When navigating roadways and crosswalks on foot, pedestrians are vulnerable to motor vehicle collisions. Even when pedestrians obey traffic laws and take safety precautions, they can be seriously injured due to a lapse in concentration by a driver. Injuries as a result of pedestrian accidents have the potential to be severe, and can be both expensive and life-changing. If you were recently involved in a collision with a motor vehicle, a dedicated Hazel Crest pedestrian accident lawyer can help you navigate your personal injury case.
The most common cause of pedestrian accidents is driver negligence, where drivers fail to operate their car in a reasonable manner. Examples of negligent driving include:
Pedestrians must also use reasonable care when navigating crosswalks and other public spaces. Accidents may occur when a pedestrian fails to follow right of way rules.
It is essential to obtain evidence that can be used to demonstrate a driver’s liability for the plaintiff’s injuries. This evidence may include eyewitness statements, security footage from nearby cameras, and physical evidence on the vehicle like dents and scrapes. This evidence can be instrumental in demonstrating that a driver was distracted or failed to follow the rules of the road. A Hazel Crest pedestrian accident lawyer could help create a record of the incident to show how the driver’s negligence played a key role in the accident.
When a car strikes a pedestrian, the resulting injuries can be devastating, as pedestrians have little to no protection. Among the injuries they might suffer are:
These injuries cause extensive pain and suffering that could result in years of rehabilitation and medical expenses. An experienced Hazel Crest pedestrian accident attorney could help a victim pursue damages to cover these medical bills.
Illinois has strict pedestrian protection laws that require drivers to stop, not just yield, at crosswalks and intersections. Even where pedestrians are careless or negligent in not watching out for oncoming traffic, the law does not prevent them from filing for personal injury damages.
To bring a cause of action for a personal injury in Hazel Crest, a plaintiff must show that the defendant was negligent and failed to act as a reasonable driver would in a similar situation. Negligence requires proof that the driver owed a duty of care to the pedestrian, the duty was breached, and the pedestrian suffered injuries as a result.
In personal injury cases, the plaintiff may seek compensatory damages to make up for their financial losses, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. A suit must also be filed within two years of the accident, although there are some exceptions.
In addition to establishing liability, a lawyer could also gather evidence to support a claim for damages in a local pedestrian accident. A lawyer is in the best position to argue the strongest case for damages in order to obtain a satisfactory settlement. Available damages include economic and non-economic. Economic damages are easy to calculate. These include medical bills, as well as lost wages. What is more difficult is factoring in the non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering or psychological trauma that stemmed from the accident. There are no guideposts to help determine what is adequate compensation for non-economic damages, so a person will have to rely on a legal professional to determine what would be considered fair.
The prospect of recovering damages is made more difficult by the defendant’s insurer. Insurance companies have claims adjusters and lawyers who work for them, and their goal is to get the company to pay out as little as possible on behalf of their insured. Whatever the insurance company can do to lower their payout, they will increase the profit. For this reason, insurance companies try to offer claimants less than they are owed in pedestrian accidents. This is why a lawyer is necessary. It is common for an insurance company to make a low offer to a pedestrian who has sustained injuries but does not have legal representation.
Determining fault in a pedestrian accident can be complicated, as there can be many contributing factors to analyze. It is crucial to obtain legal representation when pursuing these claims. A Hazel Crest pedestrian accident lawyer could investigate and provide you with the legal assistance that you need to make the best claim. Get in touch today to see what a dedicated personal injury attorney could do in your case.