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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
A 50 year old Chicago man from the Northwest Side side neighborhood of Lawndale was struck by a hit-and-run driver while crossing Pulaski Ave Sunday morning the Chicago Sun-times reports. Witnesses say the man was hit by a gold or orange Pontiac traveling approximately 50 mph. The vehicle failed to stop. The man was thrown 30 feet as a result of being hit. The man was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital and is in critical condition.
Hit-and-run accidents are a common occurrence in the city of Chicago. A study commissioned by the Chicago of Transportation has found that Chicago averages two hit-and-run crashes that cause injury or death everyday. Hit-and-run vehicle-pedestrian crashes account for 33% of all vehicle-pedestrian crashes according to this study. The Chicago personal injury law firm of Zneimer & Zneimer know the damage these hit-and-run drivers do. Many injured pedestrians do not have any insurance coverage so they are not only hurt by the hit-and-run driver but they are also stuck with the medical bills and the consequences of not being able to work while they recover. Hit-and-run drivers are a major problem in Chicago with 5,534 incidents of hit-and-runs over a five year period resulting in 3,683 injuries or deaths according to the study.
Chicago pedestrian accident attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer p.c. read in the Sun-Times that pedestrian deaths due to pedestrian accidents with cars have risen from 2012 to 48. There were 35 pedestrian deaths in 2011, 30 in 2010 and 31 in 2009.
A city of Chicago study found that 80 percent of vehicle-pedestrian accidents occur at intersections and mostly involve pedestrians walking in the cross walk. The study also shows the number one cause of pedestrians being hit by cars is drivers failing to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians. Drivers in Illinois are required by law to come to a complete stop when a pedestrian is in a crosswalk. (625 ILCS 5/11-1002)
Distracted drivers has been suggested as a possible culprit in the up-tick in pedestrian deaths. Both drivers and pedestrians are texting, on the cell phone or listening to music on their phone or I-Pod and are not paying attention to road hazards. Chicago injury lawyers, Zneimer & Zneimer, P.C.have handled cases where the defendant who caused the injury to the plaintiff was on a cell phone or was yelling at children in the car and was distracted when the accident occurred.
Our Chicago car accident attorneys read proposed standards of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for electric and hybrid vehicles to make noise. These vehicles are much quieter at low speeds than traditional gas or diesel powered vehicles making them harder to detect by pedestrians and bike riders.
NHTSA Administrator David Strickland stated: “Our proposal would allow manufactures the flexibility to design different sounds for different makes and models while still providing an opportunity for pedestrians, bicyclists and the visually impaired to detect and recognize a vehicle and make a decision about whether it is safe to cross the street.”
The NHTSA proposal would require electric vehicles traveling under 18 miles per hour to make sufficient noise so that pedestrians and bicyclists could detect them even when factoring in street noise and background noise. Each make and model would be required to emit the same sound.