Every year, more than 4,000 pedestrians are killed on America’s streets; the vast majority in busy, metropolitan cities such as Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. On average, this translates to a pedestrian being killed every two hours and injured every eight minutes in pedestrian-related traffic crashes. In any given year, Chicago police alone may issue as many as 1,200 tickets to drivers who fail to stop for pedestrians at crosswalks. Statewide, an average of 4,700 pedestrian-related crashes can be expected to cause upwards of 130 pedestrian deaths. The vast majority of those will take place in the Greater Chicago area. If you are a pedestrian that was injured in an accident at a crosswalk, you should seek experienced legal counsel from a Chicago crosswalk accidents attorney that can advise you on your rights and help you pursue your claim.
Causes of Crosswalk Accidents
Common causes for crosswalk accidents include:
- Drivers failing to stop (not yield) for pedestrians in violation of the Illinois “Stop” law;
- Drivers distracted by cell phone use, texting, eating, etc.;
- Drivers under influence of alcohol or drugs;
- Drivers speeding, trying to beat yellow or red lights;
- Drivers blinded by the sun or who don’t see the pedestrian (especially small children);
- Taxi cab drivers driving without caution;
- Poorly designed sidewalks, curbs, crossings;
- High traffic and high-crime areas downtown; and
- Sharp turning trucks with trailers.
Victims & Injuries of Crosswalk Accidents
Due to the vulnerability of pedestrians in a vehicle-related accident, injuries can be severe and disabling, sometimes resulting in death. Common injuries include:
- Broken bones and fractures;
- Skull fractures and brain injuries;
- Cuts, bruises and abrasions;
- Internal bleeding and injuries;
- Injury to back, joints, and spinal cord; and
Crosswalk Accident Liability Claims
Illinois has one of the strictest pedestrian protection laws in the country due to legislative action taken to curb pedestrian-related injuries and deaths. Formerly, drivers were only required to “yield” to pedestrians walking within marked crosswalks controlled by traffic signals. Under the new law, drivers must “stop,” not just yield, and they must do so at crosswalks at all intersections, not just those that are marked.
The fact that the pedestrian may have been careless or negligent in not watching out for oncoming traffic does not itself prevent him/her from recovering for personal injuries suffered. In many cases, Illinois law allows the plaintiff to recover after taking into account his or her share of the fault. The strict pedestrian laws also expressly extend protection to pedestrians even if they may have been drinking.
At Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C., our legal team has represented pedestrians that have been victims in crosswalk accidents in Chicago, Cook County and throughout the nation for over 20 years. We aggressively pursue these cases and help our clients obtain every dollar of compensation they deserve. If you or someone you know has been injured by a motorist at a crosswalk, contact one of the Chicago crosswalk accident lawyers at HM&M for a free consultation.