Pedestrian Injury Claims

Rarely do you hear of a pedestrian accident being referred to as a minor incident. Rather, the victims of pedestrian accidents nearly always suffer significant harm, and often time even death. For those lucky enough to make it out alive, the types and extent of injuries sustained can be quite serious, and may require extensive treatment, long recovery times, and in some cases, can leave the victim permanently disabled. In addition to physical trauma to the victim’s body, many are also left with emotional scars caused as a result of being involved in such a horrific event.

When a pedestrian is injured or killed due to the negligence of another, the Chicago Accident Attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. believe that the victim should be compensated, to the fullest extent possible, for any and all harm which is legally recoverable under Illinois law. It is important to note that when a pedestrian accident causes death, the legal processes involved, as well as the types of compensation available differ than in cases in which the victim survives. See, Wrongful Death, for more on this topic. Here, we discuss personal injury claims brought on behalf of a surviving injured pedestrian.

By far the most common type of damages recovered by the Plaintiff in pedestrian injury claims are those extending from primary and secondary injuries sustained as a result of the impact. Primary injuries occur immediately upon impact, while secondary injuries occur subsequently due to the force of the initial impact (i.e. victim is propelled and hits the ground or an object). According to the NCBI, as reported in a 2014 publication, the most common form of primary impact injury involve the victim’s lower extremities (~35%), followed by injuries to the pelvis (~15%), thorax (~16%), upper extremities (~13%), and buttocks (~12%). As for secondary impact injuries, neck and head injuries are most common (~28%), followed by upper (~21%) and lower (~25%) injuries. Given that secondary impact injuries occur as a direct result of the initial impact, the victim may recover compensation for both.

While most pedestrian injuries are more obvious, others are not so easily recognizable or immediately identifiable. For example, psychological, mental and emotional injuries often develop over the period of time following an accident. Injuries of this nature are particularly common in pedestrian accidents. Consider a pedestrian that is struck by a motor vehicle, and lives to tell the story. Some may remember feeling helpless in the moments before the crash; some remember the actual impact; some can only recall pieces; and others may not remember anything at all, which in itself can cause distress. The victim may experience anxiety, stress, fear, worry, apprehension, nervousness, and general unease for weeks, months, and even years following the accident. Collectively referred to as psychological injuries, this type of harm is also compensable.

In some cases the victim may have had a pre-existing condition or prior injury that was exacerbated as a result of a pedestrian accident. Examples include age-related degenerative conditions that increase susceptibility to harm, aggravation of a previous injury to a specific area of the body, or worsening of a psychological condition such as severe anxiety. As a general rule, the Defendant takes their victim as they find them, but should not be held liable for harm they did not cause. In other words, while a victim that is more fragile due to age can recover for all injuries sustained, a victim with a pre-existing injury or condition can recover compensation to the extent of harm actually caused by the Defendant. Keep in mind though, there may be exceptions that apply to your case, which can allow financial recovery for an entire injury, even those that existed prior to the accident.

Pedestrian Accident Injuries come in many forms, and can vary greatly from case to case. What they do share in common, though, is the need to prove your claim by establishing that the victim was indeed injured, and that such injury occurred as a result of the Defendant’s wrongdoing.

The Chicago attorneys of Zneimer and Zneimer P.C. have decades of experience representing injured pedestrians. We have obtained favorable outcomes on behalf of numerous victims, and want to do the same for you. Call us today at 773-516-4100 to schedule your no-cost comprehensive case evaluation, or click here to send us a message online.

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