Articles Posted in Pedestrian Accident

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It is common knowledge that the streets of Chicago are a busy place to say the least. On a given day you’ll hear the zoom of passing tires and honking horns as countless cars, buses, and trucks go by. Chicago is a major destination for business traveling in and out of the city and tourism, meaning there is a high volume of traffic on a daily basis, even in addition to the high number of residents. However, the streets of Chicago are not just filled with vehicles, but many pedestrians as well. People in the city do not only travel by vehicle but often by foot as well. With a mix of wheels and feet, we must all take extra caution and be alert for each other. When parties are negligent, serious accidents can and do occur. When these are between vehicles and pedestrians, these collisions are especially dangerous.

A recent report by ABC 7 Chicago relays news of an accident where a mother and toddler were hit by a semi-truck on Chicago’s South Side. At the time of the accident, the victims were in the crosswalk of 69th and S. Prairie heading toward a CTA bus stop. The mother was pushing her 2-year-old daughter in a stroller when they were hit head-on by a semi-truck and pinned beneath the truck.

Both the mother and child required hospitalization. The young girl sustained brain injuries and a leg injury. A CTA bus was behind the truck at the time of the collision, and passengers witnessed the accident occur. Many got off the bus at the time of the collision to try to help the mother and child trapped beneath the truck. Firefighters responded to the scene and eventually freed the victims from the entrapment.
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It is no surprise that pedestrian accidents are extremely dangerous and cause serious personal injuries or death, but these accidents should not occur as frequently as they do. Unfortunately, in a city like Chicago where many people rely on traveling by foot or public transportation instead of driving, our lawyers read about pedestrians being injured as a result of driver negligence all too often. With proper precautions and abiding by the law and traffic signals, fewer accidents could happen. With a high number of pedestrians, Chicago should be a place where people feel safe and trust that they are not in danger when they walk to various locations.

A recent article by the Chicago Tribune relayed the news that a mother and her two children were killed by a semi-truck when crossing a Chicago intersection. On Friday evening at 5 P.M., the mother and her children were crossing Ashland Avenue and 43rd Street when they were run over. The truck driver has been cited with failing to yield to a pedestrian at a crosswalk and for making an improper left turn on a two-way road. He has a later court date scheduled regarding the accident. After hitting the three victims, the truck driver continued down the road, unaware he had hit the three people. The friends and family of the victims are especially sorrowful over the fact that they were all very young, including the 30-year-old mother. Had the driver followed traffic laws, these three people could still be safe and sound and alive with their family and loved ones.
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Normally we think of truck crashes as accidents involving other trucks, motor vehicles, and occurring on the roadways. However, negligence can put lives in danger both on and off the roads. Trucks and other vehicles tend to share space with bicyclists and pedestrians, and although this usually results in harmony, when a vehicle veers off the road or street or a pedestrian enters into moving traffic, accidents with pedestrians can occur. Pedestrians are owed a duty of care by drivers, while walkers should always remain alert for vehicles as dangers. However, people naturally let down their guards when they are nowhere near roads, and safe inside homes, offices and commercial buildings. However from time to time we hear of news where unsuspecting victims are injured when negligent drivers leave the road and crash into homes, stores and other seemingly safe structures.

In one such recent news story, six patrons of a bagel shop were injured when a box truck crashed into the establishment. According to the article by CBS, images show the large truck almost entirely inside of the shop with glass and debris strewn everywhere. After the crash, 5 adults and 1 child needed immediate medical treatment. Police are still investigating the cause of this accident.

One witness described the accident saying that the truck sideswiped a car that was parked in front of a chapel, which put the car onto the sidewalk. The truck then continued to travel another half block straight into the front of the bagel shop. The witness described the accident as strange because he did not see any brake usage involved, and there was no other traffic in the vicinity. Another witness and individual involved in the accident, the store clerk, described the accident involving a big explosion and that customers were hit by the truck. He too mentioned how the truck used no brakes but just went straight through the shop.
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While we all know that pedestrian collisions with motor vehicles and trucks are extremely dangerous, we often think of these accidents occurring in specific locale. Many people might assume that these accidents happen in busy cities with congested roads or off of highways with vehicles traveling at high speeds. While accidents are common in these areas, it is important to remember that pedestrian accidents can and do happen everywhere, even in locations where we least expect and feel safer. By knowing this fact, as pedestrians we can be on alert for dangers wherever we are traveling.

For instance, recent news by the Chicago Tribune has indicated that a skateboarder was fatally struck by a truck in McHenry County. The victim, a 17-year-old, died from multiple injuries to the head, spine, chest, and abdomen. The driver of the pickup truck that hit the teen has been charged with drunk driving. The pickup truck driver suffered no injuries from the accident.
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As we have discussed before, truck accidents are oftentimes more dangerous than collisions with passenger vehicles due to their large size in height and weight. When such a large vehicle like a tractor-trailer collides with a smaller motor vehicle, the accident is often severe resulting in serious personal injuries or even fatalities. However, there are times when truck accidents can be even more grave, such as when pedestrians are involved. Truck accidents are already extremely dangerous, but when taking away the protective barrier a motor vehicle offers in a collision, pedestrians can suffer life-changing permanent injuries if they survive the crash.

According to a recent report by ABC 27 WKOW, a truck crash occurred near the city of Rockford that took the life of a pedestrian. Around 1:30 in the morning, the truck was traveling southbound on I-39 near Baxter Road in Winnebago County when it struck a pedestrian. The pedestrian died following the accident. According to the report, no charges have been filed, and at this time the Illinois State Police are still investigating the accident.

While it is unclear from this report whether anyone was negligent, pedestrian accidents such as this are still all too frequent. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2011 there were 4,432 pedestrian deaths in the United States and 4,280 in 2010. Injuries from these accidents are also high. In 2011 approximately 69,000 pedestrians were injured nationwide. Unfortunately, children are often the victims of pedestrian accidents. Of the 69,000 people injured in 2011, 11,000 of those people were children aged 14 and younger.
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Every week we read of truck accidents in the Chicago news. From reports, it seems that there is no one neighborhood that is safe from these dangerous accidents. They seem to occur everywhere, no matter whether it is the city’s north, west, or south sides. As you also know, summer is an incredibly busy and high traffic season, and causes an increase in truck and motor vehicle accidents. This is especially true in our city, which already experiences a high volume of traffic and congestion on our roads and expressways, but especially during the summer holiday. Unfortunately, it is not just the every day passenger vehicles used by members of communities that cause injury to others, but commercial drivers who are tasked with a responsibility of being safe drivers and representatives of the businesses they serve.

According to recent news by CBS, a woman was killed by a FedEx semi-truck on the Chicago Kennedy Expressway. An Illinois State Police Sergeant reported that the woman ran out onto the expressway at Addison Street and was then struck by the truck. It is unclear why she did this, but she was pronounced dead at the scene.

While this specific accident was unavoidable and not the fault of the commercial driver, this incident serves as an example of how important it is for both drivers and pedestrians to be vigilant of each other and follow common safety practice, such as yielding or using appropriate marked crosswalks. If drivers and pedestrians alike follow the rules of the road, more motor vehicle and pedestrian accidents could be prevented.
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As we have emphasized before, accidents involving trucks can cause life-altering injuries to those involved. However, the risks for serious injury or death increase when trucks and other large vehicles collide with pedestrians.

The Chicago Tribune reported that a pedestrian died after being hit by a pickup truck on Chicago’s West Side at Van Buren Street and Polaski Road. The victim was crossing the street when the truck struck him. Police cited the truck driver for failure to yield to a pedestrian, driving without insurance, and driving on a suspended license. As of right now, this accident is still under further investigation by the Chicago Police Department’s Major Accidents Investigation Unit.

In Illinois, especially in Chicago where many people travel by foot, pedestrian accidents are all too common. For those pedestrians who survive collisions with trucks, the injuries can be debilitating and require years of therapy and medical treatment for recovery. These can often include injuries to vital areas of the body such as the head and neck, nerve damage, and spinal cord paralysis. Even though these accidents are not the fault of the victim, the victim suffers greatly, not just from physical pain, but from many other stresses, such as financial hardship as well. Medical bills from such severe injuries are often extremely costly, and recovery means that a victim cannot work and therefore has lost wages. Oftentimes, the victim may become so disabled after the accident that he/she cannot return to their line of work either, and thus their earning potential has become permanently diminished.

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It is extremely unfortunate when lives are cut short due to truck and motor vehicle accidents. When drivers do not use the necessary caution that they owe to others on the road, there is a higher probability for serious personal injuries or fatalities. Such injuries can be life-altering to the victim, or can leave people with a loss of their family member.

Unfortunately, the life of another individual was cut short in a recent accident, according to the Orlando Sentinel. A 33-year-old man was killed after a semi-truck hit him as it was pulling into a parking lot. Authorities are still investigating the crash and determining whether charges should be filed.

Although the article above did not speculate on what may have caused the driver to hit the victim, this unfortunate example draws attention to the importance of using caution for other cars on the road and for pedestrians. When pedestrians and others on the road are injured as the result of another person’s negligence, the victim or the victim’s surviving family may be able to take legal action to hold the wrongdoers responsible for the injury or loss. When the court determines that an accident and injuries would not have occurred but for the negligence of the driver, that driver is liable and legally responsible for the victim’s injuries.

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Traffic accidents involving pedestrians are extremely dangerous and pose a strong likelihood for serious and life-altering personal injuries because a person is being hit by a vehicle and receives direct bodily injury, rather than being inside a vehicle. These types of collisions may cause pedestrians to suffer injuries to their limbs, head and neck, or nerve damage to the spinal cord. As many of our readers know, Chicago has a heavy amount of car, truck and pedestrian traffic, and as a result of this mix, every year we hear or read about a number of pedestrian accidents claiming the lives of people in and around the City. As more and more drivers become distracted by cell-phone calls, navigation technology and text messaging, the problem will only get worse unless City official look for ways to crack down on these reckless behaviors.

According to City-Data.com, 41 pedestrians were killed in traffic collisions in 2010 (out of 127 fatal accidents total in the city), and 50 people who were walking were killed in traffic collisions in 2011 (out of 109 total fatal accidents in the city). These numbers show that pedestrian fatalities make up a large number in the total fatal accidents in our city.

Local Chicago elected officials and police have become concerned about the increasing number of accidents involving pedestrians, according to DNAinfo Chicago. This report notes that some officials have announced plans to reduce the incidence of distracted driving on Devon Avenue in West Rogers Park, known for being abundant in pedestrians and fast drivers. This effort was announced this month after a couple and child were struck and seriously injured by a hit-and-run driver. Last year, in the same location, an 81-year-old woman was hit by a vehicle and killed. The city aims to begin a $15 million project in the fall that would make Devon Avenue safer for pedestrians, which would include extended curbs to make crosswalk distances shorter.

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Collisions between passenger vehicles and semi-trucks can be extremely dangerous, in great part due to the semi-truck’s immense size and weight. Trucking accidents can lead to serious personal injuries and even death. However, the risk of serious injuries rise drastically when alcohol is also involved.

Recently, according to AZ Family, a semi-truck driver was arrested after a collision killed a pedestrian hit by the truck. The truck driver was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. The collision is still under investigation due to the question of the driver’s impairment and that the road had no crosswalk and was not well-lit.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration completed a study called the Large Truck Crash Causation Study to examine the reasons for serious collisions involving large trucks. The study examined 141,000 large trucks in the study period of April 2001 to December 2003. From these trucks that were studied, 4,000 were observed to have factors of illegal drugs and alcohol associated with the crash. Although this only makes up 4% of the crashes studied (where as brake problems and driving too fast makes up a combined 52% of factors), driving under the influence still results in serious injuries or fatalities when they do occur.