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Death Of Chicago Mother Highlights Crosswalk Negligence

After a suburban Chicago mother of five was struck and killed while in a poorly marked, unnoticeable crosswalk,officials announced that they will update the Illinois publication of the “Rules of the Road” for next year to try and reduce the dangers pedestrians and bicyclists face every day in state crosswalks.

Although difficult to understand why, official state policies do not yet specify that when the crosswalk signal is active and lights are flashing, all drivers need to stop until pedestrians and bicyclists have crossed the road. Many have complained that there is no way for drivers to know that this particular crosswalk is there or that someone is in it, as the signal is confusing and dangerous. It is important that there is visibility for all drivers from each lane to see the beacon.

Determining Fault in Illinois

The question in this case becomes: For this crosswalk, why weren’t flashing lights to warn drivers that someone is in the crosswalk part of the original design? And are flashing lights enough compared to, say, simply putting in a stop sign?

Inadequate crosswalks like these bring confusion to the question of who is liable when it comes to figuring out negligence in accidents.The state of Illinois follows a modified comparative negligence rule, whereby an injured party can only recover for damages if they are less than 50 percent at fault. In addition, injured pedestrians can typically file claims against the driver’s auto insurance policy, whereby the ability for the pedestrian to recover largely depends upon the degree of their own fault.

Municipal Negligence

In the instance where you have an insufficiently-marked crosswalk, who, exactly, has behaved negligently and caused the accident? In this particular case, it is entirely possible for the family of the woman who was struck to consider bringing a wrongful death lawsuit against the city for failing to properly place appropriate safeguards in the crosswalk to protect its citizens. This is what is known as “municipal negligence” resulting in a safety hazard. It is the government’s job to act responsibly when it comes to maintaining the roads and crosswalks within them. While this typically involves providing the government entity with a reasonable amount of notice and time to fix said issue, in this particular case, this was not the first accident that occurred in that crosswalk, indicating that the government failed to correct the crosswalk after the initial accident.

Accident Attorneys Who Care

If you or a loved one has been injured in a crosswalk accident as a pedestrian or bicyclist, or if you are a motorist who has been involved in an accident due to insufficient signage, we are here to help.

Founded in 1957, Curcio Law Offices has earned a strong reputation for representing clients in Chicago and surrounding areas. We focus on auto accidents and wrongful death in particular. We have the experience and skills to ensure that you are protected.Contact us today for a free consultation.