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Crystal Lake IL pedestrian accident lawyerMost of us barely think twice when we cross a busy road. We assume that the drivers of the cars and trucks around us will follow traffic laws and operate their vehicles with attention and caution. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Distracted drivers and those under the influence of drugs and alcohol are the most likely to ignore traffic laws and put pedestrians in danger. Sometimes, a motorist strikes a pedestrian simply because the driver was not paying attention or did not see the pedestrian.

In 2019 alone, more than 6,500 pedestrians lost their lives in traffic accidents in the United States, an increase of 5 percent compared to 2018 and 10 percent more than in 2017. In the same year, more than 100,000 pedestrians required emergency medical treatment for crash-related injuries. If you or someone you love has been injured in a pedestrian accident, you may be able to recover compensation.

Reacting to a Pedestrian Accident

There are certain steps you should take after any car accident, such as calling the police and taking pictures of the accident scene as well as the damage to both vehicles. Doing these things, however, is often not possible if you have been injured as a pedestrian. There is a good chance that you will not be able to do much of anything until the situation settles down and you have been treated for your injuries. However, as soon as you have the opportunity, it is a good idea to contact an attorney who can help with your case.

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Winter Puts Pedestrians in Peril of Vehicle AccidentsPedestrians and drivers, alike, need to be aware of each other during winter weather. Each tends to focus on navigating snow and ice accumulations to avoid their own accidents. While distracted, they may not see each other until it is too late to avoid a collision. It is necessary for both sides to use greater caution during the winter in order to prevent a pedestrian injury.

Sidewalks and Streets

Illinois law states that pedestrians may not walk along the side of the road if there is an available sidewalk. However, snow can pile up on sidewalks because of a property owner not clearing it or a plow truck pushing snow from the street and onto the sidewalk. If the sidewalk is impassable, the pedestrian may need to walk in the street to continue forward. Pedestrians are instructed to stay on the edge of the road, so as to avoid vehicles. In this scenario, determining fault after a vehicle-pedestrian accident can vary:

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Pedestrian Fatalities Rising in U.S.The Governors Highway Safety Association has released a concerning report that says the number of pedestrian fatalities resulting from vehicle accidents may have increased by 11 percent from 2015 to 2016. The GHSA's preliminary report for 2016 projects that there may have been just shy of 6,000 pedestrian deaths in the U.S. last year. Though the final number must be confirmed, it would fit the trend from previous years. Researchers suspect that pedestrian fatalities are increasing because of distractions for both drivers and pedestrians.

The Numbers

The GHSA conducted its preliminary 2016 study after data from recent years showed an increase in the number of pedestrians killed during traffic crashes:

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comparative negligence, Crystal Lake personal injury attorney, pedestrian accident, traffic accident, car accidentWhen first learning to drive, some of us were told that a pedestrian “always has the right of way.” The import of this (misguided) statement is to suggest that when an Illinois motorist collides with a pedestrian, the motorist will always be considered “at fault” – and, hence, will always be responsible for the pedestrian's injuries and losses. This is not accurate, however: pedestrians can bear some responsibility for the injuries they suffer as the result of a pedestrian crash.

Illinois and the Modified Comparative Fault Rule

Each state handles the issue in a different manner. Illinois and approximately twenty other states have adopted a “modified comparative fault” rule. Under this rule, a pedestrian who is determined to be more than 50 percent responsible for causing his or her own injuries will not be permitted to recover any compensation at all from the allegedly negligent defendant.

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Posted on in Personal Injury

Pedestrian Accidents, Crystal Lake Personal Injury AttorneysPedestrian accidents can happen almost anywhere a car can be driven, from main roads to grocery store parking lots. While some pedestrians walk away with minor scrapes, others may not be so lucky and may lose their lives from the impact of a speeding car. Pedestrians who are injured or killed after being hit by a car may be eligible to receive compensation if they are not found to have been a major cause of the accident.

Drivers owe pedestrians a duty to operate their vehicles in a safe and lawful manner while on the road. Illinois law requires this care and requires drivers to take action, such as warning pedestrians by using the car's horn or yielding in some circumstances, to avoid hitting pedestrians. Generally, pedestrians have the right of way when crossing a marked or unmarked crosswalk. Pedestrians are also required to follow traffic signals and only cross when safe to do so, but unfortunately, this does not always guarantee safety, and many pedestrian accidents happen at crosswalks.

Just as drivers text, eat, or engage in other distracting conduct that takes their focus away from driving, pedestrians sometimes engage in similar behavior. Pedestrians should always take care when walking on roads without sidewalks, or when crossing the street; indeed, if the pedestrian is texting or listening to music, he can become distracted and enter into the path of a car, contributing to any resulting car accident. In Illinois, if a pedestrian is found to have been more than 50 percent at fault in causing the accident, he is not allowed to recover any damages. If the pedestrian is found to be less than 50 percent at fault, he can recover damages that are reduced by a percentage that represents his degree of fault.

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