When pedestrians are injured by a vehicle on the roadways or streets or by a property defect, they may be able to recover personal injury damages should another individual’s or entity’s neglect be the cause of the accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), every year almost 5,000 pedestrians are killed in motor vehicle-related accidents. Nearly 76,000 pedestrians in 2012 were injured when hit by a car or truck on the roads. Many of these accidents occur when pedestrians attempt to cross highways. Still, others occur on the streets, parking areas, and garages of cities and towns throughout Illinois.
In addition to vehicle accidents, pedestrians are also injured in non-vehicular incidents every day. Construction defects, poorly maintained walkways, and cluttered and debris-filled areas often are the cause of these kinds of accidents.
In order to establish negligence in either scenario, the plaintiff needs to demonstrate that the at-fault individual (the “defendant”):
1) Owed a duty of care to the pedestrian (the “plaintiff”) in the given circumstances of the accident;
2) Through action or inaction, they breached that duty under the law;
3) Caused the accident involving the plaintiff
4) The accident caused the pedestrian (plaintiff) harm as a result.
For pedestrians injured in vehicle accidents, both the pedestrian and the driver are required to follow the rules of the road, issued by the State, and exercise what is known as “reasonable care.” While fault may seem clear in your own case, courts do take many factors into consideration when adjudicating fault. Still, many of these kinds of cases involve some of the same issues:
- Distracted driving
- Failing to yield
- Disregarding traffic signals or signage
- Driving under the influence
- Not driving for conditions
It’s important to ascertain all of the facts surrounding your case, should you be a pedestrian injured in a vehicle accident. Those facts may make your case or determine the defendant was not, in fact, at fault.
As for non-vehicular pedestrian accidents, it’s important to understand that premises liability is the area of personal injury law that controls claims for damages. Essentially, those in control of land also have a duty of care to those that encounter it. That duty of care includes the responsibility to warn people of potential hazards on that land.
Recovering damages in a premises liability case requires demonstration that dangerous conditions existed at the time of your accident and that they presented an unreasonable risk, and that the risk is not obvious. You must show knowledge of the danger by showing:
- The owner created the dangerous condition;
- The owner knew of the condition and failed to correct it;
- The condition persisted for such a long time that it would most certainly have been noticed and corrected by the time the accident took place.; and
- Understanding these strategies is the first step in winning your personal injury claim when you are a pedestrian injured on today’s roads.
If you have questions about filing a personal injury claim, please call the experienced accident attorneys of Bizzieri Law Offices in Chicago at 773.881.9000. The initial consultation is free and we don’t get paid unless we recover damages for you.