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Does Comparative Negligence Apply to Pedestrian-Auto Accidents?

Written by Ankin Law Office

Given that Chicago is a large metropolitan city, with significant foot and motor vehicle traffic, pedestrian accidents can and do occur. In fact, in 2009 alone, 3,130 pedestrian traffic crashes took place on Chicago’s streets. And each year approximately 1.2 million people are killed in traffic fatalities around the world, and pedestrians account for about one-third of those deaths, according to recent data provided in the journal Injury Prevention.

While most pedestrian accidents are caused by a negligent motorist, in some cases, the traffic collision can be partly caused by the pedestrian’s negligence, such as distracted walking. In fact, a recent study showed that nearly one-third (29.8%) of all pedestrians performed some sort of distracting activity – such as texting, listening to music, or using a handheld phone – while crossing the street.

Under Illinois’s “modified” comparative negligence regime, an accident victim’s damage award is limited if the victim’s fault exceeds a certain level. For instance, a pedestrian accident victim can only recover damages for his or her injuries if he or she is less than 50% at fault for the accident. Moreover, the amount of damages may be reduced in proportion to the degree to which the injured pedestrian was at fault for the accident.

Conversely, under the contributory negligence regime – which very few states still use – a defendant may be able to avoid liability entirely if he or she can show that the accident’s victim was negligent and contributed to the accident in any way.

The Chicago pedestrian accident attorneys at Ankin Law Offices focus on representing the victims of fatal and non-fatal motor vehicle accidents in personal injury lawsuits and wrongful death lawsuits. If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, do not hesitate to contact our office at (312) 600-0000 to discuss a possible personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. Our Chicago pedestrian accident lawyers will vigorously advocate on your behalf in order to obtain the compensation that you need any deserve following your pedestrian accident.

Categories: Auto Accidents