening. Among the serious injuries that can result from someone being hit by a vehicle is traumatic brain injuries (TBI.) These types of head injuries have been seen in many Chicago area accidents, including the November 1, 2016 Naperville pedestrian accident. In that accident, in which the person struck died on November 5, the pedestrian suffered life-threatening injuries resulting from being struck by a Jeep as she walked on a parkway.
Another Northern Illinois fatal pedestrian accident happened on Saturday night, November 19, 2016. This fatal accident happened in unincorporated Woodstock, on Illinois Route 47. A pedestrian was struck by a pickup truck as the man attempted to walk across the road. The accident injuries included blunt force injuries to the head.
Many pedestrian accidents are the fault of motorists. Accidents that happen in crosswalks are particularly notable, as those who cross in crosswalks “with the light” often expect to do so safely. However, in many cases crosswalks and the rights they are supposed to provide to those using them go unheeded by motorists. Various statistics show that Chicago pedestrian accidents – including those fatal – often happen while people are walking in a crosswalk with the “walk” signal. As discussed in the October 26, 2011 post, titled “City of Chicago Initiative To Highlight Pedestrian Accidents And Pedestrian Safety“:
About 80 percent of vehicle-pedestrian crashes in Chicago occur at intersections and commonly involve people crossing the street with the walk signal, according to a new city study released this summer. The No. 1 cause of the accidents was drivers failing to yield, the analysis found.
Another notable Chicago fatal accident in which people were crossing in a Chicago crosswalk is discussed in the November 13 post titled “Fatal Pedestrian Accident In The Jefferson Park Neighborhood.” As seen in that post, the injuries from that Jefferson Park accident led to the death of a 2-year-old boy.
Also of note is when a person is hit by a bicyclist. While these types of accidents don’t necessarily frequently happen, they nonetheless have occurred in the Chicago area. These accidents can lead to serious injuries. One example of such an alleged accident was summarized in the December 16, 2014 post titled “Accidents On Chicago’s Lakefront Path.” Another such alleged accident happened on the Skokie Valley bike path near Lake Bluff in August 2016.
If a person is hurt due to being hit by a vehicle, there are many other types of pedestrian accident injuries that can occur due to the impact. These include damage to the neck and spinal column; fractures; serious bruises; broken arms; broken legs; and various types of internal bleeding and other “soft tissue” damage.
Many of these injuries may lead to temporary or permanent physical impairments, which may require one or more surgeries. As well, recovery from these accident injuries may require a significant amount of physical and occupational rehabilitation.
Given that there are many types of expenses that can be directly incurred because of these types of non-fatal injuries – most notably medical bills – many people that have been hit and injured by vehicles seek to obtain injury compensation through the filing of a personal injury lawsuit. This injury compensation can include many different types, and such compensation varies depending upon many different factors, including the types and severity of the injuries. Compensatory forms can include that for:
• Medical costs (past, current and future)
• Pain and suffering
• Loss of function
• Lost wages
• Other economic damages
A personal injury lawyer can provide an overview as to what types of compensation – as well as what amounts – may be reasonably expected given the specific characteristics of the accident, the accident injuries, and the overall medical situation that has resulted due to the accident.
What To Do If You Have Been Injured In A Pedestrian Accident
The above discusses various aspects of accidents involving pedestrians. As discussed, pedestrian accidents often cause accident injuries – and in many cases these injuries are serious in nature (i.e. either life-threatening or fatal in nature.)
Should you be injured in a vehicle accident, there are steps you should take to protect both your health as well as your legal rights, including your rights to potential injury compensation if the accident was the fault of another person or entity.
From a medical perspective, it is recommended that you get a comprehensive medical exam if you are hit by a car or other vehicle. There are many reasons for this recommendation…including that some accident injuries are not immediately apparent. A thorough medical examination can check for accident injuries that have occurred, but may not yet be apparent. There are many examples of people who have suffered serious accident injuries but aren’t aware of these injuries for a substantial time period. A delay in treatment of these accident injuries can create a dangerous health threat. In some cases such delay in proper health care treatment can become life-threatening.
From a legal perspective, it is highly recommended that you speak with an Illinois personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after an accident. While many people who have been recently injured in an accident may find this to be inconvenient, there are various steps you should quickly take to protect your legal rights and to help you attain compensation for your accident injuries and other harm that may have occurred. The personal injury lawyer can determine if the filing of a personal injury lawsuit is appropriate. [For those who represent a person that has died due to an accident, filing a wrongful death lawsuit may be warranted.]
If you were injured in an accident, call Tony Elman, Lead Trial Attorney at the Elman Law Group, at (773) 392-8182 to discuss the accident and see what legal actions – including the filing of a lawsuit – may be appropriate. This discussion is provided free of charge and is confidential in nature.
Elman Law Group, LLC has been handling Illinois personal injury cases for 25+ years, and during this time has handled over 10,000 personal injury cases. Through this extensive experience, the Elman Law Group has built a reputation for its court trial performance. As seen in many of its cases, this successful trial experience may (substantially) increase potential accident injury compensation.
Elman Law Group, LLC handles cases on a contingency basis…clients are not charged legal fees unless and until they get money.