When two or more people are involved in an accident, the laws in Illinois can be confusing about who is to blame and who is legally responsible for the damage. Making it more complicated is that the fault assigned by a police officer may not be the same as the fault determined in a court of law for the physical and financial damages that flow from that collision, leading many victims to wonder where they stand and whether they have a valid claim.
While any type of incident can be confusing, some of the most puzzling situations arise after a pedestrian accident with a car or other vehicle takes place. The determination of who is at fault will be made based on the totality of the circumstances immediately before and during the impact and it is rare that two crashes will be identical. For that reason, speaking with an experienced attorney or an expert in the field of pedestrian collisions can be helpful to understand your rights under Chicago laws.
Often, incidents between a pedestrian and a vehicle happen in or near a crosswalk or a designated place where a pedestrian sidewalk crosses a street. These areas can be used legally by both pedestrians and vehicles but the two groups of travelers should never be in a crosswalk at the same time. If a collision happens in a crosswalk, liability will be based on who had the right-of-way, or who was legally in the crosswalk at that time. Things like the presence or absence of a stop sign, traffic lights controlling pedestrian or vehicular movements, and the actions of other drivers can all be factors in determining who had the right-of-way.
If a crash happens in a street but outside of a crosswalk, different issues may be analyzed to determine blame. Often, these include where exactly the pedestrian was located at the time of the crash, why the pedestrian was in the roadway, and why a crosswalk was not used.
The city or municipality where a collision occurred can matter as well as individual areas have their own rules. For example, Chicago has some regulations related to pedestrians that may not exist in surrounding towns.
Victims of pedestrian accidents may suffer from a range of injuries including minor bruises and abrasions to fractured bones, head injuries, and even death. Often, the totality of the damages is not readily apparent after a collision as injuries can worsen with time and the full extent of harm may be difficult to diagnose.
If you were involved in a pedestrian accident in Chicago or elsewhere in Illinois, the personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. want to offer you a case consultation without cost or obligation on your part. We have a lawyer standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week toll free at (855) 529-2442 or locally at (312) 924-7575 and that lawyer will keep everything discussed confidential. If you have questions about your legal options or if you are looking for representation, call us today and let us help you.
Know that while victims are protected under state and local laws, they must act within a time period specified by law or their right to obtain help will be forever barred. If a crash affected your life or someone you love, act now to make sure you are protected.
Prior Blog Entry:
Legal Rights of Burn Victims in Chicago, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published January 12, 2016.