Barry Zlotowicz is a Chicago pedestrian accident attorney who is dedicated to maximizing your recovery for injuries suffered in a pedestrian accident. Chicago is a huge urban center with thousands of citizens walking to easy-to-reach destinations. Downtown Chicago is flooded with workers making the daily commute to and from work from the collar counties. Unfortunately, downtown Chicago is also filled with taxi cabs, buses, Uber and Lyft drivers and thousands of other cars. Collisions between motor vehicles and pedestrians are inevitable.
Cities like Chicago are very “walkable” cities and tend to have more pedestrian-car accidents. This is especially true in Chicago where pedestrians often don’t use pedestrian crosswalks. An article in the Chicago Tribune entitled “Pedestrian deaths in Chicago are up despite safety measures” details how Illinois pedestrian accident fatalities increased from 49 deaths in 2007 to 56 pedestrian fatalities in 2008. Nationally, 13 pedestrians die in auto accidents each day!
A Chicago pedestrian accident is particularly dangerous because it involves an automobile traveling at high rates of speed colliding with a human being. When you walk, you are fully exposed to potential injuries if you are struck. This often results in:
- Broken bones
- Spinal injuries
- Neck injuries
- Brain injuries
- Internal organ damage
These injuries often produce ongoing pain and disability, even after the initial healing process. This can mean time away from work or school, disabilities, and even difficulty returning to your previous career. You deserve to be compensated for your pain and suffering, and our attorneys will work hard to help you receive fair compensation. Although no amount of money can fix your injuries, it can help you to receive top quality care and pay for the medical bills you experience during this time.
If you are a pedestrian that has been struck by a car, even if you feel you may have been at fault, you should still contact a pedestrian accident attorney immediately. Your attorney can help ease you through the process of receiving compensation, and can work directly with the insurance company so you don’t have to.
Why the increase in pedestrian accident deaths?
The reason for the increase in pedestrian accident related deaths appears to relate to the rise in the use of cellphones and marijuana use. There were 7 states that legalized the use of marijuana between 2012 and 2016. These include Alaska, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. According to the GHSA report, these states combined reported a 16.4 percent increase in pedestrian fatalities in the first six months of 2017 compared to a 5.8 percent increase in all other states.
Check out this video clip on CBS News entitled “Rising trend in pedestrian deaths may be linked to pot, phone use.”
No numbers were provided specifically relating to cell-phone related pedestrian accident deaths. However, GHSA study states that the number of smartphones increased 236 percent between 2010 and 2016. And according to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance database, the number of cellphone-related emergency department visits is greatly increasing as well.
Illinois pedestrian accident statistics
A new study was recently released by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association that analyzed pedestrian accidents from 2017. There were some alarming statistics. According to the report, pedestrian deaths have “grown substantially faster than all other traffic deaths.” From 2007 to 2016, the number of pedestrian fatalities increased by 27 percent compared to a decrease of 14 percent for other traffic-related deaths. And pedestrian accidents as a percentage of total vehicle accident-related deaths increased from 11 percent in 2007 to 16 percent in 2016.
In the first six months of 2017, there were 66 reported Illinois pedestrian accident fatalities. That was actually a decrease of two fatalities from 2016. Illinois ranks 12th in the country in the number of pedestrian fatalities. But that is not surprising based on the size of Illinois’ population and the massiveness of the Chicago metropolitan area.
According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, the most recent review of Chicago pedestrian accident statistics which was done in 2015, revealed that in 2014, there were 2,655 crashes involving one or more pedestrians. An additional 789 crashes were reported in suburban Cook County.
Vision Zero Chicago
As a Chicago pedestrian accident attorney, I am always looking for new and interesting information about pedestrian and other motor vehicle-related accidents.
Chicago has a great new concept called Vision Zero Chicago where the city has created the goal of eliminating all deaths and serious injuries from motor vehicle-related crashes by 2026.
Our office just settled a case involving a woman who was hit when a car driven by a former friend hit her while she was standing in a driveway. We recovered the full policy limits of $100,000.00 on her behalf for her injuries, which included a severely fractured leg which required an open reduction internal fixation surgery to repair it.
Chicago Pedestrian Accidents FAQ’s
When a pedestrian is struck by a car, the victim often sustains serious injuries or is even killed. That’s why motorists in Illinois are expected to be extra watchful for pedestrians and drive defensively to avoid pedestrian accidents.
Unfortunately, being hit by a car while walking, especially in an urban area like Chicago, is far too common. That’s why you need a knowledgeable Chicago pedestrian accident lawyer to aggressively defend your rights and help you seek the damages you deserve.
If you’re involved in a pedestrian vs. car accident in Illinois, you may feel confused about what just happened and frustrated that you just got injured. Don’t worry – we are here to answer your questions. If you want free advice about your case call 1-847-305-4105.
What Should I Do Immediately After a Pedestrian Accident?
Your top priority is your well-being and safety. You need to move to safety and call 911 (or ask someone around to do it for you). Even if you don’t feel hurt, you should still have a proper examination from a medical professional. After an accident your adrenaline is rushing and you may not feel injured when in reality you are.
Remain at the scene until the police arrive. It’s important to have a police report to substantiate your claim. The police will investigate the accident and document what occurred. This is particularly important if you intend to file a claim for damages with the driver’s insurance company.
Gather any evidence you can and take pictures of the scene of the accident, the vehicle(s) involved and of your injuries. Pictures of injuries, the accident scene, and the car are essential elements to your future case.
What Happens If a Driver Flees the Scene After Hitting Me?
If a driver flees, try to remember every possible detail about the driver and the car. What car model was it? What color was it? License plate number? Was the driver a man or a woman? Young or old?
The more details you give the police, the better. You may be able to file for compensation with your own insurer if the driver is not found through your own uninsured motorist coverage.
Injuries Suffered in a Pedestrian vs. Car Accident
Typical injuries from a pedestrian accident include:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Fractured bones – broken legs, ribs, arms, and other broken bones caused by the impact
- Internal organ damage
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) that often leave victims with life-altering disabilities affecting their hearing, cognition, vision, or motor function
- PTSD caused by the accident
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After a Pedestrian Accident?
Personal injury lawsuits have filing deadlines. In the state of Illinois, you have two years from the date of your pedestrian accident to file your claim. The time line may be longer for minors who are injured and may be shorter if you were injured by a governmental worker or vehicle. Waiting too long to file may hurt your future ability to pursue damages.
How Long Will My Case Take?
Every case is different and as such, so is the amount of time every case takes. A claim with clear liability, will take less time than a disputed claim. A claim with severe injuries could take years to resolve simply because the medical treatment may go on for an extended period. In short, there is no clear answer.
What Damages Can I Receive in My Chicago Pedestrian Accident Case?
A civil action may recover damages to cover:
- Medical expenses
- Past and future income
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress or mental anguish
- Loss of normal life
Who Is At-Fault in A Pedestrian vs. Car Accident?
This too depends on the facts of the case. And it changes on a case by case basis. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying to you. That is one of the reasons its important to consult with an attorney.
Can a Pedestrian Be At Fault for an Accident?
Yes they can. Motorists have an elevated duty of care towards those who share the roads with them. They have a responsibility to be careful with pedestrians or cyclists nearby. However, pedestrians have responsibilities too. For instance, pedestrians are expected to use crosswalks and wait for walk signals before proceeding.
We had a case once where our client jaywalked across the street and as a result, the insurance company found the client 50% responsible for the accident – and they weren’t wrong.
However, just because you’re partially at fault for an accident in Illinois, does not mean that you are barred from recovering. Illinois is a comparative negligence state which means that as long as you are not more than 50% at fault for an accident, you can still recover at least a portion of your damages.
Should I Accept an Offer Made by the Insurance Company?
Insurance companies will try to shortchange you – there is no doubt about it. They often promise a lump sum quick payment up front to try and resolve a matter quickly before the victim consults with an attorney.
Just remember that insurers have their best interests in mind not your interests. The offer they provide to an individual not represented by counsel will almost always fall far short of the value of the claim. And once accepted and a release is signed, the case is over and you will be barred from seeking additional compensation.
Do I need a lawyer for my Chicago pedestrian accident case?
Not every case requires a lawyer. If you have minor injuries and small medical bills the likelihood is that it may not benefit you to hire an attorney.
However, if you have significant injuries, we always advise getting an attorney involved.
The reality is that if you are involved in a pedestrian accident, you may have severe injuries. You have no protection while walking on the street. You are not seated in a 4,000 pound vehicle which can withstand the impact on your behalf.
While you may not need an attorney, you may want to consult with one nonetheless. The reason being that there may be forms of insurance you can tap into that you are not aware of. For example, if you are involved in a pedestrian accident you may be able to seek compensation from your own uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance coverage.
How much does it cost to retain a lawyer for my Chicago pedestrian accident claim?
Unlike business or divorce attorneys who work on an hourly basis, a pedestrian accident attorney will work on a ‘contingency fee’ basis.
This means that the attorney will not require a retainer up front. It also means that rather than getting paid hourly, your attorney will recover a percentage of the gross recovery. Typically, personal injury attorneys charge 33.3% however that varies by law firm.
In addition, your attorney will pay for all your costs and expenses up front such as transcripts, hiring an investigator, and/or ordering medical records. The attorney will be reimbursed for these expenses after the case ends and only if the case is resolved on your behalf.
How much is my Chicago pedestrian accident claim worth?
It is very difficult to assess the value of a claim without a great deal of information. Generally speaking it is a ‘sliding scale.’
If you suffered significant injuries, the likelihood is that you suffered more significant pain and suffering than someone who suffers simply a neck sprain (for example).
Other factors come into play too such as how much were your medical bills and expenses, did you suffer any permanent injuries or a disfigurement, and how much insurance is there for you to recover.
Your Chicago pedestrian accident attorney is here to help
The period following a pedestrian accident can leave you feeling confused and anxious. If you, have been involved in a pedestrian accident, you need a pedestrian accident lawyer to guide you through the legal process. Call our office at 847-305-4105 for a free consultation. If retained, our office will handle all aspects of your claim.
- Investigate the matter
- Obtain the police report
- File a claim with the vehicle driver’s auto insurance company
- File a claim with YOUR auto insurance policy as you may have coverage
- Help you obtain medical treatment
- Order your medical bills and records
- Assemble the data in a demand package for the insurance company
- Resolve your dispute
- Obtain reductions of your medical bills or health insurance liens
An aggressive and skilled attorney will maximize your recovery and help you get the medical care you need to make a full recovery. If you have been injured in a Chicago pedestrian accident or your loved one was injured or was the victim of a wrongful death as a result of a pedestrian-car accident, contact an attorney by clicking here or telephone us at 312-848-9783.