Once the weather warms up, many Des Plaines residents enjoy jogging, strolling, or walking their dogs on the local streets. Although it feels great to get outdoors, traveling public roads on foot could be hazardous. Pedestrians are vulnerable to inattentive or reckless drivers.
If a negligent driver injured you while you were walking or running, a Des Plaines pedestrian accident lawyer could help you seek compensation. Your damages could include medical expenses, lost income, and payment for your pain and suffering. A Kryder Law Firm personal injury attorney is ready to help you receive payment for your losses.
Negligent Drivers Cause Pedestrian Accidents
Driving is an automatic process for many people. They operate their vehicles while their mind wanders or distract themselves with phone calls, texting, conversing with passengers, or listening to music, a book, or a podcast. Many drivers are not attentive to what is happening on the side of the road.
However, every driver has a legal obligation to be alert to their surroundings. A vehicle often hits a pedestrian because a driver did not see them until it was too late. Unless it was night and the pedestrian was wearing dark clothes, failing to notice them is almost always a driver’s fault.
If an individual seeks damages from a driver after a pedestrian accident, a Des Plaines attorney must prove that a driver’s negligence led to an injury. They could review evidence like police reports, cell phone records, witness statements, and surveillance footage to prove that a driver’s lack of care led to injuries.
Calculating Damages After a Pedestrian Accident
The compensation a person receives after filing a lawsuit is called damages. A claim for compensation includes all accident-related costs, including medical expenses, reduced income, and intangible losses like physical pain and disfigurement. A pedestrian injury lawyer in Des Plaines might use tax returns, medical records, receipts, invoices, and testimony about how an incident affected an individual’s life to prepare a claim for damages.
Most of the time, an insurance company for a responsible party tries to settle a claim rather than take it to a trial. Avoiding a trial is usually the best option if an insurer offers a reasonable settlement. However, a capable advocate is willing to fight in court for fair compensation.
If a case goes to court and a driver was grossly negligent, you could ask a court to award punitive damages. If a driver was drunk, texting, or racing another vehicle, that conduct might merit punitive damages. There is no formula for punitive damages, but courts usually award an amount that equals two or three times your medical expenses plus lost income.
Limitations to Filing a Pedestrian Collision Claim
A person should begin exploring legal options as soon as possible. If a unit of government is potentially responsible for injuries, an individual only has one year to act. This might be the case if:
- A driver who hit you was a public employee working at the time
- State or local government owned an involved vehicle
- Defects in a road design or maintenance, inadequate street lighting, or similar condition led to an accident
When a state or local government might have responsibility, a person only has one year to either notify the appropriate government office of a claim or file a lawsuit.
The law indicates a two-year limit on filing a lawsuit in cases that do not involve potential government liability, according to 735 Illinois Consolidated Statutes §5/13-202. Although most cases settle without a trial, and some settle before an attorney in Des Plaines files a lawsuit, the threat of taking a pedestrian crash to court is an incentive for a responsible party and their insurance company to negotiate fairly.
Pursue Damages with a Des Plaines Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Pedestrian accidents could cause severe physical and psychological trauma. If another party’s negligent or reckless behavior caused you to suffer, you deserve maximum compensation.
A Des Plaines pedestrian accident lawyer could provide aggressive representation to get you the monetary compensation that you deserve. Schedule a case review as soon as possible after your accident.