Pedestrian traffic can be heavy throughout Champaign and Urbana. With college students from the University of Illinois and Parkland Community College, active public transit systems, and many parts of Champaign-Urbana being very walkable, accidents where cars strike pedestrians are all too common.
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, you do not have to go through the process of seeking compensation for your damages alone. A Champaign pedestrian accident lawyer can help guide you through the process and help maximize your recovery for your injuries. Do not hesitate to speak with a skilled injury attorney.
Available Insurance Coverage for Injured Pedestrians
One way a Champaign injury lawyer can help you is identifying potential sources of insurance coverage to compensate you for your damages after a pedestrian accident. The first place to look is the bodily injury liability coverage on the automobile policy of the at-fault driver. There may be additional coverage available related to the at-fault driver, like a corporate policy if they were driving for work, or a personal liability umbrella policy in cases where the damages were catastrophic.
In cases involving a hit-and-run where the at-fault driver is not apprehended or where they are uninsured, it is very important to know that coverage is typically available through your own automobile insurance policy through your uninsured motorist coverage. You may also have medical payment coverage on your automobile policy to help with your accident-related medical bills.
Additionally, you may have underinsured motorist coverage on your own policy if your insurance limits exceed those of the at-fault driver. It is possible to inadvertently waive this coverage if you accept an offer from the at-fault driver’s insurance company without following your own policy’s requirements, which may include getting their permission in writing to accept an offer from the at-fault driver’s policy.
If you are a college student, or still reside part-time with your parents or other family members, there may be additional coverage available through their auto-insurance policies. In several past cases we have recovered for damages under a student’s policy and then recovered additional funds from policy belonging to our client’s parent. Identifying all possible sources of recovery is a very important reason to get help from an experienced lawyer as soon as possible.
Rights of Pedestrians in Champaign
Drivers have a responsibility to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians. The Illinois Secretary of State provides many helpful resources related to the Rules of the Road in Illinois, including the following examples of circumstances when a driver must come to a complete stop:
- When a pedestrian is in a marked crosswalk.
- On school days, when children are in or near a school zone crosswalk.
- When a pedestrian is in an unmarked crosswalk on the driver’s side of the roadway and there are no traffic control signals.
- When turning at an intersection.
- After coming to a complete stop at an intersection controlled by a stop sign or flashing red signal.
- Whenever the pedestrian entered a crosswalk prior to a change in the traffic light.
- Whenever the pedestrian is walking with a green light or to a walk signal.
Steps to take after Being Hit by a Car
The most important step you can take to protect your rights in these difficult cases is to get help as soon as you can from an experienced Champaign pedestrian accident attorney. We will provide a confidential and free review of your case to see if we can help. In addition to getting legal help, we recommend the following actions:
- Contact the police immediately or as soon as possible after an accident. Obtain a police report as soon after the accident as possible.
- Take photographs of the scene of the accident, the vehicle involved, and get contact information from any witnesses.
- Get medical help and continue treating as long as you are injury. Keep in mind concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are “invisible injuries” and can be difficult to detect. If you are concerned about these potential injuries, be sure to mention this to your doctor, as these injuries are very common in pedestrian accidents.
- Keep good records related to your expenses, any missed work, your medical bills, and notes about how the incident has impacted your life.
- Let your lawyer deal with the at fault driver’s insurance company. We can handle them for you. Do not give a recorded statement to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. They may tell you it is necessary to process your claim, but that is simply false. Recorded statements are taken exclusively for the benefit of the insurance company.
- Have your lawyer open a claim with your auto insurance company. While often people are not aware of this coverage, you very likely have coverage under your own automobile insurance policy for medical payments coverage and uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage when you are hit as a pedestrian by a car. For college students, there may be additional coverage under your parents’ automobile insurance policy. It is very important you work with lawyers who are experienced with these cases so they know to look for all available sources of recovery.
Statute of Limitations in Champaign
Illinois law creates a deadline to pursue a claim for a pedestrian accident. In most cases where a pedestrian is hit by a vehicle in Illinois, the claim has a two-year statute of limitations. (735 ILCS 5/13-202). It is possible the deadline may be only one-year if the vehicle involved was government-owned, and possible the deadline could be tolled or extended if the injury victim is disabled or a minor. The best way to determine exactly what deadline applies to your case is to take advantage of a free consultation with an experienced Champaign pedestrian injury lawyer.
How Do Collisions Occur Between Cars and Pedestrians?
There are several causes of pedestrian accidents in Champaign-Urbana. In most accidents, some form of negligence or careless driving is involved. The most common causes are:
- Distracted driving including texting, eating, and talking on phones. Unfortunately, this can be even more common in college towns like Champaign.
- Inattention to pedestrians. Drivers may be so focused on other vehicles, that they simply neglect to pay attention to pedestrians.
- Driving carelessly by running or rolling through a red light or stop sign.
- Failing to yield to a pedestrian at a crosswalk.
- Making an illegal turn or failing to signal.
- Speeding, especially when ignoring school zone signs.
- Drunk or impaired driving.
- Aggressive and reckless driving, like passing a car stopped at a crosswalk.
As the facts and circumstances of these collisions may very widely, and every case is different, we recommend consulting with an attorney as soon as possible to help investigate your case to prove liability.
Speak with a Champaign Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today
There are many benefits to working with a lawyer after a pedestrian accident. For example, a lawyer can help you: 1) investigate and prove liability, 2) identify available insurance coverage, 3) determine all of your damages, 4) gather medical bills and records on your behalf, 5) advise you as to the value of your case, 6) handle all communications with insurance companies on your behalf, 7) negotiate reductions in medical bills and liens, and 8) make the process much easier for you so you can focus on your health and your recovery.
Consultations are free and confidential, with no obligation and no strings attached. Contact our team of compassionate and helpful legal professionals today to see how we can help.