Legal Claims for Drivers in Pedestrian-Vehicle Accidents

Busy intersection with cars and pedestrians

Pedestrians can be held liable for the car accidents that their actions cause. Just because a driver’s vehicle strikes a pedestrian, it does not automatically mean that the driver is at fault for the accident. Individuals whose vehicles have been involved in an accident with a pedestrian may be able to hire an accident lawyer in Chicago to pursue damages.

Some common instances where pedestrians may be at fault for an automobile accident include the following scenarios:

Jaywalking – Crossing the street outside of marked pedestrian crossing lanes is against the law. Pedestrians do not have the right of way when they enter traffic outside of these marked areas.

Drunkenness – A drunk pedestrian can enter the street or step off the sidewalk while they are intoxicated. When this happens, their impaired judgment is not a defense for causing an automobile accident. Frequently, an intoxicated person may cause an accident when a driver swerves to miss them and strikes other vehicles that are parked or traveling in the roadway.

Walking in Prohibited Areas – Pedestrian access to highways and bridges is heavily restricted. Unless a pedestrian has suffered a vehicle breakdown in these areas, it is very difficult to defend the reasons that they are traversing these restricted areas.

Crossing Against Signals – Walking against signals in marked crosswalks negates a pedestrian’s right of way. These signals are intended to prevent pedestrian-vehicle accidents and it is the pedestrian who is at fault when they deliberately enter traffic against the signal.

Comparative Fault in Illinois

A driver may seek damages against a pedestrian if the pedestrian is more than 51% at fault for the accident. This may very well be the case if the pedestrian deliberately violated traffic laws and took steps that negated their right of way when entering the traffic lane. In Illinois, drivers may seek compensation for damage to their vehicle or any injuries the accident caused to the driver or any passengers within the vehicle at the time of the accident.

While drivers have a considerable duty of care in Illinois, this duty does not extend beyond what is normal or reasonable. An accident lawyer in Chicago can help determine whether or not a driver’s actions were within the range of what is considered careful and reasonable. This includes examining road conditions, the driver’s speed, the pedestrian’s actions, and any mitigating factors that existed at the time of the accident.