Pedestrians are put at risk every time they walk down the street. They can be struck by bicyclists, motorcyclists, and cars, each of which can lead to severe, and sometimes fatal, injuries. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), there have been 122 pedestrian fatalities so far in 2019, and the year is not over yet. Drivers and pedestrians themselves share the responsibility of pedestrian safety. In other words, drivers and pedestrians can be equally liable for any personal injuries depending on the situation.
Walk-the-Walk and Talk-the-Talk
Many people assume that all accidents involving pedestrian injuries are the fault of someone other than the walker, such as a cyclist or a motorist. While this is often the case, there are instances in which the pedestrian can be liable for the accident, even if he or she was the only one injured. When determining liability for the accident, consider if you violated any of the following street laws:
Did you pay attention to the street signals before you started walking? Pedestrians are required to follow traffic signals, observe walk lights, and utilize crosswalks when available. When the light is constantly lit on “walk,” pedestrians have the right of way. However, if the light is flashing, signaling to any oncoming pedestrians that the traffic light will be changing soon, pedestrians are not legally allowed to enter the crosswalk. People often fail to recognize that a flashing light signifies the legal restriction to begin crossing the road.
Were you hitchhiking? Although a common occurrence in movies, hitchhiking is against the law in Illinois. Those pedestrians who are attempting to catch a ride can cause the drivers themselves to get in an accident as well as those around them.
Did you walk in front of an emergency vehicle? Many pedestrians think that they have the right of way regardless of the situation. Not only is this not true with normal vehicles, but it is also incorrect with emergency vehicles. Pedestrians are required to give the right of way to these vehicles in a similar fashion to how vehicles move over in the presence of police cars, fire trucks, or ambulances.
Are you soliciting? The term “soliciting” means asking for something from another person. It is not uncommon for individuals to stand on the edge of the road to ask drivers for money or promote their business, especially in an urban setting. Though this is a fairly regular occurrence, it is technically illegal and can lead to serious charges for the pedestrian.
Call a Will County Personal Injury Lawyer
When pedestrians are hurt in an accident, their first move should be to hire an experienced personal injury attorney. Looking at your state’s laws and the details of your case is advantageous, but it can be useless without a proper defense team on your side. At Flaherty Law, our skilled legal team has extensive knowledge of all Illinois traffic laws, including those that can place the blame on pedestrians. If you were injured while traveling on foot, contact our Plainfield, IL pedestrian accident attorneys at 815-577-7500 for a free consultation.