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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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Left-Turning Drivers Pose Threat to PedestriansA majority of the accidents that occur at intersections are the result of a vehicle making a left turn. Drivers can easily misjudge the speed of an oncoming vehicle or may not see the vehicle because of their vision being obstructed. Oncoming drivers may suffer serious injuries if they have a head-on collision with a vehicle that turns in front of them. Pedestrians in a crosswalk can also be injured when a vehicle makes a risky or illegal left turn. There are four factors that make left-turning vehicles dangerous to pedestrians:

  1. Driver Impatience: It can be frustrating to wait at an intersection for a chance to turn left, especially when there is not a left turn signal. The driver may act hastily when there is finally a gap in the oncoming traffic or the light is about to turn red. He or she may not think to look for pedestrians, who have the right-of-way to cross the street at the intersection.
  2. Quick Acceleration: Drivers must increase their speed when making left turns because of the wide turn radius. They may also rush to fit into the small window they have to make a turn against oncoming traffic. A fast-moving vehicle will have more difficulty stopping for a pedestrian and can cause greater injuries if a collision does occur.
  3. Blind Spots: A left-turning driver will likely notice a crowd of people in a crosswalk but could miss a single pedestrian who happens to be in his or her blind spot. The A-pillars on a vehicle, which hold the windshield, can obstruct a driver’s vision during a left turn. Car companies are designing wider A-pillars to store airbags and increase vehicle safety during rollovers. Unfortunately, wider A-pillars create larger blind spots for drivers.
  4. Oncoming Vehicles: A vehicle making a dangerous left turn affects the behavior of other vehicles on the road. An oncoming driver could react to a vehicle turning in front of him or her by swerving to avoid a collision, putting pedestrians at risk. A second vehicle could rear-end the oncoming vehicle, pushing it further into the intersection.

Contact a McHenry County Personal Injury Attorney

The driver of a left-turning vehicle will likely be liable for hitting you while you are in a crosswalk. You may share contributory negligence if the crosswalk light told you to stop, but you can still receive injury compensation as long as the driver was more than half at fault. A Crystal Lake, Illinois, personal injury attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can help you file a lawsuit against a negligent driver. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838. 

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Pedestrians Often Share Fault When Injured While Walking on HighwaysA group of marchers shut down a section of the Dan Ryan Expressway in Chicago on July 7 to protest the violence occurring in the city. While the protest gained national media coverage, it also drew the attention of state officials, who warned of the dangers of pedestrians walking on major highways. The Illinois State Police threatened to arrest anyone who walked onto the expressway as a matter of public safety. This policy was consistent with state laws, which largely prohibit pedestrians from walking on highways. Because of the law, a pedestrian who is injured while walking on a highway often shares liability when filing a personal injury lawsuit.

Pedestrian Laws

Laws that prohibit pedestrians on highways are meant to protect all parties on the road. Because of the high speed at which vehicles are driving, pedestrians are more likely to be killed or severely injured when hit by a vehicle. Drivers may also suffer injuries or vehicle damage as a result of colliding with a pedestrian or swerving out of the way of a pedestrian. Illinois allows pedestrians to walk on or along highways in limited situations:

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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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