Articles Posted in Pedestrian Accidents

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The first section of the Lakefront Trail separation project has been completed from 31st Street to 41st.  The separation project will provide separate paths for bikers and pedestrians along the 18 mile trail.  The Chicago Tribune reports that the  two-year project will stretch from Ardmore street to 71st Street and will cost $12 million dollars with money provided by billionaire Ken Griffin.

Personal injury lawyer, Peter Zneimer who is a frequent user of the trail notes that a safety upgrade was badly needed.  Bikers, traveling at all speeds negotiate the trail around joggers, walkers, baby-strollers, roller bladders, along with many people just crossing the path to get to the lake front.   In fact, according the Active Transportation Alliance, an estimated 100,000 people use the trail on weekends during the summer.

It is no surprise that there have been many collisions on the Lakefront Trail between bikers and pedestrians and between bikers and other bikers.  Many of these collisions have resulted in serious injuries and even fatalities.  People even bring small children just learning to ride a bike onto the trail seemly oblivious to the dangers on the trail.  Perhaps one of the greatest dangers on the trial are bicyclists who insist on pedaling at recklessly high speeds totally heedless to the fact that there are a large number of inattentive children and adults present who may wander into their path at any time. The personal injury lawyers of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. hope that the separated lanes may reduce injuries from collisions on the trail.

 

 

 

On June 12, 2017, Chicago Mayor Emanuel introduced a plan aimed at completely eliminating traffic fatalities in the City of Chicago by 2026.   The Chicago personal injury lawyers of Zneimer and Zneimer applaud the ambitious goals of the plan.

Following principles of the International Vision Zero movement, the Mayor has directed City department agencies to develop an action plan that based on traffic crash data.  Vision Zero plans have also been adopted in many European cities, such as Stockholm, Berlin and Rotterdam along with many American cities such as Boston, New York, Los Angeles and Seattle.

Part of the focus of the movement is to treat traffic injuries and fatalities as a pressing public health problem.  The Mayor’s office points that more than 2,000 people are killed or seriously injured in Chicago every year.  Chicago personal injury attorney Peter Zneimer can attest to the devastating impact a serious injury or death related to a traffic accident can have on a person and his or her family.  The loss of income and the medical bills that result from an injury victim injuries are bad enough. Many victims are left with life altering disabilities that they must bear for the rest of their lives.

The Chicago Attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. first addressed this issue last June, specifically discussing the risk of injury along Chicago’s Lakefront Trail. Since last year, the controversy over whether to implement a more defined design approach, which divides paths and trails based upon user type has continued to be a highly debated topic. Ongoing concerns over trail congestion and user safety prompted the Active transportation Alliance’s December 2014 petition, urging Chicago leaders and officials to consider enhanced pavement markings and separate paths for bicyclists and pedestrians in the trail’s most congested areas.

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If you live in the Chicagoland area, you’d have to live under a rock, not to notice the variations and diversity amongst the types of road users that occupy communities. Traveling alongside cars, motorcycles, commercial trucks, and public transit vehicles, are commuting bicyclists and pedestrians; delivery/courier pedacyclists; and resident or tourist recreationalists, whether runners, joggers, walkers, moms with strollers, or children at play. Chicago has long recognized its need to account for its road-user diversity, the result of which has led to more marked and/or barrier separated bike lanes, increased enforcement in intersections and along sidewalks, as well as the construction of paths and trails that create throughways to increase accessibility and improve safety. However, as we push for more use of the pathways and trails, which are intended to protect vulnerable road users, another safety issue has begun to rear its ugly head, and increasingly so—that is, pathway and trail accidents.

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The Attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. take note of two lawsuits filed in connection with last month’s truck crash that took the lives of three pedestrians—30-year-old Elizabeth Peralta-Luna, and her two children, 4-year-old Dylan Peralta and 9-year-old Elizabeth Peralta—as they were attempting to cross a busy intersection on Chicago’s South Side.

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The Personal Injury Attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. take note of the alarming number of accidents involving pedestrians that have taken place throughout the Chicago Metropolitan area this month. Nearly every one of the victims in these incidents suffered fatal injuries, demonstrating the high risk of death for a victim that is struck by a vehicle in a pedestrian accident. Even more disturbing, is that many of these crashes involved motorists that made the callous and heartless decision to flee the scene, and leave their victim to die, rather than stopping to render assistance.

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The Chicago Pedestrian Accident Attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. take note of a promising new campaign developed for the purpose of promoting awareness, as well as pushing for increased funding, to improve intersection safety for pedestrians in the Chicagoland Area. The campaign is based upon a compilation of recent crash data, including factors such as location, time-of-day, age of victim, and types of injuries sustained in pedestrian crossing-related incidents. As injury lawyers, we support campaign efforts, and hope that residents of our communities will do the same.

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The Pedestrian Accident Attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. take note of a concerning problem that continues to plague those that travel by foot in the Chicago area-crosswalk safety. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, pedestrian fatalities in Chicago were more than double the nationwide average in 2012. Many of these fatalities occurred at pedestrian crossings. As Accident & Injury Lawyers, we find this highly troubling, particularly given the 2010 revisions to right-of-way laws in Illinois, which many expected would have significantly enhanced the safety of pedestrians throughout the city.

As suggested by an article in the Chicago Tribune, failure to comply with pedestrian crossing laws can at least, in part, be attributed to drivers’ unawareness of the law, as it was revised in 2010. Under the old law, drivers were only required to yield to pedestrians. However, in finding that this yield-only requirement was a law that was difficult to interpret, as well as difficult to enforce, the state amended it in 2010 to include a provision requiring drivers to both stop and yield at crosswalks. The 2010 revisions to Illinois Vehicle Code regarding ‘Pedestrians’ right-of-way at crosswalks,’ as set forth in 625 ILCS 5/11-1002(a), provides that:

“When traffic control signals are not in place or not in operation the driver of a vehicle shall stop and yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling, or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.”

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The Chicago Bicycle Accident Attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. have decades of experience representing victims in a diverse range personal injury matters. As the city continues to enhance infrastructure and improve safety, more and more residents are turning to eco-friendly modes of transportation such as walking or biking. With more bicyclists and pedestrians has come not only more accidents, but a wider variation in the types of accidents. While in previous years, it was more common to see incidents of a motorist striking a pedestrian or bicyclist, we have begun to see increasing numbers of incidents involving bicyclists colliding with pedestrians.

Recently, we expressed our concerns of the growing numbers of bike path accidents, in which a path or trail user sustains injury after being struck by a bicyclist. However, another trend that we find highly concerning is the risk for pedestrian injury caused by the ever-increasing presence of messengers, couriers, and similar bicycle delivery persons. Bike messenger accidents are unique, because, unlike other types of bicyclist-versus-pedestrian incidents, the victim may be covered under a liability insurance policy held by the messenger service.

Pursuant to state law, 625 ILCS 5/11-1515 provides:

The Pedestrian Accident Attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer, along with community activist groups and friends and family of the victim, mourn the loss of an Englewood toddler killed at the hands of a drunk driver. The accident occurred at the 5700 Block of South Morgan Street in Englewood on September 20, 2013. As 2-year old Ja’Mya Love walked to daycare with her great-grandmother, the toddler was tragically struck by a motor vehicle. Kellen Bledsoe, is said to have caused the accident after running through a stop sign as the victim and her family approached the intersection. After striking the child, Bledsoe continued driving where he subsequently collided with a parked vehicle. Thereafter, Bledso exited his vehicle and began to flee on foot. Fortunately, authorities were able to take him into custody shortly following a brief pursuit.

According to officials, Bledsoe had an astounding blood-alcohol-level of .252, which represents a level exceeding the legal limit (.08) by more than three times. In addition, officials report that the 27-year-old driver had never been issued a driver’s license, which is likely the reason for his failure to carry insurance coverage as well. Bledso was held in lieu of a half a million dollar bond, where he was later charged with reckless homicide in a construction zone; aggravated DUI in an accident causing death; aggravated DUI in accident by driver without driver’s license; operating a vehicle without a license; and operating a vehicle without insurance.

The Englewood Personal Injury Attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer, P.C. offer their condolences to the family members of little 2-year-old Ja’Mya Love. Having witnessed far too many preventable accidents throughout our City, the toddler’s death serves as reminder of the dangers of sharing Chicago’s roadways with reckless drivers.