It is always very upsetting to learn of hit-and-run accidents in the news. When such accidents occur, the wrongdoer responsible for the accident fails to take accountability out of their own volition. Not only are they breaching their legal duty of care to those they cause injury, but they are abandoning a moral duty and lacking the compassion to care for a person hurt and in need.
These accidents can be even worse to hear of when they involve a collision between a motor vehicle and a pedestrian. As you know, pedestrian accidents are extremely dangerous and can cause victims to suffer significant personal injuries and death. Unfortunately these types of accidents are all too common through Illinois, particularly the Chicagoland area where a number of people rely upon city sidewalks on a daily basis. Because vehicles are so much larger in height and weight than a person, these accidents often leave victims with permanent and life altering injuries. Since these accidents are so severe, victims can undergo injuries to vital areas of their bodies, like the head and neck, resulting in nerve damage or spinal chord paralysis. Other permanent injuries could also even include broken bones, dislocated limbs, or complete loss of a limb.
Recent news by the Chicago Tribune discusses a recent accident in the Chicago suburb of West Chicago where a motorist fled the scene after colliding with a pedestrian. Around 11:40 p.m. at the intersection of Fair Oaks Road and Trieste Lane, a driver struck the victim who had just exited a vehicle, according to police. The driver, hailing from the Chicago suburb of Carol Stream, then left the scene. She was later arrested for having struck a pedestrian and feeling the scene of the accident. She was also charged with failure to report an accident involving an injury – a Class 2 felony.
Pedestrian accidents are all too common. According to a publication from April of this year by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, pedestrian deaths have been on the rise since 2009. In 2009 there were 4,109 deaths in the United States, 4,302 in 2010, 4,457 in 2011, and 4,743 in 2012. Furthermore, it is estimated that 76,000 pedestrians were injured. On the average, a pedestrian was killed every two hours and injured every seven minutes. In 2012 almost three-fourths of all pedestrian fatalities occurred in an urban environment. The majority of such accidents also occurred during the nighttime from 6 p.m. – 5:59 a.m.
The same publication reminds drivers to always be on the lookout for pedestrians. It is especially important that drivers be vigilant for pedestrians in hard-to-see conditions, such as at night or during rain or snow storms. It is always important for drivers to slow down when turning to entering a crosswalk too. Additionally, stop well back from a crosswalk to allow pedestrians to safely cross and for other vehicles to be able to see crossing pedestrians. In addition to vigilance around crosswalks, it is also important to be on the lookout for pedestrians at all times, because often pedestrians are not where they should be or where you would expect them to be.
No matter if you are a frequent driver, user of public transportation, or work remotely, at some point we are all pedestrians. With pedestrian fatalities on the rise, it is clear that that we need to work hard as a community to raise awareness of dangers and to increase safety among both pedestrians and drivers. Our lawyers understand the severity of these accidents and are passionate about increasing safety and decreasing fatalities by setting a legal example through lawsuits. We have had experience in all types of personal injury lawsuits since 1992, and are proud of the successful verdicts and settlements we have obtained for victims of negligence. If you have suffered from an accident, call us for a free consultation, and we would be happy to discuss your legal options with you.