Chicago Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Serving Cook and DuPage Counties

Pedestrian Accident Injury Claims

If you are the victim of a pedestrian accident and hit by a car or other vehicle, your legal claim will probably be against the driver of the vehicle that struck you. Depending on the accident, you might also bring a claim against the municipality (city, town, or other districts) where you were hit. For example, if you swerved to avoid a pothole or were injured due to a traffic light malfunction then the root cause of the pedestrian accident can be placed on the municipality. Having an experienced Chicago personal injury lawyer to investigate all aspects of the accident is beyond helpful.

The process steps for filing a pedestrian accident claim and seeking damages are quite similar and will be organized around a personal injury case. Typically, when a pedestrian is hit by a car, the driver is considered to be at fault.

What to do at the Scene of the Pedestrian Accident

  • If you are in any type of accident, you should call 911.
  • Get the driver’s name, phone number, and insurance information (if applicable).
  • Take photographs of the accident scene and of the car that hit you.
  • Get any witnesses’ names and contact information. If possible, document what they saw and ask them to sign a document or record the statement on your cell phone.
  • If paramedics suggest taking you to the hospital, it is in your best interest to go with them and not refuse help.

What to do After a Pedestrian Accident

  • Seek immediate medical attention even if you think you’re okay. While some injuries are visible, others are not and could be life-threatening (internal bleeding). Not seeking medical attention or waiting could negatively impact your injury claim. By delaying, the insurance company can argue your injury was not caused by the accident and that it occurred after the accident.
  • Document your side of the story. Write down everything that happened while it’s fresh in your mind. Doing so immediately following the accident will be important when you contact the driver’s insurer and start the claim process.

Starting a Pedestrian Accident Claim Process

  • Notify the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If you’re severely injured, hire a Chicago personal injury attorney to contact the insurer regarding your pedestrian accident claim and handle all of the communications for your personal injury case.
  • Once the claim is filed an insurance adjuster is assigned to investigate what happened and to determine how much the claim is worth.
  • When discussing the case with the adjuster, keep your narrative short and factual. State you were hit, as a pedestrian, by their insured. Provide the adjuster with the make and model of the car, the date, time, and city name where the accident happened. It’s common practice for adjusters to ask for additional information and aggressively pursue your statement and accounting of the accident via emails and phone calls. Do not disclose any other details unless you’ve talked with your lawyer. You may inadvertently say something that will eventually hurt your case.

Stay Organized During Recovery

  • Keep clear evidence of fault (photographs, witness statements) and get a copy of the police report.
  • Save all medical records, itemized statements of all bills paid, out-of-pocket expenses for parking, gas, mileage, and any other expenses related to treatment.
  • Keep track of lost work due to the accident and injuries.
  • Keep copies of any correspondence between you and the insurance company.
  • Document any phone calls between you and the insurance company (adjusters, attorneys, etc).

Create Demand Letter

  • Your demand letter should clearly explain to the insurance company what happened and what it will take to settle your claim.
  • Make sure the letter is objective and professional and includes documentation proving your claim.
  • Your personal injury lawyer will have the experience and knowledge to write a compelling demand letter for your case.

Pedestrian Accident Compensation & Recovery

It is very important for injury victims to understand the different types and value of damages incurred from a personal injury claim. Victims can often make the mistake of accepting settlement offers without knowing how much their claims might be worth. Not knowing what your claim is worth can leave you with significantly less compensation than you deserve. Properly valuing pedestrian injury claims may necessitate the help of claims valuation experts who can work with your personal injury attorney. There are many different types of damages that can happen in a pedestrian accident:

  • Medical Bills
  • Loss of Earning Capacity (past and future)
  • Pain and Suffering (physical and emotional stress as a result of injury)
  • Mental Anguish (psychological trauma inflicted upon victim)
  • Loss of Consortium (deprivation of the benefits of a family relationship (including affection and sexual relations due to injuries)
  • Punitive Damages
  • Wrongful Death

Illinois Pedestrian Accident Local Municipality Laws

If the reason for the pedestrian accident stemmed from something other than the driver, (street and sidewalk planning, road maintenance, no stop sign, malfunctioning traffic light), then the claim for negligence might be against the municipality. Similarly, if you were hit by a government employee, your case may follow a different process.

  • Anyone injured as a result of someone else’s negligence in Illinois can file a personal injury lawsuit in the state’s civil court system, as long as the defendant is a private party (driver of a vehicle, owner of a store or restaurant).
  • If your pedestrian accident was caused by a government employee or you slipped and fell in a government building, your claim will be subject to a different set of rules. Illinois has a separate law for injury claims against municipalities, the Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act. The purpose of this law is “to protect local public entities and public employees from liability arising from the operation of government”. To this end, the Act strictly limits the types of claims that can be brought against local governments and a claim usually must be based on Willful and Wanton misconduct. Basically, a claim for simple negligence or carelessness will not be accepted. The Act applies to local and municipal governments, school districts, and many other types of local government entities.

Pedestrian Accident Statute of Limitations

The State of Illinois imposes strict time limits in how long you have to take legal action if you are hit by a car as a pedestrian or if your claim is against a municipality or governmental entity:

  • Personal injury: Two Years from the date of the accident
  • Claims against the Municipality / Government:
    • Option 1: File notice of the claim with the Attorney General and the Clerk of the Court of Claims within one year of the date of injury. This written notice must list the name and home address of the injured person, the date and time of the accident, the place where it occurred, a brief description of the accident, and the name and address of the claimant’s attending physician.
    • Option 2: File a lawsuit with the Court of Claims within one year of the date the accident occurred. If the claim is filed within one year, notice is not necessary. However, all claims must be filed within two years of the date of the accident, even if notice is filed first.

Contact an Illinois Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today

If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident due to the negligence of another person, our experienced attorneys can help you receive compensation for the damages you have suffered. There is no fee unless we obtain compensation for you.

Get a free case review by calling 866-699-3339 ‌or‌ ‌complete‌ ‌the‌‌ ‌case‌ ‌request‌ ‌form‌.‌  

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