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While pedestrian accident cases can be similar to vehicle accident cases, there are several important differences between the two. First, pedestrians do not travel as quickly as vehicles often do. A pedestrian may be walking or running while a vehicle would likely be traveling at a much higher speed prior to impact.

Second, pedestrians do not have the protection that comes from being inside a vehicle. For this reason, pedestrian accidents tend to result in more serious injuries than those involving two vehicles. These are important distinctions between pedestrian accidents and those involving solely vehicles. It is best to speak to a knowledgeable attorney to learn about the nuances of liability in Oak Lawn pedestrian accident cases.

Who Decides Whether the Driver Is Liable in Pedestrian Accident Cases?

Police officers often decide whether the driver is liable for a pedestrian accident case in Oak Lawn. In personal injury cases, fault must be proven in order to make a recovery. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, it may be a combination of the pedestrian and the driver’s fault. The police should investigate the scene after a pedestrian accident to better determine fault.

Many times, a police officer will attribute fault for the accident. The laws say that a pedestrian has the right of way on a crosswalk as long as they are obeying all traffic control devices. However, a jury may still consider whether the pedestrian was partially at fault for the accident.

Types of Evidence Used in a Case

To determine liability, statements from the pedestrian, the driver, and any witnesses should be obtained when investigating an accident. Cameras at intersections can also be important sources of evidence to determine what occurred and whose fault it was. Police officers typically perform investigations at accident scenes and speak to everyone involved. Afterward, they may write a report providing their conclusions regarding the causes of an accident.

Can the Injured Pedestrian Be Partially At Fault?

Contributory negligence in means that the claimant was partially responsible for causing the accident. This concept allows liability to be split among the involved parties. If the pedestrian is determined to be liable for a percentage of the accident, their recoverable damages will be reduced by that amount. If the pedestrian is found to be over 50 percent at fault, the law says that they are not entitled to a recovery.

A pedestrian might be found wrongfully negligent after a pedestrian accident if the facts of the case were not properly investigated. A pedestrian’s entitlement to the right of way on a crosswalk does not mean that they are free from paying attention to their surroundings. Pedestrians should always be aware of their surroundings, especially when crossing a crosswalk.

If a pedestrian were to cross against a traffic control signal, they would lose their right-of-way protection in the intersection. Every pedestrian crosswalk accident depends on its own facts. A thorough investigation is essential in order to accurately prove liability.

Factors That Could Impact Liability

Liability in pedestrian accident cases is determined in Oak Lawn pursuant to the facts of each case. When determining liability in a pedestrian accident case, the speed of the vehicle, how far away the driver was when they first noticed the pedestrians, where the collision occurred in the intersection, and what steps the pedestrian took for their own safety are commonly considered factors.

The Impact of Speed

When approaching a crosswalk with a pedestrian on or near it, a driver should slow down and stop to grant the pedestrian the right of way. Many drivers speed through crosswalks without slowing down. The faster a car is traveling, the longer it will take to stop for a pedestrian on a crosswalk or the more serious the pedestrian’s injuries may be if the driver is unable to stop in time.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is the cause of many accidents and can impact liability in Oak Lawn pedestrian accidents that occur on or around a crosswalk. A driver who is not paying attention is more likely to strike a pedestrian on a crosswalk. Distracted driving is responsible for many pedestrian accident cases in Oak Lawn.

Use of Crosswalks

The presence and use of crosswalks can impact liability; if a pedestrian crosses a street outside of a crosswalk and is hit by a vehicle, the driver could argue that the accident occurred, at least in part, because the pedestrian did not use the crosswalk. If a marked crosswalk is provided, pedestrians must use it to cross the street. Crossing outside of a marked crosswalk is prohibited.

If there are no markings, a pedestrian is entitled to cross the street at any intersection. Crosswalks are provided for pedestrian safety. The rules that benefit pedestrians typically apply only if the pedestrian uses an available crosswalk to cross the street.

Committing a Traffic Violation

A driver in a pedestrian accident who commits a traffic violation might be issued a ticket by a police officer, which would be separate from the personal injury case and not indicative of fault for the accident. However, if one party receives a ticket and pleads guilty in court, it may be used as evidence in a court case. Pleading guilty to a traffic offense that resulted in striking a pedestrian can be powerful evidence of liability.

Schedule a Consultation with a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Today

When an accident occurs, the injured claimant may be eligible to recover compensation for damages with the help of a skilled pedestrian accident lawyer. Attorneys can build a pedestrian accident case and establish liability by reviewing the facts surrounding the impact. Pedestrian accidents are often hotly contested, and the facts of the case are vitally important when determining fault and liability. The sooner someone reaches out to a pedestrian accident attorney, the greater their chances of establishing liability and receiving money for their injuries. Call today to learn about the role of liability in Oak Lawn pedestrian accident cases.