The Number Of DuPage County And Illinois Pedestrian Accidents
There have been many recent DuPage County pedestrian accidents, some fatal. As well, many others have happened throughout the broader Chicago area and otherwise throughout Illinois. As seen in Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) crash reports, in the year 2014 there were 135 pedestrian crashes, with 3 fatalities and 136 people injured, in DuPage County.
The recent increase in Illinois pedestrian accidents is discussed in the Chicago Tribune article of May 30, 2016, titled “As pedestrian deaths rise, IDOT reiterates importance of paying attention.” Various aspects of the year 2015 pedestrian accident fatalities and trends experienced in Illinois are discussed. Two excerpts from that article:
Last year, 146 crashes resulted in 150 fatalities on roads across the state, up 18 percent from 2014 when there were 127 deaths, according to preliminary numbers from the Illinois Department of Transportation. Of those 150 pedestrians killed, nearly a third of the deaths — or 46 — occurred in Chicago, which also saw a 31 percent hike over 2014.
The Governors Highway Safety Association, a nonprofit made up of state highway safety offices, also indicated that distracted pedestrians and drivers may be partially responsible for an increase in pedestrian deaths between 2009 and 2013 after decades of a steady decline.
DuPage County Pedestrian Accidents
DuPage County pedestrian accidents have many causes. While walking is beneficial for many reasons – including those related to recreation and fitness – it does include risks when done around traffic. This is especially so given busy roadways, which are often congested.
As seen in posts on this site which discuss people who have been hit by vehicles in DuPage County, such incidents have occurred on:
- December 4, 2016 in Naperville
- November 1, 2016 in Naperville [fatal]
- May 4, 2016 in Wheaton
- February 17, 2016 in Naperville [fatal]
- February 15, 2016 in Warrenville
- September 28, 2015 in Bartlett [fatal]
- September 16, 2015 in Wheaton
- January 1, 2015 in Warrenville [fatal]
- November 22, 2014 in Wheaton [fatal]
- November 9, 2014 in Naperville [fatal]
Pedestrian Accident Injuries
There are many reasons why pedestrian accidents lead to injuries. Notably, many of these injuries are critical injuries and can be life-threatening in nature. Perhaps foremost among these reasons is that pedestrians have little if any impact “protection” when they are hit by a vehicle. As such, the pedestrian’s body absorbs most – if not all – of the impact, and the body is subject to many powerful and unnatural forces.
If a person is hurt due to being hit by a vehicle, there is a broad array of injuries that can occur. As discussed in the “Pedestrian Injuries: Emergency Care Considerations” [Chakravarthy B, Lotfipour S, Vaca FE. Pedestrian Injuries: Emergency Care Considerations. The California Journal of Emergency Medicine. 2007;8(1):15-21.] research document:
The severity of the injuries is related to many factors, including vehicle speed, the angle of impact of the vehicle upon the pedestrian, the center of gravity of the pedestrian, the part of the body that first comes into contact with the vehicle, the part of the vehicle the pedestrian impacts first, and the vehicle design. Most injuries arising from these vehicle and ground impacts in adults are trauma to the head, legs and pelvis., tibial plateau fractures and ligamentous injuries of the knee, as well as traumatic brain injuries, are all common.23One study showed that the most common injuries seen in children, aside from superficial injuries, involved the head and neck (34.6%), with musculoskeletal injuries the second most common (22.2%). In contrast, the same study found that among adults, musculoskeletal injuries (41.4%) were more common than head and neck injuries (26.7%). The statistical trend of musculoskeletal injuries being more common than head and neck injuries also remained consistent in a sub-analysis in older-adult pedestrian collision victims.24 Most pediatric pedestrian collisions that involved traumatic brain injury did not involve cervical injuries. Regardless of this fact, a review of one database showed that pediatric C-spine dislocations most commonly result from pedestrian collisions.25 The most common injuries seen in pediatric pedestrian collisions tend to be traumatic brain injuries and musculoskeletal injuries, followed by chest and abdominal injuries. In musculoskeletal injuries the upper and lower legs and knees are most frequently injured, which can lead to long-term disabilities. Head injuries are generally more life threatening.
As mentioned above, among the serious injuries that can result from someone being hit by a vehicle is traumatic brain injuries (TBI.) These types of head injuries have been seen in many Chicago-area accidents.
The severity of these various pedestrians injuries can vary significantly. Many of these injuries and other harm that has occurred may lead to temporary or permanent physical impairments, which may require one or more surgeries. As well, recovery from these injuries may require a significant amount of physical and occupational rehabilitation.
Fatal DuPage County Pedestrian Crashes
As seen in the above list of DuPage County pedestrian crashes, a high percentage of those hit by a vehicle died from their accident injuries. These fatalities include both those who died at the accident scene, as well as those pedestrians who died at some point after the accident. In the November 1, 2016 Naperville pedestrian accident the person who was struck died on November 5. In that accident, the female pedestrian was walking on the parkway of Warrenville Road when she was struck by a Jeep. She suffered life-threatening injuries and died from traumatic brain injuries resulting from the accident.
Various fatal DuPage County pedestrian accidents involve people who are hit by vehicles while they try to cross the street. One such accident was summarized in the November 10, 2014 post titled “Fatal Pedestrian Accident In Naperville.” In this incident, a woman was struck at the intersection of Book Road and Rickert Road. This accident led to a wrongful death lawsuit being filed against the driver of the car.
Fault In Pedestrian Accidents
Many pedestrian accidents are the fault of motorists. Accidents that happen in crosswalks are particularly notable, as people who walk in crosswalks “with the light” often expect to do so safely. However, in many cases crosswalks and the rights they are supposed to provide to “walkers” are disregarded by motorists. Various statistics show that Chicago pedestrian accidents – including those fatal – often happen while people are walking in a crosswalk with the “walk” signal. As discussed in the October 26, 2011 post, titled “City of Chicago Initiative To Highlight Pedestrian Accidents And Pedestrian Safety“:
About 80 percent of vehicle-pedestrian crashes in Chicago occur at intersections and commonly involve people crossing the street with the walk signal, according to a new city study released this summer. The No. 1 cause of the accidents was drivers failing to yield, the analysis found.
Avoiding Pedestrian Accidents
There are many steps that one can take to minimize the risk of being hit by a car while walking. Being aware of “dangerous intersections” for pedestrians can be highly beneficial. As well, another suggestion with regard to safely cross the street is discussed in the April 14, 2015 post titled “Increased Pedestrian Safety – New Research Findings.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has published pedestrian safety tips at its “Everyone is a pedestrian” site. Walking safety tips are also provided for children and older adults.
The CDC document titled “Walk This Way! Taking Steps for Pedestrian Safety” offers the following tips:
Whenever you’re walking, keep these tip2 in mind:
- Whenever possible, cross the street at a designated crosswalk or intersection.
- Increase your visibility at night by carrying a flashlight and wearing retro-reflective clothing.
- It’s safest to walk on a sidewalk, but if one is not available, walk on the shoulder and face traffic.
- Avoid distractions such as electronic devices that take your attention off the road.
Injury Costs And Expenses
There are many types of expenses that can be directly incurred when someone is hit by a car. Typically, medical bills may be (very) high, especially if the person does not have health insurance. Many people who have been hit and injured by a vehicle seek to obtain injury compensation through the filing of a personal injury lawsuit. This compensation can include many different types. The amount of such compensation varies depending upon many different factors, including the types and severity of the injuries. Compensation can include that for:
- Medical costs (past, current and future)
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of function
- Lost wages
- Other economic damages
A personal injury lawyer can provide an overview as to what types of compensation – as well as what amounts – may be reasonably expected given the specific characteristics of the accident, the injuries, and the overall legal and medical situation that has resulted.
What To Do If You Have Been Injured In A Pedestrian Accident
The above discusses various aspects of accidents involving pedestrians. As discussed, pedestrian accidents often cause accident injuries – and in many cases these injuries are serious in nature, and can be either life-threatening or fatal.
Should you be injured in such a collision, there are steps you should take to protect both your health as well as your legal rights, including your rights to potential injury compensation if the accident was the fault of another person or entity. The “10 Steps To Take After A DuPage Accident” page has various recommended steps, many of which are relevant for someone who has been hit by a vehicle.
From a medical perspective, it is recommended that you get a comprehensive medical exam if you are hit by a car or another vehicle. There are many health and legal reasons for this recommendation. One of the reasons is that some accident injury symptoms are not immediately apparent, i.e. what some call “delayed onset.” A thorough medical examination can check for accident injuries that have occurred, but may not yet be apparent. There are many examples of people who have suffered serious accident injuries but aren’t aware of these injuries for a substantial time period. A delay in treatment of these accident injuries can create a dangerous health threat. In some cases such delay in proper health care treatment can become life-threatening. Serious injuries with symptoms that may not immediately manifest include various traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and internal bleeding. The topic of why a medical exam is a good idea after an accident is further discussed on the “Getting A Medical Exam After A DuPage County Accident” page.
From a legal perspective, it is highly recommended that you speak with an Illinois personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after an accident. While many people who have been recently injured in an accident may find this to be inconvenient, there are various steps you should quickly take to protect your legal rights and to help you attain compensation for your accident injuries and other harm that may have occurred. The personal injury lawyer can determine if the filing of a personal injury lawsuit is appropriate. [For those who represent a person that has died due to an accident, filing a wrongful death lawsuit may be warranted.]
If you were injured in an accident, call Tony Elman, Lead Trial Attorney at the Elman Law Group, at (773) 392-8182 to discuss the accident and see what legal actions – including the filing of a lawsuit – may be appropriate. This discussion is provided free of charge and is confidential in nature.
Elman Law Group, LLC has been handling Illinois personal injury cases for 25+ years, and during this time has handled over 10,000 personal injury cases. Through this extensive experience, the Elman Law Group has built a reputation for its court trial performance. As seen in many of its cases, this successful trial experience may (substantially) increase potential accident injury compensation.
Elman Law Group, LLC handles cases on a contingency basis…clients are not charged legal fees unless and until they get money.