Chicago Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Despite the general rule of pedestrian right of way, careless drivers continue to hit people crossing or walking along Illinois streets, causing serious injury and death. In 2015, 150 Illinois pedestrians were killed and another 6,020 were injured, according to the United States Department of Transportation. At the Chicago, Illinois law firm of Taxman, Pollock, Murray & Bekkerman, LLC, our Partners have over decades of collective experience representing those injured in pedestrian accidents – and we know that too often, drivers fail to acknowledge basic rules of the road when they encounter a pedestrian. If you or a loved one were injured by a negligent motorist while walking along or crossing an Illinois street, call our Chicago pedestrian accident lawyers today at 312-586-1700 or contact us via email for free, no-obligation consultation about your legal rights.
Pedestrians have certain rights in Illinois; drivers are required to stop for pedestrians at all crosswalks (whether marked or unmarked). However, not all drivers observe these rights, and the many factors involved in pedestrian accidents include:
- Speeding – the higher the speed, the higher the likelihood of a severe pedestrian injury.
- Elderly drivers – pedestrian injury rates are higher among older drivers, often because of age-related vision problems.
- Alcohol – in the blood of the driver or the pedestrian.
- Low light conditions – more pedestrians are struck during the evening and other periods with lowered visibility.
Despite these and other factors involved in pedestrian accidents, many drivers will attempt to blame the accident on the pedestrian to avoid legal liability. This lack of responsibility can seem particularly unjust to a pedestrian recovering from injuries such as:
- Severe head trauma
- Brain damage
- Leg injuries
- Spinal cord injury
- Neck and back injuries
Can I Receive Compensation for a Chicago Pedestrian Accident?
Victims of Chicago pedestrian accidents are eligible for compensation to cover their injuries, medical expenses, and other bills associated with the accident. That is why it is in your best interest to work with an experienced Chicago pedestrian accident attorney from Taxman, Pollock, Murray & Bekkerman, LLC. We will vehemently fight to protect your rights and build a case on your behalf for compensation.
The first category of compensation you can receive as a victim of a pedestrian accident is that of economic damages. These are damages that can have a finite number associated with them. For example, medical bills from surgeries, ambulance transportation, hospital stays, prescriptions, and medical equipment can be reimbursed in a personal injury claim.
All you need to do is provide a receipt of payments or the actual bills/invoices to your attorney. The total amount will then be factored into how much the attorney requests from the at-fault party’s insurance company in settlement discussions.
Non-economic damages are those that cannot be quantified. They have no finite number attached to them. For example, your pain and suffering cannot be assigned a number by a doctor, therapist, or any other type of professional. Instead, your attorney will come up with a number based on the amount of suffering you have endured as a result of the pedestrian accident.
Other non-economic damages include loss of income, loss of future earnings, loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, inconvenience added to your life, and more. As with any type of accident or injury caused by someone else, you should talk with a Chicago pedestrian accident lawyer about the crash that left you injured. A lawyer makes it easier to understand the law, build a case, and help you focus on recovery.
Punitive damages are only awarded by the judge presiding over your case and are not rewarded in every case. These damages are intended to punish the defendant for egregious actions. Punitive damages can be in the millions if the accident was significantly damaging to you and your family.
How Long Do I Have to File a Pedestrian Crash Lawsuit in Illinois?
Under Illinois law, you have just two years from the date of the pedestrian crash to file a lawsuit. The statute of limitations places a short period on your ability to file a claim for compensation, which makes it all the more necessary to speak with a Chicago pedestrian accident attorney from Taxman, Pollock, Murray & Bekkerman, LLC as soon as possible following an injury.
Should you miss the deadline to file a claim, you will likely lose out on the opportunity to recover compensation. However, the circumstances of your case could wind up extending the deadline to file a claim. For example, if you were struck by a CTA bus or are filing a claim against a government entity in Illinois. If this is the case, you will need to provide notice in writing that you intend to file a lawsuit. The notice must be submitted within six months of the accident.
What Should I Do After a Pedestrian Accident?
The moments immediately following a pedestrian accident are chaotic. Once you are released from the hospital, you need to take the proper steps to protect your rights, especially the right to recover compensation. A Chicago pedestrian accident attorney makes it easier for you to focus on recovery by taking the stress of the legal process off of your plate.
Write Down What Happened
Do your best to create a written account of the pedestrian accident once you are lucid enough to do so. Be sure this is done as close to the date of the accident as possible so you do not forget the details. A written account makes it easier for you to recall the events of the crash when talking to your attorney, especially if the conversation happens months or years after the accident.
Talk to a Lawyer Immediately
Do not wait too long to contact a lawyer about the pedestrian accident that left you injured. Doing so could put you behind the eight-ball in building a strong case against the at-fault party. You also don’t want to wait too long as you run the risk of missing the deadline to file a claim and ultimately losing out on compensation recovery.
Follow All of the Doctor’s Orders
Do not veer from the instructions provided by the doctor who performed surgery or who has been treating you since the pedestrian accident. Ignoring the doctor’s orders can hurt your legal case immensely, as the defense will claim that the injuries couldn’t really be that severe, thus resulting in a lower settlement offer (or an outright denial). Be sure to take all prescribed medications, attend follow-up appointments, go to physical therapy, and use any assistive equipment recommended by the doctor.
Do Not Talk About the Accident Without an Attorney Present
Insurance adjusters and defense attorneys will undoubtedly contact you in the weeks following the pedestrian accident. You can be polite, but make sure you do not answer any questions they send your way about the crash. You could unexpectedly hurt your case with the answers you provide. Only talk to these professionals without your attorney present. Or, you could instruct your attorney to handle all communication on your behalf so you do not have to worry about answering phone calls or emails.
Save All Bills and Invoices
Do not assume that because you were injured in a pedestrian accident that you will automatically receive compensation. You absolutely have to file a claim against the at-fault party or their insurance company. Because of this, you should save all bills and invoices received related to the pedestrian accident. Doing so will make it much easier for your attorney to determine the amount of compensation that should be requested in the personal injury claim. You will need to provide copies of all receipts, bills, and invoices during the claims process.
Coping with your medical issues may be challenging enough without handling a legal claim or dealing with uncooperative insurance adjusters. The pedestrian accident attorneys at the Chicago law firm of Taxman, Pollock, Murray & Bekkerman, LLC, are ready to help. If you have been injured as a pedestrian because a driver failed to obey traffic laws, you have the right to file for compensation. At Taxman, Pollock, Murray & Bekkerman, LLC, our personal injury attorneys conduct thorough accident investigations to determine blame accurately.
We know that the smallest details may become the evidence needed to prove speed or driver inattention, even when the driver states otherwise. If the driver’s insurance company attempts to refute your claim, we will deal with them directly – we’ve been handling insurance companies for more than two decades and we will seek proper compensation on your behalf.
If you or a loved one has suffered serious injury as the result of a pedestrian accident, the Chicago, IL attorneys at Taxman, Pollock, Murray & Bekkerman, LLC, can help you make informed decisions about your legal rights. As our client, we are proud of the fact that a team of legal professionals, medical experts, and investigators who are dedicated to your cause will back you. Please call us today at 312-586-1700 or contact us via email for a free, no-obligation consultation.