Every day, thousands of pedestrians walk through Litchfield area streets and the various metropolitan areas of Illinois. While most reach their destinations safely, others are not so fortunate and suffer severe injuries in pedestrian accidents. Whenever a car hits a pedestrian, the victim is likely to suffer catastrophic injuries and could face a very long and stressful series of legal proceedings to secure the compensation they need to recover.
If you or a family member is struggling with injuries you suffered in a recent pedestrian accident, the attorneys at Brandenburg & Rees, LLP, can help you recover. Our firm has a track record of many successful cases thanks to our commitment to client-focused legal counsel. In every case we accept, we take time to learn as much as possible about the individual client’s needs and goals for their civil suit. If you need reliable legal counsel in the aftermath of a pedestrian accident, we are here to assist in your recovery.
Every driver has a legal duty of care to prevent collisions with pedestrians. This means a driver must always yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian in their path, even if the pedestrian crosses the street illegally. No matter how a pedestrian accident happens, the driver is almost always at fault for the incident, and when the pedestrian shares liability, the driver will still be more at fault due to their responsibility to always yield to pedestrians.
If the driver takes responsibility for their actions, they will stop and check on the injured pedestrian after hitting them. Drivers are also required to report all accidents to 911 and remain at the scene of the crash until responding officers allow them to leave. If they do not, or if a driver hits a pedestrian and flees, this can lead to a criminal charge for hit-and-run against the driver. Whenever anyone commits a crime, their penalties for conviction will automatically increase if they injure or kill anyone with their actions.
It’s possible for a driver to cause a pedestrian accident through an act of negligence, such as distracted driving, speeding, or committing a moving violation. Cell phone records, eyewitness testimony, and recordings from nearby traffic cameras can all be crucial bits of evidence for proving liability when these types of negligence cause pedestrian accidents. It is also possible for reckless driving, driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs, or other illegal misconduct to cause a pedestrian accident. In these situations, at-fault drivers face criminal charges along with their civil liability for victims’ damages.
Your Litchfield pedestrian accident attorney can help gather the evidence you need to prove fault for your pedestrian accident and build the foundation of your case. Under Illinois law, all drivers must have insurance to cover any damages they cause in an accident, and the victim would have the right to file a claim against an at-fault driver’s insurance policy in response to a pedestrian accident. However, this insurance claim may not fully cover all the victim’s damages, and a personal injury claim will be necessary to ensure their full recovery.
The main objective of any personal injury claim is for the plaintiff to hold the defendant accountable for the extent of damages the defendant caused with their negligence or misconduct. It’s possible for the plaintiff to claim compensation for both economic and non-economic damages, but economic damages are more straightforward. The economic damages you could potentially secure from the defendant who caused your pedestrian accident include the following:
When you have the right attorney to handle your case, it will be easier for you to accurately assess the extent of immediate and future economic damages you can seek from a defendant. However, even if the total of your claimable economic damages exceeds your initial expectations, your recovery does not end there. You also have the right to seek accountability for your non-economic damages, specifically your pain and suffering.
When the average person hears the term “pain and suffering,” they are likely to find it difficult to assign a monetary value to intangible losses. Illinois law grants the plaintiff in a personal injury case the right to claim as much pain and suffering compensation as they believe to be appropriate to address the severity of their experience from the defendant’s actions. Pain and suffering compensation aims to provide relief from the physical pain, psychological trauma, and long-term disabilities a plaintiff suffers due to a defendant’s actions.
There are two common formulas that personal injury attorneys use to calculate pain and suffering compensation for their clients. First is the multiplier method, most often used when a plaintiff has suffered catastrophic injuries due to a defendant’s actions. This method involves multiplying the plaintiff’s total economic damages by a factor that reflects the severity of their experience, usually one to five. The second method is the per diem method, which focuses on the amount of time it takes the plaintiff to fully recover from their injuries. This is more appropriate when a plaintiff is expected to make a full recovery from their injuries in the near future. The attorney sets a daily amount of compensation they believe to be appropriate and then multiplies this amount by the number of days it takes their client to fully recover.
The majority of personal injury cases do not go to court. Most are settled privately, and the private settlement negotiation process enables all parties involved to reach a swifter result while avoiding the time, stress, and expense of litigation. As long as the defendant and the plaintiff are both willing to compromise and the defendant accepts liability for the plaintiff’s damages, the settlement may not take very long to complete.
However, there is always a chance for liability to be disputed. For example, if the plaintiff was jaywalking or stepped into the road directly in front of a driver, giving them no time to stop or avoid a collision, the defendant is likely to assert comparative fault. If a plaintiff bears partial fault for their claimed damages, they lose a percentage of the total compensation claimed from the defendant. If the defendant disputes the scope of damages sought by the plaintiff or refuses to settle for any other reason, the case must be resolved through litigation.
If a personal injury case goes to court, the judge handling the case has the final say regarding liability for the plaintiff’s damages and the scope of compensation they can claim from the defendant. Neither party should assume that the judge will see things their way, and ultimately the final result rests entirely in the hands of the judge.
When you choose Brandenburg & Rees, LLP, to represent you in a pedestrian accident case, our goal will be to settle your case as quickly as possible, but if settlement is not an option, we are fully prepared to represent your case in court. If the defendant caused your injury through any illegal activity and they face criminal charges, we can help you understand how a criminal case from the state could influence your recovery.
A: The total potential value of any personal injury claim depends on the scope of the victim’s damages and the overall severity of the harm they experienced. You have the right to hold the defendant who caused your accident accountable for all economic losses you suffered from their actions, and state law also permits you to seek pain and suffering compensation with your claim. Your Litchfield pedestrian accident attorney can provide an estimate of the total case award you could potentially win from the defendant.
A: There is a two-year statute of limitations for all personal injury cases. This means that if you intend to file a civil suit against the driver who hit you, you must do so within two years of the date of your accident. Do not assume that this is more than enough time to file your case because you will need time to gather the materials necessary for crafting a compelling civil suit. The sooner you connect with an experienced attorney, the better your chances are of maximizing your recovery.
A: Yes, it is possible to bear partial liability for your recent pedestrian accident and still recover compensation from the driver who hit you. Illinois enforces a modified comparative fault rule with a plaintiff fault threshold of 50%. This means that as long as the plaintiff is less than 50% liable for their injury, they can still seek compensation from the defendant. However, if the plaintiff is found more than 50% at fault, they lose the right to claim compensation.
A: Even if you think that the fault for your recent accident is perfectly clear and you have a firm understanding of the scope of the damages available to you, this does not mean you will have an easy time collecting compensation for your damages. Hiring experienced legal counsel significantly improves your chances of success with your claim, streamlines your receipt of compensation, and ensures you are prepared to address any unforeseen challenges that arise during your recovery efforts.
A: The time it will take for your case to settle depends on several factors. If the defendant accepts liability for their actions and agrees to settlement negotiations, it may only take a few weeks for you to secure compensation for your losses. If the defendant disputes responsibility for the accident, it could take much longer to resolve your case. Your pedestrian accident attorney can offer an estimated timeline of how long it could take your case to conclude.
The team at Brandenburg & Rees, LLP, offers client-focused legal counsel to victims of pedestrian accidents and all other personal injuries in the Litchfield area. If you believe another party is responsible for the damages you recently suffered, we can help hold them accountable with a comprehensive civil suit that seeks maximum compensation for your damages. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our team and learn more about the legal services we offer to Litchfield clients.