Written by Malman Law, reviewed by Steve J. Malman.
Were you walking when you got hit by a motorist? If so, you may be entitled to compensation.
The personal injury attorneys at Malman Law would like to discuss pedestrian rights, how much your pedestrian car accident case may be worth, and tips to keep you safe.
It is estimated that in the United States in a recent year, 7,485 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes, an increase of 11.5% from the year before. 175 pedestrians were killed in Illinois alone.
Drivers should yield the right-of-way to pedestrians under certain conditions:
Although Illinois law enumerates many rights for pedestrians, it does have limits. Pedestrians must use a sidewalk when it is available.
If no sidewalk is available, then pedestrians must walk on the shoulder of the road, as far away from traffic as possible. If the road has two-way traffic, then pedestrians must walk facing oncoming traffic.
The leading causes of pedestrian accidents are:
In a recent year, estimated crash-related costs in Illinois were $5.5 billion for all crashes. The value of a pedestrian accident case can vary widely – anywhere from a few thousand to over one million dollars. Always have a lawyer determine what your case is worth, which will depend on several factors.
Your ability to receive compensation will depend on who was at fault in the accident. Fault is not always clear. Illinois has adopted modified comparative negligence, which allows a victim to recover financially for an accident as long as he or she is not more than 50% responsible for the accident.
A pedestrian could be at least partially at fault for an accident if his or her actions were illegal, such as jaywalking. In Illinois and most states, it is illegal for a pedestrian to suddenly leave a curb or sidewalk and run into the path of a moving vehicle.
However, a driver still has a duty to exercise care while operating his or her vehicle and will likely bear some of the cost for your injuries.
If you were in an accident and were rushed to the emergency room, you will probably end up with a hefty bill.
Medical bills can add up quickly. Depending on your injuries, you may require follow-up visits with your doctor, to see specialists, attend physical therapy or other rehabilitative therapies, and even purchase special medical equipment for your home.
If you are hit by a vehicle operator, you could suffer any of the following injuries:
A traumatic brain injury ranges from minor to severe. In moderate to severe cases, a person may lose cognitive reasoning and experience problems with coordination and balance. A person who has suffered a moderate to severe TBI will be plagued with long-term chronic health problems.
Illinois requires that you have the following minimum insurance coverage:
Illinois is a tort state, meaning that the insurance company of the motorist who ultimately caused the accident will be responsible for paying for damages. However, if you suffered more serious injuries, insurance may be inadequate to cover your medical costs.
In this situation, the insurance company will attempt to negotiate a settlement offer. A settlement offer is generally two to three times the amount of medical bills and lost wages. However, an insurance carrier rarely takes into account future medical expenses.
Since you cannot rely on a driver to spot you while walking, it is important that you take the necessary steps to protect yourself.
Even taking all these safety measures, a pedestrian can still be hit by a motorist. Even if you sustained minor injuries, it is crucial that you speak with a personal injury lawyer to guide you through the claim process.
An insurance carrier will do everything they can before admitting the driver on their policy is at fault. Don’t let yourself be robbed of what is rightfully yours. Contact Malman Law today to schedule your free consultation.