CHICAGO PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENT LAWYERS
At Curcio Law Offices, our prominent Chicago personal injury attorneys have represented cases like those of pedestrian accidents for more than 60 years now. We’ve helped clients and their families receive the compensation they deserve for the injuries sustained in one of these horrible accidents. Here, our pedestrian accident lawyers will answer your commonly asked questions regarding pedestrian accidents.
What is a Pedestrian Accident?
A pedestrian accident describes an instance where a pedestrian (that is, a person on foot) is struck by some other force. This force is often a car, but it can also be a motorcycle, bicycle, or even a horse. It can occur anywhere from a sidewalk to a parking lot, from a public park to a crosswalk. Because of the difference in size and power between a person and one of these forces, a pedestrian accident can be terrifying. Not only is it a terrifying experience, it can also result in devastating injuries or even death. Because of the severity of the situation, it is best to receive legal help from experienced pedestrian accident lawyers.
When is it Considered the Driver's Fault in a Pedestrian Accident?
There are many ways that a driver can be at fault for a pedestrian accident. Some of the most common causes for this could just as well be reasons for any type of motor vehicle accident. Common causes of pedestrian accidents where the driver is at fault include the following:
- The driver was distracted (texting, eating, etc.).
- Failure to yield for pedestrians at crosswalks.
- Failing to look both ways before turning at an intersection.
- The driver was speeding.
- The driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
There are some cases where the accident might not be either the driver or pedestrians fault. For example, if there are design defects in a crosswalk location (like failure to consider proper traffic flow in construction), the city may be held accountable.
Another example is if the automobile has manufacturing defects. If the brakes in a car go out and it results in a pedestrian accident, the manufacturer of the car may be liable.
Urban areas like busy cities often have a higher number of pedestrian accidents because of the high flow of both pedestrian and vehicle traffic. This does not mean that these types of accidents don’t occur in rural areas, though. Country roads often provide limited visibility and curved, winding roads with higher speed limits, creating a perfect environment for a potentially devastating accident.
What Happens if a Pedestrian Caused an Accident?
In an accident between a pedestrian and a vehicle, many are quick to assume that it is the driver that’s automatically at fault. This is not always the case. It is completely possible for a pedestrian to cause an accident between themselves and a vehicle or even between two or more other vehicles.
Just because the pedestrian has the right of way, it doesn’t make them exempt from liability. If a negligent pedestrian steps into heavy traffic, it may be difficult or impossible for the driver to avoid an accident. Sometimes they have no way of escaping hitting the pedestrian, another car, or veering dangerously off the road.
If a pedestrian is found to be at fault for an accident, the driver may be able to file a claim against them for any injuries they received. Damages for these injuries may include medical expenses, pain and suffering, property damage, and lost wages. The pedestrian may still be responsible for these damages even if they suffered injuries themselves.
Here are some common examples of a pedestrian-caused accident:
- Failure to follow a traffic signal.
- Crossing the street in an area other than the crosswalk (i.e., jaywalking).
- Walking on roads prohibited to pedestrians.
- Darting into the street without regard for motorists.
- Crossing the street while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Drunk walking is not a crime in itself, but being under the influence while in the presence of heavy traffic could result in careless behavior that causes an accident.
How to Write a Demand Letter for a Pedestrian Accident?
If you suffered injuries from a pedestrian accident, you will need to file the claim with the guilty party’s insurance company. This begins with a formal letter demanding compensation for your injuries. One of our pedestrian accident lawyers can help you in composing and sending out this letter.
The letter includes a few key things. It must clearly establish liability. In addition, it must include a detailed list of any injuries you received. This includes physical injuries, emotional distress, and any pain or suffering you endured as a result. The costs associated with damages include emergency room bills, physical therapy, medications, lost wages, pain and suffering, or anything of the like. Included with every demand letter, we must provide the following:
- Medical records or bills
- Receipts for out-of-pocket expenses
- Wage statements
- Police report
- Witness statements
Your attorney will organize the documents in the order in which they are mentioned in the letter.
How Can a Chicago Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Help?
If you received injuries in a pedestrian accident, it is important that you get help from an experienced pedestrian accident attorney. A lawyer can provide assistance and guidance throughout this difficult time. Having a lawyer handling the extensive legal matters will allow you to focus on your own physical and mental recovery.
In addition to the peace of mind that comes with a pedestrian accident lawyer, you will also have someone who knows how to prove the other party was truly at fault. Often, as a way to save themselves money, insurance providers will try to protect themselves by saying it was not their insured’s fault. A professional legal counsel will work to collect any and all evidence proving that the other party is liable for your injuries.
Further, your lawyer will negotiate your settlement on your behalf. More often than not, people who try to make a claim without a lawyer’s assistance won’t be able to reach a settlement’s full potential. You will likely be provided with a lowball settlement at first or even outright denied your claim. A lawyer can help you determine what your case is worth and then fight to make sure you are fairly compensated in your settlement.
Finally, if you and the other party cannot reach a settlement and the case makes it to trial, your lawyer will represent you in court.
It is important that you seek legal representation as soon as possible following your accident. This is because the state of Illinois has a statute of limitations of two years for personal injury cases. This means that once two years have passed after the accident took place, you will no longer have a viable pedestrian accident claim.
Contact our Chicago Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
Located in the heart of downtown Chicago, Curcio Law Offices is dedicated to representing injured parties and their families in a wide range of personal injury matters, including pedestrian accidents. If you or a loved one received injuries in one of these accidents, contact Curcio today. Schedule your free consultation by calling 312-321-1111 or completing our online intake form.