Understanding Common Injuries and Liability After Being Hit by a Car in a Crosswalk in Illinois
Personal injuries from a motor vehicle accident can occur in many different ways. This includes being hit by a car. From a young age, we are taught to be particularly careful when crossing the street by looking both ways and using a crosswalk. Although this can help minimize the risk of personal injuries, it does not act to prevent all injuries. The experienced hit by car lawyers in Springfield at the Noll Law Office know that this is because reckless, careless, and negligent motorists are still going to cause serious or fatal accidents which are preventable. Indeed, throughout the United States over 7,300 pedestrians are killed after being hit by a car. According to the same statistics, pedestrian fatalities account for roughly 16% of all Illinois traffic fatalities. This makes pedestrian knockdowns a serious and common cause of personal injuries. If you or a loved one were hit by a car in a crosswalk in Illinois, you have rights under the law to compensation.
At the Noll Law Office, their compassionate and knowledgeable legal team can help you understand what those rights are and how they can help you protect them. Unlike some other lawyers, there are no upfront fees to begin working with the experienced hit by car lawyers at the Noll Law Office. They offer FREE consultations and case evaluations, also paying the upfront costs and expenses of litigation which are only reimbursed after a recovery is made in your favor. To learn more, contact them today to schedule a FREE consultation.
Common Injuries in a Hit by Car Accident
Individuals who are hit by a car in Illinois often suffer serious, disabling, permanent, and sometimes fatal personal injuries. That is because pedestrians hit by a car do not have the same protections that other motorists have – including even just a bicyclist or motorcyclist who have helmets. Rather, pedestrians are fully exposed to the force of impact and the secondary impact of landing on the pavement or a windshield.
Some of the most common injuries after being hit by a car that the experienced pedestrian knockdown lawyers at the Noll Law Office can handle for you include the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Paralysis either like paraplegia or quadriplegia
- Broken bones
- Head injuries and face injuries
- Significant lacerations or disfigurement
- Dislocated shoulders or separated shoulders
- Neck injuries and back injuries, including a slipped disc, herniated disc, or another type of disabling spinal injury
- Organ injuries and internal injuries
- Nerve damage, including brachial plexus nerve injuries in the shoulder
- Emotional harm including anxiety, depression, and other severe cognitive injuries, and
- Other serious personal injuries that the personal injury lawyers at the Noll Law Office can handle for you.Liability for After Being Hit by a Car in a Crosswalk in Illinois
One of the most basic concepts of driving is stopping for pedestrians in a crosswalk. This is known nationally – if not globally – and a major part of the vehicle and traffic law as it relates to both safety and the orderly administration of traffic. These are the two overarching purposes of the vehicle and traffic laws by the Legislature, with crosswalks being one primarily aimed at safety.
Under Illinois law, section 625 ILCS 5/11-1002 governs the pedestrians’ right-of-way at crosswalks. It places certain obligations on motorists and pedestrians at crosswalks. Notably, subsection (a) provides that, when there are no traffic control signals present or operating, all motorists “shall stop and yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk” when either a pedestrian is in the motorist’s lane or close enough to the lane that the pedestrian could “be in danger” of being struck or injured.
In addition, subsection (d) provides that, whenever any vehicle is stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross, another vehicle from behind cannot overtake or pass that stopped vehicle. A vehicle doing so is not only in violation of the vehicle and traffic law, but is also creating a very dangerous situation where a pedestrian might be blind to the danger.
Using a Violation of this Statute to Prove a Case
A pedestrian who is hit by a car in a crosswalk in Illinois and is seriously injured may be entitled to use the violation of 625 ILCS 5/11-1002 to automatically prove liability. This is through the doctrine of negligence per se, which holds that a plaintiff can establish liability against a defendant in certain instances. In order to do so, a plaintiff must establish the following:
- A statute was violated
- The victim was in the class of persons which the statute was meant to protect, and
- The harm that was caused to the victim was within the class of harms that the statute was meant to prevent.
When a plaintiff can prove all of these elements, such as when he or she is hit by a car and the defendant did not yield to the right of way, Illinois law will hold that the defendant is negligent. This is a “shortcut” that allows a victim to then focus on establishing causation and damages. Both of these principles essentially establish that the victim’s injuries were approximately caused by the defendant’s negligence or that the defendant’s negligence was a substantial factor in causing these injuries. Said differently, “but for” the defendant’s violation of the statute, plaintiff’s injuries would not have occurred.
Why You Still Need an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer After Being Hit by a Car in a Crosswalk in Illinois
Although it appears that the doctrine of negligence per se may automatically hold a defendant liable for a victim’s personal injuries, that does not mean that a hit by car case is easy. Defense lawyers and insurance adjusters often vehemently and aggressively defend these cases. That’s because the injuries noted above are often catastrophic and severe, sometimes resulting in wrongful death.
In addition, the statute also provides under subsection (b) that a pedestrian cannot “suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety[.]” Because of this caveat, many defense lawyers will try to raise a question of fact as to whether you or a loved one did that. In instances where it becomes a battle of credibility between your word and the defendant’s word, it can often lead to a trial.
That’s why hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer in Springfield like one of the hit by car lawyers at the Noll Law Office is important. Their lawyers and staff can look for ways to prove your claim, including that the defendant was distracted, intoxicated, speeding, or otherwise negligent in another manner. This can be done by using phone records, looking for surveillance video, using black box/ECM data from a vehicle, speaking with witnesses, or using expert testimony to prove a case.
Were You Hit by a Car in a Crosswalk in Illinois? Call the Noll Law Office
After any personal injury accident, especially one involving being hit by a car in a crosswalk in Illinois, contact the experienced personal injury lawyers in Springfield at the Noll Law Office. They handle all types of catastrophic, disabling, permanent, and fatal injury cases in Illinois, including pedestrians who were hit by a car. To learn more about your rights to compensation under Illinois law, contact the Noll Law Office for help today.