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Establishing Liability in Chicago Pedestrian Accident Cases

If you were struck by a car while crossing the street, you may be legally entitled to fair compensation for your injuries. However, establishing that a driver was liable can be difficult in Chicago pedestrian accident cases. For this reason, many injury victims choose to rely on an experienced attorney for assistance.

Determining Liability for an Accident

When determining liability for a pedestrian accident, attorneys ask a few key questions about the events:

  • Who had the right of way?
  • Was the pedestrian in the crosswalk?
  • What were the traffic signals?
  • What were the weather conditions?
  • What were the lighting conditions?

By answering these questions, skilled attorneys can begin to reconstruct the incident and determine who was responsible. Another critical component of a liability analysis is the police report, if available. Law enforcement often responds to an accident, and the attending officer will make a record of the events. When pursuing compensation for a personal injury, this police report can be valuable evidence.

Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

While a pedestrian accident can occur for nearly any reason, a few causes are more common than others in Chicago


Speeding can be an important factor in pedestrian accidents. Drivers traveling too quickly for conditions may be unable to stop for a sudden hazard, such as a pedestrian crossing the road. Additionally, speed has an enormous impact on the severity of the resulting injuries.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents. Distraction from phones, GPS systems, and other electronic devices is increasingly common, but it is critical to keep one’s eyes on the road when driving through Chicago. Pedestrians are present in the city 24 hours a day. There will always be groups of people going to and from work, children going to and from school, and people going to and from large events or leaving transit centers.

Failing to Use Crosswalks

It is important for all pedestrians to use crosswalks whenever possible. This can be important in determining liability because if a pedestrian is not in a crosswalk, they may be considered partially or fully at fault for the incident. This could reduce their total compensation or even prevent recovery entirely.

If the Driver Breaks a Traffic Law, are they Liable for the Pedestrian Accident?

A common misconception is that breaking a traffic law will automatically make a driver liable for the pedestrian accident. While tickets can be valuable evidence in a pedestrian accident case, not every infraction leads to liability. For example, a driver may be ticketed for a broken taillight, but the violation may not have played a role in causing the collision.

In other cases, the traffic violation may have directly led to the traffic accident. For example, a driver may have made a left turn when they did not have the right to do so and struck a pedestrian. In this case, the violation could be used to help show the driver was liable.

Talk to a Chicago Attorney About Your Pedestrian Accident

Determining liability for a pedestrian accident is a complex task best left to an experienced Chicago attorney. Without legal counsel, victims may be at a serious disadvantage when negotiating with insurance adjusters for fair compensation. To discuss your case, call today.