Pedestrians have the right of way. This isn't just a simple rule, it's an absolute necessity. Even at low speeds, a car, truck, or motorcycle can do catastrophic damage to a person. In spite of this, drivers still try to sneak through busy crosswalks and speed through neighborhoods with significant foot traffic.
If you or someone you love has been the victim of a pedestrian accident, our Chicago pedestrian accident lawyers can help you pursue justice and compensation. At Seidman Margulis & Fairman, LLP, we hold negligent drivers responsible for the damage they cause. Our experienced personal injury lawyers are proud to have established a proven reputation for success. When you need a lawyer willing to fight for your financial recovery in and out of the courtroom, contact us.Chicago Pedestrian Accident Resources
- Most Dangerous Intersections in Downtown Chicago
- Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
- Steps To Take After A Pedestrian Accident In Chicago
- Free Consultation: Contact Our Chicago Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Today
It should come as no surprise that there are some seriously dangerous intersections for pedestrians in the Chicago area. The advocacy group Active Transportation Alliance Compiled a list of the 10 most dangerous intersections for pedestrians in downtown Chicago, and you will likely find many here that do not surprise you:
- Milwaukee Ave/W. North Ave/N. Damen Ave
- Cicero Ave and W. Chicago Ave
- Dearborn St and W. Ontario St
- Martin Luther King Dr and E. 63rd St
- Elston Ave/N. Western Ave/W. Diversey Ave
- Ashland Ave and W. 63rd St
- Cicero Ave and W. Madison St
- Ashland Ave and W. Cortland St
- Halsted St/N. Lincoln Ave/W. Fullerton Ave
- Cottage Grove Ave and E. 79th St
This list is only composed of dangerous intersections within the downtown area, but there are many other intersections around the Chicago area and the suburbs that are dangerous for pedestrians. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were 2,855 total pedestrian crashes reported during the latest year of data available within the city. Out of these incidents, there were 2,913 injuries reported and 43 total fatalities.What Are Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents?
Unfortunately, most drivers on the roadway fail to recognize their responsibilities when they are operating around pedestrians. In general, pedestrians are going to have the right of way in most situations, particularly at intersections and marked crosswalks. Many drivers do not understand when they must yield to a pedestrian, or they choose not to yield, leading to a serious accident.
Aside from failing to yield the right of way to pedestrians, some of the most common causes of these incidents include drivers:
- Operating while distracted by their phones or other devices
- Operating while impaired by alcohol or drugs
- Driving their vehicles too fast for conditions
Not every pedestrian accident is necessarily caused by negligent drivers. Sometimes, the municipality responsible for pedestrian crosswalks shares some of the blame. This can occur if pedestrian crosswalks are not properly marked or are poorly maintained. In some cases, traffic signals are not working correctly, which can mislead drivers as well as pedestrians.What Steps Should I Take After A Pedestrian Accident In Chicago?
Pedestrian accidents often lead to severe and debilitating injuries for victims. Unfortunately, these incidents are not uncommon in and around the Chicago area. If you or somebody you love has sustained a pedestrian accident injury caused by the negligence of another party, there are various steps you can take to help ensure your well-being while also working to maximize the compensation you receive.
Proving negligence after a pedestrian accident in Chicago can be difficult. However, there are various steps you or loved one can take if you are involved in an incident:
- Contact the police immediately. As soon as the crash occurs, make sure somebody calls 911 to ensure that the police and EMS are on the way. Never hesitate to seek medical assistance after a pedestrian crash regardless of how minor the injury may seem.
- Document the scene if you are able to do so. If you are able to safely do so, use a phone or another camera to take pictures of the accident scene. This includes any damage to vehicles, photos of injuries, causes of the crash, and more.
- Get the names and contact information of witnesses. Make sure to get the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses to the crash. Their testimonies could be valuable when it comes to an insurance settlement or any personal injury lawsuit against a negligent driver.
Both drivers and pedestrians are responsible for traffic safety throughout the city of Chicago. Drivers must always be prepared to yield the right of way and should take care not to drive unnecessarily close to pedestrians. In general, pedestrian safety is paramount. Pedestrians are required to abide by all signs and signals pertaining to crossing roadways. When crosswalks are available, pedestrians must use them.
A driver must come to a complete stop in the yield to a pedestrian in the following situations in Chicago:
- When a pedestrian is in a marked crosswalk
- On school days when children are in close proximity to a school zone crosswalk
- When making you turn at any intersection
- When making a lawful turn on a red light after coming to a complete stop
- When a pedestrian enters a crosswalk before the traffic light changes
- When a pedestrian is walking with a green light or when a walking sign directs the pedestrian to proceed
- When a pedestrian is entering or leaving a street from an alley, building, driveway, or private roadway
- When a pedestrian is entering an intersection with a flashing yellow arrow
When we turn to Chicago's municipal code, we can see that there is no general prohibition on jaywalking. However, jaywalking will be considered illegal in places where:
- Pedestrian street crossings between intersections had been expressly prohibited
- There are appropriate signs given of notice that walking is not prohibited
Even in areas where there is no express prohibition against jaywalking, any person crossing the street must do so "at right angles to the curb" or "by the shortest route to the opposite curb," per Chicago municipal code.
It is important to point out that a pedestrian may still be able to receive compensation if they are struck by a vehicle while jaywalking. Drivers have an elevated duty of care towards pedestrians on or around the roadways. Depending on the circumstances of the situation, a court may produce the financial compensation awarded to a pedestrian if they were jaywalking at the time the accident occurred. An experienced pedestrian accident lawyer in Chicago can fully examine the facts and circumstances of your case to determine the best path forward.How Much Does a Pedestrian Lawyer Cost?
The good news is that a Chicago pedestrian accident lawyer may be more affordable than most people realize. One of the most common questions that we receive from prospective clients is, "How much will this cost me?"
At Seidman, Margulis & Fairman, LLP, our dedicated team takes Chicago pedestrian accident cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that our clients pay no upfront or out-of-pocket costs for their case. We only collect legal fees after we obtain the compensation our clients deserve. We understand that a pedestrian accident can place victims and their families in precarious financial situations. By offering our services on a contingency fee basis, we hope to ensure that injury victims are able to hold negligent parties accountable, regardless of their financial resources.How Long Will it Take to Resolve my Chicago Pedestrian Accident Claim?
There is no set amount of time that it will take for a pedestrian accident claim to complete. In general, most pedestrian accident cases are resolved in one of two ways – either through a settlement with insurance carriers or through a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party.
Cases that are resolved through settlements with insurance carriers typically do not take as long to finalize. However, the insurance claims process can still take weeks or even months to complete. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the case, this may involve investigations and negotiations between all parties involved.
If the insurance carrier or the at-fault party refuses to offer a fair settlement, it may be necessary for the injury victim to file a personal injury lawsuit. When the case enters the civil court system in Illinois, it will take much longer for the case to resolve. The timeline of a personal injury lawsuit will vary depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding each particular pedestrian accident, but this could take months or even years to reach a resolution.
It is important that you work with a Chicago pedestrian accident attorney who has experience handling these cases and will be able to walk you through the entire process.Compensation Available in a Pedestrian Accident Claim
There may be various types of compensation available to pedestrian accident victims in Chicago. The attorneys at Seidman, Margulis & Fairman, LLP have extensive experience handling these cases, and we are regularly able to help pedestrian accident victims recover both economic and non-economic compensation. This can include the following:
- Economic compensation. This is also referred to as "special damages" and includes the compensation that is calculable after a pedestrian accident. In other words, this is the compensation that can be added up using various bills, proceeds, pay stubs, etc. The most common types of economic compensation that we have clients recover includes:
- Coverage of medical expenses
- Lost income if a victim cannot work
- Wage replacement if a victim has to work a lower-paying job
- General household out-of-pocket expenses
- Property damage expenses
- Non-economic compensation. This is also referred to as "general damages" and includes compensation that is a bit more challenging to calculate after a pedestrian accident. This type of compensation is more immeasurable than the economic compensation listed above and includes what many people refer to as "pain and suffering." Some of the most common types of non-economic compensation we help clients recover in these situations include the following:
- Emotional distress damages
- Scarring and disfigurement damages
- Loss of consortium or companionship for a spouse
- Loss of future earning potential
There is no set amount of compensation awarded in a successful Chicago pedestrian accident claim. Rather, the facts and circumstances of each particular case determine the total compensation amount the victim will receive. Some of the factors that influence the total compensation amount include the following:
- The severity of the injuries
- Whether or not the victim is able to work while they recover
- The total out-of-pocket expenses the victim incurs
- The level of pain and suffering the victim endures
- Whether or not the victim was in any way responsible for the incident
Your Chicago pedestrian accident attorney will work with economic and financial experts, along with your doctors, to properly calculate your total expected losses. The state of Illinois operates under a modified comparative negligence system. This means that an injured victim is able to recover compensation even if they are at fault for the incident, so long as they are not more than 50% at fault. However, the total amount of compensation the victim receives will be reduced based on their percentage of fault. This can ultimately reduce the total amount of compensation a Chicago pedestrian accident victim receives.How Common Are Pedestrian Accidents in Chicago?
When we turn to data available from the Illinois Department of Transportation, we can see that there were 2,855 total pedestrian accidents reported during the latest year of data we have available. Out of these incidents, the DOT says that there were 43 fatalities and 2,913 total injuries. Out of these injuries reported, 540 were listed as catastrophic.
Unfortunately, pedestrian accident injuries are often severe. Pedestrians lack the same level of protection that drivers and passengers have in the event an accident occurs. Further increasing the severity of these accidents is the fact that pedestrians often sustain two impacts when a crash occurs – one impact with a vehicle and a second impact with the ground. That is why it is not uncommon for our attorneys to help clients who have sustained the following injuries as a result of these pedestrian crashes:
- Broken and dislocated bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Open head wounds
- Spinal cord injuries with paralysis
- Other severe back and neck injury
- Internal organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Severe lacerations or road rash
- Amputations or crush injuries
Additionally, our Chicago pedestrian accident attorneys also help clients who have sustained significant emotional and psychological trauma as a result of the crash and their subsequent injuries. We strive to recover compensation for all physical and non-physical injuries that our client sustained as a result of a pedestrian accident.What Are The Benefits of Hiring an Attorney?
Pedestrian accidents involving a motor vehicle can result in serious injuries or in the worst cases the wrongful death of a loved one. If your family has suffered, then it is important to put a professional on your side who can help you handle the real-world and financial challenges associated with a serious injury.We Take On All Pedestrian Accident Cases, Including Those Involving:
- Wrongful death
- Catastrophic injury
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Temporary or permanent disability
- Hit-and-run accidents
Chicago pedestrian accident lawyer Steven J. Seidman, has been representing clients in Chicago and across Illinois for almost 40 years. In that time, we are proud to have built a reputation for effective and dependable legal representation. Our firm has earned a number of significant verdicts and settlements for seriously and catastrophically injured clients.Contact Our Chicago Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Today
Insurance companies have an interest in minimizing their financial liability. If you have been involved in a pedestrian accident, it is important to work with someone whose only job is to maximize your recovery. Call our downtown Chicago office today at (312) 781-1977 or contact us online to set up a free initial consultation to review your case.