Most people take their safety for granted when they cross the street, walk through a parking lot, or chat with friends on a sidewalk. We rarely worry about cars hitting us. Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents occur in the Joliet area far too frequently. Because pedestrians have no protection from the impact of a crash, these accidents often cause severe, life-altering injuries and fatalities.
If you were recently struck while walking, you have legal options available to you and a committed personal injury attorney might be able to file a lawsuit against the party that caused the accident. A Joliet pedestrian accident lawyer could help ease the financial burden that has been placed on you.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Crashes
As with other types of car crashes, pedestrian accidents occur for many different reasons:
- Distracted driving: When drivers are distracted by their cell phones, radios, food, or other passengers, they cannot pay enough attention to their driving duties, which could cause them to fail to see a child running into the road to get their ball.
- Speeding: When people drive too fast, they can lose control of their vehicle, causing them to veer out of their lanes and onto a sidewalk. Speeding also prevents drivers from being able to stop quickly to let pedestrians cross the road, even when those pedestrians have the legal right of way.
- Driving under the influence: Drunk drivers can lose control of their vehicles and often have slower reaction times.
- Impatient drivers: Drivers who are in a rush might try to drive around pedestrians crossing the road but end up hitting them in the process.
- Failure to yield: Especially at busy intersections or while making a left turn, drivers could miss identifying a pedestrian about to cross the road.
It is essential to contact a Joliet pedestrian collision attorney as soon as possible after an accident to preserve all of the critical evidence. Legal staff could perform a thorough investigation of the crash scene to determine the precise cause, contact the police to review the accident report, interview eyewitnesses, and gather video surveillance.
Sometimes, walkers or joggers bear some responsibility for their accidents, such as when they jaywalk or fail to use an available crosswalk to cross the road. Fortunately, Illinois courts allow claimants to pursue compensation for their injuries even if they bear partial responsibility for the accident that caused their injuries.
Under the state’s modified comparative negligence standard, as long as the claimant’s degree of blame is less than 50 percent, they can still recover damages. An Illinois court would reduce a partially at-fault pedestrian’s recoverable damages in proportion to their degree of fault.
For example, if a court determines that a claimant bears 30 percent of the blame for the accident for crossing the road outside of a crosswalk, then that court would award the claimant 30 percent fewer damages. A local pedestrian accident lawyer could explain how limitations on damages might apply to the claimant’s situation.
Get Legal Help from a Joliet Pedestrian Accident Attorney
A person who is hit while walking or jogging is much more vulnerable than a person who has the protection of a vehicle’s metal frame. If you are suffering the physical, emotional, and financial after-effects of a devastating crash, you should reach out to a Joliet pedestrian accident lawyer. They could fight hard to get you what you need to help your family and put your life back on track.