Pedestrian Accidents on Sidewalks
Generally, pedestrians have the right of way in crosswalks, and drivers are required to yield to those crossing the road. Additionally, drivers are required to yield the right of way to pedestrians on the sidewalk. Illinois law madates that pedestrians walk on sidewalks, or if there are none, then on the shoulder of the road close to the outside edge. Unfortunately, motor vehicle accidents involving pedestrians can cause debilitating injuries because people are so vulnerable when they are struck by a car, bus, or other vehicle. During over three decades of combined experience practicing law, the skilled Schaumburg and Wheaton pedestrian accident attorneys at Therman Law have been dedicated to helping injured victims assert their legal rights. We are ready to investigate the circumstances of your collision and help you pursue justice and monetary damages for your losses.Holding a Driver Legally Responsible for a Pedestrian Accident on a Sidewalk
When a pedestrian on the sidewalk is struck by a driver and injured, the driver may face legal consequences. The pedestrian can file an injury claim seeking compensation for costs related to the accident, including medical care, wages from missed work, and emotional distress. In many cases, negligence forms the basis of these personal injury lawsuits. A driver who does not show reasonable care behind the wheel, thereby violating a traffic law or exhibiting careless conduct, can be held legally responsible for all resulting harm.
Chapter 11 of the Illinois Vehicle Code sets out the rights and duties of pedestrians on sidewalks. Drivers are required to yield the right of way to pedestrians on a sidewalk. When a driver emerges from a driveway or an alley, they are required to stop their vehicle before driving onto the sidewalk extending from the alley. If there are pedestrians, that driver must yield the right of way. Drivers are also prohibited from driving upon sidewalks except for temporary driveways. When operating their cars near sidewalks and pedestrians, drivers are required to maintain a speed that provides them the ability to react to pedestrian movement in a manner that avoids injury.
To show that a driver’s negligence caused the accident that led to their harm, a pedestrian must set forth evidence that the driver owed them a duty of care, and that when the driver breached this duty, it directly caused an accident and resulting injuries. A pedestrian struck by a driver while on the sidewalk might show that the driver was careless behind the wheel. If the driver was texting on their phone, for example, this may support a claim that they breached their duty to pay attention. If inattention caused the driver to strike the pedestrian, this likely shows that “but for '' their carelessness, the accident would not have occurred.
As the final step of their negligence claim, the injured pedestrian must present evidence of their harm, and a knowledgeable accident lawyer can help. Damages in a pedestrian accident on a sidewalk can be severe, as physical harm can include traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, and even death. Illinois provides that pedestrians can be compensated for their medical expenses, lost wages, and emotional harm caused by the accident. Punitive damages may be available if the driver’s actions were intentional or particularly egregious.
Comparative negligence may limit the amount of monetary compensation available to pedestrian accident victims. Illinois follows a modified comparative fault rule, which holds that when a court determines that you are more than 50% at fault for your accident, then you may not recover any compensation. If the defendant argues that the plaintiff was walking on a roadway, not the sidewalk when one was available, this could affect the determination of fault. For a pedestrian on the sidewalk, it is unlikely that they are at fault for their injuries.Wheaton and Schaumburg Attorneys for Those Injured in Pedestrian Accidents
When someone’s careless conduct behind the wheel causes a pedestrian accident on a sidewalk, we can help the victim understand their legal options. At Therman Law Offices, our commitment is to assist residents throughout Schaumburg and Wheaton as they pursue justice. To schedule a complimentary consultation, call our office at 312-588-1900 or contact us online. Our lawyers are available to prepresent people in Addison, West Chicago, Lemont, Elmhurst, Oakbrook Terrace, Clarendon Hills, Downers Grove, Westmont, Darien, Bolingbrook, and Lisle.