Family and friends are mourning the loss of their two loved ones, victims of an April 12, 2018 pedestrian accident on the south side of Rockford, IL. WIFR TV News reported that the pair, both in their 20’s, were crossing the road around 8:45 p.m. when they were struck by a car. One victim, a woman, was pronounced dead at the scene; the other individual, a man, was rushed to a local hospital where emergency room physicians declared him dead. The cause of death for both victims is listed as blunt force trauma to the head, chest, and spine. While the investigation continues, officials have stated that it is possible the two victims were trying to beat the vehicle across the street. The story is a reminder of the dangers and causes of pedestrian accidents.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
There are countless driving violations and negligent actions that can lead a motorist to hit a pedestrian near a road way. Some of the more common causes include:
- Failure to yield to a pedestrian;
- Driving drunk or under the influence of drugs;
- Distracted driving, such as texting, using a phone, eating, drinking, grooming, adjusting the radio, or operating a GPS; and,
- Other acts where drivers breach their duty to drive safely.
As may be possible in the recent incident in Rockford, a pedestrian accident may be due to the victim’s own conduct. For instance, the walker may:
- Stray from walking on a paved sidewalk;
- Cross the road diagonally or in the opposite direction of traffic, known familiarly as jaywalking;
- Walk or stumble erratically;
- Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol; or,
- Engage in other dangerous conduct that puts him or her at risk of injury.
Comparative Negligence in a Pedestrian Accident
Under Illinois law, your award may be lessened if you determined to be partly at fault in the accident that led to your injuries. The legal concept goes by the term comparative negligence, and the theory is based upon equity: If your own conduct was a factor, you should not recover a windfall against another party that was also negligent.
Illinois’ rule of modified comparative fault follows a percentage-based system, so you are able to recover as long as you are 50 percent or less to blame for the accident. Your award will be decreased by the amount of liability that you hold. For example, if you were jaywalking but the driver of the vehicle failed to stop at a red light, you can both be held liable; however, because your own conduct is less of a factor than the traffic violation, your compensation is reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to you.
Discuss Pedestrian Accidents with a Skilled Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one was hurt in a pedestrian accident, you need an experienced attorney to fight for your right to compensation from the responsible driver. Please contact the Law Office of Brassfield, Krueger & Ramlow, Ltd. We serve clients in Rockford, IL, LaSalle County, and throughout Northern Illinois, and we can help you, too.