Similar to bike-motor vehicle collisions, pedestrians are often at high risk of getting struck by cars. Pedestrians are smaller than cars, not as easy to see, and drivers are often distracted.
Further, the Illinois state law that requires motor vehicles to stop for pedestrians can be confusing to both motorists and pedestrians. When is a person a pedestrian? When they stand on the curb and make eye contact with a driver indicating an intention to cross the street? When they're already in the middle of the street? What if the crosswalk is hard to see for the motorist because it is dark and there are no street lights? Is the driver willing to brake suddenly for the pedestrian only to be rear-ended by the car behind him?
The short answer to all of these is that "it depends" and no one is certain. Like most well-intentioned laws, this one is designed to protect pedestrians, but it may make drivers less certain of what their responsibilities are and when those must be exercised.
Obviously, pedestrians struck by motor vehicles sustain very serious injuries most of the time. For that reason, motorists must be cognizant of the presence of pedestrians, and pedestrians must be extra alert for motor vehicles, and both must obey traffic laws.
If you are a pedestrian and are injured by a motor vehicle, here is what you should do:
If you or a family member was hit by a car while walking, we encourage you to seek free legal advice. A good personal injury attorney will help you consider the extent of your injuries and losses, will advocate on your behalf with the insurance company, and will take your case to trial if necessary. We welcome you to contact Chicago attorney Stephen L. Hoffman by filling out our online information form, calling (773) 944-9737, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.