If you were injured in a pedestrian accident, the Kankakee car accident attorneys at Spiros Law, P.C. can help you recover from this devastating experience. We know what it takes to hold the at-fault party responsible for the compensation you need to move forward.
A total of 124 pedestrians were struck and killed by a motor vehicle in Illinois between January and November 2020. Pedestrians face a greater risk of severe injuries and fatalities than vehicle occupants. It’s not uncommon, unfortunately, for a pedestrian to suffer head injuries, broken bones, or spinal cord injuries.
All motorists should take particular care to keep pedestrians safe. When they see someone at a crosswalk, they must come to a complete stop and let that person cross. If they ignore the right-of-way laws or fail to see a pedestrian because they’re distracted, they will become liable for the pedestrian’s injuries.
At Spiros Law, P.C., we have been representing injured pedestrians since 2005. Our attorneys have the experience, resources, and skills to hold people accountable for their actions. You can depend on us to fight for the justice you deserve. Call (815) 929-9292 to schedule your free consultation with one of our Kankakee pedestrian accident lawyers.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Most car crashes involving pedestrians occur because of driver error or inattention. When someone is looking down at their cell phone or focusing on anything other than the road, they don’t notice when a person walks into their path. Some accidents are the result of confusion about right-of-way laws. Many motorists are unsure who is allowed to go first in specific situations.
If you are a pedestrian, you have the right-of-way in the following scenarios:
- Standing at an unmarked crosswalk on the driver’s side of the road where there aren’t traffic signals
- Standing at a marked crosswalk
- You have a green light or walk signal
- Entering a crosswalk before the light changes
- Entering an intersecting when there’s a flashing yellow arrow
- Leaving or entering the road from a building, alley, private road, or driveway
- Entering a crosswalk when a driver is attempting to turn right at a red light
Unfortunately, some people don’t follow these rules and fail to watch for pedestrians. The most common causes of pedestrian accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Failure to stop or yield
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Drowsy or fatigued driving
- Turning right at a red light
- Turning left at an intersection
- Backing out of a parking space
- Exiting or entering a driveway or parking lot
Drivers who break these laws should be responsible for an injured pedestrian’s resulting expenses. When someone gets hit by a car, they will likely suffer injuries that require medical treatment. You should not have to pay out-of-pocket for any of the costs associated with the accident. Spiros Law, P.C. will work tirelessly to ensure the careless driver provides the compensation you need to recover.
Common Injuries Associated with Pedestrian Accidents
In a pedestrian accident, injuries can range from minor to severe. Some are life-threatening. Others result in permanent impairment or disfigurement. The most common injuries pedestrians sustain when a vehicle crashes into them are:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal injuries, such as fractured ribs, bleeding, and organ damage
- Crush injuries
- Soft tissue injuries, such as sprains, dislocations, and lacerations
- Broken and fractured bones
You could face lifelong medical problems after getting hit or run over by a car. You might suffer from chronic pain or require assistance performing routine tasks. If you end up with a physical disability, you might not be able to return to your job. It’s a traumatic experience for anyone. Our Kankakee pedestrian accident lawyers will review the impact of your injuries and losses to determine the appropriate monetary award you deserve from the at-fault driver.
Compensation Available After a Pedestrian Accident
Illinois uses a traditional fault system when it comes to vehicle-related accidents. Whether you were walking through a parking lot or crossing the street, if someone injures you with their car, they will become liable for your losses.
The at-fault party’s insurance company typically provides financial compensation to the victim. Auto insurance is mandatory, and every driver must carry liability coverage. You can file a claim with their liability insurance to compensate you for your damages.
There are two types of damages: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are expenses, while non-economic damages are intangible losses. When you file an insurance claim, you can seek the following damages:
- Medical bills
- Out-of-pocket costs
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
The insurance adjuster will have to consider your total damages and every element of your case to develop a settlement offer. Since things like emotional distress and pain and suffering are not easy to calculate, they might refer to some of the factors below during their decision-making:
- Type of injury and how severe it is
- Statements made by eyewitnesses
- Amount of liability coverage on the at-fault driver’s insurance policy
- Duration of the recovery period
- Time missed from work
- Effect of the injury on quality of life
- Relevant evidence provided during the claim
- If there’s a permanent physical or mental disability after the accident
- Total medical bills and related expenses
Once the insurance adjuster decides what to offer you, Spiros Law, P.C. will ensure it is enough to compensate for all your economic and non-economic damages. You deserve to receive the full amount of coverage available. If they deny your claim or provide an inadequate settlement amount, we can file a lawsuit against the insurance company and the negligent driver.
Illinois Laws for Filing Civil Lawsuits
You must follow a statute of limitations if you want to sue the driver for your injuries. The statute of limitations for pedestrian accidents in Illinois is two years. That means you have two years from the accident date to file a lawsuit. It is a strict deadline, and if it passes, you will most likely lose your right to pursue financial compensation.
There are, however, several exceptions to this rule. You might be entitled to extra time if any of the scenarios below pertain to your situation:
- The defendant left Illinois before you could file suit. The clock would begin once they return to the state, and their absence would not count toward the two-year deadline.
- You had a legal disability at the time of the accident. Upon removal of the disability, you would have two years to sue the at-fault driver.
- You were younger than 18 years old when you got hurt in a pedestrian accident. The clock starts once you turn 18.
Negligence is a common legal theory accident victims will use when preparing a lawsuit. To prove the driver was negligent at the time they injured you, you must show the following elements exist:
- Duty – The defendant owed you a reasonable duty of care
- Breach of duty – They failed to meet their duty
- Cause in fact – You would not have gotten hurt if it wasn’t for their breach
- Proximate cause – Their actions and nothing else caused your injury
- Damages – You suffered actual losses as a result of your injury
There are times when your actions may have partially contributed to your injuries. If a judge or jury determines this to be the case, that could affect the amount of compensation you’re entitled to pursue. Under the pure comparative negligence rule, an accident victim’s damages are reduced by the percentage of fault they share. For example, if your total damages are $100,000, but it is found that you were 20 percent to blame, you would only be allowed to recover up to $80,000 in financial compensation.
Why You Should Hire a Kankakee Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Pedestrian accident cases can be complex. They’re also stressful and time-consuming. If you are hurt and trying to recover, you probably don’t want to deal with a legal case. Talking to insurance adjusters and gathering evidence is a lot to handle. Spiros Law, P.C. can take on that responsibility so you can focus on what is most important – healing and moving forward with your life.
When you hire us, we will complete each step of the process on your behalf. We are happy to take on all the heavy lifting. With our experience and resources, we can investigate the cause of the accident and determine who was at fault. We know where to look for crucial evidence, such as:
- Traffic crash report
- Eyewitness statements
- Accident scene photos
- Video surveillance
- Your medical records and bills
- Lost wage report
- Liability insurance policy
Your Kankakee pedestrian accident lawyer will file a claim on your behalf and aggressively negotiate for a fair settlement. If the insurance company denies your claim or provides a low offer, we will prepare a lawsuit. We know all the tricks and tactics used in these types of cases. We are not afraid of a fight and won’t give up until we hold the at-fault motorist liable for their actions.
Let Spiros Law, P.C. Help You Seek Justice
If you were the victim of a pedestrian accident, call us immediately so we can begin working on your case. We have a dedicated legal team that will work diligently to secure the financial reward you’re due.
Schedule a free consultation with one of our Kankakee pedestrian accident lawyers by calling (815) 929-9292 and take the first step towards recovering.