Walking across the street could turn into a dangerous proposition for pedestrians. Pedestrians have very little protection from the force of a vehicle slamming into them, so any impact with the vehicle could result in severe injuries. Here, our Chicago pedestrian accident lawyers want to discuss who is at fault if a pedestrian is jaywalking in Chicago and is struck by a vehicle.
Is it always your fault if you hit a pedestrian?
Pedestrians do have significant leeway when it comes to right-of-way laws in Illinois. However, their rights are not limitless. Generally, pedestrians will have the right-of-way at crosswalks. When traffic control signals are in operation at marked crosswalks, pedestrians are required to use them in the manner described. If a pedestrian fails to use a marked crosswalk when traffic control signals are in place, they may be considered at fault if they are involved in an accident.
If there are no cross signals, but there is a marked crosswalk, a pedestrian’s right away will depend on their position in the road in relation to oncoming traffic. Illinois traffic law (625 ILCS 5/11-1002(a)), says that “…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.”
When pedestrians are crossing in areas other than crosswalks, the right-of-way rules are generally reversed. In these cases, the pedestrian is required to yield the right-of-way to all vehicles on the roadway.
What are the main causes of pedestrian accidents?
There are numerous causes of pedestrian accidents in and around the Chicago area. When a pedestrian is legally using a marked crosswalk, with or without traffic signals, some of the main causes of traffic accidents revolve around driver error. This can include drivers:
- Operating while impaired by alcohol or drugs
- Operating while distracted by phones or other devices
- Failing to adequately pay attention to the roadway
- Operating too fast for conditions
However, pedestrians who are crossing the roadway at unmarked crosswalks can be the main contributor to these accidents if they fail to yield the right-of-way to vehicles on the roadway. Often, pedestrians fail to yield because they themselves are impaired or distracted.
What happens if a pedestrian caused an accident?
If you or somebody you care about has been involved in a vehicle accident with a pedestrian, you must stop at the scene of the crash and check on everybody involved. Call 911 to ensure that law enforcement officials and medical personnel are on the way so they can handle any emergencies.
- Make sure to stay at the scene of the crash.
- Seek medical care if you are injured.
- Use a phone or other device to take photographs of everything, including vehicle damages or injuries.
- Get the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses.
- Do not admit fault to any party at the scene.
- Report the incident to your insurance carrier. Again, do not admit fault to the insurance carrier.
If the pedestrian caused the accident and you were a driver in a vehicle involved, you should not be on the line to cover compensation for the pedestrian’s injuries. However, if you were partially at fault, you and your insurance carrier may be on the line to cover some of the compensation paid out to any pedestrian injured. Speak to our Chicago car accident lawyers today.