Pedestrians do not have a lot of protection when they are out walking. As a result, when they are in an accident with a vehicle, they are likely to sustain very serious injuries. Due to this, many people think pedestrians always have the right-of-way when they are out on the roadways. However, this is untrue.
Pedestrians can be found at fault for a crash and when that is the case, any damages they receive may be reduced. In some cases, pedestrians may not be entitled to any damages at all. Below, our Illinois pedestrian accident lawyer explains when individuals on foot have the right-of-way.
There are certain areas of the roadway where the law states pedestrians always have the right-of-way. Pedestrians will always have the right-of-way when they are in a crosswalk that is showing the “walk” light indicating it is safe to cross. Any time a pedestrian is legally in a crosswalk, drivers are expected to give right-of-way to them. When a vehicle is already stopped at a crosswalk, other vehicles are not allowed to overtake, or pass, them.
If a pedestrian approaches a crosswalk that does not have working signals, drivers are required to stop and provide pedestrians with the right-of-way. Even in these situations though, pedestrians are not allowed to suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety to walk into the path of a moving vehicle if the driver does not have time to stop.
Any time a pedestrian crosses the road and does not use a crosswalk, they are expected to yield the right-of-way to motorists. In this case as well, pedestrians should not leave the sidewalk or other place of safety if doing so would pose a risk of a crash. If a pedestrian does not ensure it is safe to cross and becomes involved in an accident, they can be held liable for the crash.
Illinois has adopted a modified comparative negligence standard for those that wish to recover damages after a crash. Under this rule, injured individuals can only recover damages if they are less than 50% at fault for an accident. As such, if a pedestrian is negligent and crosses the road when it is unsafe to do so, any damages they may receive will be reduced by their same percentage of fault. If a court finds the pedestrian was 50% or more at fault for the crash, they may be barred from recovering any compensation at all.
Never assume that as a pedestrian, you are always entitled to damages. The other side will likely argue that you were at least partly at fault for the accident. At Brassfield & Krueger, Ltd., our Illinois pedestrian accident lawyers will refute those claims and collect evidence to help you claim the maximum damages you deserve. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
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