Due to their vulnerability if struck by a motor vehicle, pedestrians must take extra care when crossing roads or walking near the street. While each accident scenario is unique, there are still some common fact patterns that can increase the likelihood of pedestrian accidents in Oak Lawn. An experienced pedestrian accident attorney could fight for you in the event that you were injured while crossing the street and could also advise on how to prevent similar accidents in the future.
Pedestrian accidents can happen anywhere. Some of the more frequent scenarios include pedestrians who are crossing a crosswalk or children who are exiting a school bus and must cross the road. People also commonly cross the street when there is no crosswalk available.
Not every driver accepts the fact that pedestrians generally have the right of way, and some drivers can act aggressively while in their presence. This is a primary reason why laws are written to protect the pedestrians. Drivers must always be aware of people walking nearby and acknowledge when they have the right of way.
Pedestrian accidents also commonly involve children. Since children do not have the ability to drive, they are more frequently found on sidewalks and near roadways. Minors are also held to a lower standard of safety than adults from a legal standpoint. In order to recover damages, a child must be shown to have exercised reasonable care based on their age and experience.
When children are playing near a road, they can be considered pedestrians but may not recognize the danger that motor vehicles pose. For this reason, the younger the child is, the more care motor vehicle drivers must take to anticipate that the child will enter the roadway. Pedestrians generally have the right of way, and this includes minors.
It is important for an attorney who is representing a minor to complete a thorough investigation of the accident. Typically, children do not pay attention to their surroundings to the extent that adults would. A police officer might not speak to a child to get their version of how the accident occurred, so an attorney must make sure the full scope of the accident is accounted for.
It is a common stereotype of teenagers that they are often distracted, whether talking, texting on their phone, or filming a video. If a teenage pedestrian is struck by a car, the lawyer must investigate whether the teenager was in any way distracted.
Teenagers are held to the same level of care as other adult pedestrians in these types of cases. If the teenager was not breaking any traffic rules and was otherwise paying attention, it will be the fault of the motorist for causing the accident. If the teenager was distracted or in any way contributed to the accident, these facts may impact the ability to obtain a complete and full recovery for the teenager.
Some pedestrian accidents are the result of tourists not paying attention while they are walking, or being unfamiliar with the layout of the area they are in. A pedestrian must maintain a proper lookout and follow all traffic regulations, even those which do not exist back home. Tourists in particular may become distracted by attractions nearby and end up causing an accident. However, simply because someone is a tourist does not necessarily mean that they are entitled to recovery. Fault will still lie with the person who was most responsible for causing the accident.
Some pedestrian accidents are the result of poor weather conditions in Oak Lawn, such as heavy rain or fog obscuring the vision of the pedestrian or motor vehicle. Particularly in winter, there can be snow piled up which restricts a pedestrian’s ability to walk within a designated area. If a pedestrian is outside of the crosswalk, this can complicate their recovery of damages. However, if there is a pile of snow or a flooded drain which forces the person to avoid a designated safety area, this is important evidence to document in regards to recovering damages.
Everyone who walks near an area where motor vehicles are present should pay attention to their surroundings to avoid injury. Motorists must also be on the lookout for fact patterns commonly seen in Oak Lawn pedestrian accidents, such as playing children, tourists, or weather hazards. If you were injured while crossing the road, call a local attorney immediately to learn what your options are.