The increasing trend in both Illinois and national pedestrian accident fatalities was discussed in the May 30, 2016 Chicago Tribune article (“As pedestrian deaths rise, IDOT reiterates importance of paying attention“). Two excerpts from the article:
Last year, 146 crashes resulted in 150 fatalities on roads across the state, up 18 percent from 2014 when there were 127 deaths, according to preliminary numbers from the Illinois Department of Transportation. Of those 150 pedestrians killed, nearly a third of the deaths — or 46 — occurred in Chicago, which also saw a 31 percent hike over 2014.
The rise in Illinois corresponds with what’s happening nationally. Across the United States, 2,368 pedestrians were killed in the first six months of 2015, compared with 2,232 during the same period in 2014.
Of note, distracted drivers – and distracted walkers – are mentioned in the article as being factors in the increase in fatalities.
On this site, various pedestrian accidents – and lawsuits related to the accompanying injuries – that have happened in Will County are seen in posts seen in the “pedestrian accidents” category. These pedestrian accidents – many fatal – have occurred in the following areas:
- an August 20, 2016 fatal crash in Frankfort
- an April 4, 2016 fatal accident on I-80 near New Lenox
- a September 3, 2015 accident in which a train struck a girl walking outside of Lemont
- an April 11, 2015 fatal accident in Crest Hill
- a March 20, 2015 accident in which a man was fatally struck by a vehicle in Joliet
- a March 7, 2015 accident on I-55 in Bolingbrook
- a February 13, 2015 incident in which a high school student was fatally struck by a truck in New Lenox
- a December 7, 2014 Joliet accident in which a woman was fatally struck by a car
- an October 11, 2014 incident in which a man was fatally hit by a vehicle
- a September 19, 2014 motorcycle accident in which a man was fatally hit while walking
- a July 13, 2014 fatal I-55 accident in which a boy was struck while walking
- a June 2, 2014 incident in which a girl was struck by a car in a Romeoville parking lot
- a May 16, 2014 Joliet accident in which a girl was fatally hit by a car
Many of these pedestrian accidents are the fault of motorists. Furthermore, many (both nonfatal and fatal) such crashes involve vehicles striking walkers while the people are in crosswalks. While crosswalks are supposed to provide a safe crossing for pedestrians, in many cases the traffic rules involving crosswalks are not obeyed by motorists. Various statistics show that pedestrian accidents often happen while people walk in a crosswalk – with the “walk” signal. As seen in the statistics cited in a 2011 post, titled “City of Chicago Initiative To Highlight Pedestrian Accidents And Pedestrian Safety“:
About 80 percent of vehicle-pedestrian crashes in Chicago occur at intersections and commonly involve people crossing the street with the walk signal, according to a new city study released this summer. The No. 1 cause of the accidents was drivers failing to yield, the analysis found.
Due to the nature of pedestrian accidents, there are many types of accident injuries that stem from these incidents. Among the serious injuries that have been seen in recent fatal Illinois accidents are head injuries, including concussions. These head injuries are often serious in nature, and can have prolonged adverse impacts on one’s health. On this site, various aspects of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are further discussed on the “Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)” page. An excerpt from that page:
Whenever someone has a significant head impact, it is recommended that a (very) prompt and thorough medical exam is performed to assess whether a TBI or other serious injury has occurred. Of note, many types of head injury symptoms – even in head injuries that are serious if not potentially life-threatening – can take (many) hours to become apparent to the person injured. Typically, a visit to the emergency room may include testing for bleeding on the brain and other potentially problematical health conditions.
As further discussed on that page, there are many aspects of head injuries, and the overall health impact of such head trauma depends on many different factors. Severe head injuries can cause various temporary and permanent impairments, and surgeries may be required. Long recovery times may be required for head trauma symptoms that prove to be temporary in nature, such as those resulting from concussions.
Other significant accident injuries that happen due to people being struck by vehicles is damage to the neck and spinal column, which, due to the force and type of impact, may include herniated discs. Some of these types of injuries may lead to the need for surgeries.
As to what a person should do to prevent being hit by a car while walking, there are many tips that have been offered. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has published pedestrian safety tips at its “Everyone is a pedestrian” site. Walking safety tips are also provided for children and older adults.
The CDC document titled “Walk This Way! Taking Steps for Pedestrian Safety” offers the following tips:
Whenever you’re walking, keep these tip2 in mind:
- Whenever possible, cross the street at a designated crosswalk or intersection.
- Increase your visibility at night by carrying a flashlight and wearing retro-reflective clothing.
- It’s safest to walk on a sidewalk, but if one is not available, walk on the shoulder and face traffic.
- Avoid distractions such as electronic devices that take your attention off the road.
What To Do If You Have Been Injured In A Pedestrian Accident
The above discusses various aspects of pedestrian accidents. As discussed, pedestrian accidents often result in accident injuries – and in many cases these injuries can be either life-threatening or fatal in nature.
Should you be injured in an Illinois accident, there are various steps you should take to both protect your health and your legal rights, including your rights to potential injury compensation if the accident was the fault [i.e. you were hurt because of the carelessness, negligence or intentional actions] of another person or entity.
From a medical perspective, it is recommended that you get a comprehensive medical exam if you are struck by a car or other vehicle. There are many reasons why such an exam is beneficial. Among the reasons are that some injuries are not immediately apparent, and a thorough medical examination can check for injuries that may not be apparent for a considerable amount of time after the accident. There are many examples of people who have suffered serious accident injuries but aren’t aware of the injuries for substantial periods of time. A delay in treatment of these injuries can present a dangerous health threat, and in some cases such delay in treatment can become life-threatening.
From a legal perspective, it is highly recommended that you speak with an Illinois personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after an accident. While this may be inconvenient to do right after the accident, there are various key steps you should take – and not take – to protect your legal rights and to help you attain compensation for your accident injuries and other harm that may have occurred. The lawyer can determine if the filing of a personal injury lawsuit is appropriate. [For those who represent a person who has died due to an accident, filing a wrongful death lawsuit may be warranted.]
If you were injured in an accident, call Tony Elman, Lead Trial Attorney at the Elman Law Group, at (773) 392-8182 to discuss the accident and see what legal actions – including the filing of a lawsuit – should be taken. This legal consultation is provided free of charge, is provided with no further obligation, and is confidential in nature.
Elman Law Group, LLC has been handling Illinois personal injury cases for 25+ years, and during this time has handled over 10,000 personal injury cases. Through this extensive experience we have built a reputation for our court trial performance. As seen in many cases, this successful trial experience may (substantially) increase your potential accident injury compensation.
Elman Law Group, LLC handles cases on a contingency basis…you will not be charged legal fees unless and until you get money.